Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center's "Way to Optimal Weight (WOW)" pediatric weight management program just got a huge boost from the New Balance Foundation. In a press release last week, the hospital said that New Balance, which operates a number of manufacturing facilities across the state, and employs hundred of Maine workers, donated 100-thousand dollars in grant money to help "to strengthen WOW’s family-focused care of Maine children and expand their successful tele-medicine program to rural and under-served areas of the state."

According to Northern Light, "Obesity is a complex disease process which affects nearly 30% of Maine children and young adults." In rural areas of the state, where it can be tricky to do outreach to these kids, technology like telemedicine can help connect the folks most at risk with the services they need. WOW director Valerie O’Hara says this new grant will be very beneficial to patients throughout Maine. "By combining the expertise of the New Balance Foundation, including tools developed by the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and our WOW program, we will improve the health of children and families throughout the state.”

O'Hara says the opportunity to partner in this way with New Balance is exciting, as it will expand on the program's mission to not only treat Childhood obesity, but work to help communities take measures to prevent it in the future.

"WOW’s phased chronic-care model involves the patient and family with a team to implement individualized treatment protocols that best address the goals and needs of each patient. WOW patients also utilize the New Balance Recreation center at the University of Maine as part of their treatment with one-on-one support of personal trainers."

Click here for more information about the WOW program or the New Balance Foundation.