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OHSU Bariatric Surgery Program Earns National Accreditation

No other bariatric surgery program in Oregon has received certification by the American College of Surgeons

The Oregon Health & Science University Surgical Weight Reduction Program is the first and only bariatric surgery program in Oregon to be certified by the prestigious American College of Surgeons (ACS).

“The designation of center of excellence for bariatric surgery reflects the presence of a competent team of multidisciplinary caregivers focusing on all aspects of care for bariatric patients. The team is to be congratulated,” said Clifford Deveney, M.D., program director and head of general surgery, OHSU School of Medicine.

Deveney is one of three nationally recognized bariatric surgeons at OHSU. The bariatric surgery team, which includes anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners or nurses, and nutrition and mental health experts, surgically treats about 200 morbidly obese patients a year. The National Institutes of Health defines morbid obesity as 50 percent to 100 percent - or 100 pounds - above a patient’s ideal body weight.

To earn accreditation, the program underwent a thorough and rigorous review in which its bariatric surgery team demonstrated a history of high-quality surgical care and outcomes. As a center of excellence, OHSU’s Surgical Weight Reduction Program will continue to employ the highest standards of care, document outcomes, and participate in periodic ACS reviews and verifications.

In February 2006, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a national mandate that all covered bariatric surgical procedures for the treatment of diseases and conditions associated with morbid obesity be conducted at facilities certified either by the ACS or the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Presently, OHSU is one of only 10 bariatric surgery programs nationwide to have received “full approval” from the ACS’s accreditation program. Hundreds of other centers are awaiting certification and are therefore unable to perform covered bariatric surgical procedures on Medicare patients.

The ACS has four separate levels of accreditation based on the breadth and depth of the each individual program. The OHSU Surgical Weight Reduction Program has earned Level 1 status, which indicates it has a proven record of providing the highest-quality care for “the most challenging and complex bariatric patients with optimal opportunity for safe and effective outcomes.” Level 1 programs also must agree to enroll in the ACS’s National Surgical Quality Improvement Program as a means of measuring their surgical outcomes.

The OHSU Surgical Weight Reduction Program is a component of the OHSU Digestive Health Center. OHSU’s digestive health care services rank among the top 25 in the nation, as reported in the 2006 America’s Best Hospital rankings from U.S. News & World Report. For more information about the program, visit

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The college is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients.  The college has more than 71,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.


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