National Doctors’ Week

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In recognition of National Doctors’ Week, we will be highlighting the work of some extraordinary HRHCare doctors. In their own words, learn why these incredible men and womenbecame doctors, why they chose to work at HRHCare, and how they are involved in their communities. Stay tuned every day this week for more HRHCare doctor profiles!

Patrina Phillip-King, MD, FACOG is an OB/GYN at HRHCare Monticello.

“I grew up in Grenada in the Caribbean, and access to high-quality health care wasn’t always available. Living through that experience really made me want to become a physician, and to provide that care for others. That passion remained with me, and took me all the way through medical school and into becoming an OB/GYN. I love my work every day.

“HRHCare’s mission of providing high-quality care to all really aligns with my own. I had also worked other places where there wasn’t too much opportunity for growth as an OB/GYN, but have found so many opportunities here.

“Outside of HRHCare, I recently went on a medical mission to Haiti, which was an amazing opportunity. And more locally, I have been working with the Monticello Library on starting women’s health classes there.”

–Patrina Phillip, King, MD, FACOG

Tia Welsh, MD, MPH, FACOG is an OB/GYN at HRHCare Patchogue and Coram, the Elsie Owens Health Center.

“Since I was a child, I was always drawn to the medical field. Helping others is always a pleasure, but helping women in particular is a passion of mine. I love what I do, and I never tire of my work.

“I grew up receiving care at a community health center. Being able to serve my own community in a similar fashion makes me feel good. I love helping those who otherwise would have no help.

“My hobbies include running, watching reality TV, and volunteerism. I like to speak to as many different organizations about women’s health as I can.”

–Tia Welsh, MD, MPH, FACOG

Leigh Rieper, DO is a family medicine physician at HRHCare Beacon.

“I honestly cannot recall a time when I didn’t want to be a doctor. I always enjoyed science, and was curious about the human body and health. As time passed, I realized the importance of certain social conditions on health. I was a social science interdisciplinary major in college, which led me to choose a residency in family and social medicine.

“While doing my residency at the Albert Einstein Hospital in the Bronx, a representative from HRHCare came to discuss the mission of the organization, which happened to fall right in line with my own personal goals as a physician looking to join her first practice. The Beacon health center has been my home ever since, and will continue to be. I have grown to love the people I work with, and the community we serve.

“On my way to and from work everyday, I enjoy listening to audio-books. Music is another passion of mine, and I have attended countless concerts!”

–Leigh Rieper, DO

Dana Nedelea, MD is a pediatrician at HRHCare Brentwood.

“I have always wanted to give back to the community, and to give care and help others. The core of health care is founded on the principles of patient care and quality. I knew that becoming a doctor would enable me to make positive impacts on the lives of others. Pediatrics is a profession primarily focused on working with children, families, and members of the community, to foster good health and well-being locally. I have found it to be extremely rewarding to work with families to ensure the health and vitality of their children.

“HRHCare is an exceptional federally qualified health center, with a strong presence in the Hudson Valley, and recently on Long Island. I knew from the beginning that working with this health center, which delivers care focused on under-served populations, would ensure that I would help children and families that have limited options for acquiring high-quality health care. Having such opportunities goes back to the primary reasons I became a doctor in the first place.”

–Dana Nedelea, MD

Romulo Guzman, MD is a pediatrician at HRHCare Peekskill, the Jeannette J. Phillips Health Center.

“I grew up in Ecuador, but have lived in Maine and New York for most of my life. The fact that you can do good things for people, and  can provide them with some inspirational tools to to do better in the future inspired me do become a doctor.

“HRHCare serves the right population for a doctor to do what medicine is all about it. The word doctor is linked to the word teacher, and that is what we do – we teach our patients what we know. I’m not interested in just prescribing medicine, but also planting seeds of knowledge so they can grow; and growing takes a little bit of time. Whatever I can do that will benefit my patients in the future is my main goal.Some of my patients have become lawyers, or gone to medical school. It feels good to know that your patients are doing well.

“I try to consistently expose myself to knowledge, and am part of the Medical Corps in Dutchess County. I read many years ago that doctors are not here just to cure, but also to relieve and understand our patients.”

–Romulo Guzman, MD

Daniel Neghassi, MD is a family physician at HRHCare Yonkers, the Park Care Health Center.

“Growing up, I had always been drawn to science, health, and biology. As a person of color, I had always been aware of the racism and injustice in this country, so pursuing work where I could be a part of the larger fight against inequalities–including in the healthcare system–was an obvious choice for me.I decided to become a doctor, and specifically a family physician, so that I could interact directly with families who often don’t have access to quality health care, or dignity in their medical treatment. Now, what I love most about being a family physician is spending time listening to my patients’ stories, and working with whole families to help them build healthier lives.

“When I first learned about HRHCare, it became immediately apparent that the organization is dedicated to the mission of providing high-quality care to communities that would not be able to access it otherwise. Now that I’m here, it’s been really inspiring to see the culture of teamwork in action. I’ve only been here two months so far, but I greatly appreciate the support I’ve received as a doctor at HRHCare – both from the rest of the staff at Park Care, and from the leadership. It’s been great to be part of an organization where everyone is committed to the mission.

