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Memorial Medical Center and Springfield Clinic Partner with Decatur Memorial Hospital to Offer Bariatric Services


Memorial Bariatric Services, a comprehensive program introduced by Memorial Medical Center and Springfield Clinic in 2002, is now available to residents of Macon County and the surrounding communities through a partnership with Decatur Memorial Hospital.

“Establishment of Memorial Bariatric Services at DMH responds to the need for additional safe, clinically effective strategies for weight loss for persons struggling with clinical obesity,” said John Ridley, senior vice president of Decatur Memorial Hospital. “We are very pleased that Memorial Bariatric Services is joining with Decatur Memorial Hospital to offer the full range of ancillary support needed for a truly comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to durable surgical weight loss for patients.”

Through this partnership, residents of the region served by Decatur Memorial Hospital will have access to bariatric programming that is recognized for excellence. Memorial Bariatric Services was reaccredited in 2013 by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery as part of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. Memorial Medical Center is one of only a few hospitals in Illinois to be recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Ridley explained that in a phased approach, Decatur Memorial will offer complete, multidisciplinary outpatient bariatric services affiliated with Memorial Bariatric Services, including nutritional and lifestyle counseling, physical therapy, specialist visits, laboratory and imaging services.

The bariatric surgical procedures will be performed at Memorial Medical Center by the program’s bariatric surgeons, Dr. Max D. Hammer, Dr. Orlando J. Icaza and Dr. Elizabeth Warner, all advanced laparoscopic bariatric and general surgeons affiliated with Springfield Clinic and physician leaders of Memorial Bariatric Services. The surgeons will also offer pre and postoperative care clinics monthly at Plaza West, Suite 202, on the Decatur Memorial Hospital campus.

This specialized medical care is provided as part of Springfield Clinic’s Outreach Specialty Services program. Nearly 100 Springfield Clinic physicians and surgeons travel to locations throughout the region. By partnering with local health-care facilities, the outreach program offers patients local access to medical experts in more than 20 specialty fields.

More than 1,000 bariatric surgeries have been performed at Memorial Medical Center. Three types of bariatric procedures are offered: laparoscopic roux-en-y bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

“Perhaps the most remarkable benefit for our patients is the improvement and resolution of co-existing health conditions at three years after a bariatric surgery,” said Hammer, the program’s medical director since its inception. “Sixty-two percent of our patients afflicted with sleep apnea have had that condition completely resolved while it improved for another 18 percent of those individuals. Type 2 diabetes mellitus has been resolved in 72 percent of our patients following their bariatric surgery. The condition has improved for another 25 percent of these patients.

“Similar results have been achieved for our patients with hypertension, back pain, osteoarthritis and urinary stress, among others.”

is the second leading cause of preventable death in the country, second only to smoking. “Memorial Bariatric Services was established as a comprehensive program to address the medical, emotional and social issues that accompany the care required to successfully treat and manage this condition,” Hammer said.

For more information about Memorial Bariatric Services at DMH, visit or call, toll-free, (866) 205-7915.