Anesthesiology Residency Faculty

Program Leadership

Alann R. Solina, MD

Alann R. Solina, MD

Chairman and Chief, Department of Anesthesiology
Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Solina is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and Chief of Anesthesia and Medical Director of OR Services at Cooper University Health Care.

Dr. Solina was previously Professor, Vice Chair, and Chief of Cardiac Anesthesiology at Robert Wood Medical School from 1992 through 2015. While there, Dr. Solina was involved with clinical, business, financial, and administrative operations. His clinical, educational, and research interests primarily involved cardiac anesthesiology. He also served as the Program Director for the first Accredited Cardiac Anesthesiology Fellowship Program in NJ.

Since joining CUHC/CMSRU Dr. Solina has focused on the further development of the departmental Quality & Safety Program, Leadership Platform Development, Division Head Development, Faculty and Staff Development, Recruitment and Retention, Engagement, Operational Efficiency, Regulatory Compliance, Survey Readiness, Cost Containment, Engagement at our Medical School, Enhancement of all Educational Programs, and further development of the Departmental Research Program.

Irwin  Gratz, DO

Irwin Gratz, DO

Program Director, Anesthesiology Residency
Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Gratz grew up in Philadelphia and studied biology at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. He received his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his Anesthesiology Residency and Research fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.   He is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology in general anesthesiology and previously was Cardiac Anesthesia Director at Cooper University Hospital.

Dr. Gratz is currently the Anesthesiology Program Director and has served in that capacity since its conception in 2004. The residency has grown under his direction and leadership from nine positions to the present number of 20. He also recently received a career milestone award from the Cooper Graduate Medical Education committee.

Dr. Gratz is a recipient of the Dorothy and Sol Sherry Award for teaching and continues an active research initiative within the Department. His area of interests center around non-invasive monitoring techniques and the application of a neural networks to predict hypotension and vasopressor requirements non-invasively during anesthesia. He is married to a Psychiatrist.  Outside of work, Dr. Gratz enjoys reading, growing orchids, antiques, tennis, and caring for his pets.

Keyur C. Trivedi, MD

Keyur C. Trivedi, MD

Assistant Program Director, Anesthesiology Residency
Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Trivedi grew up in central New Jersey and studied bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. After earning his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine, Dr. Trivedi trained in anesthesiology at the University of Chicago. He joined the Department of Anesthesiology at Cooper in 2005.

Dr. Trivedi is an Active Learning Group facilitator, the anesthesiology clerkship director, the associate program director for the residency, and the division head of Trauma Anesthesiology.

Faculty

Angelo A. Andonakakis, DO

Angelo A. Andonakakis, DO

Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Born in Athens, Greece, Dr. Andonakakis became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1976, the bicentennial year. He studied art, and received a fine arts degree (BFA) in illustration from Philadelphia College of Art. After practicing freelance illustration for several years, he went to medical school at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed an anesthesiology residency at Hahnemann University Hospital.

Dr. Andonakakis began his medical career at Jefferson University Hospital, where he worked for 20 years as assistant coordinator of the GI suites and Clinical Coordinator of the Pavilion ORs. He served as liaison between ENT, Emergency Dept. and Anesthesiology, instructing airway management for their respective residents and fellows. He is ABA Board Certified in Anesthesiology.

Dr. Andonakakis continues to do medical illustration for national and international publications, book chapters, and articles. He has published several peer reviewed articles on anesthesiology, and is currently working on funded research on anesthetic effects on cognition in the elderly population.

Dr. Andonakakis is currently working at Cooper University Hospital, as an Anesthesiologist, Section Head of the Special Tests Unit, and is an active member of the Morbitity and Mortality Committee of CUH.

Paul B. Audu, MD

Paul B. Audu, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Audu graduated from medical school in Nigeria and moved to the US thirty years ago for postgraduate training. He completed both his residency and Neuro-anesthesia Fellowship at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia and stayed on as faculty for several years. He subsequently went into private practice for a few years before returning to academic practice at Cooper University Hospital, 5 years ago.

Dr. Audu enjoys playing tennis, ping pong, and soccer, and is a lay Pastor of a small inter-denominational Church in South Jersey. He is married with four kids.

Ahmed S. Awad, MD

Ahmed S. Awad, MD

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Awad earned his degree in medicine from Ain Shams University School of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt in 1986. He completed a residency in anesthesia at New York University School of Medicine in 2000, and finished a fellowship in cardiac anesthesia at NYU in 2001. Dr. Awad is a Board Certified in Anesthesia and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Anesthesiologists. He also certified in peri- operative Transesophageal Echocardiography.

