Fellows

Becoming a Fellow of the Obesity Medicine Association (FOMA) is one of the highest honors bestowed upon members who demonstrate dedication and commitment to the clinical treatment of obesity and obesity-related diseases.

The following candidates met a list of criteria to become Fellows of OMA. They earned their Fellow designation, FOMA, which identifies them as someone who is passionate about the field and continues to seek new ways to treat obesity effectively. Want to become a Fellow too? See if you meet the requirements.

  • Gurpreet Boparai, MD, FOMA
  • Erin Chamberlin, MD, FAAFP, FOMA
  • Sandra Christensen, MSN, ARNP, FOMA
  • Suzanne Cuda, MD, FAAP, FOMA
  • Krishna Doniparthi, MD, FAARM, FOMA
  • U. Inge Fergsuon, DO, FACOI, FOMA
  • Sarah Hallberg, DO, MS, FOMA
  • Robert Huster, MD, FACOG, FOMA
  • Susan Isensee, MD, FAAFP, FOMA
  • Carl Knopke, MD, FOMA
  • Scot Kolsin, MD, FOMA
  • Cesar Lara, MD, FOMA
  • Richard Lindquist, MD, FAASP, FOMA
  • William McCarthy, MD, FOMA
  • Julia Melamed, MD, FOMA
  • Derek Muse, MD, FOMA
  • Craig Primack, MD, FACP, FAAP, FOMA
  • Justin Puckett, DO, FOMA
  • Wendy Scinta, MD, MS, FOMA
  • Jennifer Seger, MD, FOMA
  • Wickham Simonds, MD, FOMA
  • Verlyn Warrington, MD, FOMA
  • Gurpreet Boparai, MD, FOMA

    Gurpreet Boparai, MD, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2017

    Dr. Boparai serves on the Pediatric Committee.

  • Erin Chamberlin, MD, FAAFP, FOMA

    Erin Chamberlin, MD, FAAFP, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2017

    Dr. Chamberlin serves on the CME Overview Committee and Obesity Treatment Foundation Research Committee.

  • Sandra Christensen, MSN, ARNP, FOMA

    Sandra Christensen, MSN, ARNP, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Ms. Christensen serves on the CME Overview Committee and NP and PA Committee. She is a past chairperson of the NP and PA Committee.

    How long have you been working in obesity medicine and what is your current position? I’ve been practicing obesity medicine since 2005 and opened my own practice in 2009. I plan to add a second clinician within the next year.

    What do you enjoy most about practicing obesity medicine? I enjoy the process of utilizing evidence-based assessment and treatment strategies to solve the puzzle that each person’s health and story presents. I also enjoy educating patients about the complexities of obesity and partnering with them to develop a personalized treatment plan. Witnessing their weight loss, improved health, and greater engagement with life stokes my passion to continue learning more about this complex disease.

    What excites you about the field of obesity medicine right now? I’m excited about the ever-increasing awareness that obesity is a complex disease worthy of specialized, comprehensive treatment. The body of science is growing and more treatment options are emerging. There are more medication options than ever before, as well as greater acceptance of their role. Collaboration among obesity organizations, and with other professional organizations, is increasing, and bright, passionate clinicians are flocking to our specialty. I’m especially excited about collaborative efforts to create a board certification for nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

    What do you find most valuable about your membership with OMA? It is an honor to rub shoulders with the finest clinicians and obesity leaders in the country, whether it is at a conference, on the members-only LinkedIn group, while serving on an OMA committee, or through mentoring clinicians new to the field. OMA provides clinical education and leadership opportunities that are second to none. I appreciate OMA’s support of nurse practitioners and physician assistants and look forward to all clinicians having equal opportunity to lead and practice our specialty. We need an army of well-educated obesity medicine clinician leaders to change the landscape of healthcare!

    What are your favorite ways to spend your time off? Writing articles for my health blog, reading, painting, making mosaics, and gardening with my grandchildren, who delight in digging in the dirt as much as I do.

