member-PompWe continue our interview series with Alfons Pomp, MD, FACS, FRCSC. Dr. Pomp is Chief of GI Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Leon C. Hirsch Professor of Surgery. He is also the Vice Chairman of Surgery at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Pomp has more than 120 PubMed citations and has been the invited speaker for 250 national and international presentations.

Dr. Pomp, as a well-liked and involved member of our community, what would you say to enlist ASMBS members to donate to the Foundation?
The foundation serves several complementary functions to the ASMBS including funding advocacy efforts to improve access to bariatric surgical therapy, and promotes awareness of the safety and efficacy of bariatric surgery. The Foundation also provides initial funding for research; the Foundation has provided at least 24 grants and is continuing these efforts.

Why do you serve on our Foundation’s Board of Directors?
I am honored to serve as this allows me to interact with some of the amazing leaders of our society as well as the uprising stars of the bariatric field to establish the Foundation’s vision for tomorrow, all the while contributing to improving the health of our patients with obesity.

What do you see as the most important contribution of the Foundation to date?
Most of the ASMBS members are aware of the Foundation’s nation-wide Walk from Obesity campaign that raises a significant amount of money for the Foundation’s projects ($125,000 and counting this spring!). Our eventual goal for the Foundation is to raise enough capital to establish a permanent endowment that will allow us to support the essential parts of our Annual Meeting at Obesity Week – we are all aware that external funding and industry support cannot be relied on forever.

Will you form a team to try and beat Dr. Kurian’s and Dr. Kim’s teams in the 2016 United We Step Challenge?
I think Dr. Kim’s robots may be his “secret weapon” that help him with the many, many steps taken by his team in 2015, and I am not sure we will be able to compete. It will also certainly be a challenge to overcome Dr. Kurian’s charisma and her team’s enthusiasm!