Dr. Awad is an associate professor of anesthesia at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in New Jersey. In his free time he enjoys soccer and movies.

Talia K. Ben-Jacob, MD, MS

Talia K. Ben-Jacob, MD, MS

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Talia K. Ben-Jacob MD, MSc, is the Division Head of Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology at Cooper University Hospital (CUH) and Associate  Professor of Anesthesiology at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU). She received her BS degree and MSc degree from Cornell University. She graduated from the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont College with her MD. She then completed her anesthesiology residency at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ, and critical care medicine fellowship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She returned to Cooper University Hospital after fellowship graduation where she currently practices a mix of anesthesiology and critical care in a multidisciplinary intensive care unit. She has been awarded the Department of Anesthesiology Resident Champion Award in 2017, 2018, and 2019. She was also the recipient of the 2019 Cooper University Hospital Junior Faculty of the Year Award.

Dr. Ben-Jacob is also very active in her professional societies. She is a member of the SOCCA Education Committee and Research Committee. She is the founding Co-Chair of the Society of Critical Care Medicine Women in Critical Care Knowledge and Education group as well as member-at-large of Anesthesiology Section Steering Committee. Dr. Ben-Jacob also currently serves on the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Committee on Critical Care Medicine and Committee on Young Physicians. During her tenure on these committees, Dr. Ben-Jacob was chair of the revision of the Anesthesia-ACLS: First Response to Circulatory Crisis in the OR online CME module, a joint ASA/SOCCA initiative. In addition to her active roles in professional organizations, she is very involved in her hospital system and medical school. She is also a mother to three young amazing individuals.

Kelly A. Bolkus, DO

Kelly A. Bolkus, DO

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Kelly Bolkus grew up in southern New Jersey and obtained her undergraduate degree from Rutgers Camden as a biology major. After college, she worked as an ED technician for a few years before deciding to pursue a career in medicine. She completed her medical education at UMDNJ-SOM followed by an anesthesia residency at Cooper University Hospital.

Dr. Bolkus serves on the regional and pediatric anesthesia teams. She enjoys teaching medical students, SRNAs, and residents on a daily basis. In her free time she enjoys running, spending time with family, and watching anime.

Ian M. Brotman, MD

Ian M. Brotman, MD

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Ian Brotman is from East Brunswick, NJ, and attended medical school at Rutgers NJMS. He completed a medical internship in Newark, NJ, before moving to Pittsburgh for his anesthesiology residency at UPMC. Following residency he returned east for a pediatric fellowship at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

His nonclinical interests include medical education improvement, and in his free time enjoys rock climbing, obstacle course races, and cooking.

Amanda R. Burden, MD

Amanda R. Burden, MD

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Amanda R. Burden, MD is Professor of Anesthesiology, Vice Chair and Vice Chief of Faculty Affairs, and Director of Clinical Skills and Simulation at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. Her research and publications address the use of simulation to explore a range of physician education, teamwork, healthcare quality, and patient safety issues, and received an Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) Safety Scientist Career Development Award as well as funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. She has been an invited speaker at national and international anesthesiology meetings as well as at the United States Department of Education and White House Office of Science and Technology to discuss patient safety strategies and simulation education.

Dr. Burden practices anesthesiology and pediatric anesthesiology. Her clinical focus is critically ill adults and children. Working with a diverse team, she built and directs a successful multidisciplinary interprofessional simulation program and laboratory. Dr. Burden serves as Editor-in-Chief of American Society of Anesthesiologists Simulation-Based Education Editorial Board.

Cooper University Doctor

Sarah G. Clarke, DO

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Sarah Clarke grew up in rural Connecticut and studied biology at Earlham College in Indiana. She pursued medicine at Touro University of Osteopathic Medicine in California. She completed her internship at university of Massachusetts, and then completed her anesthesiology residency and critical care fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

In her free time, Dr. Clarke enjoys her family and refurbishing their sailboat. 

Matthew  DeAngelis, DO

Matthew DeAngelis, DO

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. DeAngelis grew up in South Jersey and attended Villanova University for undergrad, where he obtained a Bachelor in Science in Biology. He went on to medical school at UMDNJ, and completed his residency here at Cooper University Hospital. He now focuses on regional anesthesia for a variety of surgical cases.

In his free time, Dr. DeAngelis enjoys cars, sports, and time with his family at the beach.

