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NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Receives New Accreditation for Obesity Medicine And Re-Accreditation as Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Center

Oct 30, 2023

New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue today announced that the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) has accredited the hospital’s Obesity Medicine Program and has re-accredited its Bariatric Surgery Program. The hospital has been designated by the program as a “Comprehensive Center with Adolescent and Obesity Medicine Qualifications.” The accreditation process for the surgery program reviews patient safety procedures, clinical data, and other rigorous bariatric surgical standards. All patients undergo several months of screening and preparation before undergoing the surgery, and the interventions offer many patient benefits, including weight loss, potential diabetes remission, and improved blood pressure. The Bellevue Center for Obesity and Weight Management has provided bariatric surgery and medical weight management since its inception in 2008, but this is the first time the accrediting group has offered certification for obesity medicine.

“The accreditation process rigorously evaluates our bariatric program, and I want to congratulate the bariatric surgery and medical weight management teams,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Chief Executive Officer William Hicks. “The ongoing success of this program reflects the team’s dedication to providing outstanding patient care and improving the quality of life of our patients.”

MBSAQIP accredits bariatric surgery centers in the U.S. and Canada that have undergone an independent, voluntary, and rigorous peer evaluation in accordance with nationally recognized bariatric surgical standards. This accreditation promotes uniform standard benchmarks and supports continuous quality improvement.

The MBSAQIP survey called the Bellevue program an “extremely structured program with experienced leadership and efficient processes which combined allow Bellevue to operate as a very high-volume program without sacrificing quality.”

“We are proud to receive this accreditation,” said Manish Parikh, MD, Director of the Center for Obesity and Weight Management. “This is our 5th accreditation since the inception of the program in 2008 and demonstrates the institutional commitment, leadership and resources made available for providing optimal care to our underserved patient population.”

Tatiana Figueredo-Dietes, MD recently joined the team as Director of Obesity Medicine, expanding the multidisciplinary team consisting of surgeons, physician extenders such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, pediatricians, registered dieticians, and mental health specialists.

“The Obesity Medicine Program allows us to provide medical treatment to patients who don’t qualify for bariatric surgery or don’t want bariatric surgery,” Dr. Figueredo said. “We are deeply committed to the care of overweight and obese patients at Bellevue and finding the best option for each patient.”

Overweight and obesity have been found to increase the risk of weight-related health problems including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and certain cancers.

The Center for Obesity and Weight Management is a multidisciplinary program dedicated to the comprehensive treatment of obesity and related illnesses, such as diabetes. It includes aspects such as nutrition, exercise, behavior changes, medicines and bariatric surgery. It offers a variety of treatment approaches, including bariatric surgery, and the core staff consists of expert clinicians in the fields of surgery, medicine, nutrition, and psychology.

Bariatric surgery causes weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach and restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold. Treatment options include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric banding. Patients undergo several months of screening and preparation before undergoing the surgery.

Health results for patients include:

  • Thousands of pounds lost (on average patients lose 50-70% of their excess weight)
  • 60-80% of patients with type 2 diabetes experience complete remission, meaning they no longer need to take medication to manage their type 2 diabetes.
  • 70% of patients with high blood pressure experience complete remission, meaning they no longer need to take medication to manage their high blood pressure.
  • 80% of patients with high cholesterol see levels return to normal.
  • 90% of patients with osteoarthritis see significant improvement.

The Bariatric Program began in 2008 and was first accredited in 2010. It has been re-accredited every three years since then, with the 2022 survey delayed until this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the thousands of people who have had bariatric surgery at Bellevue is MaryMar Garcia, 28.

Garcia said she had spent years trying different methods to lose weight, including taking diet pills and herbal drinks. A hairstylist who owns her own salon in the Bronx, Garcia said even her clients told her she should lose weight. She started considering weight loss surgery.

“I couldn’t lose weight. Or I would lose the weight but I would gain it back,” Garcia said. “One day I looked at myself in the mirror and said, you know what, I need it.”

Garcia searched online and found the Bellevue program. She attended the online seminar and got an appointment within two weeks. After that, she had several appointments with a doctor, nutritionist and psychologist.

“It was a real process. The doctor asked me, why did I want to lose weight. What had I done before to lose weight. They got to know me.” Garcia said. “Before I couldn’t even walk a mile. Now I can walk. I can go up the stairs. I can go to the gym.”

And she’s able to play with her children, said Garcia, who is married and has three children ages 12, 11 and 3. “I couldn’t play with them because I was always tired. Now I can walk and walk and I don’t get tired. I don’t sleep during the day. They really like the way I am.”

Her husband had been hesitant about her getting the surgery, but has since changed his mind.  “After he saw me losing weight, he loves it.”

She started out weighing 235 lb. and has lost about 80 lb. since the surgery in April 2022. Garcia said she is healthier now and grateful for the care she received at Bellevue.

“They really helped me. They would answer my calls. I really like that they take care of you.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Bellevue Public Relations, 212-562-4516;

About NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue is America’s oldest public hospital, established in 1736. Affiliated with the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the 851-bed hospital is a major referral center for highly complex cases, with 6,000 employees including highly skilled, interdisciplinary clinical staff. The hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center and annually it sees about 103,000 emergency room visits, more than 520,000 outpatient visits, and almost 200,000 visits to our COVID-19 testing and vaccine centers. Clinical centers of excellence include: Emergency Medicine and Trauma Care; Cardiovascular Services; Bariatric Surgery; Designated Regional Perinatal Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Children’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program; and Cancer Services. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org/bellevue and follow us on Facebook and X(Twitter).

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.