Our Weight-loss Surgery Team

Our Team

Ben-Meir, MD

Aviv Ben-Meir, MD, FACS
Dr. Ben-Meir earned his medical degree at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in General Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and his advanced laparoscopy and bariatric surgery training at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Ben-Meir is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons and the Society for American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. He is board certified in General Surgery, and has performed approximately 4,000 laparoscopic bariatric procedures. Surgeries include: open and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass; laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy; laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, including Allergan Lap Band and Realize Band; and revisional surgery. He has been performing bariatric surgery in Northeastern Ohio since 2002 and has had patients travel from all over the country for his expertise.

Courtney Holbrook, PhD
Courtney has eight years of experience as a bariatric program psychologist and three years as a program manager. It is her job to ensure the office runs smoothly and that your needs are met in a timely and pleasant manner. She also conducts pre- and post-operative education and support groups.

Cindy Pund, RN
Cindy works with pre-operative patients ensuring that they meet the bariatric surgery requirements necessary for insurance approval. She also helps coordinate referrals and medical clearances to ensure all patients have a safe operation. Cindy is a RN who has both a strong medical background and good understanding of the insurance process.

Alexis Supan, MPH, RD
Alexis has previous experience working with bariatric surgery patients. She will meet with patients for their pre-operative nutrition education and post-operative dietary instruction, as well as conduct pre- and post-operative education and support groups. Alexis enjoys cooking and experimenting with new foods and recipes.


Registered Dietitian Caitlin McCullough - Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center

Caitlin McCullough, RD, LD
Caitlin is a clinical dietitian with the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center in Willoughby. She meets with bariatric surgery patients before and after surgery, and conducts nutrition classes. She loves educating patients about nutrition and helping them reach their health goals.

Hilary Hassinger, PhD
Hilary has worked with pre- and post-operative bariatric patients for 12 years in both private practice and as a bariatric program psychologist. She conducts pre-operative psychological evaluations, and in her current role as Program Psychologist, acts as a liaison between community based psychologists and pre-operative patients, and will lead pre- and post-operative groups.

Mihaela Donca, MD
Dr. Donca earned her medical degree from Cluj Napoca Medical University in Romania and completed her residency in internal medicine at Huron Hospital. She is board certified. Dr. Donca will meet with patients in the Bariatric Surgery Center 3-4 times prior to having their surgery. She will also be in the hospital during and after surgery to consult with Dr. Ben-Meir and answer any questions the patient or family may have.


Amanda Snyder, CNP, Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center

Amanda Snyder, CNP
Amanda completed her BSN degree at Bowling Green State University and completed an MSN degree as a family nurse practitioner at Ursuline College. Prior to surgery, Amanda meets with patients for a pre-op education class. She regularly sees patients during their hospital stay and helps in getting them ready to go home. Amanda stays involved in patients’ care and recovery at scheduled follow-up appointments and for any questions or concerns that patients may have. 


Shannon Gonzalez

Shannon Gonzalez
Shannon has worked in health care for over 15 years. She enjoys meeting patients and being a part of the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center team.

Want to learn more about bariatric surgery? Take our free, on-demand webinar. 


Choose a high-quality Bariatric Surgery Center

MBSAQIP Bariatric Seal

It is important to choose a bariatric surgery center that has a proven record of quality and safety. Lake Health’s Bariatric Surgery Center has been designated a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. This national accreditation is awarded to hospitals and surgeons following a rigorous review process during which a program proves it meets the highest standards regarding facilities, staffing and protocols for care. Lake Health's Bariatric Surgery Center has earned the designation of an Aetna Institute of Quality for Bariatric Surgery and a Bariatric Surgery Blue Center of Distinction by Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. In addition, Dr. Ben-Meir has performed weight-loss surgeries in Northeast Ohio longer than any other local surgeon, having completed more than 4,000 procedures with an outstanding safety record.