Ronak G. Desai, DO

Ronak G. Desai, DO

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Ronak Desai grew up in suburban Philadelphia and studied Music and Chemistry at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University. He later matriculated at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating second in his class, and completed his Anesthesiology residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals, serving as Chief Resident.

Dr. Desai spends his clinical time at CUHC both in regional and cardiac anesthesia. In his free time, he enjoys music, golf, and travelling with his family.

Grace Dippo, MD

Grace Dippo, MD

Teaching Faculty

About Me

Dr. Grace Dippo grew up in southern New Jersey and studied chemistry and music at Drew University. She was an EMT for several years before pursing medicine further at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Her intern year was completed at Wheaton Franciscan St. Joseph Hospital in Milwaukee, followed by Anesthesiology residency at Cooper University Hospital.

Dr. Dippo has a special interest in education and feels honored to be a resident mentor and co-coordinator of the board review program for the Anesthesiology residency at Cooper. She is on the obstetric, regional, and pediatric anesthesia teams and enjoys a great variety of cases. She loves art, music, high fantasy, black cats, and fitness.

Gregory M. Dodson, DO

Gregory M. Dodson, DO

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Gregory Dodson, DO, grew up in the Poconos of Northeast PA and completed his undergraduate work at the University of Scranton. He attended the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, NJ before his internship and Anesthesia Residency at Cooper. He completed a pediatric anesthesiology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2015 and worked in private practice before returning to his roots at Cooper in 2017. He has served as the medical director of the Cooper Surgery Center at Voorhees since 2018.

Dr. Dodson enjoys traveling and hiking with is family and vizsla puppy, Gryffin.

Marc  Fisicaro, MD

Marc Fisicaro, MD

Teaching Faculty
Kingsuk  Ganguly, MD

Kingsuk Ganguly, MD

Program Director, Pain Medicine Fellowship
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Ganguly grew up in New Jersey and completed his seven-year BA/MD program with Rutgers University and New Jersey Medical School. He then performed his anesthesiology residency at Stanford University.

As much as he loved the West Coast, the yearning for home led him to return to New York City for a fellowship at the Tri Institute Pain Fellowship with Cornell NYP, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer, and Hospital for Special Surgery. He has joined the Department of Anesthesiology at Cooper as an anesthesia and pain management specialist and could not be happier to be back home.

In his free time, Dr. Ganguly enjoys being a husband, a father, traveling, and reading nonfiction.

Jeffrey A. Gerritsen, MD

Jeffrey A. Gerritsen, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Gerritsen grew up in suburban Philadelphia and studied Operations Research and Industrial Engineering at Cornell University.  After college, he studied medicine at Temple University School of Medicine. He then completed his Anesthesiology Residency here at Cooper University Hospital and has stayed as a faculty member ever since.

In his free time, Dr. Gerritsen enjoys hiking, travelling, and snowboarding.

Bharathi  Gourkanti, MD

Bharathi Gourkanti, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Bharathi Gourkanti studied medicine and graduated from Kakatiya Medical College, India. Later she moved to United States, completing her PGY1 internship in Coney Island Hospital and her clinical Anesthesiology training in Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Dr. Gourkanti joined the Anesthesiology Department 23 years ago in 1997 and is currently is an Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, and has been Division Head of Pediatric Anesthesia for 18 years. Dr. Gourkanti is also the Director of the Clinical Competency Committee for Anesthesiology Residency.

Dr. Gourkanti has authored and coauthored Chapters for Anesthesiology text book. Currently, she is engaged in editing a book of pediatric Anesthesiology. She contributes her free time and clinical skills to charitable organizations, Operation Smile, and international health care volunteers. Her leisure activities include travel, designing jewelry, cooking and hosting parties.

Fatimah Habib, MD

Fatimah Habib, MD

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Habib grew up in New Jersey. She attended NYU for her undergraduate studies, and Rutgers University for medical school. She completed her anesthesiology residency at Cooper University Hospital and her fellowship training in pediatric anesthesiology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Robert A. Hirsh, MD

Robert A. Hirsh, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Bob Hirsh was a Philosophy Major at Yale University and took his medical degree at Albert Einstein in New York, where he did his Anesthesia training, and his Fellowship at Sloan Kettering. He teaches First and Second Year Students in the Scholar’s Workshop at the Cooper Medical School.

Dr. Hirsh loves science, mathematics, history, and the history of medicine, is a confirmed tinkerer who holds many patents, and is very interested in the sphere of Noninvasive Clinical Monitoring, in which he has current research interests.

