Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens

  • Meet the Team

    The Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens (SWLPT) is home to specialists with a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of focus. As a team, this diversity makes us better prepared to care for your child’s unique needs. Learn more about our faculty and staff.

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    Surgical Director

    A photo of Thomas Inge.

    Thomas H. Inge, MD, PhD, FACS, FAAP
    Surgical Director, Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens

    513-636-4371

    thomas.inge@cchmc.org

    Thomas H. Inge, MD, PhD, FACS, FAAP

    Surgical Director, Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens

    Director, Center for Bariatric Research and Innovation

    Attending Surgeon, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

    Professor, UC Department of Surgery

    Phone: 513-636-4371

    Fax: 513-636-7657

    Email: thomas.inge@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Obesity surgery and research; hypothalamic obesity; neonatal surgery; gastroesophageal reflux disease; minimally invasive surgery; thoracic surgery

    Biography

    Thomas H. Inge, MD, PhD, is a Virginia native who grew up in a rural, farming community in Dinwiddie County. He received his BS in biology at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, in 1987. Dr. Inge entered the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA, in the Medical Scientist Training Program, and pursued degrees in microbiology/immunology and medicine. He graduated with MD and PhD degrees in 1993.

    Dr. Inge received his surgical training at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, CA, where he developed an interest in pediatric surgery. At the completion of his chief resident year in 1998, he moved to Birmingham, AL, for specialty training in pediatric surgery at the Children's Hospital of Alabama, with an emphasis on pediatric minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Inge became a full-time member of the surgical staff at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and faculty member of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, in July 2000.

    In addition to general pediatric surgical practice, Dr. Inge's clinical research focus is related to bariatric surgery in adolescents. He is the surgical director of the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens, offering surgery for overweight adolescents with complications from their excess weight. He has served as a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration for projects related to device treatment of pediatric obesity. He is also the Principal Investigator of two research projects funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) and co-investigator of another NIH funded project examining the role of surgery for management of adolescent obesity. He currently serves as Study Chairman of Teen-LABS, a multicenter research consortium examining outcomes of adolescent bariatric surgery.

    Dr. Inge has given over 50 invited lectures nationally and internationally over the past four years, has mentored more than a dozen fellows and students, and has authored more than 70 published chapters and manuscripts.

    Education and Training

    BS: College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, 1987.

    MD: Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 1993.

    PhD: Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 1993.

    Residency: Stanford University Hospital, Stanford, CA, 1998.

    Fellowship: Children's Hospital of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, 2000.

    Board Certification: Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, December 1999; Certification in Pediatric Surgery, American Board of Surgery, March 2002.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Medical Director

    A photo of Stavra Xanthakos.

    Stavra A. Xanthakos, MD, MS
    Co-Director, Steatohepatitis Center

    513-636-4415

    stavra.xanthakos@cchmc.org

    Stavra A. Xanthakos, MD, MS

    Co-Director, Steatohepatitis Center

    Medical Director, Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4415

    Fax: 513-636-7805

    Email: stavra.xanthakos@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Biography

    Stavra A. Xanthakos, MD, is an assistant professor and attending physician in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, the co-director of the Cincinnati Children’s Steatohepatitis Center, and the medical director of the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens. She also partners with physicians and staff in Cincinnati Children’s Center for Better Health and Nutrition in the evaluation and management of pediatric patients suffering from severe pediatric obesity and related complications.

    Dr. Xanthakos received her medical degree from Duke University in 1997 and a Master of Science degree in molecular epidemiology from the University of Cincinnati in 2006. Her post-doctoral training, including residency, chief residency and fellowship were completed at Cincinnati Children's and she joined the faculty in 2005. During her fellowship, Dr. Xanthakos investigated the prevalence and outcome of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in young adult women as her master’s thesis in molecular epidemiology. Her current clinical and translational research is focused on identify the predictors and outcome of obesity-related liver disease (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis), in obese adolescents undergoing bariatric surgery. She is also a co-investigator in the NIH sponsored Teen LABS, a multicenter consortium investigating bariatric surgery in adolescents and in the NIH-sponsored NASH Clinical Research Network. Additional research interests of Dr. Xanthakos include the treatment and prevention of pediatric obesity, outcomes of bariatric surgery in adolescents, malnutrition in pediatric obesity, as well as identifying genetic and environmental risk factors for pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease to enable better evaluation and treatment options. She also leads clinical quality improvement initiatives in the Steatohepatitis Center, which are aligned with divisional and institutional initiatives to achieve measurable improvements in children’s health and disease outcomes.

