Section: News

Flagler Hospital Bariatric Surgery Center Earns Center of Excellence Designation

Flagler Hospital Bariatric Surgery Center Earns Center of Excellence Designation

ST. AUGUSTINE , FL – August 7, 2008 – Flagler Hospital announced today that it has been named an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®. The ASMBS Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.   

According to a report released in 2007 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the number of bariatric surgeries has grown from 16,000 procedures performed in 1992 to 170,000 performed in 2005. Faced with clinical evidence that the most experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have by far the lowest rates of complications, the ASMBS Centers of Excellence program was created to recognize bariatric surgery centers that perform well and to help surgeons and hospitals continue to improve the quality and safety of care provided.

“Our designation as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence is a testament to our highly skilled and experienced team of physicians, nurses and staff who are dedicated to improving the overall health and well-being of our patients,” said Joe Gordy, CEO of Flagler Hospital. “From our pre-surgical education classes to our follow-up exercise and wellness programs, our center has been designed to provide our patients with the gold standard for comprehensive bariatric care.”

To earn a Center of Excellence designation, Flagler Hospitalunderwent a series of site inspections during which all aspects of the program’s surgical processes were closely examined and data on health outcomes was collected. Flagler Hospital and other centers receiving the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation agree to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data.   

Dr. Robert Marema, Medical Director of Flagler Hospital’s Bariatric Surgery Center, has personally performed more than 6,000 surgical weight loss procedures.  “As a physician who has been involved in the field of bariatric surgery since its beginning, I believe strongly in the standards set by ASMBS,” commented Dr. Marema. “Our goal is to partner with patients and help them determine the best pathway to improving their personal health, while also supporting widespread education, research, prevention and treatment options for obesity - one of America’s most prevalent diseases.” 

Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), an organization dedicated to pursuing surgical excellence, formulates and establishes the rigorous standards with which Flagler Hospitaland other Centers of Excellence must comply, thoroughly inspects and evaluates each candidate for designation, and upon review recommends approval of designation for those physicians and facilities whose practices and outcomes meet the stringent demands set forth by SRC for ASMBS.

About Flagler Hospital

Flagler Hospital is a full service, 316-bed acute care hospital that is consistently recognized nationally for overall clinical excellence.  Flagler was named among U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals 2007” and was Northeast Florida’s first hospital to receive the ANCC Magnet hospital award.  Thomson Healthcare also named Flagler Hospital among the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals. Most recently, the hospital earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Care Centers.  For more information about Flagler Hospital, please visit us at

About the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) is the largest society for this specialty in the world. Founded in 1983, foremost American surgeons have formed the society’s leadership and have established an excellent organization with educational and support programs for surgeons and allied health professionals. The purpose of the society is to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery by continued encouragement of its members to: pursue investigations in both the clinic and the laboratory; interchange ideas, information and experience pertaining to bariatric surgery; promote guidelines for ethical patient selection and care; develop educational programs for physicians, paramedical persons, and lay people; and promote outcome studies and quality assurance. For more information about ASMBS, please visit

About Surgical Review Corporation

Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to surgical excellence. SRC’s mission is to promote the delivery of surgical care with the highest levels of efficacy, efficiency, and safety possible. For more information about SRC or to download a Center of Excellence application, please visit   




Gina McLean