In his own words: A story of dramatic transformation


In his own words: A story of dramatic transformation
AUGUST 29, 2014 | VOLUME 14 | ISSUE 35
Volunteer opportunities
In his own words: A story of
dramatic transformation
By Marty Pohlmeier
After months of contemplation and research, I
decided on the OPTIFAST® program at Mercy
Weight Loss & Nutrition Center in Clive. I had
heard success stories about “shakes” before and
knew it would be the best program for me.
Immediately I was struck by how sensitive and
compassionate the staff members at Mercy were
in treating their patients. When you are obese,
you live in perpetual fear of being embarrassed
in public, but they made it clear to me that I
would be treated with the utmost dignity and
respect. Mercy is an exceptional ambassador for
On Feb. 10, 2012, I weighed in at 565 pounds. I
spent 12 weeks on 100 percent OPTIFAST®
18th Annual Beaverdale
Saturday, Sept. 20
Help support families of Spinal
Muscular Atrophy on Saturday, Sept.
20! Volunteers are needed from
7:30-9:30 a.m. to direct participants
and traffic, assist with timing, assist
at water stations, and coordinate the
“Beavertrot.” Contact Melinda Davis
at [email protected] for
more details or to volunteer.
I have been overweight most of my life. I’ve tried
to lose weight with different programs and had
varying levels of success, but always put the
weight back on and then some. In November
2011, I found myself – at age 39 – weighing over
500 pounds. That same month, my older and
healthier brother had to have bypass surgery on
his heart. It was the wakeup call that forced me
to take a hard look at my own future. With a
family history of heart disease and stroke staring
me in the face, I realized I needed to improve
my health, or expect to be dead by age 50.
My quality of life was very poor. I couldn’t walk
for more than a few seconds before feeling out of
breath and every one of my joints ached. I was
struggling with my job performance and
slipping a little more each day. Probably worst of
all, I could see concern on the faces of everyone
I met. Discouraged by my past failures, I decided
to join a medically supervised weight loss
program. With such a program, I could have the
support of a community who would be as
invested in the outcome as I was, along with
guidance from professionals, friends and family
to keep me on track.
Volunteers are needed for the
following upcoming events:
2014 IMT Des Moines Marathon
Sunday, Oct. 19
Marty Pohlmeier said he would never have had
the courage to meet with singer Alice Cooper,
who recently visited Iowa, prior to losing more
than 300 pounds. He thanks the Mercy Weight
Loss and Nutriition Center and OPTIFAST® in
large part for his success.
product and another six weeks transitioning
back to regular food. After 18 weeks, I had lost
154.5 pounds. I continued to attend weekly
support meetings and drew great strength from
the community there. A little over a year later, I
could proudly say I had lost 310.5 pounds.
My life has been completely transformed by my
weight loss and OPTIFAST®. When you are
obese, you live your life in constant shame and
disappointment at the things you can’t do. Now I
find myself overwhelmed by all of the options
available to me. I look forward to exercising
every day and am able to spend time with family
and friends in ways I never could before. I’ve
even flown to visit a friend that lives out of
state! I want to thank Mercy and OPTIFAST®.
All of the doors that were previously closed to
me are now wide open.
Mercy Medical Center has been
named the official provider of sports
medicine services for the 2014 IMT
Des Moines Marathon, providing
medical services at five locations on
the marathon and half-marathon
courses. These services will be
supported by Mercy EMS with
paramedics on-site to assist with
runners’ needs.
The medical committee is looking for
assistance with staffing the aid
stations on the course. Each
volunteer will be asked to work at
least one, four-hour shift supporting
the medical effort. Each participant
should have current CPR and some
first aid experience.
If you are interested in volunteering,
please contact Rich Green at 6439250 or email at [email protected]
Mercy West Pharmacy in Clive remodels
Mercy Cancer Center
needs your vote to
benefit the Community
Healing Garden
You can help Mercy Cancer Center win
$7,500 to benefit its Community Healing
Garden by voting in Wellmark Blue
Cross and Blue Shield’s 75th anniversary
celebration contest. Ten communitydriven health projects in Iowa and South
Dakota that receive the most public
votes will be in the running to receive
these awards.
