People in the News

Friday, January 5, 2018

Rifat Latifi, MD, FACS

While many physicians travel around the globe to treat patients in underdeveloped nations, few like Rifat Latifi, MD, FACS, Director of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Trauma and General Surgery at Westchester Medical Center Health Network, can say they are responsible for bringing advanced medicine to those countries in a more permanent form.

Dr. Latifi was recently honored by the Westchester County Business Journal with a Doctors of Distinction award in the No Land Too Far category, recognizing his efforts to bring advanced medicine to people around the world.

Dr. Latifi has spent the past 17 years building a telemedicine network in developing nations. Telemedicine allows physicians to examine patients and consult with other healthcare providers virtually, making long-distance treatment possible. In addition, the telemedicine network is used for healthcare system development and education of healthcare providers in some of the most remote sites of developing countries, by making expertise from around the world available through a virtual presence.

Since 2002, through his work with The International Virtual e-Hospital, an organization he helped found, Dr. Latifi has helped to create virtual telemedicine programs at 45 hospitals in three countries and is working to add more. Countries such as Kosovo, Albania and Cabo Verde (West Africa) are already connected, and Dr. Latifi is working to establish a program in northern Vietnam. He has also done telemedicine projects in other parts of the world, including in the remote Amazon River region of Peru and Brazil, and in the Philippines.



John Wolk, MD

CareMount Medical announces the appointment of John Wolk, MD, as its new Clinical Laboratory Director. Dr. Wolk will be responsible for managing the overall quality of diagnostic laboratory tests across CareMount Medical’s 19 laboratory locations in the Hudson Valley.

Dr. Wolk will practice at CareMount Medical’s Dr. Abe Levy Clinical Laboratory in Brewster, New York, a full-service, state-licensed clinical laboratory.

Dr. Wolk received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed a fellowship in pediatric pathology at St. Christopher Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. After becoming a chief resident in pathology at Temple University Hospital, he furthered his postgraduate training with a fellowship in renal pathology followed by a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology.

Dr. Wolk is a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners and a member of the American Board of Pathology. He is also an Assistant Professor of Pathology at New York Medical College and a frequent speaker and contributor in the field. Prior to joining CareMount Medical, Dr. Wolk was chief of microbiological services at the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research in Valhalla, New York.



Robert Josephberg, MD

Robert Josephberg, MD, Chief of Retina and Vitreous at Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, was recently inducted as a charter member of the Retina Hall of Fame for his expertise and contributions to the ophthalmology subspecialty.

Dr. Josephberg, who resides in Briarcliff Manor, joined Westchester Medical Center in 1985. Considered a leading expert in endophthalmitis, Dr. Josephberg is also known for his role in the invention of sutureless vitrectomy, which is widely used in the field of vitrectomy surgery.

Dr. Josephberg earned his medical degree from Albany Medical College and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin. He completed an ophthalmology residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey and a retina and vitreous fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Established in 2016, the Retina Hall of Fame honors talented physicians, scientists and related healthcare workers who over many generations have devoted their professional lives to innovation, research and clinical care and have saved many from blindness and improved their lives.



Roberto Bergamaschi, MD, PhD

Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) welcomes colorectal surgeon Roberto Bergamaschi, MD, PhD, as Chief of Colorectal Surgery for the health network’s Valhalla and Poughkeepsie campuses. Dr. Bergamaschi will oversee all colorectal surgery services at WMCHealth’s flagship Westchester Medical Center, as well as Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and MidHudson Regional Hospital.

Prior to joining WMCHealth, Dr. Bergamaschi served as chief of the Division of Colorectal Surgery and professor of surgery with tenure at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, as well as director of the Colorectal Cancer Multidisciplinary Disease Management Team at Stony Brook Cancer Center.

Board-certified in emergency surgery, general surgery and gastrointestinal surgery, Dr. Bergamaschi earned his medical degree at the University of Milan School of Medicine in Italy and a PhD at the University of Bergen Faculty of Medicine in Norway. He completed surgical residencies at medical centers in France, England and Norway. He has served as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in England, as well as the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons and the American Surgical Association in the United States.


White Plains Hospital welcomes Tejas Patel, MD, to its Physician Associates Division. Dr. Patel is a board-certified nephrologist. He earned his medical degree at the M.S. University of Baroda, India. Dr. Patel was a resident at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He has fellowships in hypertension and medicine from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. He earned a Master of Public Health degree from The Ohio State University School of Public Health and an Executive MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.



Stephanie Gore, MD

CareMount Medical announces that Stephanie Gore, MD, has joined the medical group.

Dr. Gore is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. She earned a medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine and completed her OB/GYN residency at New York Medical College, Westchester Medical Center/Metropolitan Hospital. Dr. Gore holds a master’s degree in epidemiology and biostatistics from the University of Southern California.

She is a member of several professional and social organizations, including the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; AMA; National Medical Association; and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Prior to joining CareMount Medical, she was an attending physician at Open Door Family Medical Centers in Ossining, New York. Dr. Gore practices at CareMount Medical’s Mount Kisco and Katonah offices and has privileges at Northern Westchester Hospital.



Sarah Caro

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital announces that Sarah Caro has been appointed Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, in its Development Department.

Caro brings over 15 years of development experience to the position, having successfully raised funds for many nonprofit organizations throughout her career. She will use her skills in soliciting and securing funding from foundations, corporations and government entities to support Burke Rehabilitation Hospital’s mission, as well as enhance and grow the hospital’s corporate and foundation fundraising initiatives.

Caro began her career as an advocate for the implementation of more health-protective standards for drinking water. Since then, she has held numerous positions in development, gaining extensive experience managing large portfolios of foundation, corporate and government funders, as well as planning large-scale fundraising events and developing and cultivating key relationships.

Immediately prior to joining Burke, Caro was the director of institutional giving at Food Bank For New York City, overseeing annual fundraising of $26 million from foundations, corporations and government entities.