We can help you navigate your
weight-loss journey. 

Today, you made the decision to change your life.

Taking that initial step toward bariatric surgery for weight loss is the hardest part. Congratulations, you’re already ahead of the game just by reviewing our options to see how we can best help you. 

Weight-loss surgery is a journey.  Our highly qualified staff of surgeons, dietitians, wellness specialists, and team of support people are here to join you. They are on your team; they will be the ones cheering you on through the entire process to help you reach your new YOU destination.  

UnityPoint Health - Grinnell Regional Medical Center will provide you with the time, dedication, and care you need to be successful on your journey. Transforming your health will transform your life. Let us stand beside you on your journey to the new you.

Your support team.

Grinnell Center of Excellence Staff and Affiliated Staff


David D. Coster, MD, Medical Director of Grinnell Bariatrics and Bariatric Surgeon - Grinnell Bariatrics

Dr. Coster leads the bariatric program with more than 20 years of experience caring for bariatric patients. He performs open and laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and complex revision procedures. Dr. Coster is experienced in all areas of general surgery and has a special interest in skin reconstruction after weight-loss from surgery for obesity. Dr. Coster has two board certifications: General Surgery and Critical Care.


Mathew W. Severidt, DO, Bariatric Surgeon - Grinnell Bariatrics

Dr. Severidt joined Grinnell Bariatrics and Surgical Associates in July 2012. Dr. Severidt provides expert care in general surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and bariatric procedures including laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic gastric bypass, and revision procedures. Dr. Severidt has a special interest in Critical Care Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Severidt is board certified in General Surgery.


Stefanie H. Noun, PA-C, Bariatric Program Director - Grinnell Bariatrics

Ms. Noun is a board-certified physician assistant with extensive experience in medicine and psychiatric care. Noun directs and integrates the bariatric program for Surgical Associates and Grinnell Regional Medical Center. Noun sees patients in the office and hospital. She provides medical care, education, and long term follow-up for our patients. 


Jarrod Phelps, PA-C - Grinnell Bariatrics

Mr. Phelps is a board-certified physician assistant with experience in bariatric and general surgery procedures. He assists the surgeons in the operating room during bariatric surgeries. He also provides follow up with patients in the hospital and office. 


Bridget Baechtel, LISW - Grinnell Bariatrics

Ms. Baechtel provides group, individual, and family psychotherapy for the bariatric program as well for the local and state wide community. She received her undergraduate degree and her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa. Baechtel belongs to the Academy for Eating Disorders, the National Association of Social Workers, and the the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Academy.


Jamie Brennan - Grinnell Bariatrics

Ms. Brennan graduated from Kirkwood Community College with a degree in health information technology and medical coding. She has been at Surgical Associates since 2010. She works closely with the surgeons, healthcare professionals, and insurers both pre and post operatively to prepare patients for surgery. 


Jennifer Paisley, MD Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Medical Director for Bariatrics - Affiliated Staff

Dr. Paisley serves as the internal medicine specialist and pediatric medical advisrr for the Bariatric Center of Excellence. She is board certified in Obesity Medicine and specializes in the comprehensive medical care for adults and children with obesity.  She provides comprehensive medical care for pediatric patients of the program as well as diagnostic and treatment care to bariatric patients admitted to the program.

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Michelle Brennan, RD, LD, Dietitian - Affiliated Staff

Ms. Brennan specializes in weight loss, bariatric surgery and heart health. She has a special interest in incorporating nutrition into overall wellness and health promotion. 

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Dori Pearce, Wellness & Fitness - Affiliated Staff

Ms. Pearce hosts the quarterly support group sessions and visits with patients in the hospital to develop a fitness and wellness program for patients. 


Emily Vesely, RN, Care Coordinator - Affiliated Staff

Ms. Vesley ensures that the patient has all that they need before and after surgery for a safe and successful recovery. She has nursing experience in medical/surgical, obstetrics, intensive care unit and surgery. 


Linda Romero, LISW, Social Worker - Affiliated Staff

Ms. Romero helps patients with issues regarding the adjustment to weight loss and the impact on emotional and social well-being.


Stacey Simbro, RN - Grinnell Bariatrics

Ms. Simbro graduated from Mercy College of Health Science with an associate’s degree in nursing in 2005. She has worked in surgery since 2005. She has been employed with Surgical Associates since September 2011. 

What are we?

Every weight loss journey is different. We are here to help you find the right path for you. Grinnell Bariatrics is a team of professionals dedicated to help you with different options to reach your weight loss destination. This journey will change your life. 

At UnityPoint Health - Grinnell Regional Medical Center, our bariatrics teams has provided advanced bariatric weight loss and surgical care in Central Iowa for more than 30 years, performing over 2,000 bariatric weight-loss surgeries. Grinnell Bariatrics was one of the first centers of excellence in Iowa. We have sustained our center of excellence certification. 

Weight-loss surgery, called bariatric surgery, reduces the size of the stomach by either reshaping it or placing a band around a portion of it. Because the stomach is smaller, patients feel fuller faster and thus eat smaller meals. These changes in eating habits lead to successful weight loss and maintenance. Patients must also remain physically active to improve their overall health and wellness.

