Meet Vernon Cail, a research assistant with the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush University Medical Center. He’s working on two studies, one involving childhood obesity and another examining food purchasing patterns in the Chicago area.
“We wanted to see what type of home environmental factors influence obesity,” he says, “so to do that we have to travel to the house to observe it, analyze it and assess the conditions.”
Cail visits homes throughout the Chicago area to meet with study participants, and while the traffic is trying at times, the interactions with participants make it all worthwhile.
“I really enjoy the relationships that I build with the families,” he says. “I enjoy spending time with people who share interests of mine: that’s to get healthy, to get kids healthy, hopefully get their household healthy.”
Rush employee Bill Mietelski reflects on his healthier lifestyle, weight loss and ongoing participation in the Rush ELM program.
Has it really been 18 months? Around this time last year, I was looking back at my first six months as an “ELMster.”
I had lost 65 pounds — over 20 percent of my body weight — and was looking forward to a maintenance program Jennifer Ventrelle was creating for our Rush ELM group as we were about to “graduate.” The thing is, a healthy lifestyle is (cliché alert!) a journey and not a destination.
Since I had a little more weight to lose than most I was still shedding pounds as the maintenance phase got under way. Finally last fall (after 12 months) I reached my current weight of 195 and the real challenge began. (Losing weight is easy, but statistically only one in five overweight people are successful at long-term weight loss).