Inova Fair Oaks Hospital Physician Among the First Nationwide to Complete a Certification in Obesity MedicineApril 25th, 2013
Dr. Kajal Zalavadia Joins a Nationwide Effort to Help Those Affected by Obesity
FAIRFAX, VA – (April 25, 2013) – Dr. Kajal Zalavadia, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital Bariatrician (weight loss physician), is one of the first nationwide to complete a board certification in obesity medicine. With nearly two-thirds of Americans considered overweight (33.3 percent) or obese (35.9 percent), the healthcare community is placing more emphasis on medical interventions to support those affected. Kajal Zalavadia, MD, of Washington, DC, a member of The Obesity Society (TOS), recognizes the importance of medical treatment for obesity and is now among the first physicians in the United States and Canada to become certified in treating people for the disease. On December 6, 2012, Dr. Zalavadia received this Achievement of Diplomate from the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM).
“Many Americans are struggling to find the adequate support and successful interventions they need to lose weight and improve their health,” said Dr. Zalavadia. “A medical specialty in obesity allows me to focus my efforts on helping people identify the right combination of diet, exercise, behavior change and medical treatments to get down to a healthy weight.”
Obesity is associated with multiple health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer, and can have a profound impact on the quality of life and work productivity of those affected. Today, it is estimated that the annual cost of managing obesity in the U.S. alone amounts to approximately $190.2 billion per year, or 20.6% of national health expenditures – The Medical Care Costs of Obesity a report by Cornell University researchers.
With improvements in research, treatment and prevention, it is the goal of many in the obesity community, including TOS, to reduce those costs, and improve the quality of life for those struggling with the disease.
“It is with great pride that we announce the addition of Dr. Zalavadia to the prestigious group of ABOM diplomates,” said TOS President Harvey Grill, PhD. “This groundbreaking achievement reflects a much-needed commitment to helping the millions of Americans affected by obesity. To become an ABOM-certified physician is truly an accomplishment.”
The ABOM created the first Obesity Medicine Certification exam via computer-based testing centers in the U.S. in 2012. As part of the process to becoming an ABOM diplomate, an applicant must complete the requisite training and experience qualifications, meet the continuing medical education requisites, and pass a stringent certification examination. Certification periods are seven years and, according to ABOM President and past President of The Obesity Society, Dr. Robert Kushner, the certification requires “a thorough understanding of the treatment of obesity and the genetic, biologic, environmental, social, and behavioral factors that contribute to the disease.” Obesity medicine physicians provide comprehensive approach to treatment, which may include support from other healthcare providers, including nutritionists, exercise physiologists, psychologists and bariatric surgeons to achieve optimal results.
For more information about the ABOM certification, visit: http://abom.org/. For more information about TOS, visit: http://www.obesity.org. To learn more about Inova Fair Oaks Hospital call Amy Richards at 703-391-3390 or visit www.inova.org/ifoh.
Kajal Zalavadia, MD
Bariatrician, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital
Dr. Zalavadia manages conservative weight loss patients, bariatric surgery patients and treats patients with malnutrition. She nutritionally assesses each patient and develops activity profiles and behavioral modifications suited to each individual. She has specialized training in preparing patients for bariatric surgery, peri-operative management of medical co-morbidities, and providing postoperative follow up. Her medical management helps ensure long term weight loss maintenance and improvement in weight associated medical conditions, such as diabetes. Dr. Zalavadia is a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and The Obesity Society.
Inova is a not-for-profit health care system located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, serving over two million people with over 1,700 licensed beds based in Northern Virginia. Inova consists of five hospitals including the area’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care unit. Inova encompasses many health services including the nationally and internationally recognized Inova Heart and Vascular Institute (IHVI), Inova Translational Medicine Institute (ITMI) on genomics, Inova Neuroscience Institute and Inova Children’s Hospital. Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. More information and statistics about Inova is at www.inova.org.