Enloe welcomes new bariatric and general surgeon
CHICO, Calif., Jan. 2, 2008 – Enloe Medical Center welcomes surgeon Erik Simchuk, M.D. to Enloe’s Successful Solutions Weight Management Program. Dr. Simchuk is also a general surgeon at the medical center.
Dr. Simchuk joins the busy practice of Deron J. Ludwig, MD, Surgeon and Program Surgical Director for Successful Solutions. The two physicians met and became friends while they were in residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., in 1995.
“We always wanted to practice together. I’ve been looking at Chico and Deron’s practice since he arrived here,” said Dr. Simchuk. Dr. Ludwig, who has been on medical staff here since November 2005, arrived after Gulf Coast Medical Center in Biloxi, Miss., where he had been working, was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Along with his bariatric surgery practice, Dr. Ludwig also performs many advanced laparoscopic (minimally invasive) operations and general surgery at Enloe.
“With his extensive experience with minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Simchuk will be a strong addition to our surgical staff at Enloe Medical Center,” said Michael Wiltermood, Chief Operating Officer. “We are extremely happy to have him as a member of Enloe’s Medical Staff.”
Dr. Simchuk moved to Chico from Loveland, Colo., where he practiced for six years as a general and thoracic surgeon at McKee Medical Center. He brings with him his wife, Jennifer Jewell, a garden writer, and their two children, Delaney, 8, and Flannery, 6. Prior to practicing in Colorado, Dr. Simchuk was at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., from 1995 to 2001. Dr. Simchuk was a fellow at Bristol Royal Infirmary in the United Kingdom, from 2000 to 2001, performing upper gastrointestinal surgeries and receiving intensive training in lung and esophageal surgery, including operations for esophageal cancer.
Certified by the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Simchuk is also a member of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract and Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, and is an associate fellow in the American College of Surgeons.
In their bariatric practice, Drs. Ludwig and Simchuk offer two surgical weight-loss procedures: the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the Lap Band (Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding). Both procedures are done laparoscopically, which is a minimally invasive method that involves placing a scope in small openings in the abdomen. This laparoscopic technique offers patients many advantages over the traditional “open procedure,” including a shorter hospital stay, less pain after surgery, improved surgical outcomes, fewer complications, and the ability to return to work more quickly after surgery.
The general surgeries that Dr. Simchuk performs include laparoscopic colon resection; as well as the removal of the spleen, esophagus, adrenal gland and stomach; all forms of abdominal hernia repair; thoracoscopic surgeries, which are minimally invasive surgeries and involve the use of a camera in the thorax); and lung resection.
Born in Chuquicamata, Chile, Dr. Simchuk moved to the United States at age four with his family, who is from Spokane, Wash. He attended Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. He graduated with his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H., in 1995. Dr. Simchuk’s personal interests include mountaineering, skiing, fly-fishing, squash and golf.
About Successful Solutions: This Enloe Medical Center Weight Management Program focuses on the medical, psychological, social and nutritional problems associated with excess weight. It offers bariatric surgery with classes on nutrition and fitness, and an active support group called Bariatric Buddies. The program has designated clinical teams that care for patients at the medical center, providing consistent care. Also, Enloe has equipment designed for morbidly obese patients. In 2007, Enloe was named as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). This designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.
About obesity and weight loss surgery: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that 66 percent of all U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to many chronic diseases and disabilities, even premature death. Illnesses associated with obesity include heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and depression. After surgery, as a healthy weight is achieved, many of these conditions, called "co-morbidities," disappear.
For more information on Successful Solutions, call 891-1651 or visit enloe.org/weight.
Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at http://www.enloe.org. Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif. 95926.