Abbie Jacobs, MD
Residency Program Director
It is an exciting time to be involved in Family Medicine. As people continue to learn the important and crucial role family physicians play in our nation’s health, we continue to enjoy the important work we do. Our core values and commitment to our patients in Family Medicine have remained throughout the changes in health care. We now use more tools and collaboration to care for our patients. The explosion of medical information makes critical thinking and efficient application to individual patient care ever challenging and always interesting. There is so much to learn that it is never boring! I have enjoyed my role as a teacher and the program director throughout the years, watching the residents thrive in their careers.
On a personal note, I have lived in Hoboken for more than 25 years where I have had the privilege to be a “family doc” in my community.
Harini Kumar, MD
I am proud to be a New Jerseyan, being raised in West Windsor, NJ and attending medical school at Robert Wood Johnson. Here I developed an interest in urban underserved medicine while working in student-run clinics in Camden, NJ. I completed my residency in Family and Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY where I developed a passion for education and teaching that led me to the faculty development fellowship at Montefiore.
Through this fellowship, I improved my teaching skills through a wide range of activities across the medical education continuum. I spent time teaching in both the classroom and clinic setting. I also completed a Master’s level certificate in medical education, through which I acquired skills in both curriculum development and evaluation. My fellowship educational research project involved implementing and evaluating a curriculum on the topic of building resident comfort in communication skills during the gynecological exam.
I am excited to be working as the Associate Program Director of our residency program. My areas of interest include curriculum development and education scholarship activities for residents. I also work part time in our Ryan White program where I utilize the Family Medicine model to deliver primary care to HIV patients. I continue to look forward to teaching both residents and students, and helping to inspire the next generation of family physicians!
Carol B. Mendez, MD
Medical Director – Neighborhood Health Center
Assistant Director of Maternal Child Health Fellowship
I love being a family doctor and teaching Family Medicine! My favorite part is taking care of families across their lifespan. It’s such a joy, privilege and challenge. I am passionate about preventive medicine, working with underserved populations, and promoting social justice through medicine. I attended Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and I completed my clinical rotations at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. I did my residency in Family and Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center-Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.
It’s an exciting time for our residency because we are undergoing a complete practice transformation. We are one of 25 residency programs nationwide selected to participate in practice innovation to maximize continuity of care and resident education. We structured our training schedules following best practice to maximize resident wellness and engagement while promoting continuity of care and patient safety. We are in the first year of our new maternal child health fellowship, where we are training Family Medicine physicians in advanced obstetrical skills, including cesarean section training.
Steven Garcia, MD
Growing up locally, I have a strong sense of community that extends to all aspects of my practice. I am passionate about helping my patients and ensuring they receive the care they deserve. There is great satisfaction knowing that I am providing care to children, teens, and adults from all backgrounds. I truly enjoy seeing my patients and throughout my career, I have sought to convey that excitement to all those that work with me. I have been a faculty member in the Family Medicine Residency program for the last 20 years and enjoy teaching evidence-based medicine to our students and residents.
Dana Spivak, MD
FM faculty/Ryan White Program
I am a graduate of The University of Michigan Medical School. I completed my residency at the Hinsdale Hospital Family Residency Program in Hinsdale, Illinois and am Board Certified in Family Medicine.
I previously served as faculty at The Brooklyn Hospital Center Family Residency Program and more recently as Director of the Program in Family Medicine as well as Associate Director of the Primary Care Clerkship at Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC). I have had various previous experiences including: serving on the WCMC admissions and curriculum committees, working with the Indian Health Service, engaging in medical mission work, urgent care, and emergency room work, and serving as the medical director in a rural health clinic.
I enjoy precepting residents, particularly in areas such as dermatology, HIV care, office procedures, billing, and coding, as well as helping navigate career opportunities.
Danit Brahver, MD
FM faculty/Women’s Health
I precept prenatal care and coordinate the gynecology curriculum at the residency. I completed a Reproductive Health and Advocacy Fellowship at Tufts University Family Medicine Residency in Boston, and my clinical interests include family planning, obstetrics, outpatient gynecology, gynecological procedures, and LGBTQ health. I am excited by the residency’s commitment to health-safety network and social justice.
Giuliana Capone, Psy.D.
Director of Behavioral Health
It is exciting to teach the Family Medicine residents, students, and staff about the psychological aspects of a patient’s being. Physical and emotional characteristics are intertwined and it is essential for family medicine physicians to understand the connection between the two. Residents develop a growing understanding of how to treat the “whole” person. As the Director of Behavioral Medicine, I encourage residents to engage in the psychological exploration of the self and the patient. As a clinician, I have extensive experience working with individuals with serious mental illness, substance abuse, trauma, and rehabilitation psychology.
Joel Latorre, MD
Director of HIV Medicine
I was born in Chile and raised in Brazil. I have traveled extensively in both my professional and personal life, giving me the reputation of the world traveler in our group. Since medical school, my focus of interest has been HIV Primary Care. In this field, I have found the opportunity to apply the Family Medicine philosophy to a new and exciting area of medicine.
In my role as the director of our HIV Program and as a Clinical Consultant for the federal government on HIV Medicine, I have had the opportunity to interact with individuals all over the country and abroad. My goal is to continue passing on my passion for this field to all of my patients, residents, and medical students.
Dineasha Potter-McQuilkin, MD FACOG
I was born and raised in Hudson County, so it is very exciting for me to be involved with the Family Medicine Residency Program here at Hoboken University Medical Center. I completed my residency training at Drexel University College of Medicine/St. Peter’s University Hospital program after which I became board certified in Ob/Gyn. I enjoy teaching the residents about prenatal care, office gynecology, infertility, contraception and preconception counseling. I encourage the residents to gain knowledge in all aspects of Women’s Health which will aid them in becoming a very competent family physician.
Osbert Fernandez, MD
Director, Maternal Child Health Fellowship
I am double-boarded both in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Family Medicine. I am a member of the faculty of the NYMC Family Medicine Residency Program at HUMC of which I am an alumnus. I performed a residency in OB/GYN after completing my Family Medicine training at HUMC. It was a joy for me to return to “my program” to assist in the education of the Family Medicine residents. The Family Medicine residents perform their OB/GYN rotations with me at the Neighborhood Health Center and at HUMC. I am very happy to work closely with the residents and share my knowledge and expertise with them. My particular areas of interest are medical management of missed abortion, endometriosis, high-risk obstetrics and laparoscopy.
Sophie Pierog, MD
I am the pediatrician of the program. I was formerly a neonatologist in the New York City Hospital System and then the Chair of the Pediatric Residency Program at Jersey City Medical Center.
I now act as the pediatric curriculum coordinator and consultant for the residents’ pediatric patients. Since we are also the “School Physician” for the Hoboken School System and Health Start Program, the residents have the opportunity to assist in all student health program issues, including sports physicals and other community preventative health programs. My long experience in practicing pediatrics and teaching residents about the child patient has been very satisfying and rewarding. I always welcome the opportunity to show the residents that they can have a major impact on children and their families, promoting a “Medical Home,” ensuring that children are healthy and reaching their full potential.
Mark A. Canning, APN-BC, PMHNP-BC
I am dually licensed in the states of New York and New Jersey as an APN in Adult Health and Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Registered Professional Nurse. I received an MSN Degree from Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey. I have over 23 years of experience in HIV/AIDS care. I have been faculty in the Nursing Depts. of several institutions of higher learning such as Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, Hunter College [NY], Felician University [NJ], and New Jersey City University [NJ]. I have a special interest in LGBTQ healthcare and have conducted studies on Hispanic MSM.