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Bariatric Surgery

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Northwest Bariatrics

To get started with our dedicated bariatrics program, please visit our bariatrics website.

Address: 750 N. Syringa St. Suite 205.
Post Falls, ID 83854

Phone: 208.262.0945

Fax: 208.415.0150

Clinic Hours:

Sunday: Closed

Monday: 8AM-4PM

Tuesday: 8AM-4PM

Wednesday: 8AM-4PM

Thursday: 8AM-4PM

Friday: 8AM-12PM

Saturday: Closed

Northwest Bariatrics

Address: 750 N. Syringa St. Suite 205. Post Falls, ID 83854

At Northwest Specialty Hospital, we understand that the decision to have bariatric surgery is not an easy one. When faced with morbid obesity, patients can see bariatric surgery as a procedure that can literally save their life – and they’re right. Our doctors, nurses, and other staff understand the emotions involved with making the choice to have weight loss surgery. We are dedicated to providing you with the tools and information you need to feel fully prepared and completely comfortable with your upcoming procedure. All of this occurs in our facility which has been specifically designed for your privacy and comfort.

If you’ve struggled a long time to lose significant weight and have found traditional methods of dieting and exercise unhelpful, weight loss surgery may provide you with a new lease on life. Morbid obesity is a deadly condition, causing problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Undergoing weight loss surgery in North Idaho can help you win your struggle against obesity and regain control of your health and well-being. The latest innovative techniques and most competent weight loss surgeons are available at Northwest Specialty Hospital. Our staff truly cares about your journey to weight loss success.

Providers

John Pennings, MD, FACS, FASMBS

General Surgery, Bariatrics, Endoscopist

Dr. John Pennings received his MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School, which was followed by a general surgery residency at Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, an institution noted for excellence in trauma and critical care. He went on to complete a fellowship in advanced laparoscopic surgery and endoscopy at Oregon Health Sciences University. He was one of the first eight fellows in the nation to complete this highly specialized training.

During this training, Dr. Pennings helped to develop new surgical techniques for esophageal, gastric and colon surgery, and was responsible for educating other surgeons in these new, minimally invasive surgical techniques. Dr. Pennings has also pursued advanced training in bariatric (weight loss) surgical techniques, surgical and endoscopic management of reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus and non-surgical management of hemorrhoids.

In his twenty year career as a community general surgeon, he founded Minimally Invasive Surgery Northwest, Surgical Bariatrics Northwest, Optifit, and currently is the founder and director of The Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery.

Dr. Pennings has served in leadership roles as chairman of the department of surgery at Kootenai Medical Center and as chairman of the board of directors at Northwest Specialty Hospital. As part of his involvement at Northwest Specialty Hospital, he oversaw the development of a comprehensive bariatric surgery program and was awarded Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery status by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He is board certified by the American College of Surgeons, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, and an active member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. He is committed to surgical excellence and compassionate patient care.

Dr. Pennings is trained in the entire spectrum of benign and malignant digestive diseases. He has completed accredited fellowship training programs. Fellowship training is beyond what is required in standard residency training and is the highest level of surgical training attainable. Dr. Pennings has completed this rigorous training in order to become the highest level expert in the medical and surgical aspects of gastrointestinal diseases.

Education: University of Minnesota

Medical School: Emanuel Hospital and Health Center

Residency: American Board of Surgery

Certifications: Board Certified in Digestive Surgery

Memberships: Idaho Medical Association

American College of Surgeons
American Society of American Surgeons
Idaho Chapter American College of Surgeons
Kootenai-Benewah Medical Society
American Society of Bariatric Surgeons
Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 North Syringa Street, Suite 205
Post Falls, Idaho 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Cory Richardson, MD, FACS, FASMBS

General Surgery, Bariatrics, Endoscopist

Dr. Richardson grew up in Mammoth Lakes, CA. He attended the University of Nevada, Reno where he was a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Alpine Ski Team. He completed medical school and General Surgery Residency at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He then went on to complete an advanced surgical fellowship at the Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery, the only fellowship program in the United States or Canada accredited in Advanced Gastrointestinal/Minimally Invasive/Bariatric Surgery and Flexible Endoscopy.

Dr. Richardson is trained in the entire spectrum of benign and malignant digestive diseases. He has completed accredited fellowship training programs. Fellowship training is beyond what is required in standard residency training and is the highest level of surgical training attainable. Dr. Richardson has completed this rigorous training in order to become the highest level expert in the medical and surgical aspects of gastrointestinal diseases.

