NEWS AND NOTES

Published in May Issue             

ASMBS Public Service Announcement Airs Over 7,500 Times

Since its launch in October 2015, the ASMBS public service announcement (PSA), “We Start Today,” has aired over 7,500 times on television stations throughout the country. It was reported that stations donated more than $5.7 million in air time over the last eight months. Click here to watch “We Start Today”.


ASMBS Wisconsin State Chapter Seeks Bariatric Surgery Coverage for
State Workers

Luke Funk, MD, president of the ASMBS Wisconsin State Chapter and bariatric surgeon at UW Health, was recently featured in the Wisconsin State Journal calling for bariatric surgery coverage for all state workers. Wisconsin currently covers the surgery for less than 5 percent of workers through its most expensive health plan.

According to the article, UW Health surgeons say covering bariatric surgery could save the state $60 million over 10 years “by reducing costs from diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and other conditions related to obesity.”

Dr. Funk commented, “Obesity is a massive public health problem, and many citizens in Wisconsin do not have access to the most effective – cost effective – treatment options.”

Mark Lamkins, spokesman for the state Department of Employee Trust Funds, which administers benefits for state workers, said the evidence on long-term savings is “inconclusive.” But said, “this benefit will be considered again in the future.”

Dr. Michael Garren, who is also a bariatric surgeon at UW Health, said that severe obesity is often misunderstood when viewed primarily as a behavioral problem. Nonetheless, he says it is “singled out” while other conditions linked to behavior are paid for. “Are we going to stop treating lung cancer from smoking? Are we going to stop treating melanoma because people don’t wear sunscreen and a hat?” To read the full article, click here.


Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Partners on Initiative to Change How the Media Portrays People with Obesity

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is calling on the TNT Network to suspend former NBA player and sports commentator, Charles Barkley, for his “weight bias-fueled comments” made during a recent Inside the NBA broadcast. In a statement, OAC President and CEO, Joe Nadglowski, commented, “Unfortunately, Mr. Barkley has once again taken the low road and targeted women in San Antonio for their weight and size. In 2015, the OAC spoke out publicly against Mr. Barkley’s biased comments, and once again, he’s unfairly targeted individuals dealing with obesity.” In response to his comments, the OAC is asking all coalition members and the public to contact TNT leadership and encourage the suspension of Barkley. The coalition also contacted the NBA Commissioner, asking him to encourage Barkley to apologize for
the comments.


Applications are Being Accepted for 2016 IFSO Scholarships

The International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) is accepting applications for scholarships that provide financial assistance to attend the IFSO Annual World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Each scholarship offers a stipend of $2,500, free registration and one ticket to the gala dinner. Applicants must be IFSO members, have at least one abstract accepted at the 2016 World Congress and submit a statement describing personal contributions to the field of bariatric surgery. To read the full IFSO Scholarships Guidelines or learn more about how to apply, click here.


Host a Walk from Obesity in the Fall!

Hosting a Walk from Obesity event is an excellent way to raise awareness in your city and provide individuals with resources and knowledge to assist in their weight-loss journey. Hosting an event is only available to members of the ASMBS, and is a great way for you and your hospital, or bariatric program, to support the ASMBS Foundation. Funds raised from each Walk from Obesity event help support obesity research, education, and access to care initiatives. Apply today at www.WalkfromObesity.com/host. Deadline to apply is June 3.
2016 Fall Locations -- Join These Cities This Fall!
Celebration, FL
Presented by: Florida Hospital Celebration Health
Cleveland, OH
Presented by: Cleveland Clinic
Grand Junction, CO
Presented by: St. Mary's Hospital - Bariatric Program
Greenville, NC
Presented by: Vidant Medical Center
Indianapolis, IN
Presented by: Community Health Network
Morgantown, WV
Presented by: Akkary Surgery Center
Mountain View, CA
Presented by: El Camino Hospital
Omaha, NE
Presented by: Midwest Surgical
Portland, OR
Presented by: Legacy Weight and Diabetes Institute