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Our Bariatric Staff

Karen Hillenmeyer, B.S., PA-C, Administrative Director

Karen received her undergraduate and Physician Assistant education at the University of Kentucky. She has worked in general and vascular surgery since 1981. Karen has assisted in over 7000 laparoscopic procedures, and over 1,000 gastric bypass procedures. She has developed our hospital program, facilitating staff training and assembly of our staff. Karen is available to help patients with pre- or post-operative issues as well as to assist with intraoperative and in-house patient care. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons and the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.

Steven D. Stanley, ARNP, FNP-BC, Bariatric Coordinator

Steven received his Bachelors of Nursing in 1997 at Morehead State University. He has worked in the surgical field his entire career.  He became a Registered Nurse First Assistant in 2003 and ran a successful practice assisting surgeons within many specialties. He received his Masters in Nursing from The Frontier School of Family Nursing and is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. He is the newest member of the Saint Joseph Center for Weight Loss Surgery and will be coordinating the program at Saint Joseph Hospital. Steven is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and the American College of Nurse Practitioners.

Donna Marshall, Patient Coordinator

Donna received her nursing degree in 1972. She has worked in health care for 30 years. Donna coordinates our patient's appointments before and after surgery. She assists our insurance coordinator in providing materials to insurance companies for approval. Donna will help you to choose your surgery date, answer questions, and provide loving support.

Amanda Nighbert, RD, LD, Bariatric Dietitian

Amanda is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She meets with each patient both before and after surgery to provide one-on-one instruction and answers questions regarding food choices. Amanda leads our Nutritional Seminars, which are a requirement of all pre-operative patients. During this seminar, patients are given detailed instruction on nutritional requirements through each phase of weight loss.

Billi J. Benson, B.A., MEd, Exercise Physiologist 

Billi sees patients for a physical assessment before and after surgery during assigned time intervals. She will make recommendations for a personalized exercise program based on each patient's physical ability, limitations and needs. Billi uses our private in-office gym for personalized exercise instruction. She is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Lillie Harris, RN, CBN

Lillie is a full-time Registered Nurse at the Center. She received specialized certification as a Bariatric Nurse from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Lillie has worked with Bariatric patients in the hospital as well as in the clinic for several years. She will see patients both before and after surgery for patient education. Lillie teaches our Bari Boot Camp, a class for pre-operative patients scheduled just before their surgery. Lillie's compassion is continually recognized by our patients.

Wendy Manning, Quality Analyst

Wendy received her Bachelors degree from Sullivan University in 2007.  She has been with Saint Joseph Health System since 2004, working in the business office prior to joining our team in January of 2008.  Wendy verifies insurance benefits and assists patients with the insurance approval process.  She enjoys working with our patients and is a great asset to our office.

Carrie Akers, Insurance Coordinator

Carrie has been a member of the Saint Joseph Health family in insurance-related positions for 17 years.  Carrie verifies insurance benefits and works closely with patients in the process of obtaining insurance approvals.  She delights in meeting and getting to know our patients. Our team will benefit greatly from her experience and cheerful attitude.

Leslie Hughes, RN, CBN

Leslie has worked with the Center for Weight Loss Surgery patients in the post-operative period for several years as a floor nurse.  In this capacity, she took care of our patients while in the hospital after their surgery.  She now brings her experience to our program office, where as a full-time nurse with our program, will see patients during their pre-operative and post-operative care in her clinical and teaching duties. She received specialized certification as a Bariatric Nurse from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.


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