Meet the metabolic bariatric team

Meet our Metabolic and Bariatric Medical Team

Great Health and Sustainability is Achieved Through Dedication

Tri State Bariatrics is committed to the highest quality of care for our
patients and their long term weight loss success.
Our multidisciplinary bariatric team consists of Bariatric Surgeons, Nurse Practitioners,
Dietitians, Psychologist, Behavioral Therapist and Patient Navigators.

Dr. Kwon

Peter Kwon, MD, FACS
Founder of Tri State Bariatrics

Dr. Ramon Rivera

Ramon Rivera, MD, FACS
Bariatric Medical Director
Good Samaritan Hospital

Dr. Wayne Weiss

Wayne Weiss, MD, FACS
Bariatric Medical Director
St. Lukes Hospital

Jaime Cepeda, MD, FACS
Bariatric Medical Director
Bon Secours Hospital

We have built a team of health care professionals dedicated to guide you through a comprehensive management of severe obesity using weight-loss surgery since 2003. Tri State Bariatrics specializes in Lap-band, Sleeve Gastrectomy, and Gastric Bypass surgery.
Our team of dedicated and experienced professionals include Nurse Practitioners, Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists, Psychiatrists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, and Registered Nurses. We believe it is extremely important to provide all of our patients with a comprehensive approach to surgery to ensure the safest and most effective weight loss journey both before and after surgery. In addition, learning necessary permanent lifestyle changes is not easy, but it is accomplished with the help of our team.


Dr. Alisha FullerDr. Alisha M. Fuller, DNP, CBN, FNP-BC

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY
Master of Science/FNP: Pace University, Pleasantville, NY
Doctor of Nursing Practice: Pace University, New York, NY
Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner: American Nurses Credentialing Center
Certified Bariatric Nurse: American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Specialty Areas: Bariatrics, Geriatrics, Endocrine, Family Medicine

Dr. Alisha M. Fuller has been a board certified family Nurse Practitioner since 2003. She has been with Tri State Bariatrics since 2007 and is the lead Nurse Practitioner. She is a member of the ASMBS, Sigma Theta Tau, and NYS Nurse Practitioner Association where she is on the Board of Directors. She served as President and is Chair of the Annual Conference and has been on the Education Committee since 2007.
Dr. Fuller is a published author in the area of group medical visits and their effects on Diabetes and obesity. She has presented nationwide at numerous conferences on obesity and is an Associate Professor at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY.


Jody MachughJody MacHugh, FNP-BC, CBN, RNFA

BS in Psychology:
SUNY New Paltz
BSN Nursing, MS Family Nurse Practitioner:Pace University
RNFA: University of Rochester

Prior to her nursing career, Jody studied Psychology and worked with autistic children using Applied Behavioral Therapy. She then went on to pursue a degree in nursing and worked as a staff RN in labor and delivery, post-partum, as well as the newborn nursery. She also worked in the operating room as well as the post anesthesia care unit.
While gaining experience as a registered nurse, she earned her Master’s Degree and became board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She then went on to gain experience in the areas of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Pain Management.
Jody has been with Tri State Bariatrics since 2009. Since that time, she has earned her RNFA certification which allows her to assist in surgical procedures. She has also become a Certified Bariatric Nurse. She is a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Nurse Practitioner Association. Jody is privileged to practice as a Nurse Practitioner and First Assist at Bon Secours Community Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital and St. Luke’s Community Hospital.
Jody has a special interest in physical fitness as well as nutrition. She has attended national conferences and enjoys learning about recent updates in bariatric/metabolic surgery. Jody is committed to helping each patient achieve their goals in order to improve health and overall quality of life.


Jeanne KarsonJeanne Meilak, ANP-C, MSN, CBN

Bachelor of Science in Nursing:
SUNY, New Paltz
Master of Science in Nursing:Mount Saint Mary College
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
NYS Nurse Practitioner Association
American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Board Certified Nurse Practitioner
Certified Bariatric Nurse

Jeanne Meilak is a Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner and has attained her Certification from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) as a Bariatric Nurse. She is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and completed the certification for Trauma Nurse Core Curriculim during her 10 year tenure as emergency room nurse. Jeanne has also spent several semesters as adjunct professor and nurse preceptor for the Mount St. Mary College. She continues to attend bariatric conferences to expand her knowledge in bariatric practice. In addition, she is an active member in the NYS Nurse Practitioner Association with her local group here in Orange County.
Jeanne is committed to all the patients at Tri State Bariatrics and strives to provide a welcoming and candid environment in order to ensure that patients attain their weight loss goals and maintain a lifelong, healthy lifestyle.


