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  1. 1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Joyce BrennanFebruary 1, 2007 Media Relations Southcoast Health System Phone: 508-961-5270 Fax: 508-961-5876 Pgr: 508-387-9605 Hospital is recognized for high-quality care in bariatric surgeryThe American Society for Bariatric Surgery designates Tobey as a Center of Excellence WAREHAM, Mass. — Tobey Hospital, the Wareham site of SouthcoastHospitals Group, has been named a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by theAmerican Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS). The ASBS Center of Excellencedesignation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorableoutcomes in bariatric surgery. The laparoscopic weight loss surgery program at Tobey Hospital is a community-based program designed to incorporate a thorough approach to weight loss surgery. All ofthe patient’s care before, during and after gastric bypass surgery is coordinated by a teamof health professionals to ensure patients receive safe and quality care that promoteslong-term good health. To earn a Center of Excellence designation, Tobey Hospital underwent a series ofsite inspections during which all aspects of the program’s surgical processes were closelyexamined and data on health outcomes was collected. Tobey Hospital and other centersreceiving the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation agree to continue toshare information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data. “We are very proud to be named an ASBS Bariatric Surgery Center ofExcellence. Tobey Hospital offers a comprehensive program that exceeds standards bothpreoperatively and postoperatively,” said Rayford Kruger, MD, FACS, Gastric BypassProgram Director and a trained gastric bypass surgeon at Tobey Hospital. -more-
  2. 2. Tobey Hospital is recognized for high-quality care in bariatric surgeryPage 2 of 4February 1, 2007 “Gastric bypass surgery is a lifetime commitment. Our patients must attend a freeinformational session outlining the risks and benefits before being considered for theprogram and we require patients to lose approximately 10 to 15 percent of excess weightas part of the extensive preoperative teaching program,” Dr. Kruger said. “Patients arealso required to undergo medical counseling and engage in health and lifestyle practicesthat are designed to reduce co-morbidities to whatever extent possible. They must alsoattend post operative support groups and must be committed to long term postoperativemedical follow-up. This assures that our patients receive the most comprehensive andcomplete care that will promote long-term good health before and after the surgery.” According to a study released in July 2005 by the Agency for HealthcareResearch and Quality, the number of U.S. bariatric surgeries more than quadrupledbetween 1998 and 2002 from 13,386 to 71,733. Faced with clinical evidence that themost experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have by far the lowest rates ofcomplications, the ASBS Centers of Excellence program was created to “recognizebariatric surgery centers that perform well and to help surgeons and hospitals continue toimprove the quality and safety of care provided.” Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), an organization dedicated to pursuingsurgical excellence, formulates and establishes the rigorous standards with which TobeyHospital and other Centers of Excellence must comply. SRC thoroughly inspects andevaluates each candidate for designation and, upon review, recommends approval ofdesignation for those physicians and facilities whose practices and outcomes meet thestringent demands set forth by SRC for ASBS. Obesity has become a significant national health issue, with the U.S. Centers forDisease Control & Prevention (CDC) reporting that 64 percent of all U.S. adults areoverweight or obese. Morbid obesity is closely correlated with a number of seriousconditions that severely undermine the health of overweight patients, including heartdisease, high blood pressure and diabetes. -more-
  3. 3. Tobey Hospital is recognized for high-quality care in bariatric surgeryPage 3 of 4February 1, 2007 Bariatric surgery, when performed correctly, can help obese patients managethese conditions. By definition, surgeons with ASBS Center of Excellence designationspractice only top-quality care, ensuring efficacy of the procedure with each patient to thebest of their abilities. More information on the weight loss surgery program at Tobey can be found American Society for Bariatric Surgery As a pioneering organization, designating Centers of Excellence based on top-quality care and efficacious outcomes, the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, withthe help of SRC, is working to align the common interests of patients, surgeons, hospitalsand insurers, all of whom suffer when complications develop after surgical care. The American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) is the largest society for thisspecialty in the world. Founded in 1983, foremost American surgeons have formed thesociety’s leadership and have established an excellent organization with educational andsupport programs for surgeons and allied health professionals. The purpose of the societyis to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery by continued encouragement of itsmembers to: pursue investigations in both the clinic and the laboratory; interchange ideas,information and experience pertaining to bariatric surgery; promote guidelines for ethicalpatient selection and care; develop educational programs for physicians, paramedicalpersons, and lay people; and promote outcome studies and quality assurance. For moreinformation about ASBS, please visit Surgical Review Corporation Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) is an independent not-for-profit organizationdedicated to surgical excellence. SRC’s mission is to promote the delivery of surgicalcare with the highest levels of efficacy, efficiency, and safety possible. For moreinformation about SRC or to download a Center of Excellence application, please -more-
  4. 4. Tobey Hospital is recognized for high-quality care in bariatric surgeryPage 4 of 4February 1, 2007About Southcoast Health System Southcoast Health System, a not-for-profit charitable organization, is acommunity based health delivery system with multiple access points, offering anintegrated continuum of advanced health services throughout Southeastern Massachusettsand East Bay, Rhode Island. It includes Southcoast Hospitals Group, formed in 1996from the merger of Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Lukes Hospital in NewBedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham. Southcoast has more than 40 ancillary facilities, including the Southcoast HealthVan, home health care, hospice and infusion services, numerous outpatient medicalservices, an assisted living facility and a wellness center. For more information # # #