OH2019 Wrap-Up

OH2019 Wrap-Up: Celebration, Education, and Support!

December 12, 2019

Celebration, Education, and Support at OH2019!

It's time for the OH2019 Wrap-Up, the 2019 ObesityHelp National Conference was full of celebration, education, and support! A huge and loud shout-out of appreciation and thanks to all of the OH2019 attendees, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and exhibitors. Your presence made the Conference so very special and one to remember. We have an amazing community and are so honored to be making the journey together!

#OH2019 Wrap-up Friday and Saturday Gallery

It is always an honor to attend and support the ObesityHelp National Conferences. OH2019 was very inspirational to me. Being able to see the attendees, speakers, and sponsors are something that I always look forward to. From the beginning of the Conference on Friday through the end of Saturday, there were non-stop celebrations. I’m already excited for the 2020 Conference!
-Nikki Hepfer, Operations Manager, ObesityHelp

Friday at OH2019

On Friday, we kicked off the Conference with a Rise 'n Shine fitness session of low-impact exercises with Gary Siegel, CPT. A bit later, we met up for a Mix & Mingle that included games and fantastic giveaways! This was a great way to break-the-ice and connect as a community. The energy in the room was amazing. Next up, was the Plastic Surgery Q&A Panel: Uncovering You, Plastic Surgery After WLS!

OH2019 Plastic Surgery Q&A Panel

We put together a Q&A panel featuring five leading plastic surgeons that specialize in body contouring after massive weight loss. Attendees of this session were able to ask questions and learn about the current treatments for dealing with excess skin after bariatric surgery. In addition to the Q&A Panel, each surgeon offered free private one-on-one consultations right at the Conference. There were a total of 242 plastic surgery consultations during OH2019!

OH2019 Wrap-Up

#OH2019 Wrap-up Plastic Surgeons

Big thanks to these caring surgeons for consulting with attendees to discuss their concerns and goals!

  • Siamak Agha, MD, Ph.D., FACS of Plastic Surgery Body Contouring Center
  • J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS of Body by Katzen
  • Rodrigo Munro-Wilson, MD of Perfecta Plastic Surgery
  • Jaime Schwartz, MD, FACS of Dr. Jaime S. Schwartz MD FACS and Total Lipedema Care
  • Jeffrey Umansky, MD, FACS of Umansky Medical Center for Plastic Surgery

There were also some giveaways! Dr. Munro-Wilson gave away two $1000 Gift Cards for Fillers and Botox. Dr. Schwartz offered a series of 3 Venus RF Treatments for any OH2019 attendee that had a consult with him. He also provided water bottles for all attendees at the Conference. Dr. Umansky gave away a Cool Sculpting Gift Certificate and a Dermal Infusion Gift Certificate.

OH2019 Friday Break-Out Sessions

Later in the day, we split up and attended the Friday Break-Out Sessions. Attendees were offered three sessions, where they could pick between two topic offerings that most fit them and their current place in their journey. There was a blend of education and inspiration, a mix of patients and professionals! Walking by any of the sessions, you were sure to hear laughter and profound moments of encouragement.

Thank you to the Friday speakers for sharing their amazing and helpful insights!

OH2019 Wrap-Up

#OH2019 Wrap up friday speakers

  • Sheri Burke, RHN: Adapting to a Keto Lifestyle After Bariatric Surgery
  • Jonathan Dichter: Transform Yourself: Positivity and Humorous Musings After WLS
  • Adrienne Youdim, MD, FACP: Troubleshooting Hunger After Bariatric Surgery
  • Steven Reyes, EdD: Diets Have An End-Date, Lifestyles Don’t: Maintenance After WLS
  • Gina Giarratano-Gilland: Exploring Fitness After WLS - Motivation Matters!
  • Angela Taylor, LCSW: Understanding Attachment Styles On Your WLS Journey

After attending many OH conferences over the years, there was something that especially stood out to me at OH2019; a strong sense of community. It’s amazing how each conference has brought about an increased feeling of intimacy. Faces become more familiar, people are more welcoming, and the ambiance is one of comfort. For me and, many others, this year had a feeling of “home.” I was fortunate to participate as a guest speaker/host this year. As much as I enjoy presenting material to people, the thing I enjoy most is learning from other professionals and attendees. I’m always moved, inspired, and motivated by those who share their knowledge and experience. To me, this is invaluable as it fuels my passion for what I do in my career. The OH conference is an amazing resource of inspiration to anyone who attends. -Dr. Steven Reyes

We closed out Friday evening with music, dancing, and costumes. Check out the wrap-up and photos for the Meet & Greet Costume Party, sponsored by PatchMD. We were astounded by all of the costumes and dance moves!

