PAGNY Board of Directors


Bijan Safai, M.D., D.Sc.


An internationally recognized and award winning dermatologist, Dr. Safai is the Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at New York Medical College, and the Chief of Dermatology at NYC Health + Hospitals/ Metropolitan. Renowned for his expertise and the research he has conducted in association with skin cancers, sarcoma and lymphomas of the skin, he served as Chief of Dermatology Service and Director of the service’s research program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) for almost two decades. Dr. Safai received his medical degree from the Tehran University School of Medicine in Tehran, Iran. He trained in internal medicine and dermatology at New York University Medical School, and completed a fellowship in immunology at MSKCC. His research work in immunology earned him a Doctor of Medical Sciences degree (D.Sc.) from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

"This just might be the most challenging time to be involved in the delivery of public healthcare. But it also is a tremendously rewarding endeavor. It’s not a job; it’s a calling."


William B. Caspe, M.D.

Vice President

Dr. Caspe has been Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi since 1997. A Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he has also served there as Assistant Dean and Chairman of the Committee on Admissions. Dr. Caspe graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, and completed the residency program in pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. Dr. Caspe has devoted his career to the treatment of medically underserved and fragile children in his native New York City borough of the Bronx.


Lisa A. Ross, M.D., MBA


Lisa A. Ross, MD, MBA joined the staff of NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem in 2010, became the Director of the Department of Anesthesia in 2012 and is an Associate Clinical Professor of Anesthesia at Columbia University Medical Center. Prior to that she was Program Director in the Department of Anesthesia at St. Vincents Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan.

She earned her A. B. in biology from Harvard University and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Her anesthesia residency was completed at Presbyterian Hospital with a focus on neuroanesthesia. Dr. Ross has presented at many anesthesia conferences, has written numerous abstracts and has authored a chapter in a text book that addresses anesthesia in areas outside of the operating room. She serves on several committees within the hospital and is very active in the Dr. Muriel Petioni Women Chiefs’ Council. In 2013 she earned an Executive MBA from Fordham University.


Akinola Fisher, M.D.


Dr. Fisher is the Chief of Ambulatory Care at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. He graduated from the University of Ibadan College of Medicine in Ibadan, Nigeria, and went on to several years of training in obstetrics and gynecology in the United Kingdom. Dr. Fisher relocated to the United States in 1997 and completed an internal medicine residency at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey, where he received the Excellence in Ambulatory Medicine Award as well as an award for professionalism in medicine. He then practiced at St. Dominic’s Family Health Center in Jamaica, Queens. Dr. Fisher was subsequently named Medical Director of the Walton Avenue location of the Morris Heights Health Center, and eventually became Deputy Chief Medical Officer.


Leaque Ahmed, M.D.

Dr. Ahmed is the Director of Surgery at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, where he also serves as Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery since 2004. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and an Attending Surgeon at the Lawrence Hospital Center for Advanced Surgery in Bronxville, New York. Dr. Ahmed earned his medical degree at Kilpauk Medical College in Madras, India, and then trained at Columbia University Medical Center in the field of endocrine and pancreatic surgery. He was a surgical resident at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow, United Kingdom, and a general surgery resident at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem.


Chinyere Anyaogu, M.D.

Dr. Anyaogu is the Vice Chair of the department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. Dr. Anyaogu received her medical degree from the College of Medical Sciences and Dentistry, University of Nigeria, and a Master in Public Health degree from Columbia University. She completed residencies in Internal Medicine and OB-GYN at Albert Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center. Prior to joining North Central Bronx, Dr. Anyaogu served as an OB-GYN Attending Physician at several medical facilities in North Carolina and served as Medical Director of the Women’s Care Center in Huntersville, North Carolina. Dr. Anyaogu serves as an Assistant Professor at Albert Einstein College. She is also on the board of the Physician Association of Greater New York where her interest is in improving outcomes in the county she serves. Dr. Anyaogu will soon complete a fellowship in a Clinical Quality Fellowship program for patient safety.


Stephen D. Apfelroth, M.D.