George Chiahung Hsu, MD

George Chiahung Hsu, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. George Hsu grew up in Virginia and studied biology and psychology at the University of Virginia. He continued his pursuit of medicine at the school of medicine at the University of Virginia. He completed his anesthesiology residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, at which he later became faculty and practiced clinical anesthesiology. 

Dr. Hsu has since joined the faculty at the Department of Anesthesiology at Cooper University Hospital. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and playing outdoors. 

Wray  Hughes, DO

Wray Hughes, DO

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Hughes, a South Jersey native, studied psychology at Rutgers University. After a short career in sales he decided to pursue a career in medicine. Before attending medical school at UMDNJ School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, NJ, he earned a Master of Biomedical Sciences degree from UMDNJ School of Biomedical Sciences. After completing his Anesthesiology residency at Thomas Jefferson University hospital in Philadelphia, PA, he worked in private practice for a short time before joining Cooper University Hospital.

In his free time, Dr. Hughes enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, swimming, and golf.

Kathleen E Kwiatt, DO

Kathleen E Kwiatt, DO

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Kwiatt is a native of South Jersey. She studied political science and pre-medical studies at the University of Notre Dame, where she spent most of her time at ND rowing, and met her husband, now a surgery attending at Cooper.

After graduating college she briefly worked in clinical research and surgical sales in St. Louis, MO, before returning to study medicine at UMDNJ (now Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine). She completed a residency in anesthesiology at Cooper Hospital and briefly worked in Cleveland, OH, before returning to Cooper Hospital as an attending anesthesiologist.

Dr. Kwiatt enjoys the privilege of working residents, especially to care for complex obstetric and trauma patients. Most of her time outside of work is spent with her three young daughters and she enjoys running as the source of her sanity.

William Marion, MD

William Marion, MD

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Marion grew up in the Philadelphia area and attended Drexel University. He spent time working as a paramedic in and around Philadelphia before deciding to pursue a career in medicine. After receiving his MD from St. George's University in Grenada, he completed his anesthesia residency and cardiothoracic fellowship at Temple University.

Dr. Marion spent some time in private practice before joining Cooper University Hospital, where he is currently awaiting his faculty appointment. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking and working outside with his small farm.

Brian McEniry, CRC, BS

Brian McEniry, CRC, BS

Clinical Research Coordinator, Department of Anesthesiology

About Me

Brian McEniry is the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Department of Anesthesiology. Born and raised in upstate New York, he moved to south Jersey after graduating from Iona College. He earned a degree in Biology and worked as a research assistant in plant pathology and medicinal chemistry research at Rutgers University.

In 2006, Mr. McEniry joined Cooper University Hospital as a research assistant with the Department of Cardiology, where he ran the Angiographic Core Lab and was responsible for data management and administration of the Structural Heart Program.

In 2016, he became a clinical research coordinator with the Department of Anesthesiology. His role as CRC involves the coordination — screening, consenting, data management, and manuscript preparation — of over twenty investigator-initiated and sponsored clinical research studies.

Michele  Mele, MD

Michele Mele, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Mele grew up in New York City and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton. She attended medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA, and completed a OB-GYN residency in the University of Pennsylvania Health System at Pennsylvania Hospital.

After a successful career as an obstetrician gynecologist Dr. Mele wanted to expand her knowledge and completed a second residency in Anesthesiology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

At Cooper, she is the Director of Obstetric Anesthesia and is dually boarded in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Anesthesiology.​ She is a key member of the departmental Quality and Safety Division. In her free time she enjoys reading, rare quiet moments and spending time with her family.

Ludmil V Mitrev, MD

Ludmil V Mitrev, MD

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Mitrev obtained his medical degree from the University of Oslo in Norway. From 1997-1999, he completed mandatory house officer assignments in surgery, medicine, and family practice in Norway, where, among other places, he was a family physician on a small island archipelago in the North Sea.

In 2000, Dr. Mitrev was an internal medicine intern at Yale-St. Raphael hospital, after which he completed residency and a cardiac anesthesia fellowship at St.Luke’s-Roosevelt and Columbia-Presbyterian in New York City.

After four years in private practice, Dr. Mitrev joined Cooper in 2009. His interests include cardiac anesthesia, TEE and hemodynamic monitoring, as well as healthcare leadership and the business of medicine. Dr. Mitrev currently serves as Division Chief for research at the Department of Anesthesiology, and is group leader for Scholars’ Workshop at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He is Chair of the Member Engagement Committee of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists. In his free time, he enjoys literature, music, travel and spending time with his family.

