It’s hard to imagine the slight frame of Tracie Chandler supporting 240 pounds. But for years that’s the burden she endured—a burden that led to a debilitating combination of physical and mental health problems that seemed insurmountable.
“I was unhealthy; high blood pressure, then I developed eczema, and developed chronic depression,” Tracie recalls. “I knew I had to make a change.”
“The more and more care I started getting here, everything changed on me from the inside out,” Tracie Chandler, patient.
Finding the courage
Change came when Tracie summoned the courage to walk through the doors of Neighborhood Family Practice, a clinic located across from the grocery store where she had made so many poor dietary choices and experienced crippling anxiety attacks.
A sense of hope blossomed from the moment she made her first appointment.
“The more and more care I started getting here, everything changed on me from the inside out,” she said.
Neighborhood Family Practice, a United Way-funded partner, offers primary care services regardless of ability to pay in a dozen neighborhoods throughout Cleveland. Doctors, nurses and social workers focus on an integrated health approach, always seeking to identify and treat a patient’s physical and mental health concerns.
Tracie’s treatment has been a success. Through counseling and medical care, she slimmed down to 124 pounds and no longer requires prescription medications for hypertension and high cholesterol.
She’s proud of her ability to substitute healthier foods for the cake, chips and soda that once fueled her weight gain, and she exercises regularly by taking long walks. Ongoing meetings with her behavioral health therapist have kept her on track for nearly seven years.
“I want to get the word out and be a voice to other women that you can do it,” Tracie urged. “If I did it you can do it. We all can walk this journey together.”
Watch and listen to Tracie’s powerful experience at Neighborhood Family Practice below.