Our Weight Loss Experts

Betty Kovacs

Betty Kovacs-Harbolic, M.S., RD

Program Co-Director and Director of Nutrition

Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is a consultant to the Centers for Obesity Research and Education, a national, multi-center, course to educate physicians and other health professionals about treating obesity, and she is an adjunct professor at Marymount College of Fordham University. Betty has been working in weight loss programs and weight loss clinics in New York City for more than a decade. She is an expert on meal replacements, low calorie, and very low calorie diets for weight loss management. Her previous experience includes staff nutritionist at the VanItallie Center for Weight Management, research nutritionist for the Diabetes Prevention Program, nutrition counselor for pre- and post-bariatric surgery patients at the Center for Weight Loss Surgery, and she helped develop the exam and coursework for the American Dietetic Association Weight Management Certification Program. Betty was recognized as a leading Registered Dietitian in Manhattan in Quest Magazine’s Annual 2001 New York Resources issue. She has appeared on WNBC news, WABC Eye Witness News, New York 1 News, and News 12, and she has been interviewed by numerous magazines and newspapers, including Woman’s World, Glamour, Newsday, LA Times, Daily News, and Travelers Magazine.
To contact Betty
[email protected]

Michael de Vihil, Psy.D.

Michael is a licensed clinical psychologist. He earned his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. His background includes extensive experience in the space of emotional intelligence. Michael maintains a private practice and is also a Principal Consultant at Korn Ferry Hay Group, a global leadership and talent consulting company. Michael has facilitated many groups inside and outside of Mt. Sinai’s weight loss research center. He also has a degree in International Business and Marketing from NYU’s Stern School of Business and completed a study abroad in Japan as well as having lived and worked in Paris, France for four years. His passion is in helping people go from insight to accountability with their life goals and focuses on the relationship between thoughts, behaviors and feelings.

Janet Crane, MA, RD, CDN

Janet is a Registered Dietitian – Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist. After receiving her Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from New York University, she worked as an inpatient dietitian and Acting Chief Clinical Dietitian for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. After several years, she left to continue her career in outpatient settings, starting off in corporate wellness programs. She then developed her own successful private practice in weight management, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, sports nutrition, eating disorders and more. She also worked for many years as a nutritionist and lifestyle interventionist in clinical and research settings in New York, such as the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Hospital, The Health Action Center at St. Vincent’s Hospital, the Theodore B. VanItallie Center for Nutrition and Weight Management at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, the Joslin Diabetes Center, the Look AHEAD Trial, the LIFT Study (part of the LIFE-MOMS Consortium) and other research projects.

Jeanine Albu, M.D.

Dr. Albu is an endocrinologist, Professor of Medicine, Diabetes, and Bone Disease at The Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital (where she is also Chief of Endocrinology), and Mount Sinai West in New York City. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Internal Medicine in Endocrinology. Dr. Albu specializes in endocrine disorders, diabetes, metabolism, bone health, and bariatric medicine. She has conducted research and published extensively in peer-reviewed journals in areas such as diabetes, metabolism, exercise, adipose tissue, body composition and bone health, body weight regulation, and the effect of race and ethnicity on diabetes and weight control. She treats patients at all of the hospitals she is affiliated with. Dr. Albu received her medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, completed her residency in internal medicine at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in New York, and her fellowship in endocrinology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.

Xavier Pi-Sunyer, M.D., MPH

Xavier Pi-Sunyer, M.D., MPH

Dr. Pi-Sunyer helped develop the original Mount Sinai St Luke’s Weight Loss Program and is a world-renowned scientist and bariatric doctor. He is a weight loss medication and weight loss surgery expert. He is the Director of the New York Obesity Research Center, Medical Director of our New York City Weight Loss Program, Chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Professor of Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, Professor of Applied Physiology at Columbia Teachers College, and on the faculty of the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. His research interests are in hormonal control of carbohydrate metabolism, diabetes, obesity and food intake regulation. He has over 200 publications in these areas. Dr. Pi-Sunyer is a past president of the American Diabetes Association, the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. He serves on the NIDDK Task Force for the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity and is presently Chairman of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Task Force on the Treatment of Obesity. He earned his medical degree from Columbia University and an M.P.H. from Harvard University.

Rich Weil, M.Ed., CDE

Richard Weil, M.Ed., CDE
Weight Loss Program Director

Rich is an exercise physiologist and Certified Diabetes Educator. He’s been the director of the weight loss program since it’s inception in 2002, when he and Betty Kovacs designed and created it. He’s worked in weight loss programs, weight loss clinics, and diabetes centers in New York City for 37 years. He’s written dozens of articles on exercise, diabetes, and obesity, which have appeared on web sites including WebMD and MedicineNet, has contributed to the exercise chapters of several books, has appeared numerous times in print media, television, and radio, and he speaks locally and nationally about exercise, obesity, and diabetes, to health professionals and the general public. He is on the editorial board of Diabetes Self-Management Magazine, and was previously a consultant to the Centers for Obesity Research and Education, a national, multi-center course to educate physicians and other health professionals about treating obesity. He is a faculty member at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center, and he has done research and published in peer-reviewed journals in a wide range of areas including exercise and prevention of type 2 diabetes in teenagers, exercise program design, body composition in adults, telephone-based weight loss interventions, control and reduction of food cravings, associations of body mass index (BMI) to biomarkers of metabolic syndrome, use of shoe orthotics in adults with BMIs greater than 35, weight loss and idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and psychological predictors of weight loss in adults.
To contact Rich
[email protected]