Jennifer Cruz Ocbo, DO

Jennifer Cruz Ocbo, DO

Clinical Instructor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Jennifer Ocbo is from South Jersey and originally studied at Rutgers University for Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. After working briefly with the American Red Cross in Philadelphia, she decided to focus more on clinical medicine and pursued a Masters in Biomedical Sciences before receiving her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ.

Dr. Ocbo completed her Medicine internship with Drexel University Hospital and her Anesthesiology residency with Cooper University. She has stayed on with Cooper as an Attending anesthesiologist. Her interests include spending time with family, cooking, and traveling.

Kinjal M Patel, MD

Kinjal M Patel, MD

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Kinjal Patel grew up in California and completed his undergraduate studies at Pennsylvania State University. He com pleted his medical degree at Sidney Kimmel Medical College (Jefferson Medical College) in Philadelphia. Dr. Patel went on to complete his Anesthesiology residency and Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Additionally, he holds current certification in Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography.

Dr. Patel has focuses on cardiac anesthesiology and regional anesthesiology. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, making pizza, playing golf, and doing home improvement projects.

Akhil Patel, MD

Akhil Patel, MD

Teaching Faculty

About Me

Dr. Akhil Patel is a former resident of the anesthesiology program at Cooper University Health Care. He completed his college and medical school at Drexel University in Philadelphia and spent the next four years at Cooper, where he developed a special interest in critical care while rotating through Medical ICU. Dr. Patel completed his residency in 2019 and spent the 2019-2020 academic year at Penn State completing his critical care fellowship. He is now back at Cooper as an attending in both anesthesia and critical care, mainly within the Trauma ICU.

"I am originally from northern New Jersey, about 15 minutes from NYC. I ended up moving to Philadelphia when I was 17 and I haven't moved since. Philly has become a home away from home for me since I have spent almost half my life here. I am avid sports fan, but still not a Philly sports fan. I recently picked up biking and running and I hope to start running marathons soon. Other interests include reading, specifically Roman/Greek/Hindu mythology and historical/sociology related novels, and travelling with London being my favorite city."

Christopher P Potestio, MD

Christopher P Potestio, MD

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Potestio grew up in the Philadelphia area. He attended medical school at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed his Intern year in Internal Medicine at Cooper University Hospital. He completed Anesthesia residency at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and fellowship in Adult Critical Care Medicine at Columbia University in New York.

Dr. Potestio's academic interests include medical education, perioperative handoff, trauma and resuscitation. In his free time, he runs along the Schuylkill River and is an avid reader.

 

Erin W Pukenas, MD

Erin W Pukenas, MD

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Pukenas grew up in Western Maryland and studied biology as a Presidential Scholar at West Virginia University. After completing her MD degree there, Dr. Pukenas joined Cooper Anesthesia as a member of the inaugural residency class. She completed a pediatric anesthesiology fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a one year leadership program at Harvard Medical School in patient safety, quality and informatics. She is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology in general anesthesiology and pediatric anesthesiology and by the Certification Board of Patient Safety Professionals.

Dr. Pukenas was named to the NJ Biz list of ‘Top 40 under 40’ professionals in 2017 and to the South Jersey Magazine ‘Top Doc’ list for multiple years. She has held many institutional, regional and national leadership roles related to patient safety, quality, education and professional mentorship with the Society for Pediatric Anesthesiology, American Society of Anesthesiology, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, and the National Patient Safety Foundation/Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Dr. Pukenas leads the faculty and staff mentorship program for Rowan University’s Women’s Alliance Network as an elected Board member and serves as an appointed member of the Cooper University Health Care Board of Trustees Quality Committee. Dr. Pukenas currently serves as Vice Chief and Vice Chair of Administrative Affairs for the Department of Anesthesiology and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

She is married to a neurointerventional radiologist and is a mom of two. Outside of work, Dr. Pukenas enjoys reading, hiking, interior and architectural design, and the pursuit of entrepreneurial endeavors.

