Neil Floch

President

Dr. Floch is the Network Director for Bariatric Surgery for Western Connecticut Health Network encompassing both the programs at Norwalk Hospital and Danbury Hospital. He is also the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Norwalk Hospital. He is a Board Certified General Surgeon who has specialized in Advanced Laparoscopic, Foregut and Bariatric Surgery. He is a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, the American Medical Association and the Society of American Gastroendoscopic Surgeons. Dr. Floch is currently serving as the President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons.

Dr. Floch graduated from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, Magna Cum Laude. He continued his education at the Boston University School of Medicine. He moved to New York City where he completed his Residency in General Surgery at Beth Israel Medical Center. From there Dr. Floch completed his Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. While at the Mayo Clinic, he studied under Dr. Ronald Hinder and specialized in Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery. He then became an instructor at the Mayo Clinic in Surgery in 1998.

During his training, Dr. Floch developed an expertise in bariatric, anti-reflux and laparoscopic surgery. He performs laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass procedures. Dr. Floch is passionate about the success and health of his patients and also specializes in bariatric revisional procedures for patients who have not attained their goal of weight loss or need additional help and support.

Dr. Neil Floch has maintained a General Surgery and Bariatric private practice in the Norwalk Community since 1998. His practice has a main office on East Avenue in Norwalk and satellite offices located in Shelton, Stamford, Milford, and North Haven to accommodate patients in and around the community.

Dr. Floch has participated on various Committees at Norwalk Hospital and has been an advocate for developing educational programs for patients regarding weight loss, reflux and endoscopic surgeries. Dr. Neil Floch has authored twenty-four (24) published journal articles. Dr. Floch was a member of the Norwalk Hospital Strategic Planning Committee from 2005-2007. He also served as Chairman of the Bariatric Center of Excellence Task Force Committee for Norwalk Hospital and on the Medical Executive Committee from 2008-2010. Dr. Neil Floch was named a Top Doctor in Bariatric Surgery by Connecticut Magazine from 2011 through 2017 and is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for the last five years.

Pavlos Papasavas

Vice President

Dr. Pavlos K. Papasavas is the Director of Surgical Research and Co-Director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Hartford Hospital. Dr. Papasavas received his Medical Doctor Degree from Athens University in Greece. He completed a residency in General Surgery at the Temple University Campus at the West Penn Allegheny Health System in Pittsburgh, where he also completed a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and he is currently leading the research program for the UConn surgical residency. Dr. Papasavas has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, four book chapters and has given over 200 national and international presentations. His current research interest focuses on studying the variability in outcomes of surgical weight loss procedures. He has established successful collaborations with researchers from the Institute of Living and Genetic Research Centers at Hartford Hospital, the University of Connecticut, and the Jackson Laboratory to investigate the utility of neuroimaging and the contributions of taste, microbiome and physiogenomics to the variability of bariatric surgery outcomes. With the aid of a research award from Hartford Hospital, the Hartford Hospital Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program developed an Interdisciplinary Center on Obesity Research with the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center. In 2018, Dr. Papasavas was awarded a RO-1 grant from NIDDK (1R01DK113408-01A1: neuroimaging predictors of bariatric surgical outcomes). Dr. Papasavas serves in the Clinical Issues Committee of ASMBS and he is currently the Vice-President of the CT chapter of ASMBS.

Saber Ghiassi, MD, MPH

Saber Ghiassi, MD, MPH is a board-certified surgeon with Yale Medicine specializing in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery. He is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Yale school of Medicine and Chief of the Section of General Surgery at Bridgeport Hospital.

A graduate of Brody School of Medicine, Dr. Ghiassi completed his general surgery training at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and fellowship training at Stanford University School of Medicine. He has extensive experience in surgical treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome, and he serves as the Site Director for Bariatric Surgery at Bridgeport Hospital.

Aziz Benbrahim, MD, FACS, FASMBS

Aziz Benbrahim, MD joined MidState Medical Center as a General Surgeon in 2002 and was named the Medical Director of the hospital’s Weight Management Program in 2004.

