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Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of anyone’s health — but figuring out the right way to do this isn’t always easy. And for those struggling with obesity, it can be especially difficult choosing among multiple treatment options to help them get their weight management back on track.

That’s why SSM Health in Southern Illinois will be hosting a free weight management services seminar for local residents on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the Pavilion of the City of Marion.

Registration to attend can be completed online by visiting https://www.ssmhealth.com/weight-management.

SSM Health Weight Management Services comprehensive weight-loss program has the ultimate goal of helping people live better quality, healthier and longer lives. The program addresses all of a patient’s healthy weight management needs encompassing surgical (including Sleeve Gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass) and non-surgical options, diet and nutritional education, exercise training referrals, and support groups.

During the seminar, attendees will learn about all the programs and resources that are available during their weight-loss journey. “Our team approach offers customized paths for each patient during their weight loss journey,” says Deepu Sudhakaran, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS, and medical director of SSM Health in Southern Illinois Weight Management Services. “No matter what your health goals are, SSM Health Weight Management Services is dedicated to partnering with you to ensure the quality of life you seek.”

In the United States, around 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health, and the numbers continue to increase. Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to severe obesity.

In April 2018, under the leadership of Dr. Sudhakaran, the program was awarded “center of excellence” national accreditation through March 2021.

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The “center of excellence” designation is granted by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

The MBSAQIP Standards, outlined in the Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2016 ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. The accredited center offers preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for their severely obese patients.

Dr. Sudhakaran and WMS staff have been diligently working towards receiving national accreditation ever since the WMS program was introduced in 2015. “This center has demonstrated an uncompromising commitment to quality that has earned the confidence, respect, and trust of patients making a lifetime commitment to healthier living,” Dr. Sudhakaran says. “WMS staff are proud to be an accredited metabolic and bariatric surgery center and we’re equally honored to serve our community.”

SSM Health in Southern Illinois Weight Management Services’ commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and physician leadership who participate in meetings throughout the year to review its outcomes. They seek continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center.

SSM Health Weight Management Services staff can be contacted by calling 618-436-8300. In addition, individuals interested in learning more about SSM Health Weight Management Services can visit ssmhealth.com/weight-management and download an information packet or sign up to attend an informational seminar.

— The Southern

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