The Long Island Weight Loss Institute Staff

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 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

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 the 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.

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 internist 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.

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 Master’s 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.

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 where 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.

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 a 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 to helping her patients achieve their weight loss goals.

Nancy Thomas, RN, MSN, FNP

nancy-thomasNancy Thomas is a Family Nurse Practitioner with a 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 six 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 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 twenty 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 personalized attention to obtain weight loss goals and to optimizing one’s health and quality of life.  She is proud to join the Long Island Weight Loss Institute.

Cathleen Kneidl, PA-C

Cathleen KneidlCathleen 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.

Stephen Machlica, MS, BS, PA-C

Stephen Machlica, MS, BS, PA-CStephen Machlica is a Physician Assistant who graduated from Touro College School of Health Sciences. He holds a bachelor of science, master of science, and is New York Board Certified to practice medicine.

Through his didactic and clinical experience, Stephen has gained valuable knowledge in a variety of medical fields including long-term care, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, behavioral health, family medicine, bariatric surgery, OBGYN, and orthopedic surgery.

Stephen has experience as a Direct Support Professional, working with special needs adults since 2015. Stephen is dedicated to helping patients stay healthy, and motivated, and loves to see people succeed. Stephen believes weight gain and obesity should be treated as a medical issue just like any other condition, and is ready to help patients on their journey not just towards weight loss but towards an overall better quality of life.

Amanda Carrion, PA-C

Amanda Carrion, PA-CA graduate of St. John’s University, Amanda Carrion joined Long Island Weight Loss Institute, bringing with her a new level of compassionate patient care. She is a board-certified Physician Assistant with 16 years of experience in Internal Medicine at Montefiore Hospital.

Her strong communication skills, vast medical knowledge, and long-term commitment give patients hope and accountability. Amanda encourages patient involvement and shares their need in understanding the various treatment methods available to improve their wellbeing.

As a mother of three, her compassionate and empathetic nature comes through in her practice, where she believes in working together to achieve the best patient outcome.

Joann Noto, PA-C

Joann Noto, PA-CJoann Noto is a board-certified Physician Assistant who has been practicing for over twenty-five years. She is a graduate of St John’s University and has a BS in Physician Assistant Studies. Joann has speacialties in Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Stroke Management.

Throughout her career, Joann has worked in various settings including the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, where she cared for critically ill patients. This has provided her with a wide range of experience in the multiple aspects of medicine.

Joann understands that weight loss is a journey that improves lives both physically and mentally. She believes that it is important to develop a relationship with her patients and offer an individualized plan that will work for them. She is aware that it takes dedication as well as encouragement to achieve these goals and looks forward to supporting her patients along the way. Joann is excited to join the team at the Long Island Weight Loss Institute.

Jessica Graff, PA-C

Jessica GraffJessica Graff is a board-certified Physician Assistant with a degree in Physician Assistant Studies at Touro College

She started her professional career at Columbia Presybtian Hospital in Interventional Cardiology and has spent the last fourteen years of her career in Internal Medicine.

Jessica is passionate about the functional aspect of obesity medicine and finding the root cause of the problem and combining the two for the most effective outcome. She understands that two people are not the same and focuses on the individualized plan that is right for you

She believes that accountability starts with both the patient and herself in guiding them to their goals by focusing on the lifestyle changes that need to take place for long-term success.

She is proud and honored to join the Long Island Weight Loss Institute.

Marisa Cassara, ANP-C

Marisa Cassara, ANP-CMarisa is a Nurse Practitioner in Adult Health with a Master’s in Science degree from St. Joseph’s University. She has worked in health care for over six years specializing in critical care. She has a passion for living a healthy lifestyle and believes with proper education and personal guidance tailored to each individual, goals can and will be achieved!

Treating obesity is life-changing due to the fact it aids in conquering multiple diseases that come along with it. Marisa believes that obtaining weight loss goals not only positively affects one’s health, but also their quality of life. Weight loss not only improves one’s physical health but, mental health as well.

With that being said, Marisa is honored to work for Long Island Weight Loss Institute where she can help individuals be successful in their weight loss journeys by achieving their goals and living a healthier, happier life.

Oswaldo Garcia, MS, FNP, BSN

Oswaldo Garcia, MS, FNP, BSNOswaldo Garcia is a Nurse Practitioner board certified by the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC).

His experience as a registered nurse in an acute care hospital setting has given him a desire and passion to use his advanced practice degree to work in a more holistic and preventative setting.

