Pediatric Newborn Medicine Team Biographies

Biographies

Leadership

Terrie E. Inder, MBChB, MD, Chair 
Dr. Inder is a dual-boarded neonatologist and child neurologist and is the Chair of the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine. A native of New Zealand, she previously worked at the University of Melbourne, and Washington University in St. Louis before joining Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2013. She has a passion for improving long-term outcomes of high-risk infants including premature infants and at-risk term born infants. Dr. Inder is the Mary Ellen Avery Professor of Pediatrics in the Field of Newborn Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Linda J. Van Marter, MD, MPH, Vice Chair 

Dr. Van Marter is Vice Chair of the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine and neonatologist and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Her research interest is in the epidemiology of neonatal cardiopulmonary disorders, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn. She also has a keen interest in the interface between lung disease and neurodevelopmental outcomes and in preventing both of these adverse outcomes of prematurity.

Terri Gorman, MD, NICU Medical Co-Director

Dr. Gorman is the NICU Medical Director and an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gorman’s scholarly interests include respiratory care of the very low birthweight infant (VLBW), evaluation and management of the patent ductus arteriosus in the VLBW infant. She has experience and expertise in development and implementation of a variety of quality improvement initiatives within the NICU setting, as well as developing evidence-based guidelines to improve clinical care.

Michael Prendergast, MB BCh BAO, PhD, NICU Medical Co-Director 

Dr. Prendergast graduated medical school at University College Dublin, Ireland. He completed residency at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children-National Maternity Hospital, Ireland and completed a fellowship at the Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship, Boston. Dr. Prendergast is the NICU Medical Co-Director, Co-Director of the Partners Neonatal Transport Program, and an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

Suzanne Fernandes RN, MSN, NICU Assistant Nurse Director
Ms. Fernandes previously worked as a clinical nurse in adult Intensive Care Units in addition to the NICU at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She has co-chaired the BWH Nursing Practice Committee for six years. She is also a Caritas Coach through Watson Caring Science Institute.

Lise Johnson, MD, Division Chief, Newborn Pediatrics
Dr. Johnson is the Chief of the Division of Newborn Pediatrics. She provides newborn pediatric care and lingual frenulectomies as a member of the BWH Faculty Newborn Service. Dr. Johnson has a particular interest in newborn behavior and development. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

Sule Cataltepe, MD, Director of Fetal Care and Director of Birth and Transition
Dr. Cataltepe is Director of Fetal Care and Director of Birth and Transition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Her research interests include mechanisms of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, retinopathy of prematurity, and pulmonary infections.

Mohamed El-Dib, MD, Director of Neonatal Neurocritical Care Program
Dr. El-Dib is the Director of the Neonatal Neurocritical Care Program. He is a board certified neonatologist with specialized training in the field of neonatal neurology and brain development. His field of expertise is bedside neuromonitoring. He leads a multidisciplinary group of neonatologists, specialized NICU nurses, pediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, and pharmacists who work collaboratively to provide state-of-the-art care for those at risk for or with established brain injury. His focus of research has been cerebrovascular changes and prediction of outcome in premature infants, and neuroprotection for neonates with neonatal encephalopathy

Lianne Woodward, PhD, Director of Research
Dr. Woodward is a child developmental psychologist and Director of Research of the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine. She also leads the neurodevelopmental research program focused on improving the developmental care of infants in the NICU as well as better understanding the neurodevelopmental needs of high-risk infants and their families after discharge. Specific areas of interest include the effects of very preterm birth, prenatal drug exposure, parenting and family adversity on child development.

Katherine Gregory, PhD, RN, Directory of Quality Improvement and Analytics
Dr. Gregory is Director of Newborn Care Improvement and Analytics. She Chairs the Newborn Medicine Clinical Practice Council, which is responsible for the development and implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Dr. Gregory’s program of research is focused on early acquisition of the intestinal microbiome under conditions of preterm birth and gastrointestinal disease in preterm infants. She is also the Neonatal Editor of the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing.

Kyle Iacovino, BA, Research Administrator
As the Research Administrator of the Division of Pediatric Newborn Medicine, Mr. Iacovino manages the clinical and research operations of the department. Since graduating from Harvard University in 2007, he has spent his entire career in research and hospital administration. His professional interests focus on improving operational efficiency as well as standardizing policies and procedures in order to provide exceptional personalized care for babies, mothers, and families. He is a Massachusetts native and his personal interests revolve around all things Boston sports and enjoys spending time with his family and friends, especially his wife and son.