    Dr. Xanthakos has published extensively in the field of pediatric obesity, bariatric medicine and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. She regularly is invited to speak about pediatric obesity evaluation and management, particularly bariatric medicine, and pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

    Education and Training

    MD: Duke University, Durham, NC, 1997.

    MS: Molecular Epidemiology, University of Cincinnati, 2006.

    Residency: Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 1997-2000.

    Chief Residency: Cincinnati Children's, Cincinnati, OH, 2000-01.

    Clinical Fellowship: Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Cincinnati Children's , Cincinnati, OH, 2001-2004.

    Research Fellowship: Molecular Epidemiology in Children's Environmental Health, Masters of Science, 2002-2005.

    Certification: Pediatrics, 2008; Pediatric Gastroenterology, 2005.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    Adolescent Bariatrics: Assessing Health Benefits and Risks. Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health. July 2006 - April 2011. #U01DK072493.

    Coenzyme Q as a Novel Biomarker for the Severity of Steatohepatitis. Co-Principal Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Jun 2010 - May 2011. #P30DK078392.

    Biological Determinants of Steatohepatitis after Adolescent Bariatric Surgery. Principal Investigator. National Institutes of Health. July 2008 - June 2013. #1K23DK080888.

    Clinical Research Network in Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH CRN). Site Principal investigator. National Institutes of Health. Aug 2009 - Apr 2014. #U01DK061732.

    Faculty

    A photo of Maria Alonso-Peclet, MD.

    Maria H. Alonso-Peclet, MD
    Surgical Director, Kidney Transplant Program

    513-636-4371

    maria.alonso@cchmc.org

    Maria H. Alonso-Peclet, MD

    Surgical Director, Kidney Transplant Program

    Co-Surgical Director, Intestinal Transplant Surgery

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Surgery

    Phone: 513-636-4371

    Fax: 513-636-7657

    Email: maria.alonso@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Liver, kidney transplantation; hepatobiliary surgery; minimally invasive surgery; trauma 

    Education and Training

    MD: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 1982.

    Residency: Surgery, Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine, Norfolk, VA.

    Fellowship: Trauma / Critical Care, Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, Baltimore, MD; Trauma / Burn, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Pediatric Surgery, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO; Transplantation, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.

    Certification: Surgery, 1999; Pediatric Surgery, 2001; Surgical Critical Care, 2001.

    A photo of Victor Garcia.

    Victor F. Garcia, MD, FACS, FAAP
    Founding Director, Trauma Services

    513-636-4371

    victor.garcia@cchmc.org

    Victor F. Garcia, MD, FACS, FAAP

    Founding Director, Trauma Services

    Professor, UC Department of Surgery

    Phone: 513-636-4371

    Fax: 513-636-7657

    Email: victor.garcia@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Pediatric injury research and control; chest-wall deformities; minimally invasive surgery (use of the laparoscope and thoracoscope to diagnose and treat surgical diseases); surgical weight loss; minority health care

    Biography

    Victor Garcia, MD, graduated from West Point, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, studied pediatric surgery under C Everett Koop, and was Walter Reed’s chief of General/Pediatric Surgery.

    Vic founded Children’s Trauma Center and led the effort to establish the country’s first Pediatric Weight Loss Surgery Center.

    For his ongoing work to eliminate childhood health and social disparities, he has received numerous awards and commendations to include the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award and the National Jefferson Award.

    Vic has an uncompromising belief in the power of systems thinking and stakeholder engagement to solve society’s most intractable problems.

    Education and Training

    BS: Engineering, United States Military Academy, 1964-1968.

    MD: University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 1974.

    Residency: Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, 1978. 

    Fellowship: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. 

