Few Mexican doctors have appeared in United States media as much as Ariel Ortiz, director of a Tijuana Hospital named Obesity Control Center (OCC), which has over a decade track record of successfully treating patients from the United States seeking weight-loss surgery and weight loss.
While the clinic has offered excellent services for 13 years, Dr. Ortiz has such presence that his image has appeared in shows like Oprah Winfrey, Fox Business, The Doctors, Good Morning America, Nightline and magazines like Newsweek and People. But, beyond the success of his business, Dr. Ortiz’s worries extend to his countrymen. “My biggest concern is that Mexico is the most obese country in the world and no one is developing education programs to change that in childhood and adolescence.”
In 2012, with FUMEC’s help, the OCC team worked on a roadmap to organize the implementation of its development projects, and this simple exercise enabled the company to visualize a new way to grow. “When I introduced myself to FUMEC, I said,‘Look, but if the most obese country in the world is Mexico, not the United States,’ Ortiz recalled, “then we see there is a great need for weight management services and that it’s a poorly served area, weight loss is a big need in Mexico.”
Today, one of OCC’s priorities is to broaden his clinic work in Mexico, so FUMEC helped him to conduct a diagnostic analysis of infrastructure and equipment, with the goal of getting certified by the General Health Council, which he hopes to achieve in March 2014.This will enable him to compete with the best hospitals in the country and work in cities such as Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, and not just a local weight loss center.
Another line of work is the use of Obalon, Dr Ortiz helped develop the worlds first swallowable gastric balloon for weight loss, a patented non-surgical weight loss method. It involves a cap-sule which enters the stomach and expands, occupying the space normally filled by more food. In addition, the company developed a smartphone app which facilitates pa-tient follow-up, keeping an account of what they eat, monitoring signs and symptoms and offering recommendations. Vitaleph brand food supplements are yet another line of work, helping to avoid malnutrition in patients.
However, the OCC’s most ambitious project is a video-based education program for social networks, which “Today we see ourselves as a company that educates a nation and fights the number one disease in the country.” intends to change the eating habits of Mexico’s overweight population.To do so, the company has set up a recording studio which is already working.
“Before meeting FUMEC we saw ourselves as just a bariatric surgery company and today we see ourselves as a company that educates a nation and fights the number one disease in the country,” says Ortiz.