J. Brooke Reyes, MBA, Department Administrator
Ms. Reyes joined the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine in May, 2016. She comes with 11 years of experience in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Budget Department. Promoted in 2013 to the Budget Director, Ms. Reyes oversaw a $2 billion expense budget and enhanced reporting tools and processes during a period when the hospital operating income grew from $56.2M to $147.5M.

BWH Neonatologists

Mandy Brown Belfort, MD, MPH 
Dr. Belfort provides neonatal intensive care as a member of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital core group of neonatologists and serves as a leader of the clinical nutrition working group. She is also active in clinically-oriented research focused on growth and nutrition during infancy. Dr. Belfort is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

Jennifer R. Benjamin, MD
Dr. Benjamin is Director of the Newborn Follow-up Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She provides newborn care at both BWH and SEMC. Dr. Benjamin is a member of the Fetal Care Team at BWH and leads the Compassionate Care Committee at SEMC. Dr. Benjamin’s primary clinical and research interests focus on the long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of high-risk infants. Dr. Benjamin is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

Helen Christou, MD
Dr. Christou is an attending neonatologist in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at BWH. She performs clinical research in the NICU and directs her federally-funded research laboratory at the Thorn Research Building of BWH. She studies lung biology and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Dr. Christou also is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship.

Carmina Erdei, MD
Dr. Erdei was trained as a neonatologist and a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and joined the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine at BWH in July 2015. Her clinical and research interests are focused on optimizing the short- and long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of high risk newborns. She is currently the physician lead in our Growth and Development Unit, where she works with a highly skilled multidisciplinary team including physicians, nursing, dieticians, physical, occupational and feeding therapists, respiratory therapists, social workers, and care coordinator to provide the highest quality of care for all infants and their families in a way that is family-centered, multidisciplinary, and attentive to all aspects of each baby’s development. Dr. Erdei is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

Sailaja Ghanta, MD 
Dr. Ghanta is an attending neonatologist in the NICU and an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In addition to caring for neonates in the NICU, Dr. Ghanta also does research in the areas of mesenchymal stem cell therapy and in diagnosing and preventing neonatal infections.

Stella Kourembanas, MD
Dr. Kourembanas is the Clement A. Smith Professor of Pediatrics, Chief of Newborn Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Academic Chair of the Harvard Neonatal Perinatal Medicine Training Program. She is also an attending neonatologist at BWH NICU with particular interest and expertise on lung diseases of the newborn. Dr. Kourembanas has served as Principal Investigator on several NIH-funded grants including a Specialized Center of Research Program, and has led several collaborative basic and translational studies that have contributed new knowledge to the field of lung biology. She serves as Program Director of a NIH-funded Institutional Program training physician-scientists in neonatal-perinatal medicine. Dr. Kourembanas' research interests have focused on the molecular and cellular basis of lung inflammation, hypoxic signaling, and mechanisms of innate immunity as they relate to the pathobiology of pulmonary hypertension and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. An active area of research in her lab is the study of mesenchymal stem cell biology and its application as a novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of diseases of the newborn.

Simon Manning, MBBS

Dr. Manning trained in England and Australia before completing his Neonatology Fellowship in Boston. As the Director of the Perinatal Palliative Care Program he works with a team of dedicated colleagues to provide compassionate care to babies and their families. His interests include optimizing delivery of care to babies with complex medical conditions, and helping families navigate the challenges of having a baby in the Newborn intensive care unit. Dr. Manning is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

Nneka Nzegwu, DO

Dr. Nzegwu is an attending neonatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She directs all of the initiatives related to quality improvement and infection control for the BWH NICU. She is interested in utilizing quality improvement science and patient safety principles to improve neonatal outcomes. 

Richard Parad, MD, MPH 

Dr. Parad is an attending neonatologist, dual trained in neonatal-perinatal medicine and pediatric pulmonology, and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He also received training in clinical trial design at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is an NIH-funded translational scientist with expertise in neonatal respiratory drug development, newborn screening and genomic medicine. He is currently Director of the Deparment of Pediatric Newborn Medicine Neonatal Genomic Medicine Program that is under development.

Annette Scheid, MD
Dr. Scheid is a neonatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. A native of Germany, she completed residency training in Germany, Switzerland and France and her Clinical Fellowship in Newborn Medicine at Tufts Medical Center before joining the Brigham and Women's Hospital in 2016. Dr. Scheid's basic research interests lie in the innate and adaptive immune response of the preterm newborn and infant, new translational approaches towards tailored vaccine development as well as novel immune modulatory treatment approaches for sepsis in this population. She currently conducts this research with Ofer Levy, MD, PhD in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children's Hospital. 

