News Release

Enloe Medical Center re-designated as
A Bariatric Center of Excellence

CHICO, Calif., Feb. 26, 2014 – The American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric surgery has named Enloe Medical Center as an ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. The designation recognizes programs with well-documented processes and a consistent record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery. Enloe has been designated as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence since 2007.

“We’re very proud of our outcomes and patients have done well with their weight loss,” said Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Deron Ludwig, the Enloe Bariatric Program’s surgical director. “The difference for most Centers of Excellence like Enloe is that we strive for education. We give our patients a road map to succeed, in terms of nutrition, what foods to eat, what supplements to take, the follow up that’s need for that person to do as best as they possibly can.”

The Enloe Bariatric Program addresses the medical, psychological, social and nutritional issues associated with excess weight. It provides weight-loss surgery combined with education and support programs to help patients on the path to success. Community members can learn more at, by calling (530) 332-5122 or attending a weekly weight-loss-surgery informational seminar, Wednesdays from noon to 2 p.m., at the Fountain Medical Plaza Conference Room, 251 Cohasset Road, Chico.

Many criteria must be met in order to be designated as a Center of Excellence, including surgery volume. Drs. Ludwig and Erik Simchuk, of the Enloe Bariatric Program, performed more than three times the number of required surgeries. A higher number of surgeries performed has been linked to improved outcomes.

“Drs. Ludwig and Simchuk are forward-looking. They regularly read research and implement best practices that lead to great outcomes,” said Enloe CEO Mike Wiltermood.

Enloe Medical Center was recently listed in the top 10 of Consumer Reports’ “Your safer-surgery survival guide.” The leading national magazine looked at criteria from different types of surgeries, outcomes and more, rating more than 2,400 hospitals nationwide.

“Along with the excellent bariatric surgeons in the program, nurses who care for patients at Enloe Medical Center after surgery have the additional training and skills is necessary to achieve the outstanding surgical outcomes,” Wiltermood added. Enloe is also equipped with bariatric facilities and furniture and offers specialized diets that patients require after the surgery.

The state of obesity: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than one-third (35.7.9%) of all U.S. adults are obese. In California, more than half of adults are overweight or obese, according to the California Department of Public Health. Both the prevalence and severity of obesity in the U.S. has grown over the past two decades. Multiple factors cause weight gain and obesity. Conditions associated with weight gain and biological changes in the body that occur as a result of weight gain contribute to progression of the disease, often trapping the individual in a vicious weight-gain cycle.

Treatment: When combined with a comprehensive treatment plan, bariatric surgery may often act as an effective tool to provide long-term weight-loss and increase quality of health. Bariatric surgery has been shown to help improve or resolve many obesity-related conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, infertility, gallstones and orthopedic problems. Three bariatric surgical procedures are offered at Enloe Medical Center to treat morbid obesity: the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the roux-en-y and the lap-band.

Media Contact:

Christina Chavira
Communications Specialist, Enloe Medical Center
530.332.5589 office; 530.588.4411 cell


Butte County Emergency Medical Services, LLC, doing business as Butte County EMS, is a joint venture between First Responder EMS and Enloe Medical Center. For more information, please call (530) 332-5555 or visit

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