Dr. Thomas Smith, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Director at Avita Health System, announced today that the Avita Center for Bariatric Surgery at Galion Hospital has been accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint Quality Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

“This accreditation shows the level of commitment that Avita and its staff has to the care and well-being of bariatric patients in our area,” explained Dr. Smith. “It ensures we strive to exceed all expectations from the patient’s first visit to their surgery and throughout their weight-loss journey. From state-of-the-art technology to good old love and compassion, Avita is leading the way in bariatric care.”

The MBSAQIP Standards, Optimal Resources for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, ensure that metabolic and bariatric patients receive multidisciplinary medical care, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. MBSAQIP-Accredited centers offer preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for patients with obesity. Avita’s commitment to quality care begins with expertly-trained staff and the leadership of an experienced bariatric surgeon.

Dr. Smith has performed over 1,000 weight loss surgeries during his career and is fellowship-trained on robotic-assisted surgical techniques that may reduce pain, scarring, and often result in shorter recovery times. As of Sept. 1, he is joined by bariatric surgeon Dr. Justin Eagleston.

To earn MBSAQIP Accreditation, the Avita Center for Bariatric Surgery met essential criteria for staffing, training, facility infrastructure, and patient care pathways, ensuring its ability to support patients with obesity. The center also participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its surgical outcomes and identifying opportunities for quality improvement. The MBSAQIP Standards, Optimal Resources for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, arepublished by the ACS and the ASMBS.

“We’re invested in the health of our communities,” said Jerry Morasko, President/CEO of Avita Health System. “We started our bariatric program 6 years ago after obesity was indicated as a major health concern in Crawford and Richland counties. In 2021, we purchased our second robot, the da Vinci Xi, to offer robotic-assisted weight-loss surgery. That same year our bariatric program at Ontario Hospital earned accreditation and now Galion Hospital has joined. We’re proud that Dr. Smith and his team have met the rigorous standards to earn this distinction at both hospitals.”

After applying for MBSAQIP Accreditation, the Avita Center for Bariatric Surgery had to undergo an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon who reviews the center’s structure, processes, and clinical outcomes data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 93 million adults in the United States are affected by obesity and that number continues to increase. The disease of 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, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, among other health risks. Metabolic and bariatric surgery has proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to obesity.*

Working together, the ACS and the ASMBS have developed accreditation standards for metabolic and bariatric surgery to assist patients with obesity in identifying centers that provide optimal patient care.

Individuals interested in weight loss surgery can make an appointment at the Avita Center for Bariatric Surgery in Galion or Ontario by calling Dr. Smith at 419-462-3839 or Dr. Eagleston at 567-307-7854.

*Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2004;292(14):1724-1737. DOI:10.1001/jama.292.14.1724.

Source, Photo: Avita Health System