Your Health

A local addition that aims to subtract: JumpstartMD weight-loss clinic opens in Mountain View

Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Stanford-trained Dr. Sean Bourke opened the 11th JumpstartMD clinic at 1503 Grant Road, Suite 150 earlier this month. Initial visits to JumpstartMD clinics include body mass index measurements for clients and nutrition plans, among other personalized services.

One of the founders of a new clinic in Mountain View isn’t merely satisfied with helping patients lose extra pounds. He aims to help them develop healthful lifestyle habits to keep the weight off, too.

JumpstartMD opened the doors to its new clinic at 1503 Grant Road earlier this month – the 11th Bay Area location in little more than seven years for Stanford University-trained doctors and co-founders Sean Bourke and Conrad Rai. The duo started the venture in 2007 after seeing an abundance of patients with weight-related ailments during their time working in emergency medicine at Stanford Hospital. In response, Bourke and Rai created a weight-loss program tailored to meet each client’s unique needs – starting from the ground up.

“Based on our experience in the ER, it just seemed obvious that the solution is really to get to the root of the problem rather than just treat the symptoms,” said Bourke, a Palo Alto native whose program now serves approximately 2,500 patients per week. “That’s what we wanted to do – create something that could actually address the root of the issue.”

Bourke specifically noted that his JumpstartMD program uses a team-based approach that addresses what he calls the three M’s – meals, movement and mindset. The idea, he said, is to offer clients a single stop not only to meet their dietary needs, but also to explore the fitness and mental aspects that lead to healthier, sustainable lifestyles. With this in mind, each clinic is staffed with dietitians, fitness experts and clinicians, as well as licensed counselors to help patients succeed long-term.

“We’re trying to address all three legs of what I consider the sustainable weight-loss stool,” said Bourke, who added that approximately 70 percent of clients are women. “If you neglect any of those legs, ultimately that stool is going to fall over. … We want a comprehensive approach that addresses all these issues.”

According to Bourke, the program uses a deliberate, step-by-step approach in addressing weight and, to a larger extent, lifestyle concerns. Each patient meets with clinic staff on a weekly basis to measure progress and fine-tune plans when needed.

“The initial emphasis is mostly on the meals section – the nutritional aspect,” said Bourke, adding that the program emphasizes the consumption of whole foods. “Once they’ve got that down, then we want to start to introduce exercise, but less as a weight-loss tool and more as a wellness tool.”

Individualized help from on-staff professionals aside, Bourke noted that his clinics also offer free seminars on common topics like emotional eating, dealing with food cravings and the mental aspects to maintaining a healthful lifestyle.

Bourke said the goal of the program’s multipronged approach is about more than just shedding a few pounds.

“We want ultimately for weight loss to become a secondary goal,” he said. “The broader goals should be more palpable – they’re actually improving their quality of life and reducing their health risks.”

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JumpStart MD - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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