Former Patients Gather to Celebrate Weight Loss Journey with Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Bariatric Weight Loss Center

Published: Monday, October 27, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Dozens gathered at the Brenau Downtown Center Friday night to celebrate with patients who have had weight loss surgery with The Bariatric Weight Loss Center at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC).

“For these patients, the past year has been a rewarding journey of getting back to a healthy weight, a healthy state of mind and a healthy life overall,” said LoRita Shingleton, RN, CBN; manager of The Bariatric Weight Loss Center at NGMC.  “It’s wonderful to talk with them again as they meet with fellow weight loss surgery veterans and tell their personal stories of triumph.  We often say these people are living, breathing testaments to what can be accomplished when clinical innovation meets personal determination.”

The celebration included recognition for patients, a panel discussion about weight loss topics and a presentation by guest speaker Connie Stapleton, PhD.  Dr. Stapleton is a licensed counseling psychologist who has helped patients adopt healthy behaviors and recover from obesity for more than 20 years. She also autographed copies of her book, "Eat it Up," which is well-known in the bariatric weight loss community.

The Bariatric Weight Loss Center at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is the region’s only weight loss center to offer both surgical and non-surgical options.  Understanding that each patient’s weight loss goal is unique, NGMC’s trained staff works to create customized weight loss and management plans to fit each patient’s lifestyle and specific needs. Non-surgical weight loss options include one-on-one sessions with a registered dietitian, comprehensive nutrition planning and extensive lifestyle assessments.  Surgical weight loss procedures include Gastric Banding, Gastric Bypass and Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. Three surgeons perform weight loss surgeries at NGMC:

  • Alex Nguyen, MD, of Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Surgical Associates and medical director of Bariatric Surgery at NGMC
  • Peter Henderson, MD, of Obesity Solutions at The Longstreet Clinic
  • Robert Richard, MD, of Obesity Solutions at The Longstreet Clinic

The Bariatric Weight Loss Center at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is a service of Northeast Georgia Health System.  Learn more at or call 770-219-0597.



Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is a not-for-profit dedicated to improving the health of our community in all we do.  The Health System offers a full range of healthcare services through its hospital in Gainesville, Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC), and multiple locations across the region.  Led by volunteer boards made up of community leaders, the 557-bed Medical Center and its medical staff of more than 500 physicians serve almost 800,000 people in more than 13 counties.  NGHS is currently building a second hospital, NGMC Braselton, which is scheduled to open in Spring 2015.  Learn more at