Baptist Center for Bariatrics enhances services
August 13, 2014 | Jacksonville, FL
With obesity impacting more than 30 percent of the U.S. population and 10 percent being morbidly obese, Baptist Health has increased its focus on weight-loss services to provide support to those in need.
Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville has enhanced the Baptist Center for Bariatrics, including a renovated floor with state-of-the-art equipment. The renovations come after the center last year was accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, signifying the center meets strict standards with a focus on the overall health of the patient.
Tower 6 opened this week with 40 beds, including 20 for bariatric patients and 20 medical surgical beds for patients undergoing various general surgeries and peritoneal dialysis because of chronic kidney disease. The renovated bariatric rooms are equipped for the comfort and safety of the patient, including specially designed furniture, equipment, bathroom fixtures and a ceiling lift in each room.
“Everything we have is meant to be used for the safety of the patient,” said general surgeon Craig Morgenthal, MD, FACS, medical director of the Baptist Center for Bariatrics and section chief for the division of general surgery at Baptist Jacksonville. “We want to ensure the patient has the best possible experience while they’re in the hospital and throughout their journey.”
General surgeon Steven Hodgett, MD, FACS, vice chair of the Department of Surgery at Baptist Jacksonville, said the renovations allow the hospital to provide more enhanced care to patients by providing “state-of-the-art technology combined with our existing expertise in nursing care.”
The floor on the medical surgical side is focused on the family by including day beds in the rooms to accommodate a family member if they want to spend the night. There is also a waiting area for families, which was not available previously, according to Blanca McKean, director of the Adult Tower, Critical Care, Bariatrics and Orthopedics for Baptist Jacksonville.
“The renovations renew our commitment to the highest quality of care in an environment that is pleasing and improves the healing process for our patients and their families,” said Michael Mayo, Baptist Jacksonville hospital president.
The new floor shows Baptist is focused on “patient excellence and safety and shows patients how much they are loved and cared for through this process,” according to Nancy Simon, vice president of Patient Care Services for Baptist Jacksonville.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, more than one in three adults are considered to be obese, while more than one in 20 adults have extreme obesity. “The level of obesity has plateaued while the percent of morbidly obese individuals is increasing,” Dr. Morgenthal said. “The Baptist Center for Bariatrics treats patients where diets and exercise have not been successful and bariatric surgery is the best option for them.”
The center also provides a comprehensive approach to care, including counseling to discuss weight and other health issues; diabetes and nutritional resources; seminars and support groups; and working in conjunction with primary care physicians to find solutions for achieving a healthy weight.
Candidates for bariatric surgery include:
- BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 40
- BMI greater than 35 with associated medical problems (type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension)
- FDA-approved use of Lap Band in patients with BMI of more than 30 with co-morbidities
- Patient has attempted weight loss through behavioral modification or medical treatment
- Patient is committed to long-term lifestyle changes
For more information, go to Baptist Bariatrics.