Meet Our Staff

Nicole Triefenbach, LPN, Program Manager

Nicole has been a nurse since 2004 and has worked in various medical settings.  She transitioned to Washington University School of Medicine in 2015.  Nicole has a true understanding of the many life issues affected by obesity and is committed to providing our patients with exceptional compassionate care.

Samuel Klein, MD, Program Founder

Dr. Klein is the Danforth Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science, Director of the Center for Human Nutrition, Chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, and director of the Clinical and Translational Research Unit.

He received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine and a master’s degree in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He completed his internal medicine residency at University Hospital in Boston, a clinical nutrition fellowship at University Hospital, nutrition and metabolism research fellowship at Harvard Medical School and a gastroenterology fellowship at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Dr. Klein is board certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and nutrition. He served as President of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity and is presently involved in obesity research.

Susan Reeds, MD, FACP, Medical Director

Dr. Reeds is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO.

Dr. Reeds received her medical degree from the University of Rochester in upstate New York. She remained in Rochester to complete her residency in internal medicine. She was chosen to stay on in a leadership role as Chief Resident the following year before relocating to St. Louis, MO with her husband.

Dr. Reeds had an internal medicine practice in O’Fallon, MO for 14 years before joining the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine. She became the program physician for the Weight Management Program in 2015 and the Medical Director in 2016.

In her practice, Dr. Reeds treated many patients with overweight and obesity and managed their associated comorbidities including diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Having seen the increasing prevalence of obesity in her practice, she is very interested in the management of obesity and minimizing related complications.  By limiting her current practice to weight management she is able to dedicate more time to this than is possible in most primary care practices and to stay up to date on the most current treatments.

Dr. Reeds enjoys working with medical students, residents and fellows at the School of Medicine and helping to prepare them to care for their future patients with overweight and obesity.

Atasia Bland, RMA, PSR, Medical Assistant

Atasia is relatively new to the Washington University medical community. She previously worked inpatient at Mercy Hospital. Atasia has worked in Critical Care, Outpatient Surgery, Telemetry, and Geriatrics. Her warm smile and constant commitment to provide excellent customer service makes her an asset to every team she supports. At the Weight Management program, Atasia assists staff and physicians to ensure that each patient receives excellent care.

Margo Harrison, RMA, Medical Assistant

Margo has worked for Washington University School of Medicine since 2013. She was previously working with inpatients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Margo has competed an Associate degree in Human Services with an emphasis in gerontology and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Margo has worked on several interdisciplinary healthcare teams including occupational health, internal medicine, rheumatology, dermatology, pediatrics, critical care, behavioral health, neurology, and now geriatrics and weight management.

Behavioral

Richard Stein, PhD, Behavioral Director

Dr. Stein is an Associate Professor of Medicine. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Arizona State University, and completed a fellowship at San Diego State University. He then held an academic appointment at the State University of New York at Buffalo before coming to St. Louis.

Dr. Stein’s research and clinical work has focused on developing and conducting treatments for obesity and eating disorders. He has also studied ways to help people make the most of their relationships with friends and family members to support efforts at improving health behaviors, as well as ways to deliver weight management treatments in nontraditional settings like the workplace.

His work has included individual, group and family-based approaches, with an emphasis on enjoyable lifestyle changes that can be maintained in the long term.

Suzanne Bell, MS, CTRS, Behavioral Counselor

Suzanne has been working in behavioral health settings since 1991, as an administrator, client advocate, educator and therapist. She currently works as a recreational therapist at the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis with both the inpatient and day treatment populations. She performs group and individual work helping clients rehabilitate from conditions such as brain and spinal cord injuries.

Suzanne’s approach to recreational therapy emphasizes enhancing independent functioning, introducing leisure resources, and offering hands-on opportunities to practice healthy behaviors. She is outcome-oriented and works on individualized plans to strategize and achieve clients’ pursuit of a healthy lifestyle and personal sense of well-being.

Kathy Davis, MSW, LCSW, Behavioral Counselor

Kathy is a licensed clinical social worker skilled in group, individual and family therapy. As a behavioral group leader, she has experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Kathy is currently a treatment coordinator at a local inpatient center where she uses cognitive, behavioral and reality-based techniques. Additionally, she is extremely knowledgeable about the issues of nutrition and weight loss.

Susan Kistler MSW, LCSW, Behavioral Counselor

Susan received her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 1988 and her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1990 from St. Louis University. She is a skilled mental health clinician who has experience with individual, group, and family therapy in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Susan is currently a care manager who assists families impacted by autism. She demonstrates a competent and empathetic demeanor in her communications with patients. Susan is goal oriented and works supportively with others to achieve optimal outcomes. Additionally, she is knowledgeable about stress management and healthy living with exercise and nutrition.

Nutrition

Beth Taylor, DCN, RDN-AP, Nutritional Director and Registered Dietitian

Beth describes herself as a lifelong learner. She received her undergraduate degree from Ball State University in 1984, her master’s degree at St. Louis University in 1990, and most recently her doctorate in 2014. She continues to be actively involved in professional organizations as an educator, researcher, and student. She often describes her work life has having “two sides”: clinical care and weight management. She has worked nearly 30 years at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, spending 22 years with the nutrition support service and moving into the role of a research scientist in 2017. Beth started working in the field of weight management in 1989, joining the staff at the Weight Management Program in 1998 and becoming the Nutrition Director in 2001. She strives to keep abreast of new research in the area of obesity treatment to better assist clients in their treatment of the disease.

Mary Ellen Beindorff, RD, LD, Registered Dietitian

Mary Ellen Beindorff received her bachelor of science degree in nutrition from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1979. Besides working as a registered dietitian at the Weight Management Program, Mary Ellen also works for Barnes-Jewish Hospital specializing in the liver and kidney transplant population. She has led various weight management classes for over 25 years, most recently for post-transplant patients.

Exercise and Fitness

Jonty Felsher, PT, Co-Owner of RPI Therapy Services

Jonty Felsher was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, and moved to St. Louis in 1993. He received his Bachelor of Science (with honors) from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 1990. Together with Jonathan Gordon, Jonty established RPI Therapy Services in 1997. Jonty has extensive training and experience in manual therapy techniques including manual intramuscular therapy (Trigger Point Dry Needling) and Vestibular Rehabilitation. He specializes in spinal, orthopedic and neurological problems.

Jaime Heede, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist

Jaime received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree in May 2017 from St. Louis University and is currently working at RPI’s Covenant House/Creve Coeur location. Jaime’s clinical experience includes outpatient orthopedic care, acute care, home health care and pediatric physical therapy. Jaime is comfortable working with patients of all ages, abilities and backgrounds and strives to better the lives of all her patients by assisting them throughout their rehabilitation journey.