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NEWS | Dec. 6, 2023

Nutritional Medicine Clinic broadens access to health goals

By Airman 1st Class Adisen Smith 633d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Senior Airman Jessi Wilson sighed, it was another long day of reviewing patient files, curating meal plans and meeting with patients. After a year of working as the only diet technician, she created a harmonious work flow at the 633d Operational Medical Readiness Squadron nutritional medicine clinic at the time. Wilson perked up with excitement as it was time for an appointment with a long-term patient.

She had been working side by side with this patient for 8-months and it was time for her progress report.

After reviewing the results from the Bod Pod, a machine that measures your body weight and volume to determine the amount of body fat on someone, Wilson smiled. Her patient had lost 25 pounds and 13% body fat.

“We’ve had some bumps in the road, but she never gave up on meeting her goal,” stated Wilson. “I am so proud of all of her hard work.”

Regardless of mission demands, the readiness of service members is the top priority for the nutritional medical clinic.

“We make sure the health and bodies of our Airmen are in the best shape for deployments or the flight,” said Senior Airman Jessi Wilson, 633d OMRS diet technician.

Physical health is essential to the overall health and wellness of service members. Good overall health can improve sleep, reduce your chances of experiencing depression, anxiety, chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure as well as reduced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to Wilson, diet technicians at JBLE help patients start a diet and weight management plan when they fail a physical fitness test, are referred by other medical providers, or are worried about their nutrition.

The features of the clinic help optimize bodily function and serves as a conduit for the kind of self-discipline that improves one’s overall health and fitness.  

Although basic nutritional facts can be broadly known, Wilson cautions against assuming that there is nothing new to be learned about the field.

“I love when patients come in thinking they know everything about nutrition, but during their appointment, they learn so much more,” said Wilson.

According to Wilson, despite the challenges that arose as she worked alone, the most satisfying part of her job is watching patients progress in ways they didn’t know were possible.  As she witnesses a patient starting at a certain weight and meet their weight goal overtime, the feeling is priceless.

After working alone for months, Wilson received the news that she would now have additional help in the clinic.

On Aug. 28, 2023, Tech. Sgt. Kirk Luzano, ORMS nutritional medicine flight chief joined the office and then about a month after that, Staff Sgt. Melissa Smith, OMRS nutritional medicine non-commissioned officer in charge, arrived as well.

“I was very excited to arrive at Langley and was ready to jump in and help Wilson in any way I could,” said Luzano.

With more people in the clinic, comes more patients they are able to see.

“I was able to see 50-60 patients a month, now with the help of Luzano and Smith, we can see 90-110 patients a month,” said Wilson. “We love having the flexibility of being able to see patient we know we can help with the skillsets we have.”

According to Wilson, she loves being there for her patients at any time of the day.

“All of my patients have my number so they can text me after hours with any questions they might have,” said Wilson. “We like to make patients feel that their provider cares and has their best interest in heart; it makes a big difference in the process of change.”

If you’re interested in what the 633d OMRS nutritional medicine diet technicians have to offer, call (757) 764-6789 to schedule an appointment.