From Good Samaritan Hospital: The Surgical Weight Loss Institute at Good Samaritan Hospital, which is the only nationally accredited bariatric surgery center in Rockland County, has received a Five-Star Rating from Healthgrades and is among the top 10 percent in the nation, according to this year’s evaluation from Healthgrades, the leading online resource helping consumers make informed decisions to find the right doctor and the right hospital for the right care.

“We are proud to receive this recognition from such a prestigious organization like Healthgrades,” said Ramon Rivera, M.D., Bariatric Director of Good Samaritan Hospital’s Weight Loss Surgical Institute. “This award validates our center’s commitment to quality patient care, and the contributions of all hospital staff members in making the designation possible.”

The Surgical Weight Loss Institute is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality improvement Program (MBSAQIP), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS); there are 720 accredited centers in the U.S. and 52 are located in New York State. The MBSAQIP standards ensure that bariatric surgery patients are offered a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. Research has shown that mortality in patients operated on in centers that are not nationally accredited is double those that are accredited.

Each year, Healthgrades evaluates the performance of those hospitals performing bariatric surgery by measuring risk-adjusted in-patient complication rates. Healthgrades then identifies the top 10 percent of those evaluated, and recognizes them as recipients of the Healthgrades Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award. Additionally, the award recognizes the top five percent of bariatric surgery programs in the nation as measured by volume-weighted performance.

Healthgrades is the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Each year, the company evaluateshospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 32 conditions and procedures based on MedPAR outcomes data (from Medicare and Medicaid services), and for two procedures (appendectomy and bariatric surgery) based on all-payer data provided by 18 states representing more than half of the U.S. population.

These findings are featured in Healthgrades 2017 Report to the Nation. The new report demonstrates how clinical performance continues to differ dramatically between hospitals regionally and nationally. For patients, there are significant benefits to selecting hospitals that have achieved this recognition.

“Consumers have many choices regarding where to receive their healthcare, which is why it’s so vital that they understand outcomes performance at specific hospitals for specific conditions and procedures,” said Evan Marks, Chief Strategy Officer, Healthgrades. “Those hospitals that have achieved a specialty excellence distinction in Bariatric Surgery from Healthgrades exemplify a commitment to exceptional quality of patient care.”

The Surgical Weight Loss Institute was launched at Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis in 2003 and then expanded to Good Samaritan Hospital in 2005. Since then, and between the two hospitals, the program has performed over 7,250 cases to date. Last year, 427 cases were performed at Good Samaritan Hospital and 418 were performed at Bon Secours Community Hospital.

The Surgical Weight Loss Institute provides a highly individualized, positive approach to weight-loss success. Dedicated to compassionate, competent and professional care of the severely obese, it offers comprehensive preoperative assessment and preparation, excellent surgical care and lifelong postoperative care and support. The highly-skilled surgeons specialize in a range of surgical weight-loss techniques, primarily sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and in some cases the Lap-Band.


Good Samaritan Hospital has also been recognized for the following clinical achievements in 2017:

  • Five-Star Recipient for Peripheral Vascular Bypass in 2017
  • Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Sepsis for 7 Years in a Row (2011-2017)
  • Recipient of the Healthgrades 2016 Labor and Delivery Excellence Award™
  • Recognized by Healthgrades in 2016 for Superior Performance in Labor and Delivery
  • Among the Top 10% of Hospitals Evaluated for Labor and Delivery in 2016
  • Five-Star Recipient for Vaginal Delivery for 2 Years in a Row (2015-2016)

To view the complete Healthgrades 2017 Report to the Nation, including full methodology, click

For more information on the Bariatric Surgery program at Good Samaritan Hospital, call 845-368-5285.

About Good Samaritan Hospital, a Member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network

Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York, is a 286-bed hospital providing emergency, medical, surgical, obstetrical/gynecological and acute care services to residents of Rockland and southern Orange Counties in New York; and northern Bergen County, New Jersey.

The hospital is home to a recognized cardiovascular program, comprehensive cancer treatment services, the area’s leading Wound and Hyperbaric Institute and outstanding maternal/child services that includes a Children’s Diagnostic Center. Good Samaritan Hospital also provides social, psychiatric and substance abuse services and its certified home care agency supports residents of the Hudson Valley and beyond. For more information about Good Samaritan Hospital visit or follow the hospital at or

Photos courtesy of GSH (The GSH Bariatric Surgery team includes (standing l-r): Trish O’Sullivan, Med-Surge Nurse; Diane Wilcomes, Director of PeriOp; Ahmed Assas, Anesthesiologist; Dr. Ramon Rivera, Bariatric Medical Director; Dr. Wayne Weiss, Bariatric Surgeon; Nubia Cwalinski, OR Tech; Maria Scaffidi, Bariatric Coordinator; Helen Mangan, OR Bariatric Nurse; Margaret Damiani, PACU Nurse; Susan Epstein, Bariatric Dietitian; and (seated: l-r): Carole Brown, Same Day Surgery Nurse; Elizabeth Heim-Bell, OR Nurse Manager; and Linda Matacchiera, Surgical Scheduler Peri op Services)

Originally published January 12, 2017.