Sarbattama Sen, MD
Dr. Sen is a neonatologist and researcher in the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine. Her research focuses on the impact of obesity during pregnancy on maternal and infant health. She utilizes observational and translational studies to understand the underlying mechanisms and clinical trials to devise strategies to improve outcomes. Dr. Sen is Assistant of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Brian H. Walsh, MD
Dr. Walsh is a neonatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Walsh’s research interests are in cerebral monitoring and the early detection of cerebral injury in newborns. He has a particular interest in neonatal encephalopathy, and has worked to identify early markers for disease severity, and to further delineate the degree of injury which occurs in those with milder encephalopathy.

Network Neonatologists - Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Elisa Abdulhayoglu, MD, MS 
Dr. Abdulhayoglu is the Chief of the Neonatology division at Newton-Wellesley Hospital as well as a staff neonatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and has a Masters of Science degree in Health Communication. Her interests include health communication and patient education.

Amy Levingston, MD 
Dr. Levingston is an attending neonatologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. She has completed a medical ethics fellowship at the University of Chicago. Her clinical interests are improving neonatal care with an emphasis on patient and family relations, ethics, implementation of new treatment strategies and organization of physician practice guidelines. Dr. Levingston is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Silvia Patrizi, MD 
Dr. Patrizi provides newborn care in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in the Special Care Nursery (SCN) at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Dr. Patrizi attends high-risk deliveries at both institutions, provides antenatal consultations to families with risk of preterm delivery, maternal conditions affecting the fetus and the newborn and fetal anomalies. Dr. Patrizi’s interests are neonatal neurophysiology and neonatal neuroprotection. She is a member of the neurocritical care team. Dr. Patrizi is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Sujatha Ramadurai, MBBS 
Dr. Ramadurai cares for newborns in the delivery room and NICU/SCN at both BWH and NWH. Her clinical areas of focus include care of the late preterm infant, fetal lung development/maturation, neonatal resuscitation and infant follow-up. Dr. Ramadurai is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Iris Streimish, MD
Dr. Streimish is a neonatologist at Brigham and Women’s and Newton-Wellesley Hospitals. She has particular interest in medical student education and works to coordinate outpatient consultations. Dr. Streimish is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Network Neonatologists - St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

Silvia Testa, MD
Silvia Testa, MD, is Chair of Pediatrics at Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center (SEMC) and has served in this capacity since 2010. She is also the Director of Pediatric Newborn Services for the Steward hospitals and attending neonatologist in the SEMC NICU. Dr. Testa is a graduate of the University of Chile Medical School in Santiago, Chile, and completed her pediatric residency and Perinatal-Neonatal Medicine Fellowship training at a combined program with Boston University and Tufts University in Boston. She has a particular interest in excellence and continuity of care for premature infants as they transition from acute to convalescent care.

Donna Brezinski, MD
Dr. Brezinski is a graduate of Yale University Medical School and was the recipient of a Howard Hughes Medical Student Research Fellowship. She completed her pediatric residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital and her fellowship training in the Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program. Her research interest is in advancing neonatal care through innovation in technology particularly in high-need, low-resource regions of the world. In 2013 she founded Little Sparrows Technologies, a social enterprise dedicated to creating affordable, effective and context appropriate solutions for newborn care. 

Elizabeth Flanigan, MD, MPH
Dr. Flanigan is a neonatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the NICU Medical Director at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Her specific interests include efficient and effective resuscitative care, neurodevelopmental follow-up of premature and at-risk term infants, family centered care of fragile infants, and ethical and palliative care within the NICU setting. She has extensive experience in implementing evidence-based care in guidelines and initiatives throughout a variety of clinical settings.

Kyoung Joung, MD
Dr. Joung is a faculty neonatologist at the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a Lecturer on Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Joung graduated from the Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program and previously worked at Morristown Medical Center, Morristown, NJ before returning to Boston to join the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2016. Dr. Joung has a scholarly interest in neonatal nutrition and the long term metabolic consequences of intrauterine growth restriction.

Yelitza Konnikova, MD, PhD 
Dr. Konnikova is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Konnikova is interested in understanding the development of gastrointestinal homeostasis in the GI tract of premature infants and how alterations in this process may contribute to the diseases affecting them. She is working with Dr. Scott Snapper focusing on deep immunophenotyping and biomarker discovery of GI and peripheral blood tissue in NEC and very early onset-IBD.

