Public-Private Partnership Creates Infrastructure for Next Steps to Improving Care for Patients with Obesity

Baton Rouge, Louisiana — Louisiana is poised to transform the understanding and treatment of obesity, leveraging its 30 years of leadership in the field by recruiting one of the world's leading bariatric surgeons to establish a new Bariatric/Metabolic Surgery program. LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Louisiana Economic Development (LED), LSU Health New Orleans and the Office of the Governor of Louisiana joined forces to establish this new program, which will include an outpatient center on Pennington Biomedical's Baton Rouge campus, in 2020.

Dr. Phil Schauer, Professor of Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, and Director of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (BMI), has been named Director of the program. Dr. Schauer is renowned for being the first surgeon to perform laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery (1997). He has since performed more than 8,000 operations for severe obesity and handles many of the most difficult bariatric surgery cases in the world. Besides authoring more than 350 peer-reviewed scientific papers, he is one of the three most-cited authors in bariatric surgery literature. He led the STAMPEDE trial, which found that bariatric surgery could reverse Type 2 diabetes in up to 80 percent of patients. These findings have changed the guidelines for treating diabetes around the world.

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Learn more about Dr. Schauer and his vision at

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Our Views: How to do economic development the right way, with brain power – The Advocate praises Pennington Biomedical and its partners for bringing in the new bariatric surgery program, a move that boosts the economy and burnishes the state’s reputation. - est. audience 135,898