Having worked in General Practice for 25 years it was a natural evolution for me to move into an area of special interest of chronic disease management. Overweight and obesity are our most significant health issues today, having causative association with Type 2 Diabetes, Heart disease, Sleep Apnoea, Reflux disease, Cancer and Osteoarthritis. The physical and psychological impact of being overweight or obese is profound, diminishing many aspects of peoples' lives.
It is very difficult to lose weight and maintain the weight loss long term. There are complex reasons for this and it is not because "the willpower is not strong enough". Overweight and Obesity is a chronic disease state which requires sustainable long term approaches to management. Correction of lifestyle (the foods we eat, the pattern of meals, the activity and fitness routines) together with appropriate bariatric surgery, is the best practice, evidence-based management available.
I feel very fortunate and excited to work in this area of medicine at AOS. It is wonderful to work in a team of widely experienced health professionals, and to be associated with Australian and International Obesity networks which provide ongoing professional development and knowledge in this vast area of medicine
Dr Teresa Girolamo
MBBS FRACGP - Bariatric Physician
Dr Teresa Girolamo graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1994 with a degree of Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), and became a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 1999. She works 3 days per week in private general practice as well as her work at Adelaide Obesity Surgery, she is also a mother of two young boys.
Dr Girolamo has always had an interest in preventative medicine and lifestyle modification, this has lead to her involvement with Adelaide Obesity Surgery where she has been part of the team since 2008. Through her work in General Practice she is able to take a holistic approach to the patient, and understands the multiple stressors, both medical and psychosocial, which may impact on an individual’s lifestyle choices. In her General Practice Dr Girolamo is an Antenatal Shared Care provider, and therefore has a lot of experience with the impact that obesity can have on fertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes. She also does a lot of work with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, and finds the positive medical outcomes that are achieved after bariatric surgery to be very rewarding.
Patients often describe bariatric surgery as a positive life changing process, and Dr Girolamo is excited to be a part of this. She understand that there may be many hurdles along the way, and aims to support her patients and their families through this journey.
Dr Zanna Murfitt completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the University of Adelaide in 1999 and then followed this by an Honours degree in 2000. She then completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at Flinders University and graduated in 2004. Dr Murfitt has worked in General Practice for the past 9 years and became a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 2011. She recently spent 12 months working as a Family Physician in Vancouver, Canada which she describes as a very rewarding experience. Dr Murfitt now works 3 days per week in private General Practice and recently joined the team at Adelaide Obesity Surgery as a Bariatric Physician in early 2016. She is also a mother of 3 young girls.
Dr Murfitt became interested in obesity and its related co-morbidities early in her General Practice career. A large proportion of her patients in General Practice have chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, and she became passionate about improving the quality of life for these patients. She became aware that bariatric surgery, coupled with life-long lifestyle modification was the best evidence-based management approach for obesity and its related co-morbidities.
Dr Murfitt feels privileged to have joined such an enthusiastic team of individuals who are so passionate about improving health outcomes in this fascinating area of Medicine.
Dr Michael Waters
BMBS (Hons) FRACP - Internal Medicine Specialist
"Doctor in general internal medicine, with broad knowledge and experience in disease-management initiatives"
Dr Michael Waters is a specialist General Physician with broad knowledge and experience in the diagnosis and management of complex medical problems. Obesity is such a condition, potentially associated with a myriad of associated medical comorbidities and complications. In patients progressing to bariatric surgery he is not only involved in pre-operative assessment and optimization of care, but also is available to assist in the inpatient perioperative management of associated medical issues such as diabetes mellitus.
Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Sally Johnston has been an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist for 13 years. She has been part of the AOS team since 2005 and has not only the theory to share with you, but the practical tips she has learned from the hundreds of people she has worked with who have been through weight loss surgery.
Sally’s book, Your Complete Guide to Nutrition for Weight Loss Surgery is a key tool for your weight loss surgery journey and will be included as part of your consultation prior to surgery with our dietitians.
Sally is currently on maternity leave from one to one consulting, however is active providing online support as part of the Nutrition for Weight Loss Surgery Membership Program.
Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Justine Hawke has been and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist for the past 14 years. She has a Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition) and Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics with distinction. She joined the team at AOS in 2013.
Justine has a passion for weight management and helping people improve their relationship with food. She is passionate about good health and nutrition and with her significant experience she understands a healthy lifestyle is not just knowing what to eat, but how to balance diet with the demands of life. Her advice is both practical and specific to your individual needs.
Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Carmel Cantone has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement and a Master of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is passionate and enthusiastic about improving her client’s quality of life and self-esteem through a healthy lifestyle and loves being a part of her client’s journey. She provides evidence based recommendations tailored to suit each individual’s lifestyle and is dedicated to providing the best possible outcome for her clients. She prides herself on building a great rapport with her clients, and feels privileged to share their weight loss journey with them. Having a European background she has a deep understanding of how food and culture are related, and gives advice that fits into traditional values. She is eager to meet new people and contribute to their health and wellbeing.
Chris has been in private practice Psychology since 2004, helping people with a wide range of psychological strategies. Often, people have been suggested to see a Psychologist by their GP, or just feel that they could benefit from meeting with someone who may assist with issues at that point in their lives. As well as general psychological issues such as anxiety, depression and helping people to adjust in a healthy way to change, Chris has a great deal of experience in helping patients with physical and emotional health. Since 2006, Chris has been working predominantly at AOS, and has become specialised in the area of weight, eating and body image. Many people that Chris has met with over the years have been preparing for bariatric surgery (gastric banding and bypass), and assisting people through this process and living well after these procedures has become a special interest for Chris. In this role, he has assisted motivated people to implement new behaviours and thinking, maximising the likelihood of weight loss and maintenance. Chris enjoys the role at AOS as he sees not only sustained weight loss, but people who are often happier, more confident, and enjoying better relationships with those around them as a result of improved health.
Chris maintains up-to date clinical skills and has attended presentations such as that of Canadian researchers Peter Hermann and Janet Polivy; completed Dr.Rick Kausman's 'If Not Dieting' training; Dr George Blair-West’s Psychodietetics workshop; and Dr. John Dixon's LapBand training. Chris has a strong interest in health Psychology, and has been on numerous committees relating to standards of care. He is on the SA organising committee of the APS (Australian Psychological Society)'Psychology of Eating, Weight, Body Image' interest group. He has presented to a wide range of professional groups such as the Heart Foundation, Southern Health's BMI Unit, and the Institute of Private Practicing Psychologists. Chris is a contributor to Sally Johnston's 'Knife, Fork and Band' book – an essential guide to bariatric nutrition.
Sara Slayman from Adelaide Exercise Physiology (AEP) is the Exercise Physiologist for the Adelaide Obesity Surgery (AOS) bariatric program. She has a bachelor of Applied Science degree in Human Movement as well as post graduate education in Clinical Rehabilitation. Sara has worked with the AOS team since 2007 and is responsible for administering fitness assessments and designing exercise programs for all patients at AOS. Utilising her experience Sara will prescribe your individual physical activity lifestyle program and give you sound, scientific based bariatric exercise advice to prepare you for surgery and follow up. Exercise is a pillar for weight loss success following surgery; so no matter what your level of fitness, current health condition or physical restrictions, Sara will help you to get started and stay on track.
Keith Whitcher is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and has been employed with AEP since May 2011. Prior to this Keith completed clinical training as an Exercise Therapist where he gained experience assisting patients with multiple chronic diseases and co-morbidities in both a gym and hydrotherapy environment.
Keith is the co-manager of the Noarlunga AEP clinic and regularly consults with new patients to educate them on the importance of regular structured activity and the impact this has on improving one’s health. He has broad experience working with patients who have multiple co-morbidities, establishing tailored exercise plans that can be developed for use at home or in a clinical setting.
Keith has a special interest in workplace rehabilitation, aboriginal health and sports specific testing and prescription for athletes.
For the last 2 years, Keith has been working with the AOS team in the area of Exercise Physiology, educating and assisting clients about appropriate exercise routines. Keith believes in an individualised approach to exercise and is passionate about assisting clients who are considering a range of bariatric surgeries, focusing on working with the client to improve their weight and overall health.
Qualifications: ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP), Bach. App. Science (Human Movement & Health Studies), Current Senior First Aid & CPR.
Alice is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist who appreciates the hustle and bustle of day to day life and the barriers this may provide to factoring in routine exercise to aid with weight management. Considering this, she is realistic when it comes to exercise prescription. Alice understands that every client’s motivation, goals and physical abilities are different and therefore aims to provide each individual with the quality skills and knowledge required to help them through their weight loss journey. Alice provides treatment with a holistic attitude and aspires to implement SMART goals to achieve results. As well as at AOS, Alice works at AEP Health Group’s Ridgehaven and Woodville Clinics and can provide additional support through individualised exercise training and supervised group exercise sessions. Personally, Alice plays Premier League Netball and enjoys long walks on the beach with her husband and poochy.