Healthy 4 Life Center

Our Team

To find out more, call toll free 1-866-224-2059 or attend one of our free seminars. Click Learn More for program information and for online registration.

Standing by You!

At the Healthy 4 Life Center, we offer a team approach to weight loss, bringing together professionals with specialized skills and knowledge to address the needs of the patient as a whole person. Our staff is passionate about helping patients improve their health and empowering them to adapt a healthier lifestyle. With our lifetime follow-up care plan, we stand by our patients.

Paul Stanish, M.D., FACS

Medical Director
Board Certified General Surgery

A native of Northwest Indiana, Dr. Stanish, Medical Director for Healthy4Life, earned his medical degree from Indiana University. He completed his residency and internship at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s, in Chicago, Il. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery since 1995.

Dr. Stanish’s interest in medicine started from his strong desire to help others. He attributes his passion and satisfaction from his job to the fact that he can make a major impact in the life of others on a daily basis. He has been in practice for 18 years, and has performed more than 1200 weight-loss surgeries and more than 12,000 general surgery procedures. Dr. Stanish focuses on the minimally invasive, laparoscopic approach to general and bariatric surgery.

Dr. Stanish is the co-founder of Healthy4Life, a program established to help you fight obesity every step of the way. Being the first bariatric surgeon in NWI designated a Center of Excellence Bariatric Surgeon is one of many reasons he is regarded as a skilled and respected bariatric surgeon. Offering procedures such as LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding, Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery and Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Dr. Stanish and his bariatric support team are uniquely qualified to provide a compassionate and comprehensive approach to surgery and after-care that are without equal.

Dr. Stanish is married to his lovely wife Christine, and together they have two children, Tyler and Matt. In his spare time, Dr.Stanish enjoys cooking, physical fitness, recreational sports and spending time with his family.

Hung Dang, D.O.

Co-Medical Director
Board Certified General Surgery

Dr. Dang is Co-Medical director for Healthy 4 Life. After becoming interested in advanced laparoscopic and weight loss surgery procedures during his residency at Bosford Hospital in Farmington Hill, MI, Dr. Dang continued to pursue his passion in bariatric surgery, and received specialty training in Bariatric Surgery as a fellow at Cleveland Clinic Florida.

Believing that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits all approach to weight loss surgery, Dr. Dang continues to pursue his passion in bariatric surgery, specializing in LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding, Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery and Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. His love for medicine stemmed from his interests in science and biology and his desire to help others. His philosophy of care is to provide honest and compassionate care to all of his patients and their families.

Dr. Dang is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery. He is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, and the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons.

The favorite part of Dr. Dang’s job is spending time in an encouraging environment and using his skills as a surgeon to help patients become healthier individuals. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling with his beautiful wife Christy, photography, and has a fondness for ethnic food.

Lorri S. Field RN, BSN, MBA

Director of Bariatric Services

Lorri is Director of Bariatric Services at Community Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center.  In this role she works closely with the Medical Director to continually improve patient safety and service excellence.  She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana University, and her Masters of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.  Lorri has more than 30 years of nursing experience in a variety of hospital and administrative settings.   She was instrumental in the first hospital in NWI to be designated a Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery.   Lorri is an active member of the Obesity Action Coalition, and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.  Lorri has one son, and in her spare time enjoys outdoors and sporting activities such as golfing, hiking, skiing, and traveling.

Lisa Almaraz, RN, ASN, CBN

Bariatric Care Coordinator
St. Mary Medical Center

Lisa is Co- Bariatric Coordinator for St. Mary’s Hospital in Hobart, Indiana. She received her Nursing degree at Indiana University.  Lisa is also certified in Bariatric Nursing as well as Bariatric Support Group Leadership. Prior to joining the Bariatric program she cared for many post surgical bariatric patients on a busy Medical Unit. Lisa spends much of her free time cheering for her daughter on a local competitive softball team.

Laurie Edwards, RN, BSN, CBN

Bariatric Care Coordinator
St. Mary Medical Center

Laurie is Co-Bariatric Coordinator for St. Mary's Hospital in Hobart, Indiana. Laurie received her Bachelor's of Science Degree in Nursing at Ball State University. Along with her 10 years of Bariatric nursing experience, she is Certified in Bariatric Nursing and a Certified Bariatric Support Group Leader. Laurie is married with two children, and her spare time revolves around family activities. She finds her career to be rewarding by supporting others in finding their new healthier lifestyles.

Kathryn Lipari, RD, CD

Bariatric Dietitian
St. Mary Medical Center/Community Hospital

Kathryn is the Bariatric Dietitian for the Healthy4Life program.  She has more than 10 years of experience in clinical nutrition and dietetics, and has been working in the bariatric field since 2004.  Kathryn has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Health Science/Dietetics through Indiana University Bloomington.  After completing her Dietetic Internship through San Diego State University, Kathryn earned her credentials at both the state and national levels, and is a certified Bariatric Support Group Leader.  Away from the office, Kathryn enjoys spending time with her three children.

Gina Charles, B.S.

Gina is an Exercise Specialist at the Community Hospital Fitness Pointe.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and Wellness and is certified through the American College of Sports medicine as an Exercise Instructor.  Gina also holds a certification in Advanced Life Support.  She enjoys outdoor activities with her family.

Debi Pillarella, M.Ed

Debi is the Exercise Program Manager for the Community Hospital Fitness Pointe and has her Master’s Degree in Education with a minor in Exercise Science.  She is also a Certified Personal Trainer, Advanced Health & Fitness Specialist, and Group Fitness Instructor with The American Council on Exercise.  She’s married, has two teenage boys, and enjoys being outdoors.

Among her distinguished list of accomplishments is her being named 2009 IDEA Program Director of the Year  from the IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the world’s leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals.  In 2007, she was honored with the Indiana Health Achievement Award from the Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Awards, Indiana’s premier health achievement award from the Indiana Public Health Foundation, Inc.  In 2004, she was the recipient of ACE’s prestigious Fitness Director of the Year Award.

In addition to contributing to a number of national publications and Web sites, including USA Today, More,, and Prevention magazine, Pillarella has written the monthly “Fit Family” column for NorthWest Indiana Parenting Magazine.  She lives in Munster, Ind. with her husband Jim and two boys, Joe and Luke.

Nikki Sarkisian, B.S.

Nikki is the Fitness Facility Supervisor for the Community Hospital Fitness Pointe and has her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.  She is also a Certified Group Fitness Instructor with the American Council on Exercise.  She is married and has one son.  She enjoys going for long walks with her dog.

Michele L. Stanley

Patient Service/Insurance Coordinator

Michele is the Patient Service/Insurance Coordinator at Healthy 4 Life.  Michele has worked in the medical insurance field for 19 years and has worked with Dr. Stanish for 13 years.  Michele is an expert at assisting patients through the seminar to surgery process, ensuring that all program requirements are met in order to obtain insurance approval for surgery – all in the shortest amount of time possible!  Michele enjoys spending time with her family and helping out with her daughter in the Lowell Marching Red Devils.