News and Trends—September 2015

| September 1, 2015

ObesityWeek 2015 keynote speakers announced
Don’t miss exciting presentations from this year’s ObesityWeek keynote speakers—Dr. Loel S. Solomon and Professor Jan Nedergaard.
•    What: Public Health Keynote Speaker
•    When: Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 8 am PST
•    Who: Loel Solomon, PhD, MPP

Dr. Solomon joined Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit Program in 2003 and serves as Vice President for Community Health. In this position, Dr. Solomon works with health plan and medical group leaders to establish the strategic direction for Kaiser Permanente’s multi-faceted approach to prevention and community health and develops national partnerships to advance those ends.

•    What: Basic Science Keynote Speaker
•    When: Friday, November 6, 2015, 11 am PST
•    Who: Jan Nedergaard, PhD

Dr. Nedergaard is a professor in physiology at the Wenner-Gren Institute of Stockholm University. His research focuses on how brown adipose tissue affects regulation of energy expenditure and thermogenesis. He has been working in the field of brown adipose tissue for 40 years.

Register for ObesityWeek 2015 at

Through Telementoring, Surgeons Can “Have Each Others Back” and Adopt New Techniques Into Clinical Practice
Los Angeles, California—Technological advances in the field of medicine have revolutionized surgical care over the past several decades. With access to minimally invasive surgery, today a patient may leave the hospital the same day, or in a few days, and return to normal activities much sooner than was previously the case. Through telementoring, doctors across the country are training each other in their own operating rooms from a distance using the latest in digital technology, resulting in more proficiency with minimally invasive surgical techniques and improved patient care overall.

Some of the world’s leading surgeons and experts in telemedicine gathered at the SAGES’ Project 6 Summit, August 20–22, 2015, at the Hotel Palomar in Los Angeles, to discuss best practices in telementoring and to strategize recommendations for future directions in the field that aim to accelerate the rate at which less invasive surgery will be available to patients.

“In the military, ‘got your six’ means ‘I’ve got your back,’ and that’s how we view telementoring,” says Dr. Brian Dunkin, President of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and Head of Endoscopic Surgery and Medical Director at the Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education (MITIE). “Today’s technology allows us to virtually stand side-by side in support of our fellow surgeons and patients in the operating room,” said. Dr. Dunkin who has been telementoring colleagues for the past several years at MITIE.
A quality initiative for the practicing surgeon, telementoring requires three essential elements. First, there should be an established relationship between the mentor and the mentee and the skills and knowledge of both understood through a prior relationship. Second, the telementoring should occur within an educational framework with which both the mentor and mentee are familiar in order to prepare both parties for the mentoring experience. Finally, telementoring is done with a competent mentee. This means that the mentee is completely capable of managing the patient’s disease as if the mentor were not there—just with a different technique or using a different technology. The mentoring session is to help adopt a new technique or technology into clinical practice, but always with a safe fall back plan if anyone is uncomfortable with how the procedure is progressing.

After attending a laparoscopic colon surgery course last year at MITIE, Dar Kavouspour, MD, a general and trauma surgeon at CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, Texas, has since performed several seven laparoscopic colon surgeries while being telementored by Dr. Dunkin and his expert colleagues.

“Prior to attending the course, I had performed a few laparoscopic colon surgeries, but was not yet comfortable performing the procedure,” Kavouspour explained. “After joining MITIE’s training program, I’m definitely more at ease with doing the surgery laparoscopically, and part of that comfort is because I know I have an expert virtually present in the operating room to support me. Telementoring is the wave of the future, and my patients are already reaping the benefits of this minimally invasive surgery.”
For more information about SAGES’ Project 6 Summit, visit

About SAGES. The mission of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is to improve quality patient care through education, research, innovation and leadership, principally in gastrointestinal and endoscopic surgery. SAGES is a leading surgical society, representing a worldwide community of over 6,000 surgeons that can bring minimal access surgery, endoscopy and emerging techniques to patients worldwide. The organization sets the clinical and educational guidelines on standards of practice in various procedures, critical to enhancing patient safety and health.

SAGES Fundamentals Testing Now Available at American college of surgeons Clinical congress
Los Angeles, California—The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is excited to announce that Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery™ (FES™), Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery™ (FLS™) and Fundamental Use of Surgical Energy (FUSE) test appointments are now available at the 2015 ACS Clinical Congress.

Fundamentals testing will take place at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois, during the following dates and times:
•    Monday, October 5th: 1pm–5pm
•    Tuesday, October 6th: 8am–5pm
•    Wednesday, October 7th: 8am–5pm
•    Thursday, October 8th: 8am–12pm

For more information, or to purchase your test voucher and schedule your appointment, please visit the following:
•    For FES:
•    For FLS:
•    For FUSE*:
*Participants who take the FUSE Exam at ACS will be eligible to receive a FREE USB!

Record Number of Physicians Seek American Board of Obesity Medicine Certification
Denver, Colorado—A record number of physicians applied to take the 2015 American Board of Obesity Medicine certification exam, recognizing doctors for their expertise in treating obesity and overweight. In total, 542 physicians applied to sit for the test that will be given December 5–12, 2015, at computer-based testing centers throughout the United States and Canada. The total number of applicants represents a 27-percent increase from 2014. Over the past two years, 965 doctors have applied to sit for the ABOM exam.

