Search Close Search
Search Close Search
Page Menu

Meet Our Faculty!



Sheila Abdallah, MD
Assistant Professor
Harvard Medical School, 2012 
Areas of Interest and Research: adult and pediatric care; obstetrics and maternity care; suboxone therapy




Katharine Barnard, MD
Associate Professor
Brown University
University of Massachusetts
UMass Chan Family Medicine Residency - Hahnemann Family Health Center
Areas of Interest and Research: Women's health including obstetrics, community health, care of young families, substance abuse, working with urban Spanish-speaking patients, and teaching students and residents about office-based family medicine and obstetrics

Hometown: I guess I would have to say Worcester -- I've lived here longer than I've lived in any other place in my life. 
Why Family Health Center? I love the diversity of my patient panel. I love helping people through transition times of their life. I love seeing families grow and change over time. I like to be an advocate for my patients. I enjoy doing office procedures and deliveries. I really enjoy my colleagues. They are inquisitive, innovative, empathetic, and community-minded, and they challenge me to continue to grow and learn. 
Personal Facts: 
I like to do just about anything outdoors, especially gardening and sailing. I play the oboe, and my favorite show to perform is Handel's Messiah.


Rebecca Blumhofer, MD, MPH 
Assistant Professor
Wheaton College, 2004
Boston University School of Medicine, 2010
Boston University School of Public Health, 2006
UMass Chan Family Medicine Residency, 2013
Areas of Interest: Adolescent Health, Women’s Health, Maternal Child Health


Philip Bolduc, MD
Associate Professor
Director, Community-Based HIV and Viral Hepatitis Fellowship
Brown University, BS in Electrical Engineering
UMass Chan Medical School, 2000
Lawrence Family Medicine Residency, 2003
Areas of Interest and Research: HIV, Hepatitis C, addiction and chronic pain
Why Family Health Center? Family Health Center serves a vibrant, diverse, challenging and inspiring patient population.  It has become my “medical home” and it is an honor to work here among so many talented colleagues.  HIV medicine is an ever-evolving blend of scientific and psychosocial challenges that I find both stimulating and rewarding.
Personal Facts: I am a Worcester native and a former electrical engineer who worked on solar photovoltaic system R&D before going to medical school.  I live in the city and participate in civic life in different ways, and am always impressed with the people I meet in different arenas who are working to make Worcester a great community.



Lucy Candib, MD
Professor Emeritus

Radcliffe College, 1968
Harvard Medical School, M.D., 1972
1972-1973 Rotating internship Cambridge City Hospital
1974-1976 Worcester City Hospital/Umass Family Practice Residency
Areas of Interest and Research: Woman-centered care, pregnancy and birth, and throughout the lifecycle; Empowering care of chronic illness, esp. diabetes; Violence and victimization of children and adults, and the aftermath; Culture, immigration, refugees, asylum. Author of Medicine and the Family: A Feminist Perspective (Basic, 1995) Co-author (with Sara Shields, MD) of Woman-Centered Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (Radcliffe, 2010.)
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY/Danby, Vermont
Why Family Health Center? Diversity of staff, patients, cultures, illnesses at a health center with a wide variety of services. Commitment to high quality care linked with training programs (MDs, NPs, social workers, dental residents) all in a setting dedicated to the underserved. Academic faculty with ongoing research interests relevant to our population (conveying prevention to low literacy patients; health care for homeless families; breast feeding practices among low income women; Centering Pregnancy, and many others.) Faculty with strongly evidence-based approaches and broad reading interests, always questioning, many of whom have practiced for years at the health center and have deep understanding of relationships with patients. Integration into medical care of mental health services, nutrition and health education services for multi-lingual populations. Residents graduate with diverse competencies and skills to go on learning—and many continue in health centers elsewhere.
Why Family Medicine? It was 1972. I knew I wanted to take care of women; within 2 months into my rotating internship I knew I wanted to take care of infants and children, too. Then I found out I liked working with adults, helping untangle the confusing symptoms from mind and body. I read Michael Balint and learned that the doctor plays a role in how the patient’s illness gets constructed. The only people who were talking about all this, who could link it all together, who saw that family relationships were central to health and sickness, who were critical of medical care as it was then—-were the people starting family practice residencies. I signed on as one of the first residents in this program. I was not disappointed!
Personal Facts: I live on 10 acres on a pond within the Worcester city limits and sometimes bike to work on a recumbent bike. I am working on a book possibly titled “It Runs in the Family” about diabetes and depression in my family of origin.



