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Media Contact: Heidi Press, Public Relations Specialist St. Joseph Mercy Oakland 44405 Woodward Avenue Pontiac, MI 48341 248-858-6662
FREE Weight Management Seminars
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Physicians to Discuss Nutrition, Lifestyle Change and Bariatric Surgery Options

Pontiac, Mich.-St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) is still taking registration for its free informational seminar describing options for people who wish to optimally manage their weight and related health issues.

The seminar will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, 2011, in the hospital's Franco Communications Center.

A subsequent seminar will be held Wednesday, Aug. 10, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1500 Opdyke Rd., Auburn Hills. The program, held in partnership with the Michigan Bariatric Institute, will feature SJMO general and bariatric surgeon Jacob Roberts, DO, and MBI Program Director and former bariatric patient Paula Magid. On Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m., general surgeon Mark Pleatman, MD, will speak at St. Joe's.

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 July 26 seminar, general and bariatric surgeon M. M. Gazayerli, MD, DS, FRCS(C), will speak and provide an overview of laparoscopic (i.e., minimally invasive) surgical options: Gastric Bypass Surgery, Adjustable Gastric Banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy.

Dr. Gazayerli earned his medical degree at Alexandria University, where he completed an internship, Surgery residency and fellowship. He also completed an internship at Duke University, General Surgery residencies at State University of New York at Buffalo and VA Hospital in California and was a research associate in Renal Transplantation at the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Gazayerli also completed a residency in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Tom Rifai, MD, Medical Director of SJMO's Metabolic Nutrition and Weight Management program, will open the July 26 and Aug. 23 seminars. He will 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.

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.

Admission is free. Registration is required. To register, call Metabolic Nutrition and Weight Management, 248-858-2475.