CMU Health surgeon now certified in obesity medicine

Dr. Vasanth Stalin leads St. Mary’s of Michigan Bariatric Surgery Center
Dr. Vasanth Stalin

Central Michigan University College of Medicine professor and CMU Health surgeon Dr. Vasanth Stalin, leader of the St. Mary’s of Michigan Bariatric Surgery Center, has earned specialty certification in obesity medicine.

Residents from throughout the central Michigan region and beyond are working through the center in their determined efforts to fight obesity through nutrition, exercise and surgical procedures.

Stalin, part of the CMU Health Division of Surgery team that works out of Saginaw and Bay City, refined his expertise in various forms of bariatric surgery during a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. He is one of just 158 physicians in the country to be certified in the last year in the subspecialty of obesity medicine by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. He is one of 29 certified physicians in the state and one of just two in the Saginaw, Bay, Midland, Isabella, Huron, Tuscola and Sanilac county corridor.

“We’re changing lives and helping people live healthier, longer lives at the Bariatric Surgery Center,” Stalin said. “Weight management is an important issue nationally and in Michigan. Patients are looking for comprehensive, evidence-based solutions.”

Stalin’s obesity certification demonstrates a thorough understanding of weight management, particularly in terms of the genetic, biologic, environmental, social and behavioral factors that contribute to obesity.

The Michigan Department of Community Health reports that the state has the tenth-highest prevalence of obesity in the country, with three out of every 10 adults categorized as obese and having a body mass index of 30 or higher. Obesity is a primary trigger for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

“We encourage our medical students, residents and physicians to pursue lifelong learning opportunities such as the obesity medicine certification. Validation of these skills by independent agencies is an important measure of quality and success,” said Dr. Anthony Senagore, chair of surgical disciplines with the CMU College of Medicine. “Dr. Stalin continues to expand his expertise, and it benefits our communities and the students and resident physicians we mentor.”

The St. Mary’s Bariatric Center, which launched in 2012, hosts group support on the first Tuesday of each month. The class is open to anyone with a weight issue or who has a loved one with a weight problem. The St. Mary’s Bariatric Program takes a team approach: each patient works with physicians, an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, dietician, nurse and a coach/educator. The team, now supporting approximately 130 patients, meets with individuals before and after surgery.

Stalin, certified by the American Board of Surgery, did his surgical residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York after completing his medical degree in 1999 from the Madurai Medical College in India.

For more on the St. Mary’s of Michigan Bariatric Surgery Center, click here.