Lisa Carter, MD
Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.D., 1999
Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, 2003
Basic Clinical Pastoral Education (chaplaincy program), UNC, 1997
Masters of Public Health in Maternal/Child Health, UNC, 1998
Areas of Interest and Research: Psychiatry, Underserved Medicine
Why Family Health Center? I feel very blessed to have meaningful work that engages both mind and heart. At Family Health Center of Worcester I feel that I am part of a vibrant, thriving team that provides comprehensive services to patients and deeply impacts their lives. I have delightful colleagues and I love working with the residents. I think residents see me as a role model for balancing professional and personal life, which is something we all struggle with in underserved medicine, and I enjoy helping them plan for balanced lives and careers. I truly love my job.


Sara Casey, DO
Assistant Education Director
Assistant Professor
Providence College
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2011
UMass Chan Family Medicine Residency, 2014
Areas of Interest: Women’s health and public health

  Elizabeth Dykhouse, Ph.D,
Director of Behavioral Science
Assistant Professor
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Seattle Pacific University.

Predoctoral internship with I Ola Lahui Rural Behavioral Health (HI)
Postdoctoral fellowship with Salud Family Health Centers (CO)
Areas of Interest and Research: Dr. Dykhouse's background is in primary care psychology and health psychology. She is particularly interested in the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate care and has experience working with interpreters as well as practicing directly in Spanish. 


Warren Ferguson, MD
Professor and Department Vice Chair
Director of Academic Programs, Health and Criminal Justice Programs at UMass Chan Medical School
University of Massachusetts, Amherst; B.S, Biochemistry, Summa Cum Laude

Boston University School of Medicine, M.D.
Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency
Areas of Interest and Research: Health Equity and Health Disparities, Primary Care Workforce; Health Policy for Vulnerable Populations
Hometown: Medford, MA
Why Family Health Center? I have been practicing at the Family Health Center of Worcester (Queen Street) for 26 years and was the medical director for ten of those years. The health center serves a very diverse population, racially, ethnically and socioeconomically. I love practicing and teaching at the health center because I learn something new every day. The faculty are superb clinicians and teachers who are committed to caring for the underserved and training the future family physicians for community health centers and other underserved sites. I knew I would become a family physician by the middle of my first year of medical school despite the fact that only 6 of my 150 student class went into this specialty. I fell in love with the concept of whole person and family oriented care. Unquestionably, family physicians are best prepared to integrate management of medical and behavioral health issues.
Personal Facts: I enjoy gardening, hiking in the woods and good spy novels. 



Melanie Gnazzo, MD
Assistant Professor
University of Connecticut
University of Rochester Family Medicine Residency
Areas of Interest and Research: Immigrant and Refugee care, women’s health including maternity care, office procedures
Why Family Health Center? I am excited to be a part of the UMass community. The physicians I work with are excellent clinicians and educators. The other staff work hard to make sure patients are cared for appropriately. Everyone really strives to provide the best care to all patients, particularly those in the greatest need
Personal Facts: I enjoy spending time with my family hiking, exploring small towns and having quiet dinners with family and friends



Tracy Kedian, MD

Associate Professor
McGill University
UMass Chan Family Medicine Residency, 1999
UMass Chan Medical School, 1996
Areas of Interest and Research:
Clinical interest in care of the underserved, women’s health obstetrics and colposcopy. Academic interest in medical education. Research in assisting learners in academic difficulty.

Hometown: Plymouth, MA
Why Family Health Center? UMass is an inclusive, energetic community of family physicians with a mission of caring for patients who truly need it, teaching learners with compassion and dedication and performing research to make people’s lives better. I believe in our department and our work. There is no where else I would rather be.
Personal Facts: I speak four languages and love to travel.


Hilary Mislan MD
Assistant Professor
University of Massachusetts – Family Health Center of Worcester (2017)
Albany Medical College (2014)
Areas of Interest and Research:  Addiction medicine and suboxone; 
Maternal child health and Interconception care; Teaching
Why Family Health Center? UMass is a great, collegial working environment. Family medicine has excellent relationships with other departments, from OB to internal medicine, to other consultants. We have excellent nurses, and great access to specialists.
Personal Facts: I have run 8 marathons, and I raise chickens, pigs, and sheep. 


