South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 31, 2020

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March 2020 - Volume 16 - Issue 9



Salute to Physicians

Tenet Florida Physician Services – Palm Beach County

Jonathan Hersch, MD, FAAOS
Dr. Jonathan Hersch’s passion for helping and caring for others runs deep, all the way back to his high school days when he spent time volunteering in the emergency room of a local hospital in the neighborhood where he lived. Today, Dr. Hersch is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment, including minimally-invasive and advanced treatments for injuries of the hip, knee, shoulder and elbow. Dr. Hersch’s areas of interest in adolescent and adult care includes fracture care, sports medicine and arthroscopy, shoulder and elbow surgery, knee surgery, hip arthroscopy, the Subchondroplasty® (SCP®) Procedure for the treatment of bone defects and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is on-staff at West Boca Medical Center. An avid player and aficionado of tennis, Dr. Hersch recently took his orthopaedic and sports medicine specialty back on the court serving for the 15th year as medical director of The Delray Open –ATP World Tour 250 series men’s professional tournament. In addition, Dr. Hersch is passionate about community service. He is a board member of the Anti-Defamation League and is involved in charity bike rides which include a yearly trip to Israel to benefit wounded soldiers.
David Padden, MD
Dr. David Padden combines nearly three decades of experience in orthopaedic surgery with additional skills in three-dimensional thinking and a proficiency in working with his hands to perform robotically assisted minimally-invasive hip and knee replacement procedures. This evolution into robotic-assisted procedures gives Dr. Padden another level of accuracy and precision to use in his total joint replacement specialty as a treatment for arthritis and other ailments. Dr. Padden is an expert in robotic assisted joint replacement of the hip and knee having performed hundreds of surgeries using the Mako® Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology. In fact, Dr. Padden teaches robotic joint replacement skills to other surgeons. His orthopaedic surgery focus includes minimally-invasive muscle-sparing anterolateral and direct anterior total hip and knee replacement, revision joint replacement for both the hip and knee, and the treatment of avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis. Dr. Padden is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is on-staff at West Boca Medical Center. During his education and training, Dr. Padden had the opportunity to study with Dr. David S. Hungerford, an innovator in hip and knee joint replacements. Prior to his professional medical career in South Florida, Dr. Padden completed a fellowship in arthritis and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins University located in Baltimore, MD.
Tenet Florida Physician Services – Broward County
Fawwaz Mohiuddin, MD
Dr. Fawwaz Mohiuddin, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine physician, finds being able to restore proper form and function to a person’s injury an appealing aspect of his specialty. During his medical career, Dr. Mohiuddin’s sports medicine experience included team coverage for teams in the NFL, NBA and NHL in addition to serving as the team physician for two high school’s sports programs. Since 2013, Dr. Mohiuddin has provided orthopedic surgery and sports medicine care to the communities of Broward County with an office in Fort Lauderdale. He is on-staff at Florida Medical Center, a campus of North Shore. Dr. Mohiuddin specializes in prevention and management of sports-related injuries of the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle, fracture care and treatment of early arthritis in the active patient. In addition, Dr. Mohiuddin is proficient in arthroscopic shoulder surgery, rotator cuff repair, labral repair and stabilization, as well as arthroscopic knee surgery, ACL reconstruction, meniscal repair, cartilage restoration and repair.
Dr. Mohiuddin is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic surgery. During the 2012 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, Dr. Mohiuddin was part of the NBA Champion Miami Heat team as a member of the team physician staff for the organization.
