Dear N.E.W. Program Clients,
From my first day in practice, patient safety has always been my focus and first priority. Throughout more than two decades, I have provided new and novel weight management protocols, and the most cutting edge and sophisticated surgical techniques, without ever losing my commitment to patient safety. This guiding principle will continue as we move into what is now the coronavirus era. I want to express my appreciation for your cooperation as my clinic implements new safety policies to protect the health of all our clients. I want to reiterate that the safety and health of surgical patients and weight loss clients is my Number 1 Priority.
Excess weight and obesity are health issues that put my patients at increased risk when dealing with this infectious disease. While many people in our society, including many physicians, believe that treatment for obesity is not a necessity, I have always disagreed. In fact, obesity puts more people (40% of the population) in the United States at risk for lung diseases such as coronavirus than does cigarette smoking (14%) and asthma (8%) combined! (data from the Centers for Disease Control) As a result, I understand that continuing to treat people for excess weight is a priority.
To provide a balanced approach that takes into consideration the new risk caused by the coronavirus, I have implemented the following policies.
- All new consultations will be performed using telephone conferencing or HIPAA-compliant internet-based technology (Zoom meeting).
- Pre-operative appointments will continue to be performed, but we will allow only one patient at a time in our clinic.
- Patients who are ill, that have a fever, or that live with other people that may be ill, cannot be seen in the clinic at this time.
- Beginning March 16th, all surgical procedures and in-clinic visits were placed “on hold” for three weeks.
- When surgery resumes in April, all surgery that can be performed as an outpatient will be performed at an outpatient surgery center, if possible, in order to avoid exposure to an environment where people with coronavirus are being treated.
- When hospitals with bariatric surgery Center of Excellence designations have implemented safety protocols that minimize risk to my patients, I will once again begin scheduling surgery at those hospitals.
Please understand that both your safety and your success are important to me and my staff. We will continue to update these policies as necessary.
It is a privilege to care for all our clients at The N.E.W. Program and we will do our absolute best to continue to provide the safest weight loss services available.
Brian Quebbemann, MD, FACS, FASMBS