Ruggero Spadafora, MD 
Dr. Spadafora works as a physician scientist, dividing his time between clinical service, at the BWH NICU and in community hospitals in the Boston area, and research in the field of molecular biology lab. Dr. Spadafora also holds an instructor position at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Spadafora’s research focuses on biological aspects of the impaired organ development in prematurity. In particular, his work aims to identify the epigenetic substrate that drives alternative gene expressions profile under environmental pressure and ultimately leads to altered organ.

Network Neonatologists - Good Samaritan Medical Center

Shah Hossain, MBBS
Dr. Hossain is the Medical Director of Good Samaritan Hospital and also works in the NICU at BWH. He is interested in research and teaching. His clinical interests include increased adoption of breastfeeding and use of breast milk in the nurseries. His present research focus is on neonatal abstinence syndrome. Dr. Hossain is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Nisreen Maari, MD
Dr. Maari is a staff neonatologist at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and Associate Director of the Special Care Nursery at Good Samaritan Hospital. Her clinical interests are neonatal resuscitation and neonatal simulation training.

Network Neonatologists - Holy Family Hospital

Francheyska Silfa Mazara, MD

Dr. Silfa Mazara completed her medical education at Intec University in the Dominican Republic (DR). She provided pediatric care for children of workers on sugar cane plantations in the DR before pursuing pediatric residency training at Saint Joseph’s Hospital for Children/Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin. Her fellowship training in neonatal-perinatal medicine was at Tufts Medical Center in Boston during which time she engaged in laboratory research focused on lung development. Following her fellowship, she became Medical Director of the Special Care Nursery (SCN) at Lawrence General Hospital, and in 2014, she transitioned to the role of Medical Director of the SCN at Holy Family Hospital. Dr. Silfa Mazara is interested in clinical research, educational opportunities, and quality improvement initiatives to enhance optimal care in the NICU and to promote education and training among NICU staff. Outside of work, Dr. Silfa Mazara enjoys yoga, running, hiking, dancing, cooking, and learning languages. Most importantly, she works everyday to find the happiness in the balance of being a loving mother, wife, and neonatologist. She hopes to bring to other countries, such as the DR where her mother still practices, educational opportunities such as those she has experienced.

BWH Newborn Nursery Pediatricians

Jo Ellen Altschaefl, MD 
Dr. Altschaefl is the Associate Director of the BWH Faculty Newborn Service. She provides newborn pediatric care as well as circumcisions and lingual frenulectomies. Dr. Altschaefl has an interest in care improvement processes. Dr. Altschaefl is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Kristin Kore Anderson, MD 
Dr. Anderson provides newborn pediatric care, circumcisions, and lingual frenulectomies as a member of the BWH Faculty Newborn Service. She also works at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital Special Care Nursery. Dr. Anderson is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Hijab Chaudhary, MD 
Dr. Chaudhary provides pediatric newborn care as a member of the BWH Newborn Service. She has interests in both medical education and provider readiness and training in neonatal resuscitation. Dr. Chaudhary is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Meghan S. Connelly, MD 
Dr. Connelly provides newborn pediatric care and circumcisions as a member of the BWH Newborn Service. Dr. Connelly has a particular interest in medical student education.

Katharine Herrick, MD, IBCLC
Dr. Herrick provides newborn pediatric care, circumcisions, and lingual frenulectomies as a member of the BWH Newborn Service. She is also a certified lactation consultant and serves as the pediatric liaison to BWH’s lactation support service. Dr. Herrick is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Michelle Sheri Jones, MD 
Dr. Jones provides newborn pediatric care, circumcisions, and lingual frenulectomies as a member of the BWH Newborn Service. She has a particular interest in pastoral and palliative care. Dr. Jones is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Barbara Katz, MD, IBCLC 
Dr. Katz provides newborn pediatric care, circumcisions, and lingual frenulectomies as a member of the BWH Newborn Service. She is also a certified lactation consultant and is also board certified in behavioral and developmental pediatrics. Dr. Katz serves as the leader of the pediatric circumcision team at BWH. Dr. Katz is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

Anne CC (S.) Lee 
Dr. Lee provides pediatric newborn care and circumcisions as a member of the BWH Newborn Service. She also has a very active research career in global newborn health. Dr. Lee is an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

Anne Velie, MD
Dr. Velie provides newborn pediatric care and lingual frenulectomies as a member of the BWH Newborn Service. She is the Director of the Well Newborn Rotation at BWH for the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics. Dr. Velie is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

BWH Researchers

Ellice Lieberman, MD, DrPH, Research Faculty
Ellice Lieberman, MD, DrPH, is a perinatal epidemiologist who is a Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School and as Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health. She has an interest in a broad range of issues related to pregnancy and perinatal outcome. One particular focus of her research has been the impact of labor management practices on outcomes in mothers and newborns.