Saturday at OH2019

Saturday began at full-speed with an energetic fitness session led by Gina Giarratano-Gilland. The Rise 'n Shine fitness session features "Pound" which is a full-body workout using drumsticks. This workout style was introduced at the OH2018 Conference and was one of the most highly requested fitness sessions for OH2019. As you can see, it was a fun-filled and energetic fitness session!

OH2019 Wrap-Up

OH2019 Wrap-Up

OH2019 Fireside Chat

Next up was the OH2019 Fireside Chat, a crowd favorite for a good reason! One of the biggest fears and struggles after bariatric surgery is weight regain. Each year, we receive numerous requests to cover this topic in some manner. Hosted by Dr. Steven Reyes, a specialist in the field of bariatric psychology, the OH2019 Fireside Chat topic was Facing the Truth, Regain Happens! Why WLS Benefits are Temporary and What to Do About it for Long-Term Success. 

We assembled a passionate panel of professionals for an open and honest discussion! We were joined by bariatric surgeon, Dr. Quebbemann, known for his innovative approach to weight management; Dr. Murali, an internal medicine and obesity medicine physician that emphasizes the importance of behavioral and cultural changes for long-term success; and, Behaviorist, Lora Grabow, LMSW an obesity medicine provider that approaches health and wellness with a focus on the often missing piece, “headwork.”

The feedback from attendees was amazing! We were told it was helpful, impactful, motivating, and that they didn't want the Fireside Chat to end.

OH2019 Wrap-Up

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to present at OH2019. This was my first time being invited to speak at an OH Conference, and I will never forget it. The energy of having over 700 bariatric surgery patients come together was powerful. It was my honor to share on the Fireside chat panel and also present in a break-out session. Patients' thirst and enthusiasm for  "Headwork Tools” have strengthened my passion to provide more bariatric surgery patients with this missing piece. I know I was invited to share my professional knowledge with patients but once again it was the patients at OH2019 who taught me.  There is nothing like watching one WLS patient empower another WLS  patient. I’m thankful OH2019 provides a place for patients to connect with someone who can say ” I understand how you feel.”  Patient support just may be the most important part of your WLS journey. -Lora Grabow, LMSW

OH2019 Saturday Break-Out Sessions

Next up, we attended the Saturday Break-Out Sessions. This followed a similar format to Friday Breakout-Session, where attendees were offered three sessions, where they could pick between two topic offerings. The Saturday sessions focused on weight regain, nutrition, weight maintenance, the mental and emotional components of bariatric surgery. There was also a patient Grad Panel with long-term successful bariatric surgery post-ops.

Thank you to the Saturday speakers for sharing such education and helpful information!

OH2019 Wrap-Up

#OH2019 Wrap-up Saturday Speakers

  • Brian Quebbemann, MD, FACS, FASMBS: Phases of Permanent Weight Loss and the Dietary Rebuild
  • Anjy Divine: Overcoming Everyday Challenges: Secrets of a Successful Post-Op
  • Sameer Murali, MD: Maintenance, Not an Elusive Dream; Getting There and Staying There
  • Lora Grabow, LMSW: Headwork: Could it be the Missing Piece of Your Bariatric Surgery Journey?
  • Natalie Buntzen, MS, RDN: Crushing Cravings – What To Do When Your Appetite Returns

OH2019 Wrap-Up

  • Grad Panelists - Jen, Sean, Ed, and Janine: Navigating Post-Op Life: Overcoming Challenges, Enjoying Triumphs & Celebrating Successes

All great things much come to an end. We closed out our Saturday evening with so much joy and celebration. Check out the wrap-up, photos, and an inspirational runway walk for the OH2019 After Party & Fashion Show, sponsored by Premier Protein. There were tears, applause, shouts of joy, and so much love-filled support!

Thank You for an amazing weekend Everyone! I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more for my first conference as a nervous pre-op. Loved everything about it, from the people that put it on, the vendors, the amazing participants and of course my wonderful roommates! Everyone was so welcoming, helpful, and informative. I met so many amazing people, had such fun times (even won the scariest costume contest), had a few emotional moments, and just a wonderful experience! This weekend has helped me make a truly impactful decision in my future and I can’t wait to see and be my future. Hope to see you all in 2020! - Rachelle W.

OH2019 Exhibitors, Swag Bags, & Giveaways!

Over the span of two days, attendees LOVED stopping by the Exhibitor tables. They got to try free samples, learn about new products and services, as well as talk to their favorite bariatric friendly vendors. The time that attendees have in the Exhibitor Hall is so helpful. It allows bariatric patients a chance to learn about products that might help them on their life-long journey to health and wellness.

Another favorite of the conference each year is the Swag Bags and Giveaways! Each attendee walked away with Swag Bag that included all kinds of fun samples; this is a great way to "revisit" the Conference once they get home. There were also giveaways galore!