“I am proud to be on the board of Physicians for a National Health Program – NY Metro Chapter (PNHP). We advocate for a universal, publicly funded health care system, because we believe health care is a human right. I’ve seen too many cases of patients who’ve put off getting care because they were uninsured, or couldn’t afford health care because of co-pays and deductibles. We want to ensure that everyone gets health care, not only people who can afford it. That’s why we’re fighting for the New York Health Act, which would provide affordable health care to all New Yorkers, without co-payments or deductibles. I’m excited that there has been a lot of momentum in the last few years, and that New York can be the first state to take this meaningful step toward health care justice.I also volunteer with Columbia-Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership, a free clinic run by medical students. I first got involved as a medical student at Columbia ten years ago, and now, as an attending physician, I supervise the students who evaluate and treat the patients. It’s extremely rewarding to see the students provide compassionate care to their patients.For fun, I love the outdoors! When this winter is finally over, I look forward to riding my bike more and going on hikes.”

–Daniel Neghassi, MD

Irvelyne Camille, MD, FACOG is an OB/GYN at HRHCare Monticello

“I became a doctor initially because I wanted to go off to a third world country and provide medical care to those in need. As I got older, I realized I did not have to go to a third world country, as there are many people in our country that are in need. And that’s the mindset which I believe led me to work at HRHCare. My motto is to try to provide excellent care to everyone I come in contact with. It does not matter whether the person has insurance or not, or if the person is documented or not – nor should it matter. HRHcare has a similar motto, and that makes me working here a perfect fit.

“Outside of HRHCare, my favorite hobby is to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. I see it as a way to help those that are less fortunate than I am. Basically, it’s a way to do something for someone who is not in a position to pay you back. Nothing beats that feeling. I volunteer, and help repair old houses for a families in need. By the time I get home, I’m dirty, extremely sore, and very happy about it.”

–Irvelyne Camille, MD, FACOG

Luis Maturana, MD, FACOG is an OB/GYN at HRHCare Brentwood

“I became a doctor because I wanted my work in life to be important and significant. I chose to work here at HRHCare because I am able to provide care to those who most need it. The care we provide here is always given in a respectful and kind manner.

“Outside of HRHCare, I enjoy reading and exercising.”

–Luis Maturana, MD, FACOG

Ivannette Juarbe-Ramos, MD is a family medicine physician at HRHCare Peekskill, the Jeannette J. Phillips Health Center.

“I always had a strong interest in science and physiology, and thought about pursing a career in medicine early on. When I was in high school, my uncle, with whom I was extremely close, died of cancer. Watching his struggle and his journey through the medical system solidified my desire to become a physician.

“HRHCare has an excellent reputation for high-quality, compassionate care. I wanted to work for an organization that put patients first, and was consistently striving to provide better care. The story of the founding mothers is also so inspirational and motivating.

“I am a member of Memorial United Methodist Church, which has various community outreach programs, such as care for the homeless, reintegration of formerly incarcerated persons,  and equal rights for minorities. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, exercising, and hiking.”

–Ivannette Juarbe-Ramos, MD

Mary Dyer, MD is a family medicine physician at HRHCare Monticello and Poughkeepsie.

“I find the science of medicine fascinating – and human beings are fascinating too! There is always something more to learn, and learning is truly my fountain of youth.

“As humans, we are all vulnerable in some way – some of us more than others. I am proud to be part of an organization that stands behind its’ mission to take care of the most vulnerable in our communities. It is clear that HRHCare’s commitment is not just one of words, but one of action. Each patient has a multidisciplinary team trying new strategies, and employing tried and true, evidence-based ways of optimizing their health.

“I am planning to volunteer for the SPCA, when I have more time! When it comes to hobbies, I am always looking for new vegetarian recipes that my family will like.”

–Mary Dyer, MD

Eve Griffin, MD is an internist, with a focus on HIV and hepatitis C care, at HRHCare Brentwood.

“I was a chemistry major in college, and took biology and math, and knew I wanted to do something along those lines. I went through the New York City public school system, and later went on to CUNY and SUNY, so was always a part of public institutions. All these things made me realize that I wanted to do something where I could give back to my community.

“Instead of choosing HRHCare, HRHCare chose me! I was working at the Brentwood Health Center back when it was run by Suffolk County. Dr. Carmen Chinea came by to see us when the health center was set to transition over to HRHCare, and I like what she said about the organization. It was important for me to stay in the community and take care of my patients here.

“When I’m not serving patients, I like to do crafting, and especially making holiday decorations. I bring things that I’ve made to decorate the health center, and give it a little seasonal cheer.”

–Eve Griffin, MD           

Sabrina Johnson, MD is a family physician at HRHCare Patchogue.

“In the 1970s, I attended the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. It was a wonderful experience. In my senior year, I went with a group of students from Art and Design to Goldwater Memorial hospital on Roosevelt Island to paint Christmas murals on the ward windows for the patients. Because of my experience, I volunteered to work as a Candy Striper in the hospital. As a Candy Striper, I brought magazines and candy to the patients, and I transported them to Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy.  I loved helping the patients and listening to their stories.  One summer afternoon, while sitting in OT with a patient, I decided on a career in medicine.

“HRHCare has a remarkable story of everyday people seeing a need, and becoming activated to fill it. I loved the story of the Founding Mothers.

“Outside of my work at HRHCare, I am a church volunteer. I attend All Nations Apostolic Tabernacle in Queens, NY.  We have a nursing home ministry, and we hold church services in selected nursing homes in NYC and Nassau County.”

–Sabrina Johnson, MD

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