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Posted 2/3/2020

February 2020 Edition

1. Presidential Messages

ASMBS Presidential Message

The results from the survey on when we should have the ASMBS Annual Meeting are in. Of the 894 votes, 62% voted for the first two weeks of June, and 38% voted for the first two weeks of November.

June is the decisive winner!

November and June were considered to be the best options due to many issues that could impact the success of a meeting including weather (January and February), holidays/vacation (December, July and August) and conflicts with other meetings that our members may have interest in attending like IFSO, the ACS Clinical Congress, SAGES and many others (September, October and March/April).

The ASMBS currently has commitments until 2025 for November meetings with The Obesity Society as part of ObesityWeek. We will try to renegotiate these contracts to see if we can switch to June earlier than 2025. We will certainly let you know in advance when the switch to June will take place so you can plan accordingly.

The ASMBS 2020 Annual Meeting will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, from November 2-6, 2020. We have had seven successful years of co-hosting our Annual Meeting as part of ObesityWeek, but we are confident the strategic decision to move away from co-hosting will provide greater value and higher relevance to our members, exhibitors, and corporate partners for years to come.

We are working to assure we wind things up with The Obesity Society appropriately and in an equitable fashion consistent with our obligations. Legal actions are underway to protect the financial gains for the ASMBS from past and future ObesityWeek meetings. We look forward to having future ASMBS Annual Meetings in June!

This is the second-best turnout for a vote. (The best turnout for a vote decided the transition from the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence Program in 2012.) Your input really matters. No other surgical society is as open, transparent and welcoming of member’s input as the ASMBS. Voting is not just for rubber stamping decisions already made by the Executive Council – you choose the Executive Council and the society’s officers, including the president. You also have the opportunity to decide major issues like this (timing of the annual meeting) as well as influence important society matters such as ASMBS position statements and educational offerings. We try not to pester you with frequent requests but your vote is important and we very much appreciate that you take the time to provide your input regarding our field and our society. Your vote counts!

I hope February treats you well, and you make the most of the extra day from this leap year.


Matthew Hutter, MD, MPH, FASMBS
President, ASMBS

ASMBS Integrated Health Presidential Message

Greetings! Your Integrated Health (IH) leadership is hard at work on upcoming projects and events, most notably IH programming for the Annual ASMBS Meeting this November. Many thanks to Dr. Leslie Heinberg and our Immediate Past President Karen Flanders for their work at the planning meeting held January 17-18, 2020 in Atlanta, GA.

Committee Spotlight

The Integrated Health Program and Professional Education Committee is looking forward to continuing to provide educational offerings to our diverse membership as we move into 2020 and the return of the Annual ASMBS Meeting (November 2-6 in Atlanta). The committee chair, Leslie Heinberg, PhD is joined by a new Co-Chair, Laura Andromalos, MS, RD. In January, we worked with ASMBS Program Chair, John Scott MD, and the surgeon committee to plan for Atlanta. Integrated Health courses will be all located on the same floor of the convention center which will increase networking and collegiality during the meeting. We have also identified an increasing number of collaborative pre-conference courses and collaborative offerings during the scientific session for our 2020 meeting. These courses are directed by surgeons and IH and help educate the entire ASMBS membership on topics of shared concern (e.g., weight regain, diversity and patient experience). As a reminder, the deadline is February 16th for your suggestions for the IH keynote speaker and for scientific session symposia. Click here to submit your suggestions.

Please join us in thanking everyone involved in the development of our most important ASMBS meeting. This is a gargantuan task, and we are certain that the content and connections we will enjoy in Atlanta this year will make it an event to remember.

Also, if you or someone you know is interested in serving on an IH committee, we would love to hear from you.
Click here to apply to join a committee.

With kindest regards,

Lisa West-Smith, PhD, LISW-S
President, Integrated Health Section of the ASMBS

2. Call for Membership Recommendations for ASMBS Statements

The ASMBS Clinical Issues Committee works hard to provide timely, evidence-based position statements on issues that affect the members and the field of bariatric surgery as a whole. The underlying goal of these statements is to provide guidance to the membership, hospitals, and third-party payers using the most current available evidence. Most importantly, the statements should reflect and address the concerns of the members.

The Executive Council and Clinical Issues Committee therefore welcome your suggestions for future position statements. Recommendations can include any issue that affects your practice, patient access, patient safety, or patient care. Your recommendations will be reviewed by the Executive Council and forwarded to the Clinical Issues Committee if they are appropriate for statement development.

Please submit your recommendations for position statement topics to Leslie Vinson at The deadline is Thursday, February 6th.

A current listing of ASMBS Position Statements are available to view here.

3. Sign up for OCW2020 Alerts!

ASMBS is a proud founding Champion of Obesity Care Week 2020 (OCW2020), set for March 1st – 7th, and we want ot invite you to be a part of this annual public awareness effort! Sign-up now for OCW alerts and get the latest news and information about Obesity Care Week 2020.

Obesity Care Week is an annual awareness week supported by more than 50 countries worldwide and more than 55 healthcare-focused organizations. From advocating for fair treatment of obesity to ending weight bias, OCW aims to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for a better world for people living with obesity.

During OCW2020, each day is dedicated to highlighting issues impactin people with obesity:

  • March 1st – Launch Day
  • March 2nd – Weight Bias Day
  • March 3rd – Obesity Treatment Day
  • March 4th – World Obesity Day
  • March 5th – Access to Care Day
  • March 6th – Childhood Obesity Day
  • March 7th – "I Care" Day

Sign-up for OCW Alerts to learn more about OCW2020 and about how you can get involved!

4. Committee News & Updates

Apply to Join the Membership Committee

Dear ASMBS members:

The success of our society correlates strongly with the growth of our membership and the diversity of the group of practitioners it represents. The Membership Committee of ASMBS is charged with the important task of serving its constituents and growing its membership. The committee is looking to add additional members who bring special expertise and added diversity to the leadership of our society. We invite you to consider joining our committee by offering your knowledge and expertise and in the process, growing the leadership of our society.

Please complete the online applicatio to express your interest in joining the Membership Committee.

Vafa Shayani, Chairman
Kim Carmichael, Membership Manager

Watch Now – New Videos Added to the Video Library

The Video Committee has curated a collection of 200+ educational videos as an exclusive ASMBS member benefit. Videos from the ASMBS Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek are now available to view. Go to to watch now.

5. Host a Walk from Obesity in 2020

We need you! Walk from Obesity has a goal of offering thirty walks in 2020. That’s thirty opportunites to engage the bariatric patient community, to increase awareness around the disease of obesity, and to raise the funds necessary to further research and advocacy efforts. You can help! Step up to host a walk in your area and demonstrate your support for the health of your community. Spring and fall dates are available, but don’t wait – deadlines are fast approaching.

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