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 center for medical weight loss (CMWL) since 2006. In September 2014 Dr. Kaplan resigned as the Chief Medical Officer of CMWL. Kaplan resigned because the CMWL board of directors felt that it was a conflict of interest for him to continue to see patients as a medical doctor while employed by CMWL.
CMWL wanted Dr. Kaplan to become an administrator that did not actually see and manage patients. Dr. Kaplan has enjoyed taking care of his patients’ at the long island weight Loss Institute since 2001 and he was not willing to give this up.
Secondary to philosophical differences with CMWL management on the importance of being a practicing physician Kaplan surrendered all of his ownership in CMWL and 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 450+ offices currently located in 46 U.S. states.
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 400 board certified bariatricians in the United States.
Dr. Kaplan hosts biannual continuous medical education(CME) seminars for physicians specializing in Obesity Medicine. To date Dr. Kaplan has trained more than 2000 providers in how to help their patients lose weight more effectively. These CME seminars allow Dr. Kaplan to interact with many of the medical experts, scientists, and policy makers in the current medical weight loss market. This helps us maintain our position of being a knowledgeable group of weight loss providers. In the past, Dr. Kaplan has provided ongoing support in the form of medical advice on how to handle clinical patient management issues to all participating CMWL physicians. For five consecutive years Dr. Kaplan gave monthly Continuos medical education webinars to all interested CMWL physicians on the recently published journal articles that affect the practice of obesity medicine.
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 the fitness counseling and weight loss program is to lose as much fat as possible while maintaining muscle mass. Muscle mass helps to maintain the 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.
Dr. Kaplan completed his internship and residency at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York from July 1996 to June 1999. He became a board-certified internist (ABIM) in October of 1999. From July 1999 to October 2001, Dr. Kaplan worked as an attending physician at North Shore Medical Associates in Port Jefferson, New York. Dr. Kaplan has had a license to practice medicine and surgery in New York State since 1999. Seeing first-hand the morbid conditions caused by obesity on a daily basis while working as an internist, Dr. Kaplan developed the Long Island Weight Loss Institute in November 2001. From August 1992 to May 1996, Dr. Kaplan attended the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He achieved academic honors in a majority of the core courses taught in Osteopathic Medical School. From August 1988 to May 1992, Dr. Kaplan attended the University of Miami on a Pearson Academic Scholarship. In May 1992 he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology.
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 were 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 & 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 by 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 6 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.