Medical Team

Medical Team - Bariatric Surgeons & Staff

The Temple Bariatric Program uses a multidisciplinary approach that brings a wide variety of specialists together to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Not only do we have some of the finest bariatric surgeons in the region, but we provide a unique support system that will help you maintain your "new you" for a lifetime.

Our team of doctors and health professionals consists of surgeons (who perform gastric banding, gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and duodenal switch surgeries), nurse practitioners, surgical assistants, registered dietitians, psychiatrists, nurses, case managers, home caregivers, and administrative assistants.

All Temple patients undergo thorough pre-operative testing and receive a private consultation with a Temple bariatric surgeon. After the tests are complete, our bariatric team meets with each patient to review his or her readiness for bariatric surgery. On the day of surgery, our surgeons meet with each patient prior to the procedure, talk to the family members after surgery, and monitor patients closely while they are hospitalized. All of our patients are carefully followed post-operatively at regular intervals during the first year, and at least annually thereafter.

Temple bariatric surgeons are board certified.


Michael A. Edwards, MD, FACS
Chief, General and Minimally Invasive Surgery
Director, Bariatric Surgery, Temple University Hospital
Clinical Interests: Minimally invasive (laparoscopic) bariatric surgery, solid organ surgery (adrenalectomy, spleenectomy), esophageal and gastric surgery, gastric electrical neurostimulator placement for gastroparesis, simple and complex hernia surgery, and basic open and laparoscopic general surgery; clinical, psychological and dietary outcomes following obesity surgery
Education: George Washington University School of Medicine
Training: Fellowship, Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Fellowship, Surgical Critical Care, Barnes-Jewish Hospital; Residency, General Surgery, George Washington University Hospital
Certification: Surgical Critical Care, General Surgery

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Edwards, click here.

Tatyan M. Clarke, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Temple University School of Medicine
Clinical interests: Bariatric surgery including minimally invasive techniques and open gastric bypass; gastrointestinal surgery; laparoscopic hernia surgery
Education: University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
Training: Fellowship, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Mayo Clinic–Florida; Residency, General Surgery, University of Southern California
Certification: General Surgery

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Clarke, click here.

Rohit Soans, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Temple University School of Medicine
Clinical Interests: Minimally invasive (laparoscopic) bariatric surgery
Education: Penn State College of Medicine
Training: Fellowship, Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery, Magee-Women's Hospital; Residency, General Surgery, Riverside Methodist Hospital
Certification: General Surgery (board-eligible)

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Soans, click here.

Eric Velazquez, MD, FACS
Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Clinical Interests: General, minimally invasive, and bariatric surgery. His research interests include metabolic and bariatric surgery, robotic surgery, and abdominal wall reconstruction
Education: the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo
Training: Fellowship, Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery, New York Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery; Residency, General Surgery, New York Medical College at Westchester Medical Center
Certification: Surgery

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Velazquez, click here.


Temple psychologists evaluate bariatric surgery candidates during the initial assessment period to help determine whether patients qualify as candidates for bariatric surgery. Lifestyle habits are reviewed and recommendations are provided to optimize your success after surgery.

Christopher J. Combs, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, Temple University School of Medicine





Jeffrey S. Grand, PsyD
Licensed Psychologist




Program Manager

The bariatric program manager oversees the non-clinical administration of the bariatric program. The manager assists in various aspects of the patient process, including bariatric seminars and education classes.

Patricia Bernard, RN, BSN, CBN
Bariatric Program Manager



Physician Assistants

Temple physician assistants administer patient care under the surgeon’s direction, seeing patients both in the clinic and in the hospital (pre- and post-operative) and facilitating patient care throughout the entire process.

Baljit Kaur, MS, PA-C
Physician Assistant


Temple nurses are focused on patient care and are intimately involved in the pre- and post-operative process, helping guide bariatric surgery patients every step of the way. Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible clinical and lifestyle outcomes.

Rosenie R. Baldé LPN, BS
Licensed Practical Nurse



Melissa Smith, LPN
Licensed Practical Nurse


Temple dietitians analyze your current eating habits and help prepare you to make healthy food choices both before and after surgery. This is an important component for long-term success. Dietitians participate in the pre-operative educational classes and conduct an individual consultation with the patient, which all Temple patients attend before surgery. Patients are also seen by the dietitians in the hospital after surgery for post-operative educational reinforcement and encouragement.

Mercedes Villar, RD, LDN

Victoria Natali, RD, LDN

Bethany Pavesi, RD, LDN

Rachel Wooters, RD, LDN


Other Team Members

Nyeesha Miller
Administrative Coordinator

Nivia Little
Patient Coordinator

Jerry Cosme
Administrative Coordinator

Tracy Rocks
Administrative Coordinator

To register for a free informational seminar or to make an appointment for a consultation with a Temple bariatric surgeon, click here or call
1-800-Temple-Med (1-800-836-7536).

Temple's bariatric surgeons practice at Temple University Hospital, located in Philadelphia, PA.

Learn more about the Temple Bariatric Program: