Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery Program
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Our Team

Alex Gandsas, MD, MBA

Director of Weight Loss and Metabolic Program, Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Alex Gandsas, M.B.A., is a nationally renowned bariatric surgeon and director of AAMC's Weight Loss and Metabolic Program, which offers surgical weight loss procedures including sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and lapband removal.

Board-certified and fellowship-trained, Dr. Gandsas has performed almost 3,000 bariatric surgeries and published numerous scientific articles in general surgery, surgical education and telemedicine. He is chairman of the SLS Bariatric Surgery Committee and is an expert in the field of bariatric revision surgery. Currently, his research efforts focus on obesity surgery as well as the use of emerging technologies for minimally invasive surgery, telemedicine and surgical education. He is actively involved in the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgery, the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, as well as the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.

Previously, Dr. Gandsas worked at the School of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Stratford, NJ where he was professor and chair of the Department of Surgery. There he directed the Universityís Bariatric Fellowship Program and served as chief of surgery of Kennedy University Hospital in Stratford, NJ. Prior to joining UMDNJ, he was division chief of Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and an associate professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Gandsas earned his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine in Argentina. Following a general surgery residency in Michigan, he completed fellowships in advanced laparoscopy and laparoscopic bariatric surgery at Duke University Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, respectively.



Courtney Doyle, MD

Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Doyle is a board-certified, fellowship-trained laparoscopic general surgeon. She has particular interest in advanced GI surgery including the surgical treatment of achalasia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and minimally invasive colon surgery with advanced training in bariatric surgery.

Dr. Doyle earned her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her surgical residency training at Indiana University prior to moving to Maryland in 2013 to complete her minimally invasive surgery fellowship at AAMC.

For more than a decade she has been involved in medical and surgical research ranging from parasitic diseases in developing nations to pancreatic and liver cancer. She received the J.K. Berman Outstanding Clinical Research Award during her tenure at Indiana University School of Medicine. She continues her research interests here at AAMC and hopes to focus on advancements in bariatric surgery and surgical technologies.



Heather Albertson, MMS, PA-C, RD, LDN

Physician Assistant

Heather Albertson, is a Physician Assistant with the AAMC Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery Program.

Heather is a graduate of Anne Arundel Community College's Physician Assistant program. She began her professional career as a clinical dietician at Johns Hopkins Hospital where she worked in nutrition support, weight loss and therapeutic diet interventions for all major disease states.

Heather completed her physician's assistant general surgery rotation with Dr. Gandsas and the bariatric team here at AAMC. She received further surgical training in acute care trauma surgery at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Her clinical rotations also focused on critical care medicine at Baltimore Washington Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

She received her undergraduate degree from Florida State University, her master's in medical science from Saint Francis University and is a registered dietician and a licensed dietician nutritionist.



Jeanette Epperson, BSN, CBN

Bariatric Nurse Coordinator

Jeanette Epperson is the program coordinator and nurse physician liaison for Dr. Alex Gandsas and the Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery Program at Anne Arundel Medical Center. She develops and schedules public education and promotional activities and creates and maintains referral and supportive services to help provide patients with a totality of needed care.

Jeanette provides clinical support to the physicians by providing a variety of nursing treatment functions, including patient education and counseling, and oversees the coordination of surgery scheduling and insurance authorization.

Jeanette brings a wealth of nursing experience and knowledge to the program and has worked in Pre-op and PACU, Critical Care, Emergency Room, Organ Transplant and Endoscopy units. She is a certified bariatric nurse. Jeanette received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.



Arianne Kirby, RD, LDN

CDE Registered Dietitian/Certified Diabetes Educator

Arianne Kirby is a registered dietitian and the bariatric dietitian where she works with bariatric surgery patients to provide education about proper diet and nutrition before and after surgery. She leads monthly support groups, monitors patient progress, provides nutrition classes to weight loss surgery patients and develops educational nutrition materials for individual and group counseling. In addition, she reviews patient nutritional labs and makes recommendations for appropriate supplement and diet treatment to help patients adjust eating habits to reflect a healthy lifestyle.

Prior to her role as bariatric dietitian, Arianne was an outpatient diabetes educator for Anne Arundel Medical Center where she assessed patients and provided education and support for their diagnoses and management of diabetes. She has also provided clinical dietitian services in the hospital in-patient setting, assessing and monitoring the nutritional care of patients in cardiac surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, labor and delivery, psychiatry and pediatrics units.

Arianne is licensed as a dietitian by the State of Maryland and certified by the National Board for Diabetes Educators. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, a dietetic internship at College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey and a masterís degree in community health education at Towson University.



Kelly Penrose, RN, MSN

Bariatric Nurse

Kelly attended nursing school at Middlesex Community College in Lowell, Massachusetts where she received her Associate Degree in Nursing. She started her nursing career at a community hospital in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Kelly completed her Master's Degree in Nursing Management and Leadership with Walden University. In 2008, she came to Anne Arundel Medical Center to work as a nurse on the General Surgical Unit.

In 2013, she underwent the gastric sleeve procedure and became passionate about helping other bariatric patients start their journey to success.


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