DeKalb Medical Wellness Center Patient Stories
Constantine Kokenes, M.D.
Wellness Center Member
“The Wellness Center is convenient for doctors,” says Constantine Kokenes, M.D., anesthesiologist at DeKalb Medical and Wellness Center member since 2001. While DeKalb Medical employees do enjoy discounted memberships, it’s The Wellness Center’s location on the North Decatur campus that makes it easy to squeeze in a workout before or after work. And while he is fit and healthy, Kokenes finds it reassuring to know that there’s an emergency room just up the hill.
“Everybody’s nice and friendly and the bathrooms and locker rooms are always nice and clean,” says Kokenes. “I go to other clubs and their locker rooms stink!”
Ultimately, it’s the people who make it special. As he says, “The clientele are friendly, definitely not a meat market feel; no one dresses in Spandex to show off. The atmosphere is different than a big chain club. It’s more wellness-oriented as opposed to just body building.”
Kokenes comes from Snellville to work and workout. While he can go to any club or fitness facility in the area, he prefers The Wellness Center in Atlanta for its relaxed environment where he can focus on fitness, enjoy the company of his fellow members and get to know the staff and trainers personally.
Thanks you, Dr. Kokenes, for making The Wellness Center great!
Wellness Center Member
When she got up to 210 pounds, Faatimah Muhammed didn’t even know how it happened. She’s a teacher in DeKalb County schools and when her previous gym had closed, friends recommended The Wellness Center. When she came in, she immediately recognized one of our front desk staff as the mother of some of the children she had taught. “The hospitality of the front desk staff is awesome, they listen to the stories of my day; it’s like my home away from home.”
Since joining in 2007, she has taken many classes such as step, kickboxing, and aqua aerobics, and she has worked out with a personal trainer. “I have seen magnificent changes in my body and my ability to do some things I never thought I would be able to do in a million years. I’ve learned about the importance of giving myself rest in between workouts. I’ve also used the services of The Wellness Center nutritionist and massage therapist.
With my weight issues, I developed Type II diabetes, my blood sugar got up to over 300. I had started going to an endocrinologist and was put on medication. When I started walking, I could barely walk around the track. Then I got to where I worked out 30 minutes a day. Today, I’ve taken no medication for the last two years and I’m about two or three pounds shy of my goal; overall I lost over 60 pounds. I’m to the point where I could celebrate.
And I did. I just ran the Peachtree Road Race and then another race a few weeks later. I might do a triathlon and the Three-Day Breast Cancer Walk next.”
DeKalb Medical President and Chief Executive Officer and Wellness Center Member
According to John Shelton, The Wellness Center is a great place to work out. Sure, he may be a little biased given his high-ranking position with DeKalb Medical but it’s true he really works out here. “I really enjoy using The Wellness Center. It’s got all the fitness equipment that I need to stay in shape.” His usual spot is on the treadmill right in front of the widescreen television that has ESPN playing all day.
“It’s nice to have a facility located right on the North Decatur Campus of DeKalb Medical. It’s so convenient for our employees to use.” Many employees are members. In fact, The Wellness Center offers great discounts for all DeKalb Medical employees, volunteers and physicians and their staffs.
So, the next time you’re working out, feel free to strike up a conversation with the fellow on the treadmill next to you. It just might be John!
Robert and Phil Levetan
Wellness Center Members
You may tell them apart by remembering that Robert has the beard and Phil is married to Liane, but no matter how you remember them, you WILL remember the Levetan brothers!
Active in gymnastics years ago, Robert (or maybe Phil!) decided it was time to get back into exercising. “Other clubs didn’t click,” says Robert the research chemist, “but this place is inexpensive and requires no commitment. It has a nice atmosphere, there’s a nice mix of people, no ‘show offs.’” He says this with a sly smile because Robert, who along with Phil, does 300 repetitions of chin-ups twice a week in addition to walking the track and using the weight machines. No, really...300.
“If Bob sees someone not using a machine properly, he’ll show them,” says Phil.
“Well, people have shown me so I’ll pass it on,” responds Robert. “He’s my brother; I have to take care of him (smile).”
“He pushes me,” Phil agrees. “Our contemporaries are in wheelchairs and walkers. Unless you keep active mentally and physically, that’s where you might end up, too.”
Phil reveals their secrets: “We both eat a handful of vitamins in the morning and we stay away from fat.”
“This facility is comfortable and nice and people are serious - everyone is trying to do something healthy,” says Robert. “We’re all here trying to stay healthy,” echoes Phil. “And it’s working!” says Robert (or maybe Phil!).
Sarah S. Wyatt
Wellness Center Member
We caught up with Sarah one morning after her regular workout (from 5:30 - 7:30 a.m.) to see what she had to say about The Wellness Center.
“I joined The Wellness Center and I’m glad I did because my blood pressure and cholesterol levels have decreased. I am taking swimming classes with Debbie Vinson and I come to the Center at least two to three times a week. Also, I have gone from seven minutes on the elliptical machine to 30 minutes! The more I use the machines, the more comfortable I feel and I can stay on the machine longer. I use the stationary bike and the weights, too. Then I walk around the track 15 times (to equal one mile) and then cool down.
What I enjoy about coming to The Wellness Center at DeKalb Medical is that everyone has been courteous, nice and friendly. The employees are always there to help with any problem.
I feel wonderful after my swimming lessons and after I work out on the machines, I have so much energy. I feel great after my workout!"
Wellness Center Member
I’ve been a member of the Wellness Center at DeKalb Medical since January 2007. There are a lot of things to like about this place. The equipment is up-to-date, well-maintained and plentiful. Membership is reasonably priced when compared to similar facilities in the area. It is convenient to where I work and it isn’t overcrowded. However, the thing I like most is the staff members. They are friendly and helpful. They know me by name and create an atmosphere where I feel very comfortable and where people are encouraged as they pursue health-related goals.
Along with a weight-loss program, working out at The Wellness Center has helped me lose 80 pounds so far this year. The staff and other members are always encouraging me as I continue my journey toward improved health. The Wellness Center has everything I need to improve and maintain my health.