Meet Our Weight Loss Team
Meet Our Physicians
Dr. Mike Moreno
Dr. Micheal Moreno is currently the Director for the Positive Choice Health and Wellness Center at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. Better known as “Dr. Mike,” he is the author of the #1 NY TIMES best seller, The 17 Day Diet. His common sense approach to nutrition and fitness and upbeat approach to the challenges of weight loss, landed his book on the #1 NY Times Best Selling list for over 78 weeks, with 14 weeks at #1.
Dr. Mike is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine and Hahnemann Medical School (now Drexel University). He completed his residency at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, California and then moved to San Diego, where he practices family medicine and sits on the board of the San Diego Chapter of American Academy of Family Physicians.
Dr. Mike is a strong advocate for healthy living and role-models what he teaches. In 2008, Dr. Mike encouraged a Kaiser Permanente member to start a walking program and then offered to walk with her to get her started. Other members got involved and he launched “Walk with Your Doc.” Soon over 80 people were walking with Dr. Moreno in the mornings and he inspired other Kaiser Permanente doctors in other areas to do the same.
Albert Ray, M.D.
Dr. Ray is the supervising physician at Kaiser Permanente’s for Bariatric Services. He has been a Family Physician since 1978 with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group at Kaiser Permanente, San Diego. Dr. Ray is the author of many articles on Prevention, Health Promotion, Patient Education, Obesity and Tobacco Cessation. He was California Family Physician of the Year in 2002. He was voted “Top Doctor” in Family Medicine in San Diego by San Diego Magazine.
Vincent Felitti, M.D.
Dr. Felitti is an internist who founded the Department of Preventive Medicine for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, California in 1975 and served as Chief of Preventive Medicine until 2001. Under Dr. Felitti’s leadership, the Health Appraisal Division of the department became the largest single-site medical evaluation facility in the world, providing comprehensive, biopsychosocial medical evaluation to a total of 1.3 million individual adults. Vincent J. Felitti is a Co-Principal Investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, ongoing collaborative research between Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is a long term, in-depth analysis of over 17,000 middle-aged, middle-class Americans, matching their current health status against 10 categories of adverse childhood experiences that occurred on average a half-century earlier.Further information about the Study is at http://www.cdc.gov/NCCDPHP/ACE/.
Meet Our Management Team
Medical Weight Management and Fitness Services Supervising Health Educator
Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition from San Diego State University, 2003, BS Exercise and Sport Science, Penn State University, 1998 Board Certified Nutrition Specialist, American College of Nutrition
Publications include: Metabolic and Performance Effects of Raisins Versus Sports Gel as Pre-exercise Feedings in Cyclists Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2007, 21(4), 1204–1207
Chris has worked at the Positive Choice Wellness Center at Kaiser Permanente since 2002. He specializes in nutrition and exercise physiology and has provided a variety of services for Positive Choice: Partial Fasting Weight Management groups; Maintenance Program; Fitness Testing; Personal Training; VO2 Max and Metabolic Rate Testing; H.E.A.T. – Healthy Eating and Training. Currently Chris is the Supervising Health Educator for the Weight Management Services at the Positive Choice Wellness Center. His philosophy: Whatever the brain says you can do, the body actually has double that capability. I strive to show people this and help them realize their true potential. Sometimes a person needs to take a leap of faith, try something new, and just see what happens…My goal is to always provide helpful and courteous service to the people who come to us for help. I want to make sure that each and every participant has a quality experience at Positive Choice by helping them move through the program with ease. I also strive to ensure that people feel welcomed and cared for as if they were one of our family.
Meet Our Group Facilitators
Vincent Alvarez, RD, NSCA-CPT
Partial Fasting Weight Management Program and Weight Maintenance Group Facilitator; Ask a Dietitian Facilitator
Education: Bachelor’s in Sociology and Nutrition: California State University Long Beach;Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer, CPR certified; Employee of the Year 2001 Sharp Memorial Hospital; Adjunct Professor in Nutrition at Grossmont College 2000-2002; Health and Wellness Motivational Speaker; Founder of Philanthropy organization: Athletes for the Quality of Life
I have worked for Kaiser Permanente’s Positive Choice Wellness Center since 1998. I facilitate groups in the Maintenance Program and the Partial Fasting Weight loss Program. I also do individual nutrition and fitness counseling in the free Ask the Dietitian sessions. I enjoy working for Positive Choice because it allows me to use my talents to help others reach their health goals. I strive to listen to each person with compassion and caring and I approach weight loss holistically. My training as a dietitian, personal trainer, and in mindfulness gives me the tools I need to work with my clients to help them realize success with their nutrition, exercise, and fitness goals.
I feel the main ingredient for success in any weight management program is support. This is what I work to create in my classes. I feel it’s my unique way with how I connect with people and help them to connect with others that is key to keeping them motivated and inspired to continue on a healthy journey.
Real health is about the quality of our lives and its quality that I focus on the most.
Ali Chambers, M.A., LMFT
Fasting Weight Management Program Group Facilitator, Weight Maintenance Booster Group Seminars
Education: Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, Bachelors degree in Psychology from University of California Los Angeles
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
I have worked at the Positive Choice Wellness Center at Kaiser Permanente since 1993 and I facilitate Full Fasting Weight Management groups helping people to lose weight using either Optifast 70 or 800. I also facilitate Weight Maintenance Booster seminars that focus on helping those people who have lost weight maintain a healthy body weight.
