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World’s First “Adolescent Center of Excellence for Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery”

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by Our Team

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) has been designated as the first Adolescent Center of Excellence for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery in the world, by the international Surgical Review Corporation.The designation recognizes that BMSCH and its surgeons are providing exceptional care and are dedicated to continuously improving patient safety and success.
bariatrics designation Dr Sadek_KBrennan_10
Qualifications that adolescents must meet in order to be considered for these surgeries include having a BMI of 50 or more, or having a BMI of 40 with physical and emotional obesity-associated problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety, joint pain, asthma, fatty liver and more. In order to be eligible for surgery, adolescents also must have reached skeletal maturity, have documentation of at least one physician-supervised diet plan in the past five years or participated in the Healthy Challenge weight awareness program, have no uncontrolled psychiatric illness, no history of drug or alcohol abuse within the past year, and must be committed to participating in the post-operative exercise and support programs.

Through the program, BMSCH and RWJUH help patients to achieve their health goals through pre-operative preparation, multi-disciplinary evaluation, nutrition education, bariatric-specific support group topics, lifetime follow-up, exercise programs and encouragement at every avenue of their progressing journey to help patients perceive, believe and achieve their health and weight loss goals. Designation as a Center of Excellence supports the hospital’s longstanding commitment to exceeding the highest standards and protocols by providing safe and lasting care to its bariatric patients in an environment that is dedicated to their comfort and dignity, every step of the way.

In order to be named the world’s first Adolescent Center of Excellence for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, BMSCH met vigorous standards set in place by the Surgical Review Corporation. Requirements include: an institutional commitment to excellence, surgical experience of performing at least 80 qualifying bariatric surgery procedures in the preceding 12 months, a program medical director of bariatric surgery, an assistant medical director of pediatrics, an assistant medical director of pediatric surgery, interdisciplinary team, a full complement of consultative services, complete line of equipment and surgical instruments to provide appropriate perioperative care for patients, proper surgeon qualifications and a commitment to ongoing medical education, a surgical team and support staff, patient education and support programs, and a long-term patient follow-up program to consistently monitor and track outcomes, complications and comorbidities for bariatric surgery patients.

BMSCH’s program only allows a surgeon of excellence (SOEMBS), as designated by the Surgical Review Board, to perform surgery on its adolescent patients. A surgeon of excellence ‘has performed at least 125 qualifying bariatric surgery procedures in his or her lifetime, with at least 50 cases performed in the preceding 12 months’ and exceeds the national benchmarks for complications.

“This designation reinforces the quality of our program and our dedication to achieving the highest level of patient care and outcomes,” said Ragui Sadek (pictured right), M.D., FACS, SOEMBS Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at BMSCH. “The Center of Excellence designation allows patients the ability to identify providers that meet and exceed the requirements for delivering the highest quality perioperative and long-term follow up care, so they can make informed decisions when selecting a healthcare provider for specialized treatments and procedures, like bariatric surgery. Our bariatric program treats patients form across the globe, helping them achieve health and wellbeing.”

“Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital perform as the premier hospital havens for the adult and adolescent bariatric population to obtain safe, comfortable and effective medical care,” said Kimberly Brennan (pictured right) RN, BSN, CBN and Bariatric Center of Excellence Program Coordinator at RWJUH and BMSCH. “Earning this designation took a lot of hard work and dedication, but it is something we are extremely proud of, as we are the first and only in the world. Bariatric surgery can dramatically improve the quality of life for patients with obesity, both physically and mentally, and helps them live longer, happier and healthier lives. We have a dedicated interdisciplinary team who understand our patients and create tailored weight loss programs and treatment plans to meet their unique needs.”

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a 965-bed academic medical center with campuses in New Brunswick and Somerville, N.J.  Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, joint replacement, and women’s and children’s care, including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJUH.  As the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, RWJUH is an innovative leader in advancing state-of-the-art care.
A Level I Trauma Center and the only Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.

RWJUH has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report seven times and has been selected by the publication as a high performing hospital in numerous specialties.  The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years.

Both the New Brunswick and Somerset campuses have earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence and “Most Wired” designation by Hospitals and Health Networks magazine. The Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services have designated the New Brunswick Campus as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and the Somerset Campus as a Primary Stroke Center.

The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH New Brunswick among the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers and designated the Steeplechase Cancer Center at RWJUH Somerset as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center.  The Joint Surgery Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total knee and total hip replacement surgery.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is ranked no. 19 in Diversity MBA Magazine’s 2015 rankings for “50 Out Front Companies for Diversity Leadership: Best Places for Women & Diverse Managers to Work” and also is recognized by the magazine in its “Top 10 Best in Class: Succession Planning and Accountability.”


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