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PAGNY Board of Directors

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

President

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."

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Edward Chew, M.D.

Vice President

Dr. Edward Chew is the Chief of Emergency Medicine at PAGNY for NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem.

"I am motivated everyday by my team in the emergency department. We are truly working in a team environment. Everyone has the same goal of providing the best care possible to every patient. My team is motivated by working together and on improving the department as a whole. Our improvements focus on education to our residents and nursing colleagues, and monitoring and lowering stroke and cardiac MI numbers."

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Lisa A. Ross, M.D., MBA

Secretary

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.

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Ngozi Nwankpa, M.D.

Treasurer

Dr. Ngozi Nwankpa is a board-certified Obstetrician Gynecologist and Simulation Educator on staff at Harlem Hospital Center. She is passionate about delivering quality care to vulnerable populations and strongly believes that everyone deserves attentive and compassionate care, even more so communities where greater health disparities exist. During her tenure at Harlem Hospital, Dr. Ngozi Nwankpa has worked on quality improvement efforts aimed at reducing maternal morbidity and mortality and premature birth disparities using simulation and an innovative model of prenatal care called Centering Pregnancy.

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Stephen D. Apfelroth, M.D.

Director

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.

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Riyad J. Basir, M.D.

Director

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.

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Stephen M. Blumberg, M.D.

Director

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.

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Roger Chirurgi, M.D.

Director

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.

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Vihren G. Dimitrov, M.D.

Director

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.

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Kenneth Hupart, M.D.

Director

PAGNY Dr. Kenneth H. Hupart has been appointed the Chairperson of the Department of Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. Dr. Hupart is a diplomate of both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners and has been named to Castle Connolly’s “Top Docs” in America. Dr. Hupart completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia University and Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. He received his medical degree from SUNY Stony Brook, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Hupart is a published author and has held numerous teaching positions. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Hupart was the Chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Nassau University Medical Center.

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Shefali Khanna, M.D.

Director

Dr. Khanna has been the Chairperson of the Department of Pediatrics at Lincoln Medical Center since April 2010.  She is Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College, where she served on the General Faculty Council.  Dr. Khanna graduated medical school from Seth G.S. Medical College & K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai, India.  She completed her residency and Chief Residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, University Hospital of Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.  Upon completion of her training in 1998, she joined the Department of Pediatrics at Lincoln Medical Center as a Pediatric Hospitalist.  In November 2019, Dr. Khanna successfully passed the first examination in Pediatric Hospital Medicine conducted by the American Board of Pediatrics. As a faculty member, she has been actively involved in the education of pediatric residents and medical students.  In addition to her clinical and teaching responsibilities Dr. Khanna is a member of numerous departmental and hospital wide committees. 

She has an interest in improving operational efficiency to enhance quality of care and patient safety. Dr. Khanna remains a strong advocate for the well-being and education of children in the hospital and the community that she serves.

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Ashok Khanna, M.D.

Director

Dr. Khanna is an attending physician, Division of Cardiology, at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island, 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.

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

Director

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.

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Warren Seigel, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.P.

Director

Dr. Warren Seigel, Chairman of Pediatrics at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island, he has been treating kids for the past 30 years. After graduating from Adelphi University in 1978, he earned his medical degree from Universidad CETEC in the Dominican Republic and returned to his native New York for his residency and fellowship at The Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn. Dr. Seigel's distinguished career includes AAP District II Chair representing New York state, Board-certified in adolescent medicine, he has testified before Congress on universal access to comprehensive health care, published dozens of articles on adolescent medicine and co-authored the 2011 AAP policy Male Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Care.

In addition to having directed adolescent medicine at several New York hospitals, he is an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at SUNY-Health Science Center. Well-known for his advocacy on behalf of primary care pediatricians, he is past president of the Brooklyn Pediatric Society and the New York Regional Society for Adolescent Medicine.

He also is past president of New York Chapter 2 and has served on the AAP Section on Adolescent Health Executive Committee and Committee on Adolescence.

"It's really an honor to be allowed to take care of people's children, the trust that they have in us, in the medical profession, is a humbling experience."

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Jeremy Sperling, M.D.

Director

Dr. Jeremy Sperling is the Chair of Emergency Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals /Jacobi and NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. He is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Dr. Sperling is the co-chair of the NYC Health + Hospitals Emergency Medicine Council.  Dr. Sperling earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at Bellevue / New York University Medical Centers where he also served as a Chief Resident.  Dr. Sperling has received multiple teaching awards including the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) National Emergency Medicine Faculty Teaching Award.  

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Ronnie Swift, M.D.

Director

Dr. Ronnie Gorman Swift is the Chief of Psychiatry and Associate Medical Director for NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. In addition, she is Professor and Associate Chairman of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at New York Medical College. In 2017, Dr. Swift also became a member of the Board of Directors of Search & Care. Dr. Swift is included in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World and received America’s Top Psychiatric Award given by Consumers’ Research Council of America.

Dr. Swift is a recipient of numerous accolades over her career. In May 2005, New York Medical College selected Dr. Swift as the first recipient of the Sidney E. Frank Visiting Professor Award. This program established a visiting professor exchange program between New York Medical College and Hadassah University in Israel. In September 2005, Dr. Swift was awarded Honorary Membership in the World Psychiatric Association for her “contributions to Psychiatry.” Meanwhile, Dr. Swift is considered an expert on the clinical manifestations of Wolfram Syndrome. In addition, she has published articles in several scientific journals including The Lancet, Science, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and Biological Psychiatry, to name a few.

She has been a member of the teaching faculty of the Neuroscience Education Institute (NEI) since 2005 and since 2008 has served as the Chairman of their Continuing Education Committee. NEI is a leading provider of Psychiatric Continuing Education.

Dr. Swift is a graduate of the City College of New York with a degree in chemistry and earned her medical degree at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

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Cara Taubman, M.D. M.P.H

Director

Dr. Cara Taubman is an Emergency Physician at Harlem Hospital where she is the Assistant Director for the Emergency Department,  Clinical Director of Emergency Management for the hospital and Assistant Program Director for the Met-Harlem Emergency Medicine residency. She graduated from New York Medical College with an MD and MPH and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at Jacobi and Montefiore Medical Centers where she served as Chief Resident. During residency she received Leo M. Davidoff society’s Award for Medical Student Education and Emergency Physician of the year. After residency she went on to a Global Emergency Medicine fellowship at Columbia University where she worked with the Ministries of Health in both Ghana and Rwanda and for Doctors Without Borders.

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Daryl Wieland, M.D

Director

Dr. Daryl Wieland is the Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Jacobi and North Central Bronx and Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She earned her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. After residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center, she took her first attending position at Jacobi in 1998. In addition to her clinical and teaching experience, Dr Wieland’s interest in improving the electronic medical record and collecting better data for reuse led her to complete her master’s degree in clinical informatics from Northwestern University.  Board certified in clinical informatics, she has served in the role of Chief Medical Informatics Office at Jacobi.