Kimmerle “K.C.” Cohen, MD
Dr. Kimmerle “K.C” Cohen became a compassionate caregiver early on in her life when she took care of her sick grandmother ailing from breast cancer. Dr. Cohen’s experience grew into a passion for medicine. During her fellowship-training in trauma and surgical critical care at East Carolina University located in Greenville, NC, Dr. Cohen began working more with the liver, pancreas and bile duct. With her fascination in digestive system care increasing, Dr. Cohen completed additional fellowship-training in hepatopancreaticobilary surgery from Florida Hospital Tampa, Tampa, FL. For nearly a decade, Dr. Cohen has worked in South Florida as an oncological and hepatopancreaticobiliary surgeon. Dr. Cohen’s areas of interest include laparoscopy and robotic surgery, complex gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, surgical critical care, pancreas, liver and bile duct ailments, and skin cancer. She is certified by the American Board of Surgery in general surgery, trauma and surgical critical care. Dr. Cohen is dedicated to providing expert surgical care to patients with pancreas, liver, bile duct and gastrointestinal diseases. Her oncological and hepatopancreaticobiliary surgery practice with Tenet Florida Physician Services is located in West Palm Beach. Dr. Cohen is on-staff at Good Samaritan Medical Center and St. Mary’s Medical Center located in West Palm Beach as well as Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.
Tenet Florida Physician Services – Miami-Dade County
Sangita Gogate, DO
Dr. Sangita Gogate chose a career in medicine following the footsteps of her mother, a retired pathologist in Ohio. Dr. Gogate made the choice to pursue family medicine because she says it allows her the privilege of interacting with families and their healthcare. In some cases, three generations of families are under Dr. Gogate’s care. Dr. Gogate has been practicing medicine as a family practitioner in Hialeah since 1997, and since 2010, with Tenet Florida Physician Services. She is on-staff at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah and bilingual in English and Spanish. Dr. Gogate’s areas of interest in family practice medicine include preventive medicine and women’s health issues. She is certified by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. For her education and training, Dr. Gogate served as chief resident during her residency program and completed her internship at Palmetto General Hospital and Nova Southeastern University in Hialeah. Dr. Gogate graduated medical school from the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health, located in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Gogate gives back to the community by teaching the third and fourth year medical students from Nova Southeastern University voluntarily because she wants to use her free time in an important way, helping the physicians of tomorrow.
Advanced Neuroscience Network Physicians group – Miami-Dade County
Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute - Palm Beach County
Raghuram Sampath, MD
Dr. Raghuram Sampath is a neurosurgeon with a focus on complex cranial surgeries. He is double fellowship trained having done his skull base surgery fellowship training at University of Colorado Denver, and cerebrovascular surgery fellowship at Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle, WA. He specializes in tumors of the skull base, pituitary tumors, clival and foramen magnum lesions, meningiomas, and acoustic neuromas. His interests also include Chiari malformation, trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, surgery for cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous and cavernous malformations, cerebrovascular bypass, repair of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, colloid cysts and stereotactic radiosurgery. Dr. Sampath is on-staff at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah and St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. Prior to providing care for the South Florida community, Dr. Sampath was an attending neurosurgeon and faculty at Geisinger Health System, Wilkes-Barra, PA, where he trained residents, and was also an associated faculty in the Geisinger Neuroendovascular Surgery Fellowship training program at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. He completed his neurosurgical residency at St. Louis University Hospital. He did his medical schooling at University of Delhi, India, and is multilingual in the English, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi languages. Dr. Sampath is well published and serves as a reviewer for neurosurgical journals. He has previously also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Louisiana State University. He holds an affiliate faculty position at the Charles E. Schmidt School of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University and has taken keen interest in teaching medical students and residents throughout his career.
Memorial Regional Hospital South
Alan Novick, MD
Dr. Alan Novick is the chief of the Memorial Rehabilitation Institute. During the past 25 years, he has been instrumental in the growth of Memorial’s physical medicine and rehabilitation program from 26 beds and limited equipment to the current 89-bed facility that features some of the most sophisticated therapeutic technology in the industry.
“Rehab is a team sport,” said Novick, a graduate of Duke University and the University of Florida College of Medicine. “Therapists, nurses, and doctors are able to interact with patients when they are most vulnerable and work with that individual to restore a quality of life where they function to their maximum ability.”
While Dr. Novick most often treats those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, he is equally proud the Memorial Rehabilitation Institute has physicians on staff that specialize in all the PM&R sub-specialties, ensuring there is a doctor that can provide patients specialized care for every disease or condition.