  • Suzanne Cuda, MD, FAAP, FOMA

    Suzanne Cuda, MD, FAAP, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2017

    Dr. Cuda serves on the Pediatric Committee and CME Overview Committee. She is a co-author of the Pediatric Obesity Algorithm and has presented about treating pediatric obesity at several OMA conferences.

  • Krishna Doniparthi, MD, FAARM, FOMA

    Krishna Doniparthi, MD, FAARM, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Doniparthi is a member of the Board of Trustees and serves on the Advocacy Committee, CME Overview Committee, Membership Committee, NP and PA Committee, and OTF Development Committee.

    How long have you been working in obesity medicine and what is your current position? I have been involved in obesity medicine for the past 11 years and directly with OMA for the past 7 years, and I am currently the medical director at my clinic in the Atlanta area.

    What do you enjoy most about practicing obesity medicine? I truly enjoy seeing the hope in patients’ eyes when they start to lose weight, at a time when they thought they could never lose weight for the rest of their lives. Practicing obesity medicine has been intellectually fulfilling because I now see medicine in a whole new light: that being afflicted with obesity can create a multitude of other health problems. Solving the obesity problem allows for improved health as it relates to cancer, heart disease, auto-immune diseases and so many other conditions.

    What excites you about the field of obesity medicine right now? The most exciting aspect of obesity medicine is that we are on the cutting edge of an ever-expanding wealth of knowledge. I get excited about the relationship between epigenetics and the environment. When we choose to eat the right foods, we can help improve, prevent, or reverse epigenetic changes. That’s simply amazing! No other field of medicine can say that.

    What do you find most valuable about your membership with OMA? I value the people I meet at every conference I attend, whether new or existing members. I haven’t missed a conference since 2010! OMA has such genuinely interested clinicians that are happy to meet other people, become friends, and stay in touch even after the conference is over. I cannot say that this is the same at other organizational conferences I have attended. And we have such a great time while enhancing our medical knowledge with like-minded people.

    What are your favorite ways to spend your time off? I am a foodie, so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I am always trying to make new dishes for both family and friends. I love to entertain friends with foods that are both healthy and taste great. Spending time with the family is very important to me, and we make the time to take trips together. I recently brought a dog into our family, a Rhodesian ridgeback named Thor. When it’s the right time of the season, you will find me cheering for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team, my residency alma mater. Although it has been a few years, I love to play the drums, but more frequently love to listen to a variety of music, take photographs, and occasionally play some computer games.

  • U. Inge Fergsuon, DO, FACOI, FOMA

    U. Inge Fergsuon, DO, FACOI, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Ferguson previously served on the Board of Trustees. She serves on the CME Overview Committee and presents at OMA’s Obesity Medicine Basics courses and the Review Course for the ABOM Exam.

    How long have you been working in obesity medicine and what is your current position? I loved nutrition as an undergraduate but decided upon pathology instead. Obesity medicine is a perfect fit, allowing me to study and promote nutrition and other health habits. Working in primary care, I had a discussion with an RD regarding weight management, and my new career was born in 2004. My first OMA conference perfectly integrated my interests in lifestyle and health! I was hooked. I’ve practiced obesity medicine since 2005 and currently am a full-time MOVE Physician Champion at VA Southern Nevada, the VA’s national weight management program.

    What do you enjoy most about practicing obesity medicine? With a pathology background, I understand disease well and have a strong interest in prevention. I also have a family and personal history of obesity. I understand my patients’ frustrations. My role is to aid in removing obstructions and start them on a path. If that path doesn’t work, we try another, sometimes with the aid of anti-obesity medications or surgery. I consider myself practicing “reverse medicine,” thinking of real food, activity, and sleep to maximize self-care and minimize medical intervention. Obesity medicine allows me to apply science to clinical care and get results!

