CHI Memorial Achieves National Accreditation in Obesity Medicine


CHI Memorial is pleased to announce it has received accreditation as a Comprehensive Center in Bariatric Surgery with Obesity Medicine Qualifications by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint Quality Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The accreditation means patients seeking surgical and non-surgical treatment for obesity and its related conditions have a high-quality choice in the greater Chattanooga area for receiving care at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality.

“Obesity is a disease that affects many people throughout the Chattanooga region,” said Jaime Ponce, MD, American Board of Obesity Medicine Diplomate and Medical Director of the Bariatric Surgery and Obesity Medicine programs at CHI Memorial.  “We offer effective surgical and nonsurgical solutions, all in a comprehensive program that will make sure each person loses weight.  Our program is designed to provide the physical, emotional, and spiritual support needed for weight loss success, and to keep the pounds off, ensuring a better, healthier future.”

CHI Memorial has been accredited by the MBSAQIP since 2012.  This is the first time it has received the Comprehensive Center with Obesity Medicine Qualifications designation.  Obesity Medicine is a non-surgical approach to weight loss that includes a comprehensive medical examination including lab testing and a customized plan based on an individual’s medical history and weight loss challenges. It also offers behavioral counseling by a licensed social worker, nutrition counseling, exercise support, and medications to support weight loss. Only 5 percent of Comprehensive Centers in the United States also have the Obesity Medicine qualification, and CHI Memorial is the only center in the Chattanooga area with this qualification.

Obesity Medicine care is provided through CHI Memorial Metabolic and Bariatric Care, located at 7405 Shallowford Road, Suite 160, Chattanooga, TN 37421.  The clinic’s commitment to quality care begins with expertly trained staff and the leadership of an experienced bariatric surgeon. The program is tasked with continuous review of surgical and medical data as they continue improving the structure and outcomes expertise necessary to provide safe, efficacious, and high-quality care to all metabolic and bariatric patients.

The MBSAQIP Standards, Optimal Resources for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, 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, CHI Memorial met essential criteria for staffing, training, facility infrastructure, and patient care pathways, ensuring its ability to support patients with obesity.  The center also participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its surgical outcomes and identifying opportunities for quality improvement.  The MBSAQIP Standards, Optimal Resources for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, are published by the ACS and the ASMBS. After applying for MBSAQIP Accreditation, centers undergo an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon who reviews the center's 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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 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. Metabolic and bariatric surgery has proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to obesity.*  Working together, the ACS and the ASMBS have developed accreditation standards for metabolic and bariatric surgery to assist patients with obesity in identifying centers that provide optimal patient care.

For more information about CHI Memorial Metabolic and Bariatric Care, visit, or call 423.899.1000.


*Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2004;292(14):1724-1737. DOI:10.1001/jama.292.14.1724.