Theda Clark Bariatric Program, Surgeons Receive National Accreditation

American College of Surgeons Has Honored Program Since 2006

Midwest Bariatric Solutions and Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah were reaccredited by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). 

Midwest Bariatric Solutions and Theda Clark have been accredited since 2006. The duo was accredited as an inpatient 1B facility. The designation means Theda Clark’s bariatric program meets essential criteria that ensures it is fully capable of supporting a bariatric surgery program and that its institutional performance meets the requirements outlined by the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program.

Bariatric surgery is offered at Theda Clark as a partnership between the hospital and Midwest Bariatric Solutions, which was founded by surgeons Ray Georgen, MD, and Kevin Wasco, MD. Theda Clark is the only hospital in the Fox Cities that offers bariatric surgery.

“The re-accreditation assures patients will receive the highest quality care from our multidisciplinary team before, during, and after their bariatric surgery.  It also recognizes the program’s commitment to patients, as well, as its leadership, resources, and successful outcomes,” said Andrea Wolff, Theda Clark’s Bariatric Program Coordinator.

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 2005 to extend established quality improvement practices to all disciplines of surgical care, the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program provides confirmation that a bariatric surgery center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality care for its bariatric surgery patients. Accredited bariatric surgery centers provide not only the hospital resources necessary for optimal care of morbidly obese patients, but also the support and resources that are necessary to address the entire spectrum of care and needs of bariatric patients, from the pre-hospital phase through the postoperative care and treatment process. 

In the United States, more than 11 million people suffer from severe obesity, and the numbers continue to increase. Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks.  Since weight-loss surgery provides the only effective, lasting relief from severe obesity, the ASC hopes the accrediting process will help patients identify facilities that provide the optimal surgical care.

Recent studies have also shown bariatric surgery is not only an effective treatment for type II diabetes, but also other diseases related to obesity, Wolff said. Ninety-two percent of program patients with type 2 diabetes no longer needed medication 24 months after surgery, which is higher than the national average of 83 percent. In addition, patients also saw a decline in sleep apnea (93 percent), the need for high blood pressure medication (72 percent), and reflux (92 percent).

“The benefits of bariatric surgery go far beyond the weight loss we see in the mirror. It leads to the remission or significantly improves associated diseases,” Wolff said.

Theda Clark Medical Center is a 166-bed acute care hospital founded in 1909. In addition to general medical and surgical care, specialized services include a birth center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin - Fox Valley, the region’s only American College of Surgeons Verified Level II Trauma Center, the Aylward Outpatient Surgery Center and ThedaStar Air Medical Helicopter. Theda Clark Medical Center also offers comprehensive neuroscience care and the Theda Clark Stroke Center was the first stroke center in Northeast Wisconsin to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. The Bariatric Program at Theda Clark, along with Midwest Bariatric Solutions and its surgeons, have jointly received two Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designations by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, ThedaCare At Work, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.