July 15, 2019

Steward Center for Weight Control at Saint Anne’s Hospital achieves national accreditation

Fall River, MA – Patients seeking surgical treatment for obesity and its related conditions have a high-quality choice for receiving treatment at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care in the greater Fall River-New Bedford area. 

Matthew LeMaitre, MD, metabolic and bariatric surgery director at the Steward Center for Weight Control at Saint Anne’s Hospital, has announced that its bariatric surgical center has been accredited as a low-acuity center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). 

Meeting national standards for quality careMetabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program logo

The MBSAQIP Standards, outlined in the Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2016, ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. The accredited center offers preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for obese patients.

Saint Anne’s commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and the leadership surgeons who participate in meetings throughout the year to review its outcomes. They seek continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center.

After submitting an application, centers seeking MBSAQIP Accreditation undergo an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon, who reviews the center's structure, process, and clinical outcomes data. Centers are awarded a specific designation depending on how many patients it serves annually, the type of procedures it provides, and whether it provides care for patients under age 18. 

To earn the MBSAQIP designation, Saint Anne’s program met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with obesity. The center also participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement. 

Addressing the many facets of obesity

Dr. LeMaitre notes that accreditation signifies the program’s commitment to high-quality outcomes and a high degree of satisfaction for patients who have struggled with their weight.Dr. Matthew LeMaitre

“Obesity is a multi-faceted disease, so patients who have struggled with their weight often try a variety of approaches before they consider surgery,” he said. “Surgery is just one component of our overall weight loss program that stresses compassionate, personalized care and regular monitoring to ensure that weight is lost in a healthy and sustainable way. We are proud that we have not only met the clinical requirements for accreditation, but, just as important, demonstrated the ongoing support and understanding that encourage our patients to be successful.”

Saint Anne’s program is part of the Steward Center for Weight Control, which is accredited as a comprehensive center. For patients from southeastern Massachusetts with higher acuity, this means that they can see Dr. LeMaitre locally, have their surgery done at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, and participate in local support groups and other lifestyle programs.

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, and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to obesity.* Working with ASMBS, the ACS expanded this quality program for bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist bariatric patients in identifying those centers that provide optimal surgical care.

Saint Anne’s Hospital President Michael Bushell underscored Dr. LeMaitre’s comments.

“With a higher-than-average rate of obesity in our area, it is important for us to provide resources that can help address all the conditions that often accompany obesity,” said Bushell. “Many of our patients report that they not only have lost weight, but continue to see notable improvements in related conditions, such as diabetes, blood pressure and joint pain. They’re also especially grateful for the supportive community of experts and peers who provide continuous encouragement before, during and after surgery. We are grateful for the expertise that Dr. LeMaitre and the weight loss surgery team share with their patients.”

To learn more

For more information about the Steward Center for Weight Control at Saint Anne’s Hospital, including information sessions, support groups, and referrals, visit, or call 508-672-0483.


*Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2004;292(14):1724-1737. DOI:10.1001/jama.292.14.1724.

About Saint Anne’s Hospital

Founded by the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation in 1906, Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts, is a full-service, acute care Catholic hospital with 211 beds and satellite locations in Attleboro, Swansea, Dartmouth, New Bedford, and Stoughton, Massachusetts. A member of Steward Health Care, Saint Anne’s provides nationally recognized patient- and family-centered inpatient care and outpatient clinical services to patients from surrounding Massachusetts and Rhode Island communities. In addition to the Patient Safety Excellence Award and Outstanding Patient Experience Award from Healthgrades, recent recognitions include the Leapfrog Group's “Straight A’s” for patient safety since 2012 and the 2018 Top Hospital award, plus Women’s Choice Awards as one of America’s Best Hospitals for orthopedic care and cancer care.

About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient. Its achievements have placed it at the forefront of American surgery and have made the College an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

About the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, founded in 1983, was formed to advance the art and science of metabolic and bariatric surgery by continually improving the quality and safety of care and treatment of people with obesity and related diseases through educational and support programs for surgeons and integrated health professionals.