Obesity Care Model Collaborative (OCMC)

While there are many different treatment options for patients diagnosed with obesity, a reliable and universally accepted care model does not exist. AMGA Foundation aimed to change this through its Obesity Care Model Collaborative (OCMC), a three-year initiative that provided a framework for expanded work on the disease.

The OCMC brought medical groups and health systems from across the country together to share strategies and best practices for treating obesity. Participating organizations also submitted obesity care data to AMGA, which synthesized, analyzed and reported on any data trends discovered.

This data, combined with the anecdotal evidence participants gathered from their peers has been used to create a reliable framework for successfully treating obesity.

OCMC was also supported by an Advisory Committee of physicians and quality improvement experts to help guide the development of the collaborative.

  • Obesity Clinic: A new clinic was created as a strategy to address obesity in the patient population.
  • Obesity Support Group: A physician-led community support program was created for patients suffering from obesity.
  • Shared Medical Appointments: Group appointments for obesity and diabetes, obesity and comorbidities, and obesity and chronic pain were expanded.
  • Metabolic Care Program: A program focusing on culinary medicine was launched.
  • “Weight for You” Program: This three-month program focused on obesity and primary care.
  • Community Garden/Food Pharmacy: A garden and healthy food bank was created to engage community members while providing healthy food for patients and the larger community.
  • Community Partnership: A partnership was formed between a member and a third-party organization to establish a social media-based cooking class.
  • Community Resources: Hospitals and clinics established centers to identify patient resources within the community and provide patients with information about them.
  • Reducing Disparities: Three members began assessing of their organization’s obesity care framework as it relates to equity.
  • Nurse Navigator: A new position was created to assist providers caring for patients with obesity and to connect patients with available resources.
  • Best Practice Alerts: A system of alerts for documenting BMI was implemented into an EMR.
  • Clinic Environment: Several groups made environmental changes to better accommodate patients with obesity (i.e., larger blood pressure cuffs, larger gowns, wider chairs in waiting area, etc.). One group designated an exam room in each practice specifically to patients with obesity.
  • Patient Champions: Patient champions were selected to directly represent the interests of stakeholders during the development of obesity care programs.

“The obesity data AMGA collected and analyzed throughout this program has been extremely valuable. This data can’t be found anywhere else, though; it’s unique to this program and the providers in it.”
– Timothy Garvey, M.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama Birmingham

“Knowledge and best practices are meant to be shared, and these meetings allow us to do just that. This collaborative has exposed us to new ideas and strategies, many of which we may never have thought of on our own.”
– Marianne Sumego, M.D., Physician, Community Internal Medicine, Cleveland Clinic

“This program empowers better practice and influences the delivery of higher quality care. AMGA’s staff does a remarkable job, and I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be a participant!”
– 2018-2019 OCMC Participant


The OCMC generated a number of resources meant to serve as guidelines to help medical groups and health systems improve their own obesity care delivery efforts.

Obesity Care Model Collaborative Playbook

OCMC Playbook

The OCMC Playbook provides users with knowledge and insights on population health-based approaches and strategies to treating adult patients with obesity in primary care.

The information in this playbook represents evidence-based best practices from AMGA member organizations who participated in the Obesity Care Model Collaborative.

Download the playbook.

White Paper | Cultivating a Comprehensive Obesity Program in Primary Care

This white paper provides a comprehensive overview of the OCMC, including information on how the collaborative came to be, its purpose, structure, outcomes, and key findings. Download the OCMC white paper


The OCMC generated a number of articles published in both peer-reviewed academic journals, and editorial publications.

Building Successful Models in Primary Care to Improve the Management of Adult Patients with Obesity (Research)
Casanova, D., Kushner, R. F., Ciemins, E. L., Smolarz, B. G., Chambers, E., Leaver-Schmidt, E., Kennedy, J. W., & Garvey, W. T. (2021). Population Health Management, Ahead of Print, 30 March 2021

Treating Obesity in Primary Care: Lifting the Veil of Invisibility (Blog)

Your Say
February 24, 2021
By Elizabeth Ciemins, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A.

New care model helps primary-care practices treat obesity (Article)

Modern Healthcare,
January 01, 2021
By Maria Castellucci

Call to Action: Obesity is Visible to Stigmatize but Invisible to Treat Despite Documentation in the Electronic Health Record (Research)

Istfan, N. W., & Apovian, C. M. (2020). Obesity, 28(12), 24 November 2020

Measuring What Matters: Beyond Quality Performance Measures in Caring for Adults with Obesity (Research)

Ciemins, E.L., Joshi, V., Horn, D., Nadglowski, J., Ramasamy, A., Cuddeback, J., (2020). Population Health Management, Ahead of Print, 11 November 2020

Diagnosing Obesity as a First Step to Weight Loss an Observational Study (Research)
Ciemins, E.L., Joshi, J., Cuddeback, J.K., Kushner, R.F., Horn, D.B., Garvey, W.T., (2020). Obesity, Early View, 07 October 2020

Questions or Comments? For additional information about the OCMC, or any other of AMGA best practice learning collaborative, please contact Erin Leaver-Schmidt by email or by phone at 703.838.0033 ext. 390.