Chapter Information

Incorporated November 2011

Executive Officers

President: Jeffrey Hunter, MD
Immediate Past President: Robert Michaelson, MD
Past President: Ross McMahon, MD
Vice President: Alana Chock, MD
Secretary: Thien Nguyen, MD
Treasurer: Judy Chen, MD FASMBS
Integrated Health Chair: Carmela Pontillo, RN MSN CBN
STAR (State Access to Care Representative): Brian Sung, MD FASMBS

Board Members

Richard Lindquist, MD

Contact

Connie Miller, RN CBN
Bariatric Program Manager
Virginia Mason Medical Center
33501 1st Way South
Federal Way, WA 98003

Chapter Meetings

  • Oregon, Washington and Hawaii State Chapters Meeting at ObesityWeek 2016 in New Orleans, LA:
    Wednesday, November 2, 2016
    6:15pm-7:15pm Central Time
    Hilton New Orleans Riverside Grand Salon 6
    Combined Oregon/Washington/Hawaii State Chapter Meeting

  • State Chapter Meeting at ObesityWeek 2015 in Los Angeles, CA:
    Wednesday, November 4, 2015
    6pm-7pm Pacific Time
    L.A. Convention Center Room #512
    Combined Oregon/Washington Annual Meeting

  • 6/15/2015, Cle Elum, WA – Combined Oregon/Washington Annual Meeting

  • 11/5/2014, Boston, MA during ObesityWeek – Combined Oregon/Washington Annual Meeting

Advocacy Information

Chapter Updates

  • Journal Club/Case Reviews

    • Monthly meetings are held on a rotating basis at local bariatric surgical practices the evening of the third Thursday of the month – September through May
    • Topical issues in the literature are addressed
    • Interesting/difficult cases are presented to discuss and draw from the collective regional experience.
    • Guest Lectures are periodically held as speakers become available:
    • June 16, 2016, TBA by New Administration
    • May 19, 2016, Marcelo Hinojosa, MD UW, SADS/SADI-S at UW
    • Apr 21, 2016, Eric Wilson, MD Memorial Herman/UT Houston, Robotic Bariatric Surgery at Overlake
    • Mar 17, 2016, Laura Frank, PhD, MPH, RDN, CD, Nutrition Concerns in Bariatric Surgery at NWWLS
    • Feb 18, 2016, Jonathan Stoehr, MD, PhD, Endocrinology VM, Medical Complications following Bariatric Surgery at Virginia Mason
    • Jan 21, 2016, Rick Lindquist, Ten Minute Talks: Recap of Obesity Week at Swedish
    • Dec 17, 2015 None, Happy Holidays
    • Nov 19, 2015, Peter Billing, Novel Procedures in Weight Management at Puget Sound Bariatrics
    • February 19, 2015, Mike Larsen, MD, Interventional Gastroenterology and Bariatrics
    • May 21, 2015, David Cummings, MD, DM2 and Bariatric Surgery
    • February 19, 2015, Mike Larsen, MD: Interventional Gastroenterology and Bariatrics
    • September 18, 2014, Mitchell S. Roslin, MD, Update on SIPS
  • June 22, 2016 – The Chapter has been working with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner, submitting a written response and providing testimony a public hearing. We contributed to bringing our state’s Essential Health Benefits package into alignment with recent guidance from the federal government regarding coverage for obesity. While this falls short of a benefit for Bariatric Surgery – the state is now requiring that insurers provide “obesity related services” as provided by the Affordable Care Act.

  • The Chapter worked with the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) – Health Technology Assessment (HTA) through 2014 and 2015 providing expert opinion and peer review of draft documents. This combined with public testimony at committee hearings has contributed to a favorable decision by the HCA providing coverage for bariatric surgery in Washington. On May 15, 2015, the Health Technology Clinical Committee (HTCC) made recommendations to the HCA regarding coverage for bariatric surgery as follows:
    HTCC Coverage Determination:
    Bariatric Surgery for patients aged 18 and older is a covered benefit with conditions. Limitations of Coverage For patients age ≥ 18 years of age bariatric surgery is covered for the following conditions:

    • Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥ 40
    • BMI 35 to < 40 with at least one obesity-related co-morbidity
    • BMI 30 to < 35 with Type II Diabetes Mellitus
    • When covered, patients must abide by all other agency surgery program criteria (e.g., specified centers or practitioners; pre-operative psychological evaluation; participating in pre- and post-operative multidisciplinary care programs)
      • These recommendations were accepted for Final Adoption July 10, 2015, and are applicable to the following Washington State agencies:
      • Labor and Industries
      • Public Employees Health Plan
      • Washington State Medicaid
  • The Chapter is currently working with the State in an effort to get bariatric surgery a covered benefit through the State Health Benefit Plan (Exchange)