Laura DeAndrade
Laura De Andrade, MSN, ANP-BC

Bachelors of Science in Nursing:
Villanova University
Masters of Science in Nursing: New York University
Affiliations: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

Laura is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner. She attained her
Masters Degree in Nursing from New York University. She joined Tri State in 2014. Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner, Laura worked as a registered nurse in a medical/surgical unit and also the PACU and Cardiovascular Special Care Unit. Before joining Tri State, Laura worked for four years as a nurse practitioner in bariatric surgery in Manhattan.

Laura is passionate about her job and loves working with each patient to help them succeed. She devotes her work to each patient in order to help them adapt to new lifestyle changes and healthy behaviors.
Laura is a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and enjoys attending annual conferences to keep up on new advances in bariatric surgery and primary care.


Lauren LundyLauren Lundy, MSN, FNP-C

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY
Bachelor of Science in Psychology: Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY
Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation: University of Florida
Master of Science/FNP: Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, NY
Board Certified: American Nurses Credentialing Center
Certified Bariatric Nurse: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners since 2010
Certifications: Certified Medical Examiner, ACLS, BLS

Lauren joined Tri State Bariatrics in 2017 after practicing as a nurse practitioner in the fields of internal medicine, cardiology, and family medicine. As a registered nurse, she practiced primarily in emergency medicine, with additional experience in neurology, neurosurgery and orthopedics. Prior to joining the field of nursing, she worked as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist working with patients with Spinal Cord Injuries and Brain Injuries.
Lauren remains dedicated to adhering to the needs of her patients, but remaining updated in her chosen field by attending conferences that expunged upon her accomplishments. Her soft spoken voice and caring manner, provides a satisfying environment for patients committed to their weight loss journey.


Elizabeth HandlerElizabeth Handler, MSN, ANP-BC

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY
Master of Science: Hunter College, New York City, NY
Board Certified: American Nurses Credentialing Center

Elizabeth is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner who joined the Tri State Bariatrics team in 2017. Before joining Tri State, she worked as a Primary Care NP in Adult Health. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, Elizabeth worked as an RN in the PACU and Cardiovascular Special Care Unit at NYU Medical Center. Elizabeth is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, American Association of Nurse Practitioners and is currently working on obtaining her Certification as a Bariatric Nurse.

Elizabeth brings to Tristate Bariatrics a unique blend of nursing savvy and compassion to each other of her patients. While she continues on the path to completing her Bariatric Nursing Certification, Elizabeth continues to focus her efforts on helping her patients to become the best version of themselves by adopting a healthier and happier lifestyle.


Susan ManezSusan K. Manez, MS, RD, CDN

University of Delaware
Graduate: New York University
Dietetic Internship: Bronx VA Nutrition Program

Susan Manez is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. She has been working in the field of nutrition for 9 years and specializing in weight loss for over 7 years. Susan is an associate member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and has completed a certificate program in Adult Weight Management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Susan is also the first full-time dietitian to be employed by Tri State Bariatrics.
Susan has been a member of the Tri State Bariatrics team for over 7 years. She devotes her efforts to educating, preparing, and supporting individuals seeking weight loss to help them achieve their goals. Most recently, she has been working alongside the dietitians at local Shop Rites to provide practical, hands on education directly in the supermarket.


Vincenza GarciaVincenza Garcia, RD, CDN

Education and Training:

Bachelor of Arts in Food and Nutrition:
City University of New York at Queens College, Flushing, NY
Dietetic Internship:
C.W. Post Long Island University, Brookville, NY

Registered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist in New York State
Certified Personal Trainer

Professional Affiliations:
Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
American Council on Exercise

Vincenza Garcia is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist through the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Nutrition in May 2008 at CUNY Queens College and continued on to C.W. Post Long Island University to obtain her Certificate of Advanced Studies. While at C.W. Post, Vincenza participated in six different rotations that provided a variety of experiences in the field of dietetics. Sites included hospitals, community centers, long-term care facilities, ambulatory care units and food service organizations. Upon successfully completing the Dietetic Internship in June 2011, Vincenza has worked as a Clinical Dietitian at Chilton Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in New Jersey. Her experiences at both facilities allowed her to gain experience with nutrition assessments and patient education on the Cardiac, Medical/Surgical and Maternity units. Vincenza began working as a Bariatric Dietitian at Tri State Bariatrics in 2012.

