Published on February 28, 2022

Lisa Joy

Lisa Joy Govan Is Ready for a Lifestyle Change

The Prince George’s County resident has experienced gradual weight gain over the last 15 years despite many attempts to lose it on her own.

"It's been treacherous," Lisa Joy said. "It's much harder now to lose weight, and I'm finding that I'm having other medical issues, one right after the other. With age, I'm not able to lose weight like I used to, and I knew I needed to find a way to lose weight and get healthier."

She decided to explore bariatric surgery, a new offering at Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center, which is close to her home. The availability of the surgery is much needed in southern Prince George's County, an area that historically has been underserved and lacked access to higher level medical and surgical care.

About 35% of adults in Prince George’s County suffer from obesity, a higher rate than the averages for Maryland (32.2%) and the nation (31.9%).

"I know [obesity is] an issue in Prince George’s County. I know a lot of people who are wanting to do this like me," Lisa Joy said.

Obesity is a chronic, progressive disease resulting from environmental, hormonal and genetic factors, among others. Bariatric surgery can help those with the disease lose weight, maintain the weight loss and reduce the risk of early death. The surgery can improve or resolve over 40 other medical conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, as Tuesday F. A. Cook, MD, explained.

Dr. Cook is a board-certified minimally invasive, bariatric and foregut surgeon with Adventist Medical Group. She joined the Fort Washington Medical Center team in 2021 as medical director of these surgical subspecialties. She has been a bariatric surgeon in Maryland since 2008, including at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in Montgomery County.

Lisa Joy recently had a physical and appointment with Dr. Cook to have a clear understanding of where her health stands. To prepare for her weight-loss journey, Lisa Joy has been taking steps – literally – to ensure she is ready for the lifestyle change that bariatric surgery will bring. She’s been walking 3 miles every other day. If it weren’t for having access to a bariatric surgeon so close to home, Lisa Joy said she may not have sought care at all.

"I think having Dr. Cook right here in southern Prince George’s County will have a very positive impact," Lisa Joy said. "I think she will open up a lot of doors for people to get their questions answered, and I think people will feel very comfortable seeing her."

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