NEA Baptist Achieves National Accreditation from Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program

/ January 24, 2019

NEA Baptist Achieves National Accreditation from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program

NEA Baptist–meets all criteria as a Comprehensive Center according to national quality standards established to deliver safe, high quality bariatric patient care.  

Jonesboro, Ark. January 15th, K. Bruce Jones, MD, FACS, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Director at NEA Baptist, announces the bariatric surgical center has been accredited as a Comprehensive 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).

NEA Baptist recently received new designations as a Blue Distinction Center by BCBS, which recognizes a proven history of delivering exceptional care and results. United HealthCare also recognizes NEA Baptist for its quality of care as a United HealthCare Center of Excellence. Both designations create a local option for patients who carry these medical plans and are interested in bariatric surgery.

Patients seeking surgical treatment for severe 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 northeast Arkansas.

To earn the MBSAQIP designation, NEA Baptist met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity.

NEA Baptist 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.

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.

“Lots of people worked really hard to achieve this level of expertise. This designation means we can offer weight loss surgery with the same high standards of safety and success found at the best centers in the world,” says Dr. Jones.

Dr. Jones is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School and has performed bariatric surgery since 1989. He is certified in surgery by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Society of American of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons and Database.  Dr. Jones is a member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.

NEA Baptist Clinic hosts free educational seminars on surgical weight loss options, nutrition classes and support groups each month. During the seminars, Dr. Jones addresses the benefits and risks of weight loss surgery and its growing use for the treatment of morbid obesity. Support groups present weight loss patients with a forum to openly discuss any problems or concerns regarding weight loss surgery. A variety of topics will be discussed with frequent guest speakers. For more information about nutrition classes, support groups and seminars visit or contact Gayla Smith at 870-936-8000 or by email at

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 their severely obese patients.

NEA Baptist’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; seeking continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center. 

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 severe 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.

(*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 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.

NEA Baptist Health System comprises NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, NEA Baptist Fowler Family Center for Cancer Care and NEA Baptist Clinic, northeast Arkansas’ largest physician group. The 228-bed hospital offers cancer care, heart care through the Heart Center, labor and delivery services through the hospital’s Women’s Center, as well as a number of inpatient and outpatient services, emergency care, and surgical services including weight loss surgery, neurology, respiratory care, and pulmonary rehabilitation. NEA Baptist Clinic’s over 100 physicians practice in more than 35 specialties and offer a wealth of services, from pediatrics to orthopedic services.

For more information about NEA Baptist, please call 870-936-1000 or 870-936-8000 or visit or



Back to blog