Meet the Faculty

South Nassau Full-Time Family Medicine Faculty

Scott Ippolito, MD

Scott Ippolito, MD
Chair, Department of Family Medicine
Dr. Scott Ippolito completed his residency in family medicine at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens. He subsequently become a fellow in both obstetrics/gynecology and faculty development at the State University of New York Downstate Medical School. After spending time in private practice, Dr. Ippolito returned to academic family medicine, quickly rising to Associate Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Brooklyn.  There he founded and directed their family medicine residency. Dr. Ippolito next served as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at St. John's Episcopal Hospital, Far Rockaway, where he created both the clinical Department of Family Medicine and its family medicine residency.  In 2000, Dr. Ippolito came to South Nassau as Chair of the department. In his current role, he oversees the clinical department, its family medicine residency, its in- and outpatient services, and our hospital's employee health service. He is a member of the board of directors of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine Education Consortium as well a member of various leadership boards and committees at both South Nassau and the Long Island Health Network. Doctor Ippolito is Clinical Assistant Professor at the State University of New York Downstate Medical School, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, and an Associate Dean of Clinical Sciences at Ross University School of Medicine. He is an active teacher to our residents, regularly participating in office-based precepting and as a teaching attending on our inpatient service. Dr. Ippolito has published several textbook and review book chapters and is nationally renowned for medical risk mitigation.

Samuel Sandowski , MD

Samuel Sandowski , MD
Program Director
Dr. Samuel Sandowski graduated cum laude from the Technion Faculty of Medicine in Israel, and completed his family medicine residency here at South Nassau from which he completed a faculty development fellowship at the State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn. After serving as Medical Director of their family medicine center for several years, he returned as Program Director. He has since been appointed Director of Medical Education for our entire hospital. Dr.  Sandowski has particular expertise in faculty development and academic medicine and has published several articles and book chapters, and co-edited the textbook, Primary Care. He takes pride in teaching and in being a family doctor providing direct patient care. Dr. Sandowski is double boarded in family and adolescent medicine.

Paul Moglia,  PhD

Paul Moglia, PhD
Associate Program Director
Dr. Paul Moglia received his MA and PhD in counseling psychology from Boston College, where he was awarded several graduate assistantships and teaching fellowships. He was awarded a clinical fellowship from the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, where he studied medical-liaison psychiatry, family therapy and geriatric neuropsychology. He was also the first psychologist to complete a faculty development fellowship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  A peer reviewer for Family Medicine, Journal of Family Practice and American Family Physician, he is a member of the Networking Resource Line, a panel of experts who provide consultation and assistance to residencies throughout the United States. He is author of numerous articles, from premature birth, familial Down syndrome and behavioral economics to sexuality, divorce in the elderly and death and dying. He is a co-editor for the six-volume, 3,400-page Magill's Medical Guide and the co-editor of Salem Health: Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In 2015, he edited the five-volume, 3,000-page Psychology & Behavioral Health 4th Edition, and the first edition, four-volume 1,700-page, Adolescent Health & Wellness. An award-winning educator, he has made dozens of presentations at national and regional conferences and holds associate professorships at several of the area's medical schools. In addition to his responsibilities here, he maintains a full-time private practice in Nassau and Westchester counties.

Emad Hanna, MD, MSc

Emad Hanna, MD, MSc
Coordinator, Occupational Medicine
Dr. Emad Hanna, an alumnus of our program, was the recipient of the Resident Teacher Award from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine in his graduating year. Prior to training in family medicine, he had 10 years of active clinical practice in general surgery from which he went on to complete a residency in preventive medicine at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. Dr. Hanna's particular areas of focus are office procedures, preventive medicine, occupational medicine, community medicine and epidemiology.

Russell Porter, MD

Russell Porter, MD
Coordinator, Geriatrics & Sports Medicine
Dr. Russell Porter is a family physician with over 20 years of private practice experience in nearby Rockville Center, N.Y.  He has been an active staff physician at South Nassau Communities Hospital during this time. In addition to board certification in family medicine, he holds board certification in both geriatric and sports medicine. Dr. Porter is a clinical instructor in the Family Medicine Center, as well as on our inpatient medicine service.

