Medical Services Directory

  • Yvette Rhea-Burg joined Columbia Health in 1999. She is a scheduling coordinator at Medical Services.

    In 2019 she completed her Masters degree in Human Resource Management.

    When she is not at work she enjoys traveling the world, kick boxing, yoga and testing out new vegan recipes.

  • Yonette Douglas joined Columbia Health in 2012.

  • Veronica joined Columbia Health in 2018.

  • Tonia Lesesne joined Columbia Health in 1991.

  • Tahshann Richards, DO, MPH, is a Board-certified Family Physician with a special interest in reproductive health, behavioral health, and osteopathic manipulative medicine. Dr. Richards joined Columbia Health in 2015.

    She received her medical degree from UMDNJ School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her Family Medicine residency training at St. Barnabas Hospital. She later served as the Family Medicine Residency Associate Director and as a staff physician in both the Adolescent & Family Medicine Departments.

    Holding a Master’s Degree in Public Health from The George Washington University and through securing a Teen Pregnancy Prevention grant from the NYC Department of Health, Dr. Richards assisted in developing the Teen Health Center as well as creating youth development programs during her tenure at the Union Community Health Center, Bronx NY.

    Dr. Richards has served as the Clinical Care Team Leader of the Riverside Practice Team at Columbia Health for the past 2 years. She is the current President of the Empire State Medical Association. Dr. Richards remains committed to improving the overall health of the Columbia University community as well as the health of those living in underserved communities.  She enjoys spending time with her family and 14 year old son.

  • Siobhan joined Columbia Health in 2020, after working for twenty-four years in critical and acute care. She was born and raised in Texas.


    • MFA(fiction), Columbia University
    • BSN, University of Minnesota—Twin Cities
    • BA, Smith College

    Certifications and Licensure:

    • New York State Registered Professional Nurse
    • ACLS, BLS

    Professional Experience:

    • New York Presbyterian Hospital
    • Mountainside Hospital
    • Cleveland Clinic Foundation
    • University Hospitals of Cleveland


    • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
    • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
  • Sharon Sperling-Silber joined Columbia Health in 2011, when she and her husband, three children, dog and cat returned to New York City after living in the Washington, D.C., area for 15 years. As a nurse practitioner, her areas of focus are contraceptive options and on wellness through nutrition and exercise.

    Prior to joining Columbia, Sperling-Silber worked in the operating room in a level-2 trauma hospital.

    Outside of work she enjoys  yoga, spin classes, hiking and trying new recipes and restaurants. 

  • Columbia may have changed since Sam Schnapp began working here as a Nurse Practitioner in 1993, but the basic tenets of good health remain the same. During your appointment, Sam will ask about your health habits because they affect your mood, resilience, and ultimately facilitate academic success. Healthy habits build a foundation of physical and mental health that extends beyond your academic years, as they have for him. 

    The most important of these are: 

    • Sleeping 7-9 hours each night 
    • Regularly engaging in moderate aerobic exercise 
    • Nutritious eating 

    Obviously, there are other important health behaviors, including several to avoid. He will discuss these as they pertain to you. 

    Everyone sleeps, eats and moves, but if these activities are treated as medicine rather than a necessity, they will help keep you well and happy. Columbia programs are especially intense, demanding and stressful. Together you and Sam will strategize and weave these behaviors into your day to help you reach your health, academic and life goals.


  • Roseann Neuberg joined Columbia Health in 2007. She began her career in women's health, working at several hospitals, two birthing centers, as well as Planned Parenthood. She transitioned to student health, where she worked at the Fordham University Health Service for 12 years. As a mother of three college-age children, Roseann feels a strong connection to the student population. She enjoys the diversity of student health, and focuses on education and prevention as integral parts of treatment.

  • Dr. Robert Bernales joined Columbia Health in 2020. He is a board-certified physician specializing in primary care and preventive medicine and is also trained in osteopathic manipulative medicine. Prior to Columbia Health, Dr. Bernales practiced as an attending physician with the Long Island FQHC in several locations throughout Nassau County, New York. He completed his residency training at Nassau University Medical Center, a Northwell Health affiliate.

    After working in public health and pharmaceutical market research, Dr. Bernales turned his attention to a career in medicine. He received his medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, a master's degree in public health from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and his undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Bernales is a native of Syracuse, New York and an alumnus of Christian Brothers Academy. In his spare time he enjoys family, travel, and community service.


