Valley Baptist-Harlingen Weight Loss Program Receives Certification from National Organization

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Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen becomes accredited as a “Comprehensive Center” in fight against obesity

Mega Doctor News

Harlingen – The battle against obesity in the Rio Grande Valley received a boost with the accreditation of a local weight loss program at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen as a “Comprehensive Center” by a national organization, the American College of Surgeons.

The Valley Baptist-Harlingen Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program received the accreditation award through the “Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program,” sponsored by the American College of Surgeons, which is based in Chicago, in partnership with the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.

Manny Vela
Manny Vela

Manny Vela, Chief Executive Officer for Valley Baptist Health System, said VBMC-Harlingen is dedicated to addressing significant health concerns in the community, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

“We are very proud of the Valley Baptist-Harlingen Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program being named a Comprehensive Center by the American College of Surgeons,” Vela said. “Quality patient care is foremost in all that we do at Valley Baptist Health System.”

Dr. David Provost
Dr. David Provost

In a letter from Dr. David Provost, Subcommittee Co-chair for the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, the Valley Baptist-Harlingen Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program was commended for its efforts related to patient safety and patient-centered care.

“A Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program accreditation for Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen formally acknowledges your commitment to providing and supporting quality improvement and patient safety efforts for metabolic and bariatric surgery patients,” said Provost. “As an accredited program, you have demonstrated that your center meets the needs of your patients by providing multidisciplinary, high-quality, and patient-centered care.”

Dr. Ashraf Hilmy
Dr. Ashraf Hilmy

Dr. Ashraf Hilmy, a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program Verified surgeon, said the recent certification demonstrates the program’s commitment to helping local residents tackle their struggles with obesity, which can ultimately help them live healthier, more fulfilling lives.

“At the Valley Baptist-Harlingen Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program, we have many years of experience in helping patients in their efforts to make the lifestyle changes necessary to lose weight and live healthier lives,” he said. “We have enjoyed success stories and have built long-lasting relationships with a number of our patients by being with them through their weight loss journeys.”

To earn the Comprehensive Center designation from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, the Valley Baptist-Harlingen Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program met various criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity.

In addition to meeting the criteria, the Valley Baptist-Harlingen Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program underwent an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon who reviewed the center’s structure, process, and clinical outcomes data.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the United States suffer from obesity, and Hispanics have the second highest age-adjusted rates of obesity at more than 42 percent.

Obesity is a risk factor in many serious and life-threatening illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

The Valley Baptist-Harlingen Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program offers two different surgical weight-loss procedures. Each has specific risks and benefits, and the program’s staff and doctors will review those risks and benefits with each patient to help choose the appropriate course of treatment.

Dr. Carlos Barba
Dr. Carlos Barba

Dr. Carlos Barba, a surgeon who works with the staff of the Valley Baptist-Harlingen Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program, said that surgical weight loss patients who dedicate themselves to the lifelong commitment of weight loss can in many cases significantly improve their health.

“In many cases, gastric bypass surgery can be the most effective long-term tool for weight loss and resolution of medical problems associated with obesity and associated diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, arthritis, acid reflux, and more,” he said.

One procedure is the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, which involves removing between 60 and 80 percent of the stomach. The remaining portion of the stomach looks like a small tube, or sleeve. A smaller stomach can lead to less consumption of food, and that, along with a slower digestive process, can lead to weight loss.

The other procedure is the Laparoscopic gastric bypass. This surgery creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach, and in addition the small bowel is divided. The biliopancreatic limb is reattached to your small bowel on one end, and the other is connected to the pouch, creating what’s called a Roux limb. The pouch releases food slowly, so the patient feels full after eating very little food.

Dr. Vijian Dhevan
Dr. Vijian Dhevan

Dr. Vijian Dhevan, a surgeon who treats patients with the Valley Baptist-Harlingen Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program, said that for patients making such a serious commitment to their health, the recent certification should demonstrate the program’s commitment to providing quality healthcare.

“The certification of the Valley Baptist-Harlingen Surgical and Medical Weight Loss Program as a Comprehensive Center indicates the level of attention to detail and the high-quality healthcare that we provide our patients,” he said.

For more information about surgical weight loss options, contact your physician and visit www.ValleyBaptist.net/medical-services/surgical-and-medical-weight-loss.