obesity treatment foundation

The American Board of Obesity Medicine partners with other nonprofit organizations within the field of obesity medicine to share information and enhance the growth of this emerging specialty. Occasionally, we highlight a partner so that ABOM diplomates and prospective candidates learn more about these important organizations. Below, Stacy Schmidt, PhD, Executive Director of the Obesity Treatment Foundation (OTF), introduces us to this obesity research-focused organization:

Q: When was the OTF established and why?

A: The Obesity Treatment Foundation was established in 2013 by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. The Foundation was created to foster, fund and enable research in the field of obesity and to educate the public, professionals and government in the nature of obesity, including its etiologies, prevention, diagnosis, consequences and treatment.

Q: How has the mission changed over time?

A: In the spring of 2015, we modified our mission statement to be: Advancing obesity treatment through clinical research and education. Our new tagline is: Optimizing Treatment. Increasing Awareness.

Q: What are some of your current goals/initiatives?

A: One of our goals within this mission is to amplify the quality and quantity of clinician-driven obesity treatment research. We feel that by enabling this type of research, we can increase the credibility of the field of obesity medicine.

To this end, the OTF is awarding 2 grants this year for clinical obesity treatment research
We’re offering a Research Workshop at the fall ASBP conference in Washington, D.C. on October 1 to cover the basics of conducting practice-based obesity research
We are coordinating abstract submissions and will host a poster session at the Overcoming Obesity conference in Washington, D.C.

We’re planning to provide a “Research Guidance Center” with contacts to statisticians, IRBs, medical writers, etc. to help obesity medicine physicians effectively collect data and publish if they aim to do so. We realize that many obesity medicine clinicians are practicing medicine and not conducting research, so providing these kinds of tools could potentially make doing “research” less daunting.
We also aim to elevate awareness among healthcare professionals that obesity is a chronic disease warranting comprehensive medical management by qualified professionals.

We plan to develop an Obesity Medicine Ambassadors program and equip interested obesity medicine clinicians with an obesity medicine focused slide presentation that they may use to reach out to primary care physicians specifically to increase awareness of obesity medicine within their communities.