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Our Team

Our promise is to provide you with the highest quality of professional and personalized care. We will be your dedicated advocates throughout your Surgical Weight Loss journey. Our organized team of clinicians thoughtfully address behavioral, psychological, and emotional aspects of obesity.

Our Surgeons

Jeffrey Monash, MD, FACS

General and Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Monash is a Board Certified General, Advanced Laparoscopic, and Bariatric Surgeon. He is the medical director of Tucson Medical Center’s Surgical Weight Loss Program, and has helped to establish three separate Bariatric Surgical Centers of Excellence.

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Christine Lovato, MD

General and Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Lovato is a Board Certified, Advanced Laparoscopic, General and Bariatric Surgeon. She is also certified in both multiport and single-incision robotic surgery using the DaVinci® system. She has served on both quality and partnership councils during her training with a focus on quality improvement and safety in surgery.

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Matthew Cooper, MD

Born and raised in Arizona, Dr. Matthew Cooper graduated Cum Laude from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Following his undergraduate studies he attended medical school at the University of Arizona College of Medicine here in Tucson.

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Our Providers

Scott F. Lopez, RN, MSN, CNOR, CRNFA, CNS, FNP

Nurse Practitioner

Scott has been a Registered Nurse (RN) since 1986. He completed his Masters of Science of Nursing in 1999 and has been a Certified Nurse of the Operating Room (CNOR) since 1990. He became a Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant (CRNFA) in 1991. Scott was granted a Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) of the Perioperative Arena in 1999. He then obtained Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) in 2003. Scott has 35 plus years in the Operating room with a background in emergency and critical patient care management.

When Scott is not with patients, he enjoys family, being outdoors and raising his livestock.


Deidre Schodroski, FNP

Nurse Practitioner

Certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Deidre Schodroski is a Family Nurse Practitioner performing a range of clinical procedures of the hand and wrist. Deidre gained her surgical nursing experience here in Tucson at Camp Lowell Day Surgery and Oro Valley Hospital. An advanced practice nurse and mother, Deidre’s emphasis is on quality care, making each patient’s experience as pleasant and satisfying as possible.


Terri Farmer, PhD

Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Dr. Farmer is responsible for all pre-operative and post-operative psychological support. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau-Claire and worked with bariatric patients in the 1980’s.

She earned her Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona and has served as a faculty member there. Dr. Farmer is passionate about her work with bariatric patients and continues to further her knowledge at conferences and seminars to provide high quality care. Away from work, Dr. Farmer enjoys outside activities with her husband and three sons.


Suzette Kroll, RD

Registered Dietitian

Suzette Kroll, RD, is a well-regarded expert in the nutrition field. She is a registered dietitian, certified intrinsic coach, and specialist in adult weight management. She has been inspiring good nutrition habits in others since 1991.

Suzette’s advice has been seen in Seventeen Magazine, The American College of Sports Medicine Fitness Journal, Weight Watchers, Mindful Mama Magazine, and on various cable and television stations, including The Food Network.

Leading by example, Suzette is both motivational and inspirational. She is best known for her personable style, quick wit, and ability to translate the latest scientific findings into advice about what to eat for dinner. Her hobbies include yoga, weight training, flamenco dancing, harmonium playing, writing, and chocolate chip cookies. Not necessarily in that order.

Our Staff

Laurie Burns, MA

Practice Manager
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

I have over 30 years of experience working with medical surgical patients. I’ve been in Tucson since 1969, have been married for 38 years, have 7 grandchildren. I love my family and I enjoy reading, watching movies, traveling and being outdoors.


Kristen Lee

Medical Assistant

I have lived in Tucson my entire life. I just finished school as a Medical Assistant at Pima Medical Institute. I was inspired to be in the medical field after a life changing event. I enjoy being outdoors, spending time with family and friends, country music and cheering on my favorite sports teams.


Chrystel Pierce, MA

Front Office Supervisor/Insurance Submission Specialist /Medical Assistant

I have worked with bariatric patients for 9 years. I was born and raised in Tucson. I have two little boys that are my world. Things that I enjoy doing are swimming, hiking, and hanging out with friends.


Jean Barbea

Project Manager

My career began as a Medical Assistant 30 years ago. Over the years my eagerness to learn has lead me to a variety of areas in the medical profession; from billing and coding to supervising and managing. Patient care is rewarding and exciting to me. I am pleased to be working with such a compassionate group of physicians and staff at Tucson Bariatric. It is my goal to use my training, knowledge and experience to do all I can to help our patients and our practice succeed.


Josie Valencia

Insurance Liaison

I have been in the medical field for 10 years. My family and I recently moved back to Tucson after living in Globe, AZ for several years. I have three sons who are the light of my life. My family and I enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, bbqing church on Sundays and football. We love our Az Wildcats!


Stephanie Araya-Valero

Collections Specialist

I am blessed to have 3 wonderful children which are my heart and soul. I have been in the medical field for 26 years. I was born in Anaheim, California. Then moved to AZ in my early years. I love to spend time with my family and friends having BBQ and watching all kinds of sports events.


Samantha Senick

Front Desk

This is my first experience in the medical filed. I truly look forward to seeing the positive change in our patients lives. I have a beautiful son who means the world me, I love spending time with my family, and being outdoors enjoying nature.


Lydia Arellano

Front desk

I attended Apollo College and obtained my certificate as a medical assistant in 2011 and have worked in the medical field for seven years. I am from Rio Rico, Az and moved to Tucson in 2012. I have a wonderful son who means the world to me. My favorite NFL football team is the Dallas Cowboys and college football is U of A. Family means everything to me. I enjoy having cookouts, watching sports and playing outdoor activities.


Diana Dix

Surgery Scheduler

We moved to Tucson from Las Vegas 12 years ago. I am married to a wonder husband for 38 years, we have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. I have been in the medical field since 1978 and I have enjoyed every minute working with patients and helping them to achieve their medical goals.

I have worked for General Surgeons in Las Vegas for 15 years as a surgery scheduler. I enjoy being outdoors and I help my husband train our hunting dogs on the weekends.


Frances Somoza-Otero

Medical Assistant/New Patient Liaison

I have worked in the medical field as a Medical Assistant for over 29 years. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband and an amazing son and daughter. I love spending my free time with my family and friends. My Family and I enjoy cooking out and having a house full over to watch all sports events, this includes supporting the Arizona Sun Devils! Forks-up!


Cathy Hernandez

Billing/Collections

I was born and raised in Tucson and have been in medical billing since 2003. My husband and I have been together for 15 years. We have 2 beautiful daughters, who are excellent softball players. My family and I are also huge UofA fans and have been football season ticket holders 2004.


Angelica Ferrel

Medical Assistant

I’m from the small town of Wilcox, AZ. I recently moved to Tucson to continue school, which I recently graduated from Pima medical. I love being able to help people which is the main reason I chose the medical field; it’s rewarding seeing the progress patients make. I enjoy nature, hiking and spending time with my family.