Meet Our Team


K. Robert Williams, MD, FACS

Bariatric and General Surgeon

Dr. K Robert Williams has performed more than 2,000 bariatric procedures in the past decade. He is a fellowship-trained minimally invasive bariatric surgeon and a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. His expertise includes laparoscopic gastric bypass, gastric banding and revisional procedures. He is also experienced with all aspects of general surgery with an emphasis on the surgical treatment of obesity and reflux.

Dr. Williams grew up in Southwestern Virginia. He attended University of Virginia School of Medicine. As a general surgery resident at Union Memorial Hospital he began performing laparoscopic bariatric surgeries in 2003. Dr. Williams completed a minimally invasive fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital (Pittsburgh, Pa) in 2006. After finishing his specialized training in minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Williams joined Premier Surgical Associates and New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery in Knoxville, TN.

Sarah Grimes, RN, CBN

Certified Bariatric Nurse

Sarah earned her nursing degree in 2000, and has worked with Bariatric Patients for more than 15 years. She was designated as a Certified Bariatric Nurse in 2007 and is one of the first individuals to earn this distinction. Sarah is passionate about educating patients and helping them feel more comfortable with their weight loss journey. As a weight loss surgery patient herself, Sarah understands firsthand the challenges that our bariatric patients face before, during, and after their surgery.

Morgan Thomas

Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Morgan is a Certified Speed Specialist (CSS) through the National Association of Speed and Explosion (NASE), as well as a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). She received her master’s degree through California University of Pennsylvania in Exercise Physiology and Health Promotion/Rehabilitation Sciences, and her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology Exercise Science from East Tennessee State University. She has worked in many areas of exercise science including cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, and collegiate strength and conditioning. She joined our Bariatric team 2015.

Krystal Cameron, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Krystal has worked with our New Life office as a bariatric dietitian since 2007. She is a licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist through the state of Tennessee and earned her CDR Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management in 2012. Krystal completed her dietetic internship through the State University of New York in Oneonta, NY, and received her bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition/Dietetics from Carson-Newman University.

Karen Hinkle, RN, BSN

Patient Advocate

Patient Advocate, Karen Hinkle, RN-BSN, helps patients get started with our program and the pathway to surgery. She works with patients to help them understand and meet their specific requirements for insurance coverage. She works diligently to minimize the wait time between the first visit and surgery.

Amanda Burgio

Bariatric Patient Coordinator

Our Bariatric Patient Coordinator, Amanda, is exceptional in patient care. She will ensure that all necessary appointments that are ordered by your insurance company or physician are scheduled in a timely manner. Her primary goal is to make sure you’re satisfied, so please don’t hesitate to let her know if you have a need or request.

Ashley Ellis

Office Manager

Ashley has served as the Manager of Premier Surgical’s office at Parkwest Medical Center since 2017. She previously worked as Assistant Manager of Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinic’s Spine office and worked in various roles at Statcare Pulmonary Consultants. She attended East Tennessee State University.

Ashley is passionate about ensuring that our bariatric patients have an excellent experience.  “Safe, healthy and successful weight loss is our number one goal at New Life. If you are having difficulty resolving any issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me or any member of our staff. Our goal is to exceed your expectations,” says Ashley.