Bariatric surgery is the only option today that effectively treats obesity in people for whom more conservative measures such as diet, exercise and medication have not been effective. 

What surgery options are available at Grinnell Bariatrics


This weight loss surgery makes your stomach smaller and causes food to bypass part of the small intestine. Our surgeons will divide the stomach into two parts: an upper “pouch” and a lower, unused portion. The "pouch" is a small pocket that can only hold about one ounce of food, or about 1/8 of a cup. After creating the pouch, part of the intestine is connected to the pouch –this leads to the “bypassing” of the lower part of the stomach and a few feet of small intestine. Gastric Bypass is generally performed laparoscopically.


If you choose this path for weight loss, this surgery makes your stomach smaller. A portion of the stomach is removed, converting the stomach into a long narrow tube. This surgery does not interrupt the usual intestinal continuity. This operation is done laparoscopically or robotically.


Gastric bypass surgery has changed immensely since it first began. Perhaps you’ve already begun your weight loss journey, but may need corrective revision due to complications or reduced effectiveness.  

Grinnell Bariatrics welcomes patients who have had previous operations for obesity. Your Grinnell Bariatrics support team is known for their expertise and experience with these complicated cases and Grinnell Regional Medical Center is the only hospital in Iowa where such procedures are routinely performed.


Surgery may not be the best treatment for your weight loss journey. Sometimes there are medical options you have not even considered, yet. Grinnell Bariatrics and Grinnell Regional Medical Center offer a comprehensive medical weight-loss program under such circumstances that includes disease management, behavioral therapy, nutritional education, and fitness recommendations to help our patients make a speedy recovery

The Grinnell Bariatrics team is dedicated to helping you succeed. Nothing is more important than answering your questions or taking the time to understand your goals. They work with you extensively to determine which type of surgery is best for you. As an American College of Surgeons Center of Excellence, Grinnell Bariatrics has everything you need to be successful on your weight loss journey. 

What are the risks of surgery? 

All major surgery comes with risks, and the risks are different for each patient. At the Grinnell Regional Medical Center, our surgeons have better outcomes than most. During your first appointment, your surgeon will explain your individual risk level. 

How do I determine if this is right for me? 

Grinnell Bariatrics follows guidelines supported by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program in order to determine a patient's eligibility for weight-loss surgery. Rather than using weight, we use body mass index (BMI) as a criteria for surgery. Individuals are candidates for surgery if:

  •  Their BMI is greater than 40 or between 35 and 40 with major obesity-related medical problems, e.g. diabetes, hypertension, hyperchloremic, sleep apnea. Click here to calculate your BMI.
  • They have failed previous attempts at weight loss in a medically supervised program

Before becoming eligible for surgery, you will meet with our surgeons, dietitians, psychologists, and members of our nursing staff for a full evaluation.

What is required of me before I'm scheduled for surgery? 

Your team of nurses, surgeons, therapists, dietitian, and wellness specialists will work with you for several months prior to your surgery. Some insurance companies require a patient to be in a physician-supervised weight-loss program for at least six-months before surgery. 

You will complete a surgical consultation, mental health consultation, diagnostic testing, pre-surgery education class, pre-operative interview, and pre-operative physical exam. 

Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?

Most insurance companies cover weight-loss surgery providing you meet certain medical criteria. For example, you may be required to provide documentation from your physician of six to 12 months of medically supervised weight loss. Before you come for your first appointment, please call your insurance company to find out if weight-loss surgery is covered. Our patient coordinators, who are experienced in working with insurance companies, will assist you in determining your individual coverage. 

If I am interested in weight-loss surgery, what is my first step? 

Once you have decided to explore weight-loss surgery, please call our surgeons at 641-236-4323. Three surgeons are accepting new patients. Speak with people have had the surgery at Grinnell Bariatrics

Jackie Hampe


Lynne Henry

Though it took Henry nearly eight years to be “ready” for this surgery, she can’t say enough positive. 

“The transformation is amazing. I went from barely being able to walk from the handicapped parking space into my children’s school. Now, I volunteer in the school. I travel, and I do my own yard work. I have a life.” 

Lynne Henry

Why choose us for bariatric surgery?

Because you want successful weight-loss and a support team to help you reach your goal. 

As a multidisciplinary team, Grinnell Regional Bariatrics has more than 30 years of experience and have performed more than 2,000 weight-loss procedures. Because of our experience with all bariatric surgery options, our experts can accurately recommend the best surgical treatment for each patient. Our experienced surgeons have better outcomes -- and lower mortality rates -- than most medical centers.

In addition, our surgeons regularly treat people who also have obesity-related problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and digestive disorders. In some cases, these conditions can make surgery more complex. Our experts draw on their years of experience to address each patient's specific needs before, during, and after surgery -- making the entire procedure safer for even the most difficult cases.

As the most advanced types of bariatric surgery available, these procedures require a high level of training and expertise. The surgeons at Grinnell Bariatrics have extensive experience in minimally invasive robotic and laparoscopic surgery and open surgery, and are board certified and members in good standing of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.


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