Last week, following a rigorous site inspection by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and after pouring over all aspects of the bariatric surgery program and processes and surgical outcomes data, the ASMBS designated St. Joseph’s Center for Weight Management as a Center of Excellence for another three years.
Leah Walters is St. Joseph’s Center for Weight Management bariatric manager. Surgeons Dr. Daniel Smith and Dr. Robert Wroblewski are also named as designees.
More insurance carriers are likely to cover weight-loss surgeries that have the ASMBS Center of Excellence designation.
Physicians from eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota Essentia Health systems use Park Rapids as a referral site for their surgical weight-loss patients.
Weight-loss surgical options available to them are gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable banding. The majority of surgeries are performed laparoscopically. Non-surgical solutions are also an option.
Ongoing support and follow-up care, the mark of successful bariatric programs, are available to patients. Support groups, retreats, and the MOVE! exercise program enhance support opportunities.
St. Joseph’s Center for Weight Management has a dedicated surgical unit and accommodations specifically designed for bariatric patients.
The ASMBS Center of Excellence program was started in 2004 and is administered by the Surgical Review Corporation.
“Being a bariatric Center of Excellence has focused our surgical and multi-disciplinary team on exceeding clinical benchmarks and guidelines,” Smith said.
Being obese puts patients at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, arthritis, sleep apnea, infertility and more. Clinical weight loss significantly decreases those risks.
Patients with a body mass index of 40 and above, or 35 to 40 or higher with weight-related health conditions, are considered a candidate for weight-loss surgery. For more information, call (218) 237-5757.