Stoughton Health, Stoughton, 2020 Community Benefit

Stoughton Health Addresses Chronic Conditions Through Online Education

Autumn Kumlien, Stoughton Health’s Clinical Dietitian
When COVID-19 hit, amongst all the challenges of this unprecedented pandemic, Stoughton Health recognized the need to continue to educate and connect with their community to address chronic conditions. Traditionally they had offered classes in person but needed to shift to a virtual format. They explored tools to see what was available to use and tested how to successfully implement those tools. Their first community online Zoom education class was on April 19. To date, over 180 attendees have participated in classes such as yoga, mindfulness, Healthy Living with Diabetes, Dementia, Managing Mental Health during a Pandemic, and more. 
One popular online class offered by Stoughton Health is Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. This online class was presented by Stoughton Health’s Clinical Dietitian Autumn Kumlien. Kumlien has been intermittent fasting (IF) since the end of November 2018 with great success. She started out at 174 pounds and recently shared she is now down to a “healthy and comfortable” 137 pounds. Also following IF is her husband, a type 2 diabetic, down 87 pounds. His HgA1c went from 11.4 to 5.0 (a normal/non-diabetic HgA1c). Autumn’s sister has chronic kidney disease stage 3 and after following IF her creatinine and GFR are now normal. Her physician asked, “What are you doing?” She replied Intermittent Fasting. 
Intermittent Fasting is based on the New York Times Bestsellers, Delay Don't Deny and Fast. Feast. Repeat books by Gin Stephens. This online class was first offered in July 2020 and more than 70 registrants participated. It was so popular Stoughton Health has since offered the class in August and September 2020 and both classes had more than 40 participants for each.  
IF, or time-restricted eating, is all about WHEN you eat versus WHAT you eat. In the world’s leading medical journal, The New England Journal of Medicine, there is a review article (December 2019), called Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease. It outlines some of the benefits of IF: 
Results in “lasting adaptive responses” that allow us to resist cellular damage and a wide range of stresses.
Has positive health effects on obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, and inflammation.
Improves memory and may halt the progression of neurological diseases. 
The article also lists a wide variety of clinical applications for intermittent fasting: Obesity and Insulin Resistance, Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Neurodegenerative Disorders, Asthma, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Surgical and Ischemic Tissue Injury. 
Stoughton Health plans to continue offering Intermittent Fasting again, along with all the array of other online Zoom classes as they work to reach and educate more of their community to help address chronic conditions.