Friday, May 19, 2023 San Juan Regional Medical Center Opens Metabolic and Bariatric Institute


San Juan Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce the opening of our Metabolic and Bariatric Institute to help patients achieve their weight loss goals and improve their health. This robust program will be personalized to each patient’s desired goals, with surgical and medical options available. 

“Our program looks at the whole patient,” said Dr. Philip Ernest, Surgeon and Medical Director of the Metabolic and Bariatric Institute. “We really wanted to design a plan with the best recommendation to achieve the patient’s goals to attain long lasting weight loss with improvement in associated diseases.”

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, bariatric surgery is the most effective and long-lasting treatment for severe obesity. It can result in significant weight loss as well as many additional health benefits, including substantial improvements, prevention or resolution of: 

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure 
  • Obstructive sleep apnea 

“Some people achieve complete resolution of high blood pressure and diabetes, which is one of the many things we are really excited about,” said Dr. Ernest.

In addition to meeting with Dr. Ernest and Assistant Medical Director Meghan Ritz, PA-C, patients will see a dietitian as well as a mental health counselor. The team of experts will take a collaborative approach to help guide each patient through expectations and challenges and assist with any necessary behavioral modifications to help achieve their goals. 

“My greatest hope for the Metabolic and Bariatric Institute is not only to help individual patients achieve weight loss goals through lifestyle intervention, medical management, and bariatric surgery, but to also become a valuable resource to promote the health of all communities in the Four Corners region,” said Ms. Ritz.  

“We look forward to helping our patients meet their healthy living goals,” said Dr. Ernest.

As the Metabolic and Bariatric Institute gets started, the best way for patients to be accepted into the program is by referral. If you or someone you know may be a candidate for weight loss surgery, talk to your primary care provider. 

The Metabolic and Bariatric Institute is located at 735 West Animas Street in Farmington. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and can be reached at 505.609.6300. 

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