 

Dhiren Soni, DO

Dhiren Soni, DO

Teaching Faculty
Robert J. Romisher, DO

Robert J. Romisher, DO

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Robert Romisher graduated from Nova Southeastern University where he received his degree in Osteopathic Medicine and finished his residency in Hahnemann Hospital. He joined the Department of Anesthesiology at Cooper in 2002 as a staff anesthesiologist to direct ambulatory anesthesia services, and also works in the main operating room. Dr. Romisher is Board certified in anesthesiology. He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association and The American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Michael  Sabia, MD

Michael Sabia, MD

Division Head, Pain Management
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr Sabia grew up in North Jersey and came to Cooper for his internship and Anesthesiology residency. After completing his Chief Residency at Cooper, he worked as an attending anesthesiologist for one year then moved to New York City to complete a Pain Medicine fellowship at Beth Israel Medical Center. After one year of private practice, he decided to come back to Cooper to start an ACGME-accredited Pain Medicine fellowship training program. He took over as Division Head in 2013 and has grown the program clinically and academically. He enjoys spending time with his family, dining out, and travel.

John E Safaryn, MD

John E Safaryn, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. John Safaryn is a native of Northern New Jersey. He was born in the City of Bayonne, and raised in the small town of Roselle. He graduated with a BA from the University of Virginia in 1980 and received an MS in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986 before attending the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers Medical School) in Newark, New Jersey. He received his MD in 1990 and interned at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune New Jersey. He completed his residency in Anesthesiology with electives in Cardiac Anesthesia and Neuro-anesthesia in 1994 at NYU Langone Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital in New York.

Following his graduation, Dr. Safaryn was an attending anesthesiologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1998 he returned to his home state of New Jersey and joined the staff of Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey. He was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center. He transferred to the faculty of Cooper Medical School at Rowan University upon the opening of the new school in 2012 and was promoted to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor in 2018. Since 2015, he has been an instructor in the Scholar’s Workshop course at the Medical School. He is board certified in Anesthesia and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Anesthesiology.

Dr. Safaryn lives in Moorestown, New Jersey with his wife, Elaine, and daughter, Elizabeth. For twelve years he has volunteered at South Jersey Ballet Theater as scenery builder and stage manager for their productions. He enjoys visiting and hiking the national parks with his family, and spends his summers in Florida, Virginia, and the Jersey Shore.

Michael R. Schwartz, MD

Michael R. Schwartz, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Schwartz was born in Philadelphia and grew up most of his life in the surrounding suburbs. He went down to Maryland and graduated with double majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Sociology from the University of Maryland: Baltimore County (UMBC). After college he returned home to study medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He then made a brief return to Baltimore to do his internship at Maryland General Hospital, where he bumped into a friend from college who he would eventually marry several years later.

After internship, he once again returned home to Philadelphia where he did his anesthesiology residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He stayed in Philadelphia while finishing up his training by doing a pediatric anesthesiology fellowship at Nemours A.I. Dupont Hospital for Children. He continues to live in the city after getting his current job as a pediatric anesthesiologist at Cooper University Hospital.

In his free time, Dr. Schwartz enjoys going on vacation, spending time with his wife and two amazing children, “enjoying” the occasional success of Philadelphia sports teams, and doing crosswords.

Jasjit Sehdev, MD

Jasjit Sehdev, MD

Associate Program Director, Pain Medicine Fellowship
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Jasjit Sehdev was raised in Baltimore, MD; however, being born in Hoboken, NJ, he is a Jersey native at heart. He completed a competitive seven-year BS/MD program at Drexel University and Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. During his surgical intern year, he trained at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dr. Sehdev moved back to Philadelphia and completed his residency and fellowship training in Anesthesiology and Pain Management at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. He enjoyed his time during training so much that he joined the Cooper family as clinical and academic faculty. He has been in practice since 2016 as an anesthesiologist and interventional pain specialist in the Department of Anesthesiology. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, football, basketball, tennis, golf, and spending time with family.

Magdy F Takla, MD

Magdy F Takla, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Magdy Takla grew up in Alexandria, a town on the coast of Egypt, and attended medical school there. After a few years of practicing medicine in his hometown, he moved to Zambia, working as an OB registrar. After coming to the United States, he did two years of surgical residency followed by three years of anesthesia residency at Brookdale University Hospital.

In his spare time, Dr. Takla enjoys reading, dining, and watching sports.

Dejan  Vuckovic, MD

Dejan Vuckovic, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, CMSRU

About Me

Dr. Vuckovic grew up in Serbia. After medical school, he worked as a family physician for five years before moving to Canada. Dr. Vuckovic completed his anesthesiology residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, followed by a cardiothoracic fellowship at the University of Toronto. He worked as Cardiac anesthesiologist for 10 years at Thomas Jefferson Hospital, and is now at Cooper University Hospital. In his free time, he enjoys music, hi-fi, travelling, and fishing.