ObesityWeek 2014:
What Would Dr. Ed Mason Think

Published in August 2014 Issue             

One of the things I look most forward to at our annual meetings is the Edward E. Mason Founderís Lecture, named after Ed Mason, MD, Ph.D, the father of bariatric surgery. Since 1989, these lectures, made by luminaries in the field, have provoked, inspired and challenged us about topics including quality, patient outcomes, research, public policy, basic science and advances in obesity treatment.

Ed Mason, MD, Ph.D

I am proud to announce that for the first time, the man for whom these lectures are named, will he himself be the Edward E. Mason lecturer. Dr. Mason, the first president of the ASMBS (then referred to as the ASBS), will honor us via live telecast from Iowa, with both a reflection of his and the societyís storied past and words of wisdom for the future. Dr. Mason will turn 94 just two weeks before ObesityWeek 2014. I canít wait to see him and hear what he has to say. This is not to be missed.

Things we take for granted today in bariatric surgery didnít even exist more than 30 years ago. Had anyone heard of metabolic surgery or anticipate the mountain of evidence showing its effectiveness against diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and cancer? Would anyone have believed that today we would have advanced so much that bariatric surgery would become as safe or even safer than gallbladder or hip replacement surgery? Did anyone think that one day we would change the name of our society in 2007 and that seven years later we would be having our second ObesityWeek?

We have come a long way, standing on the shoulders of the giants like Dr. Mason, and building on a legacy thatís focused on patients and backed by science and passion. This will be no more evident than at ObesityWeek 2014 in Boston, one of my favorite cities, where we are expecting a record turnout.

ObesityWeek 2014 leverages the expertise of both the ASMBS and The Obesity Society (TOS) to offer an unparalleled educational agenda at the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center, Nov. 2 Ė 7, 2014. Nearly 1,500 research abstracts will be presented! In addition, weíll be joined by more than 40 partner organizations including the American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Each organization comes with their own perspectives on how to address what has become one of the greatest public health threats facing the world.

In addition to Dr. Mason, keynote speakers include C. Ronald Kahn, MD, Chief Academic Officer at Harvard Medical School, Jim Marks, MD, MPH, Senior VP at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Rebecca Puhl, PhD, Deputy Director at the Yale Rudd Center for Food
Policy & Obesity.

Also, I am looking forward to my presidential address where I will have some thoughts on how we can achieve our vision of improving health and reducing the burden of obesity around the world. I will discuss the role metabolic and bariatric surgery must play and how together we must continue to overcome the barriers to high quality care for patients with obesity. I will also talk about the great strides that have been made, the partnerships that have been formed and lessons we have learned. Thank you, Dr. Mason for getting us started. The greatest days for us as a society and for our patients lie ahead.