FAQ About our Grant Referral Program
New patient referrals and grant applications to be accepted from: June 1 of each year through December 31 of each year.
Is the WLSFA a Charity?
The Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America – WLSFA is a 501( C ) 3 Public Charity. The WLSFA is the only charity whose core focus is funding grants for weight loss and reconstructive plastic surgery after weight loss. Powered by thousands of weight loss surgery patients, medical professionals, and industry partners. Together we volunteer our time to gather resources, raise funds to give away in the form of grants.
Our Mission Statement: Ending obesity by empowering people to move from surviving to thriving through weight loss surgery, education, and support. Performing charitable services and supporting research to find solutions to enhance the quality of life of the morbidly obese community. Raising awareness and funds for surgery.
About the WLSFA Grant Referral Program:
Surgeons identify and refer patients in need to the WLSFA grant program.
The WLSFA funds full and partial grants.
Do you have a list of surgeons who refer patients?
The answer is YES we do post a list of doctors in our Network of Care. They are surgeons who have referred or will refer patients in the future. Link to List of Surgeons Who Refer
Contacting our current Network of Care doctors does not guarantee they will refer you. The surgeons who donate their time to us are not compensated for their services. They are part of the charitable grant. It is always up to the surgeon and practice who they choose to help and refer to apply for a grant. Introducing the WLSFA Charitable grant program to a new surgeon is often the best path.
How long does it take to get a grant?
The Grant process can take up to one year. The WLSFA accepts referrals and applications for 6 month from June 1 of each year until December 31 of each year.
The WLSFA reviews all completed applications and funds grants from January 1 of each year though June 1 of each year. The WLSFA funds as many grants as possible from the funds raised in that fiscal year.
There is never a guarantee any grants can be funded it all based on funds raised in that grant cycle.
Who can refer patients to apply for a full grant?
Any US Center of Excellence bariatric surgeons, US plastic surgeons that are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons (ABPS) and members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) may refer one patient for a full grant every three years. If the patient applies and is selected for the full grant the referring surgeon must offer to contribute the surgery and a year of follow up care (contribution in kind). The WLSFA then funds the following: hospital fees, lab tests, anesthesiologist fee and BLIS Complication insurance policy (if the hospital does not have their own self pay complication program available). The patient is also provided a year’s worth of vitamins and supplements.
Who can refer patients to apply for partial grants?
Bariatric surgeons who have contributed at least one surgery every three years can refer patients for partial grants. Partial grants are from $100 to $4000 and are considered on a case by case basis and are based on funds available and in the order received. Partial grants fund fees that can stop a patient’s journey to the operating room for an otherwise fully funded surgery.
How are grant recipients selected?
The selection committee bases the decisions on financial hardship and patient effort only.
All required information must be submitted with the application including an essay which can be up to five type written pages telling their story.
The blinded grant application (the applicant name and contact information is removed) along with the surgeons referral is reviewed by the selection committee who selects the finalists.
The board of directors of WLSFA.org choose the actual grant recipients from the finalists for each grant cycle. The number of grants awarded is based on the funds raised in that grant cycle.
There is no guarantee any grants will be awarded.
Items the WLSFA funds for full grants: Hospital fees, Pre and Post operative medication and testing, Anesthesiologist, Complication Insurance Policy, Bariatric Supplements.
Items the WLSFA funds for partial grants: Co-Pays, deductibles, COBRA fees for the suddenly unemployed, other fees not covered for an otherwise insured or funded patient.
Where do the funds come from?
Annual fundraiser: The WLSFA hosts an annual national fundraiser each spring. Titled “The Mother of All Meet & Greets”. It is the largest gathering of weight loss surgery patients in the world! The event raises thousands of dollars for our grant fund. The number of attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and funds has grown each year. This event is a world class program with nationally known speakers, educational sessions, and entertainment for all who attend.
Donation programs: The WLSFA runs a number of donation programs such as charity charms, logo wear, races, and walks. Weight loss surgery patients run individual fundraisers all year long. Donations from patients, doctors, hospitals, and industry partners and well as generous sponsorship from industry partners fund our grants.
WLSFA Chapter Program: Local area chapters are forming across the United States. Local chapters each have their own annual fundraisers and collect membership fees. Together it allows bariatric practices and patients the ability to fund grants for people in their neighborhoods and towns! Chapters are hosted by Bariatric Centers of Excellence and patients in a combined effort to give back to their communities!
Please join us and help “Tip the scales in the right direction”
Web: WLSFA.ORG Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: 415-234-9074