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Kevin Helling, MD
Chair


Tammy Fouse, DO
Co-Chair


Wayne English, MD FASMBS
Executive Council Liaison


Members

Franklin Bendewald, MD
Guillermo Bolaños Avila, MD
Bree Dewing, MD
Frank Felts, MD FASMBS
Luis Garcia, MD FACS MBA, Immediate Past Chair
Magdy Giurgius, MD

Brandon Helbling, MD FASMBS
Linden Karas, MD
Howard McCollister, MD
Curtis Peery, MD FASMBS
John Pender, MD

Walter Pories, MD
Raza Shariff, MD
Jessica Smith, MD
Andrew Van Osdol, MD
Ellen Vogels, DO
Kashif Zuberi, MD

ASMBS Staff Liaison

Leslie Vinson

Mission

To represent the rural bariatric surgical practices, foster and promote best care practices, identify challenges unique to the rural setting, and facilitate potential solutions.

Description

The committee is composed of surgeons and integrated health professionals who provide care to bariatric patients in a rural or isolated setting.

Members of the committee will advise the Executive Council on trends of practice and issues unique to rural bariatric surgeons. This will facilitate a proactive approach to resolving programmatic and clinic issues pertaining to the rural surgery setting.

The committee serves as a resource for rural surgical practices to achieve high quality comprehensive programs in a rural setting.

Objectives

  • To identify rural bariatric surgical practices
  • To represent the interests of metabolic and bariatric surgery in a rural setting
  • To identify the challenges unique to rural practitioners in the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery
  • To provide a template of collaboration to improve the care of the bariatric patient in the rural setting
  • To provide practice- or evidence-based solutions to these challenges
  • To define best practice guidelines and best standards of care in rural environments
  • To offer advice and support in recruitment, retention, mentoring, and post-residency/fellowship education to assure quality surgical care for rural bariatric patients
  • To address financial and business challenges of rural practitioners
  • To advocate for and support the accreditation of bariatric centers in rural America
  • To develop and maintain resources for existing rural accredited centers that provide care for bariatric patients
  • To improve access to care for the Bariatric patient in rural settings

Committee Goals

Short-Term

1) Continue to grow committee membership
2) Define inclusion criteria, what constitutes a rural bariatric surgery practice (using ACS model)
3) Determine barriers for MBSAQIP accreditation

Mid-Term

1) Mentorship program for new rural program (Tool Kit, site visits)
2) Mentorship for quality improvement (proctoring opportunities, advice hotline)
3) Follow-up tool kit for non-surgeons in rural setting (IH task force already working on this)

Long-Term

1) Help develop rural practice accreditation standards (if it is determined that they need to be different than current standards)
2) Participation of all rural practices in MBSAQIP and ASMBS
3) Mentorship pathway for committee members into ASMBS leadership/EC
4) Tracking of outcomes data for Rural Centers
5) Rural Symposium at ASMBS Weekend 2019
6) Develop a Rural Collaborative, i.e., network of rural programs

Specific Projects that Achieve Goals and Objectives

1) Committee highlighted in connect’s “Join a Committee” campaign in February 2018; two new members were added
2) Continued discussion of definition of inclusion criteria for potential members of the committee
3) Ongoing discussions to develop a “tool kit” for the use of Telemedicine for care of patients located in remote areas
4) Continue identification of potential Rural Programs across the nation to be included in the Rural Collaborative
5) Continued participation of rural committee members in committees of broader reach; Dr. Garcia is a member of the Access to Care Committee
6) Continued research of rural practices, ongoing committee meetings and discussions with members to determine rural practice/patient needs
7) Conversations taking place to develop a Rural Surgery Outcome Collaborative
8) In planning process of a Rural Surgery Symposium for ASMBS Weekend 2019

2018 Completed Projects

1) Committee highlighted in connect’s “Join a Committee” campaign in February 2018; new members added

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