Meet the Team
Ryan Heider, M.D., FACS
Under Dr. Heider's leadership as Medical Director for The Center for Surgical Weight Loss at Lake Norman, recognitions include: the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program; Designated Member, Blue Distinction Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery(r) Program (BDC+); and Designated Institute of Quality by Aetna Institutes of Quality(r) (IOQ) Bariatric Program. Dr. Heider received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and completed his surgery training at University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill. While at UNC, he participated in a variety of advanced minimally invasive and laparoscopic procedures, including laparoscopic gastric bypass, gastrectomy and esophageal surgery. Dr. Heider has also published numerous articles and completed extensive research in the area of advanced laparoscopic surgery. He was one of the first surgeons to perform single-incision, "scarless" bariatric surgery and is one of a limited number of surgeons in the nation with the advanced training to perform the 90-minute procedure.
Erin Abbey Gray, MSN, FNP-C
Erin is a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, with a Master of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She also received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from East Carolina University. Erin’s services include: comprehensive weight loss consultation, analysis and guidance; biometric analysis; diabetes education classes; guidance on dietary and nutritional planning; minor, in-office, surgical procedures; physical exams, lab work and review of medications; goal setting; and wellness classes. Erin welcomes new patients.
Amanda Downs, M.S., R.D., LDN
Amanda is a Registered and Licenses Dietitian. She has a Master's Degree in human nutrition and is a member of the American Dietetic Association and Charlotte Dietetic Association. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education, Health and Sports Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Amanda completed a dietetic internship at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda works with patients before and after surgery to help develop a personalized eating plan.
Michelle Sierzega, RMA
Michelle attended ECPI Medical Career's Institute in Concord, NC and graduated with honors. She then went on to pursue her Associates Degree in Applied Science, Medical Assisting and graduated Magna Cum Laude in August of 2009. Soon after graduating she earned her Registered Medical Assistant Certification through the American Medical Technologists. She started her career at Mid Carolina Cardiology for 1 year and then went on to pursue a career in bariatrics with Dr. Heider. Michelle assists patients through all phases of the weight loss journey. She is empathetic to the struggles patients face and is very supportive since she too has struggled with her weight.
Tiffany Hinson, R.N., CBN
Bariatric Bariatric Nurse Navigator
Tiffany is a registered nurse who has obtained her national certification in bariatrics. She was a staff nurse who cared for bariatric patients post-operatively prior to becoming the Bariatric Nurse Navigator. Tiffany assists in navigating the patient through the surgery process by providing education and support both before and after surgery.