Champion Provider Success Story: Dr. Theodore Friedman

Dr. Theodore Friedman
Tackling Obesity & Diabetes Head On

Dr. Theodore Friedman, a Los Angeles-based endocrinologist, has a curriculum vitae and schedule that leaves one breathless, yet he still made time to participate in the Champion Provider Fellowship to improve the health of his community.

Dr. Friedman met Dr. Nicole Alexander, a fellow doctor at Martin Luther King Community Hospital, through the Champion Provider Fellowship. Together they collaborate on POWER (Preventing Obesity With Eating Right), a weekly obesity workshop that features “Zumba dancing with the doctors,” lectures on weight management and demonstrations on healthy eating and cooking. So far 450 people have gone through the medically based program. Ten percent of them have lost five percent of their body weight and brought their hemoglobin rates down to prediabetes levels.

POWER has received considerable media attention, including coverage in the Los Angeles Times, Univision and Channel 7 Eyewitness News. One of Dr. Friedman’s dreams is to continue partnering with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to see POWER replicated in hospitals throughout the county.

“Doctors are trained to look for the causes and then do something about them. I can amplify my efforts to improve my patients’ health by working with other physicians whose interests and concerns are similar to mine.”

Dr. Theodore Friedman, Los Angeles County, Endocrinology

Dr. Friedman has also partnered with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services on a county-wide Diabetes Day for the past three years. The event brings together several hundred health care providers to educate and encourage them to support and promote policies that will reduce diabetes and obesity.

His newest focus is promoting healthy beverages. “Getting patients with diabetes and those who are obese to give up sugary drinks would greatly improve their health,” he says. “I feel passionate about reshaping communities so that water and other healthy beverages are plentiful.”