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Posted 10/4/2021

October 2021 Edition

1. Presidential Messages

Shanu Kothari, MD FASMBS and Nate Sann, MSN FNP-BC deliver their monthly Presidential Video Message. Hear about the current state of the Society and upcoming events. 

ASMBS Presidential Message

National Cancer Institute Funding Opportunities: Here & Here

ASMBS Integrated Health Presidential Message

2. Education & Events

Focus Practice Designation

The American Board of Surgery in partnership with the ASMBS have announced the first form of board certification for surgeons in the United States who are engaged in the specialty of metabolic and bariatric surgery. The new FPD (Focused Practice Designation) is available to surgeons practicing in the specialty who can demonstrate their clinical expertise and ongoing commitment to continuing education, accreditation, and obtaining comprehensive knowledge of the specialty. A detailed 8 hour Board Review Course will be held as part of the January 20th-22nd ASMBS re-UNITED Meeting for surgeons who are interested in taking the FPD examination in April. This session will provide an overview of the FPD in metabolic and bariatric surgery including its history, the process for a surgeon to pursue FPD designation, and an overview of the knowledge assessment that will be administered for the first time on April 1, 2022. Mark your calendars!

The ASMBS 2022 Annual Meeting Abstracts Submissions Open Now

The abstract submission window for the 38th ASMBS Annual Meeting is now open through November 24th. Abstract submissions with an emphasis on metabolic & bariatric surgery as a pathway to cancer prevention are encouraged. Click here to submit your abstract.

Abstract Presentation Opportunities

  • Oral Presentations
  • E-poster Presentations
  • Video Presentations
  • Integrated Health Presentations
  • Behavioral Health Presentations

Topic Categories

  • Adjustable Gastric Banding
  • Bariatric Surgery in Adolescents
  • Cancer
  • Comparative Trials
  • Endoscopic Procedures
  • Epidemiology/Physiology
  • Gastric Bypass Procedures
  • General Interest
  • Malabsorptive Procedures
  • Metabolic Surgery for Diabetes
  • Nutrition
  • Revisional Procedures
  • Scientific Research
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Surgical Complications
  • Integrated Health
  • Emerging Medical Technologies

Please visit for more information. For assistance, please email

IFSO 25th World Congress Rescheduled to August 2022

IFSO recently announced that in light of ongoing travel restrictions, their 25th World Congress will be rescheduled from October 19th-23rd, 2021 to August 23rd-27th, 2022. ASMBS will host our previously planned track during the new August 2022 date. We hope to see you there!

3. Committee Updates

CIC & QIPS Position Statements

The ASMBS Clinical Issues Committee and Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee have each released a new position statement in SOARD – Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

ASMBS position statement on preoperative patient optimization before metabolic and bariatric surgery is issued in response to inquiries made to the society by patients, physicians, society members, hospitals, health insurance payors, the media, and others, regarding preoperative health optimization prior to bariatric and metabolic surgery. These recommendations are based on current clinical knowledge, expert opinion, and published peer-reviewed scientific evidence available at this time. The statement is not intended to establish a local, regional, or national standard of care. The statement will be revised in the future as additional evidence becomes available.

In 2017, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS): Care Pathway Development for Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (SG) was published in recognition of the importance of clinical care maps that guide evidenced-based healthcare, with a focus on value of the care delivered. As part of this process, the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee of the ASMBS sought to develop a care map for laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). This current RYGB care map focuses solely on preoperative care, defined as the medical care and education provided to a patient from introduction into a bariatric program up to the day of surgery.

Research Committee – Call for New Members

The ASMBS Research Committee is looking for extraordinary ASMBS members to commit their time, energy, and creativity to assist in meeting the committee’s research goals and objectives.

We are looking for members who can commit to a two-year term, are in good standing and have a strong commitment to ASMBS, and who can attend monthly meetings at least 50% of the time. Committee members must also proactively work on at least one committee project throughout the year. Members with prior research experience, especially with clinical trials, preferred.