In addition, Vincenza is also a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) since 2009. Her work experience also includes Group Fitness Instructor at various health clubs.


Susan EpsteinSusan Epstein, MS, RD, CDN


Education and Training:
Bachelor of Human Ecology in Foods and Nutrition:
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Dietetic Internship:Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, NY
Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition:New York University, NY, NY
Registered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist in New York State

Professional Affiliations:
American Dietetic Association

Susan has been working as a Bariatric Dietitian since 2007. She is also the facilitator for the bi-monthly Bariatric Support Groups at Good Samaritan Hospital. Prior to Bariatrics, Susan worked in a private practice for 7 years, counseling patients in various areas including Diabetes and Weight Management. She has more than 20 years of experience in the field of nutrition. Susan worked in community programs including the Pascack Valley Wellness Center and was the High Risk Nutritionist at the Rockland County W.I.C. Program. She also has experience as a Clinical Dietitian, having worked at White Plains Hospital and United Hospitals Medical Center in New Jersey.


Lisa DeguzmanLisa Deguzman, RD, CDN

Associates Degree in Business Administration:
Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie, NY
Bachelor Degree in Human Nutrition: Mary Mount College of Fordham University, Tarrytown, NY
Dietetic Internship:
New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, NYC
Dietetic Fellowship in Nutrition Support on the Burn unit of New York Presbyterian Hospital, NYC
Certified in Adult Weight Management
by the American Dietetic Association
Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist with New York State

Lisa is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist, who has been in practice for 14 years. She has worked in a variety of areas in the field of nutrition, some of which includes; nutrition support, diabetes management, cardiac rehab and bariatrics. She spent the first 2 years of her career at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she began to develop her skills and knowledge of the metabolic needs of people. She also assisted in the creation of nutrition education materials, which are still being utilized today.

She spent the next 9 years of her career as a Registered Dietitian at St. Luke’s Hospital in Orange County, New York. She began as a staff dietitian, where she planned therapeutic diets and provided education to inpatients, outpatients and their families. She was quickly promoted to Chief Clinical Dietitian of the department, where she managed a large clinical staff.

In 2009, she went on to pursue her true passion, which is working in the field of weight management and wellness. She spent some time working at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY in both the inpatient and outpatient areas. After gaining experience with the bariatric population, she went on to fill her current position as an Outpatient Bariatric Dietitian at Tri State Bariatrics.

As an avid distance runner and a self proclaimed “health nut”, she has a true passion for helping others improve their lives through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Lisa believes that eating a clean healthy diet, along with exercise is the fundamental building block to having a healthy mind and body. She hopes to continue to help her patients achieve improved health, weight loss and overall well-being through diet and exercise.


Laura GreaneyLaura Greaney, MSN

Nutritionist Nutrition

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology:
SUNY Cortland, Cortland New York
Masters of Science in Food and Nutrition:
Montclair State University, Montclair New Jersey

Laura is a recent addition to Tri State Bariatrics who brings much passion and energy in helping our patient’s reach their personal goals through her several years of experience in bariatrics. Her Bachelors Degree in Psychology which was obtained from SUNY Cortland in 2007 gives her a special touch with being compassionate towards her patients and is always giving positive reinforcements. Laura also has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Science which was received in 2010 from Montclair State University making her a professional in helping our patient’s understand food, nutrition and their body. She is an enthusiastic staff member who is looking forward to helping you get where you want to be.



Rebecca AschoffBecky Aschoff, RN, BSN, CBN

Program Management

Monroe County Area Vocational Technical School:
Licensed Practical Nurse
Orange County Community College: Registered Nurse
University of Phoenix: Bachelors Degree in Nursing

Becky has over 25 years of nursing experience. Over the years she continually thrived on furthering her knowledge as a nurse through schooling and specialty nursing certifications because she knows knowledge is key the success of her patients. Her first job as a nurse was caring for individuals who had sustained a traumatic head injury. One of her life lessons she learned was to never give up hope for anyone no matter what. She then worked in an acute care rehabilitation center where she attained her certification as a rehabilitation nurse. Then she took on a new challenge as the quality improvement coordinator at a hospital which provided her with a whole other world of nursing knowledge.
Becky joined the Tri State Bariatrics team in 2005. As the Bariatric Program Manager one of her heart felt priorities is an advocate for her patients. Becky is constantly seeking new information to provide the best quality of care to her patients. She is a Certified Bariatric Nurse (CBN), attends national bariatric conferences, and has presented at the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Society’s national convention. Her desire for knowledge is passed onto her patients to empower them about bariatric surgery and the necessary lifestyle changes.