Mark Perrella, MD, Research Faculty 
Dr. Perrella is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an associate physician in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and a research scientist in pediatric newborn medicine, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded investigator. Dr. Perrella is also committed to the training and career development of students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty. He is an Associate Director of an NIH-funded grant for training physician scientists in respiratory research. In regard to scientific investigation, the Perrella Lab is interested in the regulation and biology of genes important for the modulation of inflammation in systemic disease processes, and the use of stem/progenitor cells for therapy of critical illnesses including sepsis, lung injury, and heart failure. The ultimate goal of his laboratory is to develop novel cell-based strategies for the treatment of cardiopulmonary and vascular diseases for patients of all ages, from premature infants to adults.

BWH NICU Allied Health Professionals

Susan Berliner, LICSW, NICU Social Worker
Susan has been working in the BWH NICU for over six years, after working in another NICU as well as other settings. The focus of her work at in the NICU is on helping parents to cope with their baby’s NICU admission by providing education, counseling and assistance with connecting with relevant resources. Areas of particular focus and interest include mindfulness-based stress reduction and exploring ways of using technology to assist parents with stress management. Susan has bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a master’s degree in social work from Boston University. Susan is licensed by the state of Massachusetts (LICSW).

Nicole DePalma, PT, DPT, PCS, NICU Physical Therapist
Nicole is a pediatric physical therapist with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree and is an American Physical Therapy Association board certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist. Nicole completed the Neonatal Physical Therapy Fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Nicole collaborates with NICU professionals as part of the Developmental Therapy Team in supporting families to help their infants achieve age appropriate developmental milestones. A summary of interests include: family-centered care, individualized developmentally supportive care, NIDCAP, long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes, non-pharmacological pain management interventions, and therapeutic positioning/facilitating age appropriate movement patterns and postural alignment.

Pamela Dodrill, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Dodrill has worked with infants and children with feeding difficulties for more than 15 years. Before relocating to Boston, she worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, Australia for more than a decade, during which time she completed her PhD in the area of preterm feeding. Pamela has numerous publications in this area, regularly presents at national and international scientific conferences, and is frequently invited to teach courses on managing childhood feeding difficulties for students and practicing health professionals.

Deirdre Ellard, MS, RDN, LDN, Senior Neonatal Dietitian Specialist
Ms. Ellard is a Senior Neonatal Dietitian Specialist who has been with Brigham and Women’s Hospital NICU for over 15 years. She is co-chair of the Clinical Nutrition Working Group along with Hunter Pepin and Mandy Belfort. Her clinical interests include the nutritional care of preterm and term infants, with a focus on the use of human milk, and infant growth and development.

Deborah Giambanco, NNP
Deborah is a neonatal nurse practitioner with scholarly interests including substance exposed infants and their families, medical and developmental care of the ELBW/VLBW with expertise in policy and procedural development, nursing education and development of evidence-based practice guidelines to optimize patient outcomes. She has a special interest in trauma informed care in the NICU and the mental health of our families.

Katherine Gibson, MS, CCC-SLP
Ms. Gibson is a pediatric speech pathologist who received her Master's degree from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she initiated her training in pediatric feeding and swallowing with a focus in the NICU setting. Prior to joining the developmental team at BWH she worked at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and then spent five years at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. While at Columbia, she worked in the NICU as well as infants in the Cardiac ICU.

Keith Hirst, MS, RRT-NPS, RRT-ACCS, AE-C
Keith is the Manager of Newborn Respiratory Therapy at Brigham at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and oversees a staff of 18 neonatal respiratory therapists that work exclusively in the NICU.  Keith has specialized in working with neonates and pediatrics for over 16 years and is credentialed as a Respiratory Therapist and is also credentialed as a Neonatal Pediatric Specialist, Critical Care Specialist and is a Certified Asthma Educator.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Therapy and a Master’s degree from Northeastern University and is currently working on his PhD.  Keith has presented lectures and research on neonatal and pediatric topics at the regional,  national and international level.  His clinical and research interests include mechanical ventilation and non-invasive ventilation, their effect on lung development, and non-invasive monitoring.  

Anna Kiriakidis, RN, CCM, NICU Care Coordinator
Ms. Kiriakidis’ role as the NICU Care Coordinator focuses on discharge and planning and financial issues, assessing continuing care needs in conjunction with other caregivers, assisting and mediating with insurance companies with transferring babies closer to home, interacting with internal/external providers to facilitate post discharge home services, communicating with insurance regarding baby’s progress in the NICU, and serving as the primary patient information source to third party payors. Anna is bilingual in English and Greek.

Lindsay Lawler, LICSW, NICU Social Worker 
Ms. Lawler has worked in the NICU at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for five years, helping families to cope with their child’s NICU stay which can often involve physical, emotional, and financial stress. Lindsay works directly with families offering counseling, connection to community resources, and other types of assistance to help families meet their needs while their precious baby is in the NICU. Lindsay has a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, and a master’s degree in social work from Boston College. Lindsay is licensed by the state of Massachusetts (LICSW). Lindsay incorporates mindfulness-based stress reduction and cognitive behavioral techniques into her practice, among other modalities. 
 
Kathleen Murphy, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner 
Ms. Murphy works as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in the Growth and Development Unit (GDU) in the Brigham and Women’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). After graduating from the Peter Brent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing in 1981, Ms. Murphy returned to BWH to work as a staff nurse in the BWH NICU. Ms. Murphy implemented the circumcision and frenulectomy program at the BWH NICU, and works closely with Dr. Richard Parad on accurate and timely reporting and continued evaluation of the Massachusetts newborn blood spot screening program that evaluates newborns for more than 30 disorders.

Hunter Pepin, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC, Senior Neonatal Dietitian Specialist
Ms. Pepin is a Senior Neonatal Dietitian Specialist who has been with the Brigham and Women’s NICU since 2013. She is a co-chair of the Clinical Nutrition Working Group along with Deirdre Ellard and Mandy Belfort. She has clinical interests in infant growth and nutrition; human milk provision for preterm infants; nutrition and growth-related quality improvement projects; and nutritional management or the preterm infant at discharge. 

Niurka Pitts, NICU Family Support Specialist
As one of our three BWH NICU Family Support Specialists, Ms. Pitts brings special insight and compassion. She has a school-age daughter who is thriving and was born at 25 weeks gestation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Niurka knows first-hand the joys and challenges of having a baby in the NICU. She also speaks Spanish fluently and therefore is a wonderful support to Latino patients. 

Erin Postl, NICU Family Support Specialist 
Ms. Postl has been working with NICU graduate families in various capacities for 13 years. Before coming to the BWH NICU, she worked at the March of Dimes first as a volunteer and then as an employee. Erin is a NICU graduate mom herself and works directly with families using her NICU experience to help guide parents through the difficult NICU journey. She provides bedside support to parents as well as offering educational and social programming along with other members of the NICU Family Support team. Erin has a bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from Skidmore College and a master’s degree from Simmons College.

Sara Rostas, PharmD, BCPS, NICU Pharmacist
Dr. Rostas is a board certified Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in the Brigham and Women’s Neonatal ICU. She completed her residency training at BWH in 2013 and has since dedicated her career to specializing in the pharmacotherapeutic care of neonatal patients. Dr. Rostas leads the Neonatal Pharmacy Committee, which is responsible for maintaining an evidence-based drug resource infrastructure to help support all NICU and pharmacy staff. She also leads the RSV Prophylaxis Stewardship Program, provides consultation services for prenatal drug exposures as a member of the Fetal Care Clinic team, and is a member of the Neonatal Neurocritical Care group.

Gayle Schumacher, NICU Family Support Specialist 
Ms. Schumacher is a former NICU mom of two babies. Gayle’s son, Weston, was born at 25 weeks gestation, and her daughter, Riley, was born at 35 weeks. Gayle’s role in the NICU is to use her experience to help support, educate, entertain, and help parents in any way she can. Gayle was a volunteer in the Brigham NICU for eight years before she was hired in her role. Gayle has completed many hours of training in her role to help assist parents and make the NICU journey a little less lonely and stressful.

Nancy Zimmer, Physician Assistant
Ms. Zimmer is a Physician Assistant and completed her Master's Degree at Northeastern University. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology at Boston College. Prior to entering PA school she worked for several years as a nursing assistant at a local Boston pediatric hospital taking care of infants and children requiring rehabilitation. While in PA school she completed her elective rotation at BWH NICU where she became passionate about neonatology.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S HOSPITAL


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH