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Weight Loss Surgery Institute Receives Two Prestigious Awards


Arroyo Grande Community Hospital (AGCH), French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC), and Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC), which are Dignity Health Central Coast Hospitals, is proud to announce that the Weight Loss Surgery Institute of the Central Coast (WLSICC) recently received the Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best Hospitals for Bariatric Surgery.

This award comes just days after bariatric surgeon, Edward Felix, M.D., received the LEAD (Leadership, Education, Advancement, and Dedication) award for Excellence in Clinical Care from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Foundation.

The Women’s Choice Award is the nation’s most recognized advocacy group for empowering women to make better health care choices, and, according to a recent national survey, is one of the most trusted health care award organizations. This elite distinction is awarded based off high patient safety and patient recommendation scores. 

“We are honored to be recognized among the nation’s best for the treatment of women requiring bariatric surgery,” says David Maccabee, M.D., Medical Director of the WLSICC. “Regarding Dr. Felix’s award, his recognition highlights the continued excellence he has displayed in clinical care, and his career contributions to bariatric surgery. This significant achievement reflects positively not only on Dr Felix’s lifetime of dedication, but on our program as well.”

The LEAD Excellence in Clinical Care Award recognizes an ASMBS member for their exemplary qualities of clinical excellence and expertise in metabolic and bariatric surgery, as demonstrated by an exceptional record of patient-centered care, innovation, professionalism, leadership, and continuous service to community.  

Dr. Felix is a weight loss surgery expert, and is internationally known for his experience in laparoscopic surgery and other advanced techniques. He has performed more than 4,000 gastric bypass surgeries, and his expertise has greatly strengthened the bariatric team at the WLSICC, which is the only comprehensive weight loss surgery program created specifically to serve patients of the Central Coast from Santa Barbara to Salinas.

“I’m honored to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes a lifetime of work. With obesity at epidemic proportions worldwide, the issue is more pressing than ever before, and I’m proud of the work I’ve accomplished so far as a member of the ASMBS,” says Dr. Felix.

Obesity is a rising problem in the United States that affects over 60 million people. Among many other life-threatening diseases, obesity has been linked to hypertension, type II diabetes, sleep apnea, and cancer. The WLSICC offers surgical weight loss options as many of these diseases are addressed with surgical weight loss. The Institute offers various Bariatric procedures, all using minimally-invasive laparoscopic techniques.

WLSICC also welcomes Dr. McCloskey to the Bariatric team. Dr. McCloskey comes to us from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was Assistant Professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh for both Medical school and Fellowship training, has been a bariatric surgeon for over nine years, and has performed over 2,000 procedures. 

Dignity Health Central Coast

Dignity Health Central Coast is comprised of five hospitals, all recognized for their quality of care, safety and service, primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically advanced imaging centers, outpatient services and comprehensive home health services. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo and St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to provide additional funding to support new programs and services, as well as to advance the community’s access to health care. 

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