Mercy Bariatric Center Offers Support Group

January 23, 2012

The Mercy Bariatric Center is offering the New Beginnings Support Group, a monthly support group that offers information and support to people who are considering or have undergone weight loss surgery. Family members are welcome to attend as well.

The New Beginnings Support Group meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the Tucker Conference Room on the second floor at Mercy Hospital Washington, 901 E. Fifth St. in Washington. Meetings feature guest speakers – nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists, social workers, post-op patients, vendors – with a question and answer session and time devoted for group participation.

When exercise and eating healthy are not enough for people to maintain a healthy body weight, there are surgical options to losing those harmful and unwanted pounds. “Excess weight – a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more – puts people at high risk for acquiring life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes,” said Lisa Hawver, MD, a board certified general surgeon with a specialty in weight loss surgery. Dr. Hawver leads the Mercy bariatric Center at Mercy Hospital Washington. “The sad reality is that obese individuals live predominantly shorter lives. Fortunately, they can take steps to alter that reality and support groups like ours truly help in the process.” 

Dr. Hawver has fellowship training in advanced laparoscopic surgery and specializes in the full continuum of care for patients undergoing weight loss surgery. She is a board certified general surgeon and performs the spectrum of general surgery procedures including those of the breast, gallbladder, colon and thyroid. She also offers minimally invasive and laparoscopic weight loss procedures to the region. Many health insurance companies assist with the costs of bariatric surgeries and financial assistance may be available to those who qualify. For more information about bariatric surgery or the New Beginning Support Group, call Cathy Hume, RN, Bariatric Coordinator, at 636-239-8878.

Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

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