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
Andre Giannakopoulos, MD is a renowned weight loss specialist practicing in the New York area for over 9 years. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn NY, where he remains as an affiliate. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and one in only a small handful of board certified bariatricians in all of New York State, specializing in the treatment of obesity and all of its related conditions.
His dedication to his work and outstanding patient outcomes in bariatric medicine has earned him, “Compassionate Doctor & Patients’ Choice” awards as well as “America’s Top Physicians” award for the past three years. He has lectured nationally, sat on expert panels, and led research projects which helped to bring new weight loss supplements to the United States. He has been written about in New York’s Newsday, Daily News, and Oprah’s “O” magazine. He currently serves as program director of the Long Island Weight Loss Institute where his devotion to exceptional patient care is substantiated, along with Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and Chief Medical Officer of the center for medical weight loss®.
Dr. Giannakopoulos was the first doctor to become a part of, what’s now the largest network of bariatric physicians nationwide, “the center for medical weight loss®“. He is an active member of the American College of Physicians, American Society of Bariatric Physicians, the Society of Aesthetics in Medicine, and American Telemedicine Association.
New on the horizon, Dr. Giannakopoulos will be taking his expertise to all residents of NY State via Tele-Medicine. This is a virtual medical weight loss visit done with the doctor over the internet with all that you would expect from an office visit without ever leaving your home.
John Ricciardelli, MD
Dr. Ricciardelli is a board certified physician who has been in practice in Port Jefferson Station for eighteen years in the specialty of internal medicine. He was born and raised in New Jersey and matriculated at Fordham University for his undergraduate degree in biology. After attending the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico for his MD degree, he completed three years of an internal medicine residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
He was selected as chief medical resident at the East Orange VA Medical Center and then did one year of a critical care fellowship at the same location. During that time he had his first experience in weight loss management with a liquid diet program. While considering a long-term position in bariatric medicine, he decided to enter a general internal medicine practice.
Through the years he has seen the devastating effects of obesity on many of his patients’ health. In addition, he has had personal experience with family members with this problem. With obesity reaching epidemic proportions, Dr. Ricciardelli has decided to dedicate himself to treating this disease process. He realizes the special needs of the obese patient population and eagerly anticipates the personal interaction and impact he hopes to have on their lives.
Norman Bennett, MD
Dr. Bennett is a board certified internist who has been in practice in Port Jefferson Station for 15 years. After receiving a degree in psychology at New York University, Dr. Bennett went on to study for his MD degree at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico for three years, and spent his forth year at New York University, School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Bridgeport Hospital, in Bridgeport, CT.
As well as educating others at Stony Brook University, Brookhaven Hospital and other facilities, Dr. Norman Bennett keeps his knowledge current by attending the most recent professional enhancements lectures and courses.
Dr. Bennett is currently the consulting physician for vascular medicine at the Nesconset Nursing home as well as an associate with Suffolk Vascular Associates in Port Jefferson Station, NY. He is also at Rejuve Medi-spa in East Setauket, NY practicing Aesthetic Medicine such as BOTOX Cosmetic, Juvederm and Sclerotherapy.
Debra Greenfield, MD
Dr. Debra Greenfield, a long time resident of Long Island, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hunter College, CUNY, where she majored in biology and graduated Summa Cum Laude and was elected a lifetime member of Phi Beta Kappa. She studied medicine and earned her M.D. degree at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
Dr. Greenfield did her residency training in internal medicine at the Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners.
Dr. Greenfield started her career as a consultant at Wills Eye Hospital and as an instructor in medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She then practiced as an attending in medicine at Parker Jewish Geriatric Institute and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, in New Hyde Park, New York. She has worked as a consultant for a weight loss program and has a strong understanding of the physiologic and psychological components of obesity. Dr. Greenfield is quite sympathetic to the struggle one has when losing weight and feels that she can help patients reach their goal in weight loss while achieving positive medical benefits.
Piya Ghoshal, MD
Treating patients as a board certified internists I see on a daily basis the deleterious effect that excess weight has on an individual’s health. This is why I enjoy helping my patients lose weight. It gives me great pleasure seeing my patients get healthier through weight loss. I hope to see you soon!
Dr. Ghoshal studied medicine at St. George’s University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University at the Jacobi Medical Center.
Chika Anekwe, MD
Chika Anekwe is a recent graduate from the General Preventive Medicine and Public Health Residency Program at SUNY Stony Brook University and earned her Masters in Public Health from Columbia University. She previously completed her undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology at Princeton University and returned to her home state of Connecticut to complete her medical degree at the University of Connecticut.
She is passionate about personalized medical care for weight loss and weight maintenance and is actively training in the specialty of Obesity Medicine. She is dedicated to helping patients achieve their personal weight loss goals through individualized diet, exercise and behavioral counseling.
Joan Lebow, MD, ABOM
Dr. Joan Lebow is board certified in Obesity medicine and Internal medicine and has over 20 years experience in Primary Care. After completing her Internal Medicine Residency at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, she moved to Boston to work with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. Nearly 10 years later, she moved to the Cambridge Health Alliance where she was Medical Director of the Central Street Health Center, a clinic that provides health care to a culturally diverse population.
While there, she led a comprehensive care management program for patients with Diabetes. During her time in Massachusetts, she was an educator to both students and residents, and was an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Lebow strongly believes the importance of listening to her patients and strives to create partnerships so the common goals can be achieved. She is actively training in Obesity Medicine and understands the value of the life changing education that the Center Medical Weight Loss provides. She is an experienced, caring and empathetic physician and is excited to be joining the Center for Medical Weight Loss.