Dr. Apfelroth has been the Director of Clinical Laboratories and Blood Bank at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx and NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi since 1998, and is also an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. A native of the Bronx, Dr. Apfelroth graduated from Harvard College, and earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in Immunology at the State University of New York – Downstate. He also successfully completed his residency in pathology at New York University, as well as a fellowship in blood banking at New York Blood Center. In addition, Dr. Apfelroth has an MBA in Information Technology from Iona College Hagen School of Business. Dr. Apfelroth is board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, Transfusion Medicine, and Clinical Informatics and serves on the Board of Directors of the Council of Hospital Blood Bank Directors of the Greater New York Region.


Riyad J. Basir, M.D.

Dr. Basir has been Director of Pulmonary and Critical Care at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln since 2000. He joined Lincoln Pulmonary and Critical Care in 1994 as an attending physician after completing a three-year Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship at New York Medical College, which included training at Lincoln. He served as President of the Lincoln Medical Staff from 2000 to 2008. Dr. Basir earned his medical degree in 1979 at the University of Baghdad College of Medicine in Baghdad, Iraq. He continued his training with a residency at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York, and a fellowship at New York Medical College.


Stephen M. Blumberg, M.D.

Dr. Blumberg is the Assistant Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, and the Fellowship Director for the program in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Dr. Blumberg earned his undergraduate degree from Tufts University and his medical degree from MCP/Hahnemann University School of Medicine. He completed a Residency in Pediatrics at North Shore University Hospital and a Fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Jacobi. Dr. Blumberg serves as the Principal Investigator on numerous research studies, receiving grants for his work involving children who have sustained abdominal trauma, febrile infants, and pediatric emergency medicine patient safety issues. He is an active member of the Jacobi trauma and trauma peer review committees and he previously chaired the NYMA fringe benefit (HR) committee. He is also involved in the development of the Jacobi Injury and Violence Prevention Program and in obtaining a Criminal Justice grant for its funding.


Roger Chirurgi, M.D.

Dr. Chirurgi is program director for Emergency Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, where he serves as a member of the Medical Executive Committee (Medical Board), Credentials Committee, ED Steering Team, ED Management Committee, and Anesthesia/Operative and Other Invasive Procedures Committee, as well as being the Director of Simulation. At New York Medical College, he is the Emergency Medicine Clerkship director; a member of the College Faculty Senate, Leave of Absence and Readmission Committee, and Curriculum Committee; and faculty advisor and mentor for the Emergency Medicine Club. Dr. Chirurgi is the recipient of the 2011 Conference of Residency Directors Faculty Teacher of the Year Award. He graduated in 1994 from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed his residency training in emergency medicine at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center.


Daniel Contractor, M.D.

Dr. Contractor is Chairperson of the Department of Radiology and section chief of the Department of Interventional Radiology since 2004 at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. He earned his medical Degree and completed a residency in general surgery from Grant Medical College in Bombay, India and is Board Certified in General Surgery. Dr. Contractor moved to the United States and completed a residency training in General Surgery at Maimonides Medical Center, as well as a residency in Diagnostic Radiology from New York Methodist Hospital, both located in Brooklyn, NY. He went on to do a Fellowship in Interventional Radiology from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Texas. Dr. Contractor is Board Certified in Diagnostic Radiology with a certificate of added Qualification in Interventional Radiology. Prior to joining Coney Island Hospital he was Assistant Professor in Radiology at UMDNJ at Newark NJ.


Michael DeVita, M.D.

Dr. DeVita is the Director of Critical Care Services at NYC Health + Hospital/Harlem. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Georgetown University. His post graduate training was at Georgetown University Hospital in Internal Medicine and he did a Critical Care fellowship at St. Vincent’s Medical Center of New York. In 1988 he joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Devita is internationally recognized as a leader in Critical Care, and was awarded the AsmundLaerdal Award for contribution to resuscitation, as well as the Christer Grenvik Award for contribution to Critical Care Ethics. He served as President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and of the International Society for Rapid Response Systems. Dr. Devita is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, American College of Physicians, The American College of Critical Care Medicine, and the Academy of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.


