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Friday, April 01, 2005 - Harper University Hospital is first in Michigan to earn the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Bariatric Surgery
Detroit Medical Center's Harper University Hospital has received a designation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the premier healthcare accreditation association. JCAHO has awarded Harper University Hospital disease-specific care certification for bariatric surgery.

"The bariatric surgery program at Harper has clearly demonstrated a commitment to excellence that differentiates it from similar programs across the country," states Brooks Bock, M.D., president of Harper University Hospital. "The Gold Seal of Approval is a coveted healthcare indicator that our bariatric surgery program effectively employs established clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care for the clinically severe obese. This program complies with a national set of standards, utilizing an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities."

The bariatric program at Harper has helped thousands of patients successfully lose both weight and body fat. This program takes a comprehensive approach to managing weight loss before and after surgery through education, support, proper nutrition and exercise. Harper clinicians also provide effective pain assessment and management during recovery, resulting in early mobilization and a short length of stay.

To earn JCAHO accreditation, Harper disease-specific programs for bariatric surgery underwent extensive on-site evaluation reviews by the Joint Commission, which will be repeated once every two years.

"This certification means that this organization does the right things and does them well for bariatric surgery patients," says Charles A. Mowll, executive vice president, Business Development, Government, and External Relations, Joint Commission.

Harper's bariatric program was evaluated against JCAHO standards through an assessment of the program's processes, the program's ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization, and interviews with patients and staff.

The Joint Commission launched its Disease-Specific Care Certification program in 2002. It is the first program of its kind in the country to certify disease management programs. A list of Joint Commission bariatric-certified programs are available at

Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of healthcare accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in healthcare organizations. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 15,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States, include more than 7,800 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 7,300 other healthcare organizations that provide long term care, assisted living, behavioral healthcare, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also accredits health plans, integrated delivery networks and other managed care entities. In addition, the Joint Commission provides certification of disease-specific care programs and primary stroke centers. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare.