At the Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics, your journey to successful weight loss is supported by an entire team from the moment you meet with us through understanding insurance options and after your bariatric procedure.
The Lutfi Forward Team will offer you support through your entire journey.
Rami Lutfi, MD, DABOM, FACS, FASMBS
Dr. Rami Lutfi is internationally renowned for his work on the latest treatments of obesity. He has performed thousands of bariatric procedures, and has written extensively about metabolic and bariatric surgery for leading medical journals. Dr. Lutfi travels around the globe training other metabolic and bariatric surgeons on the most recent, innovative techniques utilized today. He is the former President of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation and the Past President of the Illinois Association of Bariatric Surgery. Recently, Dr. Lutfi became a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine
John Mitko, MD, DABOM
Dr. John Mitko graduated with high honors from Ross University School of Medicine, and then completed his general surgery residency at TriHealth Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. He completed a fellowship in advanced laparoscopy, minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at Summa Health in Akron, Ohio. There he further developed his skill set for both the medical and surgical management of obesity. Dr. Mitko is active at the local and national level of the American Society for Metabolic Surgery with a focus on increasing access to care and has published several research articles on caring for the obese population.
Suzi Hamby, PA-C, RD, LDN
Suzi Hamby is a Physician Assistant and Registered Dietitian specializing in medical weight loss management. She has earned a Certificate of Advanced Education in Obesity Medicine from the Obesity Medicine Association. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago and completed her Dietetic Internship at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Suzi has a passion for working with patients to improve their quality of life and achieve long-term weight loss.
Christina Calderon, FNP (AANP)
Christina Calderon is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in Psychology. She obtained her Bachelors of Nursing from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She worked at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Hospital in the Transition Care Center, caring for high-acuity children of all ages. Christina pursued a master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN where she trained at Equitas Health Center, a non-profit health system serving underrepresented groups including the LGBTQ+ community and those with HIV/AIDs. Christina is passionate about breaking stigmas in the healthcare system especially when it comes to obesity and metabolic diseases.
Franchesca Panganiban, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian and Digital Marketing Coordinator
Franchesca Panganiban is our Registered Dietitian and Digital Marketing Coordinator at the Chicago Institute of Advanced Surgery. Franchesca earned her BS in General Studies of Psychology and Nursing from Illinois State University. She completed her Masters of Nutrition and dietetic internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Franchesca is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and received an award as a Diversity Student Partner. Franchesca is passionate about helping patients with nutrition education for a wide variety of medical and surgical conditions.
Chief Financial Officer and Practice Manager
Christine Garcia is our expert insurance verification specialist. She will work with your insurance company to figure out your individual coverage and requirements needed for bariatric surgery approval. She joined the Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics over ten years ago, and has helped thousands of patients understand their insurance options and have a worry-free journey to weight loss surgery approval.
Yolanda Cosme is the face you see at the front desk Monday-Friday from 9am -5 pm. She has been employed with Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics since 2013. Yolanda is the person that will coordinate your appointments needed for insurance requirements and for bariatric surgery approval. Her ability to speak both English and Spanish helps her communicate with many patients in the language they feel most comfortable. Yolanda experiences great joy in providing you a helping hand throughout your journey!