PHILADELPHIA — David Sarwer, PhD, professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has been honored by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) with the 2012 Circle of Excellence Award. The award recognizes achievement in education, research, patient care, administrative and/or public awareness in the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery. This is the first time the surgical society has honored a mental health professional with the award.

"I'm honored to receive this award. Since the inception of Penn's Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program 15 years ago, Dr. Noel Williams and the other bariatric surgeons have greatly valued the role that my colleagues and I from the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders play in the care of their patients," said Dr. Sarwer, who is also the director of clinical services at Center for Weight and Eating Disorders and the director of the Stunkard Weight Management Program at Penn Medicine. "I'm humbled to see our role in clinical care, as well as our research contributions to the field, recognized in this way. The award says great things about how bariatric surgeons and other health care professionals who work with individuals with extreme obesity value the contributions of mental health professionals."

Dr. Sarwer is a world-renowned expert in the assessment and treatment of obesity. He is principal or co-principal investigator on three NIH funded grants investigating the psychological aspects of bariatric surgery. Clinically, he conducts behavioral and psychological evaluations of patients prior to surgery. He also treats individuals with eating or other psychological concerns after bariatric surgery.

The award was presented at the 29th Annual Meeting of the ASMBS in San Diego, CA. The ASMBS is the largest organization for bariatric surgeons in the world. It works to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery and is committed to educating medical professionals and the lay public about bariatric surgery as an option for the treatment of morbid obesity, as well as the associated risks and benefits.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.