Lutheran Health Network Bariatric Center Designated a Center of Excellence

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Nov. 10, 2008) — Lutheran Health Network announced today that its bariatric center has been named a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The ASMBS Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.

"The commitment required by Dr. Dale Sloan and the entire bariatric center staff to obtain this designation is commendable," said Joe Dorko, CEO of Lutheran Hospital. "It clearly reflects our ongoing dedication to the health and well-being of area residents pursuing weight-loss options."

LHN's Bariatric Center, Key Bariatric Specialists and medical director Dale Sloan, M.D., were evaluated through a series of onsite inspections in order to earn a Center of Excellence designation. All aspects of the program's surgical processes were closely examined, and data on health outcomes was collected.

"The Center of Excellence designation reflects that this is a comprehensive program," said Michelle Vanstrom, a patient of LHN's Bariatric Center. "I'm impressed with how inclusive the education and support are before and after surgery. I've known what to expect every step of the way. Dr. Sloan and the entire staff definitely deserve this recognition."

Centers receiving the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation agree to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data.

"This designation reflects our commitment to a high level of bariatric care," said Dr. Sloan, a surgeon with Key Bariatric Specialists. "We provide the same excellent level of care offered in larger metropolitan markets and all of our multidisciplinary services are in one, centralized location.

"The process forces you to look critically at every aspect of patient care," continued Dr. Sloan. "The program is evaluated against specific benchmarks, resulting in best practices and therefore, the best outcomes for patients."

Surgical Review Corporation, an organization dedicated to pursuing surgical excellence, formulates and establishes the rigorous standards with which LHN Bariatric Center and other Centers of Excellence must comply. SRC 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 ASMBS.

Obesity has become a significant national health issue. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 66 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 can help obese patients manage these conditions. By definition, surgeons with ASMBS Center of Excellence designations practice only top-quality care. LHN Bariatric Center demonstrates the willingness to take the extra step by providing a team of specially trained physicians, nurses, nutritionists and psychiatric staff before and after surgery. The center also emphasizes pre- and post-operative education to ensure a safe, smooth course of treatment.

As a pioneering organization that designates Centers of Excellence based on top-quality care and efficacious outcomes, ASMBS, 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.

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About American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery 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. For more information about ASMBS, visit

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About LHN Bariatric Center
The LHN Bariatric Center, part of Lutheran Health Network, offers a comprehensive, medically supervised weight-loss program. The program serves northeastern Indiana, southern Michigan and northwestern Ohio. The program includes:

Visit to learn more.

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