Our Dedicated Team 
Ready to Help You.

We have built a team of healthcare professionals dedicated to guiding you through comprehensive management of severe obesity using weight-loss surgery since 2003. Tri State Bariatrics specializes in Lap-bandSleeve Gastrectomy, and Gastric Bypass surgery.

Our team of dedicated and experienced professionals includes 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.

Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons

Dr. Kwon

Dr. Peter Kwon, FACS

Medical School:
 Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York
Residency: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles

Board Certified Surgeon
Specialty Areas:
 Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery

Dr. Peter Kwon is a board certified surgeon specializing in General and Bariatric surgical procedures. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

He has over 25 years of experience in laparoscopic surgery. He has performed over 3,500 laparoscopic weight loss surgeries. Dr. Kwon and his entire team are deeply committed to the long-term success of all individuals seeking weight loss and a healthier, longer life.

Dr. Peter Kwon is the founder of Tri State Bariatrics.

Dr. Rivera

Dr. Ramon Rivera, FACS

Medical School: Upstate Medical University at Syracuse
Residency: Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Laparoscopic Fellowship: Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis

Board Certified Surgeon
Language(s) Spoken: English, Spanish
Specialty Areas: Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery

Dr. Ramon E. Rivera is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). He specializes in Bariatric Surgery and Advanced Gastrointestinal surgery. He specializes in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases including esophagus, stomach, biliary tract, colon and weight loss surgery for morbid obesity. He is a published author on the topic of laparoscopic surgery and bariatric surgery and has presented his results for the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). He is an active member of the American college of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Rivera is licensed in New York and New Jersey.

Dr. Rivera has over 20 years of laparoscopic surgery experience and has been performing bariatric surgery for over 15 years. He is the founder and director of RecoverHealth Bariatrics, which recently merged with Tri State Bariatrics. His primary interests lie in minimally invasive surgery and the study of longterm weight loss success with his entire team at Tri State Bariatrics.

Wayne Weiss, MD, FACS

Dr. Wayne Weiss, FACS

Medical School: New York University
Residency: New York University and Bellevue Hospital Centers

Board Certified Surgeon
Specialty Areas: Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery, and GI Endoscopy

Dr. Wayne Weiss is a board certified surgeon specializing in General Surgery, Surgical Critical Care and Bariatric Surgery procedures. He is a trauma surgeon for over 25 years with an established record of excellence. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

Dr. Weiss has over 20 years of laparoscopic surgery experience. He has been performing bariatric surgery for over 10 years, performing over a thousand bariatric surgeries, including Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass, Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy and Laparoscopic Lapband. Dr. Weiss and his entire team are deeply committed to the long-term success for all individuals seeking weight loss, and a healthier, longer life.

Jaime Cepeda, MD, FACS

Dr. Jaime Cepeda, FACS

Medical School: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Internship/Residency: Pitt County Memorial Hospital, NC
Residency: St Vincent’s Hospital, NY

Board Certified Surgeon
Specialty Areas: Advanced Laparoscopy, General and Bariatric Surgery
Language(s) Spoken: English, Spanish

Dr. Jaime Cepeda Jr. is a board certified surgeon specializing in General, Bariatric and Vascular surgery procedures. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Dr Cepeda has over 15 years in general and laparoscopic surgery. He has been performing Bariatric surgery since 2008 performing hundreds of bariatric surgeries, including Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass, Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy and Laparoscopic Lapband.

Dr. Cepeda’s warm personality creates a safe and nurturing environment for his patients, where their needs are always a priority. He continues to attend conferences across the country to further his knowledge in the field of surgery. This commitment provides him the knowledge to continue to care for patients with a broad spectrum of health issues, including but not limited to breast, biliary and colon diseases. Dr. Cepeda and his entire team are committed to the long-term success of all of his patients seeking weight loss and a healthier life overall.

Dr. Jaime Cepeda is Chief of Surgery and Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at Bon Secours Community Hospital.

Nurse Practitioners

Jody MacHugh, FNP-BC, CBN, RNFA

Jody 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 Karson, ANP-C, MSN, CBN

Jeanne Karson, 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 Karson 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 De Andrade, MSN, ANP-BC

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.

Elizabeth Handler, MSN, ANP-BC

Elizabeth 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.

Learn More


Learn how our dietitians contribute to your weight loss success. Click here.

Susan K. Manez, MS, RD, CDN

Susan 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.

Susan Epstein, MS, RD, CDN

Susan 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 Deguzman, RD, CDN

Lisa 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 Greaney, MSN

Laura 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.

Matthew Abel, MS, RD

Matthew Abel, MS, RD

Teachers College, Columbia University
Master of Science – Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

Dietetic Internship: Teachers College, Columbia University

Professional Affiliations
Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition – Dietetic Practice Group
Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietetics Association

Matthew is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist with a master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Matthew is one of the newest team members at Tri State Bariatrics, working as both a bariatric dietitian and exercise physiologist. Matthew also works closely with the practice’s Spanish-speaking population, offering nutrition counseling in Spanish. He has enjoyed prior experience in the fields of diabetes management, acute care, and Division-I collegiate sports nutrition. Matthew has a deep passion for working with and empowering patients to achieve their health and weight loss goals.

Behavioral Health & Psychiatrist

Kristin Allison, MD

Kristin 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.

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384 Crystal Run Road,
Suite 201
Middletown, NY 10941

(845) 692-8780

200 Westage Business
Center Drive,Suite 119
Fishkill, NY 12524

(845) 896-0610

Airmont Professional Center
156 Route 59, Suite A2
Suffern, NY 10901

(845) 517-2870

5 Hudson Valley Professional Plaza
Newburgh, NY 12550

(845) 692-8780