    • DO, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
    • MPH, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
    • BA, Johns Hopkins University

    Certifications & Licensure

    • Licensed to practice medicine in the State of New York
    • Board Certified in Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
    • BLS, ACLS, and PALS Certified

    Relevant Professional Medical Experience

    • Attending physician, Long Island FQHC, Inc.
    • Urgent care physician, Belmont Park Backstretch Clinic
    • Clinical preceptor, Elmont Family Health Center
    • Staff physician, Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii Mission to Payatas and Illocos Sur, Philippines

    Professional Memberships

    • Diplomate, American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians
    • American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians
    • American Osteopathic Association
    • New York State Osteopathic Medical Society
    • Hawaii Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons
  • Dr. Rick O’Keefe joined Columbia Health in 2004. Prior to Columbia, Rick worked in academic family medicine with a focus on increasing the quality and access to care for underserved communities in urban areas. O’Keefe developed programs that care for marginalized and LGBT adolescents in school-based and street settings.  

    As part of Columbia Health, Rick is a member of the men's health team, serves as medical advisor for GHAP (Gay Health Advocacy Project) and facilitates the Integrative Medicine Workgroup. He earned an M.A. in Social and Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2015.

  • Ramona Lanzo joined Columbia Health in 1994. Prior to Columbia, Ramona worked as a laboratory technologist in various medical facilities and hospitals. She has been in the laboratory services field since 1985. Ramona attended Bronx Community College, where she majored in medical laboratory technology, and Lehman College with a concentration health services administration. 

  • Naomi Velasquez is a Health Services Assistant at Columbia Health.

  • Myriam Marques joined Columbia Health-Medical Services in August 2020 as Assistant Nurse Manager. Prior to Columbia she was the Campus Health Nurse and Wellness Coordinator at Manhattan School of Music.

    Her professional background includes more than 30 years as a community and public health nurse in the USA, Brazil and Belgium.

    She had developed extensive clinical Nursing expertise in primary care settings and had served diverse populations in New York City: immigrants of all backgrounds, youth, women, schoolchildren, LGBTQ + community, adults and performing artists.

    Myriam’s professional interests include the organization of health services, College Health, Integrative Nursing, Sexual & Reproductive Health, Wellness and Health Education.

    Growing up in Brazil, she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Science of Nursing at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She also received a Master’s in Public Health from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.

    Besides being a nurse Myriam volunteer for human rights, access to healthcare and environmental protection social organizations.


    • MPH Universite Libre de Bruxelles – Belgium
    • MSN Federal University of Minas Gerais - Brazil
    • BSN Nursing and Obstetrics , Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Certifications and Licensure

    • Registered Nurse – State of NY
    • ACLS


    • American Nurses Association
    • NY State Nurses Association
  • Monica Kunkel joined the Columbia Health team in 2018, after serving as Director of Nursing at Brown University Health Services for 19 years. She is excited to live and work in New York City, and to be able to spend time with her grandson Arlo.


    • MSN Rhode Island College
    • BSN Rhode Island College
    • BS/BA Providence College

    Certifications and Licensure:

    • New York State Registered Professional Nurse
    • Rhode Island, registered Nurse
    • ANCC Board Certified College Health Nursing


    • American College Health Association
  • Dr. Mary O'Brien joined Columbia Health in 1993. Prior to Columbia, Mary worked as the associate director of the emergency room at St. Luke's Hospital. 

  • Mary Anne Segal joined Columbia Health October 2019. Prior to coming to work at Columbia University, Mary Anne was a school nurse at Lighthouse Guild School for 15 years providing nursing care for students aged 5-21 with vision impairments and multiple disabilities. She has also had a 20-year professional relationship at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center providing nursing care to a medically complex population.

    Mary Anne is a life-long New York City resident and enjoys the vibrant energy of the city.


    • AS, Nursing CUNY Bronx Community College
    • BSN, SUNY Empire State

    Certifications and Licensure:

    •  New York State Registered Professional Nurse
    •  Basic Life Support (BLS)
    •  Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition, and Stabilization (PEARS)

    Professional Experience:

    •  Lighthouse Guild, New York, NY
    •  Elizabeth Seton pediatric Center, Yonkers, NY


    •  American Nursing Association
    •  New York State Nursing Association
    •  Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
  • Martine Duplan joined Columbia Health in 2017.

