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Our Team

Boone Hospital Center’s weight loss surgery program has a team of individuals that will help support you along your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Each team member is committed to helping you succeed. We like to think of ourselves as coaches and trainers that will help guide you to a thinner, healthier self. Our goal is to provide excellent care and education. We have put together a comprehensive team that will be involved with your care both before and after surgery.


James Pitt, DO is a native of Iowa, he graduated from Northeast Missouri State University and attended Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine where he received his Doctorate in 1989. He served his internship and general surgery residency at Kirksville Osteopathic Medicine. He is board certified in General Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons.

In 1993, he joined Columbia Surgical Associates. He opened an office in Osage Beach, Missouri and built a large general surgery practice and was active in hospital leadership including Chairman of surgery.

In 2000, he joined his partners in the Columbia office. He has led the development of a bariatric surgery program at Boone Hospital Center and is the program  Medical Director. Dr. Pitt performs laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and laparoscopic Gastric Bypass surgery. 

Dr. Pitt remains active in medical leadership, serving as past president of the Boone County Medical Society and was elected President of the Missouri Chapter of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery for 2015-2017.

Nicole M Spencer, DO grew up in Emporia KS, attended Truman State University, Emporia State University, and graduated with her doctorate in osteopathy from Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience in 2010.  She completed her general surgery internship and residency at Rowan School of Medicine in Stratford, New Jersey.  She also completed a bariatric and minimally invasive surgery fellowship at St. Luke’s Health System 2015-16.
Dr. Spencer joined Columbia Surgical Associates in July 2016.  She is a member of American College of Surgeons, Society of American and Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.   

Dr. Spencer is married, enjoys golfing, the lake, and the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Coordinator of Bariatric Services (RN)

The registered nurse is responsible for assisting in educating each patient about the weight loss surgeries available, risks and benefits of the procedures, expected post-operative course as well as long-term outcomes. The nurse assists in coordinating the patient’s care from the outpatient to the inpatient setting. This includes the application phase, pre-op phase and post-op phase.

Registered Dietitian

Each patient will visit individually with the dietitian both before and after surgery. The dietitian has four main goals for all patients. They are as follows:

  1. To promote safe and successful weight loss.
  2. To teach eating and lifestyle behaviors that will aid in achieving and maintaining a healthy and desirable body weight.
  3. Prevent nutrition deficiencies from reduced intake and absorption of foods.
  4. To prevent and alleviate discomfort or intolerance of food

With surgery only being a treatment tool for weight loss, it is very important to follow the recommended diet closely.

Physical Therapist or Fitness Instructor

Each patient will be evaluated by either a physical therapist or fitness instructor both before and after surgery. The physical therapist or fitness instructor will evaluate your current activity and exercise routines. The therapist or instructor will then design a structured activity and exercise plan for you. The therapist or instructor will provide encouragement and support as you begin participating in daily activity and exercise. Educational resources will also be provided to help you increase your overall knowledge of the beneficial effects of activity and exercise. Exercise, along with diet changes, is essential for a successful outcome. Exercise will help:

  • Prepare you for surgery
  • Begin building muscle mass that will help increase metabolism
  • Increase endurance
  • Help maintain weight loss long-term.


Each patient will visit with the psychologist prior to surgery for a clinical interview and testing if indicated. Dr. Laura Brenner, PhD, is a psychologist who works closely with the surgeons and our program. The psychological evaluation is necessary to identify psychological issues that may hinder someone from following the program guidelines after surgery. The evaluation is intended to identify problem areas or psychological issues that may need to be dealt with both prior to and after surgery. As weight loss occurs, you will experience many changes in your lifestyle and relationships that you have formed with others. It is important to have the psychologist involved with your care so that she may help you work through the changes that will occur in your life. You may find that speaking with the psychologist following surgery may be quite helpful in your recovery.

Insurance Specialist

An insurance specialist will contact your insurance company and verify that you have benefits for weight loss surgery.

Financial Counselor

A finance counselor is available to speak with you regarding financial concerns associated with weight loss surgery.

Register for a seminar.

Learn more about patients who've lost weight and changed their lifestyle after weight loss surgery at Boone at MyBooneHealth Blog.

Download and print an application

Need financing assistance?  

Call our friends at Central Bank of Boone County at 573.874.8100 or visit their personal loan webpage.

Find a doctor or make an appointment: 573.815.6400
General Information: 573.815.8000
Copyright © 2016 , Boone Hospital Center
1600 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201
telephone: 573.815.8000