Kate Clawson, APRN
Kate is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator, received her Bachelor of Nursing Science from Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) and her Master of Nursing Science Advanced Registered Family Nurse Practitioner from Wichita State University. She is certified through American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Prior to joining the Ascension Via Christi Weight Management team and focusing on medical and surgical weight management, her experiences as a registered nurse and as an advanced nurse practitioner included work with patients with eating disorders at the Menninger Clinic. At a practice in Wichita, she coordinated research for clinical trials of pharmaceutical and cardiovascular devices. As a nurse practitioner, she worked in a cardiovascular and gastrointestinal practice.
"As a nurse practitioner, I have developed a particular interest in health promotion and disease prevention. My encounters with overweight patients in cardiology and family practice have shaped my career, leading me to preventive medicine. Obesity contributes to a significant variety of disease processes; therefore, I am passionate about what we do at Ascension Via Christi Weight Management. I enjoy educating and encouraging our patients as they work to overcome issues with food and change their lifestyle."
Kimberly, a health educator, started working for Via Christi shortly after she received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing at Wichita State in 2011. Her career began at the Ascension Via Christi as a communications coordinator where she developed communications regarding employee benefits and HealthierYou, Via Christi’s employee wellness program. In addition, she supported the director of communications and work closely with her in all community relations activities, ranging from fund-raisers to health fairs and writing feature articles for Via Christi LIFE magazine.
Kimberly became a health educator with the HMR Program for Weight Management at Ascension Via Christi Weight Management in June of 2015. She enjoys her new role where she can make a positive impact on patient’s care and their quality of life.
“I recently completed the full 12 week program from Dec 1- Feb 17 and lost 35.5lbs with my patients. I can relate to the struggles we all have with our weight. I love to hear how someone has benefited from the HMR program and educational resources that I help organize and communicate. The program can and does make a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Bobbie G. Paull-Forney, RN
Bobbie is a Clinical Outcomes Specialist, RN, started her career with Via Christi Regional Medical Center in 1998 as an exercise specialist in the hospital owned Health & Fitness Center. Prior to that she was a double major earning degrees in Exercise Science from Wichita State University and Business Management from Friends University.
In 1999 she accepted an offer from the Prevention & Health Center (later renamed Ascension Via Christi Weight Management) as a Health Educator. To broaden her scope of skills and patient care responsibilities, Bobbie continued her teaching as she studied nursing. In 2003 she grated from Hesston College with an Associates of Applied Arts and Sciences in Nursing.
One key aspect of the Ascension Via Christi Weight Management programs which helped Bobbie choose her professional career is the use of outcomes data to guide the behavioral and medical patient care decisions at VCWM. She enjoys managing and analyzing the data as a means of supporting the team in their providing excellent patient care and outcomes. This interest led her to the Public Health Program at UKSM-W where she earned her Masters of Public Health and graduated with honors from the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine—Wichita.
"I desire to reach the public through health education and promotion. Ascension Via Christi Weight Management provides an opportunity to teach a special population of people how to improve quality of life and prevent chronic diseases through data driven behavior modification. I have a passion for my career because of my past personal issues surrounding food. I believe there is hope for every person to overcome their personal challenges surrounding body weight and eating issues. Ascension Via Christi Weight Management provides valuable behavioral modification tools that assist individuals on their journey to overcoming."
Dena Marten, RN
Dena is a Nurse Health Educator, joined the Ascension Via Christi Weight Management team in 1998. Prior to working for Via Christi, she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a Psychology minor from Fort Hays State University and her Master of Education in Counseling from Wichita State University She worked as an inpatient and outpatient nurse in medical, surgical and oncology units before she redirected her career to Behavioral Health, where she coordinated and delivered stress management programs in the hospital and throughout the community.
Dena began work as a nurse health educator with the HMR Program for Medical Weight Management™ and in 2002 further developed her knowledge and skills for the Surgical Weight Management Program. For both programs she provides nursing assessments and care coordination, and she teaches classes.
"I have the best of all worlds. As a health educator, I enjoy helping patients learn and practice the tools that will help them manage their health long term, and as a nurse, I'm privileged to see the improvements in patients' health as they practice these skills. I am also fortunate to be surrounded by a wonderful team of professionals, who make working at Ascension Via Christi Weight Management a pleasure."