Fellowship Trained

Education: University of Nevada School of Medicine

Medical School: University of Nevada School of Medicine

Residency: University of Nevada School of Medicine

Certifications: Board Certified in Digestive Surgery

Memberships: Advanced Surgical Fellowship - Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery

Certified by the American Board of Surgery
American College of Surgeons
American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons
Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons
Society of Critical Care Medicine

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 North Syringa Street, Suite 205
Post Falls, Idaho 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Derek Dirks, MD

General Surgery, Bariatrics, Endoscopist

Dr. Dirks grew up in Coeur d’Alene, ID. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID with a BS in Biology and a minor in Spanish. He attended medical school at the University of Iowa Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, IA. He completed the University of South Dakota general surgery residency program in Sioux Falls, SD. He finished his training with a fellowship in bariatric surgery at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Oregon. During his fellowship he was trained in bariatric surgery with the Legacy Weight and Diabetes Institute and advanced foregut and colorectal surgery with The Oregon Clinic.

Dr. Dirks resides in Coeur d’Alene, ID with his wife and four daughters. He enjoys skiing in the winter and spending time hiking, biking, and time on the water in the summer.

Dr. Dirks is trained in the entire spectrum of benign and malignant digestive diseases. He has completed accredited fellowship training programs. Fellowship training is beyond what is required in standard residency training and is the highest level of surgical training attainable. Dr. Dirks has completed this rigorous training in order to become the highest level expert in the medical and surgical aspects of gastrointestinal diseases.

Fellowship Trained

Education

University of Idaho

Medical School

University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

Residency

University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

Fellowship

Legacy Good Samaritan

Memberships

Oregon State Medical License
American College of Surgery – Board Eligible
ATLS Instructor Certification
FLS Certification
FES Certification
ACLS Certification
BLS Certification

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 N. Syringa St., Suite 205
Post Falls, ID 83854

Phone: 208.262.0945

Fax: 208.415.0150

Brian Kazmierski, PA-C

General Surgery, Bariatrics

Brian E. Kazmierski, PA-C graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science from the University of Washington School of Medicine. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies with a focus on General Surgery from the University of Nebraska Medical College in 2001. He has been with Surgical Bariatrics since September 2001 and continues to provide excellent care for each of our patients.

Education: University of Washington School of Medicine

Medical School: The University of Nebraska Medical College

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 N. Syringa St., Suite 205
Post Falls, ID 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Jonathan Saxe, PA-C, DSc

General Surgery, Bariatrics

Jonathan L. Saxe, PA-C, DSc, graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Illinois. He then received a commission in the U.S. Army where he served as a military police officer before attending the Interservice Physician Assistant Program, earning him a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  He later went on to complete a general surgery fellowship at Brooke Army Medical Center in Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, and was awarded a Doctorate of Clinical Science with a focus in General Surgery from Baylor University.  He joined the surgical team at Northwest Specialty Hospital in 2019 after retiring from 20 years of active duty service.

Education: University of Illinois

Medical School: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Fellowship: General Surgery – Brooke Army Medical Center

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 North Syringa Street, Suite 205
Post Falls, Idaho 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Amanda Simpson, PA-C

General Surgery, Bariatrics

Amanda K. Simpson, PA-C, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from Biola University in La Mirada, CA. She then went on to complete her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Pacific University in Hillsboro, OR, and is also about to earn a Doctorate of Medical Science from Pacific University with a focus in healthcare improvement. She rotated with the team at Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery during her clinical training as a physician assistant, and was thrilled to be added as a member of the team in 2021.

Education: Biola University

Medical School: Pacific University

Certifications: BLS

ACLS
PALS

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 North Syringa Street, Suite 205
Post Falls, Idaho 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Laurie McBride, RD, LD

Bariatrics

Laurie serves as a Dietitian and is very enthusiastic about helping patients reach their healthy lifestyle goals and manage various medical conditions through nutrition with compassion and evidence-based practice. She has worked in the field of weight management and clinical dietetics since 2013.

Education: University of Idaho

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 N Syringa St Suite 205
Post Falls, ID 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Jennifer Ramsrud, RDN, CDCES

Bariatrics

Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She graduated from University of Idaho with her Master’s degree in Education, and received her Bachelor’s of Science degree from Michigan State University. She has been a dietitian for over 14 years, and is passionate about proactively helping patients manage their diabetes and other cardiovascular comorbidities with healthy lifestyle changes.

Jennifer grew up in Michigan and moved to Idaho in 1999. She enjoys being active and is a two-time full Ironman finisher. During her time off, she enjoys walking, boating, camping and spending time with her husband, two energetic boys, family and friends.

Education: Michigan State University

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 N Syringa St Suite 205
Post Falls, ID 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

Lyndi Bertman, RD

Bariatrics

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery

750 N Syringa St Suite 205
Post Falls, ID 83854

Phone: (208) 262-0945
Fax: (208) 415-0150

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