Weight Loss Surgery Support Groups

We offer support groups for patients who are considering or have had weight loss surgery.

M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital Support Group

Support Group Topics

M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital's Weight Loss Surgery Support Group is a patient-lead forum that meets monthly at the hospital. Facilitated by our staff, the support group shares experiences, provide encouragement, and education and is open to those who have had weight loss surgery, are scheduled for surgery, and those whom are considering surgery. 

Support Group sessions take place from 5-6 p.m. via Skype for Business.

Upcoming Group Sessions

July 21 - Tuesday July 21st, Fairview Southdale bariatric support group will resume via Skype For Business. This will be the first virtual group. This will be a dial-in session where patients can ask questions and receive support. It will not be video-based. It will be facilitated by Donna Ziemer, the program Clinical Coordinator and Nurse Educator. Both pre and postoperative patients are welcome to attend.

Individuals interested in joining the conversation will need to provide their email address to either of the following places:

1.       Call the nurse line direct at 952-345-4198  and provide their email address in a phone message.

2.       Send a My Chart message with their email address to their Fairview Weight Loss Surgery Clinic provider.

Prior to the meeting, a link with directions regarding how to join the meeting will be sent to the patients. 

August 11 – Tuesday August 11th, Fairview Southdale bariatric support group will continue via Skype For Business. This will be a dial-in session where patients can ask questions and receive support. It will not be video-based. It will be facilitated by Donna Ziemer, the program Clinical Coordinator and Nurse Educator. Pre and postoperative patients are welcome to attend.

Individuals interested in joining the conversation will need to provide their email address to either of the following places:

1.       Call the nurse line direct at 952-345-4198  and provide their email address in a phone message.

2.       Send a My Chart message with their email address to their Fairview Weight Loss Surgery Clinic provider.

Prior to the meeting, a link with directions regarding how to join the meeting will be sent to the patients. 

September 2 - Wednesday September 2nd, Fairview Southdale bariatric support group will continue via Skype For Business. This will be a dial-in session where patients can ask questions and receive support. It will not be video-based. It will be facilitated by Donna Ziemer, the program Clinical Coordinator and Nurse Educator. Pre and postoperative patients are welcome to attend.

Individuals interested in joining the conversation will need to provide their email address to either of the following places:

1.       Call the nurse line direct at 952-345-4198  and provide their email address in a phone message.

2.       Send a My Chart message with their email address to their Fairview Weight Loss Surgery Clinic provider.

Prior to the meeting, a link with directions regarding how to join the meeting will be sent to the patients. 

October 21 - Wednesday, October 21st, Fairview Southdale bariatric support group will continue via Skype For Business. This will be a dial-in session where patients can ask questions and receive support. It will not be video-based. It will be facilitated by Donna Ziemer, the program Clinical Coordinator and Nurse Educator. Pre and postoperative patients are welcome to attend.

Individuals interested in joining the conversation will need to provide their email address to either of the following places:

1.       Call the nurse line direct at 952-345-4198  and provide their email address in a phone message.

2.       Send a My Chart message with their email address to their Fairview Weight Loss Surgery Clinic provider.

Prior to the meeting, a link with directions regarding how to join the meeting will be sent to the patients. 

The November bariatric support group is yet to be determined.

November 18  – TBD

December 16  – TBD

M Health Fairview Clinics and Specialty Center - Maplewood Support Groups

Connections: Bariatric Care support group


Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, we will be doing our support group virtually using Microsoft Teams. You will need to get an invitation to the group from Paul Bagdade, Ph.D., LP at psbagdade@healtheast.org and to learn about using Microsoft Teams. The next meeting is on Tuesday, October 13 between 6:30 and 8 PM. 

This group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8 PM and will be held again at M Health Fairview St. Joseph’s Hospital in the 3M Education Center (A-B room) when the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. The group is led by Paul Bagdade, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, M Health Fairview Comprehensive Weight Management Program. There is no cost for group participation and is open to all M Health Fairview (and those external to this program) pre- and post-operative bariatric surgery patients as well as their support system.

Connections: Post-Operative Bariatric Surgery Support Group

This is a support group for M Health Fairview bariatric patients (and those external to M Health Fairview) who have undergone bariatric surgery and are at least 3 months post-surgery. There is no cost to attend and registration is not required. It will meet the 4th Wednesday of the month virtually using Microsoft Teams. You will need to get an invitation to the group from Emily Feig, RN at esfeig@healtheast.org who leads the group and to learn about using Microsoft Teams. She will start the group again on August 26, 2020 from 11 AM to 12 PM.

Support Groups

You are invited to attend the Virtual Support Groups at Southdale via Skype for Business with Donna Ziemer, RN, at Maplewood via Microsoft Teams with Paul Bagdade, PhD, LP and at the University of Minnesota via Microsoft Teams with Emily Kline, NBC-HWC.

Fairview Southdale Bariatric Support Group This group takes place the third Wednesday of the month from 5 PM - 6 PM via Skype for Business. This will be a dial-in session where patients can ask questions and receive support. It will not be video-based. It will be facilitated by Donna Ziemer, the program Clinical Coordinator and Nurse Educator. Both pre and postoperative patients are welcome to attend. Call the nurse line direct at 952-345-4198 and provide your email address in a phone message with a request to attend the Support Group. Prior to the meeting, a link with directions regarding how to join the meeting will be sent to you.

2020 Meetings

October 21
November 18
December 16

Connections: Bariatric Care Support Group This group takes place the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 PM - 8 PM virtually using Microsoft Teams. It is led by Paul Bagdade, Ph.D, Licensed Psychologist with the M Health Fairview Comprehensive Weight Management Program. There is no cost for group participation and it is open to all M Health Fairview (and those external to this program) pre- and post-operative bariatric surgery patients as well as their support system. Please send an email to Paul Bagdade, Ph.D., LP at psbagdade@healtheast.org if you would like an invitation to the group and to learn about using Microsoft Teams.

2020 Meetings

October 13
November 10
December 8

Healthy Lifestyle Virtual Support Group This group is held monthly on the fourth Friday from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. It is 60 minutes of small group guided discussion, support and resources led by Health Coach, Emily Kline. All are welcome who want a healthy lifestyle. To receive monthly invites to the Healthy Lifestyle Virtual Support Group or if you have any questions about having a health coach or attending support group, please contact Emily at ekline1@Fairview.org. Emily will send out invites for each session, with the phone number and the conference ID specific to that session.

2020 Meetings

October 30 – Mindful Eating Tools

Join us for one hour of conversation on mindful and intuitive eating. Led by National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coaches, Emily and Lisa. We will create a supportive environment for you to talk freely and share ideas about how intuitive eating can improve your overall health and well-being.

November 20 – Healthy & Happy Holidays
December 18 – Open Forum