Roper St. Francis Bariatric Surgery and Medical Weight Loss has enhanced its national accreditation and become one of the first two programs in the country to earn a new designation covering both surgical and non-surgical treatment options.
The program at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital sought late last year to convert its accreditation with the American College of Surgeons as a Comprehensive Center to a Comprehensive Center with Obesity Medicine Qualifications. This accreditation is awarded in conjunction with the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP).
“This designation distinguishes our program both in the Lowcountry and in the state of South Carolina,” said Dr. Ken Mitchell, medical director of the bariatric program at Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “We want to make sure we have the best treatment available to our patients, and this demonstrates we are leading the country in our best practices for both surgical and non-surgical options.”
Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital is the only facility in the state with this kind of accreditation. The Comprehensive Center with Obesity Medicine Qualifications accreditation requires the hospital to perform more than 50 bariatric surgical procedures annually as well as meet certain standards, such as employing an obesity medicine director and offering obesity medicine services.
The hospital was able to seek the broader certification last year after adding Dr. John Cleek, medical director of the obesity medicine program, to its team. Dr. Cleek manages patients who elect a non-surgical weight loss program, which focuses on their overall health and wellness. This program includes a body composition analysis, a metabolic analysis and a one-on-one consultation to develop individualized care plans.
“Some of our patients are not interested in bariatric surgery, nor do they qualify,” said Dr. Cleek. “We also work with patients who have undergone bariatric surgery and have gained some weight afterward. We understand that treating the disease of obesity using a multidisciplinary approach allows our patients to be as successful as possible. Just like a cancer center has a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery, our designation confirms that we have the structure in place to treat every patient who struggles with their weight, regardless of how much weight they need to lose.”
Mitchell agreed, saying bringing Dr. Cleek on board meant the hospital’s program now offers the full spectrum of treatments for adults grappling with obesity at the highest possible national standard.
Anyone interested in learning more about RSFH bariatric services can go to: https://www.rsfh.com/bariatrics/