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Meet Our Team | 1-877-WHY-WEIGHT

Dr. Tallal Zeni Medical Director, Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery, St. Mary Mercy Livonia

Dr. ZeniDr. Zeni joined the St. Mary Mercy Hospital's Medical Staff in 2005. He is board certified in general surgery and fellowship trained in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Evanston IL. Dr. Zeni has also conducted research in bariatric surgery and recently presented his research at two National and International Surgical Meetings. He performs surgery at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Oakland in Pontiac.

Dr. Zeni received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University. He graduated from medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine where he also did his residency. He completed his fellowship at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare and is board certified by the American Board of Surgery. He is a professional member of SAGES, SLS, ACS and ASMBS.

Dr. Zeni is interested in minimally invasive/advanced laparoscopic surgery including:

  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Adjustable Gastric Banding
  • Hiatal Hernia Repair and Nissen Fundoplication
  • Gastric Resections
  • Splenectomy
  • Colectomy
  • Incisional Hernia Repairs
  • Inguinal Hernia Repairs
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Appendectomy
  • Nephrectomy

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Dr. Jacob Roberts Medical Director, Bariatric Surgery, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland

Dr. Jacob Roberts, Advanced Laparoscopic General and Bariatric Surgeon, is a part of the St. Mary Mercy Medical Staff.  He is working with Tallal Zeni, MD at the Michigan Bariatric Institute and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgical Associates.  He is performing surgeries at both St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac.

Dr. Roberts received his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University. He then went to medical school at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. His residency was at St. John Oakland Hospital and his fellowship was at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare. He is board certified by the American Board of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Roberts is interested in minimally invasive/advanced laparoscopic surgery including:

  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Adjustable Gastric Banding
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Hiatal Hernia Repair and Nissen Fundoplication
  • Incisional and Inguinal Hernia Repair
  • Splenectomy
  • Gastric Resections
  • Colectomy
  • Appendectomy
  • Anti-Reflux Surgery
  • Benign & Malignant Breast Surgery

Professional Memberships

  • ACOS
  • AOA

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Paula Magid Program Director

Paula Magid has been MBI's Program Director from the beginning of the program, in 2005. She has an extensive background in Occupational Therapy/Rehabilitation Services, which she still practices in today. She began working in bariatrics in 2004 when she realized she found her passion. Paula is also a RNY Gastric Bypass post-operative patient and has lost 160lbs. She is very compassionate and understanding with the bariatric patients as they look to her as a role model. Her interest and knowledge in bariatric surgery, weight discrimination and prejudice led to co-authoring a book for weight loss surgery patients with Angela Van De Ven (Bickman) and Dr. Steven Baum entitled From the Inside Out: Resolving Obesity Through the New Science of Bariatrics.

Paula is a proud wife, mother of 2, and grandmother to 3 beautiful boys. She likes to spend her spare time with her family as much as possible. She loves to travel and then scrapbook the fond memories of all her trips.

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Jenny Kasprzyk, RD Program Manager

Jenny Kasprzyk graduated from Central Michigan University in 2000 where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics. She has been a part of the Michigan Bariatric Institute team since May 2008. She previously worked as a Registered Dietitian at Macomb County Health Department-WIC. Jenny is currently working at both MBI offices at St. Mary Mercy of Livonia and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland.

Jenny believes that obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight can be very difficult but improvement in quality of life is worth it! Having a healthy relationship with food, a good support system, regular exercise, and a positive attitude are keys to reaching one's goal. Believing in the goal is the best step towards achieving it.

In her free time, Jenny enjoys working as a dance instructor at a private dance studio where she teaches children of all ages.

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Tamara Lark, RD Program Dietitian

Tamara Lark, RD graduated from Bluffton College in Bluffton, Ohio in 2000 with a degree in Food and Nutrition/Dietetics. She completed her internship at Mount Carmel College of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio. She previously worked as a Public Health Dietitian at WIC in Tiffin, Ohio before coming to St. Mary Mercy Hospital in February 2005.

Tamara enjoys her role in helping patients at MBI work toward adopting a healthier lifestyle. She believes that weight loss surgery is about more than weight loss and seeking an "ideal" number on the scale; it is also about adopting new behaviors as related to food and lifestyle that will influence a lifetime of better weight and health management.

In her free time, Tamara enjoys spending as much time as she can with her husband, son, family and friends. 

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Katie Tuomi, RD Program Dietitian

Katie joined MBI in June 2013. She graduated from Madonna University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics. She completed her internship at Central Michigan University, where she is also pursuing her Master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Katie previously worked as a registered dietitian with the DMC at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

In her free time, Katie coaches high school volleyball and enjoys playing as well. Katie also likes to spend time with family and friends, be outdoors and craft.