Tara Rivera, RN

Program Management

Associates Degree:Reading Area Community College
RN License:New York State
Affiliations:American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

Tara L. Rivera is a registered nurse in the state of New York. In 2001, she completed her nursing degree in Reading, Pennsylvania. She moved to Philadelphia to advance her nursing career and skills in the Cardiac Intensive Care unit at the University of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Hospital. She traveled to St. Louis where she had the opportunity to work at Barnes’ Jewish Hospital and Medical Center as a cardiac intensive care nurse. In 2004 she settled in Rockland County, New York where she continued to work as an ICU nurse and in the Post Anesthesia Care unit.
After starting a family, in 2009 she settled into practice management in a new bariatric office where she coordinated the design and build-out of the office space to be compliant with Center of Excellence status. She was also involved in helping the practice achieve this status which entailed detailed maintenance of patient and case load records along with implementing standard bariatric office code compliance. She developed personalized marketing strategies for the practice and became involved in community outreach. She had taken on human resource responsibilities for hiring, credentialing, payroll and accounting as well as implementation of all policies and procedures for the practice. She became proficient in billing with ICD and CPT coding where she later negotiated contracts between the practice and insurance companies to maximize reimbursement. She continually maintains the upgrading of EMR/EHR systems for the practice to keep up with new and ever-changing healthcare requirements.
Being involved in office management, she never wanted to give up nursing and patient care. She continues to help ensure patient safety and quality care from pre to post-operative surgery by providing seminars and support groups as well as updating educational materials and always being available for a hug when needed.


Jessica BassoJessica Basso, RN, BSN

Dominican College:
Bachelors Degree in Nursing
RN License: New York State
Affiliations: American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

Jessica graduated from Dominican College with her bachelors of science in nursing. She is a registered professional nurse in the state of New York and a member of the American Nursing Association. Her previous work experience in the healthcare setting has allowed her to be able to assist with patient care in both the administrative and clinical aspects. Her compassion for nursing and helping others brings a positive attitude to the office. As a part of the multidisciplinary team at Tri State Bariatrics Jessica strives to provide and deliver quality patient care as well as to promote a healthy lifestyle. She educates patients on the surgical procedures, assists in the pre-operative workup phase, and truly enjoys encouraging and supporting all her patients while on their weight loss journeys.


Diana LarsonDiana Larson, RN, BSN


Mount Saint Mary College:
Bachelors Degree in Nursing
RN License: New Jersey and New York State
Affiliations: American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Diana is a registered nurse who graduated from Mount Saint Mary College with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Her previous nursing experience was in the acute care setting where she provided individualized care and maximized treatment plans for her patients. She worked at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey. Diana’s experience at this facility allowed her to become familiar with Medical/Surgical and Oncology patients. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, as well as being ACLS and PALS certified. Diana joined Tri State Bariatrics in 2014 where she now coordinates and communicates the needs of bariatric surgery patients to improve their quality of life on their weight loss journey. She assists her patients with the desired lifestyle changes necessary to achieve adequate weight loss and educates them on the bariatric surgery procedures. Diana is understanding and compassionate, recognizing the unique needs of each patient and offers exceptional patient-centered care to them.

Jeff BraistedJeff Braisted, ASRT (R)

Radiologic Technologist

Middletown Office
Jeff graduated from The University of Charleston with a degree in Radiologic Technology. He has over 25 years of experience and joined our program in 2009. Jeff has a very upbeat personality. He helps our patients feel calm and comfortable while helping them understand what they are viewing on the x-ray.

The Value of Fluoroscopy to a Bariatric Surgery Practice

At Tri State Bariatrics we are pleased to offer our patients in office radiologic evaluations to evaluate both before and to assess their progress after weight loss surgery.


Bariatric surgical patients require occasional radiologic evaluation of the upper gastrointestinal tract including the esophagus, stomach, and upper intestine. The timely availability of this capability allows us to rapidly and many times definitively diagnose and treat conditions related to weight loss surgery. Previously, patients came to the office and might have been sent to a radiology center for evaluations. This invariably resulted in delays and logistical problems for our patients. The information we received was not always what we needed and our patients always lost valuable time in the process.

