By Denise Chakoian-Olney, Providence, RI
Lewis Weiner, a Providence RI based MD, had previously been in a growing hospital-based group practice, which he started in 1990. As national and local practice trends evolved in the healthcare industry, Dr. Weiner felt he was being pulled away from the direct patient care approach that he had trained for and had originally experienced when he first began his practice. He strongly felt that a more intimate and personal practice model, built on a foundation which allowed for more time for patient care and a comprehensive approach to not only acute care, but also prevention and wellness, was the model he would pursue.
After 15 years of practice, Dr. Weiner joined a national network and began his own MDVIP-affiliated practice. At that time, MDVIP was a small network of 50 physicians nationally. It now has over 700 physicians with a limited panel size of no more than 600 patients, whereas, traditional practices approach 2,000-4,000 patient panel sizes. Dr. Weiner’s new practice aims to provide time-intensive, personal care, which promotes a partnership with patients. This approach establishes Dr. Weiner as his patient’s advocate throughout the health care system, not only actively coordinating and managing their care, but allowing him the time to focus on wellness, prevention, and lifestyle management.
This has been a life-changing and restorative return to practicing traditional medicine again. Lewis’ practice has been able to give patients the tools they need to effect changes in their life, focus on lifestyle management (e.g. fitness, weight loss, nutrition, and stress management), and fully evaluate quality of life and disease risks including stress, sleep issues, risk behaviors, family history and environment.
To help patients achieve success along these lines, the practice previously created a network of wellness partners in the community, including CORE. These partners include fitness, nutrition, acupuncture, massage, yoga, mental health professionals. The practice also supports special events (“walking with the doctor”, exercise and nutrition seminars and life coaching seminars) designed to empower patients for success in these areas.
As Dr. Weiner’s new practice and approach evolved he also realized he needed to change the way in which he was approaching his own fitness and wellness goals. “My personal training at CORE, with Denise, has allowed me to pursue a much more comprehensive and ongoing achievement of personal fitness goals, which have not only enhanced my performance in my own sports (biking, skiing, swimming and daily activity), but also allowed me to enjoy a level of energy, alertness and stress management beyond which I had known previously.” He adds, “This also helped me to better keep up with my two young children, now 9 and 11!”
Though already an active person who was aware of and had previously pursued fitness and good nutrition, Dr. Weiner has now established a much higher standard from which he is less forgiving of a lower level of performance and exercise. “I have gained an ‘inner training voice’ that echoes Denise’s , telling me to go a bit longer, a bit faster, or a bit harder, pushing even when motivations are not at their peak. This approach has extended beyond physical activity to help reinforce a standard of excellence in daily life, both personal and professional.”
Finally, the insight Dr. Weiner has gained in this higher level of self-discipline and effort, and the benefits he has experienced from this type of fitness and “functional training” has helped inform a more committed effort in coaching his patients to work to achieve the same. Dr. Weiner now feels like he has more tools to offer them, more examples to help inspire them, and a broad network of partnerships for patient referral to help them in all aspects of life. This attention to lifestyle is no longer considered elective; it’s a necessary component to prevention and at times a lifesaving change. He now feels like he is focused not just on health and wellness for the patient’s needs today but also for more successful aging, quality of life and length of life.
“I am grateful to Denise and CORE for inspiring this renewed lifetime commitment to self-care and to the care of my patients,” said Lewis.
At CORE, like the work we have done with Dr. Weiner, we are proud to have helped many of our clients make these changes and experience the benefits of a modified approach to their health and wellness.
Denise Chakoian-Olney is the owner of CORE-Center of Real Energy Fitness & Pilates Mind/Body Studios in Providence, RI. Denise has been in the fitness industry for 23 years and loves to see the dedication, life changes and overall health improvements her clients achieve when they come to her and her staff. Denise says, “Living a healthy life with a good balance is the key to success—it’s a journey, not a race!”