JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Brooke Army Medical Center Bariatric Surgery Clinic has achieved national accreditation as a Comprehensive Center from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program."This accreditation assures our patients that Brooke Army Medical Center is committed to providing the best possible comprehensive bariatric care," said Joseph Gonzalez, Bariatric Surgery program manager.MBSAQIP is a Joint Quality Program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. ASMBS is the largest organization for metabolic and bariatric surgeons in the world, with more than 4,200 members.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 93 million adults in the United States are affected by obesity and that number continues to increase. The disease of 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, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, among other health risks.The MBSAQIP standards ensure that metabolic and bariatric patients receive multidisciplinary medical care, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. MBSAQIP-accredited centers offer preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for patients with obesity.To earn MBSAQIP accreditation, BAMC met essential criteria for staffing, training, facility infrastructure and patient care pathways, ensuring its ability to support patients with obesity. BAMC also participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its surgical outcomes and identifying opportunities for quality improvement."This designation is important because it ensures quality, comprehensive bariatric care for our patients and helps our facility by supporting continuous quality improvement in bariatrics," said U.S. Army Maj. Pamela Masella, general and bariatric surgeon.In 2019, the BAMC Bariatric Surgery Clinic performed 290 surgeries, equating to accumulative weight loss of more than 10,489 pounds.BAMC provides three types of laparoscopic bariatric surgeries, adjustable gastric band, gastric bypass and vertical sleeve gastrectomy. The clinic also offers a Bariatric Support Group, the first Wednesday of each month in the main dining room in the lower level of BAMC. The support group is open to all bariatric patients, former patients, and those considering bariatric surgery. No appointment is required to attend the bariatric support group.After applying for MBSAQIP accreditation, BAMC underwent an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon who reviews the structure, processes, and clinical outcomes data. Centers that earn accreditation are awarded a specific designation level, depending on how many patients it serves annually, critical care capabilities, the types of procedures provided, and whether it provides care to patients under the age of 18."Accreditation as a bariatric center highlights the commitment of San Antonio Military Health System surgeons to improving the health of our patients," said U.S. Air Force Col. Patrick Osborn. "The knowledge, skill and dedication of our Bariatric Surgery Clinic staff is responsible for the exceptional outcomes that provide long-term benefit to our beneficiaries. They certainly embody the safe, efficacious, high quality care that BAMC strives to achieve for all our patients."Tricare beneficiaries interested in bariatric surgery can stop by the Bariatric Surgery Clinic located on the second floor in the General Surgery Clinic, or they can call (210) 916-9023 to set up an appointment.