James Salerno, MD
Dr. James Salerno is the chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Memorial Healthcare System’s rehabilitation hospital and an expert in the treatment of medically-complex transplant patients. Most often, his patients are recovering from heart, liver, kidney, or bone marrow transplant surgery. “These individuals are on medications that may cause neurologic deficiencies. It takes significant collaboration with the referring hospital, doctors, and family to manage their rehab, but it’s a special thing when we get them functioning where they need to be.”
Dr. Salerno is also actively teaching the next generation of physician, with PM&R residents from Memorial’s Graduate Medical Education program training at his hospital. With another four doctors on the way, a total of 11 residents will be attending to patients and working with veteran clinicians to deliver Memorial’s style of patient and family-centered care.
Memorial Hospital Pembroke
Ana Kelegama, MD
Dr. Ana Kelegama is a hospitalist that specializes in family medicine and is medical director at Memorial Hospital Pembroke, a position she was named to in 2015.
Dr. Kelegama says the Memorial Healthcare System culture is what motivated her to relocate from Columbus, Ohio. “We prioritize patient and family-centered care and know how to take care of those at our hospitals. Our patients have everything they need and are never discharged to unsafe or unstable living situations.”
In the nearly five years she has been part of MHS, Dr. Kelegama has been able to expand the role of the hospitalist and make improvements to processes that include what nurses are taught during rounding.
Joseph Melendez-Davidson, MD, FACS
While Dr. Joseph Melendez-Davidson is a fellowship-trained bariatric surgeon, he’s the first to admit it’s not just about the surgery. “We take a multi-disciplinary and integrated approach, considering all aspects of the patient’s health before determining the best course of action for them. Those consultations include nutritionists, care coordinators, mental health professionals, and others, in addition to a team of physicians.”
It’s an approach that very few weight-loss surgeons take and one that has earned Memorial Hospital Pembroke’s program an exemplary rating from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Melendez-Davidson also offers endoscopic treatment to correct surgeries done elsewhere that haven’t delivered patients the expected results or led to other problems.
His approach to patient care begins and ends with compassion and the use of minimally-invasive techniques to deliver better outcomes with less recovery time.
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
Daxa Patel, MD
Dr. Daxa Patel is a pediatric neurosurgeon with a concentration on treating epilepsy patients. Part of a multi-disciplinary team, she is fellowship-trained in some of the latest technology that has helped prevent seizures in patients whose illness has been resistant to medication. “We know that a child’s brain changes in many ways once a seizure occurs, so it’s important to pinpoint the areas they are originating from and take corrective action as early as possible.”
Two of the newer technique’s Dr. Patel employs are minimally-invasive surgical options. Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) is an approach that uses a heated wire within a catheter to destroy the region of the brain where seizures begin. Robotic stereotactic assistance (ROSA) enables neurosurgeons to places electrodes in the brain, pinpoint seizure areas, and vaporize them.
“People should know there are options,” said Patel. “With early detection, we can sometimes cure epilepsy, and all our procedures aim to minimize or eliminate the occurrence of seizures.”
Holly Neville, MD
The opportunity to provide a normal, post-surgical life to young women with reproductive system issues is one of the things Dr. Holly Neville enjoys most about being a pediatric surgeon.
“Young women, when faced with medical issues, may have pain, miss school and become anxious or even insecure” said Neville, the chief of pediatric general surgery at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. “It’s rewarding to provide the type of physical and emotional care that gets them feeling healthy again and back to school, sports, and activities they enjoy.”
Dr. Neville is one of five female surgeons on the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital’s pediatric general surgery team and routinely operates on ovarian cysts and reproductive tract issues, breast masses, and vaginal abnormalities that become problematic during puberty. The reaction from her patients, usually preteens and teens 11-18 years of age, is most often relief and gratitude at the restoration of a level of functioning and health they may have thought was unattainable.
