About Us

A Professional and Compassionate Weight Loss Program in Jacksonville

Blissful Wellness Medical Weight Loss Center was founded by Elyssa Blissenbach, M.D., a Board Certified Internist who has practiced medicine for more than 15 years. In 1996, she moved to Jacksonville where she set up her practice in Historical Riverside. Over the years, Dr. Blissenbach became increasingly aware of the growing trend of obesity in her practice. Research data proved evident that obesity was quickly becoming an epidemic in the United States. Most importantly, people were developing all of the complications of obesity including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, infertility, and joint destruction. How bad is the problem in America? According to a recent health study, 58 million Americans are overweight; 40 million Americans are obese; and 3 million Americans are morbidly obese. What’s more frightening? Eight out of ten Americans at the age of 25 are overweight. It was enough for Dr. Blissenbach to embark on a mission to establish a medically supervised weight loss clinic within her practice.

Developing the Weight Loss Solution

With a focus on education and support, she and her team are dedicated to tackling the misconceptions of obesity and the causes of the disease. As a result, Blissenbach found that many of her patients were unaware of what they were doing wrong and how to change their behaviors. She set up goals and diet plans for her patients to alter behaviors and change mindsets. Healthy living was easy, and she showed them how.

Developing the Right Diet

Based on her medical knowledge, Dr. Blissenbach knew that the only diets that would be effective were those that were low in carbohydrates. The fat-free diet craze that was proclaiming it to be the solution to weight loss was actually contributing to making obesity worse. How so? The intake of fat has increased over the last eighty years, but the increased incidence of obesity was observed despite the availability of over 1,000 so-called fat-free foods. When sugar replaces fat in these foods, there is often no difference in caloric content as compared to the full-fat version, so that consumption of fat-free foods does not reduce calorie intake.
Not only did she know that a low carbohydrate diet was imperative to successfully losing weight, but she knew that not just one diet would work for all patients. In response to that need, she decided to incorporate several different low carbohydrate diets into the program. When she realized that so many people in the Jacksonville area were also facing the same challenges, she felt compelled to reach out to the community that was so desperately in need of a medically supervised weight loss program; a program that would provide each patient with a medical healthcare provider to continuously monitor their health and intervene medically if necessary.

Why Choose Blissful Wellness Centers

At Blissful Wellness Medical Weight Loss Centers, we have established a superb alternative to the rather tired formats used by many of our competitors. Our intensive use of state-of-the-art technology and our highly qualified experts will lead to permanent solutions for those battling obesity.

Dr. Blissenbach and the team at Blissful Wellness are committed to providing their patients with a medically supervised weight loss center that treats patients as unique individuals and provides its patients with every tool available to achieve what is important … a life changing experience.

Meet the Team

Elyssa Blissenbach Jacksonville FLElyssa Blissenbach, M.D., P.A.
Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine
Board Certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine
Medical License in Florida #ME0069426
Member of Duval County Medical Society and Intl. Society of Clinical Densitometry
Education: BS at Fairfield Univ., SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine (Magna Cum Laude), Resident at Medical Univ. of SC
Awards: 1989 Fairfield Univ. Bio Science Award, President of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Med Honor Society
Research Award at SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine, Dean’s Commendation at SUNY

Jenille Sapin, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC
Jennille (Jen) Sapin has been in the medical field for the better part of a decade having first received her B.S. in Nursing in 2002 from the University of Florida. She started her nursing career in step down ICU at Baptist Medical Center-Downtown and transitioned to labor and delivery,
helping to establish the labor and delivery department at the newly built Baptist Medical Center-South in 2005. During her time at BMC South, Jen studied at the University of North Florida and subsequently earned her M.S. in Nursing in 2010. As a nurse practitioner at Blissful Wellness, Jen helps patients succeed with their weight loss programs and with all facets of proper medical management.

Melissa Thomas Jacksonville FLMelissa Thomas, ARNP-C
Melissa Thomas received her undergraduate degree in Nursing from the University of North Florida and continued her graduate education at the University of South Alabama. She earned her Master of Science in 2010 in nursing specializing as a Family Nursing Practitioner and has been board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners since 2011. Melissa has vast experience in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology and most recently in family practice. For the past twelve years she has worked as a nurse Labor and Delivery and in the operating room of The Family Birth Place where she cared for laboring women, surgical patients and assisted in operative procedures. Five of those years she also worked as an Adjunct Faculty Member for Florida State College of Jacksonville where she taught nursing students Medical and Women’s Health nursing at several local area hospitals. Melissa is excited to join Dr. Blissenbach in her endeavor to promote wellness through primary prevention and is passionate about staying current with the many facets of medical management.

Diane Harnisch Jacksonville FLDiane Harnisch, Counselor
Diane Harnisch is a licensed clinical therapist who has been counseling women, teens, couples and families for the past 15 years. Her Masters in Clinical Psychology was obtained at the Academy of Christian Training and she is working on her Doctorate. She has facilitated Support Groups for Women who are overcoming challenges. The focus is to inspire people to set goals and to encourage them to remain motivated while achieving them. Diane enjoys helping others make a positive change in their lives. She is enthusiastic about joining with Blissful Wellness to assist others to have a healthy and blissful life.

Linda Pickert Jacksonville FLLinda Pickert
Linda is a certified personal trainer. She is also certified in sports nutrition and is a group exercise instructor. Linda has a passion for helping people make changes in their lifestyle and achieving health and fitness goals that will lead to a more fulfilling life. She dedicates her passion and expertise for health and fitness to help guide you in achieving your individual fitness and health goals.

Valerie Ficke Jacksonville FL Valerie Ficke
Business and Marketing Manager
Valerie graduated with Business/Political Science degree from Old
 Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. 2001. 
She has lived in Jacksonville for over 21 years and has been employed
 and self-employed in many areas of Mortgage Lending, Financial
 Planning and Business Development in the Jacksonville area. She has 
recently joined Blissful Wellness after working in the field of 
Addictions Counseling for the past 5 years. Valerie is a natural with 
Blissful Wellness, as she is active within the community in the 
following areas: Active member Brooks Family YMCA, Active Member
 Body Yoga-Southside, Active volunteer with multiple groups for 
Recovery Community. Active Member Celebration Church of Jacksonville,
 Active member Florida Federation of Women in Politics and the local
 Republican Party of Florida. Valerie participates with various 
Corporate Networking groups through the Jacksonville Chamber of
Commerce, and Health and Wellness Inititives in the community.