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Spectrum Health/MMPC Physician Contributes to Weight Loss Book; Book Provides a First-Hand Look at Bariatric Surgery.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Individuals considering bariatric surgery have another resource to help them through the decision making process. Randal Baker, M.D., F.A.C.S, medical director of the Spectrum Health Bariatric Program, and medical director of bariatric surgery and weight management for Michigan Medical P.C. (MMPC) is a tri-author of "The Real Skinny on Weight Loss Surgery" set for release in mid-July.

Baker, together with former patients Julie Janeway and Karen Sparks, along with MMPC Registered Dietitian Carrie Liebrock, R.D. and Behaviorist Scott Glass, M.S., M.A., provide a candid look at the increasingly prevalent surgery. According to the American Society of Bariatric Surgery, more than 140,000 people had bariatric surgery in 2004 and industry estimates put the numbers at nearly 300,000 for 2005. Spectrum Health performed nearly 1,200 surgeries in 2004, making it the largest hospital based program in the state of Michigan.

"We want people to know what they're getting into," said Randal Baker, M.D. "Patients considering bariatric surgery need to know that it's about more than just a procedure. It's about changing your life and going through a complete metamorphosis. The book offers a unique and often humorous glimpse into the lives of bariatric patients."

"The Real Skinny on Weight Loss Surgery" explores various aspects of bariatric surgery including pre and post surgery life. The book speaks to co-morbidity issues, protein diets and skin care. Often ignored, bariatric surgery for men is also addressed.

"Weight loss surgery doesn't guarantee a great life," said Julie Janeway, who lost 177 pounds following bariatric surgery with Baker. "Losing weight gives you an opportunity to live a happier, healthier and hopefully longer life. The rest is up to you. It's hard work, but it may be the best work you'll ever do."

In addition to writing his first book, Dr. Baker is an assistant professor of surgery at Michigan State University. Baker, along with his partners James Foote, M.D. and Paul Kemmeter, M.D. are also co-developers with W.L. Gore & Associates of the state-of-the-art bio-absorbable sealant that decreases bleeding and leaks from staple lines. The product, Seamguard(R), is also used in other types of lifesaving procedures.

The public is invited to attend a launch party and book signing on July 15, 2005 from 7 - 9:30 p.m. at the Prince Conference Center on the campus of Calvin College. Authors Baker, Janeway and Sparks will be available to share their perspectives on bariatric surgery. Other activities planned for the evening include meeting Olympian Judith Brown Clarke and participating in a "Weight Loss Tally". The tally will detail how many pounds attendees have lost in their quest to live happier and healthier lives.

MMPC has more than 225 healthcare providers in 30 locations across West Michigan in over 20 specialties. To learn more about MMPC, visit www.mmpc.com.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through its seven hospitals, more than 140 service sites and 450,000-member health plan, Priority Health. Our 13,000 employees, 1,400 medical staff members and 2,000 volunteers are committed to delivering the highest quality care to those in medical need. We provided $72 million in community benefit during our 2004 fiscal year. Spectrum Health has earned numerous national awards including being ranked in Verispan's listing of top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks. For more information, visit spectrum-health.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 11, 2005
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