Katie is excited about helping bariatric patients achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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Angie Van De Ven Patient Coordinator

Angie joined MBI August 2005 as the Patient Coordinator. She graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a B.A. in psychology. Her interest in Bariatric surgery, weight discrimination and prejudice lead to co-authoring a book for weight loss surgery patients with Paula Magid and Dr. Steven Baum entitled From the Inside Out: Resolving Obesity Through the New Science of Bariatrics.

In 2010 Angie received her MBA with a certificate in Non-profit Leadership from Madonna University. In addition, her increasing responsibilities within MBI lead to her promotion to Patient Coordinator. Each patient that contacts MBI often interacts with Angie from their initial consultation, through surgery, and beyond- and she enjoys meeting with each and every one!

In her spare time, Angie enjoys reading non-fiction books, going to the movies with her husband Dave, and playing with her son Gavin, who was born in September, 2009. She also enjoys taking her Siberian Husky, Koda, for walks.

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Sheila Thompson, RN Data Abstraction Specialist

Sheila joined Michigan Bariatric Institute in January 2012. Sheila is a long time RN with previous Internal Medicine and Cardiology experience. In addition to her nursing degree, she also received her Bachelor's degree in Business from the University of Houston. Sheila is excited to join MBI's team and assist patients in their successful journey towards a healthier life.

Sheila is the mother of two teenage daughters, one of whom is attending Michigan State University. She has been married for over 25 years to her husband, Mark. Spending time with her family, walking, yoga, and reading, are all activities Sheila enjoys doing.

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Kelly Johnson, Ph.D., LP Program Psychologist

Dr. Johnson specializes in all aspects of evaluation and treatment of bariatric patients. She has completed over 3,500 psychological evaluations for bariatric patients, has spoken numerous times at bariatric meetings in hospitals and clinics, and has run a no-charge therapeutic support group for over five years. Dr. Johnson has made the commitment to help bariatric patients “wherever, whenever, and however” is necessary. She has completed evaluations for patients who are homebound at her own expense and spends several hours each week doing pro-bono work for the bariatric community. She is an advocate for the disabled and has worked extensively with those who have “fallen through the cracks,” including counseling for the homeless and underprivileged at an area mission.

Dr. Johnson has been on the teaching staff of Schoolcraft College since 2000, Delta College since 2003, and Spring Arbor University since 2005. She has taught for Wayne State University and Washtenaw Community College as well and is well-known as a warm, dynamic, knowledgeable, humorous, and inspiring instructor. Dr. Johnson is able to bring her clinical experience into the classroom and give her students “real-world” psychological instruction.

Dr. Johnson has completed research into maintenance success factors for gastric bypass patients (2008). Currently, Dr. Johnson is beginning research into alcohol dependence after surgery and looks forward to publishing results early in 2013.

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Rebecca Johnson General Surgery Coordinator

Rebecca Johnson joined MBI in May 2013. She graduated from Madonna University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 2008. She has worked in the medical field since 2002 and is excited to work with both bariatric and general surgery patients.

Rebecca has been married to a wonderful, supportive husband since 2008. The welcomed their daughter in 2011. She is also a proud stepmom to two teenage daughters. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her family, friends and two dogs.


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Jessica Boldizar, CMA Medical Assistant

Jessica joined MBI in October 2014. She graduated in 2010 from Schoolcraft College with a degree in Medical Assisting. She completed her externship at U of M. Previously, she worked as a Medical Assistant for a Primary Care Doctor's officer.

She enjoys reading and spending time with her husband, kids, family and friends.

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Jennifer Montressor, NP-C Program Nurse Practioner

Jennifer Montressor joined MBI in September 2014, graduating from the Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Detroit Mercy. She has a wide variety of nursing experience, predominantly in the role of registered nurse first assistant in the operating room. This has provided her with a strong foundation and knowledge base in surgical procedures as well as the pre-operative and post-operative management of patients. She has also had clinical rotations in internal medicine, neurosurgery, women's health and orthopedics.

Jennifer is married with three grown children and one grandson. In her free time she enjoys playing softball, reading, traveling, and exploring Michigan with her husband on their Harleys.

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  Meet the Team

Dr. Talal Zeni
Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Jacob Roberts
Bariatric Surgeon

Paula Magid
Program Director

Jenny Kasprzyk
Program Manager

Tamara Lark
Program Dietitian

Katie Tuomi
Program Dietitian

Angie Van De Ven
Patient Coordinator

Sheila Thompson
Data Abstraction Specialist

Kelly Johnson
Program Psychologist

Rebecca Johnson
General Surgery Coordinator

Jessica Boldizar
Medical Assistant

Jennifer Montressor
Program Nurse Practioner

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St. Mary Mercy Livonia | 36475 Five Mile, Livonia, Michigan 48154 | 734-655-4800