Residents in Essex County now have a new resource to take control of their health.
University Hospital, in partnership with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, recently unveiled the new Rutgers Weight Management Center at the Newark facility.
Located in a newly renovated space at 90 Bergen St., Suites 2100 and 2300, the multidisciplinary center brings together medical and surgical services with personalized care and support teams for a holistic approach to weight loss, hospital officials announced Jan. 12.
“We are confident that this care approach will result in healthier patients and provide support for individuals suffering from obesity and health complications related to being overweight,” University Hospital President and CEO Ed Jimenez said in a statement.
According to the state Department of Health, the obesity rate among New Jersey adults was 28.6% in 2020. In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put New Jersey’s number at 29.1%. The state department also noted that obesity increases an individual’s risk of hypertension, high LDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and osteoarthritis.
The new Rutgers center, officials say, takes a multipronged treatment approach to this “complex disease.” Patients will have access to board-certified obesity medicine physician specialists, endocrinologists, bariatric surgeons, advanced bariatric endoscopists, behavioral health specialists, nutritionists and patient navigators.
“The goal behind a collaborative center is to help shift the paradigm in how we approach a condition as complicated as obesity,” said Dr. Dhvani Doshi, medical director of the Rutgers Weight Management Center. “With combined expertise from multiple specialties and a broad spectrum of treatment options for obesity, the center will ensure all patient needs are met from the beginning to the end of their weight loss experience and ultimately enhance outcomes in the Essex County area.”
Patients also may qualify for University Hospital’s bariatric surgery program, which includes sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and lap gastric band. In this program, surgeons use the Da Vinci robot system, which results in smaller incisions and reduced risk of infection, shorter hospitalization, reduced pain and discomfort, faster recovery time and return to normal activities, minimal scarring and reduced blood loss, officials said.
Dr. Daniel Jones, chair of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Service at University Hospital, said the sleeve gastrectomy is the most popular of these procedures, which “trims the stomach from the size of a cantaloupe to the size of a banana,” resulting in 65% or more of their excess weight.
See a quick video of the new center that University Hospital posted on Instagram: