A Note From the President

Published in September/October Issue             

Dear Fellow ASMBS Members,

As my term as ASMBS president is coming to an end, I would like to share with you a summary of our achievements over the last year.

It has been an exciting and extremely productive year. We have expanded and added several new dynamic committees such as Flexible Endoscopy, Foregut, Video Education, Certification, Obesity Prevention, Military, Presidents Council, and Private Practice.

Working collaboratively with our committee chairs and committee members, and under the excellent coordination of our executive director Georgeann Mallory and her outstanding staff, we are currently managing close to 60 projects. Projects include quality improvement initiatives, a collaborative among military centers, and a national consumer survey of 1,500 Americans about their perceptions (and misperceptions) of obesity and its treatment.

In addition, we’re working on a new and modular bariatric surgery fellowship training curriculum and a sleeve gastrectomy care path that will soon be accessible to download and implement for your own patient care. None of these could have been achieved without the exceptional engagement and strong work of our membership.

In an effort to increase membership representation and transparency, we expanded our Executive Council by two member-at-large representatives. In addition, we invited the chairs of the MBSAQIP, State Chapters, Private Practice, and Presidents Council committees to participate in our monthly Executive Council conference calls.

The state of our finances are excellent and our investment account continues to grow. Estimated annual surgical volumes continue to gradually increase, with sleeve gastrectomy clearly becoming the most popular bariatric procedure in the U.S., followed by gastric bypass and reoperative interventions.

Under Dr. John Morton’s leadership, and in conjunction with over 35 medical societies, we developed at our 3rd Annual Obesity Summit, a soon to be published consensus statement on the best treatment modalities for obesity.

Our PAC has experienced continuous growth and I would like to invite you to attend a special reception at ObesityWeek 2016 in support of Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), who has been a major champion for those affected by obesity.

With over 480 submissions from ASMBS members, ObesityWeek 2016 in New Orleans has received the largest number of abstracts ever. Under the leadership of Michel Gagner MD (Chair), Nathan Zundel MD and Shanu Kothari MD (Co-chairs), and Kristie Kaufman (Program Coordinator), our Program Committee has put together an impressive scientific and social program. You will be torn in choosing from outstanding postgraduate courses such as quality, endoscopy, communications, private practice, and re-operative interventions.

In addition to outstanding live surgery sessions, we will have mini-consensus meetings on current and controversial topics such as best re-operative interventions for banding and single anastomosis procedures. Together with our partner, The Obesity Society, we developed five combined scientific sessions and a debate that will address best treatment modalities for special situations such as obesity in the elderly, adolescents, metabolic interventions, and weight regain.

Our ASMBS Foundation investment had an excellent year. The Foundation supported many society-related initiatives related to research, education, and awareness. Please join Marina Kurian, MD, ASMBS Foundation President at our annual LEAD awards luncheon and let’s enjoy one of New Orleans’ most prestigious Gospel Choirs to celebrate our best and brightest. This event will be followed the same day at 5 PM by our “Walk from Obesity” led by a traditional New Orleans “second line” brass band.

My dear fellow members, I eagerly anticipate seeing you all in New Orleans at my presidential address to share with you my review of this outstanding year and the final results of our national survey, and to say thank you for your trust. I have known no greater honor but the opportunity and privilege to serve as your 30th ASMBS President.