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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014


For Third Straight Year, West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center Ranked No. 1 in Pennsylvania

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

PITTSBURGH (July 28, 2009) – West Penn Hospital has been recognized as the best hospital in Pennsylvania for Weight Loss Surgery and ranked #1 for those services by HealthGrades®, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings organization.

This marks the third consecutive year HealthGrades has recognized the West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center as No. 1 in the state. West Penn also received its fourth consecutive 5-Star rating and top 5 percent in the nation ranking for weight loss surgery, and received the 2009/2010 Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award from HealthGrades.

In the HealthGrades Fourth Annual Bariatric Surgery Trends in American Hospitals Study, West Penn is one of 88 hospitals in the U.S. identified as a “top performer” (5-Star rated), with mortality rates, complication rates and patient lengths of stay that are dramatically lower than poorly rated hospitals.

Daniel J. Gagné, MD, FACS, FASMBS, Director of the West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center, along with Jorge E. Urbandt, MD, FACS, work with certified physician assistants, psychologists, dietitians, and other employees to ensure that patients receive the most comprehensive care available. Drs. Gagné and Urbandt perform laparoscopic bariatric procedures, including gastric bypass, adjustable banding procedures, and revisional weight loss surgery.

“Achieving this No. 1 ranking from HealthGrades for three years in a row speaks to the skill and dedication of Dr. Gagné, Dr. Urbandt, and the entire team at West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center,” said Dawn M. Gideon, President and Chief Executive Officer, West Penn Hospital. “We congratulate them on this exceptional achievement.”

Bariatric surgery patients treated at 5-Star rated hospitals such as West Penn have, on average, a 67 percent lower chance of experiencing serious complications compared to patients who undergo surgery at poorly rated hospitals, according to HealthGrades.

“Our patients tell us repeatedly how their health and lives have been changed for the better by weight loss surgery,” Dr. Gagné said. “We are proud to see the quality of care we deliver to our patients validated by HealthGrades for the third straight year.”

The HealthGrades study analyzed the outcomes of 153,355 weight loss surgery procedures performed in 19 states from 2005 through 2007. More than 61 percent of the procedures studied were performed in five states: New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, California and Florida.

“Competition among bariatric surgery programs grows stiffer every year as more programs open. It is critical for patients to carefully evaluate the quality of the hospital where they will have their surgery,” said Rick May, MD, a senior physician consultant with HealthGrades and an author of the study. “Hospitals designated as 5-Star for bariatric surgery are obviously doing things differently to obtain the high quality patient outcomes they are getting.”

The HealthGrades designation is just one of many honors and recognitions West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center has earned from respected organizations. In May 2006, the American Society for Bariatric Surgery named West Penn a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. The American College of Surgeons has also designated the West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center as a Level 1 center, providing comprehensive care to a wide variety of patients and providing an optimal environment for treating the most challenging and complex cases.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association designated West Penn Bariatric Center a Blue Distinction Center. Other health insurers, including Health America, United Resource Network and Cigna have all named it a Center of Excellence for bariatric surgery.

Drs. Gagné and Urbandt are leaders in the field, having performed more than 2,000 surgeries. They have also published 50 papers and book chapters on weight loss surgery and have given more than 120 presentations nationally and throughout the world.

For more information about the West Penn Bariatric Surgery Center, visit www.bariatricsurgerypittsburgh.com or call (412) 235-5900.

The full study and individual hospital ratings for bariatric surgery and other procedures can be found at www.healthgrades.com.


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