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SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Health Center
STAR Health Center (SHC)
Jameela J. Yusuff, MD, MPH, FACP
Dr. Yusuff began working with the STAR Health Center in 2006 and was appointed Medical Director in 2012. 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
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.
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 Center. 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.
Patricia DiFusco, FNP-BC, NP-C
Ms. DiFusco, Nurse Practitioner, has been involved in the care and research of HIV since 1991 and has provided primary and HIV care to SHC patients since 2011. Ms. DiFusco is certified in Colposcopy and will be certified to perform Anoscopy in August 2013. Prior to her position as medical provider, she was the Nurse Manager of SHC from 2002-2013. From 1998-2002 she was Clinical Trials Coordinator for the STAR Program. She served as the Research Nurse for the Women and Infants Transmission Study at DMC from 1992-1998 and was Study Coordinator for Protocol 076 (use of AZT to reduce mother to child transmission of HIV) at DMC from 1992-1994.
Jessica Yager, MD
Dr. Yager, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, joined the STAR Program in 2012. Dr. Yager graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and received John Harvard and Harvard College scholarships for academic achievements of high distinction. While earning her medical degree at Yale University, she had the opportunity to work in South Africa developing an HIV curriculum for teenagers and work in a primary care clinic in Eritrea. She completed her internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco, and afterwards spent a year in Bolivia as a Fogarty fellow, designing and implementing community-based programs. She is board certified in infectious diseases (ID), and completed her ID fellowship at the University of Washington in 2011.She is nearing completion of a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Her research on HIV-associated malignancy was conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Uganda Cancer Institute. She is proficient in Spanish and French.
Karen Behringer, FNP, MPH
Karen Behringer, FNP, MPH joined the FFHC Program of STAR in August 2013 to provide prenatal care in Suite G and with the WIHS. Ms. Behringer is a public health and family nurse practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience in reproductive health. She received a BS and FNP from Seattle Pacific University and an MPH from the University of Connecticut. She has expertise in direct patient care, health clinic management, clinical training and mentorship, nurse capacity building, and program development in the US as well as sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and China.