Foundations of Obesity Care Course

Attend the Foundations of Obesity Care Course immediately preceding ObesityWeek 2024, where primary care physicians, academics, and inter-professional team members explore the complexities of effectively treating obesity. This continuing medical education event delves into the multifaceted nature of obesity, addressing its status as both a disease and a significant contributor to chronic conditions. Gain invaluable insights as we delve into weight bias recognition, weight history assessment, and identification of primary and secondary causes of obesity. Discover the key elements of assessing obesity-related complications such as NAFLD, PCOS, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic kidney disease; and learn how to properly employ first-level anti-obesity medications. Explore metabolic-bariatric surgical options and establish long-term management expectations. Expand your clinical knowledge, connect with leading experts, and gain the confidence to effectively treat patients with overweight or obesity in this concise weekend course.

This course is a ticketed event at the ObesityWeek conference requiring separate payment. All in-person course registrants will also receive on-demand recordings of the course at no additional fee. This 2-day course confers up to 12 CME credits that count toward ABIM MOC credits. This and all CME events produced by The Obesity Society count towards Group One credit when applying for the American Board of Obesity Medicine exam.

Beverages are served at this event. Meals are not included. Please have breakfast before you arrive. A 90-minute lunch break will happen at 12:15-1:45 pm Saturday and 12:45-2:15 pm on Sunday to allow attendees to go out to lunch on the San Antonio Riverwalk.


Course Director
Monica Agarwal, MD, MEHP, FACE, DABOM
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Monica Agarwal is an Endocrinologist and Obesity Medicine specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She is Professor of Medicine at UAB and the Director of the UAB Obesity Medicine Fellowship Program. She is the Parenteral Nutrition Specialist and MOVE Physician Champion at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. She is Chair of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Disease State Network for Obesity and Nutrition and Vice-Chair of the AACE Education Oversight Committee. She is the Co-Chair of The Obesity Society (TOS) Education Committee. She has served on several national committees at the AACE, TOS, American Society of Nutrition (ASN), and the American Society of Parenteral and enteral nutrition (ASPEN).

Course Co-Director
Jonathan Purnell, MD, FTOS, DABOM
Oregon Health & Science University

I am Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, OR, USA, with board-certification in both Endocrinology and Obesity Medicine. My research interests include understanding the causes and consequences of obesity, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidaemia and diabetes in humans.

Saturday, November 2, 2024


Amanda Velazquez, MD, DiplABOM
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Amanda Velazquez graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree in Nutrition, with honors, and received her MD from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She did internal medicine residency at Indiana University School of Medicine: Indianapolis and subsequently<br>completed the Nutrition and Obesity Medicine fellowship program at Boston University School of Medicine. She recently joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as the Director of Obesity Medicine in the department of surgery. Her research interests have focused on pharmacotherapy treatments of obesity, ways to enhance undergraduate and graduate medical education of obesity medicine and nutrition, as well as reducing weight bias and stigma among healthcare professionals.

Understanding Obesity as a Chronic Disease – Definitions, Epidemiological Insights, and Implications for Clinical Practice


Daniel Bessesen, MD, FTOS
Professor of Medicine
University of Colorado

Dan Bessesen is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine. He is the Director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and Director of the University of Colorado Obesity Medicine Fellowship. He is a Past President of The Obesity Society.

Fundamentals of Weight Regulation: Exploring the Physiology and Pathophysiology of Overweight and Obesity


Holly Lofton, MD, DABOM
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery and Medicine
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Dr. Holly Lofton graduated from Medical College of Georgia with her MD in 2000. She then completed residency at Lenox Hill Hospital in Internal Medicine. She followed her passion to complete an Obesity Medicine and Nutrition fellowship at Geisinger Medical Center, where she later became faculty. She has been the Director of the Medical Weight Management at NYU Langone health since 2012 where she treats patients for weight conditions, directs the Obesity Medicine Fellowship, and conducts clinical research.

