SCL Health Medical Group – Saint Joseph Weight Loss Center

Our Bariatrics Team

Our teams are built around your needs. We are specially-trained, accredited in weight loss procedures and care about you as a person. Count on our surgeons, nurses, clinical professionals and educators to be part of your team that is dedicated to helping you through a weight-loss program, surgery, recovery and beyond.

Surgical weight-loss experts

The hope and promise of a more active and healthy future is what brought you here, and it’s what inspired our doctors and surgeons to specialize in bariatrics.

Our comprehensive bariatric program is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, a collaborative accreditation by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. This means our bariatric surgeons provide patients with safe, high-quality care that is measured through a rigorous review process.

Our bariatric team includes:

  • Bariatric surgeon – Our surgeons are trained and board-certified in bariatric surgery and procedures. Due to the number of weight-loss surgery options, your surgeon will meet with you to help you decide what bariatric surgery is the best option for you.
  • Certified bariatric nurses - Certification provides patients with validation that the nurse caring for them is an expert in their field and has achieved a recognized standard of knowledge and clinical expertise in the specialty of bariatric surgery.
  • Exercise specialist – This team member works with you to develop an exercise plan. Remember, exercise will be a vital component in your new, healthier life.
  • Nutrition expert – This team member will help you learn how to make healthy food choices, including what to each, when to eat and how to prepare healthy food.
  • Patient coordinators – Experienced staff provide support from your initial visit, discuss registration options and navigate payment and insurance decisions.
  • Psychologist or psychiatrist – Most insurance companies will require a psychological evaluation to determine your readiness for bariatric surgery. These experts are also available to help you deal with self-image issues that may accompany bariatric surgery.
  • Registered nurses – Our nursing staff specializes in bariatric medicine and is key in your support and education, from admission, through surgery and the post-operative process.

Attend a weight loss surgery seminar to meet our team and explore a future with bariatric surgery.

Our Team

John Raheb, DO

Dr. Raheb was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He earned a bachelor's degree from Muhlenberg College in Allentown Pennsylvania, and a master's degree from Rutgers in New Jersey. After earning his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completing an internship, Dr. Raheb served as a Flight Surgeon for the Navy and Marine Corps. Following his general surgery residency at Wilford Hall – University Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX, he served as a general surgeon and leader. He completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Inspired by the family's general practitioner, he always knew that he would be a physician and soon realized that surgery interested him most.

“Although I still enjoy general surgery, the rewards of bariatric surgery are unique. The patients are a very special and motivated group. I greatly enjoy the long-term relationship while sharing in their challenges and victories.”

While Dr. Raheb is trained in all areas of general surgery, his areas of clinical interest include:

  • Bariatric and weight loss surgery
  • Advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery
  • Surgical education
  • Data based quality care and improvement of the surgical patient

"A sailing family at heart, we have embraced the wonderful natural beauty of Colorado. It is amazing to be skiing at 10,000 feet on a mountain and sailing at 9,000 feet on a lake!"

Kyle Thompson, MD

Kyle Thompson, MD

Dr. Kyle Thompson was born and raised in Wisconsin. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed his general surgery residency at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, CO, followed by his Fellowship in Advanced Gastrointestinal Minimally Invasive Surgery/Bariatric Surgery/Flexible Endoscopy from the Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery in Crosby, Minnesota.

With his father being a physician and his mother being a registered nurse, Dr. Thompson was inspired to go into the medical profession. “I feel fortunate to have such wonderful role models in the field of medicine. The field of general surgery attracted me because of the technical skills involved as well as the opportunity to have an immediate impact on a patient's quality of life.”

Dr. Thompson’s philosophy of care is centered on providing high quality care with compassion. “Each patient encounter serves as an opportunity for me to listen and appreciate each individual’s medical and emotional needs, and with this understanding, I strive to empathize with and educate each patient about his or her disease process and the available treatment options.”

Dr. Thompson’s clinical interests include:

  • Bariatric and weight loss surgery
  • Advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery
  • Surgical education
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and anti-reflux surgery
  • Flexible endoscopy

When not working, Dr. Thompson enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and daughter.


Marian Malafarina - MS, APRN, FNP-C

Marian Malafarina is originally from Russia.  She immigrated with her family to the United States at age 13. She earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in Nursing from California State University, Sacramento and worked over 14 years as a RN in surgery in various roles and specialties, but mostly as an operating room nurse in general surgery and gastroenterology.

