Meet the Bariatric Surgery Team
When you choose Jefferson for your weight-loss surgery program, you are treated as more than a surgical patient—we welcome you as part of our family. Our entire team of medical professionals works hard to be with you every step of the way, from your initial consultation to your post-surgical care and education, and beyond.
Since 2007, our team of expert bariatric surgeons have performed more than 4,000 procedures - changing the lives for patients and their families all over South Jersey.
Dr. Marc Neff is Medical Director of the Jefferson Health Bariatric Surgery Program in New Jersey. In this role, Dr. Neff oversees the clinical operations of the program, which has received Level 1 Accreditation through the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Neff is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed a five-year General Surgery residency at York Hospital in York, PA, and then went on to do a two-year Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at St. Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. There, he trained under recent Past President of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, Dr. W. Peter Geis, and recent Past President of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Dr. Robert Brolin.
Dr. Fakulujo is an assistant professor in the department of surgery at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM). Prior to joining RowanSOM, Dr. Fakulujo completed a residency in general surgery at Columbia University's Harlem Hospital Center in New York. After his time at Harlem, he pursued additional training and completed a fellowship in Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Florida. During this period, he was instrumental in leading a wide variety of bariatric procedures including laparoscopic roux-en-y gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic gastric banding and revisional bariatric surgery, as well as other advanced laparoscopic procedures including paraesophageal hernia repairs, anti-reflux procedures, heller myotomy, laparoscopic solid organ surgeries. Dr. Fakulujo obtained his medical degree from the University College Hospital, University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery, and is an active member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Adam Goldstein has been practicing bariatric surgery since 2004 when he completed his Fellowship in Minimally Invasive, Bariatric, and Robotic Surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor with Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, and has extensive training and experience performing laparoscopic bariatric surgery. A Board Certified Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Dr. Goldstein joined Jefferson's Bariatric Program in 2012, but has served as Director of Bariatric Surgery and Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery for another local hospital system for years. Dr. Goldstein graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences and went on to graduate from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, finishing in the top 5% of his graduating class. Following this, he completed his General Surgery Residency at the University of Illinois Metropolitan Group Hospitals, where he was awarded the Resident Achievement Award in Laparoscopic Surgery before going on to complete his fellowship. Dr. Goldstein is a respected member of the bariatric surgery community, and has been interviewed on television and radio about the operations.
Dr. Louis Balsama helped established Jefferson's Bariatric Program in New Jersey in 2007, along with Dr. Marc Neff. Dr. Balsama has always had an interest in teaching and has been very active with the Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine during his career. He currently serves as both the Acting Chairperson of Surgery at Rowan-SOM and as Program Director for the Surgical Residency at Rowan-SOM (formerly UMDNJ-SOM). A South Jersey native, Dr. Balsama graduated from UMDNJ-SOM in 1999, completing his Residency at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, PA, in 2005, and has been a Kennedy physician since that time. An avid runner and Boston Marathon qualifier, Dr. Balsama encourages and inspires his bariatric surgery patients to take an active role in their weight-loss journey through physical activity and a healthy diet. A member of the American College of Surgeons and the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, Dr. Balsama is also on the Jefferson Health Infection Control Committee.
Christine M. Arroliga RN, CBN, SMC
Chris, Bariatric Nurse Manager, has 20+ years of experience in the bariatric specialty, as well as 35+ years of experience nursing. One of the first nurses in the area to receive her bariatric nurse certification, she is also certified in diabetes (Certified Diabetes Educator retired) and stress management (Certified Stress Management Consultant). Chris’s areas of expertise include care of gastric sleeve, gastric band, and gastric bypass patients, and she has been honored with “Manager of the Quarter,” “Employee of the Month,” and various clinical excellence awards. Above all else, she compassionately coaches all clients through their continuum of care, so that they may safely and successfully reach their weight-loss goals.
Lead Bariatric Dietitian
Andrea Bookoff, MS, RD, is the lead bariatric dietitian with the Jefferson Health - New Jersey Bariatric Surgery Program. She earned her MS in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University, New York, NY, and completed her dietetic internship at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA. She also holds a Certificate of Training in Obesity Interventions for Adults from the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
With a passion for working with the weight management population — and a lover of food herself — Andrea has developed unique techniques to bridge the gap between both worlds. Recognizing these relationships allows Andrea to provide evidence-based recommendations, emotional support, and upgraded recipes to ensure patients reach their weight-loss journey goals.
Wellness Program Coordinator
Cristin Polizzi, Wellness Program Coordinator, has been with the Jefferson Bariatric team for more than five years. During this time, she became a Certified Health and Wellness Coach and Holistic Nutrition Coach. She also studied and earned certification for Lifestyle Management, Meditation, and Reiki. Her goal - from day one - with patients is to help make the transition from pre-operative life to post-operative life as seamless and stress-free as possible. As Wellness Coordinator, she hopes to make her patients feel supported, heard, and ready for their entire unique bariatric journey.
Megan Sabin, MSN, APN, FNP-BC, serves as both the bariatric program coordinator and inpatient nurse practitioner. After earning her BSN at Thomas Jefferson University, Megan worked as an ICU nurse caring for critically ill patients. She graduated with her MSN from Rutgers University, Camden, and earned certification as a family health nurse practitioner from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She worked as a nurse practitioner in a busy family practice for several years before coming to Jefferson in 2019. As the program coordinator, Megan assists and works directly with the program director, Dr. Neff, serves as the liason between the hospital and outpatient practices, and assists in program development. As the inpatient nurse practitioner, her role is to medically co-manage our bariatric surgery patients in the postoperative period during their hospital stay. She enjoys seeing patients during this crucial phase in their weight-loss journey, because she assists in their recovery and helps them transition to a healthier life at discharge and beyond.
Paulette Palogruto, MSN, APN, FNP-C, joined the Jefferson Bariatric Surgery Program in New Jersey in 2021, where she sees patients in the outpatient setting. After earning her BSN at Rutgers University, Paulette worked as an ICU nurse for several years caring for critically ill patients. During that time, she pursued her MSN from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and earned her certification as a family nurse practitioner. Prior to joining Jefferson in 2019, she worked at a family practice for several years. She started at Jefferson as a per diem nurse practitioner in perioperative medicine, gaining experience in preadmission testing and taking care of post-operative surgical patients. She is excited to continue her career with the bariatric surgery team, and looks forward to assisting, educating, and supporting patients throughout their weight loss journey.