    What excites you about the field of obesity medicine right now? Applied biochemistry! Patient outcomes! I love teaching veterans, mostly men, how to self-care with lifestyle. Facilitating small groups provides education, socialization, and support. Seeing veterans’ joy at finally reducing their own disease burden (especially obesity and diabetes) and recovering their lives. I would like to see more research in regards to lacking self-control with food, be it food addiction, orexigenic food additives, or other. I see former marines and military officers who can combat tobacco and drug addictions but struggle to combat their weight. I’d also like to see research on ketosis in PTSD, TBI, dementia, and pain. I believe this would truly benefit veterans.

    What do you find most valuable about your membership with OMA? Clinical science and clinical experts that have helped me to help others. Through OMA I’ve been encouraged to apply nutrition, body composition, anti-obesity medications, and research. In addition, I’ve had the opportunity to advocate for obesity medicine. If we make enough noise, public health policy makers and insurers will hear us.

    What are your favorite ways to spend your time off? I Iove exploring outdoors, especially hunting animals with my camera, national parks, and ghost towns. I de-stress by gardening, painting, reading novels, or playing Bingo (I do live in Vegas).

  • Sarah Hallberg, DO, MS, FOMA

    Sarah Hallberg, DO, MS, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2017

    Dr. Hallberg serves on the CME Committee. She has also been a mentor to a clinician new to the field through the conference mentorship program and is a regular presenter during the Review Course for the ABOM Exam.

    How long have you been working in obesity medicine and what is your current position? I have been working in obesity medicine for over five years, and I am currently a medical director at Virta Health and the medical director and founder of the Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program at Indiana University Health Arnett.

    What do you enjoy most about practicing obesity medicine? I enjoy sharing the journey. Being able to partner with your patients on a lifestyle-change journey is an incredible honor. I get to share in the victories and struggles and watch as their quality of life improves.

    What excites you about the field of obesity medicine right now? We are seeing more and more steps to true nutrition reform and this is incredibly exciting. Nutrition recommendations have failed the public for decades, and I really think the tide is turning. This will help support the field of obesity medicine.

    What do you find most valuable about your membership with OMA? I enjoy the interaction with colleagues. Going to the conferences and meeting others in the field is such a great way to share ideas, and I always walk away with ideas for improved patient care.

    What are your favorite ways to spend your time off? Anything that involves hiking. Our family loves to travel, and we are always looking for the next great trail to explore. We have seen so many beautiful places, but my favorite so far is Zion National Park.

  • Robert Huster, MD, FACOG, FOMA

    Robert Huster, MD, FACOG, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2017

    Dr. Huster serves on the Advocacy Committee and has represented OMA several times during advocacy visits to Capitol Hill.

  • Susan Isensee, MD, FAAFP, FOMA

    Susan Isensee, MD, FAAFP, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Isensee serves on the Advocacy Committee and previously served on the Medical School Curriculum Committee.

  • Carl Knopke, MD, FOMA

    Carl Knopke, MD, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2017

    Dr. Knopke is a member of the Board of Trustees and serves on the CME Planning Committee, CME Overview Committee, and Exhibitor Review Committee. He previously served on the Membership Committee, Advocacy Committee, and Policy Committee.

  • Scot Kolsin, MD, FOMA

    Scot Kolsin, MD, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2017

    Dr. Kolsin serves on the Advocacy Committee and Pediatric Committee. He has also been a mentor to a clinician new to the field through the conference mentorship program.

  • Cesar Lara, MD, FOMA

    Cesar Lara, MD, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Lara previously served on the Marketing-Communication Committee. He has also been a mentor to a clinician new to the field through the conference mentorship program.

    How long have you been working in obesity medicine and what is your current position? I have been practicing obesity medicine for over 15 years. I am the founder and CEO of Cesar A. Lara MD Center for Weight Management with four different locations throughout the Tampa Bay area. Today, our centers help thousands of people each year through weight management and age management programs. Based on an integrative and preventative care model, we utilize the best in obesity medicine, nutrition, bioidentical hormone therapy, and lifestyle modification.