    Certification: Surgery, 1979; Pediatric Surgery, 1982; Surgical Critical Care, 1991.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    A photo of Michael Helmrath.

    Michael A. Helmrath, MD, MS
    Surgical Director, Intestinal Rehabilitation Program

    513-636-3240

    michael.helmrath@cchmc.org

    Michael A. Helmrath, MD, MS

    Surgical Director, Intestinal Rehabilitation Program

    Director of Surgical Research

    Pediatric Surgeon, Peña Colorectal Center

    Professor, UC Department of Surgery

    Phone: 513-636-3240

    Email: michael.helmrath@cchmc.org

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    Biography

    As a pediatric surgeon, Dr. Helmrath has dedicated his career to the care of patients with intestinal failure. The main focus of his laboratory is directed towards characterizing intestinal stem cells during intestinal adaptation and developing intestinal regenerative strategies. By combining his clinical experience as the surgical director of intestinal research and rehabilitation at Cincinnati Children’s, his long-term goal is to establish translational therapies for the management of patients with short bowel syndrome.

    Education and Training

    BA: Miami University, Oxford, OH, 1987.

    MD: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, 1993.

    MS: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, 1989.

    Certification: Board-certified General Surgery; board-certified, Pediatric Surgery.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    Mechanisms of intestinal stem cell expansion following resection. Principal Investigator. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Jul 2009 - June 2014. #R01DK083325.

    Collaborative approach to the study of intestinal epithelial stem cells. Co-investigator. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Sep 2009 - Aug 2014. #1U01DK085547.

    Adolescent Bariatrics: Assessing Health Benefits & Risk. Co-investigator. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 11/01/11 – 10/31/16. U01 DK072493.

    Human Endocrine Cell Development. Co-investigator. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 04/01/12 – 03/31/17. R01 DK092456.

    Holly Ippisch

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4432

    Fax: 513-636-3952

    Email: holly.ippisch@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Echocardiography; congenital heart disease; preventive cardiology; pediatric obesity

    Research Interests

    Non-Invasive cardiac imaging modalities and techniques; cardiovascular effects of pediatric obesity; cardiovascular effects of exercise

    Biography

    Holly M. Ippisch, MD, has been an attending staff member of the Division of Cardiology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, since 2005.

    Dr. Ippisch's clinical subspecialty interests include echocardiography, congenital heart disease, preventive cardiology and pediatric obesity. She has clinics for the treatment of hyperlipidemia and hypertension.

    Dr. Ippisch is a native of Ohio and completed her medical degree at Wright State University. She completed her pediatric internship and residency at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital in Loma Linda, California and completed her pediatric cardiology fellowship at Cincinnati Children's.

    Dr. Ippisch's academic research interests relate to echocardiography, preventive cardiology, and pediatric obesity. She is a faculty member of the Cardiovascular Imaging Core Research Laboratory. She has given several presentations at national meetings relating to both the cardiac effects of pediatric obesity and to newer imaging modalities such as color M-mode and tissue Doppler imaging for assessing diastolic function. She is also a reviewer for the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography.

    Dr. Ippisch is also a cardiologist for the multidisciplinary Comprehensive Weight Management Center team. As part of this team she evaluates and treats cardiovascular diseases in extremely overweight adolescents before and after bariatric surgery. She is also a research cardiologist for the CWMC Team with special interests in scientific studies related to this population.

    Dr. Ippisch is an alumni of the National Institutes of Health funded Master's Training Program. As part of this competitive program Dr. Ippisch concurrently completed a Masters of Epidemiology fellowship at the University of Cincinnati while attending her Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship at Cincinnati Children's. She has established collaborative relationships with faculty at the University of Cincinnati Department of Environmental Health.

    Dr. Ippisch is an active member of the cardiology community. She is a member of the American Society of Echocardiography, Society of Pediatric Echocardiography, American Heart Association and Council of Cardiovascular Disease in the Young.

    Dr. Ippisch is also active in community service as the volunteer associate medical director for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon which is an event partially sponsored by Cincinnati Children's.

    Education and Training

    BS: Wright State University, Biology, Dayton, OH, 1990.

    MD: Wright State University, Dayton, OH, 1997.

