MEET THE TEAM
AMANDA POWELL, MD
Is it possible to be smart, fun, and successful? Heck yes! Dr. Powell, our Medical Director is proof. More than a decade ago Dr. Powell chose the emerging field of obesity medicine as her specialty. Her accumulation of knowledge and experience has earned her role as a solid leader in the field. Dr. Powell is a tenacious director with an eye for the best. She’s relentless in pursuing the most effective treatments, support, and resources to help our patients reach their health & wellness goals. Fun fact … Dr. Powell studied nutrition & culinary art in New York. Since her early years in California, she was forever passionate about cooking, but lucky for us she choose the east coast and a career in medicine. If she’s not in the kitchen with her family you might find Dr. Powell doing a little wake surfing on the lake – can’t take the Cali out of the girl!
BA, Brown University
MD, Brown University
Internal Medical Training: Beth Israel Deaconess
Fellowship in Obesity Medicine at Boston University
Board Certified: Obesity Medicine
JOAN LEBOW, MD
A chance meeting with a fellow kindergarten parent in the medical weight loss field led Dr. Lebow, a former primary care physician, to a thriving career in Obesity Medicine. Her goal of helping others improve their health hasn’t changed, but the dedicated time she’s able spend with patients has increased since the switch to obesity medicine – and she loves it! Dr. Lebow is known for her thoughtful, compassionate approach. She knows “change is difficult and it’s so humbling to witness so many people putting the hard work to make progress.” What would she do with the wave of a magic wand? “I’d like to help my patients stop blaming themselves for this complex, chronic disease.” And what would she do if she wasn’t the dedicated physician she is now? Of course there are long walks with friends, hiking mountains, and exploring national parks … but the real gem is her love for antiques. Dr. Lebow could very well be the next host of The Antique Road Show!
Medical School: Marshall University School of Medicine
Internship: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Residency: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Board Certified: Internal Medicine, Obesity Medicine
Academic Appointments: Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine
NEETU MULCHANDANI, MD
You have to be curious to solve problems. And Neetu Mulchandani is one curious doctor, indeed. Her passion for weight management started with a question she thought about long before she began practicing medicine: Why did South Asian immigrants often developed heart disease and diabetes along with weight gain soon after settling in the United States and integrating the Western diet into their lifestyle? This idea of environmental and lifestyle influences affecting disease set Dr. Mulchandani on a journey to discover how she could best help all of her patients. Her goal in primary care extends well beyond managing disease - she wants to reverse it. And better yet, prevent it from happening at all. Dr. Mulchandani’s understanding of "food as medicine” opens an amazing opportunity for patients to improve their health - and enjoy doing it! She’s a foodie and a nature lover - and her super power combines the two in helping others harness the healing potential of plant-based foods in their everyday diet.
Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine
Internship and Residency: General Internal Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Board Certifications: American Board of Internal Medicine; American Board of Obesity Medicine
Plant Based Nutrition Certificate: T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies
SATHYAVANI "VANI" PRABHAKAR, MD
What do get when you bring a ‘hormone’ doctor into a weight management practice? A happy doctor! For Dr. Prabhakar obesity medicine is her ‘happy place’ - along with relaxing to thrillers and great mystery shows! “Obesity medicine is a perfect amalgam of my medical knowledge, training, science, research, and people skills. Every patient and their weight journey is unique, therefore my approach is highly individualized.” She learns from each patient and their successes, then shares them with another patient to make a difference. For Dr. Prabhakar there’s no greater reward than seeing a patient come off their medications because they lost weight, improved their diabetes, blood pressure or lipids. She sure loves her work. And browsing colorful clothes and jewelry. Oh, and we can’t forget, making some mean spicy veggie foods too!
Medical School: Stanley Medical College
Internship: Jersey City Medical Center
Residency: Jersey City Medical Center
Fellowship: State University of NY at Buffalo
Board Certified: Endocrinology, Obesity Medicine
JENNIFER SCHWARTZ, MD
There’s a million reasons why we choose what we do. Dr. Schwartz’s reason for choosing the field of obesity medicine is a personal one. She’s a veteran cardiologist and electro-physiologist who spent nearly two decades performing cardiac procedures. Then her world changed when she became a patient of the medical weight loss center. Dr. Schwartz became increasingly interested in the science behind what makes it so difficult for us to control our weight – and she pursues these answers relentlessly. She has a keen interest in understanding the role of obesity in cardiac patients and how she can help mitigate the need for invasive cardiac procedures. She is an enthusiastic researcher and compassionate provider who understands the complexity of obesity and weight management. And more importantly, she’s a dedicated, working mom who knows what it takes run straight-out at the office, race to her daughter’s school show, and practice being healthy in between. Dr. Schwartz is the real deal.
