is the Director of Obesity Programs at Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric & Metabolic Institute. His specialty interests include medical management of obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance and prediabetes. He earned his medical degree from Universidad de Santiago de Compostela-Facultad de Medicina in Spain. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Norwalk Hospital in Norwal, Conn., and his fellowship at May Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He joined the BMI staff in 2013. He sees patients at our Main Campus and Twinsburg locations.
Primary interests include medical and surgical management of obesity and the medical management of diabetes, insulin resistance, and prediabetes. Also, certified in the management and supervision of a low calorie diet called the Protein Sparing Modified Fasting Sparing Diet.
Dr. Archana Gorty’s
specialty interests include medical management of obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance and prediabetes. She earned her medical degree from Rush University Medical College in Chicago. Dr. Gorty completed her residency in internal medicine at Medical College of Wisconsin Clinics, Milwaukee, Wis., and her fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. She joined the BMI staff in 2010 and sees patients at our Main Campus and Avon locations.
Dr. Leslie Heinberg, PhD
is Director of Behavioral Services for the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Cleveland Clinic. She is a Professor of Medicine in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and is a staff member of the Digestive Diseases Institute and the Neurological Institute. She is a nationally recognized expert in bariatric behavioral health and body image with substantial research and clinical experience in obesity and eating disorders across the life-span.
Dr. Heinberg is a Fellow of the Obesity Society and the International Academy of Eating Disorders and is Chair-Elect of the Bariatric Section of the Obesity Society. She has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on a number of NIH- and industry-funded projects addressing body image, obesity and weight loss. Her clinical interests include obesity, bariatric surgery, eating disorders and disorders of body image.
Dr. Kathleen Ashton, PhD
is a Psychologist in the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute and the Assistant Director of Psychological Training. She received her doctorate from The Ohio State University, and she completed her internship in health psychology at the Cleveland VA Medical Center and her postdoctoral fellowship in clinical health psychology at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Ashton’s clinical and research interests include bariatric surgery evaluation and treatment, binge eating disorder treatment, and substance abuse risk in bariatric patients. She has presented extensively on the psychological treatment of obesity and psychological aspects of bariatric surgery, including at the American Society of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery and the International Conference on Eating Disorders. She is the past president of the Ohio Psychological Association and the Cleveland Psychological Association and a member of the American Psychological Association Committee of State Leaders.
Dr. Megan E Lavery, PsyD
is a health psychologist at Cleveland Clinic within the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute and Sleep Disorders Center. She earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from La Salle University. Dr. Lavery completed her general internship training at the Memphis VA and a postdoctoral fellowship in health psychology at Cleveland Clinic. Her clinical and research interests include bariatric psychology, women’s health, PCOS, weight management, behavioral change, insomnia, and doctor-patient communication.
Dr. Julie Merrell, PhD
is a clinical psychologist at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, associate staff member of Digestive Disease Institute and the Neurological Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. She is an assistant professor of medicine at the Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and the Director of Communication Skills Training. Dr. Merrell earned her doctorate degree from Loma Linda University and completed her pre- and post-doctoral training at Henry Ford Health Sciences Center and the Cleveland Clinic.
Her clinical and research interests include obesity, bariatric surgery, medical weight management, treatment outcomes, health behavior change, and women’s health. She is an associate member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, member of The Obesity Society, the American Psychological Association, the Cleveland Psychological Association, and the Ohio Psychological Association. She is currently serving on the Ohio Psychological Association Professional Practice committee.
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Bariatric and Metabolic Institute Team
Debra Cash, Financial Counselor
Tammy Hall, Financial Counselor
Ingrid Muir, RN, BSN, MBA Nursing Director
Karen Schulz, MSN, CNS, CBN
Jennifer Mackey, MSN, CNP, CBN
Beth Janssen, RN, CBN Department Assistant
Toni Housiaux, RN, Department Assistant
Cynthia Dragonette, Medical Assistant
Nancy Duelley, RN, Procedure Nurse
Anthony Ehlinger, RN, Clinical Coordinator
Janet Lenin, RN, Procedure Nurse
John Pavlik, Medical Assistant
Tracie Reed, Medical Assistant
Ali Aminian, MD, Bariatric Clinical Scholar
Amin Andalib, MD, Bariatric Clinical Fellow
Rizwan Chaudhry, MD, Bariatric Clinical Fellow
Chris Daigle, MD, Bariatric Clinical Fellow
Zhamak Khorgami, MD, Bariatric Clinical Fellow
Kasey Goodpastor, PhD, Bariatric Psychology Fellow
Ricardo Young, MD, Surgical Endoscopy Fellow
Wendy Kirby, RD, LD, Nutrition Therapy
Lauren Sullivan, RD, LD, Nutrition Therapy
Lisa Vitkus, MBA, MPH, Administrator, Bariatric Surgery & Gastroenterology
Sharon Auma-Ebanyat, MHA, MPH, Assistant Administrator, Bariatric Surgery & Gastroenterology
Josephine Chan, Research Administrator
Janice Bell, Research Assistant
Chytaine Hall, Clinical Research Assistant
Lisa Johnson, Research Assistant
Randy Scott, Database
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