Marian, received her Master’s degree in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Maryville University St. Louis, MO.  Following her education, she worked as a GI Nurse Practitioner in Port Charlotte, Florida specializing in colorectal surgery, bariatric surgery and GI.

She had several roles including Bariatric Program Coordinator that included education of bariatric patients before and after weight loss surgery; follow up visits after surgery; organizing live seminars and coordinating weight loss support groups. She also coordinated Colorectal Surgery and Endoscopy Centers of Excellence.  Marian is an active member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

Marian has a strong passion for working with the bariatric population and loves to be part of their success and see gratification and rewards of the hard work patients put in before and after weight loss surgery.

Marian just recently moved to Colorado (May 2020) with her family and when she is not at work, she enjoys exploring the great Rocky Mountains with her husband and children and participating in Church Ministries.

Laura Schmidt

Laura Schmidt - RN, BSN, CBN, CMSRN

The Bariatric Coordinator, Laura was born in California and grew up in Texas. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington.

“I wanted to be a medical professional after a family friend experienced a difficult illness, and I saw firsthand what an impact medical professionals can make on the lives of their patients and their families. I became a certified bariatric nurse to improve the care of my bariatric surgery patients. I was so impressed with the enormous courage that my patients demonstrate throughout their journey that I decided to focus my nursing career on bariatric surgery.”

Laura’s goal is to help patients successfully navigate through the bariatric journey and enjoys seeing them go on to live healthier and happier lives. “I know their bariatric journey requires a team effort - I will always be cheering for their success.”

When she is not working, Laura enjoys spending time with her family and says her grandchildren bring so much happiness to her life.


Kaylan Crowther - RDN, CDCES

As a Bariatric Dietitian, Kaylan specializes in weight loss management and diabetes education. She is passionate about meeting her clients where they are in terms of nutrition education and works to guide patients towards a healthier lifestyle with cooking instruction. Kaylan received her undergraduate degree in Nutrition- Dietetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her Dietetic Internship at Concordia College. Her philosophy of care is, “I focus on using foods to nourish ourselves. I promote using real food to build satisfaction and wellness.” In her free time, Kaylan enjoys running, quilting, and hiking. She also enjoys practicing yoga, cooking gourmet meals and spending time with her husband, daughters and chickens.


Kelly Elliot - RDN, CDCES

Kelly, a Bariatric Clinical Dietitian, is passionate about her work and her role in Bariatric Surgery. She attended Colorado State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition. Following her education, she completed her Dietetic Internship at Dallas Presbyterian Hospital. Kelly loves the feeling she gets when she assists with and watches someone lose a significant amount of weight.  Her philosophy of care is, “I believe in listening to the patient. Nutrition is very personal and emotional! It is my job to help mesh the optimal diet for success with what the patient is able to do and come up with alternatives if a suggestion is not working.” When she is not at work, Kelly enjoys spending time with her family and pets. She also enjoys shopping, jogging, and hiking in the great outdoors!

Sarah Sullivan 140px

Sarah Sullivan - BS, RDN

Sarah Sullivan, BS, RDN is a Clinical Dietician originally from Redding, Connecticut. She began her educational career at Northeastern University where she received a B.S. in psychology. After earning her degree she realized her passion in nutrition when she began volunteering at a pediatric obesity clinic in Stamford, Connecticut. She enjoyed educating patients and their family’s healthier ways to cook. This propelled her into receiving her nutrition degree from the University of Arizona. Throughout her time in Tucson, she worked with women and gestational diabetes, GI and cardiac acute care and bariatric surgery.

“Colorado fits my love of the outdoors. In my spare time, I enjoy cycling and running with my husband and two dogs.”


Alexandra Ulloa - Bariatric Navigator

Born in Laredo, Texas, Alexandra relocated to Denver, Colorado in 2012. From an early age she knew that she wanted a career that would allow her to help others. Alexandra attended Everest College where she received her Medical Assistant Certificate.  She was drawn to a career at the Downtown Surgery Specialist Clinic because she enjoys the complexity of surgery and is passionate about extending care to all types of patients. When she is not at work, Alexandra enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Sign up for our e-newsletter!

Get tips to help you manage your family's health, options to boost your fitness and advice to live your best life.