Our Team's Expertise
You are about to make a decision that will transform your life.
You want a weight loss surgery team that understands your journey and can help you reach your goals.
The Mather Hospital Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery features one of New York’s most experienced and successful bariatric surgeons and weight loss surgery teams who deliver the best results as well as an encouraging support team that will be with you every step of the way.
Throughout your experience, you will benefit from our advanced expertise, knowledge and surgical skill, all delivered in a supportive and encouraging environment.
We also understand that every patient is different — and you deserve a personal touch when it comes to your weight loss surgery so you can make choices that are right for you and your lifestyle. You will be welcomed into our family who are here to support you — from helping you get ready for surgery, through your procedure and all along your essential post-surgical period.
Our team is led by Arif Ahmad, MD, Director of the Mather Hospital Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, who has more than 30 years of surgical experience, with 15 years specializing in bariatric surgery, and is among the nation’s most respected and honored experts in this field.
Support is essential to your weight loss journey. Our team includes medical professionals, therapists and nutritionists, all of whom are specially trained in supporting you through this journey, to provide you with a comprehensive plan for success.
Let our family of support help you achieve your weight loss goals.
"We have helped about 4,000 patients suffering from obesity vastly improve their health and quality of life, and it is my proud privilege to be the founder and director of this outstanding program. Our results are unrivaled anywhere in the United States."
Arif Ahmad, MD, FRCS, FACS, is recognized as one of the country’s top bariatric surgeons.
Dr. Ahmad is a board-certified surgeon with extensive fellowship training in advanced laparoscopic surgery, including bariatric surgery. He specializes in all areas of bariatric surgery — including laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy, Gastric Bypass, Gastric Banding, Revisional Bariatric Surgery and others. He is an expert in minimally invasive surgery, using small incisions that result in minimal pain, less scarring and shorter recovery.
With more than 30 years of surgical experience, Dr. Ahmad has been recognized as one of America’s Top Surgeons by Consumer Research Council of America and a Top Doctor by Long Island Pulse Magazine.
Dr. Ahmad is a pioneer in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and became the first surgeon in Suffolk County to the use da Vinci® Surgical System, one of the world’s most advanced surgical platforms.
Dr. Ahmad has completed numerous prestigious fellowships in the U.S. and United Kingdom, including the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), an advanced training fellowship at Harvard Medical School, a five-year residency at the University of Connecticut and an advanced laparoscopic surgery fellowship at the University of Virginia. He has taught other doctors how to perform bariatric surgery at Stony Brook University and was a founder of the Department of Bariatric Surgery at Mather Hospital. His private practice is Long Island Laparoscopic Surgery in Port Jefferson, NY.
Seema Ahmad, MA, coordinates the Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery with Dr. Ahmad's practice and helps patients embrace their new lifestyles after weight loss surgery.
Seema helps you set short- and long-term goals, teaches you to recognize healthier eating and exercise habits and helps you make the behavioral modifications that prepare you for future physiological and psychological changes.
She also runs our Support Groups and is active in the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), especially in areas focused on behavioral health.
"I am proud to be part of the Mather family for the past 25 years and privileged to be part of the bariatric family for the last 12 years. Dr. Ahmad and the gastric bypass surgery saved my life."
AnnaMarie Braslow is the Nursing Clinical Coordinator for the Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. She has an extraordinary capacity for empathy and has provided compassionate care to bariatric patients during her years of nursing at Mather.
In fact, AnnaMarie herself is a patient of Dr. Ahmad, having successfully undergone gastric bypass surgery in 2007. She has been at Mather Hospital for nearly 25 years and has worked with Dr. Ahmad and the bariatric program since its inception in 2004. AnnaMarie is certified in Critical Care Nursing and in Bariatric Nursing, has an Executive MBA and is currently finishing a Master’s degree in Nursing.
“The most rewarding part of my job is helping people reach their nutritional goals safely, without compromising taste. My patients are such an important part of my life and I always go the extra mile to ensure they are comfortable and happy with their new life changes.”
Linda Folken, a Registered Dietitian, is the Nutrition Education Coordinator for the Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (COEMBS).
Linda has been a member of the COEMBS team since 2007 and serves as an integral part in helping people safely change their eating behaviors without compromising taste or nutrition. She currently leads a team of nutrition professionals who serve in a multidisciplinary team approach to weight management.
She has practiced in the healthcare field as a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist for more than 30 years. She specializes in surgical and medical weight management.
Linda completed the Commission on Dietetic Registration certificate in Training in Adult Weight Management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a certified Health Coach through the American College of Exercise (ACE) as well as a Spin instructor.
“I take great pride ensuring that our patients receive the best quality of care within our family.”
Lucia Bush, MBA, is Business Manager for the Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and oversees the Bariatric Insurance Verification team. She joined the team in 2013.
In addition to speaking five languages, Lucia brings with her more than 16 years of experience in healthcare, of which she has held a managerial position for over 10 years.
Lucia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Languages and has earned her Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration.
She has successfully initiated the startup of several healthcare facilities and private practices.