April Bramini, RN, MSN, ANP-BC
Adult Nurse Practitioner
April Bramini began her nursing career after graduating from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1994. April received her Master’s of Science in Nursing from the Arizona State University in 2001.
April is certified as a Adult Nurse Practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is a member of The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Preventative Cardiac Nurses Association and the American College of Cardiology.
April has an extensive background in cardiology nursing and caring for cardiac patients. She joined the Scottsdale Healthcare team in 2005. She specializes in heart and bone health and weight management.
Lisa Galper, Psy D
Lisa Galper is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in eating disorders, compulsive overeating, and weight management. For the past fifteen years, she has devoted herself to teaching people how to step off the diet roller coaster and replace destructive eating patterns with truly effective tools for lifelong weight management. Dr. Galper has a strong commitment to challenging widespread cultural messages that perpetuate the myth that it is necessary to struggle against our own bodies in order to lose weight. Her passion for this work arose out of her own journey to victory over diet and weight obsession and compulsive overeating. Dr. Galper received her Bachelor's degree in Communications from Rutgers University (1985) and her Master's (1993) and Doctoral (1998) degrees from Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. Galper has earned a reputation as one of the foremost experts in weight management in the Phoenix area. In addition to her work with the Balance program, she is the creator and instructor of psychological education classes currently offered at Scottsdale Bariatric Center and previously facilitated behavioral aftercare groups for the Weight for Life program for bariatric surgery patients. Dr. Galper also collaborated in the development of the Changing Weighs program and the book, "Am I Hungry?"
Committed to helping people improve their health with active living, Arrin Larson has worked in fitness facilities and spas with a variety of individuals. She currently works with several Scottsdale Healthcare programs, including bone health and weight management. Current certificates she holds include the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT), Certified Wellness Coach, and an Instructor and Trainer certificate with PACE (People with Arthritis Can Exercise), which is awarded by the Arthritis Foundation. Larson graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and a minor in psychology.
In April 2005, Dorrie Lazarus joined Scottsdale Healthcare and Scottsdale Bariatric Center, where she is finding incredible gratification working with patients and staff members. Lazarus worked as an Exercise Physiologist for a weight loss surgery practice in Mesa, AZ, where she found great fulfillment working with bariatric patients.
Lazarus received her Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree with concentrations in Exercise and Wellness and Sociology from Arizona State University.
Bariatric Surgical Coordinator
Kijuana Wright is Scottsdale Healthcare’s Surgical Bariatric Coordinator. She is a graduate of Utah State University with a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science.
Ms. Wright’s previous job roles included program development and onsite management for large medical conferences; patient coaching and medical research (Utah Study of Bone Health). In her current position as bariatric surgical coordinator, she works as a liaison between the practice and the hospital, assisting patients every step of the way as they embark on their weight loss journey. She coordinates the education classes and support groups. She is inspired by the patients’ successful weight loss and improved quality of life after bariatric surgery. Outside of work, she enjoys taking advantage of the mild Arizona winters to walk and hike outside with her family
Kelly Polak, RN, MSN, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner
Kelly Polak is a Family Nurse Practitioner on the Bariatric unit at Scottsdale Healthcare. In the beginning of her career, she worked as a Registered Nurse at Maryvale and Desert Samaritan hospitals. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Grand Canyon College in 1987. In 2003 she received both her Master of Science in Nursing and Nurse Practitioner Certificate from the University of Phoenix. Kelly is a certified as a Family Nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a Certified Bariatric Nurse and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
In 1994, she began her tenure with Scottsdale Healthcare, where she was a labor nurse and soon after a nursing supervisor in Women's and Children's Services. Kelly joined the bariatric team as a Nurse Practitioner in 2004 and has worked closely with Dr. Blackstone and other providers in direct patient care. Kelly teaches the pre-operative class for new patients awaiting surgery. She also teaches the Bariatric Nurse review and Bariatric patient awareness classes for Scottsdale Healthcare staff. Kelly is a highly experienced professional known for her compassion and dedication for excellence in patient satisfaction.
Samantha Easterly, RD
Samantha Easterly received her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from Arizona State University. She completed a supervised dietetic internship program through the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. After completing her internship, she received her Certificate of Training in Adult and Childhood Weight Management through the American Dietetic Association. Throughout the years, Samantha has counseled hundreds of children and adults and has found that she strongly desires to work with those who are ready to work hard and make positive changes to improve their overall quality of life.
Mrs. Easterly currently provides individual and group nutrition counseling to patients of Scottsdale Healthcare Bariatric Center. She also continues to work with children and adolescents on weight management through Scottsdale Healthcare and our KidShape program.
Cassie Truran, RD
Cassie Truran received her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from Arizona State University in 2003. She completed a supervised dietetic internship at Iowa State University. During her internship, she worked closely with weight loss surgery and discovered a tremendous passion for counseling weight loss surgery patients. After completing her internship, she received a Certificate of Training in Weight Management through the American Dietetic Association and is a Certified Wellness Coach.
Cassie has on many occasions written articles for Obesity Help magazine, she speaks at a national level educating other health care professionals about bariatric surgery and serves on the ASMBS Professional Education Committee.
Ms. Truran has been working with weight loss patients, from a surgical as well as non-surgical standpoint, for the past 5 years. She uses her expertise in weight management by providing individual and group nutrition counseling and support to every patient at Scottsdale Healthcare Bariatric Center.
- Weight-loss eNewsletter