  • Marcia Sutherland is a medical assistant at Columbia Health Medical Services.

  • Dr. Linda Jordan officially joined Columbia Health Medical Services in May of 2019 when an opportunity to work in the Morningside Practice Group turned into a permanent opportunity to work in Student Health.  She has been practicing in primary care for over 19 years serving often in diverse populations with limited access to medical care.  Upon completion of medical school at SUNY Downstate in 2000, she went on to residency at Cabrini Hospital in New York City and then stayed on to teach incoming residents until the hospital's closure in 2009.

    Prior to joining the staff at Columbia Health Dr Jordan functioned as a Locum Tenens physician which took her to places like Buffalo General Hospital where she worked as an inpatient hospitalist to a remote area of the Catskills Mountain Region where she ran the medical clinic affiliated with UHS Delaware Valley Hospital.

  • Laura Maudene Nelson is a nutritionist and instructor at the Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition and teaches graduate nutrition, medical, dental, nursing, and public health students.

    She has been active with the American Diabetes Association, where she serves on the national board of directors, and the American Heart Association, where she previously served on the board of directors of the New York City Affiliate, the Advisory Council, Heart-at-Work, Nutrition Counseling Workshop Planning Committee, and as a member of the Nutrition Committee. She has also served on the editorial board for RN Magazine.

    Maudene volunteers for the American Diabetes Association making public presentations and reaching out to elected officials to advocate for people with diabetes. She also coordinates opportunities for work site and community nutrition projects.

    Best nutrition advice: Eat mostly foods that grow from roots not feet, and, watch out for shiny food – it may be glazed not polished.


    • B.S., Human Nutrition, Cornell University
    • M.S., Public Health Nutrition, Teachers College, Columbia University. 

    Certifications and Licensure

    • Registered Dietitian
    • New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist
    • Certified Diabetes Educator

    Professional Experience

    • Instructs classes on nutrition, exercise, and weight management to adults and children patients at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, New York City
    • Nutrition assessments and counseling on home visits for Care Coordination Services, Philadelphia, PA
    • Nutrition counseling in worksite wellness for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Merrill Lynch
    • Nutrition counseling in the student health service of Columbia University



  • Latisa comes to Columbia Health from Mount Sinai Doctors Performing Arts clinic where she was Senior Medical Assistant/Patient Coordinator. She has also worked at the NYU Vascular and Vein Center, as well as St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital doctors offices.

  • Karisma Ajodah joined Medical Services in October 2019. Prior to joining Columbia Health, Karisma worked primarily in the hospital setting, including NYU-Langone Hospital and Mount Sinai-Beth Israel. Karisma is excited to return to her Columbia roots having graduated from the School of Social Work in 2002.

    Karisma is also certified as a field instructor for social work graduate interns since 2008 and has supervised many students over the years. Besides being a social worker, Karisma is also certified as a meditation teacher and is interested in integrating mindfulness and social work practice.

    • MS, Social Work, Columbia University
    • BA, Sociology, SUNY Stony Brook
    • Licensed Clinical Social Worker, New York State
  • Dr. Tombackwas born and raised in Freehold, NJ.  She loves exploring NYC and going to Broadway shows.


    • Residency:  Hunterdon Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program, 2005
    • M.D., UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, 2002
    • B.A., American History, University of Pennsylvania, 1996

    Certifications and Licensure:

    • M.D., 2002
    • New York State Board of Medicine


    • American Association of Family Practitioners


  • Jamie Zhang joined Columbia Health in 2017.

  • Dr. Gregoriy Grenader joined Columbia Health in 2012. Gregoriy earned his BA in psychology from CUNY Brooklyn College, graduating with honors. Prior to earning his DO from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, he was a certified emergency medical technician. He completed his post-graduate residency training in family practice at North Shore/Long Island Jewish Plainview Hospital in Long Island, New York. Gregoriy enjoys home improvement, music, and traveling.

  • Dr. Dawn Mcallister is a Urgent Care Physician at Columbia Health. She studied medicine at the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine and then moved to New York to practice at The Family Medicine Residency Program at Montefiore. Afterwards she went to the Family Medicine Residency Program at Columbia University Medical Center in 1997 and taught medical students and residents there for about nine years as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Center for Family Medicine. 

