Indiana State Chapter

Incorporated July 2012

Mission Statement

The Indiana State Chapter of the ASMBS is a collaborative unit of healthcare professionals advocating for Hoosiers impacted by obesity. The chapter consists of bariatric surgeons, integrated health professionals, and medical bariatricians who provide medically necessary care and treatment to those impacted by Obesity.

Executive Officers

President: Dimitrios Stefanidis, MD FACS
Past President: Margaret Inman, MD FASMBS
Vice President/Secretary: Eric Knapp, DO FACOS
Treasurer: Shadi Aboudi, MD
Integrated Health Chair: Sarah Muntel, RD
STAR (State Access to Care Representative): Ambar Banerjee, MD FASMBS FACS
Integrated Health STAR (State Access to Care Representative): Sarah Muntel, RD
Executive Director: Missy Tuck

Board Members

Denise C. Murphy, MD FACS

Contact Info

Melissa Tuck, Outreach & Education Coordinator
13430 N. Meridian Suite 168
Carmel, IN 46032

Chapter Meetings

No chapter meetings are scheduled at this time.

Chapter Updates


  • FSSA Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning appeal – effort to remove wording that prevents Indiana Medicaid from covering obesity medications
  • IN Medicaid medical weight loss requirement discussion


  • Tyson Chicken had previously excluded bariatric surgery coverage. Representatives from the IN ASMBS provided education about the benefits of bariatric surgery. Coverage for bariatric surgery was added through their Blue Advantage Insurance. This coverage includes coverage for the employee/employee family member after one year of employment at Tyson. Right now, only the sleeve is covered, unless there is a medical necessity for RNY or DS. There is no coverage for the gastric band. The policy pays 80% after employee deductible. Pre-op requirements include 3 month MSWL and psych evaluation.


  • Education series 2019; Bariatric Advantage and Novo Nordisk Sponsors.
  • Indiana State Chapter of the ASMBS sponsored the Indianapolis Walk from Obesity (9/7/19).
  • Ball State University had only opted to cover the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the gastric band, gastric sleeve as excluded coverage. Representative from the IN State Chapter of the ASMBS met with HR leadership at the University and educated about the benefits of the sleeve gastrectomy. Coverage for the gastric sleeve was added for next insurance cycle (effective 1/2019).
  • Efforts to offer bariatric surgery informational seminar at select employers has been incorporated (i.e., Fiat Chrysler Automotive, Zionsville School Corporation, etc.).


  • We will continue to advocate for Hoosiers impacted by obesity, by lobbying our senators and lawmakers to treat obesity as a disease.


  • October 1, 2016: Indiana State Chapter ASMBS was one of the sponsors for the Walk for Obesity at Garfield Park in Indianapolis.
  • September 23, 2016: sponsored “Integrated Health for Bariatric Surgery Fall Group Discussion Forum” at Community Hospital North. The topic was “Support Group Secrets-Share tips to keep things interesting.” Guest Speaker: Michelle Plumber, RD from the Indiana Dairy Association to provide a bariatric tool kit and a bariatric cooking demonstration.
  • Sponsored “Integrated Health for Bariatric Surgery Group Discussion Forum” at Community Hospital North. The topic was Labs, Vitamins, and Diet Progression-what works in your practice. It was an open discussion and networking session allowing time to share best practices for bariatric surgical practices. 22 dietitians and health professionals in the field of bariatrics from bariatric centers in Indiana and Kentucky attended the event.
  • January 29, 2016: Sponsored “Integrated Health for Bariatric Surgery Group Discussion Forum” at Community Hospital North. The topic was “How to get bariatric patients back on track.” It was an open discussion with dietitians and health care professionals from 5 different bariatric centers located throughout Indiana.
  • January 1, 2016 – Purdue University added coverage to their employee’s insurance policy for Bariatric Surgery.


  • TriCare announced December 2015 that they will cover the sleeve gastrectomy; they have agreed to retro back to September 2014.
  • September 19, 2015: Walk for Obesity.
  • September 18, 2015: Sponsored educational event “Nutritional Considerations for the Bariatric Patient” at Community Hospital South. Dr. Inman gave a talk “Bariatric Surgery—Where we have been and where we are going.” Kelleen Ossim, MS, RD, LDN from Brigham and Women’s Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery spoke at the event on “Beyond the myths of bariatric nutrition.” The event was approved for 4 CPEU’s for Registered Dietitians and was attended by 20 dietitians and health professionals in the field of bariatrics. The session provided valuable education as well as an opportunity to network with other professionals in field of bariatrics.
  • Congress Woman Brooks from Carmel, IN agreed to sign on the HR 2415 (Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2013).
  • Dr. Inman, Dr. Cacucci and Missy Tuck met with multiple state legislators regarding the inclusion of bariatric surgery and medically supervised weight loss programs as a covered benefit in the State Exchange Program.
  • Dr. Inman and Dr. Cacucci visited Washington D.C. and had an opportunity to meet with 10 legislative assistants regarding adding coverage for obesity services to State Exchange Program.
  • Dr. Inman met with Congress Woman Susan Brooks at her Carmel office regarding inclusive of bariatric surgery and medically supervised weight loss programs as a covered benefits in the State Exchange Program.
  • Letters and emails have been sent to multiple state legislators to request a meeting.
  • Letter was emailed and mailed to the State Insurance Commissioner, Stephen Robertson, on behalf of the OCC regarding the discriminatory nature of the state health exchange’s coverage policy.

Support Groups

Due to COVID, all in-person support groups are now on hold. But, online support groups have been expanded. Online support groups are now offered twice per month and are open to any pre- or post- operative bariatric surgery patient. Patients can register for online support groups here.

Advocacy Information