OH2019 Wrap-Up

Bariatric AdvantageBariatric Fusion, LLCBariMeltsCelebrate Nutritional SupplementsDevotion Nutrition
DevromD-Pro High Protein Meal BarFit for Me, LLCFitness Matters GymKalifornia Keto
KBosh FoodLabrada NutritionLivliga HomeNutritionDirectPatchMD
Pharmics, Inc.Premier ProteinPrimal KitchenProCare HealthSlimpressions
The N.E.W. Program-Dr. Brian QuebbemannUnjury Protein SupplementsWLS Success Matters

The Bariatric Fusion team had a great time interacting with patients at the 2019 ObesityHelp Conference. We know that everyone is on their own journey, It’s our job to help them get there. Conferences like OH, allow us to do so! -Zach Niemiec


OH2019 Wrap-Up

Devotion NutritionFit For MeLabrada NutritionBariatric AdvantageBariatric Fusion, LLC
BiPro USABlendJetCelebrate Nutritional SupplementsChocZeroD-Pro Bar
Epic BarFitTrackG Hughes Sugar-Free SaucesGood Dee’sKay’s Naturals
KBosh FoodKettle & FireLivLigaLotito FoodsOrganifi
PatchMDPrimal KitchenPremier ProteinProCare HealthSimply Beyond
Simply Snackin’SwerveUnjuryWisdom Natural Brands - SweetLeaf SteviaWLS Success Matters
Bare BonesCharlie & The PB Factory

Swag Bags!

OH2019 Wrap-Up

Bacon's HeirBariatric AdvantageBariatric Fusion, LLCBariMeltsBiPro USA
Chike NutritionChocZeroChompsCLICK Coffee ProteinDevotion Nutrition
EnlightenedFitForMeHerbalandJaime S Schwartz MD FACSKaizen Naturals
Kay’s NaturalsLono LifeOrganifiOstrimQuest Nutrition
Simply Snackin’Skinny PopSouthern Recipe Small BatchSweet DefeatSwerve
That's How We Roll - Parm CrispsToraniUltima ReplenisherWisdom Natural Brands - Sweet Leaf Stevia

Thank You OH2019 Volunteers, Hosts & Staff!

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.

Our appreciation goes out to each of the special people that volunteered at OH2019! Each of you made a huge difference and helped make the Conference run smoothly. Below is a partial list of volunteers, more were listed on the Friday and Saturday evening event articles. Also, thank you to the attendees, speakers, vendors, hosts, and staff that lent a helping hand or kind voice. Your support means the world to us and the community!

OH2019 Wrap-Up

  • Co-Hosts: Yelena Kibasova, Dr. Steven Reyes, Lauren Sanchez
  • Registration: Dave & Kelli Gyurina, Terry Row, Rusty Martinez, Debra Flores, Sean Nichols, Kristin Stevens
  • Handing Out Water Bottles: Janine Greenwood and Kathleen Nash
  • Clothing Exchange: Kathy Mitchell, Blanca Preciado, Linda Wingard, Karen Gobelbecker, Deb Dehnhoff Krofa, Michelle & Jose Jiminez, Deanna Dodd, Stephanie Weikel, Kristin Stookey, Connie Wallenbrock, Stacy Barnett, Sharon Lingo, Karina Lopez, Katalina De Hoyos, Rachel Esparza, Carmen & Andrea Okoh, Allison Kerr, Ty Lanier, Veronica Rabanal, Colleen Newhouse, Teresa Vaughn, Shana Rodriguez, Amber & Adam Navarro
  • Swag Bags: Dave Gyurina, Linda Lombardo, Jackie Stewart, Rusty Martinez, Serrell Law, Lori Volzer, Karen Beck, Michelle Jiminez, Nancy Brown, and additional prize prep from Diane Maricic
  • Premier Protein® Coffee Bar: Julie Gyurina and Kristin Stevens
  • Audio/Visual: Ray, Nate, and Alex Stevens

Thank You OH2019 Sponsors!

We appreciate your generous support and joining us at the 2019 ObesityHelp National Conference. Your support of the Conference and your advocacy make the difference in the fight against obesity. We are grateful for your contributions and presence!

OH2019 Wrap-Up

2019 ObesityHelp National Conference
Proudly Sponsored By

Platinum Sponsors
Premier Protein PatchMD
Silver Sponsors
FitForMe Nutrition Direct

Join Us at OH2021!

We'd love for you to join us for the 2021 ObesityHelp National Conference on October 1 and October 2, 2021, in Houston, Texas! You'll walk away with education, support, friendships, celebration, photos, and memories that you'll always cherish. To stay apprised of updates, make sure to join us in the Conference Facebook Group.