    Residency: Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, 1997 – 2000.

    Fellowship: Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, 2001 – 2004.

    Fellowship: Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, 2004 – 2005.

    MS: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2006.

    Certification: Board Certified Pediatrics, Board Eligible Pediatric Cardiology.

    Additional Certification: Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).

    Licensure: State Medical Board of Ohio.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Megan B. Ratcliff, PhD, MPH

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-5329

    Email: megan.ratcliff@chmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Assessment and treatment of psychosocial and ecological factors contributing to pediatric overweight and obesity; motivational interviewing

    Research Interests

    Understanding the contextual factors that influence people’s engagement in health behaviors; pediatric overweight and obesity; public health approaches to weight management; motivational interviewing treatment integrity

    Biography

    Megan Benoit Ratcliff, PhD, MPH, is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of pediatric overweight and obesity. She was appointed to assistant professor in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in July 2011 after completing a three-year research fellowship under the mentorship of Drs. Meg Zeller, Lori Stark and Scott Powers. Dr. Ratcliff provides clinical services in the Center for Better Health and Nutrition and the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens, helping families to implement treatment recommendations through careful assessment of goals, motivations, assets and potential treatment barriers. She is also a co-investigator and motivational interviewing home therapist for a NIH clinical trial investigating clinic and home family based behavioral treatment for obese preschoolers.

    Education and Training

    BA: Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, 1999.

    MPH: Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 2001.

    PhD: University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2007.

    Internship: Univeristy of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL 2006.

    Clinical Fellowship: Emory University/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, 2007.

    Research Fellowship: Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2010; General and Community Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 2011.

    Certification: Clinical Psychology, Ohio State Board of Psychology, 2008.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    Clinic and Home Family Based Behavioral Treatment for Obese Preschoolers: LAUNCH. Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Dec 2011 - Nov 2016. #R0 1 DK091251-01.
    A photo of Meg Zeller.

    Meg H. Zeller, PhD
    Fellowship Director, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology

    513-636-2712

    meg.zeller@cchmc.org

    Margaret H. Zeller, PhD

    Fellowship Director, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-2712

    Fax: 513-636-7756

    Email: meg.zeller@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Pediatric psychology; school-age children and adolescents; childhood obesity; barriers to weight management

    Visit the Zeller Lab.

    Education and Training

    BA: Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, 1984.

    PhD: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1996.

    Internship: Pediatric Psychology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., 1995-1996.

    Fellowship: Pediatric Psychology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1996-1999.

    Certification: Clinical Psychology, Ohio State Board of Psychology, 1997.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    Adolescent Bariatrics: Controlled Longitudinal Study of Psychosocial Development (TeenView)
    Principal Investigator
    National Institutes of Health
    Mar 2008 - Feb 2014
    #R01DK080020-01

    Tracking Adolescents After Bariatric Surgery: Substance, HIV and Suicide Risks (teenVIEW3)
    Principal Investigator
    National Institute of Health
    May 2012- April 2017
    #R01DA033415


    Staff

    A photo of Kathy B. Hrovat.

    Kathy B. Hrovat, MS, RD, LD
    Lead Dietitian, Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens

    513-636-8483

    kathleen.hrovat@cchmc.org

    A photo of Linda Kollar.

    Linda M. Kollar, MSN, APRN, CNP
    Bariatric Clinical Director, Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens

    513-636-8585

    linda.kollar@cchmc.org

    Linda M. Kollar, MSN, APRN, CNP

    Bariatric Clinical Director, Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens

    Nurse Practitioner, Division of Pediatric and Thoracic Surgery

    Phone: 513-636-8585

    Fax: 513-636-7657

    Email: linda.kollar@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Adolescent medicine; reproductive health; obesity

    Biography

    Linda Kollar, MSN, APRN, CNP, has more than 20 years of experience in adolescent medicine. Prior to joining the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens, she provided primary care to teens in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Cincinnati Children's.

    Education and Training

    BSN: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 1983.

    MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, 1987.

    Certification: Center for Continuing Education in Adolescent Health, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 1993; Certified pediatric nurse practitioner, Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB), 1987; Certified bariatric nurse by American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, 2012.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications