Alexander D. Abkin, M.D., FACS, FASMBS

ABKINDr. Alexander Abkin is the medical director of the JFK For Life Bariatric Surgery program. He is a board-certified general surgeon specializing in minimally invasive weight loss surgery. He has performed and/or overseen more than 8,500 bariatric procedures over the past 19 years. These include laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic gastric band and revisions. He currently performs 8 to 10 procedures weekly.

Dr. Abkin is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES). He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Dr. Abkin’s practice is recognized as a Center of Excellence by both the ACS and the ASMBS. He was voted a N.J. TOP DOC in Bariatric Surgery in New Jersey Monthly magazine for the 12th consecutive year in 2018.


Aram E. Jawed M.D.

jawadDr. Aram Jawed is a board-certified general surgeon specializing in laparoscopic bariatric and robotic surgery. He is nationally certified on the da Vinci robotic surgery system.

He performs laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic revision of gastric bypass, as well as other general laparoscopic surgery procedures.

Dr. Jawed is a member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). He is a regular presenter on the topic of advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgical techniques at state and national medical conferences.


Anish Nihalani, M.D.

nihalaniDr. Nihalani is a board-certified general surgeon specializing in minimally invasive laparoscopic, robotic and traditional surgery methods.

He performs laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic gastric band, as well as other general laparoscopic surgery procedures.

Dr. Nihalani is a member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). He is extensively involved in medical research and has been widely published in several medical journals.


Support Staff

Patricia L. Sullivan, BSN, RN, CNOR, CBN – Program Coordinator
Patricia, a graduate of the Muhlenberg School of Nursing, is a registered nurse who brings with her over 24 years of clinical nursing experience. While an RN First Assistant in the operating room, she developed an interest in the perioperative care of the bariatric surgery patient. As program coordinator she is able to supervise the entire pre and post-operative process of the patients in the JFK For Life program. Patricia oversees monthly support group meetings, organizes new patient seminars and provides pre and post operative education. Patricia is committed to making each patient’s weight loss journey successful and to provide them with the tools they need to live healthier lives.
Besides her work, Pat’s passions are theatre, film and her two dogs, Gus and Misty.


Kelly Di Fabio, RD – Nutrition Counseling
Kelly’s passion for nutrition began at a young age when she scheduled her first appointment with a dietitian for weight management. After successful weight loss, Kelly saw how body image and self-esteem affected many young women around her – her best friend began to battle anorexia nervosa. It was then she knew, at 15, her mission was to empower her clients through nutrition; to build their confidence and allow themselves a second chance and an open opportunity to become the person they wanted to be without food and negative thoughts getting in the way. Kelly graduated from La Salle University with her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Degree after completing the Coordinated Program in Dietetics with a minor in Psychology. The Coordinated Program in Dietetics put Kelly two years ahead of her cohort and allowed for hands on experiences at Pennsylvania Hospital, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, The Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance, AquaHab Fitness and Rehabilitation Centers, and Bryn Mawr College Food Services Department. Outside of work, Kelly loves spending time with her family and exploring the tri-state through Groupon.


Joann Costarella – Surgical Scheduling Representative
Joann handles all aspects of the scheduling process. She personally assists each individual patient with completing all their pre operative requirements in a timely manner. Her goal is to provide a positive experience for each patient. Joann has become the “go to” person when patients have questions or concerns. Everyone appreciates her warm and welcoming personality. Joann loves to cook for her extended family and she recently became a first time grandmother.


Teresa Scott – Office Coordinator
Good office management depends on people knowing who is responsible for what and how to get things done. Terri is that person. She has over 20 years experience in managing a medical practice. Terri oversees all of the day-to-day administrative tasks that are required to keep the JFK for Life office running smoothly. Terri has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Rutgers University. Terri enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities. She loves to travel and has a Jack Russell named Penny.


Ready to get started? Call (732) 343-7484 today.