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Heidi Press, Public Relations Specialist
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
44405 Woodward Avenue
Pontiac, MI 48341

Free Weight Management Seminars
Start Date


Lifestyle Medicine and Surgical Physicians Team Up to Describe State-of-the-Art Options
 to Optimally Manage Weight and Related Health Issues

Pontiac, Mich.—St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) will host a series of free informational seminars describing options for people who wish to optimally manage their weight and related health issues.

The first of these seminars will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, 2011, in the hospital’s Franco Communications Center, 44405 Woodward Ave., Pontiac.  The Franco Center is located on the north side of the hospital.  Free parking is available.

Tom Rifai, MD, Medical Director of the hospital’s Metabolic Nutrition and Weight Management program, will open the seminars and provide information about the serious medical implications of being overweight and how a physician-led, lifestyle-based medical program can help restore a patient’s quality of life and best prevent or medically manage diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems and other nutritional issues.

The seminars also will focus on various minimally invasive bariatric surgery options offered at SJMO that can help support lifestyle changes and sustainable weight loss.  At the March 22 meeting, SJMO general and bariatric surgeon Jacob Roberts, DO, who is affiliated with the Michigan Bariatric Institute, will speak and provide an overview of laparoscopic (i.e., minimally invasive) surgical options: Gastric Bypass Surgery, Adjustable Gastric Banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy. 

Dr. Rifai earned his medical degree from the Wayne State University School of Medicine where he continues as Clinical Assistant Professor.  He is also a course director for Harvard Medical School’s online CME Lifestyle Medicine course on Metabolic Syndrome designed to teach doctors how to prevent Type 2 Diabetes with a lifestyle-centered approach.

Dr. Rifai is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.  He serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee of world-renowned Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Fla.  In Detroit, he designed a comprehensive metabolic gourmet menu—called Andiamo Lean—for the Andiamo Restaurant Group with the group’s executive chefs.

Dr. Roberts received his medical degree from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and was chief resident at St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital-Oakland Center in Madison Heights.  He is board certified in general surgery and fellowship trained in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery at the Chicago Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, Ill.  Dr. Roberts is also board certified in General Surgery.

Future seminars will feature SJMO bariatric surgeons Dr. Mounir Gazayerli and Dr. Mark Pleatman.

Admission is free, and the public is welcome.  Registration is required.  To register, call SJMO’s Metabolic Nutrition and Weight Management office, 248-858-2475.

About St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
St Joseph Mercy Oakland is a 443-bed comprehensive, community, teaching hospital and a long-time leader in health care in Oakland County.  Founded in 1927 by the Sisters of Mercy, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has won numerous local and national awards for patient safety, quality and performance, and consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide.  A member of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, St Joseph Mercy Oakland is a technologically leading hospital that combines advanced medicine and personal care to assist patients on their path to wellness. With dedicated physicians, nurses and hospital staff committed to providing quality care throughout the patient stay, St Joseph Mercy Oakland has truly personalized the patient care experience.

For more information about health services offered at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, please visit 

About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a newly expanded health care organization serving southeast Michigan. Health coverage spans six counties, including Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy in Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, 119-bed St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, 113-bed Chelsea Community Hospital and 74-bed St. Joseph Mercy Saline. Combined, the seven hospitals are licensed for 1,726 beds, have five outpatient health centers, five urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 14,000 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians. 

A member of Trinity Health, the nation’s fourth largest Catholic health care organization, SJMHS is committed to providing a remarkable patient experience by using leading edge technology in a comforting and healing environment. As a mission based organization, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System provides approximately $100 million in community benefit to the communities it serves each year.

For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit