Faculty & Residents
PRACTICE WITH PASSION.
The Institute’s Family Medicine Residency programs attract talented and diverse faculty and residents committed to high-quality family health services for medically underserved communities. The spotlights below highlight the compassion, dedication and skill that our faculty and residents bring to their practice. You can also view our complete lists of faculty and resident bios.
Rebecca Giusti, MD
Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine
Dr. Rebecca Giusti was born in Juneau, Alaska and grew up in six different states. She received a BA in Art History from Bard College and completed a post baccalaureate program at Columbia University. While in medical school at Oregon Health and Science University, Dr. Giusti co-founded a student group to advocate for the needs of medical students who...
Alexandra Aarons, MD
State University of New York Upstate Medical University
Dr. Alexandra Aarons grew up in Long Island, NY, and always dreamed of living in Manhattan. She went to college at Drew University where she played softball and studied Neuroscience, deciding in her sophomore year to pursue a career in medicine. She took a gap year to work in pre-clinical research with drug addiction and neuroimaging with PET at...
Goldie Alfasi, PhD
Director, Behavioral Science Curriculum
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Internship
City University of New York, PhD in Clinical Psychology
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center &
Montefiore Medical Center, Post-doctoral research fellowships
Dr. Alfasi teaches psychosocial aspects of health and illness. She also has a private psychotherapy practice with children, adolescents, and adults. She has explored mother-infant interactions, feeding difficulties, and failure-to-thrive syndrome. Her current research is on breastfeeding in African-American mothers.
Dimitri Alvarez, Acting Medical Director
Universite d’Etat d’Haiti (State University of Haiti), Port-au-Prince, Haiti – MD
Mid-Hudson Family Practice Residency, Kingston, NY – Residency
Dr. Dimitri Alvarez is a graduate of the Institute’s Mid-Hudson Family Practice Residency and is Board certified in Family Medicine. He received the resident teacher award in recognition of his commitment to family medicine education. He has served the Harlem community since July 2010. Dr. Alvarez participates in research on reducing low birth weight infants and preterm labor. He...
Victor Sta. Ana
Victor Sta. Ana, MD
Director, Primary Care Scholars Program
Albany Medical College, Albany, NY – MD
Beth Israel Residency in Urban Family Practice, New York, NY – Residency
Click on the photo to read the full interview
John Anderson, MD
Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – MD
Mid-Hudson Family Practice Residency Program – Residency
Dr. Anderson was Program Director of our Residency Program from 2003 to 2007.He is currently an adjunct clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM). His interests include Geriatrics community health and gardening. He also precepts residents at the FMC.
Guedy Arniella, LCSW
Director, Community Health and Outreach
Columbia University, New York, NY – MS
Guedy Arniella is a clinical social worker and psychotherapist with extensive experience working in East and Central Harlem and the South Bronx. She is the director of community health and outreach at the Institute, and oversees the residency’s community health placements. Ms. Arniella’s focus has always been to help improve the quality of life of those that are at...
Sharon Avgush, MD
Technion Israel Institute of Technology: Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Sharon Avgush was raised in Rockland County, New York. She attended Cornell University and majored in Biology and Society which allowed her to fulfill her premed requirements while exploring additional interests in the sciences and humanities. After her undergraduate career, she attended medical school at the Technion in Haifa, Israel where she had the opportunity to study medicine...
Ephraim Back, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Residency Program Director
SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, NY – MD
University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY – Residency
Clinical Professor, Albany Medical College and NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dr. Back joined the Mid-Hudson FMRP as program director in October 2013. He has a passion for training physicians for full spectrum family medicine within the context of community and public health. He has 17 years of Family Medicine residency training experience and a strong interest in obstetrics and public health. He believes that our three residency programs offer...
Sarah Baden, MD, MAHA
MAHA, Tufts University; MD, Howard University College of Medicine
Dr. Sarah Baden grew up in New York City. After spending more than a decade working for organizations in underserved areas and with marginalized populations both in the United States and abroad, she was convinced to return to school to pursue medicine so that she could better address the myriad physical, social and mental health issues she had consistently...
Olufemi Balogun, MD
Dr. Olufemi Balogun grew up outside of Philadelphia. In his pursuit of medicine (and attempt to distance himself from Eagles fans) he ventured to New Orleans, Louisiana to attend Xavier University. As a biology pre-medicine major and chemistry minor, he became active in community outreach programs and volunteerism. His desire to aid and mentor followed him into medical school at Howard University College of Medicine where he served as Minority Association of...
Marek Balutowski, MD
Jagiellonian University, School of Medicine, Cracow, Poland – MD
Montgomery Family Practice Residency Program, Montgomery, Alabama – Residency
Dr. Balutowski has been associated with the Institute and the Residency Program since 2003. He is currently the Medical Director of the New Paltz Family Health Center. Dr. Balutowski is an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM). He is an avid skier in his spare time.
Kate Baron, MD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Dr. Kate Baron grew up in Dallas, Texas. She studied psychology and government at the University of Texas at Austin. During that time, she became committed to finding a career that aligned with her passion for social justice. She has had many experiences that influenced her desire to help the underserved, at an individual and community-wide level, including volunteering...
Michelle Bejar, MD, MPH
Ross University School of Medicine
Dr. Michelle Bejar grew up in South Florida in an Argentine home. She did her undergrad at Northwestern, where she majored in European history and found her passion for public health. After college she spent a year in Buenos Aires researching the effect of psoriasis on quality of life. Before medical school, Dr. Bejar obtained a Master's in Public...
Juliana Van Der Meijden Bennison
Juliana Van Der Meijden Bennison, MD
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Bio information coming soon.
Augustus Bentsi-Barnes, MD
University of Ghana Medical School – MD
Interfaith Hospital, Residency in OB/GYN
Dr. Barnes joined our faculty in 2010 after private practice in Kingston for over 15 years. He has served as a collaborating physician with our practice for quite some time. He prides himself on being a generalist OB and is interested in all aspects of women’s health through the life cycle. In his spare time he enjoys music.
Kathleen Bernard, MD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Dr. Kathleen Bernard grew up in a close-knit community in rural CT with her parents and older brother. She attended a small Montessori school from kindergarten through 8th grade. At Brown University, she concentrated in Community Health and was involved with teaching creative writing and arts within the Rhode Island prison system, receiving the Community Service Award for her...
Anup Bhandiwad, MD, MS
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Dr. Anup Bhandiwad is beyond excited to have the opportunity to train in Manhattan over the next few years. Born in Mysore, India, Dr. Bhandiwad spent most of his childhood in Bay City, Michigan before obtaining his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Having developed a strong interest in integrative medicine during undergrad,...
Hannah Biederman, MD
Dr. Hannah Biederman is originally from Long Island, NY and attended college in North Carolina at Duke University where she studied Biological Anthropology. She was fortunate enough to do her thesis project there working with lemurs and studying things like olfactory cuing and mate selection. After graduating, she found herself travelling to Israel where she conducted fertility research...
John Bleski, MD
SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine – MD
Nassau County Medical Center, East Meadow, NY – Residency
Gastroenterology Fellowship – Genesee Hospital University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Dr. Bleski is certified in both internal medicine and gastroenterology. He is currently an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, (NYCOM). He is a volunteer firefighter.
Sha’llah Brewton, MD
The Latin American School of Medicine
Dr. Sha'llah Brewton grew up in Newburgh, NY. After receiving her BA from SUNY Stony Brook in Multidisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Biology, Africana studies and Dance, Sha'llah attended the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba. There, she became fluent in Spanish and deepened her commitment to decreasing health disparities in African-American/Black and Latino communities. Dr. Brewton's...
Maggie Carpenter, MD
SUNY-Health Science Center at Brooklyn (Downstate)
Swedish Family Medicine Residency
Before joining the Institute, Dr. Carpenter practiced in Kansas, New Zealand and Brooklyn where she ran her own micro-practice before moving to the Hudson Valley. She has extensive experience in women’s reproductive health and international health. In addition to her work at the Mid-Hudson Family Medicine Residency Program, she runs a home based palliative care practice.
In her spare time,...
Christine Chang, MD
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Dr. Christine Chang grew up in Fort Lee, the Koreatown of NJ. She then went to Dartmouth College in beautiful New Hampshire where she studied Studio Art and Psychology. Her experiences there - particularly teaching children in rural Vermont and raising awareness of child trafficking in northern Thailand - taught her how prevalent disparities, especially health disparities, were around the world. Dartmouth was also where she realized...
Sarah Chang, MD
Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Dr. Sarah Chang was raised in New Jersey for most of her life. She attended Wellesley College for undergrad and Rutgers-RWJMS for medical school. Her interests include palliative care, community health, disability health and infectious diseases. During medical school, she was involved in organizing community screenings, which helped to re-enforce her interest in community health. Dr. Chang is also...
Amanda Chen, DO
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dr. Amanda Chen attended Hunter College for her undergraduate studies. She worked in a platelet biology laboratory at the New York Blood Center on mechanism of alphaIIB3 biogenesis in megakaryocyte. She is a proud holder of patent # 7928084. She then attended New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine for medical school. Dr. Chen loves traveling and experiencing...
Andrew Chen, MD
Carnegie Mellon University, Jefferson Medical College
Dr. Andrew Chen studied chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. During medical school he was an active member of JeffHOPE, a student organization serving homeless and displaced populations in the city. He was a patient advocate at ACTS shelter for women and children. Dr. Chen’s experiences at...
Quynh Chu, MD
Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, Vietnam
Dr. Quynh Chu was born and raised in Vietnam. She earned her medical degree from Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine in Vietnam. Dr. Chu started her family medicine residency training in Chicago, IL. She loves to provide healthcare to an entire family or a community. She is driven to help underserved or underinsured populations. Dr. Chu wants to...
Cheryl Clark, MD
Community Medicine Rotation Coordinator, SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn
Family Medicine Residency at St. Clare’s Hospital in Schenectady, NY
Prior to joining the faculty at Beth Israel Residency, Dr. Clark worked at Hometown Health doing full scope family medicine including OB. she also was core faculty at the St. Clare’s hospital residency now the family medicine program. Her last job prior to returning back to New York City was at Syracuse community health center. Her interests include obstetrics,...
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