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LAKELAND, Fla. – More than 70 percent of Polk County residents are diagnosed as overweight or obese, according to Florida Charts, often resulting in dangerous medical conditions, such diabetes, heart disease, sleep disorders, respiratory issues and, most recently, complications from COVID-19.

As part of its steadfast commitment to reduce the community’s obesity rate and strengthen the health of this community, Lakeland Regional Health is pleased to officially open its much-anticipated Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and Medicine.

“Our new Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and Medicine will bring much-needed services to this community,” said Danielle Drummond, MS, FACHE, Lakeland Regional Health President and CEO. “We are pleased to be able to offer exceptional care close to home for those needing weight-loss management and surgical care, and Lakeland Regional Health is excited to collaborate with outstanding community providers you know and trust.”

Bariatric surgery is also known as weight-loss surgery, and weight management care includes lifestyle modifications, drug therapies and other treatments for a healthier lifestyle. Surgical weight loss is considered when a patient has a body mass index of 35 or more.

The Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and Medicine is a unique collaboration among community providers. Bariatric Surgeons will see patients at the Grasslands Campus, and procedures will be performed at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. The Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery offers a full range of surgical weight loss procedures, such as Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy. 

“Bariatric Surgery is an extremely safe and effective option when diet, exercise and medications have not successfully helped with weight loss and excess weight is causing serious health problems,” Timothy J. Regan, MD, President, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center/Chief Medical Officer, Lakeland Regional Health. “Research shows that most Bariatric Surgery patients maintain their weight loss for the long term, allowing them to add years to their lives and improve their quality of life.” 

More information about the Institute for Bariatric Surgery and Metabolic Medicine is available at

About Lakeland Regional Health 

Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status five times since 2013 from the American Hospital Association and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 864-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates the Jack and Tina Harrell Family Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine; a Level II Trauma Center; the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, which includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.

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