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Meet Tamisha Santana

Tamisha Santana started her journey to bariatric surgery last year when she was considered morbidly obese, weighing in at 235 pounds with a body mass index (BMI) of 40.1.

"I was not happy or healthy," she said. "I was borderline diabetic with high blood pressure and sleep apnea. I couldn't enjoy my everyday life with my family. I was always too tired to do anything, and I didn't have the motivation to live life the way I knew I could have. Then I found Jackson North."

Tamisha had heard about the ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® at Jackson North Medical Center, and the results of her examination showed that she was a perfect candidate for surgery.

Jackson North Medical Center offers a holistic approach to weight loss for patients who are unable to lose excessive weight through diet and exercise. The program is led by Jorge L. Sosa, M.D., and was recently designated as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Jackson North received this designation for providing superior bariatric surgery patient care, promoting optimal levels of performance and advancing the safety, efficacy and efficiency of bariatric and metabolic surgical care.

"This achievement gives our bariatric team at Jackson North great pride," said Dr. Sosa, "and we are looking forward to offering this service to our community."

 Bariatric surgery is a proven intervention for morbidly obese people and is recognized for its ability to save lives, providing improvement not only for obesity, but in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

"Weight-loss surgery is a life-changing step," said Sandy Sears, chief administrative officer of Jackson North. "Our caring, compassionate team works with each patient to create an individualized strategy to achieve their weight-loss goals."

Tamisha underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in June 2011. In just over a year, she has lost 119 pounds.

"My life has changed in so many ways," she said. "I love life now and my health is better than it has ever been. My only regret is not having the surgery sooner because I missed out on so many things with my husband and children. Now, I have a better quality of life and I love it. I'm living it to the fullest."

Tamisha's bariatric surgeon, Dr. Jorge L. Sosa, and Jackson North Chief Administrative Officer Sandy Sears hold the ribbon for Tamishato cut it and dedicate the ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® at Jackson North Medical Center.

This article appears in the Fall 2012 issue of JHS Connections, Jackson Health System's quarterly e-newsletter for the community. To receive it and learn about the latest news, events and happenings throughout JHS, click here to join our mailing list.

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