My strengths and expertise are in building and facilitating communication and relationship skills. My approach to facilitating groups or in individual work is to listen intently to what my clients say with words and without words… with as little judgment as possible. My intention is to create a safe and supportive environment, in which people become willing to tell their stories, and then see how food and eating have helped them survive the challenges in their lives. Then, working together we try to discover what else could work in place of food. I work in an encouraging manner and with humor, honoring where people are and supporting them in changes they want to make.
I really enjoy being with people, getting to know them and using the creative process to help them discover new and wonderful aspects about themselves.
Janet Klein, MS, CNC, CC
Weight Management Program Group Facilitator
Education: Master in Science: Nutritional Sciences, 2004 San Diego State University
Degree – Licenciatura: Nutrition and Food Science, 1982 Iberoamericana University, Mexico City, Mexico, Certified Nutritional Consultant, 2012, Certified Life Coach, 2011, Certified in Adult Weight Management, 2011, Certified LEAP Therapist. (Lifestyle, Eating and Performance), 2010, Certified Lactation Educator, 2004
I have been working at the Positive Choice Wellness Center since January of 2009. I am the counselor for Weight Maintenance Program for the Spanish Speaking Patients and the Fasting Weight Management Program in Spanish.
My goal is to help as many people as I can to improve their lifestyle. I empathize with my patients and do my best to help them in their path towards health.
Dr. Robin Lowin, Ph.D.
Fasting Weight Management Program Group Facilitator
Education: Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: California School of Professional Psychology Licensed Clinical Psychologist
I started working for the Positive Choice Wellness Center in 1983. Over the years I have been involved with the program in many ways – teaching maintenance, organizing the Hall of Fame for long-term successful weight program participants, organizing Fun Walks, etc. Currently I focus my energies on facilitating group sessions for the Fasting Weight Management Program and providing individual counseling for people in the weight management program.
I have been helping people lose weight and regain their health for over 28 years. I know that people use food/weight to comfort, sooth or temporarily deal with problems. My goal is to help my patients realize food doesn’t truly fix things. I try to guide them to find other resources for dealing with life’s ups and downs.
I enjoy working with my patients and appreciate the trust they place in me. It is amazing to share in their life changes which include better health and a new sense of pride and self-esteem. It is a privilege to guide them towards a happier heart- both mentally and physically.
Other areas of interest outside Positive Choice include my work originating and developing Trauma Induced Eating Disorder Therapy- TM (TIED Syndrome Therapy-TM) and my work as a Certified Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Specialist.
Pam Luschei, CA LMFT
Fasting Weight Management Program Group Facilitator
Education: M. A. in Marriage, Family Therapy from Trinity College of Graduate Studies; B.A. in Speech Pathology from Washington State University
I started working for the Positive Choice wellness Center in 1996. I am the group facilitator for the Fasting Weight Management Programs at the Bostonia Kaiser Permanente facility in East County.
The process of losing weight is not just about becoming physically smaller; it is about an inner change in mind and attitude as well. I believe that people in the weight management program truly change from the inside out. I see my role as helping people see the possibility of change through encouragement and acceptance. I help them to view their past experiences as a teacher, not as a frame for their future success.
Kari McCloskey RD, CPT
Partial Fasting Weight Management Program and Weight Maintenance Group Facilitator, Personal Trainer, H.E.A.T. – Healthy Eating and Training
Education: Bachelor’s degree Administrative Dietetics: Loma Linda University, cum laude; Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer, Diabetes Educator, Childbirth Educator
I have worked at the Positive Choice wellness Center since 1995. I teach Partial Fast Weight Management groups, Maintenance Programs, and Booster Classes. In addition, I provide personal training for those enrolled in the H.E.A.T program and I help people get started in the weight programs providing them with Body Assessment appointments.
Many people think losing weight and getting in shape depends just on their behaviors – what they do or don’t do. I have found both in my personal life and with the people I work with, that achieving health requires a more holistic approach. Real change begins when we are ready mentally and find a balance of mind, body, and soul. It is when we bring the whole of ourselves to the process that great health can be achieved.
I live what I teach. I like sharing short-cuts and techniques that I’ve learned through my 23 years of practice. I enjoy working with people and helping them to follow their unique individual path of wellness.
Lee Sigall, M.A.
Fasting Weight Management Program Group Facilitator
Education: Masters Degree in Psychology from San Diego State University; Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
I have worked at the Positive Choice Wellness Center at Kaiser Permanente since 1982. My primary job is to facilitate Full Fasting Weight Management groups helping people to lose weight using either Optifast 70 or 800.
My philosophy for facilitating groups is to take the “pulse” of a class or individual client to determine which interventions to utilize. I believe in accepting people where they are and gently encouraging them to a higher level of functioning. The non-judgmental atmosphere in my groups allows for the free-flow of ideas and feelings. I coach people to develop new-found skills. My favorite compliment is hearing someone say that their 100-pound weight loss was secondary to the other skills they have developed.