LACONIA — Dr. Raza Shariff, director of bariatric surgery for LRGHealthcare and the Weight Institute of New Hampshire, participated as a course faculty member at the spring meeting of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Shariff presented a talk on building a bariatric surgery team as part of the rural bariatric surgery symposium, held to address the challenges and triumphs of bariatric surgery practice in a rural setting.

As the medical director of a fully accredited, comprehensive center for bariatric surgery at the Lakes Region General Hospital, Dr. Shariff spoke about his role in establishing a center of excellence.

Dr. Shariff also serves on the rural bariatric surgery committee of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, established to provide access to bariatric surgery and improve the quality of care. The committee is helping other programs achieve accreditation from the American College of Surgeons-Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Quality Improvement Program. The committee is launching a bariatric surgery collaborative that aims to compare surgical outcomes and show that accredited, rural bariatric surgery centers perform on par with large tertiary centers and university hospitals.

Lakes Region General Hospital is one of only a handful of accredited, rural bariatric surgery centers in the country.

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