Linda Roethel, MD

Linda Roethel, MD
Coordinator, Women's Health
Dr. Linda Roethel is a graduate of the Universidad del Noreste, Mexico, and St. Joseph's Medical Center's Family Medicine Residency Program, Yonkers, N.Y.  After her residency, Dr. Roethel completed a fellowship in obstetrics/gynecology at Montefiore Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital in New York City. She is an active preceptor for inpatient medicine and in our Family Medicine Center. Additionally, Dr. Roethel is the Coordinator of Women's Health and provides obstetrical care and teaching in the Family Medicine Center and in our hospital's Labor & Delivery unit.

Bernadette  Riley, DO, FILM, FACOFP

Bernadette Riley, DO, FILM, FACOFP
Director, Traditional Rotating Internship
Dr. Bernadette Riley is an attending physician at South Nassau Family Medicine Center at Long Beach, and the Coordinator of Simulation Medicine and faculty physician at South Nassau Communities Hospital. Prior to coming to South Nassau, she was the Medical Director at Long Beach Group Practice; and Attending Faculty and Home Care Physician, Director of Research, and Director of Medical Students at Long Beach Medical Center, Long Beach, N.Y. Dr. Riley graduated from Fordham University in 2001, and attended the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. After medical school, she completed her ENT/facial plastic surgery internship and two years of residency at Union/Newark Beth Israel Hospital, part of New Jersey’s St. Barnabas Medical System. Following her interest in primary care, Dr. Riley completed the family medicine residency at Long Beach Medical Center, where she was also chief resident. Dr. Riley was awarded the Training in Policy Studies fellowship and presented the National Pain Care Act of 2009 to state congress. An active researcher, educator and writer, she has numerous publications including “Pain Health Policy Brief” in Osteopathic Family Physician (2010), “Professional Training in the Postgraduate Medical Education” also in Osteopathic Family Physician (2014), and “Using Simulation-Based Medical Education to Meet the Competency Requirements for the Single Accreditation System,” in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2015). In 2013, Dr. Riley was granted a fellowship in Physician Leadership with a concentration in Health Advocacy from the American College of Family Physicians (ACOFP) and its Physician Leadership Institute (PLI); she is currently a Certified Physician Leader.  Dr. Riley has received numerous awards, (ACOFP Future Leaders in 2012, Mentor in 2014, and AOA’s Guardian of the Profession also in 2014).  She is an AOA fellow and has been inducted into the ACOFP Conclave of Fellows in 2016. She is a member of NYCOMEC’s Research Committee, Academic Compliance Committee, is an AOA Delegate, and serves on the board of directors of the New York State Osteopathic Medical Society (NYSOMS) as well as serving on the board of the NYITCOM Alumni Association. Dr. Riley is an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at NYITCOM and a member of national faculty of the NBOME. She is jointly boarded in osteopathic manipulative medicine and family medicine.

Cheryl Carrao, DO

Cheryl Carrao, DO
Director, Osteopathic Medical Education
Program Director, Osteopathic Family Medicine Residency
Dr. Cheryl Carrao graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and completed her family medicine residency at Long Beach Medical Center (LBMC), where she served as chief resident. After graduation, Dr. Carrao became  Medical Director for Gateway Family Physicians in Port Chester, N.Y., before joining the Westchester Medical Group in White Plains, N.Y. She served as the school physician for the Port Chester Public School District, the Rye Presbyterian Nursery School and the Rye Art Center Day Camp. After leaving Westchester, Dr. Carrao joined a private practice in Manhattan, serving patients in Tribeca. In 2008, Dr. Carrao returned to Long Beach Medical Center as the Associate Director of the medical center and became the Director of Medical Education, Director of the Traditional Rotating Internship, Chief Academic Officer and Chief of the Division of Family Medicine. In these capacities, Dr. Carrao both chaired and was an active member of several hospital committees. She also served on the board of directors of NYITCOM and its Education Committee. After the closure of LBMC and its training programs, Dr. Carrao joined the Family Medicine faculty at South Nassau as Director of the Traditional Rotating Internship. Dr. Carrao was nominated for the prestigious Mentor of the Year in the American Osteopathic Association. She is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at NYITCOM.