Patients with lap-bands particularly benefit from the ready access of fluoroscopy which allows us to immediately detect issues related to the lap-band and optimize adjustments for it. Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Bypass patients also benefit greatly.

We believe that in office radiology evaluation is just one of a number of services that Tri State Bariatrics offers that distinguishes us from other practices.


At Tri State Bariatrics Jeff is our program’s Radiologic Technologist. Jeff has over 25 years of experience and is licensed by the State of New York and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. His knowledge and expertise helps make our patients feel comfortable.

He also has a knack of bringing a personal touch into the care he provides to our patients. When the time comes to have an Upper GI x-ray you will be asked to sip a very small cup of non radioactive oral contrast; He has found a way to make it more palatable. You never know what flavor of the week you will get!

Image of Lapband in good position


Radiograph of post op lapband


Radiograph of Post op Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve Gastrectomy

radiograph of middle portiion of post op sleeve gastrectomy

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Radiograph of post op gastric bypass surgery

Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass

Radiograph of post op gastric bypass

Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass


Dr. Kristin AllisonKristin Allison, MD

Medical School: Albany Medical College
Residency: Georgetown University Medical Center
Internal Medicine: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics: Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Board Certified Psychiatrist
Specialty Areas: Bariatric Psychiatry for Adults and Adolescents


Dr. Kristin Allison is a board certified psychiatrist specializing in adult and adolescent bariatric patients. She has over 10 years of experience working with those struggling with obesity and eating disorders. She received extensive training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and has led group therapy sessions. Dr. Allison is committed to helping guide individuals with continued support both before and after weight loss surgery. She is a member of American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. She is a member of the Bariatric surgery special interest group in the Academy for Eating Disorders. Dr. Allison is proud to be a part of the multi-disciplinary team at Tri State Bariatrics.



Michele LosinnoMichele Losinno


Master of Social Work: University at Albany
Bachelor of Science in Social Work: Syracuse University
New York State Certified Social Worker
Certifications:Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Specialty Areas: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Bariatric post-op support


Michele Losinno is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has over 15 years of experience working with children, adolescence and adults proving mental health treatment. She received extensive training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavioral therapy, and has led group therapy sessions. Michele is committed to helping guide individuals with continued support both before and after weight loss surgery. Part of what Michele does is specializes in pre-operative bariatric assessments and provides post-operative support for emotional eating. Michele is proud to be a part of the multi-disciplinary team at Tri State Bariatrics.

Shannon Caston
Shannon Caston
Medical Record Specialist, Phlebotomist

Middletown Office
Shannon enjoys working in various roles at Tri State Bariatrics since she started in 2007. She feels her role in medical records is vital to the continuity of patient care. She treats our patients just like family and is a cheerleader for them at any time when they need it most.

Audrey Cannizzaro
Audrey Cannizzaro
Front Staff

Suffern Office
Audrey is a sweet and wonderful team member that joined Tri State in 2013. She enjoys being part of each patient’s journey and helping them reach their goals. She makes the atmosphere warm and comforting for all patients in the office.

Leslie Reyher
Leslie Reyher
Front Staff

Suffern Office
Leslie brings experience in many areas of the day to day workings of the medical office at Tri State Bariatrics. Her warm and fun personality lends itself well to making each patient feel understood and special. She enjoys working with the wonderful patients and staff in the office.

Kristina Lanterman
Kristina Lanterman
Front Office

Middletown Office
Kris has been with Tri State Bariatrics since 2005. She likes to see the joy and excitement in our patient’s eyes as they are losing weight and changing their lives. She is one of the most outgoing staff members at Tri State Bariatrics and makes all our patients feel at home.

Jessica Suppa
Jessica Suppa
Front Staff

Middletown Office
Since Jessica’s arrival at Tri State Bariatrics in 2016, she’s brought a light heartedness to the staff. She greets all new patients with a lively exterior and genuine interior for each to achieve successful weight loss. With a background as a customer service, Jessica is able to aide all patients, both new and old in answering all questions regarding the program. Jessica enjoys making each patient happy when they’ve reached a milestone on their weight loss journey and shares in their excitement because she knew she played a role in their success.

Angela Decker
Angela Decker
Front Staff & Phlebotomist

Middletown Office
Angela joined our Tri State Bariatrics team in 2005. She has over 10 years of experience in phlebotomy. Many patients appreciate how gentle she is when drawing blood. She is very proud to offer this convenient service to our patients in the Middletown office.