Allegheny Health Network’s Bariatric Surgery Care Programs Recognized by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Healthgrades

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Allegheny Health Network has been recognized by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield with a Blue Distinction® Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities that demonstrate a commitment to delivering high quality patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations.

Allegheny Health Network's Bariatric Surgical Care team at West Penn Hospital.

“Providing convenient, one-stop access to a team of leading clinicians and weight loss specialists across multiple disciplines ultimately helps patients to achieve and sustain the weight loss that is so critical to their health and quality of life,” said George Eid, MD.

Allegheny Health Network (AHN) has been recognized by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) with a Blue Distinction® Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities that demonstrate a commitment to delivering high quality patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations.

The Blue Distinction Centers Bariatric Surgery program provides a full range of bariatric surgery care, including surgical care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care and patient education.

AHN’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute offers patients a comprehensive, multidiscliplinary approach to weight loss surgery, supported by a team of experienced health professionals including bariatric surgeons, medical weight management specialists, endocrinologists, dietitians, psychologists, nurses and anesthesiologists all in one location at West Penn Hospital. For the second consecutive year, West Penn has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by IBM Watson Health™.

In addition to these honors, West Penn and Jefferson Regional Hospital were recently recognized for superior baratric care performance by Healthgrades’ 2021 Specialty Excellence Awards. Healthgrades is an independent organization that evaluates nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide on excellence in particular specialities, clinical performance and patient safety.

“Providing convenient, one-stop access to a team of leading clinicians and weight loss specialists across multiple disciplines ultimately helps patients to achieve and sustain the weight loss that is so critical to their health and quality of life,” said George Eid, MD, bariatric surgeon and chair of the AHN Bariatric and Metabolic Institute.

With obesity in America approaching epidemic proportions, bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the United States, with more than 252,000 performed in 2018 according to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Nearly 45 percent of adults and 20 percent of youth in this country are obese, and their lives are impacted by obesity-related health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Obesity can also lead to higher prevalence of orthopedic concerns such as osteoarthritis, tendinosis and bursitis. For women, excess weight and obesity can lead to challenges with reproductive health, increasing the incidence of menstrual dysfuntion, infertility, miscarriage and other pregnancy complications. Bariatric surgery remains the most effective treatment for obesity for substantial, sustained weight loss.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to see a patient whose life was changed by having bariatric surgery, and sometimes the transformation is so dramatic, it’s hard to recognize that patient afterward,” said Dr. Eid. “We are proud to receive these honors, which reflect the outstanding care offered by our team of professionals here at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute.”

The AHN Bariatric and Metabolic Institute offers informational sessions at no cost, where patients can meet providers and learn about medical weight loss and surgical options. To find a nearby session, patients should call 412-DOCTORS.

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About the Allegheny Health Network:
Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org), a Highmark Health company, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is composed of 13 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, Health + Wellness Pavilions, an employed physician organization, home and community based health services, a research institute, and a group purchasing organization. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, trauma care, cardiovascular disease, organ transplantation, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes, autoimmune disease and more. AHN employs approximately 21,000 people, has more than 2,500 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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Catherine Clements
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