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Palmyra bariatric center recognized for ‘excellence’

By   /   November 18, 2009  /   Comments

Patients Kim Barber (from left) and Kendra Wilson chat with Amy Grasman, the Bariatric Institute of Southwest Georgia’s director, on Tuesday at Palmyra Medical Center.

The institute has been named an American Society for Metabolic and Baiatric Surgery Bariatric Surgery of Excellence.

(Photos by Kevin Hogencamp.)


Palmyra Medical Center announced Tuesday that the Bariatric Institute of Southwest Georgia has been named an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence.

The ASMBS BSCOE designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery. To earn a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation, the Bariatric Institute underwent an extensive site inspection process during which all aspects of the program’s surgical processes were closely examined and data on health outcomes was collected. The institute’s director is acclaimed physician John Bagnato of Albany.

The Bariatric Institute and other centers receiving the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation agree to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data.

“We established the Bariatric Institute because we saw an increasing prevalence of morbid obesity in our region and the inherent risks involved, and knew there were the  opportunities available to greatly improve the health of this patient population,” said  Amy Grasman, FNP-C, director of the Bariatric Institute. “We recognize the need to implement a systematic approach to improving quality. At the Bariatric Institute we  believe that the ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence program will serve as a  catalyst, driving strong programs to get even better.”

Dr. Bagnato credits the designation as “a total team effort”.

“A tremendous amount of work was completed by many individuals for the Bariatric Institute to become a Center of Excellence. From the beginning of the program in 2002, our goal has been to help improve the health of this segment of our population,” said Dr. Bagnato. “We have worked to improve the health of our patients and eliminate many of the health risks associated with obesity. In addition, we have been encouraged by the remarkable changes in the quality of life for these individuals.”

According to a report released in 2007 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the number of bariatric surgeries has grown from 16,000 procedures performed in 1992 to 170,000 performed in 2005. Faced with clinical evidence that the most experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have by far the lowest rates of  complications, the ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence program was created to recognize bariatric surgery centers that perform well and to help surgeons and hospitals continue to improve the quality and safety of care provided.

Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), an organization dedicated to pursuing surgical excellence, formulates and establishes the rigorous standards with which The Bariatric Institute and other Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence must comply, thoroughly inspects and evaluates each candidate for designation, and upon review recommends approval of designation for those physicians and facilities whose practices and outcomes meet the stringent demands set forth by SRC for ASMBS.

Obesity has become a significant national health issue, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that 66 percent of all US adults are overweight or obese. Morbid obesity is closely correlated with a number of serious conditions that severely undermine the health of overweight patients, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Bariatric surgery, when performed correctly, can help obese patients manage these conditions. By definition, surgeons with ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation practice only top quality care, ensuring efficacy of the procedure with each patient to the best of their abilities. At the Bariatric Institute the team demonstrates this willingness to take the extra step by providing one-on-one, individualized patient care, offering monthly support groups with a wide variety of topics and providing extensive pre-operative and post-operative teaching to all patients to improve outcomes and overall success.

As a pioneering organization, designating Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence based on top quality care and efficacious outcomes, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, with the help of SRC, is working to align the common interests of patients, surgeons, hospitals and insurers, all of whom suffer when complications develop  after surgical care.

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