He understands that preventative medicine is the future, and weight loss, along with lifestyle modifications, are at the forefront of this approach.

Katrina Romeo, PA-C

Katrina Romeo, PA-CKatrina has always had an interest and passion in preventative medicine and knows that weight loss is an integral part in preserving health and battling chronic disease.

After gaining experience in both urgent care and women’s health, she is excited to join the team at LIWLI and work with her patients to design the best weight loss plan to suit their individual needs.

Katrina knows that it is important to develop a trusting relationship with each patient in order to have long-term success. She is looking forward to developing these relationships with her patients to aid them in becoming the best, healthiest version of themselves!

Jessica John, MSN, AGPCNP-BC

Jessica John, MSN, AGPCNP-BCJessica John is a board-certified Nurse Practitioner. She received her BSN, RN at Adelphi University and went on to practice as a staff nurse at Northwell Health Long Island Jewish Medical Center and as a cardiac ICU nurse at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell. She then received her Masters as a Nurse Practitioner at Hunter College. Throughout her career, she gained valuable knowledge and experience in patient care that provided her the foundation to be a diligent provider.

Jessica is a compassionate provider who believes achieving health goals is a journey that requires both guidance as well as dedication. She believes that by empowering patients through education and counseling, patients can achieve the healthiest version of themselves. Jessica is committed to making a positive impact in her patients’ weight loss journey with passion derived from her experience.

Vanessa Carmona, RPA-C

Vanessa Carmona, RPA-CVanessa Carmona is a board-certified Physician Assistant who completed her training at University of Bridgeport. She spent the first six years of her career practicing Family Medicine and developing a strong foundational knowledge of medicine.

Through her years in primary care treating both acute and chronic conditions she realized the importance of prevention through healthy lifestyle choices and saw firsthand how diet and weight affected the overall health and well-being of her patients.

As a busy mother of four, Vanessa realizes how challenging weight loss and self-care can be and believes that effective weight loss methods should be available to all patients. She is excited to work side by side with her patients to help them attain their weight loss goals while providing guidance and support.

Vanessa believes in the importance of working together with her patients to create a safe and effective weight loss plan for long-term success specifically tailored to each patient’s individual needs. She is also a native Spanish speaker. She is excited to help create a healthier tomorrow for all of her patients.

Ian Nnamdi, PA-C

Ian Nnamdi, PA-CIan Nnamdi is a board-certified Physician Assistant with a profound background in behavioral health, nutrition, and anatomy and physiology. With a passion for helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals, Ian brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our practice.

Ian earned his Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health from the University of Delaware in 2017 before completing his Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Miami Dade College in 2022. In his role as a Physician Assistant in weight loss medicine, Ian employs a comprehensive approach to patient care.

He conducts thorough assessments, develops personalized treatment plans, and provides ongoing support to empower his patients to make sustainable lifestyle changes. With his compassionate demeanor and strong communication skills, he fosters a collaborative relationship with each individual, guiding them through their weight loss journey with empathy and encouragement.

Beyond his clinical work, Ian is committed to staying abreast of the latest advancements in weight loss medicine through continuing education and professional development. He is actively involved in community outreach efforts aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and raising awareness about the importance of weight management.

Christine Petras, RPA

Christine Petras, RPAChristine Petras is a Physician Assistant who has been working in healthcare for over 17 years. She received a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration from St. Joseph’s College then went on to study at Touro College of Health Sciences where she received her Bachelor’s in Physician Assistant studies.

Christine began her professional career in Emergency Medicine at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens. After starting her family she decided to move into private practice where she spent many years specializing in Neurology and pain management. Continuing her medical education continuum, Christine transitioned into Primary care and conducted house calls to provide medical care to patients who could no longer travel into the office.

Christine is proud to join the Long Island Weight Loss Institute team. She is dedicated to helping patients bring about healthy lifestyle changes to achieve long-term success. She believes providing supportive guidance through each patient’s weight loss journey is the key to helping them reach their goals.

Olivia Louis-Jacques, FNP-BC

Olivia Louis-Jacques, FNP-BCOlivia is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner passionate about providing exceptional healthcare to those in need. With 12 years of nursing experience, she has developed a deep understanding of the importance of compassionate care and its impact on patients’ lives.

Building strong relationships with her patients is incredibly important to her, as she believes that trust and open communication are vital in achieving positive health outcomes. As a Nurse Practitioner, she is committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those she serves, and she is grateful for the opportunity to do so every single day.

She believes in the power of collaboration and teamwork, as it allows us to deliver the best possible care to our patients.