Weight Loss Physicians

Gerald A. Cahill, MD, Bariatric Surgeon
Dr. Cahill has solely dedicated his practice to weight loss surgery and specializes in minimally invasive surgical (laparoscopic) techniques for the treatment of obesity. At the Franciscan Midwest Bariatric Institute, Dr. Cahill performs lap-band, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and StomaphyX procedures. Dr. Cahill has performed more than 2,000 laparoscopic bypass and adjustable laparoscopic band procedures (Lap-Band® and Realize™ Band) with no surgical mortality – a safety record that is unmatched locally.

A practicing physician for more than 20 years, Dr. Cahill is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons. He received his medical training at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He completed his residency and intership at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, and a fellowship in colon and rectal surgery at Cook County Hospital, Chicago.

Philosophy of Care

"My goal is to provide excellent, personalized, safe care for patients desiring weight-loss surgery. I strive to assist patients in achieving a realistic goal weight, thus achieving a positive attitude about their health and an overall improved lifestyle.

The benefits of bariatric surgery include sustained weight loss and improvements in co-morbid conditions. This will improve daily living activities and a sense of self and attitude about their lives and healthy lifestyles."


Kidanu J. Birhanu, MD, Medical Weight Loss Physician
Dr. Kidanu Birhanu is a board certified internist with a special interest in weight management. He is the medical director of the medical weight management program at the Franciscan Midwest Bariatric Institute. Dr. Birhanu is a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and is certified by the American Board of Bariatric Medicine. Other interests and accomplishments include caring for patients after bariatric surgery and the care of leg wounds related to obesity and diabetes. Dr. Birhanu earned his medical degree from the University of Athens School of Medicine, completed his residency in internal medicine at Grant Hospital of Chicago (affiliate of Rush Medical School) and a fellowship in geriatrics at the University of Chicago. His interests during his fellowship included endocrine changes during the aging process.


Mark Conard, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Mark Conard is a licensed clinical psychologist in both Illinois and Indiana and is a staff psychologist at Franciscan St. Margaret Health. He has worked in the field of obesity and weight management specializing in the assessment of surgical candidates and assisting in treatment outcomes. Dr. Conard completed his doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology from the University or Missouri-Kansas City where the focus of much of his work was in the field of obesity and obesity prevention. He has authored various papers and book chapters in health psychology as well.

In addition, Dr. Conard is the director of Clinical Training for the Deptartment of Behavioral Health at St. James Hospital and Health Centers, Franciscan St. Margaret's sister hospital, in Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields, Ill.