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Meet Our Team

Weight loss surgery-or bariatric surgery-is a major life decision for you, and you deserve the best treatment-tailored specifically for you-throughout the process.

A Comprehensive, Personalized Approach

Rather than sending patients to numerous professionals, WakeMed Physician Practices' Bariatric Program offers you a comprehensive, unified, and personalized approach. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable professionals will partner to provide you with all of the individual attention, compassion, resources and support you need along your journey to better health and vitality.

Led by expert board-certified bariatric surgeons, all of the members of our weight loss surgery program will use their expertise to meet your needs. They include your bariatric coordinator (also called a navigator, or advocate), nurses, dieticians/nutritionists and exercise/health and fitness specialists. They will work closely with you to answer questions, gather information, guide your recovery and make plans to support you before and after weight loss surgery.

The Fitness Component

Our Bariatric Program provides patients with access to a certified fitness specialist; the tools to succeed, including a personalized fitness plan; and an extensive education on making important lifestyle changes. Our fitness component will provide you with:

  • At least two one-on-one consultations with WakeMed Fitness Specialists
  • Answers to your specific fitness questions
  • Individualized recommendations based on your personal goals and interests
  • Support available throughout your journey

Our weight loss clinic team includes:

Ann Chung wakemed md bariatric weight loss surgery
Ann Chung, MD
Weight Loss Surgeon

Dr. Ann Chung is a board-certified general surgeon who has also completed a fellowship in minimally invasive advanced gastrointestinal and bariatric surgery. Her clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery using endoscopic, laparoscopic and DaVinci robotic techniques, reflux disease, hiatal hernias, bariatric surgery, small and large intestinal disease processes, biliary disease and solid organ pathology.

After graduating from medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Dr. Chung continued her training by completing a general surgery residency at East Carolina University, where she was also the administrative chief resident. In addition, she completed a fellowship at University of North Carolina in minimally invasive surgery specializing in foregut and bariatric surgery. She also served as a clinical instructor of surgery.

Tiffany Lowe-Payne
Tiffany Lowe-Payne, DO
Medical Weight Loss

Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne is dually board-certified from the American Board of Osteopathic Family Physicians as well as the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

She is also a stress expert, and a professor at Campbell University-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Buies Creek, NC.

As an obesity medicine specialist and consummate teacher at heart, she is committed to helping her patients successfully lose weight by utilizing her training as an osteopathic medical physician to address the needs of the “whole person” so that they can reach and sustain their health goals.

brandon roy wakemed md bariatric weight loss surgery
Brandon Roy, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Weight Loss Surgeon

Dr. Brandon Roy is board certified in general surgery, and his clinical interests are advanced laparoscopic treatment of reflux, colon disease and hernias. He specializes in bariatric surgery, particularly adjustable gastric banding, which helps restore extremely overweight patients to more normal weight levels, allowing them to live healthier, fuller and more active lives. He practices with WakeMed Physician Practices General Surgery, conveniently located in north Raleigh on Falls of Neuse Road in the WakeMed North.

Education and Training

Dr. Roy received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, MN, and completed his residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI, and his fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in genetics and cell biology from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Roy's research has been published in journals such as The American Surgeon.

By working as a partner with Dr. Roy in your personal health planning and care, you will soon be on your way to a healthier, fuller and more satisfying lifestyle.

Ian Villanueva wakemed md bariatric weight loss surgery

Ian A. Villanueva, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Weight Loss Surgeon

Dr. Ian A. Villanueva is a board certified general surgeon who has additional fellowship training in Minimally Invasive Bariatric and Gastrointestinal Surgery. His clinical interests include advanced laparoscopic abdominal surgery such as, complicated hernia repair, bariatric and bariatric revisional procedures, as well as other general surgical procedures such as solid abdominal organ surgery, small and large intestinal surgery, etc. Dr. Villanueva practices full-time in the Cary general surgery office and provides follow-up care as needed to surgical patients at Cary Hospital.

vulpis wakemed raleigh nc bariatric weight loss surgery
Trish Vulpis, RD
Registered Dietitian

Trish Vulpis has been a Registered Dietitian for more than twenty years and currently counsels bariatric patients full time. Trish has experience counseling and consulting Whole Foods, hospitals, sports facilities and individuals as well as teaching weight loss classes. Trish presented a lecture for the American Cancer Society on nutrition and cancer treatments as well as a lecture for the American Heart Association on nutrition. Trish and our other dietitians are trained and ready to assist you in planning and carrying out the nutritional changes needed for a healthy lifestyle.

Trish earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Auburn University. In addition, she obtained her Certification in Adult Weight Management in 2005 and plans to obtain her Certification in Pediatric Weight Management this year.

Outside of her passion for counseling, Trish has two children and enjoys running, biking, reading, and scrapbooking.

huffman raleigh nc bariatric weight loss surgery

Michael Huffman, MS, ACSM CEP
Fitness Specialist

As a fitness specialist for the WakeMed Bariatric Surgery Program, Michael helps weight loss surgery patients prepare for surgery and life after surgery by providing tips to be more active throughout the day, develop a consistent exercise routine, and develop an individualized exercise prescription.

Michael is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a clinical exercise physiologist.  He received his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Campbell University and his master's degree in kinesiology with a concentration in exercise physiology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  He has in-depth experience working one-on-one and in group settings with overweight teenagers and adults. 

Michael is married and has two children.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family, exercising and watching sports. 

kunkel wakemed raleigh nc bariatric weight loss surgery
Carol Kunkel
Bariatric Program Coordinator

Carol Kunkel has been managing medical practices since she was tapped to supervise the Family Practice Clinic of Michigan State University in 1980. Moving to North Carolina, she assisted in the design, opening and management of the first urgent care clinic in the state.  She then was an adjunct instructor with the UNC School of Medicine, helping to train family practice residents and managing the family practice at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro. 

More recently she has managed multiple practices in the Duke Health System before joining WakeMed in 2010. A graduate of Loyola University of Chicago, and Albion College in Michigan, Carol's BSN internship was served at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Since joining WakeMed Physician Practices General Surgery, Carol has assisted Dr. Roy in the administration and promotion of the new bariatric surgery program at WakeMed.

smith wakemed raleigh nc bariatric weight loss surgery
Rebecca Smith
Patient Accounts Representative

Becky Smith is a Patient Account Representative and Scheduler, and started her career In the medical field in 1975.  She has worked in the hospital environment for many years, transitioning from a nursing assistant to a unit secretary and then to a surgery scheduler. Becky then moved to private practice where she continues her work today assisting patients with their scheduling and patient account needs. 

She is a proud mother, grandmother and pet owner and enthusiast.

scott wakemed raleigh nc bariatric weight loss surgery
Jereka Scott, RN
Registered Nurse

Jereka Scott is a registered nurse who supports weight loss surgery patients as well as our surgeons to ensure patients are well-cared for and supported throughout their bariatric surgery journey. 

Jereka graduated with a nursing degree from Wake Technical Community college; her first job after graduation was on the Cardiology Unit at WakeMed where she boasts that she worked with a great staff and gained a lot of experience. 

Jereka has also worked at Wake Health Services as a nurse supervisor at Apex Family Medicine.  In September 2010, Jereka began working as an Ambulatory Nurse with WakeMed Physician Practices General Surgery.  A Raleigh resident for life, Jereka is a mom of two beautiful boys and one sweet daughter.