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Media Contact: Heidi Press, Public Relations Specialist St. Joseph Mercy Oakland 44405 Woodward Avenue Pontiac, MI 48341 248-858-6662
Lifestyle, Weight Management & Bariatric Free Seminar
Start Date


Nutrition and Bariatric Surgery Options Among Topics

Pontiac, Mich.—St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO), in partnership with the Michigan Bariatric Institute, will host a free informational seminar describing options for people who wish to optimally manage their weight and related health issues.

The next seminar will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, in the hospital’s Franco Communications Center Auditorium, 44405 Woodward Ave., Pontiac.  Subsequent seminars will be held Nov.  22, Dec. 6, 2011, and Jan. 10 and 24, 2012.

The seminar will focus on various minimally invasive bariatric surgery options offered at SJMO, how to make healthy lifestyle changes and how to achieve sustainable weight loss.   

Tom Rifai, MD, Medical Director of SJMO’s Metabolic Nutrition and Weight Management program, will open the 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. 

General and bariatric surgeon Mark Pleatman, MD, will speak and provide an overview of laparoscopic (i.e., minimally invasive) surgical options: Gastric Bypass Surgery, Adjustable Gastric Banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy. 

Dr. Pleatman received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  He completed his residency in General Surgery at Saint Louis University Hospital and a fellowship in Surgical Endoscopy at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.  He is certified by the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

With a special interest in laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Pleatman traveled to France, where he learned the technique of laparoscopic cholecystectomy and was the first surgeon in Michigan to perform this procedure. He has been featured on TV and in numerous articles about laparoscopic surgery and has trained many surgeons in these new procedures.  Dr. Pleatman also invented and patented a device commonly used around the world for laparoscopic surgery.  He is a member of several professional societies, including the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.

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