Contact: Kate Darden, BHS Vice President, Marketing

Julie B. Wall, Markstein


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – October 20, 2014 – Princeton Baptist Medical Center today announced that its Comprehensive Bariatric Center has earned the designation as an Optum™ Center of Excellence (COE) indicating that the Center meets or exceeds nationally recognized standards of care.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese, with Alabama’s obesity rate at 32.4 percent. Obesity can lead to heart disease, stroke and type two diabetes, among other severe health-related issues. Since its opening in January 2013, the Princeton Comprehensive Bariatric Center has addressed this critical issue by delivering personalized, innovative care to its patients.

To be considered as an applicant for the COE network, facilities are evaluated by a group of more than 100 practicing clinical experts and include the following categories of assessment: procedural volume and associated outcome; stability of the team and the ability of the back-up team to manage the program; projected trends and technological advances in the specific field of medical science; and overall commitment to the field through the synergy of multiple related programs within the medical center.

The Princeton Comprehensive Bariatric Center is committed to providing the highest quality bariatric program in the Southeast. It offers a range of medical weight loss solutions, including Optifast, educational sessions about the surgical treatment of morbid obesity and bariatric surgical approaches, preoperative and postoperative nutritional and exercise counseling, surgical procedures, support group meetings and surgery after-care program. The three main surgical procedures are Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB); Adjustable Gastric Band (AGB); and Gastric Sleeve (GS).

The COE network provides patients with value by identifying hospitals and physicians that meet or exceed rigorous performance standards. The network ensures that the bariatric surgery and care provided by each designated facility are delivered in a manner that meets strict standards, increasing the likelihood of superior outcomes and ultimately reducing costs for patients.

“It is an honor to receive affirmation from the Clinical Science Institute of Optum that the Princeton Comprehensive Bariatric Center offers the highest quality care to its patients,” said Sue Bunnell, manager of the Princeton Comprehensive Bariatric Center. “Our team follows an interdisciplinary, patient-focused approach to treating obesity and is committed to helping our patients improve their health, reduce other life threatening conditions caused by obesity, increase their self-esteem and quality of life.”

For additional information about the Princeton Comprehensive Bariatric Center, please call (205) 783- 7991 or visit

About Baptist Health System

Baptist Health System, a not-for-profit 501(c) corporation and one of the largest health systems in Alabama, owns four hospital campuses, including Princeton (in Birmingham), Shelby (in Alabaster), Walker (in Jasper) and Citizens (in Talladega) as well as the largest network of employed primary- and specialty-care physicians providing coordinated care across central Alabama. The system includes graduate medical education programs and active clinical research in multiple specialties. Baptist Health System is committed to providing compassionate, high-quality, innovative health care and empowering its communities to achieve their best health. Baptist Health System is a ministry of the churches of the Birmingham Baptist Association, whose representatives elect the Board of Trustees. It was founded in 1922 by a group of local Baptist congregations. For more information please visit


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