The Long Island Weight Loss Institute Staff
The LIWLI Weight Loss Doctors

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

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

Dr. GAndre 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

John Ricciardelli, MDDr. 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

Norman Bennett, MDDr. 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

Debra Greenfield, MDDr. 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

Piya Ghoshal, MDTreating 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, MDChika 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

Joan Lebow, MDDr. 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.

Colleen D. Cole, MSN, APRN, FNP

Colleen D. Cole, MSN, APRN, FNPColleen Cole is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner who has been working in healthcare for the past 8 years. After receiving a bachelors degree in nursing from The University at Buffalo, she went on to study for her Masters Degree at Long Island University.

Throughout her studies and professional experiences she has gained valuable clinical experience in a wide range of medical settings including primary care, ambulatory surgery/recovery, pediatrics, and women’s health.

Colleen understands that weight loss is a very personal process and believes that each plan needs to be tailored specifically for that individual in order for them to be successful.  She is committed to providing support to her patients in their journey to achieve their goals in a safe and effective way.

Shanequa A. Boone, MSN, RN, FNP-C

Shanequa A. Boone, MSN, RN, FNP-CShanequa Boone is a Family Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Chamberlain College and her Masters of Science Degree from Long Island University.

Shanequa began her career in healthcare in 2002 and since that time she has worked in various areas of patient care including medical/surgical intensive care, ambulatory surgery/recovery and primary care, where she gained invaluable experience.

Shanequa believes taking the time to listen and understand each individual is key to providing the best healthcare possible. She strives to build long lasting and trusting relationships with every patient encounter. She’s proud to join the Long Island Weight Loss institute.

Lucy R. Delucia, MSN, FNP-C, RNC-OB, C-EFM

Lucy DelucaLucy R. DeLucia is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She has been practicing in healthcare since 2004. Her career started at Mt. Sinai Hospital in a medical surgical unit were she was taught the fundamentals of nursing.

She continued to New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell in various areas of patient care that include triage, operating room, recovery room and labor and delivery in women and children’s health. Where she learned the core beliefs of putting the patient first and deliver the best possible care to patients and family. These standards of care have carried her throughout her career.

In addition to her clinical experience , Lucy has an academic background that includes two bachelor’s degrees in Spanish Literature and Nursing. As well as a Master of Science in Nursing from the Family Nurse Practitioner Program of Molloy College. Her academic background has allowed her to be a clinical instructor to nursing students at Molloy College.

She believes in building a long lasting and trusting relationship with patients. She is passionate, compassionate and is committed to fostering and enhancing the health and wellbeing of patients.

Yuna Zyskind, MSN, FNP

Yuna ZyskindYuna Zyskind was born and raised in Moscow, Russia and immigrated to the United States of America in her 20’s. She earned a Bachelor Degree of Science in Nursing from Adelphi University in 2007 and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Following graduation, Yuna began working as an RN at St. Francis hospital and then she subsequently advanced her career in case management as a homecare nurse. She gained well-rounded experience by working with a wide variety of diverse patients.

From the very beginning Yuna had a goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner. She earned her Masters of Science degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Pace University in 2016. Working at the Long Island Weight Loss Institute in East Meadow Yuna, thoroughly enjoys coaching and managing patients with metabolic and chronic diseases. She is board certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Yuna has a passion for living a healthy lifestyle. She wants to help patients to achieve their optimal health goals and provide honest, compassionate care with modern evidence based weight loss medicine.

Melissa M. Reilly, MSN, FNP

Melissa ReillyMelissa Reilly is a Family Nurse Practitioner who received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Pace University and Masters of Science from Long Island University.  She has been in healthcare for the last eleven years with a wide range of experience, but it was during her time in the cardiac/thoracic intensive care unit that she witnessed first-hand the impact obesity has on others both mentally and physically.

Melissa understands that a patient’s weight loss journey includes making lifestyle changes, which is a process that takes time and requires support. This journey can be challenging but also rewarding. She is sympathetic to the struggles of others and is dedicated in helping her patients achieve their weight loss goals.

Nancy Thomas, RN, MSN, FNP

nancy-thomasNancy Thomas is a Family Nurse Practitioner with Masters in Science degree from Long Island University. She also has a Bachelor’s in Science degree from St. Joseph’s college. She has over 10 years of experience in various departments of Nursing including Long-term care, Medical and Surgical, and the Cardiac Care Unit. In addition, she has over 6 years of experience in Nursing Management within the Northwell Health System.

Nancy is an ardent advocate of leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes healthy eating habits, enough sleep, and exercise. Obesity and Weight management is a field that she has chosen to pursue due to the epidemic that it has become in this time period. She believes that proper education along with guidance and counseling can go a long way in helping to change society’s perception of obesity and obese patients. She also realizes that treating obesity chronically is the key to preventing major diseases that require a lifelong treatment.

Grace Beauchamp, MSN, ANP

Grace BeauchampGrace Beauchamp was born and raised in Jamaica, West Indies, migrated to the United States. She earned her Bachelor Degree from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry where she majored in Veterinary Science.  Earned her RN degree, then her Master’s Degree from Molloy College, Rockville Centre as an Adult Nurse Practitioner.

For over 20 years  she has  gained a wide range of knowledge, experience, and compassion working as a Registered Nurse in cardiac critical care, medical intensive care, and as a Director of Nursing.

She is well aware of the medical and psychological complications associated with obesity.  She is passionate about a personalized attention to obtain weight loss goals and to optimizing ones health and quality of life.  She is proud to join the Long Island Weight Loss Institute.

Jeanna Masone, ANP-C

Jeanna MasoneJeanna Masone is a board certified Adult and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner who has been working in healthcare for the past 17 years. She recieved her Bachelors and Master’s degree from Stony brook University.

She has spent most of her career working at Saint Francis Hospital, specializing in Cardiology. She became interested in weight loss and Obesity medicine, after noticing dramatic improvement in her patients health when they were able to sustain weight loss. Jeanna is very aware of the long term complications that arise from Obesity especially on the cardiovascular system.

She is excited about creating a personalized plan to help you achieve your goals. She is down to earth, personable and enthusiastic. She is proud to join the Long Island Weight Loss Institute, and looks forward to meeting you.

Jean Marie Osborne, DNP, RN, ANP-C

Jean Marie OsbourneJean Marie Osborne is a Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner. Jean Marie started her educational pursuit in 1994 at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY earning a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. She obtained her Master’s of Science as an Adult Nurse Practitioner in 2007, a Post Masters Certificate in Nursing Education in 2012 and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in 2016.

Jean Marie Osborne has continually been Board Certified since 2007 and is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the Barbara H. School of Nursing; Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY. Her previous clinical experience includes Family Medicine and Gastroenterology. Jean Marie Osborne has published several articles in various journals and continues to actively research.

Jean Marie Osborne was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing in 2006. She has served as Immediate Past President of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Long Island, and is currently the Regional Director of NYS Region 7 for the NYS Nurse Practitioner Association. Additionally, she has been chosen to serve as the NYS Southern Representative to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners as of June 2017. Jean Marie believes that it is important to give back to the Nurse Practitioner community by volunteering her experience.

Lisa Gerhardt, MSN, RN, FNP-C, CNS, CCRN

Lisa Gerhardt

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

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.