Bariatric Surgery Staff

Take a few minutes to get to know and learn more about our caring bariatric surgery staff members as you begin your weight loss journey.

Dr. Fitzer is an ASMBS Bariatric Center of Excellence surgeon, and he’s our center’s director. He is Board certified, fellowship-trained, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He decided on bariatric surgery during residency, where he realized that there is no other act in medical practice that does as much good for a patient as does a well-performed weight-loss operation. 

 Dr. Fitzer on his enthusiasm for bariatric surgery:  “There once was no way to cure type 2 diabetes. As a bariatric surgeon, you do that all the time -- some days twice before lunch.” 


Danielle Fitzer, RN, BSN, CBN.  Danielle is our lead patient care navigator and all-around patient advocate. Bariatrics has been her focus since graduating nursing school, and she is a Certified Bariatric Nurse.  She supervises the process of securing insurance approval for our patients.  She is very knowledgeable, and she probably knows the answer to just about any bariatric-surgery-related question you can produce.

Her outside interests include fitness, travel, and family.

Jennifer Swanner, PA-C.  Jenny is another Virginia native, who grew up in Stafford, Virginia.  She graduated from George Washington PA School in 2011.  Apparently they liked her so much at GW that they kept her; she worked for the Surgery Department at GW Hospital until August 2013, at which time we stole her to be our Physician Assistant for our bariatric surgery patients.  She loves the outdoors, operating, and her humongous greater Swiss mountain dog, Loki.

Jessica Gascoigne, MS, RD.   If you are like us, you likely had never met a Sargood nor a Gascoigne (Irish) before meeting Jessica, who is a Vermont native.  She is a graduate of UConn and has a Master’s in food and nutrition from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and is our registered dietitian for our weight loss patients.  She likes the outdoors, all things Vermont, polka dots (?), and a long list of college and pro sports teams.     

Heather Spanka - Patient Coordinator.  Heather is a Loudoun native who has worked in the medical field in most of her adult life.  She is good at it.  When she joins a medical practice, she usually ends up as its manager before long.  Our bariatric patients love the way she coordinates their care.  She is family-oriented and is mother to a cute four-year-old girl.  She likes the beach, the outdoors, and having fun in general.  

Amanda Smylie - Receptionist.  Her name says it all!  She is the face our weight loss patients see when they first come into our office. She has been in the medical field in one form or another since age 18. She enjoys her husband, two dogs, the beach, and skeet shooting—all at the same time, whenever possible.  Her husband beat the combined score of the rest of the office when we all went bowling, so we stopped going bowling.  :) Heather is her sister.

Steven and Carol Ross.  The Ross's are good friends of the practice, and they are both certified bariatric support group leaders. They facilitate the monthly support group at our Reston location.  

Learn more about our bariatric surgery staff and how you can begin your weight loss journey by contact us at (703) 709-9771 or by using our online contact form.