PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- When COVID-19 hit and the world basically shut down, there was a particular team at Temple Health that scrambled to keep their services fully supported.
And the team is now not only operational, it's thriving amid the pandemic.
The COVID-19 shutdown nearly shuttered all the support services of the Bariatric program at Temple Health.
"It's so important to continue to be accessible for these patients, said Victoria Brown, a Registered Nurse in the program. "Not only, in the mindset of getting them to surgery, but helping them to continue to be successful with their weight loss and their goals after surgery."
The team quickly switched to a virtual model.
"Everyone has been really, really willing to pivot and be flexible and kind of meet us in the middle," Brown said.
Even medically, the patients still have access to their various doctors.
"Ninety-percent of all the evaluations that we need, from a very bariatric perspective can be done virtually, which has been very, very convenient for the patient," said Dr. Rohit Soans, Program Director of Bariatric Surgery at Temple Health.
The virtual concept has made the program even more accessible to people who would have found getting to Temple a challenge.
"It used to be coming down to Temple into the city, finding parking was really like a half day or a whole day affair," Soans said. "But now I can see the patient from the comfort of my office, in the comfort of their home."
And moving the nutrition classes online has the added benefit of getting patients started right away.
"You really can get started with making changes Day 1, as opposed to needing to wait to schedule that appointment, attend the class, Brown said.
If you are looking for access to Temple's Bariatric program you can visit their website. Their Facebook page is also continuously updated to include support group meeting times and class availability.