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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Ankeny)

1055 Southwest Oralabor Road
Ankeny, IA 50023

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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Jordan Creek)

180 Jordan Creek Pkwy
West Des Moines, IA 50266

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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Waukee)

950 E Hickman Rd
Waukee, IA 50263

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th Street Southwest
Altoona, IA 50009

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ankeny Medical Park

3625 North Ankeny Boulevard
Ankeny, IA 50023

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA 50310

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 Southeast 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50320

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Urbandale

5200 NW 100th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322

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Weight Loss Team

Our weight loss team is among the best in the Des Moines area and includes dietitians, a behavioral health consultant, nurse coordinators, physician assistants and bariatric surgeons.

Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® has recognized Iowa Methodist Medical Center as one of the first health care facilities in the nation, and one of only three hospitals in Iowa, to receive a Blue Distinction® Center+ designation in the area of bariatric surgery by the Blue Distinction® Centers for Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction® Centers are nationally designated health care facilities shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective measures, which were developed with input from the medical community, for patient safety and better health outcomes.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery designation, a health care facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety, as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complications and readmissions, for gastric stapling and/or gastric banding procedures. A health care facility must also have earned national accreditations at both the facility level and the specific bariatric care level, as well as demonstrate better cost efficiency relative to its peers.

Meet Our Weight Loss Team

Teresa LaMasters, MD, FACS - Medical Director, UnityPoint Clinic Weight Loss; Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. LaMasters received her medical degree from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine in 2001. She completed her residency in General Surgery at the University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita in 2006. She then went on to complete advanced training with a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery with an emphasis in Bariatric and Robotic Surgery in 2007 at Stanford University. She joined the team in August of 2007. 

Dr. LaMasters has performed hundreds of weight loss surgeries with excellent results. She was the first surgeon in Iowa to use the DaVinci Robot for Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and was also the first surgeon in Iowa to perform the new sleeve gastrectomy procedure. Dr. LaMasters has a passion for treating obese patients and guiding them through their weight loss journey and has brought cutting-edge technology and techniques to our program. 

"I chose to dedicate my career to weight loss surgery because the problem of obesity is so overwhelming in our society. My own family is affected by the disease of obesity. I feel the treatment of obesity is very complex and challenging. This is one area that I can really help people change their lives. This is truly life-saving surgery and I can't imagine a better area to dedicate my time and talent."

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Steven Cahalan, MD, FACS - Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Cahalan completed his undergraduate education and medical education at the University of Iowa. He did his general surgery residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and has been practicing in the Des Moines area for over 20 years. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Cahalan's clinical interests include general surgery, bariatrics and laparoscopy.

Dr. Cahalan has been a pioneer in laparoscopic surgery in Iowa. He was among the first surgeons in Iowa doing laparoscopic gallbladder surgery during his first year of practice. He was the first surgeon in Iowa to perform laparoscopic colectomy, splenectomy and bile duct surgery. With this background, he started a Bariatric surgery program in 2003. He has performed hundreds of bariatric operations (including laparoscopic gastric bypass, Lap Band and Gastric Sleeve) in the last 12 years.

"I have really enjoyed caring for my bariatric patients over the years. I have been overwhelmed by the level of commitment our patients make to change their lives. Our mutual goal is to improve their health. I feel responsible to help them in any way I can to achieve success both before and after their surgery. Surgery is only a tool. Obviously, the surgery must be done well. However, our most significant contribution to our patient's success is helping them learn how to use that tool well. Some patients struggle at times. That is when my commitment to my patients becomes even more critical. It is easy to support successful patients, however, I believe we need to support our struggling patients with everything we can offer. I truly want every patient to have optimal success after their surgery."

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Alissa Lilla, PA-C, MPAS - Physician Assistant

Ms. Lilla received her Physician Assistant degree from the University of Iowa in 2002, she has experience in general surgery as well as surgical oncology. She joined the UnityPoint Clinic - Weight Loss team in 2007. Ms. Lilla assists with bariatric surgical cases and provides care for patients in the hospital setting following their procedure. Her experience maximizes the safety of the patient's surgical experience. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band patients will also see her frequently in the office for evaluations, follow-up care and fluid adjustments. 

"I am dedicated to working as part of our team in the treatment of obesity to help improve quality of life for our patients."

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Reagan Barry, PA-C, MPAS - Physician Assistant

Mrs. Barry received her Physician Assistant degree from the University of Iowa. She joined the UnityPoint Clinic Weight Loss team in 2018 as our healthy lifestyles provider. She has a special interest in healthy weight loss, women's health, diabetes and family medicine. Reagan is a thoughtful and caring provider who is there to be your partner in health - every step of the way.

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Jodi Jans, PA-C, MPAS - Physician Assistant

Ms. Jans received her Physician Assistant degree from the University of Alabama Birmingham. She joined the UnityPoint Clinic - Weight Loss team in 2019. Ms. Jans assists with bariatric surgical cases and provides care for patients in the hospital setting following their procedure. Patients will also see Jodi frequently in the office for evaluations, follow-up care and fluid adjustments.  Jodi believes that health and wellness is a journey that we all travel and she is here to help guide and educate her patients however she can to help them be successful.