The three St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) hospitals that perform bariatric procedures have been named among the country’s best hospitals for bariatric surgery by Money and The Leapfrog Group.
St. Luke’s Allentown, St. Luke’s Monroe and St. Luke’s Warren were among just 101 hospitals and surgery centers throughout the United States honored by Money and Leapfrog.
“Being named to this list just confirms what we strive for every day and that is efficient, quality services with great customer service,” says Maureen Miletics, SLUHN Network Director – Weight Management Services.
“These three centers – Allentown, Monroe and Warren – are our only bariatric surgery centers and to have all three designated indicates how we provide the same, high-quality service regardless of the location. We are especially proud because we are the only bariatric program in the area where all our surgery locations were named to this designation.”
To be named one of their “Best Hospitals for Bariatric Surgery,” Money and Leapfrog identified “hospitals with the best abilities to perform these types of surgeries, with a close look at volume and safety … hospitals had to meet Leapfrog's bariatric surgery and safe surgery checklist standards. Hospitals also had to have a Leapfrog safety grade of B or higher.” All three St. Luke’s hospitals earned “A” grades for safety.
Miletics and Leonardo Claros, MD, Chief of SLUHN’s Bariatric Program and Medical Director for the Weight Management Center, credit the program’s multidisciplinary team for this accomplishment.
“All the hard work in developing standards, protocols and ongoing staff training and education, is a great investment when considering patient safety outcomes. Our team members follow standards and proven protocols across the board, yet they are able to personalize their care based on the patient’s particular medical history,” Miletics explains.
Adds Dr. Claros: “To have all three centers recognized as such speaks to the fact that we have the multidisciplinary approach, pathways, services and systems necessary to provide the best bariatric care for our patients in the Lehigh Valley. If you take into account that there are close to 1,000 Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program-accredited centers in the United States, this is a major accomplishment.”
There are key elements of the St. Luke’s program that make it stand out. As such, it is important that people considering bariatric surgery do their research before choosing a program because not all centers are alike. Miletics says, for example:
- All St. Luke’s bariatric surgeons are all fellowship trained in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery and have been performing bariatrics for many years.
- St. Luke’s has the most updated equipment and furniture to care for patients who have the disease of obesity.
- St. Luke’s makes sure its patients are ready for surgery so they can better recover after surgery.
- St. Luke’s surgeons and staff are available for their patients for the life of their weight-loss journey.
“It is also important that a comprehensive bariatric surgery center works closely with a non-surgical obesity medicine program,” Miletics adds. “Our locations also include physicians trained in obesity medicine for those who don’t want to have surgery, don’t qualify for surgery or don’t have the insurance benefit. The surgery program team works very closely with the non-surgical team in order to meet all the patient’s needs.”
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