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November 18, 2021

Obesity Medicine Association Introduces New Incoming Board of Trustees and Executive Director

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The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) welcomed their newly elected Board of Trustees at the recent Overcoming Obesity conference in Chicago, IL. Elected by OMA’s membership, the Board serves as OMA’s governing body. The Board brings expertise in the field of obesity medicine to guide and direct the organization. Current Board of Trustees members include:

Ethan Lazarus, MD, FOMA, AMA Delegate – President Dr. Ethan Lazarus is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, and a Fellow of the Obesity Medicine Association. He runs Clinical Nutrition Center in Greenwood Village, Colorado, where he has practiced full-time obesity medicine since 2004. As our OMA delegate at the American Medical Association (AMA), Dr. Lazarus advocated successfully for the recognition of obesity as a disease in 2013. Subsequently, he has introduced and passed policies to improve obesity education, reduce weight bias, and eliminate barriers to providing obesity care. In recognition of these achievements, the OMA has granted him several awards, including the Dr. Peter G. Lindner Award in 2017, the Obesity Medicine Clinician of the Year in 2015, and the Dr. Vernon B. Astler Award in 2013.

Angela Fitch, MD, FACP, FOMA – President-Elect Dr. Angela Fitch is the Co-Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center and faculty at Harvard Medical School. She currently is serving as President-Elect of OMA and has previously served as vice president, secretary/treasurer and trustee on OMA’s board of trustees, the 2015-2016 chair of the clinical management of obesity section of The Obesity Society, and a member of the ABOM writing committee. In 2016, Dr. Fitch received the Dr. Peter G. Lindner Award from OMA, and in 2017, she was recognized as OMA’s Obesity Medicine Clinician of the Year.

Lydia Alexander, MD, FOMA – Vice President Dr. Lydia C. Alexander is the Chief Medical Officer/Medical Director for Enara Health. She is a fellow and diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and presently obtaining certification as a Culinary Medicine Specialist from the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine from Tulane Medical School. Dr. Alexander was the recipient of the 2018 Obesity Medicine Clinician of the Year Award and the 2019 Dr. Raymond E. Dietz Meritorious Service Award.

Harold Bays, MDA, FOMA (CSO), FTOS, FACC, FNLA, FASPC – Secretary/Treasurer, Chief Science Officer Dr. Harold Bays is Medical Director and President of the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center, and has served as a Principal Investigator for over 500 clinical trials. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, as well as Diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Lipidology. He is Editor-in-Chief of Obesity Pillars, the official journal of OMA. Dr. Bays was awarded the Obesity Medicine Clinician of the Year Award (2016), the Committee Leadership Award (2014), and the Dr. Peter G. Lindner Award (2019).

Anthony Auriemma, MD, JD, FOMA – Trustee Dr. Anthony Auriemma is the medical director at AMITA Weight Loss Solutions in Chicago, Il. He received his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in and completed his residency at Hinsdale Hospital. Dr. Auriemma is board certified in Obesity Medicine and Family Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Obesity Medicine Association. Dr. Auriemma also serves as an alternate delegate at the American Medical Association representing the Obesity Medicine Association. He is a founding member and past president of the Illinois Obesity Society.

Marisa Censani, MD, FOMA – Trustee Dr. Marisa Censani is the Director of the Pediatric Obesity Program in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at Weill Cornell Medicine/New York Presbyterian Hospital. She founded the Kids and Teens Healthy Weight Program at her institution, where she has developed after-school nutritional sessions for families and collaborated with various sub-specialists in the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. She is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology and is a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. In 2018, she received the Committee Leadership Award from OMA.

Sandra Christensen, MSN, ARNP, FOMA – Trustee Sandra Christensen is a board-certified nurse practitioner and has specialized in obesity treatment since 2005. She owns Integrative Medical Weight Management, in Seattle, Washington, where she provides personalized, comprehensive obesity treatment. She holds the Certificate of Advanced Education in Obesity Medicine from OMA. Ms Christensen was the recipient of the Dr. Raymond E. Dietz Meritorious Service Award in 2018 and the Committee Leadership Award in 2019.

Suzanne Cuda, MD, FAAP, FOMA – Trustee Dr. Suzanne Cuda is the medical director of Alamo City Kids and Families. She is a board-certified pediatrician, obesity medical specialist, and adolescent medicine specialist. She has been treating children and families with obesity for over 10 years. Prior to opening Alamo City, she practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine for over 15 years. Dr. Cuda retired from the US Army as a Colonel after serving 26 years and has been living and practicing in San Antonio since 1996. In 2016, Dr. Cuda received the OMA Committee Leadership Award.

Carolynn Francavilla Brown, MD, FOMA – Trustee Dr. Carolynn Francavilla Brown is board certified in Family Medicine and owns Green Mountain Partners for Health in Lakewood, CO. Dr. Francavilla Brown is on the AMA Delegation for the state of Colorado, on the Foothills Medical Society Board of Directions, and the 2017 recipient of the Dr. Vernon B. Astler Award. She previously served on the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors, the Colorado Medical Society Board and the American Medical Association Resident and Fellow Section Governing Council.

Michelle Freshwater, MD, FOMA – Trustee Dr. Michelle Freshwater earned her M.D. from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completed her residency training in family medicine at the Via Christi Family Practice Residency program in Wichita, KS. She is board-certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. Dr. Freshwater practices at Idaho Weight Loss.

Bharti Shetye, MD, FOMA – Trustee Dr. Bharti Shetye (Dr. Abby) is a weight loss specialist certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She is also trained as a primary care physician certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Abby joined Sun Coast Bariatrics as the medical director in 2016. In 2020, Dr. Abby was awarded the Dr. Peter G. Lindner Award.

In addition to newly elected Board leadership, OMA announced their new Executive Director, Teresa Fraker. With thirty years of experience in the fields of obesity, bariatric surgery, women’s health, breast cancer, perinatal services, and hospital administration, Ms. Fraker joined OMA in October 2021. “The OMA is thrilled to have Teresa Fraker join our team as Executive Director. Not only has she spent over thirty years in the healthcare sector, she comes to us having spent the past eight years dedicated to improving obesity care. We know that with Teresa at the helm, the OMA will continue to help clinicians help their patients overcome obesity,” said Dr. Ethan Lazarus, OMA President. Ms. Fraker came to OMA from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in Chicago, IL, where she served as Program Administrator.

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