From 2008 to 2009, he served as the Chairman of General Surgery section followed by being the Director of the Division of Surgery and the Chairman of the Perioperative Committee until January 2014. Dr. Benbrahim is Board Certified in General Surgery with special expertise in Minimally Invasive Surgery. He specializes in Robotic and Bariatric Surgery and also performs comprehensive general surgery. A graduate of Hassan II University School of Medicine in Casablanca, Morocco,. He began his surgical training in France and then completed a 6-year residency at the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven, an affiliate of Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Benbrahim spent three years as a Research Fellow in the Department of Vascular Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. He served as the president of the CTASMBS. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and an active member of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, The New England Surgical Society, the Connecticut State Medical Society and the New Haven County Medical Association.

Geoffrey S. Nadzam, MD FACS FASMBS

Dr. Geoffrey Nadzam is fellowship trained in laparoscopic bariatric and robotics procedures. Dr. Nadzam earned his B.A. from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ and earned his M.D. from UMDNJ – New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ. He completed a residency in general surgery and a Bariatric Surgery Fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California.

Dr. Nadzam previously served as the Director of Robotic Surgery and the Director of Center for Obesity Surgery at the Hospital of St. Raphael. He is currently Site Director for Bariatric Surgery at St. Raphael’s campus and Site Director of the Surgical Residency Program. He has recently been appointed the Medical Director of Surgical Services for the Saint Raphael Campus of Yale New Haven Hospital.

Makram Gedeon, FACS, FASMBS, FASCRS

Dr Gedeon was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1976. After obtaining his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in 2002, he came to the United States to pursue his residency training. He completed his internship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and his general surgery residency at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) in Dallas, Texas in 2007. He is double fellowship trained having completed a clinical fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) in Dallas, Texas in 2008 and a clinical fellowship in Colon and Rectal surgery at the New York Presbyterian hospital (Cornell/Columbia joint colorectal surgery program) in New York City, New York in 2009.

Dr Gedeon joined the medical staff of Bristol Hospital, Bristol, CT in 2009 and started the weight loss surgery program. His clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery and flexible endoscopy and he has a special interest in robotic surgery. His research interests include surgical technology and clinical outcomes in bariatric surgery. Dr Gedeon has helped with hosting the Connecticut walk from obesity and serves as a site surveyor for the MBSAQIP. He is a board member at large of the CTASMBS and is a member of the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America. He is also an active member of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Darren S. Tishler, MD, F.A.C.S.

STAR Representative

Dr. Darren S.Tishler currently serves as the Director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Hartford Hospital and the Director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery for Hartford Health-Care. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and is active in surgery resident and student education. Dr. Tishler graduated with a undergraduate degree in Neurobiology and Behavioral Sciences from Cornell University and received his medical degree at The Chicago Medical School. He completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at the University of Alabama-Birmingham before returning to his home state of Connecticut. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Dr. Tishler’s current research interests include studying the response of medical conditions in morbidly obese patients to various bariatric treatment options and the long-term surgical management of the post-bariatric surgery patient. He is a medical director at Hartford Health- Care Medical Group where he also chairs the compensation and finance committee. He serves on several local, regional, and national committees and is an advocate for improving patient access to bariatric surgery through the Access to Care Committee of the ASMBS.

Jonathan Aranow

Board Member/Former President

Dr. Jonathan Aranow received his surgical training at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center and has been practicing general and bariatric surgery in Connecticut since 1999. He is the Program Director for the Middlesex Hospital Center for Bariatric Surgery in Middletown, CT. Dr. Aranow has a longstanding devotion to patient access to care issues. As a patient advocate he has served as the principal founder and chair of the committee for bariatric surgery in the CT chapter of the ACS. He has served for many years on the national access to care committee for the ASMBS. Dr. Aranow was a driving force behind the formation of the Connecticut chapter of the ASMBS and served as its charter president. He continues as an active board member for the chapter.

Katy Dunay

Executive Director

Katy has been the Executive Director for the Chapter since its creation in 2012. She provides administrative support for the organization and works to support the President and the Board as well as coordinate meetings and management of chapter business. In this role she has also served as the liaison between the members and the board, provide service and assistance to members and support as needed. She has participated on small subcommittees working on Chapter initiatives including the Walk From Obesity 2017 and the First Annual Obesity Summit 2018. We are looking forward to our Second Annual Obesity Summit in January of 2019.

Katy is the Practice Administrator for Fairfield County Bariatrics & Surgical Specialists. She has been with the practice since 2010. Working alongside Dr. Abe Fridman, Dr. Craig Floch and Dr. Neil Floch, she works with physicians and patients on a daily basis, providing management and support. She is grateful to work with and be a part of the practice and help patients realize their weight loss and health goals.