Go to the page content

Virtual Obesity Clinics Programme: The panel

Nick Finer is Senior Principal Clinical Scientist, Global Medical Affairs Management, at Novo Nordisk A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Honorary Clinical Professor at the National Centre for Cardiovascular Preventions and Outcomes at University College London, London, UK.

Professor Finer trained as an endocrinologist and developed an early interest in obesity and its complications, building specialist multidisciplinary obesity services at Luton, Cambridge and University College London hospitals. His research has focused on all treatment modalities used in the prevention and management of obesity and its related complications. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Obesity. He has published 200 papers and reviews and contributed more than 23 book chapters. He is an elected fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the US Obesity Society and the UK Association for Nutrition.

Professor Finer is Past Chair of the UK Association for the Study of Obesity and World Obesity Federation Clinical Care and was responsible for setting up the education and accreditation program SCOPE. He has also served as a member of the UK Government Advisory Group on Obesity and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Public Health Advisory Group, as well as sections of the European Association for the Study of Obesity, and the European Society of Hypertension.

Deborah Bade Horn DO, MPH, MFOMA is the Medical Director at the UT Center for Obesity Medicine and Metabolic Performance and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston. She is also the Program Director for the UT Allison Family Foundation Fellowship in Clinical Obesity Medicine and Metabolism.

Dr. Horn is a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and also board certified in Family Medicine.  She is a past president and a Master Fellow of the Obesity Medicine Association.  She is a founding member of the Obesity Medicine Fellowship Council. Dr. Horn serves as a co-lead on the Obesity Medicine Education Collaborative or OMEC, working to bring obesity education to early clinicians.  She was the recipient of the Steelman-Seim Educator Award for Excellence in Academics in 2019, the Health Care Provider of the Year by the Obesity Action Coalition in 2016, received the Raymond Dietz Meritorious Service Award in 2014, and the Obesity Medicine Physician of the year in 2011.  She is clinical faculty and a member of the Clinical Care Committee for the World Obesity Federation.

Disclosure: Has received research support, consulting and/or speaking honoraria from Novo Nordisk, Bausch/Currax, Medtronic, and Gelesis

Dr. Vallis is a registered health psychologist with 35 years of clinical and academic experience and cross-appointed to Dalhousie University as Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Health and Human Performance. He obtained his Ph.D. and M.A from the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, and his B. Sc. From Dalhousie University. His main area of expertise is adult health psychology, with an emphasis on diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular risk and gastroenterology. 

He is a recognised expert in behaviour change and provides systematic training and consultation regarding lifestyle counselling skills for physicians, nurses, dietitians and other healthcare providers. He is active in research on motivation, behavioural change and adaptation to chronic disease.  He is an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Diabetes and Clinical Obesity and is on the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee for Diabetes Canada and the Canadian Obesity Network. He was recently awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Government of Canada on the recommendation of the Canadian Diabetes Association. Dr. Vallis supports numerous initiatives, both within healthcare systems as well as industry, to improve adherence to health behaviour as well as adjustment to chronic conditions.

Disclosure: Has received consulting and/or speaking honoraria from Novo Nordisk, AbbVie, Valeant, CSL Behring, Sanofi, Merck, and Pfizer

Dr. Tytus is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University. He is currently a director of the Ontario Medical Association and sits on the national Virtual Medicine Task Force for clinical practice guidelines. 

In the 2019 Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines, Dr. Tytus authored the chapter titled, "Emerging Technologies and Virtual Medicine in Obesity Management".

Disclosure: Has received speaking honorarium from Novo Nordisk, served as clinical trial investigator for Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Merck, and Novo Nordisk, and shareholder in Banty (medical video call platform)

Vicki Mooney is a Patient Advocate, Public Speaker, Media Personality & the Executive Director of the European Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ECPO).

Originally from Ireland, now living in Lanzarote, Vicki uses her voice to help address the stigma, bias and discrimination perpetrated against people living with obesity.  

Vicki not only works on various projects across Europe & now globally to ensure we see better access to quality treatment, management and education, she also helps to drive forward prevention of obesity across Europe.

Disclosure: Speaker and consultant for Novo Nordisk

Dr. Wharton has his doctorate in Pharmacy and Medicine. He is the medical director of the Wharton Medical Clinic, a community based internal medicine weight management and diabetes clinic.  He is an adjunct professor at McMaster University in Hamilton and York University in Toronto.  He also works as an internist at Women’s College Hospital, and the Hamilton Health Sciences.  Dr. Wharton is a researcher, and is qualified as a diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. 

Dr. Wharton’s research focuses on bariatric medicine and type 2 diabetes.  He is the co-chair of the Canadian Obesity Guidelines. 

Disclosure: Has received research support, consulting and/or speaking honoraria from: Novo Nordisk, CCRN, BI, Eli Lilly, Astra Zeneca, Bausch Health

Dr. Rigas is a General Practitioner who has been working in obesity management for over a decade. She was recognised as a SCOPE certified Obesity Doctor by the World Obesity Federation in 2014. She is also the Senior Bariatric Medical Practitioner at St George Private Hospital, the first internationally accredited Bariatric Centre of Excellence in Australia. In 2018, she was the first Australian GP to be recognised by the Surgical Review Corporation as a Bariatric Care Specialist.

DisclosureHas received research support, consulting and/or speaking honoraria from Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Australia & Novo Nordisk Global, iNova pharmaceuticals, Apollo-endosurgery (formerly Allergan), Medtronics (formerly Covidien) and Johnson & Johnson

David A. Macklin is a lecturer at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and a University of Toronto trained family physician. David has committed his career to the prevention and treatment of obesity; and has, for 16 years, directed multidisciplinary, evidence based - behavioural weight management programmes.  He is the Medical Director of the Weight Management Program at the Medcan Clinic. He is also the Medical Director the Weight Management Program at the Toronto Mount Sinai Hospital High Risk/Special Pregnancy BMI unit.  He is a Science Committee member at Obesity Canada (OC).

Sandra Elia is a Certified Food Addiction Counselor. She runs Ontario's outpatient Food Addiction Recovery Program and co-created Canada's first residential treatment programme. 

Ms. Elia is the Vice Chair for Obesity Canada (Toronto Chapter). 

Disclosure: Has received speaking honoraria from Novo Nordisk and Bausch Health

HQ20OB00200, Approval date: February 2021