Community/Independent Practice Committee

Carl Pesta, DO FASMBS

Blake Movitz, MD

Colleen Kennedy, MD MBA FASMBS
Executive Council Liaison

ASMBS Staff Liaison

Leslie Vinson


Jameil Abou-Hanna, MD
Folahan Ayoola, MD FASMBS
Peter Billing, MD FACS
Helmuth Billy, MD
Katie Chapmon, MS RD
Benjamin Clapp, MD FASMBS
Ashlyn Douglass-Barnes, LCSW
Elizabeth Dovec, MD FACS DBOM
Kati Duncan, PsyD
Shawn Garber, MD FACS
Hiram Gonzalez-Ortiz, MD
Margaret Inman, MD FASMBS
Paul Kemmeter, MD, Immediate Past Chair
Shanu Kothari, MD FASMBS
Marina Kurian, MD FACS DABOM DABS FASMBS, Senior Past Chair
Sheetal Nijhawan, MD FACS
Joe Northup, MD FASMBS
Kingsley Okai, MD
Lucian Panait, MD MBA
Joshua Pfeiffer, MD FASMBS
Jon Schram, MD
Ryland Stucke, MD
Christopher Taglia, MD FACS DABOM FASMBS
Kyle Thompson, MD
Matthew Weiner, MD


  1. To improve the care and treatment of people suffering from obesity
  2. To foster communication between health professionals on obesity and related conditions
  3. To be the recognized authority and resource on metabolic and bariatric surgery
  4. To be a highly-valued specialty society that serves the educational and professional needs of its diverse membership


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


  1. To represent the interests of the independent surgeons in the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery
  2. To identify the challenges unique to independent surgeons in the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery and provide practice-based solutions to these challenges
  3. To address best practice guidelines in the context of unique practice models
  4. 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
  5. To offer a course outlining best practices and utilization of resources to maximize success of the surgeon

2023-2024 Committee Goals

  1. Publish educational Private Practice Solutions “Tips & Tricks” video or host a Practice Building Webinars quarterly
  2. Mentorship of other private practice, employed by community hospitals, or nonacademic health care systems surgeon and integrated health members – Collaboration with Diversity & Inclusion Committee and IH Multidisciplinary Care Committee’s Mentorship Programs
  3. Practice Building Reception at ASMBS Annual Meeting
  4. Denials Appeals Toolkit – Collaboration with Insurance Committee
Specific Projects that Achieve Goals and Objectives:
  1. Private Practice Solutions Tips & Tricks Video Series – educational videos by experts in the field of business for all members – academic, private and community – for practice building/optimization
  2. Webinars as scheduled – see ASMBS Webinar Series
  3. Hosting a Practice Building Reception at the 2024 Annual Meeting
  4. Continue Private Practice courses at ASMBS Weekends and Annual Meetings
  5. Collaborating with Insurance Committee providing resources and committee member participation in the Denials Appeals Toolkit for members

2023-2024 Completed Projects

  1. Directed Practice Management courses at ASMBS Annual Meeting 2023
  2. Hosted Practice Building Reception at Annual Meeting 2023 & will host again at Annual Meeting 2024

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