Washington, DC – National Obesity Care Week (NOCW) is proud to announce that through a collaboration with Ethicon*, part of Johnson & Johnson** Medical Device Companies and Leavitt Risk Partners (LRP) a total of eight patients in need throughout the U.S. will receive the life changing treatment of bariatric surgery at no cost. NOCW 2017 is brought to you by the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), The Obesity Society (TOS), The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance.

While bariatric surgery is one of the safest and effective treatments for severe obesity, there is still limited access to it throughout the U.S. “We recognized a significant need within the patient population to help those wanting bariatric surgery but did not have access to it through their insurance provider or the Affordable Care Act. Through our partnerships, we were fortunate enough to help these patients address their weight and health,” said Joe Nadglowski, Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) President and CEO, Founding NOCW Champion.

According to the OAC Web site, severe obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40 or a BMI of 35 or greater with an existing obesity-related disease, such as diabetes or hypertension. Additionally, a long-term study following patients for up to 14 years after bariatric surgery found that 89 percent of weight-loss was maintained.

“While bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severe obesity, and has become one of the safest, only 1 to 2 percent of those who could qualify for it, are actually getting it each year,” said Stacy Brethauer, MD, President, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). “We must remove the insurance, policy, perceptual and societal barriers that prevent people from seeking and getting the treatment they need.”

The donated surgeries would not have been possible without the support of Ethicon, LRP 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: Samuel Bledsoe, MD, FACS, FASMBS – Arkansas Heart Hospital; Stephen Boyce, MD, FACS, FASMBS – New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery; Frank Duperier, MD, – Bariatric Medical Institute of Texas, PLLC; Shawn Garber, MD, FACS– New York Bariatric Group; Christopher Joyce, MD, FACS, FASMBS – Silver Cross Hospital; Sachin S. Kukreja, MD, FACS, FASMBS – Methodist Dallas Medical Center; Ann Rogers, MD, FACS – Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program; and Anthony Terracina, MD – Bon Secours Surgical Specialists at Mary Immaculate Hospital.

Today, more than 90 million adult Americans are affected by the disease of obesity. For too long, people with obesity have been stigmatized, preventing the effective treatment of the disease. Half of people with obesity report they have never had a conversation about their weight with a healthcare professional (HCP), and only four in 10 patients say they have been counseled about their weight by a HCP. NOCW 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 care.

The 2017 NOCW would not have been possible without the support of our official NOCW Partners. NOCW would like to recognize all of the amazing Partners of the 2017 NOCW: Diamond – Novo Nordisk; Bronze – Ethicon; Leavitt Risk Partners; Patron – Medtronic and Weight Watchers.
This campaign was also fortunate to have the support of more than 35 Champion organizations: Founding Champions – The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), The Obesity Society (TOS), The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance. Additional Champions include – Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; American Academy of Physician Assistants; American Association of Nurse Practitioners; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; American College of Osteopathic Internists; American College of Preventive Medicine; American Gastroenterological Association; American Medical Group Association; American Medical Women’s Association; American Society for Nutrition; American Society for Parental and Enteral Nutrition; Asian Pacific Community in Action; Association of Family Practice PAs and NPs; Bariatric Pal; CHI Memorial’s Metabolic and Bariatric Care; ConscienHealth; Council for Diabetes Prevention; Healthcare Leadership Council; European Association for the Study of Obesity; Healthcare Leadership Council; Livliga; LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research; National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians; New York Institute of Technology – College of Osteopathic Medicine; Obesity Care Advocacy Network; Obesity Medicine Association; Osteoarthritis Action Alliance; PCOS Challenge: The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association; Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity; Society of Behavioral Medicine; Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine; and The Endocrine Society.
If you are interested in learning more about NOCW, please visit www.ObesityCareWeek.org and help change the way we care today!

The Mission of NOCW is to advance an evidence-based understanding of obesity and widespread access to respectful, comprehensive and appropriate care. NOCW 2017 takes place during ObesityWeekSM 2017, an international event focused on the basic science, clinical application, surgical intervention and prevention of obesity. Launched in 2015, NOCW is founded by The Obesity Society, the Obesity Action Coalition, Strategies to Overcome and Prevent Obesity Alliance and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

 *Ethicon represents the products and services of Ethicon, Inc., Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC and certain of their affiliates.
**The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies comprise the surgery, orthopedics, and cardiovascular businesses within Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices segment.