First Bariatric Allied Health Symposium: Overview of Obesity and Bariatric Surgery

| December 23, 2010 | 0 Comments

First Bariatric Allied Health Symposium: Overview of Obesity and Bariatric Surgery
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, July 16–17, 2010

by Jacqueline McCartney, RN, RM, CNOR, CBN, and Angelica Garcia, CST
Author Affiliation: Ms. McCartney is the Bariatric Coordinator, Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Operating Room, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, Florida. Ms. Garcia is the Surgical Technician, Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Operating Room, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, Florida.

Bariatric Times. 2010;7(12):12

Being a multidisciplinary field, bariatrics involves the expertise of professionals who, every so often, need to collaborate, share ideas, and focus directly on evidenced-based practice to improve their knowledge and make them as effective as possible in caring for patients. That was the idea behind the Bariatric Allied Health Symposium: Overview of Obesity and Bariatric Surgery, hosted by Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, Florida.

The Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Cleveland Clinic Florida was the first hospital-based weight loss surgery program in Florida to earn Level 1 accreditation from the  Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program in 2007. The institute is also accredited as a Center of Excellence (COE) by the Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). In 2010, the Institute was reaccredited by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Cleveland Clinic Florida has met the essential criteria ensuring that it is fully capable of supporting a bariatric surgery care program and that its institutional performance meets the requirements outlined by the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program.
The Allied Health Course was held at the Sheraton Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale on July 16–17, 2010. We had envisioned an attendance of approximately 60 people, which was surpassed by an attendance of 120 people. Attendees came from all over the world, as far as Colombia and Jamaica, to hear about the unique model of medicine that promotes excellence in healthcare and is practiced by the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute of Cleveland Clinic Florida.

The program began with opening remarks by Bev Capasso, Chief Administrative Officer, Cleveland Clinic Florida, and a welcome by Marylou Schreiner, Director of Surgical Services, Operating Room, Cleveland Clinic Florida. The two-day program brought together faculty with a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, nurses, psychologists, registered dieticians, scrub technicians, and insurance specialists. Presenters covered morbid obesity, comorbid conditions, and preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care associated with surgical intervention.

The invited faculty included Scott Shikora, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Chief, Division of Surgery, Chief Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery, and past President of the ASMBS. Dr. Shikora gave a presentation titled “Who is a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?” Dr. Cynthia Buffington, PhD, from The Metabolic Medicine and Surgery Institute, Florida Hospital Celebration Health, shared her knowledge in her presentation, “The Biology of Obesity Progression and Weight Loss.”  Nathan Zundel, MD, Professor of Surgery, Florida International University College of Medicine, presented, “New Technologies in Bariatric Surgery,” and David Podkameni, MD, FACS, spoke about the ever-increasing problem of childhood obesity in the United States. The presentations evoked discussion and audience participation. Attendees who were just getting involved in bariatric surgery and those already involved in programs expressed great appreciation for the information they received and were anxious to share this new information with colleagues and coworkers who were not able to attend the meeting.

During the Welcome Reception on Friday night, Raul Rosenthal, MD, FACS, FASMBS, Chairman, Section of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, Cleveland Clinic Florida, and Samuel Szomstein, MD, Associate Director, Bariatric and Metabolic Institute Cleveland Clinic Florida, were recognized for their tremendous assistance in organizing the course.

An exhibit hall housed product displays of the latest technological advances and hands-on demonstrations of products and services offered by companies in the industry.

The program was a tremendous success and all of the evaluations called for more of the same; hence we have been inspired and intend to make this an annual event. The location of next year’s meeting will be announced sometime in January 2011 on the Cleveland Clinic Florida’s website,

Pictures from the meeting

Category: Past Articles, Symposium Synopsis

Leave a Reply