Tampa, Fla. – Bariatric Surgery has proven to be one of the safest and most effective treatments for severe obesity. However, patient access to this treatment option is limited throughout the U.S. To help address this issue, National Obesity Care Week (NOCW), in collaboration with Ethicon, Leavitt Risk Partners (LRP) and Medtronic are proud to announce their support of Bariatric Surgery Day and provide this life-changing treatment to patients in need.

NOCW was founded in 2015 by the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the Obesity Medical Association (OMA), the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance and The Obesity Society (TOS); and is a national campaign aimed to change the way we care about obesity by creating a society that understands, respects and accepts the complexities of obesity and values science-based treatments.

“A significant need exists in the U.S. for access to bariatric surgery,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO. “Many who would greatly benefit from the surgery are not granted coverage through their insurance provider or the Affordable Care Act. Through our strategic partnerships and NOCW, we are fortunate to help these patients receive treatment to address their health and weight.”

Severe obesity is often diagnosed when a patient has a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or when their BMI is greater than 35 and they have an existing obesity-related condition, such as hypertension or type 2 diabetes. Bariatric surgery has proven to be an invaluable long-term treatment tool with 89 percent of patients maintaining weight-loss 14 years post-surgery.

This year’s donated surgeries would not have been possible without the generous support of Ethicon, Leavitt Risk Partners, Medtronic and the surgeons and hospitals who donated their resources to help these patients in need. NOCW would like to recognize the following surgeons and hospitals for their support: Frank Duperier, MD; and Michael Seger, MD, FACS, – Foundation Hospital of San Antonio and Sachin S. Kukreja, MD, FACS, FASMBS – Methodist Dallas Medical Center. Since 2017, nine surgeries have been provided to patients in need.

More than 93 million Americans are affected by obesity, and for too long have been stigmatized which has served as a barrier to effective treatment of their disease. Half of all people with obesity report that they have never had a conversation about their weight with their healthcare provider, and only four in 10 patients say they have been counseled about their weight by a provider. Raising awareness of the disease of obesity and providing the surgeries to patients in need in honor of Bariatric Surgery Day are steps we believe can lead to a change in overall access to science-based obesity care.

NOCW2018 would not have been possible without the support of our NOCW Partners: Diamond – Novo Nordisk; Bronze – Ethicon and Medtronic; Patron – Eisai and Leavitt Risk Partners; Supporter – Hitachi and Rhythm Pharmaceuticals.

In addition to wonderful Partners, NOCW is fortunate to have the support of more than 30 Champion organizations: Founding Champions – the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), The Obesity Society (TOS), the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) and the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance. Additional Champions include: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Preventative Medicine, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Group Association, American Medical Women’s Association, Asian Pacific Community in Action, American Society for Nutrition, American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, College of Contemporary Health, ConscienHealth, European Association for the Study of Obesity, Foundation Surgical Hospital of San Antonio, Grand Health Partners, Healthcare Leadership Council, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, National Association of Social Workers, National Business Group on Health, National Center for Weight and Wellness, New York Institute of Technology, Obesity Care Advocacy Network, Osteoarthritis Action Alliance, PCOS Challenge: The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association, Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Nutrition Services, Society of Behavioral Medicine, The Endocrine Society and TOPS Club, Inc.

The Mission of NOCW is to advance science-based understanding of obesity and widespread access to respectful, comprehensive and appropriate care. NOCW2018 takes place October 7th – 13th. Launched in 2015, NOCW is founded by The Obesity Society, the Obesity Action Coalition, Strategies to Overcome and Prevent Obesity Alliance, Obesity Medicine Association and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.