Karen Gillman
Plant City, FL

We are happy to introduce to you one of our passionate OAC members who has made it her personal mission to spread awareness about obesity, weight bias, support of bariatric surgery and advocating for healthy living. Karen Gillman is a Vice President at On Point Executive Center, Owner/Director of Charity Chics and author of her recently-published book, which shares Karen’s personal battle with obesity and her choice to combat the disease with bariatric surgery in 2004. Karen considers her greatest life purpose as being a wife and mother of two, and providing encouragement to those who feel that their struggle with weight is a lost cause.

Q: How did you learn about the OAC and why did you decide to join?

Through a colleague at a women’s executive roundtable networking meeting in Tampa! She heard about my book and mentioned the OAC.

Q: How are you using the OAC’s resources to benefit your personal journey with weight and health?

I LOVE the magazine and newsletter. I follow the OAC on Twitter and love to retweet your great content. The blog is super resourceful and I appreciate that there is an organization devoted to spreading awareness and supporting the needs for obesity.

Q: What part of the OAC’s mission of education, advocacy and support are you most passionate about? Why?

Spreading awareness about the many facets of bariatric surgery and working towards increased insurance coverages for weight-loss benefits.

Q: How are you using your OAC membership to make a difference for individuals with obesity?

I share the posters with my doctors and workplace. And I included a page and information on how to join the membership in the back of my book. I also include my membership affiliation on my LinkedIn and professional profiles in hopes to encourage others to join and support the mission.

Q: Why do you believe the OAC is valuable?

Topics surrounding obesity are filled with stigma and bias. The OAC helps to eliminate the bias associated, and make sure that obesity is treated as a disease, allowing for increased access to effective medical treatment. The OAC continues to put out information to break down the walls and encourage conversations that lead to finding solutions. Although weight-loss is a topic that is widely discussed, it is a sensitive subject for the person in need of treatment. The OAC provides tools to make these conversations easy to be had.

Q: In one word, describe the OAC:



Obesity Action Coalition (OAC)
4511 N Himes Ave, Suite 250
Tampa, FL 33614
(800) 717-3117