Candidate Profile: Bharti Shetye, MD, FOMA, ABOM

Bharti Shetye, MD, FOMA

Bharti Shetye, MD, FOMA, ABOM 
Running for: Trustee (MD/DO seat)
Nomination by committee

Dr. Shetye provided the following information on her application for the Trustee position (MD/DO seat). Click on the gray boxes below to expand and view her responses. Click here to view the election campaign rules. Click here to view the conflict of interest policy and disclosure rules.

  • OMA Committee Involvement
    • Bariatric Medical-Surgical Committee, Chair, 1 year (ongoing)
    • Bariatric Advocacy Committee, Member, 3 years
    • Advocacy Committee, Member, 2 years (2019, 2020)
  • Involvement in Other Professional Societies or Associations
    • ASMBS State Chapter, Board Member (Near Completion) 
    • The Obesity Society, Member 
    • Obesity Action Coalition, Member, Author for articles in "Your Weight Matters" publication
    • Obesity Care Action Network, Capitol Hill Advocacy visits (TROA)
  • Other Professional Activities
    • OCAN Capitol Hill Advocacy Visits, 2019-2021
    • Author for "Weight Matters" publication of OAC, 2020-2021
    • Moderate monthly weight-loss support groups, 2016-Present
    • Local speaking engagements (outreach) - PCPs, residents, interns, medical students, 2018-Present
    • Healthy St Pete' Consortium, 2020-Present
  • What do you envision as the top 3 goals or objectives that are most important for OMA in the next 5 years and why?
    1. Advocacy - On a day-to-day basis, I see the frustration of my patients with lack of adequate coverage for Obaand bariatric surgeries (initial or revisional) by their insurance companies. We are the voice of our patients at the Hill or when dealing with insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, to bring affordable evidence-based treatment plans to treat the chronic disease of Obesity.
    2. Outreach – Despite the official statement “Obesity is a chronic disease”: 
      • Many health care professionals are still not referring their patients for Obesity treatment to Obesity Medicine Specialists or Bariatric Surgical Centers of Excellence. I still hear my patients say that their PCPs are not approving the Obesity Rx plan.
      • Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies (cost of meds) & legislators need to bring down the costs of treatment plans.
      • Outreach & Advocacy efforts are intertwined.
    3. Dent the upward rising trajectory of the obesity epidemic. The 2020 State of Obesity report (State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America) states “US Adult Obesity Rate tops 42%; Highest Ever recorded”. We need our multi-faceted efforts to ramp up and work with the food industry, government entities re legislations at multiple levels, legislators, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, sister organizations, health care professionals, and most importantly our patients for improved outcomes.
  • How do you think your talents and skills could be utilized in attaining OMA’s goals and objectives?
    1. Experience – Over the past 15 yrs. as an Obesity Medicine Specialist, I have a plethora of experience. My experience spans the public & private sector, solo & group practice, bariatric medicine & Obesity Medicine Director at a bariatric surgical center of excellence, self-employed (own my practice), and employed by an organization. I have treated & heard the voices of patients in many different scenarios. This aligns me well and gives me an insight into ongoing issues to be worked on.
    2. Networking – I have been an integral part of the OMA since 2007, practicing Obesity Medicine since 2006, member of OMA-TOS-ASMBS-OAC-OCAN doing Capitol Hill Advocacy visits. In my humble opinion, the above 2 make it an invaluable asset to work as a trustee to bring success to the missions of the OMA
    3. Diversity – I understand the needs of our patient population in diverse levels of society, bringing depth to our mission and achievements.
    4. Affability – I believe I am an intelligent, friendly, warm, and easy-to-work-with member of any working group, with a vision. Members of the OMA have the power to affirm or decline this statement.
    5. Responsible & Driven, Eager to Learn-Work-Deliver, with Humility – Based on my vision, I bring forth innovative ideas to the table (per current & future needs) and proposals to see them to completion. Always open to healthy discussions, data-driven, and respect evidence-based medicine. Love thinking out-of-the-box.
  • List 3 reasons why you wish to serve on the Board of Trustees and explain why they will be an asset to the OMA.
    1.  I have been a member of the OMA since 2007, served on (all) committees as a member & currently elected chairperson for the bariatric medical-surgical committee, and understand the values of our organization. Serving on the Board of Trustees is an honor, accepting the responsibility of managing our organization, agendas and carrying the torch forward. The OMA, my mentors & colleagues have worked hard since 1950 to improve public & health professional awareness of the chronic disease of obesity and its treatment options. Efforts need to continue, ramped up if needed.
    2. I am truly passionate re Obesity Management and the need to dent the rising trajectory of the obesity epidemic. With 15 yrs of experience as an Obesity Medicine Specialist and member of the OMA, I understand not only the disease process but also the challenges that lie ahead that need to be addressed. My diverse experiences – private & public sector, self-employed owner of my practice & being employed by a corporation, in bariatric medicine & bariatric surgical fields have given me insight into multiple facets of this disease & the challenges that need attention.
    3. Being on the Board growing with my colleagues & experienced seniors will bring added Networking connections, enhancing my working knowledge on many fronts outside of disease management. Even after term, I will have the ability for more concentrated efforts towards the multiple facets of the disease of Obesity management – inside & outside of the medical office.
  • In what ways do you think OMA could improve and why?

    OMA is an invaluable organization with 50+ years of success. “US adult obesity rates at 42%” per the 2020 State of Obesity report. We need to continue/ramp up our ongoing multi-faceted efforts as Obesity Medicine Specialists to dent this upward trajectory of the obesity epidemic. Critical evaluation and feedback bring out the best in any person or organization. Change is the only constant.

      • I personally am unaware of the depth of alliances between the ASMBS, TOS, OAC, OCAN, and OMA. Stronger alliances with organizations with similar agendas are one possibility.
      • I am unaware of our alliances with government entities at the county, state & national levels of legislation in the food industry, school entities, city planning, and development. Strategic alliances will augment our multi-faceted efforts towards the Obesity epidemic.
      • Alliances with International Obesity Associations to tackle Obesity at a Global level, brainstorm ideas on the global front. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.
  • Disclosures

    Disclosure of Actual or Potential Conflicts of Interest occurring within 1 year of the date of this form and within the foreseeable future:

    • None

    Disclosure of ANY interests that could possibly result in a Conflict of Interest in the future with OMA, such as an ownership interest in any business, stock/bond holdings, a grant, an employment relationship, or consultative or advisory arrangement, etc.:

    • None

    Disclosure of involvement / relationships with other similar or competitive associations / societies which represent interests of obesity medicine clinicians (please specify your level of involvement, i.e. board member, committee leader, committee member, general member, etc.):

    • None