Former Endocrinology Chief from Brigham & Women’s Faulkner Joins Form Health as CMO
We are excited to announce that Dr. Florencia Halperin has joined Form Health as our Chief Medical Officer! We are thrilled to have such an experienced and passionate doctor on our team.
Dr. Halperin was formerly the Chief of Endocrinology at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and founded and Co-Directed the Center for Weight Management and Metabolic Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She remains the Medical Director for the Program for Weight Management at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and on faculty at Harvard Medical School. She’s an expert in medical weight loss and has been focusing on this area of medicine for nearly 2 decades.
Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dr. Halperin comes from a family of physicians that are extremely passionate about the field of medicine. She’s always felt the desire and need to be a positive contributor, and believes that being a doctor allows her to achieve that. She opted to train as an endocrinologist because she was interested in focusing on Latino patients with diabetes.
“I quickly saw how much my patients’ lifestyle — nutrition, physical activity — made an impact on their blood sugar control, and I started thinking more deeply about how we could help them address their weight to improve their health,” she explained.
Dr. Halperin studied biological anthropology at Harvard University before advancing to Harvard Medical School (HMS) to receive her M.D. She completed residency in internal medicine and fellowship in Endocrinology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In 2012, she graduated from Harvard Medical School, this time with a Masters of Medical Sciences, awarded for her clinical research work at Joslin Diabetes Center.
In 2009, Dr. Halperin became an attending physician at Brigham and Women’s, and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. She’s held multiple administrative leadership positions throughout her career, and served on many committees, including The Obesity Society’s Clinical Committee. Since 2017, Dr. Halperin has been named a Top Doctor in Boston by Boston Magazine and was previously a Castel Connolly America’s Top Doctors award recipient. She was also selected for the Brigham Leadership Program at Harvard Business School and was given an excellence in teaching award from Harvard Medical School. Most recently, she received an award for compassionate care from the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care.
Before joining Form, Dr. Halperin was the Chief of Endocrinology at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. She was also the Co-Director of the Center for Weight Management and Metabolic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as the Medical Director for the Program for Weight Management there, a title she still holds.
Weight loss focus
Dr. Halperin believes that many doctors give their patients a directive to lose weight, but don’t often provide them with the tools to do so.
“The science and the tools are really evolving in this area. I was fortunate during my fellowship to have the opportunity to participate in a randomized controlled clinical trial, in which we studied how weight loss/metabolic surgery compared to an intensive medical weight and diabetes program for outcomes in obesity and diabetes,” she explained. “I learned so much in that work about weight management options, and over time focused my practice more and more on this as a medical issue.”
Dr. Halperin is a leader in the medical weight loss field and we are excited to have the ability to offer her expertise to our patients!
Dr. Halperin decided to join the Form team because “the world needs increased access to good medical care for obesity.”
“I think what we are trying to do at Form has potential for tremendous impact. The goal is to connect many more people with the science-based medical approach available today to treat their weight, as a way to improve their health. And I believe that technology can really be leveraged here,” Dr. Halperin explained. “Because we know that weight loss outcomes are more likely to be successful when a patient has close support. I believe there is enormous potential to do better by our patients, by making it easy, convenient, and possible to have closer contact with -and more support from- their care team.”
During the course of her work with thousands of patients, Dr. Halperin has seen proof of the power of weight loss to improve overall health. She has seen many patients come off diabetes and blood pressure medications, and improved their quality of life as a result of losing weight. Even a minor amount of weight loss can meaningfully impact health, she says, including lowering doses of medications such as insulin.
Many people have taken various approaches to weight loss but have been unsuccessful at sustained weight loss until they involved a doctor. Dr. Halperin believes involving a doctor in the process can be helpful when other attempts are not working, as obesity is such a complex and multifactorial medical condition.
“We now know that obesity is a medical condition, and that genetics and many other biological factors influence an individual’s weight. There are many, many people who have tried to lose weight and are unable to do it, or they lose weight only to regain it, sometimes over and over,” she said. “When we treat obesity as a medical condition, we work to understand these patterns, and focus on the individual’s whole health picture, including the implications of their weight on their health.”
Our patients can expect to be part of an accepting, non-judgmental team when joining and working with Dr. Halperin and Form.
“We always have to have humility about the challenges that people with this medical condition face, and how it affects so many aspects of their lives. People can expect that at Form Health we will have the highest standards of professionalism, and use only evidence-based strategies, meaning based on the best available clinical studies,” she explained.
As a physician who has dedicated herself to treating obesity, Dr. Halperin says she’s seen how important it is to have frequent contact and a trusting long-term relationship with patients, in order to provide the kind of support that the weight loss journey truly requires. She’s confident that our telemedicine platform can facilitate a close connection, and she hopes this will help patients better achieve their weight and health goals.
“I want people to celebrate being healthier and fulfilled, and not focus on a number on the scale — many markers of physical and mental health can be improved even with modest weight loss,” said Dr. Halperin.
For more information on our team, head over to get.formhealth.co.