MVH Weight Loss Program Is Certified as a Center of Excellence


(June 21, 2018 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

People seeking surgical treatment for severe obesity and its related conditions have a high-quality choice for receiving treatment at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care. Monongahela Valley Hospital (MVH) has been accredited as a Low Acuity Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The MBSAQIP Standards, outlined in the Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2016 ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. The accredited center offers preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for their severely obese patients.

"At Monongahela Valley Hospital, our program is flexible and customized for each individual," said Hiram Gonzalez, M.D., director of the Hospital's Weight Control and Wellness Program. "Our multidisciplinary team of physicians, dietitians, physical therapists and exercise physiologists design personalized plans that include all aspects of weight loss - from nutrition counseling, and healthy cooking classes to physical activity plans."

MVH's commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and the leadership surgeons who participate in meetings throughout the year to review its outcomes. They seek continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center.

To earn the MBSAQIP designation, MVH met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity. The center also participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement.

"This accreditation is important because it formally acknowledges our commitment to providing and supporting a bariatric program that is dedicated to quality improvement and patient safety," said Louis J. Panza Jr., MVH's president and CEO.

After submitting an application, centers seeking MBSAQIP accreditation undergo an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon, who reviews the center's structure, process and clinical outcomes data. Centers are awarded a specific designation depending on the number of patients it serves annually and the type of procedures it provides.

In the United States, approximately 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health, and the numbers continue to increase. Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to severe obesity. Working with ASMBS, the ACS expanded this quality program for bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist bariatric patients in identifying those centers that provide optimal surgical care.

For more information about MVH's Bariatric Program, contact the office of Dr. Gonzalez at 724-929-4122 or visit www.monvalesp.com.

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