Kent C. Sasse, MD, MPH, FACS

Dr. Sasse is the Medical Director for Western Bariatric Institute and founded the International Metabolic Institute (iMetabolic), a state-of-the-art program focusing on the scientific principles of physiologic weight reduction. He is also the author of the Sasse Guide to Outpatient Weight Loss Surgery and is a featured speaker nationally in the field of weight reduction, bariatric medicine, and surgery. Dr. Sasse received his medical degree and completed his surgery residency both through the University of California, San Francisco and completed a fellowship in colon and rectal surgery with the Lahey Clinic. Dr. Sasse specializes in general surgery, bariatric surgery and colo-rectal surgery. For more information about Dr. Sasse, please visit

John H. Ganser, MD, FACS

Dr. Ganser specializes in thoracic surgery, bariatric surgery and general surgery and has been practicing with Western Surgical Group and Western Bariatric Institute in Reno, Nevada since 2000. Prior to joining Western Surgical Group, Dr. Ganser worked at the General & Vascular Surgery Clinic in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Ganser is certified through the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow with the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Ganser received his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and completed a general surgery residency through Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. Additionally, he completed a general thoracic surgery fellowship with Birmingham Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, England.

Robert W. Watson, MD, FACS

Dr. Watson specializes in bariatric surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery and general surgery with Western Surgical Group and Western Bariatric Institute in Reno, Nevada. Additionally, he is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the University of Nevada, Reno and is certified by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Watson received his medical degree from the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas and completed a general surgery residency through Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Dr. Watson has conducted numerous presentations for the Obesity Prevention Foundation at schools in Northern Nevada teaching children about the importance of healthy eating and exercise.

Mark D. Kozar, MD, FACS

Specializing in general surgery and bariatric surgery, Dr. Kozar was one of the founding members of Western Surgical Group in 1996 and helped to build the practice to now have 12 surgeons and over 70 employees, and helped to establish Western Bariatric Institute in 2000. Dr. Kozar received his medical degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC and completed his surgical internship and residency through Stanford University. Dr. Kozar is board certified in surgery and is a member of the American Society for Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery, the Society for Laparoscopic Surgeons, the American Society of Breast Disease, and the American Medical Association.

Joe Brandl, MD

Dr. Brandl is a surgeon with Nevada Heart Surgeons in Reno, Nevada. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and completed his residency through the University of Wisconsin.

Edie Hofmeister, MA, JD

Edie Hofmeister is the Senior Associate Director of Development at the Nevada Museum of Art. Before that, she worked as an attorney and non-profit advocate for 16 years. She represented refugees from around the world and worked with rural indigenous groups in India to promote sustainable development and secure tribal land rights. She served as General Counsel at the Western Asbestos Settlement Trust and worked at Brobeck Phelger and Harrison LLP in San Francisco from 1993 – 2001 where she successfully litigated complex environmental coverage cases for multi-national corporations. Edie received her BA in International Relations from UCLA, an MA in International Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and a JD from the University of San Francisco Law School, where she served as Managing Editor of the Law Review. Edie has volunteered for many non-profit organizations including Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Northern Nevada, Reno Gospel Mission, and the Foundation for Sustainable Development in San Francisco. She serves on the Board of the Nevada Women's Fund.

Kristina Hansen, MD, RD

Dr. Hansen has been a board certified family physician since 1997 and a registered dietitian since 1990. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in nutrition. While at UC Berkeley, she completed a clinical dietetics internship and became a registered dietitian. She then earned her medical degree from Albany Medical College in New York and completed her internship and residency in family medicine at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina. She practiced full time family medicine for many years and currently serves as a consultant and practicing physician for iMetabolic, a medical weight management center in Reno, Nevada. She has a special interest and added training in child and adolescent weight management. In addition to practicing medicine, she lectures to physicians across the country on child and adolescent obesity, adult obesity, depression and anxiety, osteoporosis and nutrition.

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