Memorial Health Bariatrics Again Named Center of Excellence

(April 14, 2011) - Memorial Health Bariatrics, the weight-loss surgery program at Memorial University Medical Center, has been renewed as a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). The program was first designated a Center of Excellence in 2008.

Memorial Health Bariatrics is a comprehensive surgery, education, and support program for people who are morbidly obese. To earn the Center of Excellence designation, Memorial Health Bariatrics went through a series of site inspections in which its surgical processes were closely examined. Memorial Health Bariatrics also submitted data on its patient outcomes.

The ASMBS Centers of Excellence program was created after clinical evidence showed that the most experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have the lowest complication rates. The program recognizes facilities that perform well and encourages surgeons and hospitals to constantly improve the quality and safety of the care they provide.

"Receiving this designation for a second time is a great honor. It's also a reflection of our commitment to providing the highest level of care and safety for our patients," said Oliver Whipple, M.D., bariatric surgeon and medical director of Memorial Health Bariatrics. According to the ASMBS, there has been a substantial increase in the total number of bariatric surgeries performed annually in the United States. In 2004, there 140,640 bariatric surgeries and in 2008, the number increased to 220,000.

The ASMBS is the largest society for this specialty in the world. Founded in 1983, the purpose of the society is to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center. You can follow us at facebook.com/memorialhealth, twitter.com/mymemorial, and youtube.com/memorialhealth.