Meet Our Team

At the Saint Francis Center for Surgical Weight Loss our team consists of board certified weight loss surgeons,  a nurse practitioner, medical assistants, patient advocates, and dietitians who are experienced in evaluating and counseling patients to prepare them for this life-changing, lifesaving procedure and help ensure long-term success.  We provide a sensitive and comfortable environment to address all of your needs.

Ellen McElhaney, Practice Manager


Ellen is a certified professional with 30 years of experience leading large, fast growing, multi-site, and multi-specialty group practices. In addition to her years in medical group management, Ellen seized an opportunity to work independently as a practice development consultant, where she partnered with other consultants, to provide customized development and marketing plans for their healthcare clients.  She is dedicated to quality customer service and patient care, and to her current practice that is just as dedicated in providing excellent and personalized care to patients. She has been with Tenet since April 2012, and joined Saint Francis Center for Surgery Weight Loss in January 2013, overseeing operational functions. Phone: 901-881-0749


Vanessa D. Williams, FNP-BC Nurse Practitioner

vanessa-williamsVanessa is a nurse practitioner with 6 years experience in caring for weight loss surgery patients. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mississippi College and her Master of Science in Nursing from Arkansas State University. Vanessa works closely with Dr. Wegner to coordinate the pre and post operative phases of the weight loss surgery program customized for each patient. She performs gastric band adjustments and follows up with gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy patients after surgery.

In addition to medical care, Vanessa is instrumental in coaching patients with their life style changes in order to achieve maximum success. She enjoys watching their lives change in wonderful ways. Vanessa is excited about and committed to supporting patients through the many levels of change that come with weight loss surgery. Phone: 901-881-0669


Jamie Carpenter MS, RD, LDN Program Dietitian

jamie-newJamie is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian in the state of Tennessee with 2 years of clinical experience prior to joining the team at the Center for Surgical Weight Loss in 2008. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Georgia State University, completed a Dietetic Internship from Georgia State University, and received her Master of Science in Health Sciences with a specialization in nutrition from Georgia State University. She recently earned her Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management from the American Dietetic Association. She performs initial nutrition assessments and helps facilitate goal setting before surgery, educates patients during group classes before surgery on recommended lifestyle changes to be most successful after surgery, and counsels patients during follow up visits after surgery. She also coordinates monthly support groups.

Jamie is passionate and committed to helping patients meet postoperative nutritional needs, achieve weight loss goals, and maintain weight loss. Jamie is honored to work with such a committed multidisciplinary team and play an integral role in a growing area of dietetics where patients achieve positive long-term outcomes. Phone: 901-881-0613



Anna Bryant, MS, RD, LDN Program Dietitian

Anna BAnna joined the team in 2011 after working for a year in geriatrics.  Anna graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics for Harding University then completed her Dietetic Internship and Master’s in Clinical Nutrition at the University of Memphis.  Anna will complete her certificate of training in Adult Weight Management in October of 2013.  Anna conducts initial nutrition assessments and aids in goal setting both prior to and after surgery.  She also educates patients in group nutrition classes on the lifestyle changes necessary for optimal success after surgery.

Anna is committed to healthy eating and exercise.  She is always looking for new and healthy recipes to share with her family.  She is a runner and is currently training for her first half marathon.  Anna’s passion for her job shines through as she meets with patients and expresses her happiness over their weight loss success. Phone: 901-881-0613


The Patient Advocate Team

The process to get through the steps for insurance approval for weight loss surgery can be a daunting one.  Here at the Saint Francis Center for Surgical Weight Loss, we recognize that and have put together a specialized team to help you every step of the way.  They are experts in their field and will help you navigate the different requirements in order to achieve an approval and a surgery date as quickly as your insurance guidelines will allow.  They will work with your personal situation and coordinate a plan that meets your needs.

Janell Gill – Patient Advocate

Janell-newJanell has been with the Center for Surgical Weight Loss since 2008.  She was promoted to Patient Advocate and has helped define this important role.

She will guide you through the entire process from seminar to surgery. She will assist you in making appointments, scheduling needed tests, and will act as a liaison between our office and your doctor’s office if needed in order to obtain all appropriate documentation for insurance approval. Janell is highly skilled at facilitating the quickest path to surgery while ensuring that all of the requirements are met.  A personal plan will be laid out for you in order to ensure your success.

Janell enjoys the opportunity to work with this group of patients that make life changing decisions to improve their quality of life. Her exclamations at her patient’s progress can be heard in the hallway as they meet healthy weight goals.  Her caring attitude makes the process a very pleasant one. Phone: 901-881-0661



Betty Coble – Patient Advocate


Betty has been part of the team since 2010 and is part of our patient advocate team. She is an expert in dealing with insurance companies and her experience includes pre-determination, pre-certification, benefits verification, and appealing denials. Betty will keep you updated throughout the process and will celebrate with you when we get the approval for your surgery.

She will guide you through the entire process from seminar to surgery. She will assist you in making appointments, scheduling needed tests, and will act as a liaison between our office and your doctor’s office if needed in order to obtain all appropriate documentation for insurance approval.

Betty considers it a privilege to help patients through the approval process in order to facilitate a life altering procedure. Phone: 901-881-0726


Kimberly Smith – Patient Advocate

I have been a part of St. Francis since summer of 2014, bringing with me some knowledge from other weight loss surgery clinics and since gaining so much more from the team here. I assist all my patients from beginning to end, helping them to move through the process quickly and with ease. I enjoy getting to know my patients and their goals; this opens up communication and knowing your advocate will help meet those goals. I will go the extra mile to make sure all of my patients get the healthcare they deserve while in my care.


Susie Bowles – Front Office Coordinator

SusieYou will be welcomed to the Saint Francis Center for Surgical Weight Loss by our front office coordinator, Susie. The first one to greet you in the office, she is responsible for scheduling and coordinating clinics, answering your calls, billing, and making sure that you have everything that you need for your office visits pre-surgery as well as the necessary appointments and material post-surgery. As office coordinator, she aids the rest of the staff in making the process as smooth as possible. Susie is always so excited to see patients progress with each follow-up visit and loves to celebrate their success.  Her sweet spirit puts patients at ease. Phone: 901-881-0600



EmmaEmma-lee Anderson – Medical Receptionist


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Latest Blog

Melissa’s Story

Dr. Robert Wegner performed my RNY gastric bypass surgery on November 9, 2015. I was 36 at the time, and while I’ve never been skinny, I have an athletic build and played three sports throughout high school. I started struggling with my weight my first year of college when I was 18 years old. I have tried just about every diet on the market. I … Continue reading

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This (These) testimonial(s) reflect results achieved by this (these) patients. As each case must be independently evaluated and managed, actual weight loss will vary.

This surgery is designed for those with a body mass index equal to or greater than 40, or equal to or greater than 35 with serious co-morbidities.

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The Saint Francis Center for Surgical Weight Loss is proud to serve patients from: Brownsville, TN; Dyersburg, TN; Hernando, MS; Jackson, TN; Jonesboro, AR; Olive Branch, MS; Southaven, MS and West Memphis, AR from our location in Memphis, TN.