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St Lukes Weight Loss Surgeon Receives National Advocacy Award
December 07, 2018

Maher El Chaar, MD, Co-Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at St. Luke’s University Hospital, has been named recipient of the national 2018 ObesityPAC Advocacy Award during a reception at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

According to Dr. El Chaar, it’s a moral obligation for bariatric surgeons to fight on behalf of their patients to get them the coverage they so desperately need and deserve. Advocacy, Dr. El Chaar said, is a commitment and a duty and one honorable way for a bariatric surgeon to have a long lasting impact on patients and their families.

Dr. El Chaar was honored by ObesityPAC for his efforts on behalf of patients in need. His accomplishment will also be featured in the organization’s annual report.

“This recognition should not go to an individual, but instead to the entire St. Luke’s Weight Management team for their outstanding work and efforts,” says Dr. El Chaar.

As the political arm of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), ObesityPAC represents the needs of bariatric surgeons and their patients on Capitol Hill and within state houses across the country.

ObesityPAC enables ASMBS to build key relationships with members of Congress as well as with key state policymakers – such as governors, state insurance commissioners and state legislators – to educate them about issues surrounding patient access to and coverage of bariatric surgery.

Dr El Chaar serves on many ASMBS committees including the clinical issues committee, foregut committee, and credentialing committee and was recently asked to join the Board of ObesityPAC.  Previously, Dr. El Chaar was named one of America’s Top Surgeons in Bariatric Surgery, and he has received a bariatric surgeon of excellence designation by the ASMBS.

For more information about the St. Luke’s Weight Management Center, call 866-STLUKES or visit weightloss.sluhn.org.

Photo caption, from left to right: John Scott, MD, Chair of the Access to Care Committee, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery,  Ann Rogers, MD, Award Recipient,  John Morton, MD, President of ObesityPAC, and Maher El Chaar, MD, Award Recipient     


About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 14,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only health care system in central-eastern Pennsylvania to earn Medicare’s five-star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) repeatedly – six times total and four years in a row including 2018.  It has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the EPIC electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.