Bariatrics: Team

Bariatric surgery isn’t for everyone. Fort HealthCare’s Bariatric Program requires patients to meet medical, nutritional, psychological and exercise specialists before undergoing weight loss surgery. Every qualified patient must be confident in their ability to follow the dietary, exercise and behavioral recommendations after surgery. Approval from each area is required prior to undergoing surgery.
The traditional steps to surgery include:

  • Mandatory attendance at an Information Session
  • Detailed health history with bariatric coordinator to identify any potential exclusionary factors
  • Consult with surgeon Marc Erickson, MD
  • Nutritional evaluation with registered dietician to learn about the LAP-BAND diet
  • Psychological evaluation with behavioral service staff
  • Exercise evaluation with an exercise physiologist

These steps are necessary to ensure that the patient is ready for the life-changing process of weight loss surgery. Patients are rarely excluded, but in such and event other alternatives will be presented.

Marc Erickson, MD

As the only weight loss surgeon at Fort HealthCare, Dr. Erickson performed over 140 LAP-BAND® procedures between 2005 and 2010. Erickson is not a gastric bypass doctor. He continues to practice and add more expertise to his surgical skill set. To perform the LAP-BAND® surgery, a physician undergoes a multiphase process to become certified.

Standards include:

  • Demonstrated surgical and advanced laparoscopic skills.
  • Completed a training course, mandatory by the FDA.
  • Performed several surgeries under the observation of an experienced LAP-BAND® surgeon approved to proctor the case.
  • In addition to Dr. Erickson’s Bariatric experience, he has had an active general surgery and endoscopy practice for over 20 years.

View Mark's Physician Profile

Patrice Stair, RN and Bariatric Coordinator 

With over two decades of nursing experience Patrice brings knowledge, organization, detail and compassion to the Bariatric program, which she has coordinated since 2005. She is certified in the advanced pain management of the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System, so she can help alleviate painful side effects of the LAP-BAND® procedure.

Patrice can help patients understand that morbid obesity is not a choice that people make, rather it is a disease. She is passionate about helping each patient make the necessary lifestyle changes to have a successful weight loss experience.  She will walk you through every step of the way serving as a medical and emotional support through the process. Feel free to email Patrice for more information about the Bariatric Surgery program.

Stephanie Nischik or Lisa Ashwill – Nutrition Services

Nutrition and food choices are vital components of the LAP-BAND® program and our registered dieticians work with the patients to teach and guide them towards proper nutrition.  LAP-BAND® patients eat smaller amounts of food so it is the goal of nutrition services to educate patients to eat proper, nutritious foods to fill the pouch and maintain satiety (satisfaction). Extensive time is spent teaching you about your new LAP-BAND® diet.

Mary Lynn Mack, PhD or Steve Seaman, PhD – Psychology

Mental stability also plays a very big part in the success of a LAP-BAND® patient.  Because of this, every potential patient is evaluated by one of our board certified psychologists to determine if they are willing and capable of making the necessary lifestyle changes and will be able to follow through with the necessary changes.

Mary Mack, PhD       Steve Seaman, PhD

Lisa Michaels-Bilgrien or Jeanne Stefanac – Exercise Physiology

Exercise is the essential component to making weight loss a success with the LAP-BAND®.  You will lose minimal weight by placing the band around the stomach and eating less, but if you do not follow through on the fitness elements of the program, you will eventually experience a weight loss plateau.  

Fort HealthCare exercise physiologists evaluate potential LAP-BAND® patients to ensure they have the capability of performing some form of physical exercise.  Bariatric patients are not expected to be athletes, but they are expected to do minimal exercise with the intention that as the weight comes off, exercise time and intensity will increase.

The Fort HealthCare Cardiac Rehab Fitness Center is offered to LAP-BAND® patients as an option for exercise (fee charged) during regular gym hours.

LAP-BAND® is a registered trademark of Allergan, Inc.



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