    What do you enjoy most about practicing obesity medicine? Originally trained and certified as a family physician, I have always been motivated to change and empower my patients. Although I developed and thrived a successful primary care practice 15 years ago, I recognized that I was just putting Band-Aids on most conditions. The pharmaceutical companies loved me but I wasn’t really healing my patients. Far too often, I noticed my patients becoming dependent on different medications, and while they provided some benefit, they came with other problems and costs I could no longer support. I knew I needed to find a better way to heal my patients. Today, I enjoy helping my patients regain control of their health. By helping my patients overcome obesity, I not only am able to empower them with an understanding of their health, but I am also able to prevent and often reverse a lot of chronic conditions. For example, I have helped hundreds of patients with type 2 diabetes get off insulin and other medications through my comprehensive weight loss programs. It’s amazing to see just how well the body functions when you focus on health instead of diagnosis.

    What excites you about the field of obesity medicine right now? It is continually evolving. As the scientific community continues to pay more attention to obesity, new findings are always connecting the dots of health in new ways. For me, I’m really excited about discovering new ways we can empower our body through the power of the mind and the implications of neuroplasticity.

    What do you find most valuable about your membership with OMA? What I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy is the supportive relationships I have developed over the years with like-minded colleagues and the comprehensive and up-to-date CME courses. I love having the opportunity to come together as an organization and focus on changing the mindset of our medical society when it comes to understanding and treating obesity. Through those efforts, obesity is now considered a chronic medical condition and the idea to just eat less and exercise is no longer relevant.

    What are your favorite ways to spend your time off? I enjoy jogging and training for marathons, dancing, boating, skiing, spending time with family and friends, and philosophizing over a glass of wine or two.

  • Richard Lindquist, MD, FAASP, FOMA

    Richard Lindquist, MD, FAASP, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Lindquist is a member of the Obesity Treatment Foundation’s (OTF) Board of Directors and a previous member of the Obesity Medicine Association’s Board of Trustees. He serves on the OTF Research Committee and the OTF Development Committee and frequently presents at conferences.

  • William McCarthy, MD, FOMA

    William McCarthy, MD, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. McCarthy is the CME Program Director for OMA. He also serves on the CME Planning Committee, CME Overview Committee, and Pediatric Committee.

    How long have you been working in obesity medicine and what is your current position? I have been a full time solo practitioner of obesity medicine since 2007. In addition to my medical practice, I serve as the CME program director for OMA.

    What do you enjoy most about practicing obesity medicine? After 30 years as a family practitioner, I was burned out and on the verge of abandoning my medical career. Obesity medicine has proven that I can really make a difference in the lives of my patients and has given me a new life as a physician.

    What excites you about the field of obesity medicine right now? Not long ago, obesity medicine was considered a fringe specialty; now we’re mainstream. It’s exciting to be part of the cutting edge of an entirely new field of medicine.

    What do you find most valuable about your membership with OMA? I joined OMA (then ASBP) in 2005. The educational content, the organizational leadership, and the camaraderie of the members convinced me that I wanted to practice obesity medicine. The organization continues to get better by the year.

    What are your favorite ways to spend your time off? I’m mostly a homebody and enjoy spending time with my wife, who’s been my best friend for over fifty years.

  • Julia Melamed, MD, FOMA

    Julia Melamed, MD, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Melamed previously served on the Marketing-Communication Committee. She has also been a mentor to a clinician new to the field through the conference mentorship program.

  • Derek Muse, MD, FOMA

    Derek Muse, MD, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Muse has previously served on an OMA committee and has been a mentor to a clinician new to the field through the conference mentorship program.

  • Craig Primack, MD, FACP, FAAP, FOMA

    Craig Primack, MD, FACP, FAAP, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Primack is the vice president on the Board of Trustees. He serves on the Obesity Algorithm Committee and the Corporate Advisory Council.

