A multi-ethnic group of adults are working out in a fitness class at the gym. They are doing squats and have their arms raised upin the air.

The Great Slim Down

A primary care based weight management program

Be fit. Be healthy. Lose weight as you go.

Created by Natalie Ikeman, PA-C, in 2015, The Great Slim Down is a proven counseling program that helps many people live healthier lifestyles and achieve weight loss goals. Schedule an appointment with a provider on The Great Slim Down team at 612-873-6963.

How does the program work?

At the first visit, you will receive general weight-related education, learn about what causes weight gain, what your health risks are and complete lab work to ensure that your body is not being harmed by excess weight.  You will be introduced to the team of providers here at Hennepin Healthcare who work together to develop positive outcomes for you.  This team includes a primary obesity-specialist, a registered dietician and a psychologist. You have the option to build your own team as you see fit.  As the visits progress, the team will develop an individualized plan specifically for you to help you make healthier food choices, find ways to move more and change your behaviors.  Medication is also part of many treatment plans and can help produce longer-lasting weight loss.  Using intensive lifestyle interventions and medications, many people are able to find success with managing their weight.

Great Slim Down Team

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Natalie Ikeman, PA-C
Golden Valley Clinic

Natalie received her Obesity Management Primary Care Certificate from the American Academy of Physician Assistants in 2022. She attended Harvard University of Medical School Blackburn Course in Obesity Medicine in 2017 and is a member of the Obesity Medicine Association since 2020. She is in the process of receiving a Certificate of Advanced Education for NPs and PAs from the Obesity Medicine Association.

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Kaylin Kolb, DNP
Clinic & Specialty Center

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Margaret Robbins, RD, LD, CDE
Brooklyn Park Clinic

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Nicole Akhigbe, RN, FNP, BC
Richfield Clinic

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Lisa LeGrand, PhD
Clinic & Specialty Center

The Great Slim Down Mission Statement

The Great Slim Down weight management program helps to prevent and slow chronic disease associated with excess weight by providing one on one counseling and goal setting with support from an interdisciplinary team.

The Great Slim Down FAQ

How often do I go?

We like to see patients monthly until we can help them achieve clinically significant weight loss. Then we move to a maintenance phase which could range from quarterly to yearly.

What happens at the first visit?

We will ask you screening questions, collect vital signs including a weight and sometimes a waist circumference measurement, discuss your family weight history, educate you on the science of weight, discuss medication options and draw labs. Please come fasting to your visit. You will receive homework at the end of the first visit which we ask you to please bring completed to the second visit. Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment so we have time to cover all of this important information with you!

How much weight will I lose?

Clinical studies tell us that successful weight loss results from intensive lifestyle interventions and the use of medications. Sometimes, we refer patients for bariatric surgery when appropriate. We see clinical benefits (in blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc) when there is at least a 5% body weight loss.  Every person responds differently to treatment interventions and results vary. Our goal is to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle so you can do the things in your life that are important to you.

Are there videos that I can use to become more active?

Yes, check out our series of videos on YouTube.

Does my insurance cover this visit?

Most insurance companies should cover these visits. Before scheduling, call the customer service number on your insurance card to inquire about coverage concerning "weight loss counseling”. If you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, depression, heart disease and other chronic health conditions associated with excess weight, we also will bill for those. We bill under a normal “Family Medicine” or “Internal Medicine” office visit. We are not a “specialist” from a billing standpoint.

Success Stories

Read about the amazing outcomes and experiences of The Great Slim Down participants!

The Great Slim Down Videos - with Natalie Ikeman, PA-C

View more Great Slim Down videos on our Hennepin Healthcare YouTube Channel!

Helpful Links