Support Groups

Rockwood Bariatric Support Group
Rockwood Clinic
400 E. 5th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99220
Phone: 509-838-2531–ext. 2607
Meeting Times: Monthly–3rd Thursday
Contact person: Carol Pielli, RN, Bariatric Coordinator

Northwest Weight Loss Surgery
125 130th St. SE
Everett, WA 98208

Vancouver PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center
1427 Jefferson Avenue #102
Enumclaw, WA 98022

North Snohomish County LapBand Support Group
Haggens Market Cafe 8915 Market Place
Lake Stevens, WA 98258
Phone: 425-231-3220
Meeting Times: 7- 9 pm, second Sunday of every month
Contact Person: Robin L. Scott

Rockwood Clinic Gastric Bypass Support Group
Sacred Heart Dr.s Building Suite 7070
105 W. 8th ave
Spokane, WA 99204
Phone: 1-800-776-4048
Meeting Times: 6 pm 3rd Thursday
Contact Person: Carol Pielli,RN, Bariatric Coordinator

St. Joseph Medical Center Support Group
St. Joseph Medical Center Dining Room 3
1717 South J Street
Tacoma, WA 98405
Phone: 800-823-6525
Meeting Times: 3rd Monday of every month 6:45 pm to 8:15 pm

St. Francis Hospital Support Group
St. Francis Center for Weight Management
34509 9th Ave South Suite 310
Federal Way, WA 98003
Phone: 800-823-6525
Meeting Times: Noon – 1 pm

Overlake Hospital Medical Center Surgical Weight Loss
Overlake Hospital
1035 116th Avenue NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
Phone: 425-467-3957
Meeting Times: 10-Noon first and fourth Saturdays
Contact Person: Carmela Pontillo, RN, MSN, CBN

Virginia Mason Medical Center – Federal Way, Gastric Bypass and Gastric Sleeve
Ambulatory Surgery Center waiting room
33501 1st Way South
Federal Way, WA 98003
Phone: 206-341-1997
Meeting Times: 6 – 8 pm, fourth Wednesday of each month
Contact Person: Connie Miller RN, Bariatric Program Coordinator

Virginia Mason Medical Center – Federal Way, Adjustable Gastric Band
Ambulatory Surgery Center waiting room
33501 1st Way South
Federal Way, WA 98003
Phone: 206-341-1997
Meeting Times: 6 – 7:30 pm, first Tuesday of each month
Contact Person: Connie Miller RN, Bariatric Program Coordinator

Virginia Mason Medical Center – Seattle Campus
Main Hospital, Correa Room A, behind cashier is hospital cafeteria
900 Seneca Street
Seattle, WA 98101
Meeting Times: 6 – 8 pm, first Thursday of each month
Contact Person: Connie Miller RN, Bariatric Program Coordinator

B-Fit 4 Life
77 Newaukum Golf Dr
Chehalis, WA 98532
Phone: 360-557-0275
Meeting Times: Monday-Saturday call for schedule
Contact Person: Betty Kitchen, DSc

Living Out Loud
1217 Mellen Street
Centralia, WA 98531
Phone: 360-557-0275
Meeting Times: Monday-Friday call for schedule
Contact Person: Betty Kitchen, DSc

Evergreen Hospital Weight Loss Surgery Support Group
Evergreen Hospital – Tan 101
12333 NE 130th Lane
Kirkland, WA 98034
Phone: 425-899-3630
Meeting Times: 4th Monday of every month, 6-7:30 pm
Contact Person: Jarreau Gardner, MS, RD

University of Washington
University of Washington Medical Center
1st Floor Plaza Cafe Conference Room C
1959 NE Pacific St
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-598-2274
Meeting Times: 6:30 pm
Contact Person: Angel Dawson, MSW

Swedish Medical Center, First Hill Campus
Swedish Orthopedic Institute, Conference Rm 1st Floor
601 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-215-2090
Meeting Times: 2nd Saturday of the month, 10 am-12 pm; 4th Tuesday of the month, 5:30-6:30pm
Contact Person: Brittney Claus, RD, CD

Auburn
Auburn Regional Medical Center202 North Division St.Auburn, WA 98001
4th Floor Lobby
3rd Thursday of the month
7:00-8:30pm
206-353-8146

Auburn
1923 36th  Way SE
Auburn, WA 98002
2nd Tuesday of the month
253-939-8865

Bellingham
Pacific Laparoscopy Group
St. Joe’s Education Center
3333 Squalicum Pkwy
info@pacificnutritionwellness.com

Bremerton
Kitsap County Bariatric Support Groups
Harrison Hospital Auditorium
3rd Tuesday of the month
6:00-8:00pm
Acilia Brohman
306-307-7198
aciliab@yahoo.com