I am an obesity medicine physician scientist and media professional who specializes in the care of adults, adolescents, and children with overweight and obesity. After completing my fellowship in obesity medicine & nutrition at MGH and HMS and a Zuckerman fellowship as a mid-career Master of Public Administration student at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2015, I joined the faculty where I provide clinical care, supervise trainees, administer a clinic, and conduct research on obesity, health policy, and health disparities to enhance our knowledge and quality of patient care.
Area of Excellence: Clinical Expertise and Innovation
My clinical interests and expertise revolve around the practice of obesity medicine and nutrition. Since 2007, I have been actively involved in clinical work, providing treatment of patients afflicted with obesity; I receive referrals from colleagues locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
In the MGH Weight Center, we evaluate and treat thousands of patients each year; and it serves as a core training experience for several HMS medical students, residents, and fellows each year. I have helped to develop a standardized approach for the use of weight loss pharmacotherapy for adults and have assisted with the development of our pediatric treatment program. I have utilized weight loss medication after bariatric surgery, and I am helping to disseminate information on its use for weight regain and subclinical weight loss. I receive invitations to speak on the topic of obesity at local, regional, national, and international meetings. I serve as a peer reviewer for several medical journals on the topic of obesity, nutrition, physical activity, public health, health disparities, and health policy.
I have been actively involved in teaching and supervision of medical students and residents since I began as a fellow at MGH/HMS. In addition, I lecture regularly in the HMS course in Health Policy in the first year and Nutrition in the second year. I received a Certificate for Excellence in Tutoring in the HMS Health Policy New Pathway course, and I was a 2016 nominee for the HMS Donald O’Hara Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching (Years I & II).
Supporting Activity: Investigation
I have been conducting clinical research on bone metabolism in adolescents who undergo bariatric surgery, and I have received funding from the NIH NIDDK Diversity Supplement and the MGH Physician Scientist Development Award. I have papers that have recently been accepted or are under review which: 1) evaluate the efficacy of weight loss medications as an adjunct to weight loss surgery, 2) delineate the metabolic changes associated with adolescents who undergo weight loss surgery, and 3) evaluate obesity treatment coverage in the United States.
Supporting Activity: Education of Patients and Service to the Community
I write for and am featured in national news broadcasts, magazines, newspapers, and websites on issues related to obesity, and I speak to lay populations to educate them about this disease. I present information related to obesity through the media, including television and podcasts. I educate and mentor pre-professional students in biomedical science. I am the 2017 recipient of the HMS Diversity Award and Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) Women’s Health Award. In 2019, I was selected as the MMS Suffolk District Community Clinician of the Year.
Supporting Activity: Administration and Institutional Service
I have been active in organized medicine, and I have been elected or appointed to leadership positions in the World Medical Association, the American Medical Association (AMA), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and The Obesity Society (TOS). I have worked to increase diversity in medicine through service to the Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Diversity in Medicine and as a MGH Disparities Solution Center associate member. I am a current at-large delegate to the Minority Affairs Section (MAS) of the AMA, advocacy co-chair for TOS, vice chair for the MMS Young Physicians Section, and academic delegate to ACP.