    How long have you been working in obesity medicine and what is your current position? I have been a full-time obesity medicine physician since 2006. My clinic has grown from two full-time physicians to five full-time physicians with four locations in the Phoenix area. We are less than a 20-minute drive for the majority of patients in the Phoenix area.

    What do you enjoy most about practicing obesity medicine? Of course it’s the patients. We see our patients quite regularly. We see them every other week for the first 4-5 months and then usually monthly after that. When there are problems, we talk about weight, exercise, diet, and sleep, and when everything is going well, we are able to talk about other things.

    What excites you about the field of obesity medicine right now? Over the last few years, we have come a long way in drug choices for obesity management. Think about blood pressure. There are about 140 choices of medicines to use. In obesity care, we have less than 10 to treat about 35% of our society that has obesity and unfortunately, most of the medicines are not covered by insurance. We have a long way to go in that area.

    What do you find most valuable about your membership with OMA? When I found the OMA, I found my home. Before my first meeting, I had no idea that you could specialize in obesity medicine, that physicians practiced it as a career. Within one year of my first OMA meeting, I took the leap of faith and gave up primary care. About six years ago, I became a member of the board of trustees of the OMA and currently serve as the vice president. I have met a lot of wonderful and passionate people involved in the care of patients with obesity in the last 12 years.

    What are your favorite ways to spend your time off? First and foremost, I have three kids, which takes a lot of my free time. I am also an avid runner and cyclist.

  • Justin Puckett, DO, FOMA

    Justin Puckett, DO, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2017

    Dr. Puckett previously served on the Outreach Committee.

  • Wendy Scinta, MD, MS, FOMA

    Wendy Scinta, MD, MS, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2017

    Dr. Scinta is the president-elect of OMA and serves on the Nominating Committee and Pediatric Committee.

  • Jennifer Seger, MD, FOMA

    Jennifer Seger, MD, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Seger previously served on the Board of Trustees. She serves on the Membership Committee, Obesity Algorithm Committee, and Organizational Outreach Committee and is a past chairperson of the Membership Committee.

  • Wickham Simonds, MD, FOMA

    Wickham Simonds, MD, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Simonds is the chairperson of the Memberhsip Committee. He has also been a mentor to a clinician new to the field through the conference mentorship program.

    How long have you been working in obesity medicine and what is your current position? I have been practicing obesity medicine for 13 years. I am the owner of Doctor Simonds Weight Loss in Durham, North Carolina.

    What do you enjoy most about practicing obesity medicine? The thing that I enjoy most about practicing obesity medicine is that the therapies I prescribe actually correct multiple problems. I can work on reducing a patient’s weight and at the same time see multiple other medical problems correct themselves.

    What excites you about the field of obesity medicine right now? Obesity medicine is evolving. New scientific discoveries, new medications, and new therapies are the rule rather than the exception. This makes practicing obesity medicine exciting now, and it has me excited about the future.

    What do you find most valuable about your membership with OMA? OMA membership provides a great opportunity to network with other obesity medicine providers. OMA’s obesity medicine education is the best in the world. Finally, OMA provides opportunities to serve. I have served on two committees, served as a mentor, hosted “dine-arounds,” served as a topic expert, and served in various capacities during events at OMA conferences.

    What are your favorite ways to spend your time off? I live in North Carolina, and my wife Anna and I own a small cottage at the beach. I love spending time off with my wife at the coast. Whether it’s golfing, hanging out on the beach, going out for seafood, or boating, it’s all a lot of fun.

  • Verlyn Warrington, MD, FOMA

    Verlyn Warrington, MD, FOMA

    Became a Fellow in 2016

    Dr. Warrington previously served on the Pediatric Committee and the Medical School Curriculum Committee. She has also been a mentor to a clinician new to the field through the conference mentorship program.