Current committee projects include:

  • Determining high-impact research initiatives with patient-oriented outcomes
  • Addressing important and controversial clinical issues bariatric surgeons face today
  • Forming a cohesive, collaborative multi-site group to identify optimal bariatric surgical practices
  • Determining the impact of prolonged VTE and PPI prophylaxis on postoperative outcomes
  • Determine predictors that contribute to the success of ASMBS funded grants.
  • Defining MCIDs (Minimally Clinically Important Differences) to study the effectiveness of bariatric surgery for a number of disease processes

The 2021/2022 Chair is Dr. Dimitrios Stefanidis and Co-Chair is Dr. Ben Clapp. If you are interested in joining this committee, please submit an online application today.

CBN Award 2021

Each year, the Certified Bariatric Nurse (CBN) Committee awards the Distinguished CBN award. The award was developed to help recognize the contribution that CBN’s make in the care of patients, families, communities and the profession of bariatric nursing. Nominations are solicited for a CBN who has made an extraordinary effort to promote the values of compassion, advocacy, research and education to be recognized with the award.

The winner of the 2021 Distinguished CBN Award is Karen Schulz, RN, MSN, CBN. Karen exemplifies leadership in all of the values of the CBN award. She has been involved with bariatric care her entire career, and has helped further the field through education, development of standardized approaches, national and state leadership, research and mentoring others in the field. Recently, during the COVID pandemic, Karen not only found time to steer her program at the Cleveland Clinic through uncharted waters, but also to share her insights in an article: A Structured Approach for Safely Reintroducing Bariatric Surgery in a COVID-19 Environment Obes Surg. 2020 Oct;30(10):4159-4164.

The CBN Committee would like to thank Karen for her efforts over the years, and to recognize her as the 2021 Distinguished CBN. Karen received her award in a Zoom ceremony earlier this summer.

4. Membership News

DocMatter Community Launching Soon

ASMBS has partnered with DocMatter to create an online Community for high-quality clinical discussion and collaboration as an added benefit of ASMBS membership. The DocMatter Team is adding members to the ASMBS DocMatter Community in waves, so please be on the lookout for an account activation email over the next coming weeks. We are excited about this partnership because we know that a wonderful group of experts in metabolic and bariatric surgery, as well as the overall care and treatment of patients with obesity and related diseases, comprises the ASMBS, and the ASMBS DocMatter Community gives you the chance to share relevant information, knowledge, and expertise with your fellow ASMBS members.

How Does the ASMBS DocMatter Community Work?

Integrates seamlessly into your current workflow.

  • Participate in the ASMBS DocMatter Community by logging in to the website or mobile app, or by replying to a discussion notification email you receive from DocMatter.

Trusted sources of information.

  • Every ASMBS member will have a profile within this private Community, so you can easily network and see other members’ credentials. Log in to the ASMBS Community to review your profile and update your clinical/research interests so the DocMatter system can target relevant information to you.

No distractions. No wasted time.

  • The DocMatter team moderates and organizes discussions, which will be sorted based on relevance to you based on your interests and expertise.

Your support is here.

  • You will assigned to a member of the DocMatter Clinician Support Team, who can help with everything from logging into the Community to taking dictation of a case or question you’d like to share with the group.

With so much going on in the world, and the current difficulties with in-person meetings, the ASMBS DocMatter Community is the safe, trusted resource to which you can turn to stay up to date on literature, advances in technology, and best practices in contemporary times.

5. Advocacy & Access to Care

OCC October 2021 Advocacy Report

In this report, prepared by Chris Gallagher, OCC Washington Representative: Momentum for TROA Increases and PA Senate Committee Approves SB 782 for Medicaid Coverage of Obesity Drugs.

See the latest OCC Advocacy Report for more information regarding other national advocacy efforts that ASMBS is pursuing. 

Policy Updates from the ATC Committee

Many ASMBS members have expressed concerns about the movement of insurance companies toward outpatient only authorization for weight loss surgery. The The Access to Care Committee met with Highmark Health, who regionally focus on Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia, in September to discuss their coverage determination that requires all metabolic and bariatric surgery procedures to only be authorized with “outpatient surgery” status. Dr. Seger, ATC Chair, reported that Highmark assured us that inpatient authorization will not be denied if a good reason for it is documented in the authorization request.

Please let Dr. Seger know if you are having ongoing problems or if you identify this pattern with any other payers.

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