People in the News

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

White Plains Hospital Physician Associates has once again broadened its reach of specialized physicians, this time to Larchmont, where a new multispecialty medical practice has opened at 2345 Boston Post Road.

This location offers specialists in dermatology, podiatry, hand and plastic surgery, and hematology and oncology. The facility is conveniently located for residents of the Sound Shore area, with ample on-site parking and comfortable patient care areas. Specialists available at this location include:

 Bernard Bernhardt, MD, hematology and oncology

 John Felidi, MD, podiatry

 Jeffrey Jacobson, MD, hand and plastic surgery

 Tobi Klar, MD, dermatology

 Elizabeth Phillips, MD, hematology and oncology



Juan Rocca, MD

Juan Rocca, MD, Surgical Director, Kidney Transplant Program and Living Donor Program, Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplantation, received the El Award for his work in liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery. The El Awards are given out annually by El Diario to recognize achievements of Latino role models in the tri-state area.


Michelle Ng Gong, MD, Chief of Research, Critical Care at Montefiore Health System, and Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has been awarded a $1.2 million Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant to create a new artificial intelligence tool to help physicians better identify and treat a deadly but under-recognized form of lung failure: acute respiratory distress syndrome. Once the condition is identified, clinicians will receive guidance on the best practices for treatment.



Juan Ramón Alaix

At its 35th Annual Awards Gala on Nov. 8 at The Pierre Hotel in New York City, Calvary Hospital honored Juan Ramón Alaix, Chief Executive Officer of Zoetis. The Hospital presented him with The Calvary Medal, in recognition of Alaix’s distinguished corporate and civic leadership and outstanding philanthropic commitment to the Calvary mission.

Alaix has been the CEO of Zoetis since 2013, when Pfizer Animal Health was spun off and officially became an independent, publicly traded company. Today, Zoetis is the world’s largest company with a singular focus on animal health medicines and vaccines. It serves veterinarians, livestock producers, and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals.


Helen Hayes Hospital (HHH) has appointed three distinguished clinicians to the specialty physical rehabilitation hospital’s medical staff:

Blossom Samuels, MD, will serve as attending physiatrist for fracture patients on the hospital’s Skilled Nursing Facility unit. Dr. Samuels joins HHH from the Hospital for Special Surgery, where she completed her fellowship in metabolic bone disease focused on the management of osteoporosis and fractures. She completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and Columbia University Medical Centers. She received her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, where she was the recipient of the Faith Stewart-Gordon Prize for Excellence in Rehabilitation Medicine.

Benjamin Wind, DO, will provide medical direction for HHH’s pulmonary rehabilitation program, pulmonary consultations and diagnostic cardiopulmonary stress testing. A pulmonologist at Rockland Pulmonary & Medical Associates, Dr. Wind specializes in pulmonary disease and critical care. He received his medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and served as a U.S. Navy Battalion surgeon and Medical Officer before completing his internal medicine residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. Dr. Wind completed his fellowship training in pulmonary diseases and critical care medicine at Hahnemann University Hospital/Drexel University College of Medicine, where he was Chief Fellow.

Sweety John, FNP, will serve as a nurse practitioner for the hospital’s stroke and TBI patients. She received her Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. John previously worked at Rockland Urgent Care, Four Winds Hospital and Englewood Hospital.


Phelps Hospital announced two new members of the development team. Jill Sibilia will be the new Vice President of Development, and Lucy Hollis will become Director of Development.


Jill Sibilia

Sibilia brings 15 years of experience with the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, most recently as Senior Vice President, Philanthropy and External Relations. In her role, she provided leadership and strategic direction for all fund development activities, including capital campaigns, principle and major giving, individual giving, legacy giving, corporate and institutional giving, and special events. She also led the Girl Scouts’ External Relations team responsible for media relations, branding, communications and advocacy. Prior to working for the Girl Scouts, she was a corporate event manager for Marcus Evans and national staff person for the college student association Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A.

Sibilia is honored to join Phelps as its next Vice President of Development. She is inspired by the people she has met in the Phelps family and the commitment they share to putting patients first and to treating each one with the dignity she or he deserves.

“I am eager to help Phelps advance its mission and ability to provide the highest-quality care and improve the health of the community it serves,” she says.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from American University in Washington, D.C.


Lucy Hollis

Hollis joins Phelps with 10 years of experience in the philanthropic sector and after having been the Director of Grants Management at The Atlantic Philanthropies. As the head of Grants Management, Hollis ensured the effectiveness and compliance of the foundation’s grant processes, reporting, policies, data and grants database system. Prior to joining Atlantic, Hollis worked as a compensation analyst at Radford Surveys + Consulting, a division of Aon Hewitt.

A native of Westchester County, Hollis has a lifelong connection to its residents and is particularly passionate about promoting the message that access to unique and high-quality health care should be universal. She personally witnessed the value and importance of compassionate end-of-life care through the exceptional and dignified care Phelps provided a family member through its hospice services.

“It is these types of services and programs that distinguish Phelps as a hospital of excellence and which I am excited to leverage support to further cultivate, in the role of Director of Development,” Hollis says.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a Graduate Certificate in Strategy & Leadership from New York University’s Management and Systems master’s program.

Sibilia and Hollis started their new roles in November.


Calvary Hospital’s event on Making Palliative Care a Global Public Health Imperative attracted more than 160 people, many from the leading hospital and healthcare facilities in the tri-state area.


Mary Beth Quaranta Morrissey presents Lawrence O. Gostin with an award.

Keynote speaker Lawrence O. Gostin, JD, shared his personal experience with palliative care as he navigated the healthcare system with his 102-year-old father. He discussed healthy living, healthy aging, healthy dying in a just society and what constitutes a “good” death.

Gostin drew on his deep experience as a global health expert to argue that palliative care needs to be at the top of every nation’s agenda. Gostin is a University Professor at Georgetown University — the university’s highest academic rank — the founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law, the Faculty Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, and the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National & Global Health Law.

The event included a thought-provoking panel discussion moderated by Christopher P. Comfort, MD, Medical Director, Calvary Hospital, with:

  • Bruce Jennings, Senior Fellow, Center for Humans and Nature; Adjunct Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University; and Senior Advisor, the Hastings Center
  • Thomas Merrill, General Counsel, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Mary Beth Quaranta Morrissey, PhD, MPH, JD, President, Board and Chair, Advisory Board, Collaborative for Palliative Care; Fellow, Global Healthcare Innovation Management Center, Fordham University Gabelli School of Business

Morrissey presented Gostin with the Dr. Mary Ann Quaranta Distinguished Public Health Law Scholar Award in recognition of his advocacy work in global health.