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Meet Our Bariatric Team
            
            
We welcome you to read the biographies of our bariatric surgery doctors and staff. In addition to gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and gastric banding surgeons, our staff is comprised of therapists, coordinators, and nutritionists to ensure the quality of your experience.

Bariatric & Metabolic Surgeons

Dr. Philip Schauer’s particular areas of expertise include laparoscopic and gastrointestinal surgery. In addition to laparoscopic surgery for obesity, Dr. Schauer also specializes in: laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery, laparoscopic esophageal surgery, laparoscopic colon resection, laparoscopic adrenalectomy and splenectomy and laparoscopic hernia repair.

He is board certified in surgery by the American Board of Surgery. He has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on many research grants and has published numerous papers, abstracts, and book chapters related to gastrointestinal and laparoscopic surgery. Memberships in professional and scientific societies include the American College of Surgeons, Society of University Surgeons, American Surgical Association, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), and Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract. He is past President of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

 Dr. Toms Augustin’s specialty interests include laparoscopic bariatric surgery, laparoscopic foregut and gastrointestinal surgery, advanced hernia repair and endoscopic procedures. He received his medical degree from Government Medical College in Kottayam, India in 2003. He completed his general surgery residency at Guthrie Clinic - Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Penn., and his specialty training in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Penn. Dr. Augustin joined Cleveland Clinic staff in 2012 and sees patients at Lutheran, Fairview, Strongsville and Avon locations.

Dr. Stacy Brethauer is a staff surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic with special interests in laparoscopic bariatric surgery, foregut and gastrointestinal surgery, hernia repair, and endoscopic procedures. He received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine in 1993 while on active duty in the U.S. Navy. He completed his general surgery residency training at the Naval Medical Center San Diego in 2001. He received his specialty training in Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and joined the staff in 2007.

Dr. Brethauer is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. He is actively involved in many of the research projects being conducted at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, has published many abstracts, journal articles, and book chapters on bariatric surgery and is co-editor of a textbook on minimally invasive bariatric surgery.

Dr. Matthew Kroh joined the staff after completing a General Surgery residency and a fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery and Surgical Endoscopy at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Kroh holds positions with the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute and the Center for Surgical Innovation, Technology, and Education. He is licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio and board-certified by the American Board of Surgery. His specialty interests include advanced laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, surgical endoscopy, and single incision laparoscopic surgery.

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Boston College and Master’s degree from Boston University, Dr. Kroh received his medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University. Dr. Kroh has lectured widely on laparoscopic and bariatric surgery and related topics at medical conferences across the country and has co-authored many articles and book chapters. His professional memberships include the American College of Surgeons, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.

Dr. Tomasz Rogula is a Staff Surgeon at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He was trained in weight loss surgery in the United States (Mount Sinai School of Medicine - New York, University of Pittsburgh, PA), in Italy and France. In addition to bariatric surgery, his specialty interests include laparoscopic and robotic surgery, gastrointestinal surgery and hernia repair. Dr. Rogula has done pioneering research on novel weight-loss surgery procedures. He also has published multiple articles and book chapters on topics of bariatric and laparoscopic surgery.

He is a member of the American Medical Association, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and European Association for Endosopic Surgery.

Dr. Walter Cha’s specialty interests include advanced laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery, gastrointestinal surgery and hernia repair. He received his medical degree from Hahnemann University, Philadelphia. He completed a general surgical residency at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia and a research fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Philadelphia. Dr. Cha is the former Director of the Weight Loss Surgery Program at Metro Health System. He is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery. His professional memberships include the American College of Surgeons, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract. Dr. Cha joined Cleveland Clinic staff in 2012 and sees patients at our Twinsburg and Hillcrest locations.

Dr. Kalman Bencsath’s specialty interests include laparoscopic bariatric surgery, laparoscopic foregut and gastrointestinal surgery, advanced hernia repair and endoscopic procedures. He received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, in 2006. He completed his general surgery residency at Cleveland Clinic, and his specialty training in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Bencsath joined Cleveland Clinic staff in 2011 and sees patients at our Twinsburg and Hillcrest locations.

Obesity Medicine Specialists
    
Dr. Bartolome Burguera 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.
 
Dr. Derrick Cetin joined the staff at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute in January of 2009. From 1995-2009 he was practicing as a Board Certified Internist at the Cleveland Clinic Westlake Family Health Center. He joined the Cleveland Clinic and was accepted by the Board of Governors in 1995. Previously he was in private practice from 1989-1995. He completed an AOA Rotating Internship in Erie, PA in 1985-1986 and completed an Internship/Residency at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital after graduating from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1985.
 
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.

Bariatric Psychologists

 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.

Now that you have learned more about our Ohio Bariatric Team, please
           click here to get started on your Pathway to Surgery.

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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Awards and Accolades

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