Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Bariatric Surgery Program Earns National Accreditation
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Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Bariatric Surgery Program Earns National Accreditation 

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Norfolk, VA - December 14, 2006 - The Bariatric Surgery Program at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital has received national accreditation as a Center of Excellence from the prestigious American College of Surgeons. Norfolk Generals program is just the second in the state to receive this distinction, following the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville.

This certification lets patients know that we provide a full-service, comprehensive bariatric program, said Dr. Stephen D. Wohlgemuth, medical director of bariatric surgery.

Wohlgemuth is one of five board-certified surgeons who conduct bariatric procedures at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The surgery team includes anesthesiologists, nurses, nutritionists, internal medicine specialists, exercise physiologists, psychologists, insurance specialists and surgeons, who provide pre- and post-surgery treatment and follow up. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital began its bariatric surgery program in 2003.

"I commend the team for their exceptional performance in helping to achieve this accreditation," Wohlgemuth said. "You can't become a Center of Excellence without a comprehensive team that focuses on all aspects of care for bariatric patients. The people make our program strong, and they are to be congratulated." 

To earn accreditation, the program went through a rigorous review in which the bariatric surgery team demonstrated a history of high-quality surgical care and outcomes. As an accredited bariatric surgery Center of Excellence, Sentara Norfolk General Hospitals bariatric surgery program will continue to employ the highest standards of care, document outcomes and participate in periodic ACS reviews and verifications.

The ACS has four levels of accreditation based on the breadth of each individual program.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospitals program has earned Level 1a status, which means that it provides complete tertiary care and has a proven record of providing the highest-quality care for the most challenging and complex bariatric patients with optimal opportunity for safe and effective outcomes. Level 1 programs also must agree to enroll in the ACSs National Surgical Quality Improvement Program as a means of measuring their surgical outcomes.

Sentara CarePlex Hospital is also a bariatric surgery Center of Excellence, designated last year by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, the other nationally recognized accrediting body. That designation was received following a similar rigorous review of clinical quality.

For more information about Sentara's bariatric surgery program, call 1-800-SENTARA or visit


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