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Thursday, December 14, 2006 - SJH Regional Medical Center Recognized for High-Quality Care
SJH Regional Medical Center Recognized for High-Quality Care in Bariatric Surgery The ASBS Designates the hospital as a Center of Excellence
 
VINELAND, NJ (December 14) – South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center has been named an American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. The ASBS Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery. 
 
According to a study released in July 2005 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the number of U.S. bariatric surgeries more than quadrupled between 1998 and 2002 – from 13,386 to 71,733. Faced with clinical evidence that the most experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have by far the lowest rates of complications, the ASBS Centers of Excellence program was created to recognize bariatric surgery centers that perform well and to help surgeons and hospitals continue to improve the quality and safety of care provided. 
 
To earn a Center of Excellence designation, the SJH Regional Medical Center underwent a series of site inspections during which all aspects of the program’s surgical processes were closely examined and data on health outcomes was collected. SJH and other centers receiving the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation agree to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data. 
 
“We’re extremely pleased to be able to offer this level of program to people in our region,” said Dr. Condapuram Pasupathy, a surgeon on staff at SJH. “This honor shows that we not only perform bariatric surgery, but we also support our patients mentally and physically throughout the whole experience.” 
 
Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), an organization dedicated to pursuing surgical excellence, formulates and establishes the rigorous standards with which SJH Regional Medical Center and other Centers of Excellence must comply, thoroughly inspects and evaluates each candidate for designation, and upon review recommends approval of designation for those physicians and facilities whose practices and outcomes meet the stringent demands set forth by SRC for ASBS. 
 
Obesity has become a significant national health issue, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that 64 percent of all U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Morbid obesity is closely correlated with a number of serious conditions that severely undermine the health of overweight patients, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
 
Bariatric surgery, when performed correctly, can help obese patients manage these conditions. By definition, surgeons with ASBS Center of Excellence designations practice only top-quality care, ensuring efficacy of the procedure with each patient to the best of their abilities. At SJH, bariatric surgeons demonstrate this willingness to take the extra step by providing timely procedures of the highest clinical quality, offering convenient access to support services including nutritional screenings and support groups and treating every patient with dignity and respect. 
 
“Gastric bypass surgery is a complex and challenging procedure, but often, it’s the only effective therapy for patients with morbid obesity and its complications,” said Dr. Pasupathy. “However, safe weight loss through surgery also requires a strong commitment from the patient and the team of medical experts providing care.” 
 
As a pioneering organization, designating Centers of Excellence based on top quality care and efficacious outcomes, the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, with the help of SRC, is working to align the common interests of patients, surgeons, hospitals and insurers, all of whom suffer when complications develop after surgical care. 
 
About American Society for Bariatric Surgery
The American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) is the largest society for this specialty in the world. Founded in 1983, foremost American surgeons have formed the society’s leadership and have established an excellent organization with educational and support programs for surgeons and allied health professionals. The purpose of the society is to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery by continued encouragement of its  members to: pursue investigations in both the clinic and the laboratory; interchange ideas, information and experience pertaining to bariatric surgery; promote guidelines for ethical patient selection and care; develop educational programs for physicians, paramedical persons, and lay people; and promote outcome studies and quality assurance. 
 
About Surgical Review Corporation
Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to surgical excellence. SRC’s mission is to promote the delivery of surgical care with the highest levels of efficacy, efficiency, and safety possible. For more information about SRC or to download a Center of Excellence application, please visit www.surgicalreview.org
 
About South Jersey Healthcare
SJH is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of health services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and health care needs of Southern New Jersey residents.