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VOLUNTEER STORIES

Dr. Josef Machac Leads Obesity Team

 

When Dr. Josef Machac was in medical school, he was fascinated by every specialty there was. He ultimately focused on cardiology, but has believed throughout his career in the power of taking an interdisciplinary approach to medicine. He’s consulted on thyroid cancer studies, assisted in various dementia studies and examined issues relating to obesity.

Dr. Machac heard about BVMI when it opened in November, 2009. He was still working, but helped raise money by making presentations at Central Unitarian Church in Paramus. As he neared retirement, he wanted to become more involved with BVMI and began to explore the possibility of volunteering at the healthcare center. 

He’s been with BVMI for three years now, and is now helping to launch Paso a Paso (Step by Step), BVMI’s new obesity prevention program. More than 50% of BVMI’s patients are overweight or obese, and many patients could use a focused program to help them lose weight. It is Dr. Machac’s hope that the multi-faceted approach of Paso a Paso will help patients increase physical fitness, change their eating habits and reduce overall stress.

Dr. Machac is excited about Paso a Paso because it allows him to collaborate with his peers here at BVMI. “The team at BVMI is special and has the interdisciplinary focus I love. A dermatologist can talk with me and five other doctors about a rash and we all are able to collaborate. It enables me to satiate my many curiosities. BVMI’s obesity program will allow physicians, mental health professionals, dietitians and others to collaborate on a crucial social problem.”

Dr. Machac is also thrilled that he can practice general medicine while volunteering at BVMI. “Providing primary and preventive care means I can delve into a variety of health concerns, rather than just concentrating on one part of the body. Although I still practice cardiology, I am able to focus on general primary care with many of my patients. Being at BVMI means I get to explore medicine in ways I couldn’t when I was still working full time.”

At BVMI, Dr. Machac is practicing medicine as he always hoped he would, and in the process, is helping BVMI’s patients stay healthy.