Confronting Obesity Stigma and Bias in Clinical Settings: Effective Communication Strategies with Patients and Families

12:15 pm – 1:45 pm Lunch Break (on own)


Scott Butsch, MD, MSc, FTOS
Director of Obesity Medicine
Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Saroja Voruganti, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Associate Director for Clinical Research services in Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her Ph.D. in Nutrition from The University of Texas at Austin in 2005. She did her post-doctoral training in genetic epidemiology at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. Dr. Voruganti joined the faculty at NRI and Department of Nutrition at UNC Chapel Hill in 2013 and was promoted to Associate Professor in October 2019. Her research focuses on identifying genetic susceptibility to diseases such as obesity, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, effect of genetic variation on nutrient metabolism and the effect of nutrients on gene expression related to these diseases. She has extensively investigated the interplay between nutritional and genetic factors influencing disease risk in ethnically diverse populations, especially underrepresented populations such as Mexican American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Parsi Zoroastrian and Hispanic populations.

Obesity Assessment: Measuring Adiposity, Uncovering Causes, and Screening for Complications


Meera Shah, MD
Director of Diabesity Center
Mayo Clinic Rochester

Dr. Meera Shah is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Clinical Endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Her clinical interests are in the medical management of obesity and nutritional compilations after bariatric surgery, while her research focus is in the evolution of diabetes following gastric bypass surgery.

Dietary Strategies for Weight Management: Efficacy, Benefits, and Limitations of Individual and Family-Based Approaches


Robert Newton, PhD
Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Dr. Robert L. Newton, Jr. is currently a Professor and Director of the Physical Activity and Ethnic Minority Health Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. His research examines the effect of community-based lifestyle interventions on the health of African Americans across the lifespan. A growing area of research is lifestyle interventions in older African Americans and its effects on cognitive function.

Physical Activity in Weight Management: Exploring the Benefits and Boundaries


Ania Jastreboff, MD, PhD, DABOM
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Yale University School of Medicine

Dr. Jastreboff is an Obesity Medicine physician-scientist, board certified in adult Endocrinology and Metabolism, Pediatric Endocrinology, and Obesity Medicine. She is nationally and internationally recognized in the Obesity Medicine field for developing Clinical Practice Guidelines (2016) for The Comprehensive Care of Patients with Obesity (AACE/ACE), serving on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM), educating the next generation of Obesity Medicine physicians by teaching annually at Harvard Blackburn Treating Obesity course and the Columbia/Cornell Obesity course, and conducting cutting-edge clinical translational obesity research. Her research includes both large, multi-center clinical outcomes trials using anti-obesity medication as well as neuroimaging studies (fMRI and PET) examining the neurobiology underlying obesity and the mechanisms of anti-obesity medications. Recently, Dr. Jastreboff served as the lead author on the SURMOUNT-1 trial investigating novel GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist, tirzepatide, for the treatment of obesity (Jastreboff, et al., NEJM, 2022).A decade after completing her MD, Dr. Jastreboff decided to purse further education, completing her PhD at Yale University’s Investigative Medicine Program focused on translational and clinical investigation. Dr. Jastreboff’s research is supported by NIH/NIDDK (R01s) and industry funded global, multi-center clinical trials.Clinically, Dr. Jastreboff specializes in sophisticated use of anti-obesity medication combinations to help patients reach their weight and health goals.

Navigating Anti-Obesity Medications for Adults: Strategies, Challenges, and Long-Term Management – Case Based Discussion with Patient Perspective

Sunday, November 3, 2024


Sriram Machineni, MD, DABOM
Fleischer Institute Medical Weight Center

Dr. Machineni received his medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. He completed a clinical and research fellowship in Obesity and metabolism from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He founded an obesity treatment, education and clinical trials program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Machineni was recently recruited to start a new Medical Obesity Center at the Montefiore Medical Center / Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY. His research interests include studying heterogeneity of response to various obesity treatments.

From Pre-Op to Post-Op: How to Talk About Metabolic-Bariatric Surgery Options and Provide Comprehensive Patient Care


Michael Albert, MD
Accomplish Health

Dr. Michael Albert received his MD from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He completed his medical training at Cedars-Sinai, where he stayed on as junior faculty as the Kennamer Fellow and then served as joint faculty for the Departments of Medicine and Surgery during which he founded the medical weight management program at The Weight Loss Center. Dr. Albert recently co-founded and serves as CMO for a national virtual medical weight management practice.

Practical Applications in Obesity Management: Telehealth, Billing, and Prior Authorizations

11:15 am – 12:45 pm  Case Based Learning: Targeted Obesity Management for Treating Related Complications


12:45 pm – 2:15 pm Lunch Break (on own)


2:15 pm – 3:45 pm  Case Based Learning: Targeted Obesity Management for Treating Related Complications