Elizabeth Lynn, MD

Elizabeth Lynn, MD
Director, Student Clerkship; Coordinator, Pediatric Education; Faculty Attending
Dr. Elizabeth Lynn was born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif., where she worked as a 911 emergency medical technician for several years. She subsequently was a researcher at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine,  and her work there led to several publications. She graduated with honors from Ross University School of Medicine before completing her family medicine residency training with us, where she served as academic coordinator in her senior year. Dr. Lynn has represented family medicine and family medicine physicians in several local and national roles. She is a member of the New York State Academy of Family Physicians and is active on their advocacy and vaccine committees. Dr. Lynn was instrumental in beginning the Pet Therapy Program at our hospital and routinely gets residents’ involvement in community programs such as TAR Wars and Teddy Bear Clinic. She coordinates our pediatric portion of the curriculum and is a full-time preceptor in the Oceanside Family Medicine Center and teaching attending for our inpatient service. She is also active with medical student education as our Clerkship Director.

Joyce Robert, MD

Joyce Robert, MD
Director, Performance Improvement
Dr. Joyce Robert joined the faculty in 2017 as faculty attending and as the Performance Improvement Director, in which she oversees the quality improvement initiatives of residents and faculty. Doctor Robert earned her medical degree at the State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine and completed family residency training at Mount Sinai Downtown Residency in Urban Family Medicine (formerly Beth Israel Residency in Urban Family Medicine). Since then she has demonstrated a deep commitment to the advancement of family medicine education and continuous quality improvement of patient-centered care. She was also served as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Mount Sinai Ichan School of Medicine and full time faculty at the Institute for Family Health Family Medical Residency in Harlem. Subsequently, she was made the Associate Medical Director at the Family Health Center of Harlem where she was instrumental in the Health Center’s expansion and success. Since the Health Center's inception in 2012, she developed the residency program’s pediatric and adolescent curriculum and spearheaded its effective resident selection and review process. Doctor Robert has led various committees and contributed to successful quality improvement initiatives such as increasing child vaccination rates and child well visits, improving the management of patient walk-ins, and founding a lactation clinic for new mothers. She was also part of the team that successfully launched the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model at the Health Center of Harlem, which earned level III accreditation. Her commitment to the community and serving diverse, under-served and disadvantaged populations has also been a goal, having organized outreach events such as 5K runs and health fairs in Harlem to keep the community informed and to encourage healthy living.

Neslon Giraldo, MD

Nelson Giraldo, MD
Doctor Giraldo joined the Department of Family Medicine as a part time faculty attending in April 2015. Though he has over 30 years of active clinical practice, he takes as his own personal commitment to teach, but also learn from, our residents. Doctor Giraldo completed his Bachelor of Science at City College, part of the City University of New York system in 1980.  He obtain his medical degree from the the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico, from which he went on to complete a Fifth Pathway at New York Medical College’s affiliated site, The Mount Vernon Hospital, in Mount Vernon. Doctor Giraldo completed his residency in family medicine at Jamaica Hospital, Queens, where he was also chief resident. He stayed on for one year and worked as a faculty preceptor and interim assistant program director. He has been in private practice since 1989 and has admitting privileges Good Samaritan, Southside, and St. Catherine of Siena hospitals. His practice is currently based out of Bay Shore. In our program, he is faculty attending and clinical instructor, precepting at both the Oceanside and Long Beach offices. He has particular interests in wellness and bariatric medicine.

Robert Cavera, PsyD

Robert Cavera, PsyD
Clinical Health Psychologist 
Dr. Robert Cavera is a New York State licensed psychologist who serves the South Nassau Family Medicine as its Clinical Health Psychologist.  In this capacity, he provides integrative services that include consultation, assessment, diagnosis, intervention, follow-up and referrals for our patients with comorbid behavioral/medical disorders.  Providing “in the moment” short-term behavioral and cognitive interventions for any age patient, he focuses on patients with high-risk diseases such as diabetes mellitus, peptic ulcer disease, asthma, and hypertension.  Doctor. Cavera works hand in hand with his faculty preceptor colleagues and adds another layer of education for our residents in the practical application of the biopsychosocial model of health care delivery.  He enjoys teaching and mentoring resident physicians on the impact and interrelation of psychological distress on medical diseases and disorders. Doctor. Cavera has presented nationally regarding the role of integrating behavioral health in primary care settings, and the effect of integration on patient outcomes.

Doctor Cavera received his Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University, and his Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Hofstra University in School-Community Psychology.  Prior to working at Family Medicine, Dr. Cavera was employed at South’s Mental Health Counseling Center in Baldwin.  His primary area of expertise is post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression.  He is an adjunct instructor of psychology at Molloy College, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate psychology courses.  He also maintains a private practice where he treats children, adults and families with a variety of psychopathologies.