MBSAQIP Accredited Center Seal | Cleveland Clinic

For many severely overweight people, repeated attempts at diet and exercise have been unsuccessful. This often results in frustration and a sense of hopelessness. Furthermore, obesity is associated with many health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which have been shown to reduce life span. If you or someone you know has been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise or a medical weight loss management program, help is available. Weight-loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, may be an appropriate option.

Akron General has a dedicated, knowledgeable and patient-centered team of weight-loss specialists who are here to support you and help you find the best, and most healthy, solutions for your weight-loss difficulties. With help from our specialists in sleep disorders, gastroenterology and nutrition, cardiology, internal medicine, psychology and other obesity-related fields, as needed, our patients receive the support they need for a permanent return to health.

Our Bariatric Center is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), a joint project of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). MBSAQIP accreditation means you have access to a comprehensive and multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success.

Am I a candidate?

You could be a candidate for surgical weight loss if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You are more than 100 lbs. over your ideal body weight
  • You have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40
  • You have a BMI of over 35 and are experiencing severe, negative health effects, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, related to being severely overweight
  • You are unable to achieve a healthy body weight for a sustained period of time, even through medically-supervised dieting

Considering bariatric weight-loss surgery?

Attend one of our free bariatric information sessions, which are designed to help you make an informed decision about weight-loss surgery. Listen to one of our Cleveland Clinic Akron General surgeons describe morbid obesity and the surgical options used to treat this disease.

Additionally, we offer a free bariatric support group for patients who have already had surgery.



Our Bariatric Center offers a comprehensive program that includes educational classes, medically supervised weight loss and monthly support group sessions.

For many severely overweight people, repeated attempts at diet and exercise have been unsuccessful. Surgical treatment for weight loss may be recommended for those with morbid obesity, or people with severe obesity who have obesity-related health problems.

We offer an array of surgical approaches for the treatment of obesity. Most patients go home the very next day.





Our staff includes board-certified surgeons and nurse practitioners, as well as a dedicated team of dietitians, psychologists, registered nurses, health and fitness professionals and surgical technicians. Additionally, we work closely with your primary care doctor, as well as any appropriate specialists, who could include gastroenterology, endocrinology, cardiology, internal medicine and other obesity-related fields.

Meet our Medical Team

christopher daigle
Christopher Daigle, MD, FRCSC, FACS

Christopher Daigle, MD, is the Medical Director and Chief of Bariatric Surgery at Akron General. He completed his bariatric fellowship training at Cleveland Clinic. He currently serves as the president-elect of the Ohio/Kentucky state chapter of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He is also an accomplished researcher in the field of bariatric surgery with over 70 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and meeting presentations.

marita bauman
Marita Bauman, MD
Marita Bauman, MD, is originally from Indiana where she attended medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her surgical residency at Indiana University in Indianapolis. Dr. Bauman then moved to Cleveland where she completed an advanced laparoscopic, endoscopic and bariatric surgery fellowship at Cleveland Clinic. She specializes in bariatric surgery, in addition to a wide range of minimally invasive procedures treating reflux, hiatal hernias, gastroparesis, achalasia and other general surgical diseases.

amy laktash
Amy Laktash, NP
Amy Laktash, NP, received her master’s degree from The University of Akron after completing a bachelor’s in nursing at Miami University. She currently works as a nurse practitioner for the Bariatric Center, as well as the clinical coordinator for the Center’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MSAQIP). She has more than 10 years of clinical and healthcare administration experience with Akron General and is certified as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She resides in West Akron with her husband, Mike, and son, Milo.

julie linder
Julie Linder, NP
Julie Linder, NP, a family nurse practitioner, received her master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University, and a bachelor's degree in biology and nursing from The University of Akron. She has a passion for health promotion, disease prevention and the treatment of obesity.

serena stevens
Serena D. Stevens, PhD
Serena D. Stevens, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in the Bariatric Center. She completed her PhD at Loma Linda University, with clinical and research emphases in eating disorders, body image, weight stigma, and weight management. Dr. Stevens also completed a fellowship in Health Psychology at the Cleveland Clinic, with a dual emphasis on managing the behavioral health aspects of individuals diagnosed with MS, as well as individuals pursuing weight loss surgery. Dr. Stevens works with patients while they are preparing for bariatric surgery, helping them identify emotions, thoughts and behaviors that could be unsafe or could get in the way of being successful following surgery.

chelsey ludwiczak
Chelsey Ludwiczak, RD
Chelsey Ludwiczak, RD, graduated from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio with a bachelor’s degree through the Coordinated Program in Dietetics. She also completed various internships at Trumbull County WIC and Northside Medical Center in Youngstown, Ohio. Chelsey is currently a licensed dietitian in the state of Ohio and has received ServSafe Manager certification. Additionally, she is member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and has received a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management.

Megan Martin

Megan Martin, RD, LD
Megan Martin, RD, LD, graduated from the University of Akron with a bachelor’s degree through the Coordinated Program in Dietetics. She also completed over 1250 clinical hours at various locations including Cleveland Clinic, Summa Akron City and Portage County WIC. Megan is currently a licensed dietitian in the state of Ohio and has received her ServSafe Manager certification. Additionally, she has received ALLY and CITI training certifications and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 



To find out more about how Akron General can help you reach your weight loss goals, please call 330.344.1950.



Looking for more information?


Being overweight or obese is much more than about appearance and cosmetics – it’s truly a health problem with risks of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancer and more. Dr. Christopher Daigle discusses how bariatric surgery can help chronic health conditions on WKYC's Live on Lakeside show.

Treatment Guide

Patient Stories