    She moved away from the academic setting and worked at Community Health Centers where she could take care of patients regardless of their legal status or ability to pay for their health care. She has one son by birth who is now 16 years old and two by adoption from Ethiopia who are 15 and 10 years old. Dawn says she chose to come back to Columbia University in 2014 at the Student Health Service and truly enjoys with students, both optimizing health and treating health problems. As an androgynous lesbian mom, from a working class background, with African American sons,  Dr. Mcallister hopes to offer a welcoming and supportive presence in the lives of all the students who come to visit at Columbia Health.


    • M.D., University of Cincinnati
    • B.A., History, University of California, Berkeley

    Certifications and Licensure:

    • New York State Medical License
    • Board Certified: Diplomat of American Board of Family Medicine

    Professional Experience:

    • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, Center for Family Medicine
    • Federal Qualified Community Health Centers in New York City and Westchester
    • Montefiore Medical Center, Family Medicine Residency
  • Education: 

    • BSN: Columbia University
    • MPH Candidate: Dartmouth College

    Certifications and Licensure:

    • Registered Nurse
    • BLS

    Professional Experience:

    • Director of Nursing; NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of STD Control
  • Colby Golder has provided nutrition therapy since she received a master’s degree in nutrition from Teachers College at Columbia University in 2009. As part of her clinical training in dietetics, Colby worked at the eating disorder unit of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She was part of a multidisciplinary team that focused on the research and treatment of eating disorders for in-patient care.

    Most recently, Colby worked at the prestigious Renfrew Center for eating disorders in New York City. Colby was involved in every level of therapeutic care including the day program, the intensive outpatient program, and individual nutrition counseling. She gained vast experience in nutrition therapy for those struggling with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive exercise, and other forms of disordered eating. She routinely conducted weekly group sessions that focused on nutrition education, the management of therapeutic meals, and post-meal support therapy.

    In addition to her work in Health Services, Colby also works in a private practice focusing on nutrition, eating disorders, and weight management by working with patients to cultivate a healthy relationship with food.

  • Christine Napoleon is a medical assistant at Columbia Health, Medical Services. 

  • Dr. Brenda Aiken joined Columbia Health in 2000. Brenda served as a physician before being promoted to director of Medical Services in 2012. She is also an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.

    Prior to Columbia, she was an assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as an assistant attending physician at the Allen Pavilion. She has worked closely with the faculty and staff of the residency program in social medicine at Montefiore Medical Center.

    Dr. Aiken has devoted her professional career to the comprehensive study of medical and health-related issues of under-represented communities.

  • Belgica Peguero is a medical assistant at Columbia Health, Medical Services. 

  • Anna Combs joined Columbia Health in 1995. Prior to Columbia, Anna was employed with Kelly Temps and had several working assignments in customer service. She is originally from Brooklyn and joined the United States Army after high school. Anna’s interests include indoor and outdoor sports, music, and gardening.

  • Ann Marie Alexander is a health services assistant at Columbia Health.

  • I am a native New Yorker raised in Queens, NY.  I attended St. Francis College, Hunter College and received my B.S.N. from Pace University in 2005.  I was an ICU nurse from 2005-2018.


    B.S.N. from Pace University (2005)

    Certification and Licensure:

    Registered Nurse

    Professional Experience:

    NYU Langone Medical Center

    NY Presbyterian Hospital

    Beth Israel Hospital

    Mt. Sinai / St. Luke's Hospital

  • Andrea G. Andaya received her BSN from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006.  She became a commissioned officer in the Navy Nurse Corps in 2007 and cared for service members and their beneficiaries while stationed in the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda (now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center), Naval Hospital Okinawa (Japan), and Naval Hospital Lemoore (California).  She left the Navy in 2017. 


    B.S.N. from University of Texas at Austin

    Certifications and Licensure:


    Professional Experience:

    Staff nurse on medical-surgical unit at National Naval Medical Center Bethesda.  Staff nurse on post-partum unit at Naval Hospital Okinawa. Department head of mother/infant unit at Naval Hospital Lemoore.  Division officer of Ambulatory Procedures Unit. 

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