Memorial Hospital Miramar
Emery Salom, MD
Dr. Emery Salom is a board-certified and fellowship-trained gynecological oncologist that specializes in advanced laparoscopy and robotic surgery, most often involving cancers of the reproductive organs. His practice also includes chemotherapy as a treatment option, whether before or after surgery or by itself. “Patients benefit from continuity in care and caregivers. There’s a consistent focus when the same doctors are with a patient from diagnosis to the completion of treatment.”
An associate professor and director at Florida International University’s College of Medicine, Dr. Salom treats a variety of cancers, including ovarian, uterine, cervical, vaginal and vulva, primary peritoneal, fallopian tube, and gestational trophoblastic neoplasms.
Dr. Salom graduated from the University of Miami and went on to complete his four-year obstetric and gynecologic residency and three-year fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Jackson Memorial Hospital/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami.
Jacob Tangir, MD
Dr. Jacob Tangir is a board-certified gynecological oncologist that understands how cultural differences can play a role in whether a woman seeks treatment for medical issues within the reproductive system. “There can be societal stigmas that need to be overcome, even before a cancer diagnosis. Information and education can help break down barriers, but personal empathy and sympathy are critically important to building trust between patients and doctors.”
A native of Venezuela, Dr. Tangir was one of the first surgeons in South Florida to use robotic surgery to treat benign and malignant gynecologic cancers. The procedure leaves minimal scarring and requires less recovery time than traditional surgical methods and can be done as an outpatient. His practice at Memorial also offers molecular testing of tumors that have made it possible to prescribe immunotherapy instead of the more damaging chemotherapy for many cancer patients.
Memorial Hospital West
William Alexis, MD, MPH
Dr. William Alexis is chief of both cardiology and internal medicine at Memorial Hospital West. Board certified in interventional cardiology and cardiovascular disease, he most often works with high-risk patients and focuses on the prevention of cardiac events.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among African-American and Caribbean populations and Dr. Alexis has made it a priority to educate these groups. “It’s important that I share my knowledge with communities that might not otherwise have access to accurate information. I’m often seen as a credible source among cultures that don’t always trust doctors or medications and I’m sensitive to differences in diet, body image, gender roles, and the stigma of mental health.”
Dr. Alexis’ education includes a master’s degree in public health and he uses much of what he learned at that time to help patients modify behavior that can lead to heart attack and stroke. This includes changes to lifestyle, exercise habits, and strategies to manage stress.
Moffitt Malignant Hematology and Cellular Therapy at Memorial Hospital West
Hugo Fernandez, MD
A partnership between the Tampa-based Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and Memorial Healthcare System has brought to Broward County significant expertise and novel therapies in the battle against blood-based cancers.
“CAR T-cell therapy allows us to engineer a patient’s immune cells to best fight against their specific disease, whether it be myeloma, lymphoma, or leukemia,” said Dr. Hugo Fernandez, chair and medical director of Moffitt Malignant Hematology and Cellular Therapy at Memorial Hospital West. “It is a more targeted approach that enables us to avoid traditional chemotherapy that would affect the entire body.”
Dr. Fernandez also points to bispecific T-cell engagers (BiTE) as another targeted therapy that works by boosting a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. This type of treatment is especially critical in cases where the cancer is more aggressive and chemo-resistant. “We’re seeing 30-40% longtime survival rates with some of these newer therapies among patients that would have had little chance of survival without them.”
Yehuda Deutsch, MD
Cancer within his own family is what set then University of Miami medical school student Yehuda Deutsch on what would become his ‘life’s mission.’ “South Florida is my community and I’m committed to helping patients with blood-related cancers. I value the bonds and relationships formed with my patients and their families.”
Dr. Deutsch, a board-certified hematologist-oncologist, is part of the Moffitt Malignant Hematology and Cellular Therapy team within Memorial Hospital West. The two organizations partnered in 2017, share common values, and combine clinical expertise and research to deliver great outcomes for patients.
“The treatment of leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma has advanced more in the last few years than it did in the previous 40,” said Deutsch. “Chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapies, in particular, are much more personalized for each patient and have improved tolerability and survival.”
