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Media Contact: Angela Menninger, 602-373-8212,

Expansion provides East Valley residents’ chance to pursue life-changing bariatric surgery close to home

MESA, Ariz. (Jan. 24, 2017) – As weight loss and getting healthy top the list of resolutions for another new year, Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Management at St. Luke’s Medical Center is helping local residents explore the full spectrum of surgical weight management options by expanding its services to Mountain Vista Medical Center at 1301 S. Crismon Road in Mesa.

The partnership will not only provide surgeries on-site at the 178-bed hospital, but also free education sessions about weight management options. The first series of seminars will begin on Jan. 25 and webinars are also available through the Bridges website.

“We are excited to be able to offer the Bridges program’s weight management knowledge and experience to our patients close to their homes,” said Eric Paul, Market President for IASIS Healthcare Arizona’s Market.

Weight loss has never been more top of mind for many Americans as it was this year. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, data from Google points to nearly 70 million searches for “get healthy,” a 13.77 percent increase over the same time last year. While many traditionally tend to turn to diet and exercise to help with getting trim, a recent study in the journal Obesity says surgical weight loss could have more long-term benefits than tried and true diet and exercise.

The Bridges Center team at Mountain Vista is led by Dr. Van Leavitt and Dr. Rob Schuster, both of which are board certified in general surgery and fellowship trained in bariatrics.  They and their staff bring a deep-seated understanding of weight management challenges faced by patients to Mountain Vista Medical Center. The decision to undergo bariatric surgery is not one to be taken lightly. The team at the Bridges Center walks patients through a comprehensive weight management program that gives guidance and support before, during and after the procedure. The primary goal is to help patients lose weight safely, keep the weight off and live a healthy lifestyle.

“The journey to considering surgical weight management options begins with education,” Paul said. “The Bridges Center team brings their entire education toolkit to Mountain Vista Medical Center to help those interested in exploring bariatric surgery.”

The free seminars and webinars help people learn about the challenges of obesity, its health risks and the role of bariatric surgery. The sessions delve into the different types of weight loss procedures available, as well as the Bridges Center program, background about the professional health care team at the Bridges Center and the 360-degree support patients and their families receive over the course of their weight loss journey. In fact, spouses, family members and partners are encouraged to attend. Upcoming Bridges Center seminars at Mountain Vista Medical Center will be held on:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 25 at noon in classrooms 3-4 (Dr. Schuster)
  • Saturday, Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. in classroom 3-4 (Dr. Leavitt)
  • Saturday, Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. in classrooms 3-4 (Dr. Leavitt)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. in classrooms 3-4 (Dr. Schuster)

For more information about The Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Management or to reserve a space at an upcoming seminar, visit or call 602-251-8828.

About Bridges Center for Weight Management
Designated by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) since 2005, the Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Management at St. Luke’s Medical Center provides a comprehensive program to help individuals achieve healthy, long-term weight loss. The multidisciplinary weight management program features preoperative education, weight loss surgery, nutritional guidance and postoperative support — all designed to help individuals achieve and maintain their weight loss goals. The Bridges Center team at St. Luke’s Medical Center consists of knowledgeable health care professionals — all dedicated to making every experience a positive one by guiding and supporting individuals through every stage of their weight loss journeys. In addition to a highly-experienced team of board-certified bariatric surgeons, staff includes a psychologist, registered nurse, registered dietitian, licensed practical nurse, physical therapist, and a team of patient advocates. For more information, visit or call 602-251-8828.

About Mountain Vista Medical Center
Mountain Vista Medical Center, part of IASIS Healthcare, is a 178-bed, full-service hospital, featuring all-private rooms and advanced medical technology. Designed to provide comprehensive health care services for residents of the East Valley, the hospital is accredited as a Primary Stroke Center, and a Level III Trauma Center. The hospital also features a Chest Pain Center and Cardiac Receiving Center.  Mountain Vista Medical Center is directly or indirectly owned by an entity that proudly includes physician owners, including certain members of the hospital’s medical staff. It is located in Mesa, just north of U.S. 60 at Crismon Road and Southern Avenue. Mountain Vista Medical Center is an Official Healthcare Partner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. For more information, visit   or call 1-877-924-WELL (9355). Find Mountain Vista Medical Center on Facebook and follow the hospital on Twitter.

About St. Luke’s Medical Center
Serving Metropolitan Phoenix for more than 100 years, St. Luke’s Medical Center is a 200-bed tertiary care hospital part of IASIS Healthcare offering a full range of medical services, including emergency care, orthopedics, cardiac care, bariatrics, physical rehabilitation, pain management and wound care. St. Luke’s has a long history of innovation as the first hospital in Arizona to open a cardiac catheterization lab, and the first in the Valley to perform open heart surgery. With a focus on serving the diverse health care needs of the community, experienced professionals provide high quality care with the latest technology, in a caring environment. St. Luke’s Medical Center is an Official Healthcare Partner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. For more information, visit or call 1-877-351-WELL (9355). Find St. Luke’s Medical Center on Facebook and follow the hospital on Twitter.

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