Military Committee

Anthony L. Mark, MD FASMBS

Tiffany Cox, MD
Co-Chair (DHA)

Ann DeBord Smith, MD MPH
Co-Chair (VA)

Richard Peterson, MD MPH FASMBS
Executive Council Liaison


Eric Ahnfeldt, DO FACS FASMBS, Senior Past Chair
Michael Barker, MD FASMBS (VA)
Joel Brockmeyer, MD FASMBS, Immediate Past Chair
Ghazali Chaudry, MD FACS FASMBS
Susan Clark, MD
Dan Eisenberg, MD (VA)
Byron Faler, MD FACS

Brenton Franklin, MD MHPE FACS
Kyle Gadbois, MD
Tricia Goins, RN CBN (VA)
Monique Hassan, MD FACS
Marcelo Hinojosa, MD FASMBS

Torbjorg Holtestaul MD
Brittany Howard, PA-C
Joseph Lee, MD
Leah Loomis, DNP ACNP-BC CBN (VA)
Kevan Mann, MD
Christopher Porta, MD FACS

Michael Logan Rawlins, MD FACS
Zachary Taylor, DO
Gordon Wisbach, MD MBA FACS FASMBS, Senior Past Chair
Tamara Worlton, MD
Christopher Yheulon, MD


Leslie Vinson


  • To advocate for the health care policy that ensures patient access to high quality prevention and treatment of obesity
  • To foster communication between health professionals on obesity and related conditions
  • To be a highly valued specialty society that serves the educational and professional needs of its diverse membership


The Military Committee supports the uniformed services and their members through ASMBS to provide a collaborative forum committed to improving the care of the bariatric patient within the military/Tricare system and VA Healthcare Systems. This committee’s focus is to advance the science of metabolic and bariatric surgery through a robust research consortium. The Military Committee also focuses on establishing a collective within Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) and VA Hospitals, creating uniform pathways among centers, and having MBSAQIP/VASQIP participation, respectfully.


  • Aid all major MTFs in becoming MBSAQIP accredited
  • Quality improvement initiatives with State Chapters, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety and Research Committees
  • Be a consortium to enhance care by sharing information
  • Improve communication between military and VA members and ASMBS
  • Identify needs and opportunities for improvement for military hospitals and VA Hospital System
  • Offer CME credits to deployed military ASMBS members
  • Support the unique aspects of VA beneficiaries and enhance the relationship between military resources and VA facilities

Committee Goals


  1. Recommend Military committee member(s) to participate on other ASMBS committees & panels
  2. Assist ASMBS VA members with bariatric surgery access, patient care issues, and patient throughput issues
  3. Free/reduced registration for Active Military at ASMBS meetings
  4. Weight Loss Medication Project within the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and VA hospitals
  5. VA/DOD Integrated Health Journal Club with focus on IH and/or nutrition
  6. Uniform care pathways between military facilities; participation in the ASMBS Quality Improvement Initiative project: Sleeve Gastrectomy Care Pathway
  7. Standardized Outpatient Sleeve Pathway


  1. DHA centralized funding and support for Bariatric Centers of Excellence distinction in the Military
  2. MBSAQIP accreditation for all major MTFs utilizing a Clinical Reviewer as data collection administrator for multiple centers
  3. Create centralized, standardized best practices for all military and VA bariatric surgery institutions’ bariatric programs
  4. Foster continued growth of a Military Research Collaboration and a VA Research Collaboration
  5. TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) Research Project in progress
  6. Improve access to care for various new weight loss procedures such as DOD Intragastric Balloons – particular application for active-duty members
  7. Possible DHA Advisory Committee on bariatric surgery in the DOD


  1. Surgical Telementoring/Coaching between centers
  2. Determine avenues for earning CME for deployed surgeons including ASMBS Annual Meeting on Demand at no cost for ASMBS active-duty members
  3. Military members to become ASMBS Fellows and MBSAQIP verified surgeons
  4. Maintain the Military and VA Bariatric Network documents, i.e., directories of who, what kind, and volume regarding bariatrics at their centers
  5. Utilize private Military Facebook page/repository for shared military documents

Specific Projects that Achieve Goals and Objectives


  1. The committee has VA members and a VA Co-Chair; invitation to non-committee ASMBS VA members to join the committee at their meeting at the ASMBS Annual Meeting 2022
  2. Petitioned ASMBS leadership to support free and/or reduced registration for Active Military at ASMBS meetings
  3. Weight Loss Medication Project in progress
  4. VA/DOD Integrated Health Journal Club in progress
  5. Implementation of ASMBS Sleeve Care Pathway at military facilities and encouragement of participation in the ASMBS Quality Improvement Initiative project: Sleeve Gastrectomy Care Pathway
  6. Standardized Outpatient Sleeve Pathway in place at Madigan Army Medical Center; encouraging other centers to utilize it


  1. Continue to meet with DHA regarding centralized funding and letter of necessity, i.e. the “White Paper”; DHA strongly supports funding of all MTF’s to participate in MBSAQIP
  2. Annual face-to-face meeting at ASMBS Annual Meeting where the committee will meet and evaluate common pathways
  3. Continue to obtain updates from committee members assigned to other committees in order to “cross-talk” to participate/achieve goals/prepare MTFs to participate in the ASMBS Quality Improvement Initiative when organized
  4. Continue Military Research Task Force utilizing Bariatric Research Resident secured at Beaumont and Eisenhower Army Medical Center to be used at all centers
  5. Drafting of IRB registry for innovative bariatric procedures in the Military
  6. DOD Intragastric Balloons – Naval Medical Center San Diego started a program to others to start similar programs; in progress
  7. DHA Advisory Committee on bariatric surgery in the DOD; recommend that leadership on both committees (ASMBS and DHA) be the same


  1. Surgical Telementoring/Coaching implemented at Naval Medical Center San Diego and continues to grow
  2. Using ASMBS, SOARD primarily online, and hard copies where internet is deficient, and webinars, when deployed to receive CME; possible use of ASMBS Annual Meeting On Demand for free
  3. Quarterly/as-needed update of the Military and VA Bariatric Network documents via queries to committee members regarding new information on their centers
  4. Continued use of private Facebook page – adding members, documents, and discussions

2022-2023 Completed Projects

  1. Updated Military and VA Bariatric Networks throughout the year
  2. With the support of ASMBS leadership ASMBS Active Duty Military members will now receive reduced registration at the ASMBS meetings
  3. Surgical Telementoring/Coaching implemented at Naval Medical Center San Diego and continues to grow
  4. Assisted in creation of DHA Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Steering Committee to increase MBSAQIP Accreditation throughout the DOD MTFs

Apply to Join a Committee

Share your interest in becoming involved with the many ASMBS committees.