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For Wayne Hacker, 52, of Lansingburgh, losing 181 lbs. in one year would have been impossible to accomplish alone. Wayne had already been a primary patient at Whitney Young Health’s Troy Health Center for a couple years, where he was treated for diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and morbid obesity. With the help of Molly Ward, RD, CDN, CDE, and Ryan Marshall, FNP-C, at the Troy Health Center, the dream to live a healthier lifestyle became a reality. Together, the three of them came up with an action plan with the mantra being “sustainable and consistent weight loss.” The three components that were important for Wayne to stay on track with his plan were: nutrition, calories and taste.

We interviewed Wayne to hear about how the Troy staff helped him through his journey to starting. This is his story.

How did you hear about WYH?

WYH was suggested to me by Debby Don Vito, my Rensselaer County coordinator (what used to be called an ICM, or intensive case manager)

Why did you choose WYH?

I chose WYH because it is conveniently located on two bus lines, both of which stop a few blocks from my house.

Where did you go previously?

Before going to WYH I was using South Troy Family Medical Practice.

What is the best thing about WYH?

The first best thing was the fact is that the Troy location is conveniently located. After that I have found the medical and office staff very helpful, responsive, and respectful.

What would you say to someone who has never tried the services provided by WYH?

Anyone who knows me knows I am a very anxious person. I would tell anyone who is anxious about visiting the doctor to know that my experience has always been positive; I have always been treated with courtesy and respect.

image1.JPGPictured: Wayne with Molly Ward

What kind of experience have you had with treatment and staff?

I have found the staff to be very mindful of my needs when engaging with me. The experience has always been positive.

What kind of services would wish to see offered here?

Guest WiFi

How has your life changed since you started coming to WYH?

  • 181 lbs. lost in one year
  • No longer taking diabetes medications
  • Decrease prescriptions for hypertension
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased physical activity

Would you say that you have met/built relationships with other patients and/or staff?

I would say that have developed a good working relationship with the staff, in particular with Ryan Marshall, my PCP, and the nutritionist Molly Ward.

Would you advocate for the services provided at WYH?

Absolutely I would advocate for the services at WYH, and I have done so. As someone who has struggled in the past with addiction, mental illness, and poor physical health I have been the beneficiary of a treatment team of professionals working in concert to provide services, meet needs, and offer support. WYH has played a key role in that dynamic.

What would you say and to whom would you tell it?

I would share my experience of coming from a place where not going to the doctor made more sense to me than seeking treatment. I spent years working on addiction issues and mental health issues but avoided addressing physical issues. I struggled with weight issues for decades and that led to issues with my physical health. After I expanded my treatment team to include the staff and professionals at WYH I was able to not only improve my physical health, but to realize gains in my mental health and daily living. That inclusion and those gains were greatly informed by courtesy, attention, and effectiveness of the entire WYH.

After this interview we learned that Wayne was moving out of state shortly and would no longer be able to continue getting his healthcare at Whitney Young Health. At his last meeting with Molly, she commended him on all he has accomplished this past year and knew he had the tools and mindset to stay on track with his goals. Everyone at Whitney Young Health wishes Wayne best of luck in his new adventure and we’re confident that he’ll continued to progress!


  1. TRT

    Congrats to Wayne Hacker and WYH! I hope that other patients considering weight loss or dealing with other issues will seek the help they need. In time, many things are possible

    Congrats to the entire staff on helping Wayne and others.


    Great job everyone. Wonderful story.

    Debra DonVito

    You have worked so hard and I am so proud of you! It has been an absolute pleasure working with you over the past few years! Best of luck with your move and be sure to keep in touch!
    Debra DonVito

    Wayne B Hacker

    Update: I have been living in North Carolina now for 3 months and I am still losing weight. I am following along the plan Molly and put together during the year we worked together. I am walking a lot more including a 4 mile walk in the morning to start my day and I am down another 50+ lbs since my last meeting with Molly.

    I have met with my new doctors down here and at the end of June had a full set of labs down and all my numbers were looking good with special attention to my A1C... that continues to be under control.

    I learned a lot working with the staff at Whitney Young and my life continues to improve daily because of their support.

    Thanks for everything!


    Linda Hacker

    Wayne you are amazing! You have worked so hard over the last four years and now look at you! I'm impressed everyday with your progress - congratulations on everything!

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