ASMBS Foundation News and Update—May 2018

| May 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

by Rami E. Lutfi, MD, FACS, FASMBS

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago; Chairman of Surgery, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center; Director, Presence Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics

Funding: No funding was provided for this article.

Disclosures: The author has no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this article.

Bariatric Times. 2018;15(5):20.

As current president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Foundation, what are your main goals?

Dr. Lutfi: The foundation has a great history working side by side with the ASMBS to support access and education. Throughout the years, the generous donations from our members and industry partners have allowed us to continue our mission to the field.

The challenges facing healthcare are no secret. These challenges have affected our members and industry partners. They all have had negative impacts on our funds and might soon compromise our mission.

When I became the president of ASMBS Foundation, I looked at the great history and the current state of the foundation and decided it is time to look for new opportunities, and update our mission and vision.

My goal is to re-evaluate our structure and business plan according to the new social and economic era. I am looking to make a drastic increase in our funds by reaching out to major donors (nationally and internationally) and connecting better with our members.

To achieve that, I have hired consultants to help us re-examine the structure and finances of the society and “re-invent” ourselves.

I also have added many valuable members to our Executive Board. Each member is unique and serves a specific purpose. I believe the new board will gain the momentum (and the tools) needed to make a long-term plan that will excite our members.

Finally, fundraising has become a very sophisticated and often complex field. Historically, we tackled this mission alone. I’d like to hire a full-time fundraiser to help our surgeons and administrators with a more professional business plan with realistic goals and the proper tools to achieve them.

There are many programs that the foundation supports. Do you have specific ones on which you’d like to focus during your term as president?

Dr. Lutfi: At this time, my focus is not on any specific program but on a major re-make of our organization. We will, of course, continue working on the valuable current programs and initiatives that have been in place the last few years.

Of course, our Walk from Obesity program remains the most valuable series of events because it generates most of our funds. We will continue to concentrate on the walks at each state location. I’d like to connect with State Chapter Presidents to ensure we have a walk in each state. I’d like to work with our administrators to reach groups outside the specific sponsoring program and their patients. These walks should be advertised to everyone in the community who suffers from obesity, as well as those who are passionate about our cause. Additionally, through the professional fundraiser, I plan to expand our reach to prior patients and major donors, as well as international entities who might be interested in making major donations. 

I plan to announce many changes soon. I am hoping we can present a new and exciting foundation to our members, reaching each member and patient with a compelling message that will encourage them to give to our cause. What we do is very valuable. Stay tuned!

What do you see the foundation looking like in the future?

Dr. Lutfi: We are treating a dangerous, costly, and chronic disease that negatively affects many different aspects of our patients’ lives, beyond physiologic health. Through bariatric surgery and a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of obesity, we can positively affect multiple components of the well-being in our patients. In the near future, I see the ASMBS forming many relationships with a diverse group of entities that support our fight against obesity. I see our society being nationally recognized for all the great work we do.

Moving forward, the ASMBS Foundation will have a clear message that is communicated universally to individuals, organizations, and businesses who are passionate about ending obesity and educating the public about healthy living.

To achieve this future, we need to build a reliable support network of outside entities with which we can collaborate in mutually beneficial ways. We must build a robust and active board and have a dedicated staff who are guided by professionals experienced in fundraising—this will ensure our viability in these challenging and uncertain times.


Category: ASMBS Foundation News and Update, Past Articles

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