Memorial Primary Care
Leon Gedeon, MD
Dr. Leon Stephane Gedeon is a board-certified family practitioner that takes a holistic approach to providing care that focuses on preventing, rather than primarily treating, illnesses. “Often, patients don’t feel sick until they’re very sick, as is the case with diabetes and high blood pressure. Among my roles as a primary care physician are to help patients understand the benefits of preventive medicine, teach them about their illnesses, and together develop a plan to manage their problems before they worsen or develop other issues.”
Dr. Gedeon is tri-lingual (English, French, Haitian Creole) and provides patients a medical home where they can take ownership of their care and avoid using the emergency room for non-emergent medical problems. He does this by establishing trust, often with the entire family, and providing patients with care plans they can implement.
After earning a medical degree from the Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica, Dr. Gedeon completed his Family Medicine residency at Cleveland Clinic Akron General in Akron, OH.
Matthew Waldron, MD
Dr. Matthew Waldron is fellowship-trained (obstetrics and gynecology) physician that always expected to ‘deliver babies and watch them grow up’ in the rural Southern Indiana community where he practiced.
That all changed four years ago when he transitioned to family medicine as a primary care physician with Memorial Healthcare System in South Florida. His goal now is to provide a full spectrum of long-term care for patients as well as disease management for those living with chronic conditions. “I most appreciate the relational aspect of the care we deliver and the trust that develops between patient and doctor,” said Waldron. “My personality meshes with Memorial’s approach to family medicine and I believe primary care is the foundation of any healthcare system.
We manage health issues to minimize complications and preserve our patient’s quality of life.”
Memorial Regional Hospital
Ralph Levy, MD
Dr. Ralph Levy is chief of adult medical cardiology services at Memorial Regional Hospital and director of the Structural Heart Disease and Cardiac Oncology programs. He cares for patients with a variety of heart conditions, including valve disease and those that have had cardiac consequences due to cancer therapies.
After nearly 30 years of practice, its that last group that has most recently been the focus of Dr. Levy’s attention. Cancer survivors have a lifelong risk of developing heart disease from radiation and chemotherapy treatments, which can result in cardiac muscle, valve, coronary, blood pressure, and rhythm abnormalities.
“We have a strong interaction with and connection to other specialties,” said Levy, who received fellowship training in cardiovascular diseases. “The complications from cancer treatments can be severe and it’s exciting that sometimes our therapies and medications can reverse those consequences.”
Scott Raffa, MD, MBA  
Dr. Scott Raffa is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon at Memorial Neuroscience Institute. He treats neurologic disorders of the brain and spine, with a focus on complex spinal pathologies. Surgical specialties include lateral retroperitoneal and endoscopic approaches to the spinal column.
“Neurosurgery is unique field and with that comes a unique and tailored opportunity to care for patients,” said Raffa. “With that uniqueness comes a tailored and personalized care plan for patients and families.”  
Dr. Raffa has expertise treating neck and back pain, sciatica/pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spine trauma, and spinal deformity. He delivers patients treatment plans that combine updated techniques and traditional surgical approaches.
After completing medical school, an internship, and residency at the University of South Florida, Dr. Raffa received additional post-graduate, fellowship training in minimally-invasive and complex spine surgery at the University of Miami. 
C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics
John N. Cucuras, DDS
John Cucuras, DDS, is the Dental Program Director at the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers owned and operated by the Health Care District of Palm Beach County. The Brumback Clinics provide medical, dental and behavioral health services to adults and children, with or without insurance.
Dr. Cucuras is a Fellow ICOI (International Congress of Oral Implantologists) having attended Ohio State University Dental School and the California Implant Institute. He is fluent in English, Spanish and Greek and enjoys the history of Roman-Greco civilizations.
Dr. Cucuras’ professional affiliations include the American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association, the Atlantic Coast District Dental Association and the Central Palm Beach County Dental Association. He is also a member of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. Dr. Cucuras has over 30 years of experience in private and public health dentistry.
