During the seventeen months I served as President of our Society, we did a comprehensive review of the Accreditation/Center of Excellence concept by making a detailed evaluation of the proposed new standards, reviewing the input from the public, enabling a more open process to establish clarity and support from the majority, discussing with private payers and CMS, and adopting a difficult consensus among all parties involved including the leadership in the Executive Council and the American College of Surgeons.
In 2013, the ASMBS celebrated 30 years of accomplishments by establishing a new news magazine called CONNECT, a new web site and phone app with easier navigation and a public section, new accreditation standards, new relationship with ASMBS State Chapters with more comprehensive support, and the completion of a new annual meeting concept with the first Obesity Week in a joint partnership with The Obesity Society.
All the leadership and committees worked hard on different new projects that led us to many valuable and exciting things: 1. The first National quality improvement program dedicated to decrease readmissions rates was design by John Morton (Secretary Treasurer); 2. Established a taskforce to address reoperations in a guideline document; 3. Formalized the communication process with private payers on regular basis to address mutual needs; and, 4. Completed the groundwork for the first ASMSB textbook under the leadership of Ninh Nguyen (President-Elect).
Collaboration was very important as we continued the political advocacy with more than 20 obesity community groups and participated in an inter-society collaboration with the GI surgical professional societies.
It was an honor to serve as President of the ASMBS, which I am proud to say, continues to provide strong leadership in public understanding and advancing the science of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery!
Jaime Ponce, MD