Rami Lutfi, MD FASMBS
Chair and Executive Council Liaison

Marina Kurian, MD FASMBS

Alan Wittgrove, MD FASMBS


Helmuth Billy, MD
Matthew Brengman, MD FASMBS
Paul Cirangle, MD
Daniel Cottam, MD
Paul Enochs, MD FASMBS
Shawn Garber, MD
Paul Kemmeter, MD
Rachel Moore, MD FASMBS
Joshua Pfeiffer, MD Jaime Ponce, MD FASMBS
Robert Richard, MD
Gregory L. Schroder, MD Virginia Weaver, MD
Tom White, MD FASMBS
Paul Wizman, MD FASMBS

ASMBS Staff Liaison

Leslie Vinson


This committee is composed of surgeons who work to serve their community, focusing mostly on the clinical aspects of bariatric surgery. They are in private practice or are employed by community hospitals or nonacademic health care systems.

The committee will identify different practice models in the United States. They will focus on setting best standards in these different models and hospital environments. The committee will address financial, business and other issues facing these practitioners.

Members of the committee will advise the Executive Council on trends of practice, relevant issues to the community surgeons. We will address and discuss challenges facing community practice to deliver high quality care. This work will allow this group to be privy to potential challenges and adverse changes and thus, enable ASMBS to be proactive dealing with these issues.

The committee will also work to create pathways and tips for community surgeons to help them build high quality comprehensive programs to improve outcomes across the board.


  • To represent the interests of the independent practitioners in the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery.
  • To identify the challenges unique to independent practitioners in the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery and provide practice based solutions to these challenges.
  • To address best practice guidelines in the context of unique practice models.
  • To screen for different trends in the practice of bariatric surgery or endoscopy and communicate as needed with the Executive Board about patterns that may lead to major changes that need to be addressed in a timely manner.
  • To offer a course outlining best practices and utilization of resources to maximize success of the practitioner.


  • Obesity Week-End Practice Management Course
  • First Independent Practice cocktail reception
  • Interview with Connect


  • Survey
  • OW Practice Management Course
  • Town Hall


  • Increase engagement of large groups
  • Increase the membership at national and State chapter level
  • Increase attendance in OWE and OW

Completed Projects

  • Interview in connect
  • First cocktail reception for this specific group of practitioners
  • Survey (completed but not emailed)

Current Projects

  • OWE course is tip of iceberg and OW course is approved
  • Town Hall meeting approved and will delineating the goals
  • Industry event confirmed at OW and planned at OW 2016 to engage our industry partners and meet the membership
  • Survey to membership (approved by ECEC but now the requested modification are being done and will be ready to be emailed after OWE)
    All these projects (courses, cocktail reception, survey) will help achieving the purpose of this committee which is to engage these surgeons, listen to their issues to help defining better our goals.