Jennifer Jo Averill Moffitt, RN, CNM, MSN
Perinatal Services Manager
Tufts University, BA Child Development, 1995
Fulbright, Kingston, Jamaica 1995-1996
UCSF, Master's in Nurse Midwifery, 2003
Areas of Interest and Research: Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) with Community Health Center Populations, PTSD in Pregnancy, Health Disparities, LGBT health, Reproductive Choice, Labor Support
Why Family Health Center? The first day that I interviewed at Family Health, I knew I wanted to work here forever. I wanted to join the people who were providing state-of-the-art, high-quality, culturally competent, comprehensive prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, and interconception care to traditionally underserved pregnant and postpartum women and their families, and I wanted to help train future MDs, NPs, and CNMs to do the same. At Family Health we actively work toward the goal of reducing of infant mortality and minimizing health disparities in Worcester. We offer traditional prenatal and postpartum care, as well as Centering Pregnancy group prenatal care and Well Mother/Well Baby groups. Every week, our OB audit ensures that all of our providers are meeting standards of quality care, including those that are measured by the national IMPLICIT network (Interventions to Minimize Preterm and Low birth weight Infants through Continuous Improvement Techniques). It is an honor to be part of this time of transition in a woman's life, and we strive to make it a time in which she is able to recognize her own strengths, a time of growth in the face of challenges, a time in which her self-efficacy and overall health can be maximized. We aim to provide respectful and compassionate care to all, regardless of ability to pay, regardless of how a woman defines her family, regardless of what choices she makes for her life.
Personal Facts: Favorite activities: Running, reading and playing outside with my kids, cooking spicy food, having dates with my partner, and writing poetry.


Femi Onabanjo, MD
Assistant Professor
University of South Carolina/Palmetto Health Family Medicine 2017

Boston University School of Medicine 2014
Areas of Interest and Research: HIV, Hepatitis C, Substance Use
Why Family Health Center? You have the ability to see the world in one building. Since working at FHCW, I’ve had the honor to serve those in need from multiple backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life. I initially gravitated to FHCW for its Primary care HIV fellowship, but once I completed this I decided to remain here because of the work they were doing and truly making an impact in a community.
Personal Facts: My father is Nigerian, my mother is Zimbabwean, and I was born and raised in the metro of Atlanta, GA. I graduated from Clark Atlanta University (an HBCU) where I joined Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. I met my wife in medical school hence why I keep bouncing up and down the east coast. I haven’t, and most likely will never, get used to the snow. I enjoy working out, food, dancing, playing with my son, hiking, and most recently joined the cult known as one peloton. Hip-Hop and R&B are my mental escapes and sometimes I pretend that I can actually freestyle well. I love sharing my own health experience with my patients and truly try to meet them where they are.




Claudeleedy Pierre, MD
Associate Director, Primary Care Psychiatry Fellowship
Director of Perinatal Services
Assistant Professor
Brown University
Brown University Alpert Medical School

Boston University Family Medicine Residency
Greater Lawrence Family Medicine OB Fellowship
Areas of Interest & Research: Maternal Child Health, Underserved Communities/Populations, Diabetes, Teaching, & Team Approach to Health Care



Valerie Pietry, MD, MS
Assistant Professor
Dartmouth Medical School, M.D., 1989
Brown University Family Medicine Residency, 1992
Areas of Interest and Research: Behavioral pediatrics, Attention Deficit Disorder; Community-Oriented Primary Care, Spirituality and Health
Why Family Health Center? The residents in this program are very motivated to give the best care they can for each patient. I enjoy the interactions with residents that lead to my learning more, which can be applied to my own  practice of medicine. I appreciate getting to know the residents as they come through our site. 


Amber Sarkar, MD
Assistant Professor

University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Ben Gurion University Medical School for International Health 2010
UMass Family Medicine Residency (Family Health Center of Worcester)
Areas of Interest and Research: Underserved Medicine, Community Medicine, Global Health



Sara G. Shields, MD, MS
Harvard University, A.B., 1984 
University of California at San Francisco, M.D., 1989
University of Rochester, 1992
Maternal & Child Health Fellowship, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, 1994

Areas of Interest and Research: Maternity Care, Underserved Populations, Women's Health. Co-author (with Lucy Candib, MD) of Woman-Centered Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (Radcliffe, 2010.) My interests include breastfeeding, group prenatal care, family medicine maternity care, quality improvement in general and in maternal/child health in particular, and the humanities in medicine. I've worked in recent years with a community collaborative trying to address infant mortality, including a project to donate free Baby Boxes with educational materials to Worcester's neediest families. 

