This column is dedicated to sharing the vast knowledge and opinions of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery leadership on relevant topics in the field of bariatric surgery.
This Month’s Interview with: John M. Morton, MD, MPH, FACS, FASMBS, Chief of the Section of Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery, , Stanford University, Stanford, California, and Presient-Elect of ASMBS
This month’s topic: The First Annual National Obesity Collaborative Care Summit
September 19 and 20, 2014 . JW Marriott, Chicago, Illinois
Bariatric Times. 2014;11(9):8–9.
Dr. Rosenthal: Dr. Morton, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about the First Annual National Obesity Collaborative Care Summit. How did the idea for this meeting come about and what are its main objectives?
Dr. Morton: The Obesity Summit, which will take place September 19 and 20, 2014 at the JW Marriott in Chicago, Illinois, will bring together the leading stakeholders in the care of the obese patient in order to discuss optimal, coordinated, and effective care for this patient population. It is about finding a way to work together to solve obesity, which is the country’s biggest health problem. The Summit is the first unique opportunity for thought leaders across multiple disciplines (e.g., endocrinology, cardiology) to interact and discuss this problem. We hope that the meeting will result in the development of a bill of rights for the obese patient and guidelines that all healthcare providers can use in treatment.
The idea and organization for the Summit was a team effort. Dr. Ninh Nguyen and I saw a need for such an event given the current landscape of the problem. Obesity is a huge health problem and solving it requires us to have all hands on deck. There has been emphasis placed on prevention of obesity and not enough on treatment. There are many important considerations in treating patients, such as timing of therapy and the option of surgery, and there is a gap in knowledge about treatment throughout other disciplines. The Summit will discuss how we can get patients the care they deserve.
Dr. Rosenthal: What kind of response have you received from invited societies and thought leaders?
Dr. Morton: The response has been extremely good. We have about 20 different societies participating, including the American Heart Association (AHA), American Diabetic Association (ADA), American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). We hope that bringing everyone together will help raise awareness and set a blueprint for care of the obese patient. With the American Medical Association’s recent declaration of obesity as a disease, it is time for us to come together.
Dr. Rosenthal: What impact has recent clinical studies[1,2] had on the healthcare community’s perception of obesity and patients with obesity? Have their results reached the public?
Dr. Morton: While these clinical trials and their results are well known among those in the bariatric community, they have not touched other disciplines enough to cause a change in perception of the disease. There is still a lack of understanding among the healthcare community and the general public. We have to get the word out and close these knowledge gaps. We need to find out why there is either reluctance or embracement of obesity treatment across disciplines. One objective of the Summit is to delineate a needs assessment for the provision of care for patients with obesity. This will help us to determine where obesity knowledge and treatment gaps exist. These assessments will be disseminated and utilized to steer discussion during the event.
Dr. Rosenthal: Will the Obesity Summit become an annual event?
Dr. Morton: It is our hope that this will become an annual event. It will take a long time to solve the obesity problem and we are just getting started. Making this an enduring event will ensure that we come closer to a solution.
1. Schauer PR, Bhatt DL, Kirwan JP, et al. Bariatric surgery versus intensive medical therapy for diabetes—3-year outcomes. N Engl J Med. 2014;370(21):2002–2013.
2. Mingrone G1, Panunzi S, De Gaetano A, et al. Bariatric surgery versus conventional medical therapy for type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2012;366(17):1577–1585.
Funding: No funding was provided in the preparation of this manuscript.
Financial disclosures: The author reports no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this article.