Rogers-Lowell Area News


Date ArticleType
8/6/2019 Member News
Northwest Medical Center-Springdale and Roller Weight Loss & Advanced Surgery Named a National Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery

Northwest Medical Center–Springdale and Roller Weight Loss & Advanced Surgery, working together, have become the fifth center in the country to be named a Center of Excellence (COE) for bariatric surgery by the Employers Centers of Excellence Network (ECEN). The qualifications for ECEN surgeons and medical centers are based on excellent outcomes, low complication rates, high quality, and value-based care. The program is designed to grant employees of participating businesses – including Walmart – access to the highest quality care and health plan innovation in the United States.

In the United States, around 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health, and the numbers continue to increase. 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 surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to severe obesity. 

“I am proud of the work the bariatric team members have accomplished to create a seamless program for bariatric surgical patients that delivers consistently great patient experiences and outcomes,” said Hans Driessnack, CEO of Northwest Medical Center-Springdale. “Through this program, people who have struggled with the complications of obesity are able to regain control of their weight and live healthier lives. We’re honored to have been selected by this prestigious organization as a Center of Excellence as this designation attests to the high quality of services these two organizations collaboratively provide.”

With the addition of Roller Weight Loss & Advanced Surgery and Northwest Medical Center-Springdale, Walmart now has health system partners in 18 cities across the country although this is the first Center of Excellence in its home state of Arkansas and just the fifth bariatric Center of Excellence in the nation. Walmart is the nation’s largest employer with more than one million employees. 

“I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in Northwest Arkansas in the past 12 years becoming a nationally recognized program for weight loss surgery. We feel very honored to have earned this designation and to have become only the fifth COE in the country. We have been able to provide patients with the most modern bariatric surgical care available in the country right here in Northwest Arkansas and now Walmart employees – among many others – can access our program,” said Josh Roller, M.D., CEO of Roller Weight Loss & Advanced Surgery, who helped develop Northwest Health’s bariatric program 12 years ago and continues to lead it today. He serves as Medical Director for Bariatric Surgery at Northwest Health.

In a joint statement endorsed by 45 international professional organizations, diabetes clinicians and researchers have urged that metabolic (bariatric) surgery be recommended or considered as a treatment option for certain categories of people with diabetes, including those who are mildly obese and fail to respond to conventional treatment. The statement includes the fact that “metabolic or weight-loss, surgery quickly and dramatically improves blood glucose control.”

Walmart's Centers of Excellence (COE) program changes lives by partnering with top specialists for certain serious medical conditions and procedures to give its employees easy access to the very best, most appropriate care possible, according to its website.

“Being able to access nationally-recognized care close to home is a huge blessing for Northwest Arkansas,” said Denten Park, Market CEO for Northwest Health. “We are grateful for the opportunity to serve along with the wonderful bariatric surgeons at Roller Weight Loss to deliver exceptional outcomes to our neighbors.”