St. Mary Medical Center Receives Level 1 Accreditation from the ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network

By: St. Mary Medical Center Last Updated: April 24, 2013

Healthy-4-Life-Level-1St. Mary Medical Center’s Healthy 4 Life bariatric surgery program has earned accreditation as a Level 1 facility by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This designation means that Healthy 4 Life at St. Mary Medical Center has met the essential criteria and has committed resources to provide complete bariatric surgical care and that its institutional performance meets the requirements outlined by the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program.

As an Accredited Level 1 Center, St. Mary Medical Center has demonstrated the capacity and resources to provide high-volume, bariatric surgical care, and can manage the most challenging and complex patients. Accredited Level 1 hospitals, such as St. Mary Medical Center, have worked with patients at all levels of obesity, and set standards of care for weight-loss operations, comorbid conditions, and re-operations.

I am proud of the designation which establishes us as a center of excellence and is a recognition of the hard work and commitment our team has made to provide quality, compassionate care to our patients and to better serve our community,” said Janice Ryba, CEO, St. Mary Medical Center. “Our Center of Excellence designation, one of the few in the area, represents the strong commitment our hospital has made to providing great care to our bariatric patients.

MBSAQIPThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has also recognized Healthy 4 Life at St. Mary Medical Center allowing expanded Medicare coverage of bariatric surgery for beneficiaries of all ages who have been diagnosed with other health problems associated with obesity. Medicare coverage has been limited to procedures performed in facilities certified by the American College of Surgeons or the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.

To achieve accreditation, hospitals must undergo an on-site verification by experienced bariatric surgeons, who review the center’s structure, process, and quality of data using the current ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program Manual as a guideline in conducting the survey. Because high-quality surgical care requires documentation using reliable measurements of outcomes, accredited bariatric surgery centers are required to report their bariatric surgery outcomes data either to the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) or the College’s BSCN Database, using a Web-based data entry system.

In the United States, more than 11 million people suffer from severe obesity, and the numbers continue to increase. 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. Currently, studies indicate that weight-loss surgery provides the most effective, lasting relief from severe obesity. Therefore, the ACS believes it is of utmost importance to extend its quality initiatives to accrediting bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist the public in identifying those facilities that provide optimal surgical care for patients who undergo this surgical procedure.

Healthy 4 Life program at St. Mary Medical Center offers convenient access to comprehensive medical and surgical weight loss services necessary for long-term success. Board-certified bariatric surgeons and an Internal Medicine physician fellowship-trained in obesity medicine and nutrition support, work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team of health professionals. Together, they have combined experience of helping nearly 2,500 patients, more than any other surgical group in Northwest Indiana. For more information visit online at, call toll free, 1-866-224-2059 to attend one of their free seminars.

Photo: The Healthy 4 Life Center team at St. Mary Medical Center has earned accreditation as a center of excellence for bariatric surgery. Pictured from L-R: Holly E. Raimondi, PA-C; Omar Shamsi, MD; Kathryn Lipari, RD, CD; Deb Pillarella, M.Ed; Laurie Edwards, RN, BSN, CBN; Michele L. Stanley; Anna Farmer, RN, MS, NP-C; Lisa Almaraz, RN, ASN, CBN; Lorri S. Field RN, BSN, MBA; Jose Madrigal, MS, ATC; Paul Stanish, MD, medical director; Hung Dang, DO, co-medical director; Elizabeth Mavrelis, LCSW.