Guillermo Higa, MD

Guillermo Higa, MD
General and Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Guillermo Higa attended medical school at Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, in Cordoba, Argentina. He completed his residency in General Surgery at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, AZ.

In 2003, Dr. Higa moved to Florida for a medical research fellowship in bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. He later returned to the Cleveland Clinic for a fellowship in bariatric and minimally invasive surgery in 2010.

Dr. Higa is certified by the American Board of Surgery and holds professional memberships with the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Bariatric Surgery, and the Society of American Gastrointestinal & Endoscopic Surgeons.

Dr. Higa is the Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery for the Carondelet Health Network and the Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery Medical Director for St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Tucson, AZ.

Dr. Higa has more than 20 years of surgical experience performing over 1000 bariatric surgeries. He has extensive clinical and procedural expertise in research and education respective to Bariatric Surgery and Weight Loss and is often asked to give presentations and lectures for the Argentinian Congress of Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, SAGES, AAST, and the World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery.

He has received numerous awards including the CMS Meaningful Use Stage 1 Certification honors from Athena Clinics EHR and Athena Heath and has written numerous medical papers, academic publications, peer-reviewed research publications, and book chapters on weight loss and bariatric surgery.

In his spare time, Dr. Higa likes spending quality time with his wife, Helen, and four children. He enjoys sports including soccer, golf, and tennis. His favorite hobby is playing the Spanish guitar.

Dr. Higa is fluent in Spanish and English.

Hospital Affiliations:
Tucson Medical Center
Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital
Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital
Carondelet Marana Hospital
Banner University Medical Center

Dr. Matthew Weiner, MD
General and Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Matthew Weiner graduated from the University of Michigan medical school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He completed his general surgery residency at New York University Hospital in New York City. He practiced in suburban Detroit for 12 years before moving to Tucson in 2019 where he, together with Dr. Guillermo Higa, founded Tucson Weight Loss Surgery.

In addition to his surgical practice, Dr. Weiner is the Director of Bariatric Surgery and the Medical Director of Telemedicine at Tucson Medical Center. He is an active member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons (ASMBS) and is a past President of the Michigan State chapter a Bariatric Surgeons.

Dr. Weiner has performed more than 3500 bariatric surgeries since joining his first practice in 2006 and frequently does complicated revision surgery.   He also performs general surgery with an interest in stomach and small intestine surgery along with complex hernia repair.

In addition to being a surgeon, Dr. Weiner is an author of three books that focus on bariatric surgery and weight loss. He is also active on social media with a popular YouTube channel that offers videos on some of the most frequently asked questions by bariatric patients.

Dr. Weiner has developed a specialized nutritional program that maximizes a patient’s weight loss after surgery and published it in his first book, A Pound of Cure. In the book he demonstrates that weight loss surgery works primarily by creating favorable hormone shifts, rather than by blocking eating or calorie absorption. The Pound of Cure weight loss program is based on these observations and allows anyone to change their eating habits to maximize their body’s ability to lose weight.

His second book, How Weight Loss Surgery Really Works: And How to Make it Work for You, details the various surgeries available and outlines the pros and cons of each surgery. The book also delves into revision surgery, weight loss medications, social biases, emotional transitions, and offers tools to maximize surgical outcomes.

His third book titled, The Bariatric Diet Guide and Cookbook, is a manual to the most effective post-surgical diet. It also provides 100 easy, nutritious and delicious recipes to make as you progress through the stages of eating after bariatric surgery.

In his spare time, Dr. Weiner is an avid tennis player and happily married father of two girls and his dog, Maizey.

Hospital affiliations:
Tucson Medical Center
St. Mary’s Hospital
St. Joseph’s Hospital

Social Media
You Tube

Billi Jo Koepke, FNP

Billi Jo Koepke, FNP
Nurse Practitioner

Billi Jo Koepke joins Tucson Weight Loss Surgery with many years of experience and skill in both hospital and clinical settings to include pre-operative and post-operative care, orthopedic, neurology, trauma, and wound care.

After several years in nursing, she pursued and earned a Master of Science in Family Nurse Practitioner and a Register Nurse First Assist (RNFA) Certification through Grand Canyon University.

She brings her all combined experience and personal passion for health and nutrition to support and care for the unique needs of Bariatric patients.

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.

Claire Pauley, PA-C
Physician Assistant

Claire joined Tucson Weight Loss Surgery on October 1, 2021 and is excited to bring a non-surgical weight management option to the practice. With over three years of clinical experience in chronic disease management, Claire is passionate about providing individualized, evidence-based care to patients struggling with their weight. She brings a positive energy and collaborative style to each visit to ensure that patients feel supported and empowered throughout their lifelong health journey.

Claire earned her Master of Medical Science degree from Midwestern University in 2017 and is a national board certified Physician Assistant, licensed in the state of Arizona. In order to better serve patients struggling with obesity, Claire continues to pursue additional training in the field and has earned her Certificate of Advanced Education in Obesity Medicine through the Obesity Medicine Association.

Outside of work, Claire can be found running, hiking or rock climbing in the beautiful mountains of Tucson. She also loves creating new recipes in the kitchen, playing Scrabble with family and tending to her backyard chickens!

Zoë Schroeder, MS, RDN, CSCS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Zoë has spent her years as a dietitian working with a wide variety of patient populations, from hospital inpatients to active duty military members, but her passion lies with helping people reach and maintain their body composition goals.

Zoë grew up in Northern Arizona but has called Tucson her home for over eight years, and enjoys the diverse culture and natural beauty of the area. Zoë’s intrinsic interest in fitness and exercise guided her to obtain a Master’s Degree in Sports Nutrition and a board-certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Evidenced-based practice and science have built the foundation for her nutrition philosophy and pairing this with a knowledge of human movement has given her drive and purpose. It is with joy and enthusiasm that she shares her love of nutrition, health, and wellness with the patients of Tucson Weight Loss Surgery.