Your Care Team 

We are passionate about helping you achieve your health goals. From the initial information session to surgery and a lifetime of support----we are here to answer questions and cheer you on. Many of us have had bariatric surgery ourselves so we know first-hand the challenges you face. 

Miro Uchal, MD, FASMBS, FACS

Program Medical Director Miro Uchal, MD

Dr. Uchal is the medical director of the St. Vincent’s Weight Loss Services program. He is a board certified general surgeon and a Fellow of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

“I want you to have a better lifestyle and take fewer medications”

Katherine Jewell, RN, BSN

Program Coordinator

As our Bariatric Coordinator, Katherine serves as your liaison between the hospital, office and surgeon. She provides patient education, follow-up care and support for patients. In addition, she provides clinical support to the surgical team and collaborates with the multidisciplinary team to help cover all elements of your care.

Mica Bestic, MS, RD, LD/N


Mica’s emphasis is health promotion and supplying you with a supportive and comprehensive nutrition framework. She provides one-on-one nutrition planning, education and post-procedure care. She is involved before and after your procedure making sure you adequately meet your nutrient needs, have optimal weight loss and minimal nutritional deficiencies.

Ramona Criss, BS, RN, BSCR 

Clinical Documentation Specialist

Ramona assists in performance improvement and research opportunities within the Weight Loss Services program. Reporting our outcomes data to the ASMBS/ACS national registry.  This is a requirement for participation in their MBSAQIP, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program.  Based on patient outcome date , Ramona can monitor trends enabling her to provide guidance to our participating independent surgeons on best practices.  She also helps our clinical coordinator and Medical Director with developing new quality improvement initiatives insuring  better ongoing patient care/outcomes.  

Mental Health Team

We want to ensure you are supported before, during and after your procedure. Our team provides –education on behavior changes that are required for success. To assist with your lifestyle modification process, we offer group classes that include  topics like: stress management, depression management, living a balanced life, coping with food triggers and more. 

Patient Advocates 

Our advocates assist you through the insurance approval process for your procedure. They're available to answer questions regarding appointments, insurance criteria and program requirements. They are responsible for obtaining authorization for surgeries, sending letters to primary care physicians and making sure you have the necessary information to make this process go smoothly. In the event you are denied approval for surgery, our staff will prepare the paperwork for the appeal process.

Kathleen Ruggles

Program Manager 

Kathleen is responsible for daily operations, specifically managing our Patient Advocacy Team. Her leadership directs programing, insurance processing, patient navigation, work flow and communication initiatives. These functions of our program are what differentiates us and is the driving force behind the patient experience which is the most important aspect of excellent patient satisfaction.

Jeffrey Berry

Program Director

Jeffrey is responsible for the strategic direction of the program, global operations, growth initiatives and clinical quality.  He also manages the relationships with our independent surgeon groups. 

Attend a Weight Loss Info Session

Search for a session, call us at 904-450-6090 or email us