Helen Ramsey, RD, LD, CDE
Helen, a Clinical Dietitian and Health Educator, is a licensed and registered dietitian as well as a certified diabetes educator. She received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Indiana State University, Terre Haute, and she worked toward her master's in Nutrition at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Other than working four years at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City and one year at St. Francis Medical Center in Tulsa, Helen's professional career has been with St. Francis Regional Medical Center/Ascension Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis since 1977. She provided nutritional assessments, counseling and education and worked in Cardiac Rehabilitation and the Diabetes Treatment Center. She was a consulting dietitian with Family Medicine physician groups and with long term care facilities.
Prior to joining the team at Prevention & Health Center (later renamed Ascension Via Christi Weight Management) in 2001, Helen developed the nutrition protocols for the Heart Transplant and Cardiac Rehabilitation teams, and she co-authored materials for their patients. She also facilitated the heart transplant support group.
The expertise Helen gained with these programs has been especially applicable to the focus of her work at Ascension Via Christi Weight Management. She developed nutrition protocols for the gastric bypass surgery program. She wrote the curriculum for and teaches nutritional lifestyle education classes for the surgical weight management program. In addition to the pre-operative nutrition classes, Helen teaches post-operative classes where she and the patients problem-solve together how to get their proper nutrition and maximize their weight loss. In addition to working with surgical patients, Helen teaches in the HMR Program for Weight Management™.
"I have taught in a variety of nutrition education areas throughout my career. I enjoy helping people improve or maintain health, no matter what their age. I particularly enjoy the outpatient area as I can be on the journey with them and see the success they achieve. I also enjoy the challenges of new program development and the continued changes in the health care field. One of the benefits of working for Ascension Via Christi Weight Management is the interdisciplinary team concept of all professions collaborating for the patients' well-being."
Brenda, a Health Educator, has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a Major in Business Education and Minor in Psychology and Accounting. She has utilized all aspects of her education throughout her career. She has several years' experience in business including the position of office manager and has been a partner and sole proprietor in two other ventures. She has always found herself drawn to helping people feel better about themselves. Some of her most rewarding experiences came from her 10 years working as a certified personal trainer at both the YMCA and Genesis Health Clubs. As a personal trainer, Brenda has learned it is not just about the workout but the many pieces to the puzzle. There are an endless number of behaviors and lifestyle skills to advance people to be healthier. That is what brought her to Ascension Via Christi Weight Management Clinic. Knowing she could educate people to not just focus on weight or body image but an all-encompassing healthier person.
"We are all in this together and no one has a 'free pass,' that is, everyone has personal struggles throughout different seasons of their life. I love helping people of all ages and watching them realize their potential. Education, motivation, and encouragement help people develop lifestyle skills that are all inclusive of mental, spiritual and physical growth keeping them on the path to reach and maintain their goals for healthy living."
Suzanne, a Health Educator, has her Bachelors in Education from Kansas State University. Her roots with the HMR program were established in 1999, when she worked as a Health Educator for Medical Center Clinic Weight Management in Pensacola, Florida. Suzanne is pleased to be back in Kansas and once again working to help people improve their quality of life by practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors. In addition to teaching the highly structured weight management classes, Suzanne participates in our corporate wellness programs.
"There are many paths that lead patients to our clinic, and each individual has different expectations. My job is to introduce weight management skills and work with patients to problem-solve ways to make them happen. I enjoy working with patients as they practice these skills and see them become part of their everyday routines. While encouraging and supporting patients I see lives start to change. Improve overall health, quality of life, physical apperances and increased confidence are some of the rewarding improvements our patients experience."
Leann, a Health Educator, has her Bachelors in Psychology from Friends University. After serving 21 years, she retired from the Kansas Air Guard. She served as an HMR health educator from 1998 to 2001 at Via Christi assisting patients on their weight loss journey. Life then took Leann on a different path in the wellness industry. She came back to us in 2015. She is grateful to be back teaching, coaching and inspiring patients to a healthy lifestyle through the HMR model.
"I know how good 'health' feels and I want to do my part in assisting others in the journey to creating a healthy lifestyle. In doing this we can create a ripple effect in our society where a healthy lifestyle is the norm and everyone is experiencing life to its fullest. I love being part of our client’s journey by providing a safe environment for them to learn, explore and excel in creating a tool box that takes them where they want to go!"