Specialty Providers & Staff
Our team and partner organizations include all of the specialties required to support the bariatric patient throughout their journey. Dr. Edmund Chute and Dr. Raymond Drew are dedicated bariatric surgeons with many years of experience in helping patients achieve excellent outcomes with minimal complications. Dr. Sidney Jones is an endocrinologist with the Ridgeview Specialty Clinics. He provides non-surgical medical consultation for bariatric patients. Our staff includes a dietitian, certified bariatric nurse, exercise physiologists, bariatric program manager and physical therapist, surgical assistant and insurance coordinator.
We have partnered with Northland Counseling Services, a group of experienced psychologists, marriage and family therapists and social workers dedicated to providing counseling assistance during life’s difficult challenges. Dr. Hal Baumchen, PsyD, LP, the executive director of Northland, works closely with the Bariatric & Weight Loss Center, providing clinical interviews, assessments and counseling for our patients and facilitating our Bariatric Support Group.
Ridgeview Medical Center offers a variety of other specialty services that may be required during the pre-operative assessment, including a Sleep Disorders Center, Imaging Services, Endoscopy, and the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Ridgeview Heart Center.
Anne Bechtel, RD, LD, received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She completed the Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management offered by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her background includes a Dietetic Internship at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration hospital and providing nutrition assessment and education for patients at Ridgeview Medical Center. She has specialized in working with patients undergoing bariatric surgery, including one-on-one counseling, nutrition education and leading our support group. She has a keen interest in partnering with patients interested in improving their health and well-being through weight loss.
Sandra Hanson, MS, ATC, graduated from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut and earned her Masters degree in Exercise Science from Southern Connecticut State University. She is a Certified Athletic Trainer and has worked with elite athletes at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center as well as swimmers with USA Swimming in Colorado Springs. Sandy has assisted a variety of patients receiving outpatient physical therapy at Ridgeview Rehab Specialties since 2010. She also provides exercise physiology consultations and education, pre- and post-operatively for patients having bariatric surgery. She has a knack for understanding the individual and works to help each person find a way to increase their activity and exercise level to progress in their weight loss journey and achieve a better quality of life.
Christine Jabs, LPN, recevied her nursing degree at South Central College. She has been with Ridgeview for seven years and has worked in Two Twelve Medical Center Urgent Care and Research. Along with collecting and monitoring patient health data, she assists with pre- and post-operative patient management. Chris reinforces education and serves as patient advocate in resolving patient needs. In her role at the Bariatric Center, Chris enjoys helping patients in achieving a health lifestyle.
Sally Simcox is the Clinical Specialist for the Bariatric and Weight Loss Clinic. She is also the Therapeutic Coach®/Health Coach for Weight Loss Clients with a specific interest in teaching/coaching individuals and groups to achieve excellence in their overall health including mind, body and spirit. Sally brings to the clinic extensive customer service experience, experience as a successful gastric bypass patient of Dr. Raymond Drew and years of training and education as a Therapeutic Coach®. She has trained with licensed Social Workers and Psychologists to obtain a deeper knowledge of the emotional/psychological/spiritual components of disease, in order to help others in that understanding. Her empathy, compassion and enthusiasm help patients/clients feel welcome and understood as they take the steps to living their best life.
Jon Anderson, CST/SA, has been working with Drs. Chute and Drew for more than a decade. He is extremely experienced in assisting in bariatric surgery and has helped with over 2,000 operations for weight loss. He has trained and shared his skills in laparoscopic bariatric surgery with numerous other assistants. His expertise and anticipation of surgical needs allows our surgeons to operate more quickly, safely and successfully.
Katy Van Tassell is the insurance coordinator, guiding patients through the many steps required in the preoperative process. Katy is an expert at gathering the appropriate documentation to gain insurance approval for bariatric surgery.