Franco Alvarez, MD
Franco Alvarez, MD, is a General Psychiatrist at the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers owned and operated by the Health Care District of Palm Beach County. Dr. Alvarez provides quality psychiatric care to adults at Brumback’s Lantana Clinic since 2017.
Dr. Alvarez is Board Certified in General Adult Psychiatry (ABPN) completing his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico and his residency at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. He served in the United States Air Force for nine years and specializes in military medicine as well as sports psychiatry.
Dr. Alvarez’s professional affiliations include the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Sports Psychiatry. He has over 12 years of experience in practicing psychiatric medicine and is fluent in English and Spanish.
Lakeside Medical Center
Barry Davis, MD
Barry Davis, MD, is a General Surgeon at the Health Care District of Palm Beach County’s acute care, rural teaching hospital, Lakeside Medical Center, with an “A” rating for patient safety among hospitals nationwide.
Dr. Davis completed his Doctor of Medicine at Ross University in Miramar, FL and his residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. He is fluent in English and Spanish and specializes in advanced laparoscopy, hernias, gastroenterology, breast surgery and wound care.
Dr. Davis’ professional affiliations include the Christian Medical and Dental Association and the American College of Surgeons. He has over 12 years of experience in practicing surgical medicine.
Holy Cross Hospital
Omar M. Rashid, MD, JD
Dr. Omar Rashid is an American Cancer Society leader internationally recognized for cancer care and research, born and raised in Broward County. As physician leader for Holy Cross Hospital's alliance with Harvard Medical School's Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the top ranked hospitals in the world, he has elevated the quality of care. With American Board of Surgery General Surgery and Complex General Surgical Oncology certifications, Dr. Rashid offers cutting edge services, including robotic, laparoscopic, and multi-modality therapy. He has over 70 peer-review publications and membership in the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Society of Surgical Oncology, Americas and International Hepatico-Pancreatico-Biliary Associations, and others. His training includes surgical oncology fellowship at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, general surgery residency at Virginia Commonwealth University, MD and JD from Duke University, and bachelor's from Dartmouth College. Dr. Rashid is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Italian, Latin and Arabic.
Broward County Medical Association
Shahnaz Fatteh, MD
Dr. Shahnaz Fatteh was installed as the 2020 President of the Broward County Medical Association.
Dr. Fatteh is an Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Specialist and has been in private practice in Broward County since 1999. Dr. Fatteh earned her undergraduate degree from Emory University and received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. She completed her internship and residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami and her asthma, allergy, and immunology fellowship at The New York Hospital, Cornell University. Dr. Fatteh is a past president of the South Florida American Medical Women’s Association and was involved as the Regional Executive Fundraiser for the National American Medical Women’s Association. She has been involved with the Indian Physicians of Florida since 1995 and has served as Secretary and Treasurer. Dr. Fatteh is the current President of the American Associates of Allergists and Immunologists from India. Dr. Fatteh is on the medical staff of Westside Regional Medical Center, Plantation General Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Hospital Pembroke, Memorial Hospital West, Memorial Hospital Miramar, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and Broward Health Medical Center. She is an Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Internal Medicine at Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Fatteh is a graduate of the South Florida Physician Leadership Academy and the Florida Medical Association Physician Leadership Academy. She has been a leader in the Women Physicians Section of the Broward County Medical Association.
VITAS Healthcare – Palm Beach County
Madeleine Dupree, MD

Madeleine Dupree, M.D., oversees care of patients in their residences and assisted living facilities in Boynton Beach. A graduate of Ross University, Dr. Dupree has practiced internal medicine and hospice and palliative care for over 35 years.
“Hospice involves the integration of the body, mind and spirit, and caring for each. In my hospice work, I have been humbled by the resilience and courage of the human spirit, especially at the end of life,” says Dr. Dupree, who completed her residency at the former Booth Memorial Medical Center in New York. “I have been in awe of the dignity of each human being, of their unique individuality despite their disease. I am so grateful for this experience–it has made be a better person.”