“We are greatly encouraged by the growing interest from doctors who are looking to become certified as obesity medicine specialists,” said ABOM Board Chair Robert Kushner, MD. “This is a clear sign that there is a commitment to treat obesity from the medical community.”

The 2015 candidates represent more than a dozen medical specialties including internal medicine (34%), family medicine (29%), endocrinology (6%), pediatrics (6%), and ob/gyn (5%).

“These numbers illustrate that doctors from diverse backgrounds are recognizing the need to educate themselves about the evidence-based treatment options available to their patients,” said ABOM Executive Director Dana Brittan.

The ABOM began overseeing the certification process for obesity medicine physicians in 2011. Today, there are nearly 1,200 certified obesity medicine specialists throughout the United States and Canada.

About the OAC. The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong National non-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support.

Obesity Action Coalition’s 4th Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention Empowers Attendees and Paves the Way For Future Activism.
Tampa, Florida—The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) welcomed 575 registrants to the Lone Star State for three full days of education, advocacy and support. In its fourth year, the Your Weight Matters National Convention empowered those in attendance to recognize the complexities of obesity and stand with the OAC.

The theme for YWM2015, Our Journey—Restore. Refresh. Renew., quickly became apparent as attendees from throughout the United States bonded as a united voice and realized that they are not alone in the journey of weight and health. With a strong educational foundation delivered by some of the leading healthcare professionals in the nation, registrants armed themselves with the necessary evidence-based information to not only improve their weight and health, but also to move forward with the OAC in raising awareness of obesity, combating weight bias, advocating for access to care and much more.

“This was a very special Convention as we had the exciting opportunity to celebrate the OAC’s 10 Year Anniversary during the meeting. While we’ve seen tremendous growth as an organization, Convention really exemplifies the conduit for individuals to connect with each other, learn and take action,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

In partnership with the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, the OAC also opened its doors for free on the Saturday of Convention to all local residents. From visiting more than 30 health-focused vendors to receiving a free health screening, Texans from all across the state had the opportunity to experience YWM2015.

YWM2015 was also the backdrop this year for the announcement of the OAC Annual Awards. The winners of the OAC 2015 Annual Awards are as follows: OAC Member of the Year—Rob Portinga; Healthcare Provider Advocate of the Year—Scott Kahan, MD, MPH; Chairman’s Award—Jaime Fivecoat, MBA; Barbara Thompson Award for Advocacy—Patty Nece, JD; Bias Buster of the Year—Justin D. Puckett, DO, FAAFP; Community Leader of the Year—BMI of Texas, Michael Seger, MD, and Jennifer Seger, MD; and the Dr. Blackstone Outstanding Membership Recruitment by a Physician Award—Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians – Sherman C. Smith, MD, FACS, Steven C. Simper, MD, FACS and Rodrick McKinlay, MD, FACS. The OAC congratulates all of this year’s winners.

The great success of YWM2015 would not have been possible without the generous support of this year’s sponsors. The OAC would like to thank the 2015 Your Weight Matters National Convention Sponsors for their support: Platinum—Novo Nordisk; Gold—Apollo Endosurgery; and Eisai; Silver – Arena, Medtronic and Covidien, and Takeda; Bronze—Aspire Bariatrics, Celebrate Vitamins, Ethicon, Geisinger, KVK Tech, VBloc and Weight Watchers.

YWM2015 put the OAC’s mission to elevate and empower individuals affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support front and center. Throughout the past 10 years, the OAC has been building a unified voice of more than 50,000 members nationwide. YWM2015 demonstrated the many ways that the OAC will activate its membership in the years to come. From spreading the message of the OAC, to combating weight bias, to advocating for increased obesity treatment coverage, the OAC will continue to stand with its members.

The OAC is excited to announce that the 5th Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention will take place in Washington, DC, at the Gaylord National Resort on August 25-28, 2016. Learn more at

OAC Activates Membership to Call on ABC Television Group and Parent Company The Walt Disney Company to Remove Fat-Shaming Content from “Dr. Ken” Show.
Tampa, Florida—The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), and its more than 50,000 members, are calling on ABC Television Group and parent company Disney to remove fat-shaming content from the “Dr. Ken” show, set to debut this October.
“After viewing the trailer for the show, it’s apparent that ABC is treating the disease of obesity as a joke, which it most certainly is not. More than 93 million Americans are impacted by obesity. This disease is no laughing matter,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

The fat-shaming content featured in “Dr. Ken” not only perpetuates weight bias, but it also furthers the misconception that healthcare providers do not want to help patients with obesity. This is extremely damaging to individuals wanting to address their weight and health in a clinical setting.

“My question to ABC and Disney would be, ‘Why do you feel the need to make fun of people with obesity?’ Obesity has been linked to diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and many other serious conditions. To have obesity as the catalyst for humor is simply ridiculous,” said Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, OAC Chairman.

To learn more about this issue and contact ABC and Disney directly, please visit To learn more about fat-shaming, please visit


Category: News and Trends, Past Articles

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