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SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Health Center
STAR Health Center (SHC)
Jayashree Ravishankar, MD, MPH
Dr. Ravishankar, STAR Health Center (SHC) Medical Director, and Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, is board certified in infectious disease (ID) and completed an ID fellowship at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in 2001. In 2007 she received a master's degree in public health from the SUNY-DMC School of Public Health. She supervises all SHC clinical staff, oversees all HIV counseling and testing activities, is principal investigator of several clinical trials, and oversees the STAR Program's clinical education projects including the NYS AIDS Institute funded HIV Clinical Education Initiative and the HIV Clinical Scholars Program as well as the HRSA funded SUNY AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC).
Anjali Sharma, MD, MS
Dr. Sharma, appointed Medical Director of the University Hospital of Brooklyn inpatient HIV service in 2005, and has been involved in the care of people with HIV since 1998. Dr. Sharma is experienced in the care of people with both HIV and substance abuse problems. She completed a one-year NIDA funded Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Fellowship, and in May 2009 implemented a buprenorphine treatment program in the STAR Health Center. She was recently awarded a Robert Wood Johnson fellowship to expand research on HIV and bone mineral density (BMD), which has not addressed the novel role of drug use. She will also investigate whether opioid substitution therapy is doing harm. Dr. Sharma is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease.
Jesi Ramone, MD
Dr. Ramone, who is board certified in internal medicine, has been involved in the care of HIV since 1998 when he graduated from medical school at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He completed an internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City in 2001. He worked with the SHC from 2002 to 2006 when he left to pursue other non-direct care opportunities. Fortunately, Dr. Ramone returned to the SHC in 2008, where he provides direct patient and leadership to the SHC's Family Centered Care Program which offers a comprehensive array of services in the setting of family-centered case management. In addition, Dr. Ramone serves as the physician liaison to the community, providing educational presentations at churches and community based organizations.
Jameela Yusuff, MD
Dr. Yusuff began working with the STAR Health Center in 2006. She is board certified in internal medicine and completed an infectious disease fellowship at Beth Israel Medical Center in June 2006. She has conducted research related to predictors of STDs in an urban HIV clinic. Dr. Yusuff coordinates the hepatitis C screening and treatment in the SHC, ensuring quality of care and coordination of services for patients who are co-infected with HIV and HCV.
Kristina Brown, RPA-C, MPH
Ms. Brown is a former HIV Clinical Scholar, trained at SUNY-DMC from 1998-2000 where she received specialized training in HIV care. She is also certified to perform colposcopies. She was hired as a clinician for the SHC and the Women's International HIV Study (WIHS) following her Scholars training in 2000. Ms. Brown has served as the coordinator of the SHC CQI program since 2000. She led the SHC's participation in the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Collaborative on Improving Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS Disease between 2000 and 2001. Ms. Brown also received an MPH from SUNY-DMC in 2004. Prior to her tenure with STAR, Ms. Brown worked as a physician assistant for Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation, a drug treatment program in an underserved urban setting providing primary care and drug treatment to poly-substance users.
Barbara O'Sullivan, NP, MS
Ms. O'Sullivan joined the STAR Program in 1992 as an HIV Clinical Scholar. Upon completion of her fellowship in 1994, she began working as a primary care provider in the SHC as well as the Women's Interagency HIV Study, with specific focus on gynecological and colposcopy needs of women. Prior to her tenure at SUNY-DMC, Ms. O'Sullivan was employed as a women's health care nurse practitioner at Kings County Hospital Center and Harlem Hospital. She is a NYS certified nurse practitioner in women's health and adult health. Ms. O'Sullivan is certified in the performance of colposcopy and holds a master's degree in nursing research.
Katherine Marx, FNP, MPH
Ms. Marx completed the two year HIV Clinical Scholars Program at SUNY Downstate in June 2008, and we are fortunate that she agreed to stay with the STAR Health Center upon completion of her fellowship. She also works with the HEAT Program and facilitates the transition of adolescents from pediatric to adult care. Prior to joining the STAR Program as an HIV Scholar, Ms. Marx provided primary care to adults and adolescents in private practice, school and agency based clinic settings. Ms. Marx is a licensed family nurse practitioner. As part of the Scholars Program, she also completed a master's degree in public health at SUNY-DMC and received the Roy Milner Seidman, MD award for academic excellence.
Amy Alpern, CNM, NP, MSN
Amy Alpern has been working with the Women's Interagency HIV Study since 1998, providing gynecologic care and performing colposcopies for women. As a certified nurse midwife, she began providing prenatal care for the pregnant women in the SHC in 2002. She works with the SHC case management staff to ensure to ensure care coordination for these women and their families. Prior to working at SUNY-DMC, Ms. Alpern worked as a midwife and women's health nurse practitioner at Metropolitan Hospital and Gouverneur Diagnostic and Treatment Center. She is a NYS certified nurse practitioner in women's health, a certified nurse midwife and holds a master of science in nursing. She is also certified in the performance of colposcopy.