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Marina Kurian, MD FASMBS
Chair & Executive Council Liaison

Paul Kemmeter, MD


Helmuth Billy, MD
Matthew Brengman, MD FASMBS
Paul Cirangle, MD
Daniel Cottam, MD
Paul Enochs, MD FASMBS
Karen Flanders, MSN ARNP CBN

Shawn Garber, MD
Makram Gedeon, MD FASMBS
Charlotte Hodges, MD MBA
Margaret Inman, MD FASMBS
Shanu Kothari, MD FASMBS
James Leithead III, MD

Rami Lutfi, MD FASMBS, Immediate Past Chair
Blake Movitz, MD
Joshua Pfeiffer, MD
Jaime Ponce, MD FASMBS
Paige Quintero, MD FASMBS
Virginia Weaver, MD
Matthew Weiner, MD
Tom White, 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.

Committee Goals


  1. ObesityWeek 2018 Practice Building Course
  2. Cocktail Reception at ObesityWeek 2018 with 3-4 Industry Sponsors
  3. Private Practice Solutions Video Series (Educational) – produced in grass roots format by committee members:


  1. Insurance Denials, Letters of Necessity, Tips & Tricks on ASMBS Website as part of Private Practice Tool Kit


  1. Increase engagement of large groups
  2. Increase private practice membership at national and State Chapter level
  3. Increase private practice attendance at ASMBS Weekend and ObesityWeek
  4. Continue Educational videos by experts in field of business for all members, academic, private and community for practice building/optimization
  5. Private Practice Tool Kit
  6. Preceptorships through ASMBS
Specific Projects that Achieve Goals and Objectives:
  1. Private Practice courses and cocktail receptions at ASMBS Weekend and ObesityWeek
  2. Publish one Private Practice Solutions Video per month:
    a. Introduction by Dr. Rami Lutfi, September 2017
    b. Social Media: Value and Impact on Practice by Dr. Richard Peterson, October 2017
    c. Growing your practice, How to increase volume, and When to hire surgeons and physician extenders by Dr. Paul Enochs, February 2018
    d. Hospital Employment: What to Look for in a Contract by Dr. Shanu Kothari, March 2018
    e. Weight Management Part 1: How to Introduce Medical Management Weight Loss Into Your Practice by Dr. Marina Kurian, May 2018
    f. Optimizing Your Practice by Dr. Makram Gedeon, June 2018
    g. Weight Management Part 2: How to Introduce Medical Management Weight Loss Into Your Practice by Dr. Marina Kurian, July 2018
    h. Introducing Balloon Into Your Practice by Dr. Jaime Ponce, September 2018
    i. Contracting by Dr. Rami Lutfi, October 2018
  3. Collecting denial and letter examples from committee members and state chapters
  4. Private Practice Tool Kit in progress

2018 Completed Projects

  1. Nine Private Practice Solutions Videos published:
  2. Directed ASMBS Weekend 2018 Practice Management Course, June 2018
  3. Directed ObesityWeek 2018 Practice Building Course, November 2018
  4. Hosted ObesityWeek 2018 Practice Building Reception at Rock Bottom Brewery in Nashville, November 2018; thank you to our sponsors Bariatric Fusion and Standard Bariatrics
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