After a yearlong and extensive nationwide search, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the nation’s largest professional organization of bariatric and metabolic surgeons and integrated health professionals, has named healthcare association veteran Diane M. Enos MPH, RDN, CAE, FAND, to serve as its new executive director.
Before joining ASMBS, Enos, a registered dietitian and certified association executive with a master’s degree in public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, was Chief Learning Officer of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the country’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Enos was with the group for more than 20 years in various leadership positions and remains a Fellow of the Academy (FAND). Previously, Enos was Manager of National Consumer Communications for the USA Rice Federation.
“Diane brings a wealth of experience, a track record of success and new insights that will help strengthen our organization at a time of rising obesity rates and new thinking on how best to treat the disease and when,” said Marina Kurian, MD, President, ASMBS. “We expect increased utilization of metabolic and bariatric surgery and growing demand for the new class of obesity drugs to usher in a new era of obesity treatment that could transform public health.”
According to the ASMBS, more than 260,000 people had metabolic or bariatric surgery in 2021, the latest estimates available. This represents only about 1% of those who meet the recommended body mass index (BMI) criteria for weight-loss surgery. CDC reports over 42% of Americans have obesity, the highest rate ever in the United States.
“I’m looking forward to working with our team and our members to grow the specialty and increase the role of metabolic and bariatric surgery in the treatment of obesity,” said Enos. “Obesity remains the public health issue of our time and we owe it to our patients to remove barriers to treatment and help them navigate the new treatment landscape so they can turn their concerns about the dangers of the disease into action.”
Earlier this year, the ASMBS released a survey published in SOARD that found more than 6.4 million people thought about having bariatric surgery or taking obesity drugs for the first time amid the pandemic due to concerns over the link between obesity and severe outcomes from COVID-19.
Enos becomes only the second executive director in the organization’s history succeeding Georgeann Mallory who retired from the role in 2021. Kristie Kaufman, who has been with ASMBS for more than 20 years, served as interim executive director between 2021 and 2023, and has been promoted to Vice President of Operations.
About Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Metabolic/bariatric surgery has been shown to be the most effective and long-lasting treatment for severe obesity and many related conditions and results in significant weight loss. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported significant improvements in the safety of metabolic/bariatric surgery due in large part to improved laparoscopic techniques. The risk of death is about 0.1%, and the overall likelihood of major complications is about 4%. According to a study from Cleveland Clinic, laparoscopic bariatric surgery has complication and mortality rates comparable to some of the safest and most commonly performed surgeries in the U.S., including gallbladder surgery, appendectomy and knee replacement.
The ASMBS is the largest non-profit organization for bariatric surgeons and integrated health professionals in the United States. It works to advance the art and science of metabolic and bariatric surgery and is committed to educating medical professionals and the lay public about the treatment options for obesity. The ASMBS encourages its members to investigate and discover new advances in bariatric surgery, while maintaining a steady exchange of experiences and ideas that may lead to improved surgical outcomes for patients with severe obesity. For more information, visit www.asmbs.org.