HMH Jersey Shore’s weight loss program is N.J.’s 1st comprehensive center with adolescent, obesity medicine qualifications

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Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s bariatric surgery center is the first in the state to be accredited as a Comprehensive Center with Adolescent and Obesity Medicine Qualifications by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, a joint Quality Program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 93 million adults in the U.S. are affected by obesity, and that number continues to increase. In 2020, the obesity prevalence rate among New Jersey adults was 28.6%, compared with 32.2% for U.S. adults, and obesity has more than tripled among children and adolescents in the state since the 1970s.

“Obesity increases the risk of people acquiring diseases and other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cancer, among other health risks,” Dr. Seth Kipnis, director of bariatric and robotic surgery, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, said. “These conditions can lead to an early death. Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality care, whether surgical or medical, so that adult and adolescent patients lose weight safely and improve their well-being.”

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.

“I’m happy to see the weight loss program at Jersey Shore achieve this comprehensive accreditation, a first for our state,” Robert Garrett, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health, said. “Our network continues to advance health care across New Jersey, thanks to the dedication and expertise of clinicians throughout our network.”

Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune’s commitment to quality care begins with expertly trained staff and the leadership of an experienced bariatric surgeon. The program is tasked with continuously reviewing surgical data as they continue improving the structure and outcomes expertise necessary to provide safe, efficacious and high-quality care to all metabolic and bariatric patients.

After applying for MBSAQIP accreditation, centers undergo an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon who reviews the center’s structure, processes and clinical outcomes data. Centers that earn accreditation are awarded a specific designation level, depending on how many patients they serve annually, critical care capabilities, the types of procedures provided and whether they provide care to patients under the age of 18.

“This accreditation, a first for New Jersey, adds to the long list of high-quality accreditations and accolades Jersey Shore has achieved this year, including being named one of Healthgrades’ America’s 250 Best Hospitals,” Dr. Kenneth Sable, regional president, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health, said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the weight loss program’s team.”