Meet The Pounds Team
Michelle Cavo, PA-C
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Michelle is Pounds Transformation Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and a Certified Physician Assistant. Pounds Transformation was founded based on her belief that “food is medicine”. Michelle’s lifelong struggle with her weight, despite her dedication to healthy eating and exercise, fuels her life’s passion to help her patients. With her personal understanding about the difficulty of weight loss and her extensive knowledge of nutritional medicine, she approaches each patient with profound empathy and medical expertise. She previously worked as a Physician Assistant for fifteen years in a primary care office, where she saw firsthand that nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can transform your health and your life. Michelle completed the Physician Assistant program and earned her Master’s Degree in Public Health at Nova Southeastern University. She is certified by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.
Charlie Cavo, D.O.
Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Cavo is Chief Medical Officer and Pounds Transformation Co-Founder, with his wife, Michelle Cavo, PA-C. As an OB/GYN at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Dr. Cavo became increasingly concerned with how the obesity epidemic was negatively affecting his patients and decided to make finding a solution his life’s work. The business was founded to help patients successfully achieve their weight loss and health-related goals through a combination of lifestyle, nutrition, and medical interventions. As a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and former OB/GYN, he brings his caring nature to treating obesity and obesity-related illnesses using a medically progressive approach. Dr. Cavo is Board certified in Bariatric Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He earned his medical degree at Nova Southeastern University School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at the University of Connecticut.
Gerard Roy, M.D.
Doctor of Medicine
Dr. Roy is Board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Bariatric Medicine. In addition to serving as a Medical Provider at Pounds Transformation, he is the Director of the Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology at The Hospital of Central Connecticut and has been a practicing OB/GYN physician since 1998. Early on in his career, Dr. Roy recognized the prevalence of obesity in his OB/GYN practice and committed himself to learning as much as he could about nutrition and wellness. Dr. Roy believes in the transformative power of healthy eating and weight loss and how a healthy lifestyle positively impacts health. Dr. Roy’s clinical expertise, caring nature and genuine demeanor, coupled with his knowledge and passion for wellness, all contribute to his natural ability to help his patients. Dr. Roy received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School and completed his residency in OB/GYN at the University of Connecticut.
Emily Woods, APRN, FNP-BC
Emily has always had a passion for kids and developed a passion for preventative health care while working as an oncology nurse. After becoming a nurse practitioner, Emily combined those passions and worked as a pediatric primary care provider. She loved to educate, encourage and empower children, adolescents and families to appreciate and properly care for their fearfully and wonderfully made bodies. Emily found that nutrition and weight were areas that needed a lot of attention and was thrilled when the opportunity arouse to focus her energies on just that! While she loves working with individuals of all ages, kids, adolescents and young adults hold a special spot in her heart. Emily earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Messiah College and her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Connecticut. She is board certified as a family nurse practitioner.
Renae France, RD-CDN
Renae leverages her passion for nutrition and diabetes management to help patients transform their lives. Over the years, she watched her own family members struggle with disease-related nutrition. Her early education also reinforced her understanding of nutrition and health. After earning her Bachelors degree in Athletic training, she pursued a Masters degree in Public Health and Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She became a Registered Dietitian and then earned a Certificate as a Diabetes Educator to understand one of the more common disease processes often found with poor nutrition . She enjoys interacting with patients and encouraging them to achieve satisfying wellness through mindful, healthy nutrition.
Susan Kamin, RDN
Susan is a Registered Dietitian who brings her passion and vast experience, working in the realm of nutrition and wellness, to our team. After earning her Bachelor of Science at Clemson University, Susan worked as a marketing executive on accounts including H.J. Heinz Company and Gerber Products Company, where she developed a keen interest in food and nutrition. Following her passion for nutrition, Susan earned her Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and completed her Dietetic Internship at the University of Saint Joseph. Susan worked as a clinical dietitian at Hartford Hospital and later at the University of Connecticut Health Center and The Hospital of Central Connecticut. She is active in the local community, including founding her own nutrition consulting business, and served as the Executive Director of Growing Great Schools, an initiative that empowers students and their families to become active participants in their nutritional and physical health, while caring for their planet.
Verna Lukehart, RN, RD-CDN
Registered Dietitian & Registered Nurse
Verna is a registered nurse and a registered dietitian who brings many years of clinical, direct patient-centered care experience to our team. The experience of growing up on her grandfather’s dairy farm gave her a unique appreciation for nutrition and nature. Her love for exercise and fitness, coupled with her interest in how nutrition impacts the human body, inspired her career. She began her career as a dietitian at Massachusetts General Hospital and worked in various other clinical settings. Verna earned her Bachelor of Science at Messiah College and completed her Dietetic Internship at Indiana University – Purdue University. She later expanded her role in patient care and earned her Associate Degree in Nursing at Bunker Hill Community College.
Rachel Pope, MS, RD-CDN
Rachel is a registered dietitian who combines her passion for nutrition and exercise to help her patients transform their lives. During her college years, after six years of chronic gastrointestinal discomfort and suffering, she was diagnosed with a rare medical condition, which was successfully healed with diet and nutritional supplements. Besides improving her gastrointestinal issues, several other health problems resolved when she changed to a whole food diet higher in fat, protein, and vegetables. Nutrition radically transformed Rachel’s health and motivated her to want to help others. Rachel’s career in dietetics began working in skilled nursing, behavioral health and long-term care facilities. Rachel received her undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut and her Master of Science in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Long Island University.
Alisha Sanzone, MS, RD-CDN, CSOWM
Alisha is a registered dietitian who uses her own experiences, education, and health journey to help her patients achieve a healthy weight and a happy outlook on life. Throughout her childhood and early adult life, Alisha struggled with her weight and was convinced that being overweight was her fate. As an adult, she embraced the power of nutrition and exercise, lost thirty pounds, and took charge of her own health. Her personal health experience and struggles with her weight inspired her to pursue a career in nutrition. She is a firm believer that we have the power to dictate our own fate, not the other way around. Alisha started her career in long-term care dietetics, where she appreciated the profound impact of nutrition on quality of life, but she wanted to help people on a deeper level. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Assumption College. She completed her Master of Science in Nutrition at the University of Bridgeport and Dietetic Internship at the University of St. Joseph. She is a Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management.
Bonnie Wilson, MS, RD-CDN
Bonnie has a wealth of expertise as a clinical dietitian and an innate ability to connect with her patients and help them reach their health-related goals. Her interest in nutrition began in college when she took her first nutrition course as a sophomore. She was fascinated by the power of nutrition to positively impact health. Bonnie is a board-certified lactation consultant, with a specific interest in the link between breastfeeding and a decreased risk of childhood obesity and was a long-standing volunteer for the La Leche League. Bonnie received her undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Connecticut and completed her Dietetic Internship at Yale New Haven Hospital. She received her Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of New Haven. Bonnie completed the Certificate of Training in both Adult and Adolescent Weight Management.