VITAS Healthcare – Treasure Coast
Robert J. Anderson, DO

Robert J. Anderson, D.O., cares for patients with advanced illness throughout St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties. He joined VITAS in August 2019, after spending 25 years providing hospice care part-time while also specializing in family medicine at a private practice in Port St. Lucie.
“I’ve always said that hospice care is the way that all medical care ought to be provided because of its holistic approach,” says Dr. Anderson, who earned his degree from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. “With hospice care, you take people in crisis and surround them with services that can do a lot to help them. Being able to provide for patients and their families at this particular time is so important and such a privilege.”
VITAS Healthcare – Broward County
Dillobar Gelfond, MD

Dillobar Gelfond, M.D., oversees treatment of patients’ symptoms in their homes in and around Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. She joined VITAS in September 2019 following a residency at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. Dr. Gelfond earned her medical degree from First Tashkent State Medical Institute in Uzbekistan.
“During my internal medicine training, I was working in a hospital with a hospice unit,” says Dr. Gelfond. "I was attracted to the patient-centered approach, where everything focused on the patient’s and family’s needs. It was very interesting and hard at the same time, but once I had this training, I decided I wanted to do this as my job.”
VITAS Healthcare – Broward County
Dulce Taveras, MD

Dulce Taveras, M.D., oversees patients’ treatment and wound care in their homes and assisted living facilities throughout the county. She started working in the hospice profession when she joined VITAS in 2010. Today she splits her time between managing a team and performing wound care for VITAS and Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale.
“Sometimes traditional medicine addresses the disease but doesn’t address a patient’s personal concerns or feelings,” says Dr. Taveras, who completed her residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York. “In hospice, I’m able to identify my patient’s needs and work on it. By addressing those needs, we can improve the quality of life for a lot of people.”
Broward Health Imperial Point
Robert P. Raggi, MD
Robert P. Raggi, M.D., is the Chief Medical Officer at Broward Health Imperial Point. Motivated by his passion for caring, he uses his education in medicine, law and business to drive excellence in patient care and operational efficiency.
Dr. Raggi is board certified in anesthesia and pain management. His patient blood management experience is being used to enhance Broward Health Imperial Point’s program to include bloodless medicine and surgery, reducing transfusions and improving patient outcomes. This program aims to provide better options for patients who have pre-surgical anemia or refuse blood due to religious beliefs. Dr. Raggi recently hosted a symposium on the topic, and it was attended by representatives of the National Hospital Liaisons of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Dr. Raggi studied medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and obtained a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, along with a Master of Business Administration from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Raggi is a member of the American College of Physician Executives and certified in patient blood management by the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management.
Broward Health Coral Springs
Israel E. Penate, MD
Israel Penate, M.D., is the Chief of Staff at Broward Health Coral Springs. In this role, Dr. Penate has been instrumental in the launch of the hospital’s new cardiac catheterization lab, scheduled to open in Spring 2020. Dr. Penate is the past chair of medicine at Broward Health Coral Springs and is a board certified internist.
Dr. Penate was inspired to become a physician because of his father, and he is passionate about helping people in a very significant way.
Dr. Penate received his medical degree from Instituto Superior de Ciencias Medicas Santa Clara in Villa Clara, Cuba. He completed his cardiology/internal medicine residency at Hospital Martires and a cardiology residency at Hospital Provincial Clinico Quirurgico in Cuba. Dr. Penate went on to complete his internal medicine residency in the United States, where he was chief resident at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Kutty K. Chandran, MD
Kutty K. Chandran, M.D., is the Chief Medical Officer at Broward Health Coral Springs. Dr. Chandran oversees quality improvement efforts and physician engagement initiatives. Prior to his current role, Dr. Chandran was the hospital’s chief of staff.
Dr. Chandran has been practicing internal medicine for 36 years and specializes in addiction medicine. He has been an attending physician with Broward Health Coral Springs since 1990.
