A generous grant from the New Balance Foundation will support the work of Maine’s premier childhood obesity program right here PCHC. The $100,000 grant awarded in August, will fund the WOW 4 Wellness clinic that helps kids and families throughout Maine.
“This truly generous grant allows us to continue to help young people who have overweight or obesity, a disease that often goes unrecognized or unaddressed,” said Valerie O’Hara, DO, WOW’s founding physician. `For the patients, we care for and our team, this collaboration with New Balance Foundation allows us to offer best practices, learn from ongoing research, and improve outcomes. Grants like this are critical to our clinic, helping our families achieve a “New (healthier) Balance.”
The WOW (Way to Optimal Weight) clinic previously operated by Northern Light Health on the University of Maine Orono campus, is now operated by PCHC at 6 Telcom Drive in Bangor. Dr. O’Hara and the WOW 4 Wellness Team are nationally known experts in pediatric obesity.
The grant represents a continuation of support for the program from the New Balance Foundation. “Investing in childhood obesity research, treatment and prevention is critical to our mission of supporting life-long health and success for today’s youth. We are proud to support the work of Dr. O’Hara and her dedicated team who are committed to bending the curve on childhood obesity,” said Molly Santry, Sr. Manager Global Philanthropy, New Balance Foundation.
The WOW clinic’s mission is to improve the overall health of the children of Maine who have overweight or obesity. Our treatment builds on healthy lifestyles to include additional treatment tools outlined in evidence-based guidelines across our Obesity Medicine team.
“We have learned over the last 20 years that carrying extra weight increases our chances of heart disease, diabetes, as well as many other health problems,” Dr. O’Hara said. “We also understand there are many complicated causes of extra weight, so our team assesses and designs a treatment plan that takes into account individual needs. Our goal is to help each child get to and maintain a healthier weight while addressing related health problems.”