Vihren G. Dimitrov, M.D.

Dr. Dimitrov is Chief of Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln and has served in several capacities at Lincoln since 1998, when he was appointed an Attending Physician. Since then, he has served as Lincoln’s Program Director as well as Associate Program Director and Lincoln’s Chief Medical Information Officer. He also played an important role in the creation of PAGNY.

Dr. Dimitrov, a native of Bulgaria, received his medical degree at the Higher Institute of Medicine in the Medical Academy, Sofia, Bulgaria. After serving his residency in internal medicine at Lincoln in New York City, he returned to practice medicine in Bulgaria, including a stint as the medical doctor at the American embassy in Sofia.

In addition to his position at Lincoln, Dr. Dimitrov is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College in New York and Assistant Professor of Medicine at St. George’s School of Medicine in Granada.


Robert Faillace, M.D.

Since April of 2014, Dr. Faillace has been Chair of Medicine of the North Bronx Healthcare Network (NBHN), where he is responsible for all patients at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. Before coming to NBHN, Dr. Faillace served as Director of Cardiovascular Quality and Innovation at Geisinger Health System, where he created and led multidisciplinary teams that worked toward improving all aspects of cardiovascular care. He also served as Chair of Cardiovascular Services at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson, New Jersey.

Dr. Faillace received his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s College of Medicine, and performed his residency at Boston University Medical Center. He has had more than 65 articles published in various peer-reviewed medical journals, and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Cardiovascular Disease, and Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology.


Sari J. Kaminsky, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.

Dr. Kaminsky is Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan (MHC) and Vice Chairman and Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology and Program Director at New York Medical College (NYMC). She earned her medical degree at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and completed her residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center/Kings County Hospital. Dr. Kaminsky has been President of the MHC Faculty Practice Plan since 2005. She served as President of the MHC medical staff from 2002-05, and was interim Chairman of Ob/Gyn at NYMC from January 2006 through August 2007. Dr. Kaminsky has held clinical and administrative positions at Cook County Hospital in Chicago and at affiliate institutions of the University of Southern California and Albany Medical College. An award-winning clinician-teacher, she also served as Associate Dean for curriculum at Chicago Medical School.


Ashok Khanna, M.D.

Dr. Khanna is an attending physician, Division of Cardiology, at Coney Island Hospital, and clinical associate professor of medicine at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. He earned his medical degree at Government Medical College, Punjabi University, Patiala, in Punjab, India. He did his internship at Long Island College Hospital and his residency at Beekman Downtown Hospital, completing his cardiology fellowship at Coney Island Hospital, where he became an attending physician in the Emergency Department and, later, in the Division of Cardiology. Board certified in internal medicine, cardiology and emergency medicine, Dr. Khanna also is certified by the American Society of Echocardiography and American Society of Nuclear Cardiology. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the American Society of Echocardiography. He has authored several publications and abstracts in the field of cardiology.


Peter K. Kim, M.D., M.M.M.

Dr. Kim is a General, Trauma, and Oncologic Surgeon at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. He is also an Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where he received his M.D. degree with Honors in Research. Dr. Kim spent a year at the NIH with a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship, then completed a General Surgery Residency with three additional years of surgical research at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC hospitals. Dr. Kim completed a Clinical Quality Fellowship Program sponsored by the Greater New York Hospital Association and United Hospital Fund. Most recently, he completed a Master’s degree in Medical Management at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.


Pardha Valluru, M.D.

Dr. Valluru is a Senior Clinical Chairperson at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island, where he serves as Chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Board certified in Rehabilitation Medicine and Pain Medicine, Dr. Valluru is the President of the Medical Board and Chairman of the Medical Executive Committee and Credential Committee at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. He served as a board member and Secretary of the UGMA, PC, a former affiliate of HHC. Dr. Valluru graduated from Guntur Medical College in India, then worked as a physician for several years in India and Nigeria. He completed his Residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and later joined NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island as a Physiatrist. Recently, Dr. Valluru was honored by the Medical Society of the County of Kings, Inc. and the Academy of Medicine of Brooklyn for his contributions to the medical profession.