RICHMOND — Seven-hundred people who lost a collective two tons of extra body baggage are being honored in Richmond.

As a heavy token of the accomplishment, a local cement company is providing a large concrete block to represent the weight lost by Richmond Area Health Center patients during the past year. The public’s invited to today’s event marking the accomplishment.

Each patient lost an average of between 5 and 6 pounds.

Nurse Practitioner Tom Bartol calls the successful program “real health care reform.” Bartol says one patient lost 60 pounds and was able to stop taking a diabetes medication that cost $300 a month.

The Milken Institute, an independent think tank, says that by reducing obesity, the country could save $60 billion in treatment costs over 22 years.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.