Get to Know Us – Melinda Watman
10 Questions with Melinda J. Watman, BSN, MSN, CNM, MBA, OAC
1. How did you become involved with the OAC?
I learned of the OAC at a TOS Annual Meeting and subsequently attended the first OAC Annual Conference. I met Ted Kyle and the rest is history!
2. Have you personally dealt with obesity, and if so, how has it impacted your life?
I was affected by obesity since the age of 2 ½ and reached 225 pounds before deciding to have bariatric surgery in 2000. While my body is “thin” and the disease is “in remission” at the moment, there is no doubt I still have obesity.
3. What is your favorite part about being a board member of the OAC?
Being involved on a policy level during a time when obesity is front and center in a way it hasn’t even been.
4. Why is the OAC valuable in advocating for obesity awareness?
I see the landscape as having four primary branches:
- TOS – science
- ASMBS – surgery
- ASBP – physicians/medical management
- OAC – peer advocacy and representation
While all groups, in one way or another, represent those with obesity, each has its own special interests, leaving the OAC to be the sole entity representing those affected by obesity. As mentioned above, with obesity being in the minds of many decision-makers, having a strong presence at the table is critical in ensuring the non-science/medical perspective is heard.
5. What is one goal that you want to accomplish as a board member?
Finding ways to expand our reach and voice. I believe it is time to become more proactive and visible when “controversial” topics come up.
6. What is your favorite film?
Ugh – I hate this question. I don’t have one – really.
7. What is your fondest memory from this past year?
Being asked to join the Board as well as chair the Weight Bias Committee.
8. If you could’ve had any career other than your current one, what would it have been?
Rock star or ballerina.
9. What is your favorite place to vacation?
Ugh – another one of “those” questions… I’ll go with Martha’s Vineyard.
10. What is your most prized possession?
Well, not exactly a possession, but my husband.
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Join us next time as we feature Matt Gunther, OAC Graphic Designer and Multimedia Coordinator!