Mercy West Pharmacy recently completed a remolding project which has allowed them to
increase their medication inventory and serve patients more efficiently. During construction, the
pharmacy relocated to the 2nd floor to continue to serve their customers. The renovation took six
weeks and was finished in mid July. Shown here (l-r) are: Jennifer Parsch, CPhT; Shelley Welsh,
RPh, supervisor; Alex Klise, RPh; and Christa Michelson, RPh.
Congratulations to . . .
Sayeed Ahmed, 5 South, and Sadia Afrin, on
the birth of their daughter, Samreen Ahmed.
Samreen was born on July 15, and is the
couple’s first child.
Katie Fischels, Mercy East Clinic, and
Adam, on the birth of their son, Oscar
Patrick. Oscar was born on July 17, and was
welcomed home by Nicholas, 6, and Lilly, 3.
Reagan Barry, Mercy East Clinic, and Ben,
on the birth of their daughter, Claire Marie.
Claire was born on July 30, and was
welcomed home by Jackson, 9, Abby, 7,
Quinn, 4, and Sullivan, 2.
Amanda Luna, Mercy Clinical Laboratory,
and Tony, on the birth of their son, Bronx
Antonio-Zeppelin. Bronx was born on July
31, and was welcomed home by Paizlee, 4.
Joe McGargill, Mercy East Family Medicine,
and Jill, on the birth of their daughter, Lydia
Marie. Lydia was born on July 31, and was
welcomed home by Hannah, 6, Josiah, 4,
and Eli, 1.
Megan Fries, 8 South, and Jesse, on the birth
of their son, Lincoln Alan. Lincoln was born
on Aug. 1, and is the couple’s first child.
Megan Schultz, PACU, on the birth of her
daughter, Molly Faye. Molly was born on
Aug. 4, and was welcomed home by
McKenna, 9.
Kelcee Hawbaker, Mercy West Lakes 4th
Floor, and Matthew, on the birth of their
daughter Zoey Jae. Zoey was born on Aug. 5,
and was welcomed home by Owen, 2.
Angie Maytag, 9 North, and Steven, on the
birth of their daughter, Maylan. Maylan was
born on Aug. 6, and is the couple’s first
Allison Moses, 7 North, and Brian, on
the birth of their son, Braxton James.
Braxton was born on Aug. 8, and is the
couple’s first child.
Maggie Siegel, Emergency Department, and
Jesse, on the birth of their son, Jaxton James.
Jaxton was born on Aug. 14, and is the
couple’s first child.
In sympathy to . . .
Deb Bagnall, Medical Education &
Research, on the death of her grandmother.
Julia Coash, Financial Operations, on the
death of her sister.
Please go to
where you will find the “Vote for Your
Favorite” icon and cast your vote!
Voting will take place starting
Wednesday, Aug. 20-Sunday, Sept. 7.
You can vote one time per day per
computer ISP address.
The Community Healing Garden at
Mercy Cancer Center is located on its
West Lakes campus. The garden is
designed to provide free, fresh, organic
produce to patients, as well as provide
them and their loved ones with a
tranquil place to escape from the rigors
of cancer treatments.
If you would like to learn more about the
Community Healing Garden, please
contact Mercy Cancer Center dietitian
Barb Wisnieski at (515) 358-9702.
Please vote!
The Bulletin is published weekly for employees
and friends of Mercy Medical Center, 1111 6th Ave.,
Des Moines, Iowa 50314-2611.
Lisa Jones......................................... Editor
Mark Baldwin. . ............................ Contributor
Amy Bentz. . ................................ Contributor
Heidi Feltz.................................. Contributor
Allison Hay................................. Contributor
Gregg Lagan............................... Contributor
Matthew Meyer. . ......................... Contributor
Sarah Todd.................................. Contributor
Laura Vanden Bosch......................... Director
Beth Pargulski.................... Graphic Designer
If you are interested in submitting information
to be printed in the Bulletin, send it to PR and
Marketing or call 515-247-3050.

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