Community/Independent Practice Committee

Carl Pesta, DO FASMBS

Blake Movitz, MD

Colleen Kennedy, MD MBA
Executive Council Liaison

ASMBS Staff Liaison

Leslie Vinson


Jameil Abou-Hanna, MD
Folahan Ayoola, MD FASMBS
Peter Billing, MD
Helmuth Billy, MD
Pascal Bortz, MD
Katie Chapmon, PhD
Benjamin Clapp, MD FASMBS
Ashlyn Douglass-Barnes, LCSW
Elizabeth Dovec, MD FACS DBOM
Kati Duncan, PsyD

Paul Enochs, MD FASMBS
Shawn Garber, MD
Hiram Gonzalez-Ortiz, MD
Margaret Inman, MD FASMBS
Paul Kemmeter, MD, Immediate Past Chair
Shanu Kothari, MD FASMBS
Marina Kurian, MD FASMBS, Senior Past Chair

Sheetal Nijhawan, MD FACS
Joe Northup, MD FASMBS
Lucian Panait, MD MBA
Joshua Pfeiffer, MD FASMBS
Jon Schram, MD
Ryland Stucke, MD
Christopher Taglia, MD FACS DABOM
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 an educational Private Practice Solutions “Tips & Tricks” video or host a Practice Building Webinar every other month
  2. Add Integrated Health members
  3. Practice Building Courses at Annual Meeting and Weekends
  4. Private Practice Toolkit
  5. Increase private practice membership at national and State Chapter level and attendance at ASMBS Weekends and Annual Meetings
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 completed:
    1. Practice Management Disasters: You, The Hospital and Adding Another Surgeon (June 2022).
    2. Practice Management Disasters: Death (July 2022)
    3. Pros of Private Equity (August 2022)
    4. Cons of Private Equity (September 2022)
    5. Failed Staffing Decisions (September 2022)
    6. Adding new topics
  2. Presented the following Webinars:
    1. Bariatric Malpractice (May 2023)
    2. SADI: How to Get Started Webinar (February 2023)
    3. Failed Staffing Decisions (September 2022)
  3. Enhanced the committee by adding 4 Integrated Health members in January 2023 with 2-year terms
  4. Hosting a Practice Building Reception at the 2023 Annual Meeting
  5. Planning and directing two Practice Building courses at the Annual Meeting in June 2023
  6. Planned and directed a Multidisciplinary Practice Management course at ASMBS Weekend in San Antonio November 2022
  7. Continue Private Practice courses at ASMBS Weekends and Annual Meetings
  8. Collecting resources for the Private Practice Toolkit on the ASMBS website and will add to/update as needed
  9. New members added to the committee
  10. Private Practice Toolkit in progress

2022-2023 Completed Projects

  1. Presented the following Webinars:
    1. Bariatric Malpractice (May 2023)
    2. SADI: How to Get Started Webinar (February 2023)
    3. Failed Staffing Decisions (September 2022)
  2. Private Practice “Tips & Tricks” Solutions Videos published
  3. Directed Practice Management courses at ASMBS Weekend 2022 and Annual Meeting 2023 and Hosted
    1. Practice Building Reception at Annual Meeting 2023

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