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UPMC Jameson Receives National Accreditation for Outstanding Bariatrics Care

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Lisa Lombardo
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PITTSBURGH – Patients seeking surgical treatment for severe obesity and its related conditions now have a choice for receiving treatment at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care in the New Castle, Pennsylvania area. 


The UPMC Jameson Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery Center has been accredited as a Comprehensive 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 ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. UPMC Jameson offers preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for severely obese patients.


“UPMC Jameson offers a high-quality bariatric program in a community setting,” said Christopher J. Myers, M.D., bariatric surgeon at UPMC Jameson. “We have great relationships with our clinical partners including psychologists and an on-site bariatric nutritionist, whose services patients can use for years following their surgery, making our program full-circle. Now that patients have a nationally certified program close to home, they will no longer have to travel for bariatric services.”


UPMC Jameson’s commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and the leadership of a high-caliber surgeon who participate in interdisciplinary meetings throughout the year to review patient outcomes and progress. 


To earn the accreditation, UPMC Jameson 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. 


“UPMC Jameson’s Bariatric Center is a collaborative effort involving multiple divisions within the entire hospital,” said Jackie Walker, R.N., outpatient bariatric nurse coordinator, UPMC Jameson Bariatrics. “Beginning with Emergency Department staff who must be familiar with how to care for bariatric patients, to our nurses who must have the proper equipment such as larger blood pressure cuffs, everyone must know how to best take care of our patients.”   


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 how many patients it serves annually, the type of procedures it provides, and whether it provides care for patients under age 18. 


In the United States, around 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health, and the numbers continue to rise. 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.