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
DIO, VP of Medical Education
Dr. Samuel Sandowski graduated cum laude from the Technion Faculty of Medicine in Israel, and completed his family medicine residency here at Mount Sinai 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 & Institutional Director of Faculty Development
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 five-volume, 3,000-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. Currently he is editing the second edition of the two volume Addiction, Substance Misuse and Alcoholism. 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
Program Director, Geriatrics Fellowship
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 Mount Sinai South Nassau 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.

Joyce Robert, MD

Joyce Robert, MD
Director, Performance Improvement
Academic Coordinator
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 Mount Sinai 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.

Anubhav Agarwal, MD

Anubhav Agarwal, MD
Coordinator of Sports Medicine

Doctor Anubhav Agarwal completed his medical school from Kasturba Medical College, two years of General Surgical Residency at Nassau University Medical Center, followed by the Family Medicine Residency at Mount Sinai South Nassau, and finally his Sports Medicine Fellowship at University of Nevada. Doctor Agarwal's extensive experience includes being the sports medicine physician for many events such as the New York City Marathon, many college volleyball, wrestling, and football events, as well as covering several rodeos throughout America. As a New York native, Doctor Agarwal prides himself in his community by supporting many patients as a sports medicine physician.

Through his advanced education in ImPACT concussion care training for athletes, as well as trauma patients, and musculoskeletal procedural skills, doctor Agarwal has become a recognized leader in the field of sports medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau. As a part of the core academic faculty, as well as the coordinator of the sports medicine clinic, doctor Agarwal is a valuable part of the family medicine residency program here at Mount Sinai South Nassau.

Doctor Agarwal believes that exercise and function are intricately related, and that regardless of age, every person deserves an active lifestyle that promotes physical fitness. As such, doctor Agarwal’s expertise atMount Sinai South Nassau continues to expand patient care and resident education in unique ways

Lisa Whitten, Ph.D.

Lisa Whitten, Ph.D.
Psychologist, Family Medicine

Doctor Lisa Whitten earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1977 and her PhD in clinical psychology from the prestigious Derner School of Psychology at Adelphi University in 1982. She has been active in the Association of Black Psychologists for over 35 years, serving five terms as President of the New York Chapter. She is currently co-chair of its national Ethics Committee. In 2009, she was honored by the organization with the Distinguished Psychologist Award for her scholarship and service, which focused on engaging and empowering student members.

Since 1986, Dr. Whitten has been a faculty member in the Psychology Department at the State University of New York, Old Westbury. For nine years, she served as Director of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. Dr. Whitten’s scholarly interests are bringing culture and other diversity issues to the center of the psychology, mental health counseling, and medical curricula, the challenges of teaching about diversity, and reducing the stigma of behavioral and mental illness. Her most recent publication “Teaching Africana Psychology,” co-authored with Halford Fairchild, Ph.D. and Harriet Richards, Ph.D., appears in the edited volume Integrating Multiculturalism and Intersectionality into the Psychology Curriculum by Jasmine Mena, Ph.D. and Kathryn Quina, Ph.D.

Here at Mount Sinai South Nassau, Dr. Whitten brings her clinical training and experience, and her background in anthropology to her work as a psychosocial preceptor for Family Medicine residents. The goal of her precepting is to enhance residents’ ability to recognize the role of diversity - theirs and their patients’- in patient care, and to apply psychosocial skills and the biopsychosocial model of care to their clinical practice. She regularly lectures on the behavioral science and psychosocial medicine curriculum.