Our Physicians from left to right: Paula Schlossberg, MD; Debra Greenfield, MD; Chika Anekwe, MD; Andre Giannakopoulos, MD; Joan Lebow, MD; Michael Kaplan, DO; John Ricciardelli, MD
Dr. Michael S. Kaplan, DO, ABOM
Obesity Medicine/Internal Medicine
Dr. Michael Kaplan has been a founding partner of the Long Island Weight Loss Institute (LIWLI) and the center for medical weight loss (CMWL). In September 2014 Dr. Kaplan resigned as the Chief Medical Officer of CMWL.
Secondary to philosophical differences with CMWL management on the importance of being a practicing physician Kaplan ended his affiliation with the CMWL programs to focus on providing outstanding medical care through the Long Island Weight Loss Institute. Kaplan developed the CMWL weight loss program and wrote the patient counseling materials that are used in CMWL offices.
Kaplan has been board-certified in Obesity Medicine (the new specialty dealing with weight and metabolism) since May 2005 and has been practicing obesity medicine since 2001. Currently, there are only about 2000 board-certified bariatricians in the United States.
Dr. Kaplan continues to train medical students, medical residents and attending physicians in Obesity Medicine. To date, Dr. Kaplan has trained more than 2000 providers on how to help their patients lose and maintain weight loss more effectively. Dr. Kaplan and staff providers stay current annually through attending relevant obesity medicine continuing medical education conferences. Dr. Kaplan continues to work as a speaker at obesity medicine conferences and/or industry-sponsored dinners. Obesity medicine consulting work allows Dr. Kaplan to interact with many of the medical experts, scientists, and policymakers in the current medical weight loss market. The above activities help LIWLI maintain our position of being a knowledgeable group of weight loss providers.
Dr. Kaplan was the first to develop an individualized physician-instituted counseling system that is reproducible among different patients and physicians. He also incorporates the latest technology in the form of a body composition analysis at each patient visit to compartmentalize the weight loss into fat, muscle, and water. The goal of fitness counseling and weight loss program is to lose as much fat as possible while maintaining muscle mass. Muscle mass helps to maintain metabolism, and we encourage all of our patients to exercise to prevent muscle loss. Our body composition scale has been equipped with specialized software that creates easy-to-read patient printouts that assist our physicians in providing professional fitness counseling.
In June 2012 Kaplan was an author on a study that was published in the American Journal of Medicine concerning the efficacy of the diet program used at the Long Island Weight Loss Institute. In analyzing the results of 500 patients across 10 CMWL centers the average weight loss was 11.1% weight loss at 12 weeks. Two of the study centers were our Smithtown and East Meadow Long Island offices. We are proud of the fact that this study only included patients enrolled in behavioral therapy and full or partial meal replacement programs. Our results are enhanced when a prescription appetite suppressant is added to the regimen.
Andre Giannakopoulos, MD, ABOM
Lisa Gerhardt is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She has been practicing in healthcare since 1996. She started her career at South Nassau Community Hospital in a medical-surgical/oncology unit where she learned about caring, compassion and nursing foundations.
She continued to New York Presbyterian Hospital in various areas of patient care that include intensive care, interventional radiology, interventional cardiology, and post-anesthesia care. Here she learned about the quality and safety of patient care and how to provide the best care possible to her patients and their families.
Lisa earned a master’s degree in Nursing Education from Western Governors University. This allowed her to be promoted to a Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Department at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She then continued on to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing from the Family Nurse Practitioner Program of Lehman College.
Lisa is committed to cultivating and maintaining relationships with her patients. She is enthusiastic about helping her patients change their lives by offering support, education, and working together to achieve the goal of health and wellness.
Claudia Aroche, FNP-C
Claudia Aroche graduated from SUNY Downstate in 2015 with her MS in Family Nurse Practitioner. She has worked as a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner in allergy, asthma, immunology specialty in private practice and thoroughly enjoyed providing continuous care of patients of all ages. She also worked as a care manager and as a family nurse practitioner for FQHC LI providing primary care services to underserved populations. She really enjoyed the teaching aspect and working as a team to provide access to services and be of service to the community.
She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. She will be starting a new position with NYU Langone Medical Center and Winthrop-University Hospital in May 2019 working with the adolescent population. She is passionate about being at LIWLI because she understands that weight loss is different for everyone. Claudia will help you to implement a customized, safe, and evidence-based weight loss approach to help you work towards your fitness and health goals.
Sara McGowan, RPA-C
Sara McGowan is a Certified Physician Assistant who has been practicing in Primary Care for the last six years. After receiving a Bachelors Degree in Biology from Quinnipiac University, she went on to study for her Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies at Mercy College.
Sara enjoys working in primary care. Through her experience, she has observed how obesity can affect patients lives. She is eager to help patients lose weight and improve their overall health.
Sara is dedicated to her patients and understands that each weight loss journey is unique and may present many different challenges. She takes the time to build a personal and trusting relationship with each patient to provide the best care she can. Sara looks forward to supporting and encouraging her patients to ensure success and help patients meet goals.
Cathleen Kneidl, PA-C
Cathleen Kneidl is a Physician Assistant who has been working in healthcare for the past twenty-five years.
She received a BA in Social Sciences from SUNY Stony Brook and went on to study at the Albany Medical College/ Hudson Valley PA Program. She has worked in Family Practice, Surgery and Women’s healthcare, in addition to volunteering locally as an EMT.
Cathleen likes to focus on well care, and counseling patients in ways to maintain and improve their health. She is excited to be working with patients, helping them to have a complete understanding of all the options available to them to help them lose weight, and deciding together what options would be most appropriate for them.