MD, New York University School of Medicine
Internship: New York University Medical Center
Residency: New York University Medical Center
Fellowship: New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Cornell
Board Certified: Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Internal Medicine
Pina is a self-proclaimed “foodie” and impassioned home cook, who loves to connect people of all ages back to their kitchens. She believes cooking is empowering. And who doesn’t want to be more empowered?!? And don’t forget the idea of having fun with food, stimulating and expanding the palate and simplifying meal prep. That’s what Pina is all about. She’s a dietician on a mission to bring together weight management, movement, disease prevention and culinary medicine. Whoo! Sounds like a lot but she makes it easy! Pina is also a Yoga Instructor, former triathlete and personal trainer. If you want to be all you can be – inside and out – Pina will help. “I know that change is doable with the right kind of support.” Yup. She’s right about that. So how does a powerhouse like Pina relax? Cuddle-puddles with a great book and three dogs will do.
B.S., Simmons College, Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
M.Sc. L’Universita Bocconi, International Healthcare Management, Economics and Policy
Above all else, Cara is a believer that it is never too late to shift and expand your focus on health through engagement in active behavior change. Just as life involves a series of changes, it is important to understand that eating patterns must adapt and shift as well. Therefore, Cara’s primary focus with her patients is to help them develop the tools to maintain what she calls a “health promoting dietary pattern”, i.e. eat food that gives your body what it needs to make you feel good! Cara helps her patients understand that managing a healthy weight doesn’t mean you can only eat off of a certain list of food, it means looking at the “big picture” and understanding the important nutritional components of daily life, and how to put those into practice. As a dietitian who does not like to grocery shop or cook (Shh! Don’t tell anyone!), Cara helps patients come up with practical and efficient meal options that are delicious and hassle-free! Most importantly, Cara always reminds her patients that “there are a lot of things in life that that we cannot control, but what we CAN control is what we put in our body - how you fuel your body reflects the respect you have for what your body can do, and that choice is yours and yours alone.”
MARTHA NIEMIEC, PH.D.
Years of baking with her mom, several stints in the fashion industry, and reading Levi-Strauss’ The Raw and the Cooked as a freshman in college fundamentally transformed the way Dr. Niemiec thinks about food, eating, and body image. She agrees that eating is a remarkably fun and intimate act, but it also but it also civilizes us and can be dangerous. Food and eating is connected to everything- social life, mood, health, and economics. It’s what makes us human. This emotional depth is what makes food and eating endlessly fascinating to study for Dr. Niemiec.
She thrives on finding ways to manage the clash between our ancestral hunter-gather cue-sensitive brains and the modern food saturated environments. Though, Dr. Niemic admits, her life isn’t complete without her mom’s chocolate zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting. Yes, she gets it! As a dedicated researcher and compassionate clinician, she applies a science-based approach to her clinical work, helping patients effectively respond to uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that arise in the context of eating. Outside the clinic the ocean calls her name. Her happy place is the beach- sailing, surfing, or just smiling away in the salty air.
Clinical Post-Doctoral Fellowship -Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology - University of Albany, SUNY
B.A., Brown University
MARYBETH SHERRIN, ALM, M.ED.
Marybeth is passionate about changing the narrative around how we transform our health as individuals, communities, and organizations. For more than 20 years, she has studied, contributed to, and advocated for a shift in how we build - and rebuild - the skills and mindset needed for healthy lives and successful careers. As a writer, speaker and advocate, she has built systems and programs to address underlying issues, and empower individuals struggling to find their way back to a healthy and productive life. As a therapist, she works closely with patients who struggle with the demons that manifest in poor health habits and ultimately an unhealthy lifestyle. Marybeth will fondly admit most of her time is spent developing and delivering programs to help people live healthier and happier lives – but fear not, she does makes lots of time to indulge. Coaching creative women developing small businesses is a blast for her. And hockey. Yup. Lots of hockey. She’s married to a Canadian – enough said.
BA, UMass Psychology
ALM, Harvard University - Psychology
M.Ed., UMass Boston – Counseling Psychology
ELA HALILAJ, MPH
Service Line Manager
Ela has a long-time connection to healthcare. She’s a manager with a commitment to public health who uses her management, consulting and strategic thinking to help us implement the systems and processes needed to bring the best care to our patients. She is the glue that facilitates communication between patients, providers and staff. Ela is dedicated learner. She’s currently pursuing her doctorate in business administration. But don’t let her business-chops fool you. Ela is a true romantic at heart. With a love for strong female characters and romantic storylines, it’s no surprise Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen is her all-time favorite story. On a rare break from school and work, you’ll find Ela cheering on her kids at competitive swim meets or walking her gorgeous blue-eyed Huskie, Nova.
MPH – Policy and Management
DBA Candidate - Southern California University
Imagine a job where you make people feel good – every day. That’s what Jen McFarland, our medical assistant, does. And she says it’s a two-way street. Her reward comes from watching you succeed. Of course, she’s always there to cheer you on, but her secret power is creating a comfortable, encouraging space to measure progress and appreciate your unique body type. If Jen ruled the world she would get rid of the BMI “we’re all different … what matters most is our body composition” - and she’s right! Our fun-loving medical assistant enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She’ll confess, she has a taste for pizza and chocolate … and crime stories. Could CSI: Crime Scene Investigators be in her future?!?