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Multidisciplinary Support: Experienced and Committed Team
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Experienced and Committed Team

Experienced & Committed Clinical Team

The clinical team at the Central DuPage Bariatric Treatment Center is committed to providing you with the most comprehensive and safest care possible. Our program is unique with dedicated clinical staff available to answer your questions and address your concerns when you need us and we truly care about your success. We appreciate the level of commitment you are making to get serious about your health, lose weight and reap the rewards of a healthier lifestyle.  The team is equally committed to your immediate weight loss goals and long term weight management success.

Our Bariatric Treatment Center program is located within Central DuPage Hospital, providing care to you in one convenient, hospital-based location.  This experienced team of caregivers is available by phone or clinic visit.

David Klem, MD
Board Certified General Surgeon

Dr. Klem is board certified in General Surgery and specializes in open and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and Lap Band® adjustable gastric banding surgery at Central DuPage Hospital.  Dr. Klem is the Medical Director of Surgery and Medical Director of the Bariatric Treatment Center at Central DuPage Hospital.  Dr. Klem is part of the Bariatric Treatment Center program and sees patients in initial consultation and for routine follow up after bariatric surgery is performed.   

Dr. Klem performed his internship and residency at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, IL. He performed a fellowship in advanced laparoscopic surgery at the Endosurgery Institute in Ohio. Dr. Klem started practice in 1994 and came to Central DuPage Hospital in 1996.

Van Vallina, MD
Board Certified General Surgeon

Dr. Vallina is Board Certified in General Surgery and specializes in open and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery at Central DuPage Hospital.  Dr. Vallina is the Medical Director of Surgery at DuPage Medical Group.  Dr. Vallina completed his internship and residency at University of Illinois in Chicago, IL. 

Dr. Vallina speaks German and Spanish and his professional interests include laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery as well as critical care and trauma surgery.  He has been in practice since 1989 and has been at Central DuPage Hospital since 2001.

David Woodard, MD
Board Certified General Surgeon

Dr. Woodard is Board Certified in General Surgery and specializes in open and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and Lap Band® adjustable gastric banding surgery at Central DuPage Hospital.  Dr. Woodard practices with Associated General Surgeons and is a member of the surgical team within the Bariatric Treatment Center at Central DuPage Hospital. 

Dr. Woodard completed his internship and residency at RUSH medical center in Chicago, IL.  He has been in practice and at Central DuPage Hospital since 1992.

“I find it very rewarding to work with the patients within the Bariatric Treatment Center.  I believe in friendly and courteous care of patients from myself and staff and I try to make myself as available as possible to my patients.  Our bariatric program exemplifies this in every aspect.”  

Wahid Kassar, MD
Board Certified Endocrinologist
Medical Advisor, Medical Weight Management Program

Dr. Kassar is Board Certified in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism.  He completed his endocrinology and fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio.  His is a professional member of the American Diabetes association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology.  Dr. Kassar’s medical interests include diabetes prevention, metabolic syndrome, gestational diabetes, osteoporosis, lipid disorder and general endocrine diseases.    

Laurel Erickson, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Erickson is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been treating patients for the past 18 years.  She has experience with diverse issues and a multitude of patient backgrounds.  She specializes in treating depression, anxiety, eating disorders, women’s issues, and obesity related difficulties.  Dr. Erickson provides both individual and family counseling to patients within our program.  She helps patients identify obstacles to their success, maintain motivation and help through the weight loss transition before and after surgery as well as in conjunction with medical treatment for weight loss.

Kathy Aufdengarten, RN, BSN
Nurse Clinician

With over 20 years of nursing experience at Central DuPage Hospital, Kathy has helped patients across the entire patient care spectrum.  Kathy supports our surgical patients and non-surgical Medical Weight Management program patients within the Bariatric Treatment Center through the weight loss process.  In addition to educating patients about surgical procedures, Kathy works closely with the bariatric program surgeons and endocrinologist to assess and provide treatment for each patient.  Kathy also visits surgical patients at Central DuPage Hospital following weight loss surgery, and coordinates each patient’s follow-up care with their surgeon. Kathy is a member of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS).

“I enjoy working with our patients while they transform their lives in such a positive way. 
I have so many post surgical patients tell me that they wish they considered weight loss surgery years ago.  It’s very rewarding to see our patients become active again!”

Julie Sanfilippo, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian

Julie provides nutrition education and counseling for patients enrolled in the surgical weight loss program and non-surgical Medical Weight Management program.  Julie helps patients understand the nutritional commitments of weight loss surgery through informational sessions, initial surgical consultation appointments, and nutritional support groups.  In addition, Julie performs routine follow up for our patients to ensure that they remain motivated and stay on track with their weight loss goals.  Julie is a member of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS).

"Lifestyle changes become number one after bariatric surgery and I am happy to assist our patients in making the right food choices.  It is very rewarding to see people become healthier and happier and start living the life they always wanted."

Laurie Meissner

Laurie Meissner
Exercise Specialist

Laurie provides exercise education, counseling, and instruction for surgical patients and non-surgical patients in the Medical Weight Management program.  Laurie creates personal exercise plans for each patient within our program according to their individual fitness level and personal goals.  Laurie has worked in the fitness field for over 15 years, teaching a variety of classes and coordinating adult fitness programs for Central DuPage Hospital. Laurie is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA). .

“My goal is to help create wellness and health through movement.  I especially enjoy educating individuals about exercise and how to incorporate activity into their lives every day.  Working with our patients is especially rewarding since their lives are radically improved and changed through exercise and a healthy lifestyle.”

Renee Sauriol
Patient Care Coordinator

Renee helps each patient navigate through their entire weight loss experience at the Bariatric Treatment Center, from their first phone call to an ultimately successful surgery or medically managed weight loss program.  Not only does Renee provide individualized care as she helps coordinate each patient’s treatment program, she also provides our patients the information they need about surgical and non-surgical options for weight loss at Central DuPage Hospital.  Renee gives each patient personalized attention, setting up all appointments including the initial consultation and follow-up appointments with our clinicians. Renee helps each patient obtain any pre-surgical testing requirements and ensures that the results are available for the surgeon to review prior to surgery. Renee also helps patients communicate with their insurance company and obtain necessary information to help expedite insurance approval for weight loss surgery.

“It’s very rewarding to see our patients take each step towards a healthier life, knowing that I’ve helped make each part of the weight loss process easier.”

 
*In the spirit of keeping you well informed the physician(s) identified are neither agents or employees of Central DuPage Hospital or any of its affiliate member organizations. They have chosen our facilities as the place they wish to treat and care for their private patients.