Colquitt Regional Certified as Comprehensive Center for Bariatric Surgery

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MOULTRIE, Ga. – Patients seeking surgical treatment for severe obesity and its related conditions have a high-quality choice for receiving treatment at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care in the South Georgia area.

Colquitt Regional announced its bariatric surgical center has been accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The MBSAQIP Standards, outlined in the Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2016 ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. The accredited center offers preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for their severely obese patients.

“The bariatric services offered at Colquitt Regional have been extremely successful due to the comprehensive nature of the different programs,” said Dr. Howard Melton, Medical Director of Sterling Center Bariatrics. “These procedures continue to improve patient quality of life and our team is fully committed to providing the resources needed for every step of the journey.”

In addition to Dr. Melton, the Sterling Center Bariatrics team that practices exclusively at Colquitt Regional includes surgeons Dr. Amber Holt, Dr. William Stembridge, and physician Dr. Justin Baker.

Colquitt Regional’s commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and the leadership of physicians who participate in meetings throughout the year to review its outcomes. They seek continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center.

To earn the MBSAQIP designation, Colquitt Regional met essential criteria for staffing, training, facility infrastructure, and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity. Colquitt Regional and Sterling Center Bariatrics also participate in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement. The standards are specified in the MBSAQIP Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2016, published by the ACS and ASMBS.

“Our bariatric team has worked diligently towards accreditation and we are pleased that their dedication has been recognized by the MBSAQIP,” said Jim Matney, Colquitt Regional President and CEO. “Colquitt Regional is committed to providing the highest quality of care and receiving this accreditation is another way we have delivered on that promise.”

After submitting an application, centers seeking MBSAQIP Accreditation undergo an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon, who reviews the center's structure, process, and clinical outcomes data. Centers are awarded a specific designation depending on how many patients it serves annually, the type of procedures it provides, and whether it provides care for patients under age 18.

In the United States, around 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health, 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.

“We are fortunate to have a team of surgeons who are dedicated to changing lives through the patient-centered, multidisciplinary program that we have established at Colquitt Regional and Sterling Center Bariatrics,” said Maureen A. Yearta, Ed.D., Hopsital Authority Chairman.

Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to severe obesity.* Working with ASMBS, the ACS expanded this quality program for bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist bariatric patients in identifying those centers that provide optimal surgical care.

An added benefit to achieving this certification is that this provides greater access for patients to qualify for bariatric procedures with their insurance providers. While some insurances already allow for bariatric procedures, many will only cover procedures performed at accredited centers.

Procedures available at Sterling Center Bariatrics include gastric sleeve, endoscopic gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, Orbera intragastric balloon and Lap-Band. Sterling Center Bariatrics has become a regional leader in bariatric procedures and has locations in Moultrie and Thomasville.

For more information on services available, please visit or call 229-890-3414.