The USC department of surgery’s Bariatric Surgery Program invites community members to join the “Walk from Obesity” in Los Angeles on Sept. 24.
Leaders of the Keck School of Medicine of USC program � surgeons Howard Kaufman, Peter Crookes and Namir Katkhouda � will host the local segment of the nationwide event that will take place in 65 cities on the same day.
The fund-raiser supports efforts to reduce disability, death and discrimination of people who are obese by educating the public and health-care professionals about effective treatments.
“Since USC has one of the leading bariatric surgery programs in Southern California, it was only fitting that we host an event to raise awareness about the health problems associated with obesity,” said Kaufman, associate professor of surgery and obstetrics and gynecology and chief of the division of colorectal and pelvic floor surgery in the Keck School.
The non-competitive walking raises funds for the American Society for Bariatric Surgery Foundation. Participants raise money by asking friends, family and co-workers to sponsor them. In addition to gathering these donations, organizers also raise funds through sponsorship, matching gifts, corporate contributions and other activities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate everyone’s commitment to doing something about the factors in our culture which pressurize us into an unhealthy lifestyle, and this event raises funds to support research in these areas,” said Crookes, associate professor of surgery in the Keck School. “We have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”
Katkhouda, professor of surgery in the Keck School and chief of the minimally invasive surgery program and service, said the event also will help USC surgeons highlight the benefits of their program, which offers procedures at USC University Hospital.
“Bariatric surgery can be a potentially life-saving procedure for people who have exhausted other avenues for reversing their obesity. We would like to get the word out that there are options for people who want to make a change in their life,” he said.
Keck School bariatric program faculty and staff will host registration tables, offer drinks to walkers and hand out informational materials.
The walk will be held at Pavilion No. 3 in Anthony C. Beilenson Park (Lake Balboa) at 6300 Balboa Blvd., Van Nuys. The cost is $25; registration begins at 7 a.m. and the walk starts at 8:30 a.m.