About Family Health Center: When I'm able to be with residents attending one of their own patients' deliveries, I love encouraging the residents to discover and savor their unique longitudinal connections with laboring women and their families. This continuity during maternity care is what makes our role as family physicians so special and so important. Here at Family Health, we have such an incredible opportunity to serve a truly multicultural perinatal population with support systems that provide something unique and special to families otherwise so disempowered and disenfranchised in our society. I especially appreciate my amazing colleagues who help me learn and laugh and remind me why I love this work.

Personal Facts: In my nanoseconds of free time, I enjoy reading novels, knitting, and any kind of outdoor exercise except for things that worsen my fear of heights or my tendency towards seasickness. My goal is to some day complete the Cape Cod half marathon trilogy in one year so that I can get the really cool jacket. I've taken up curling, and I'm currently training to be a docent at Worcester's fabulous art museum so that I can lead more tours for medical students, residents, and doctors to teach observation, teamwork and  communication skills in that unique setting.


Laura A. Sturgill, MD, MEd
Education Director at FHCW
Assistant Professor
Marlboro College, 1995

Antioch University New England 1999
University of Vermont School of Medicine 2013
Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, PA 2016
Areas of Interest and Research:  Maternal Child Health, Reproductive Health and Contraception Access, Interconception Care, School Based Health Care, Narrative Medicine, Nutrition
About Family Health Center:  I love coming to work every day.  I chose Family Health Center because I wanted to serve a diverse population, teach, practice obstetrics, and work with inspired, smart, dedicated colleagues.   I appreciate the combination of practicing in a community health center setting but also being connected with the academic department at UMass.
Personal Facts:  I live in Worcester with my two teenage daughters.  I’m a little nuts about local food and am trying to learn how to make the soil around my house safe and healthy so that I can grow lots of fun things.  I love running, yoga, baking bread, and reading.  


Bryan Swaim, MD
Assistant Professor

Tufts University, 2005 
Tufts University, MS, 2008
Tufts University School of Medicine
UMass Chan Family Medicine Residency (FHCW), 2018



Olga Valdman, MD
Director, Global Health Track and Global Health Fellowship 
Assistant Professor

UMass Chan Medical School
Lawrence Family Medicine Residency
Areas of Interest and Research: International Medicine, Maternal Child Health
About Family Health Center: I chose to come back to UMass after completing my residency because I missed the supportive and nurturing community that it is. Additionally, I truly missed Worcester as one of the most diverse (culturally, economically and racially) city I have ever lived in. Unlike New York and Boston where I had lived before, Worcester has the most sense of a mixed community which truly comes to life when you walk into the Family Health Center where I chose to come to. I walk into the building in the morning, look around and feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people from all over the world, hearing numerous languages spoken at the same time and being welcomed by our staff always ready to teach me about their community.
Personal Facts: Originally from Russia, I moved to the US at the age of 15. Being an immigrant myself, I have grown a deep interest and passion for working with immigrant and refugee populations, particularly in the underserved communities. While in medical school and residency, I was lucky to travel to several countries while learning about the local medical system and providing clinical services. In particular, I have travelled to Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Ghana, Ethiopia and Mexico. Back in Worcester, I co-founded an African Community Education program which works with children who are refugees from various African countries providing them with remedial education and psychosocial support; working with the African community in Worcester has been an amazing journey for me. In medicine, my biggest interests are Global Health and Maternal Child Health.


Virginia Van Duyne, MD
Program Director, UMass Chan Family Medicine Residency 
Assistant Professor
Gordon College

University of Vermont College of Medicine
UMass Chan Family Medicine Residency Program, Family Health Center of Worcester site
Areas of Interest and Research: Maternal child health, interconception care, underserved communities, global health
Personal Facts: I grew up in the Worcester area and feel so fortunate to be dedicating my career to this community. I have the perfect balance of teaching, seeing patients and collaborating on projects in the inner city while living with my family in a farm town just outside. working with the African community in Worcester has been an amazing journey for me. In medicine, my biggest interests are Global Health and Maternal Child Health.