Dr. Chandran found a calling for medicine due to his passion for caring and healing people. The most rewarding part of his job is knowing that he contributed to making a patient feel better.
“Their thank yous and their smiles is what brings me happiness at the end of the day,” said Dr. Chandran.
Dr. Chandran is a certified Diplomate in American Board of Addiction Medicine and Internal Medicine. A native of India, Dr. Chandran received his medical degree from Ross University in the West Indies and completed his residency at St. Elizabeth Hospital in New Jersey.
Broward Health Medical Center
Alan Niederman, MD
Alan Niederman, M.D., is an interventional cardiologist at Broward Health Medical Center and is part of the Broward Health Physician Group.
Dr. Niederman has been caring for patients at Broward Health for more than 30 years. Dr. Niederman specializes in interventional and structural cardiology, and is “excited about the ability to repair and replace heart valves without major surgery.”
One of his favorite parts about being a physician is the interaction with his patients and sharing life stories. His advice to his patients is to “make wise food choices because most illnesses today are related to how we eat.”
Dr. Niederman is a professional member of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. He has been a principal investigator and sub-investigator on more than 200 sponsored research projects and has published on various topics surrounding interventional cardiology.
Dr. Niederman is board certified in internal medicine, interventional cardiology and cardiovascular disease. He earned his medical degree from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where he also completed his residency in internal medicine and a cardiology fellowship. He participated in an interventional cardiology fellowship at Andreas R. Gruentzig Center at Emory University and a mini-fellowship on peripheral angioplasty at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Boston, MA.
Joseph Habib, MD
Joseph Habib, M.D., is a board certified vascular surgeon at Broward Health Medical Center who specializes in vascular and endovascular surgery. Dr. Habib joined the Broward Health Physician Group in September 2019 and was previously an assistant professor of vascular surgery and surgeon with UF Health in Jacksonville, FL.
Dr. Habib specializes in minimally invasive vascular surgery, as well as procedures such as percutaneous aneurysm repair, carotid stenting and limb salvage. His interest in vascular surgery began in high school when he observed first-hand a heart surgery.
“The moment the surgeon opened the chest and I saw the beating heart, I became passionate about becoming a surgeon,” said Dr. Habib, who added that his favorite part about being a physician is the impact he has on lives. “I can help prevent a stroke, save’s someone’s limb and even prevent death.”
Dr. Habib earned his medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in general surgery and was chief resident at West Virginia University/Charleston Area Medical Center. He did his vascular surgery fellowship at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Broward Health North
Jacob Landes, DO
Jacob Landes, D.O., is a board certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon, specializing in the hand, wrist and upper extremities. He focuses on a variety of surgical techniques, including fractures and dislocations, as well as conditions related to complex hand, wrist and elbow injuries and deformities. He also specializes in the treatment of nerve and muscle-related issues within the upper extremity.
Dr. Landes, a member of the Broward Health Physician Group, is currently developing an innovative approach using special tools to perform reconstructive surgery of the hand and wrist. His love for interacting with his patients drives his passion for medicine, while performing surgery satisfies both his scientific and tactile sides.
Dr. Landes received his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Oklahoma Baptist University and completed his medical training at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. He went on to complete his residency training in orthopedic surgery at Broward Health, followed by a fellowship in hand and upper extremity at the University of Mississippi.
Eric Johnson, DO
Eric Johnson, D.O., is a licensed and board-trained general surgeon, specializing in trauma and critical surgery. Dr. Johnson started his career at Broward Health North in 2018 and is highly involved in serving the surrounding communities through outreach and injury prevention efforts. Playing a vital role in each patient’s recovery, Dr. Johnson is committed to the diagnostics, treatment and care of all conditions.
Dr. Johnson’s favorite part of being a trauma surgeon is the unknown diversity of cases that flow into the trauma center at Broward Health North. He strives to get his patients home as quickly as possible.
Dr. Johnson completed his medical training at Nova Southeastern University and his general surgery residency at New York University. He completed a surgical critical care fellowship at Lincoln Medical Center in Bronx, NY.
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