Current Resident Bios
Connor L. Carmichael, MD (PGY1)
Connor was born and raised in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a small city about an hour and a half west of Philadelphia. He is the third of five children to a family doctor from New York and an artist from Northern Ireland. After graduating from public high school, he earned a BA in Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame.
While at Notre Dame, he discovered a passion for the Spanish language, and spent a semester abroad in Puebla, Mexico as well as a summer in Sevilla, Spain. He also began to develop an understanding of social justice and spent a summer volunteering with a refugee resettlement program in the greater Harrisburg, PA area.
After graduating from college, Connor spent a year working as a volunteer at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Mexico, a home for orphaned and disadvantaged children. While there, he was an assistant administrator in the clinic, where he was responsible for a series of health education lectures for students, as well as charting growth of the 500 children and a program for children who struggled with bedwetting.
After his year in Mexico, Connor matriculated to Penn State College of Medicine with an interest in primary care. There, he was a Global Health Scholar and spent ten weeks in Ecuador working on a community health project focused on nutrition and shadowing in several health care settings to learn about the public health system of the country. He was also involved in the Latino Medical Students Association, and helped establish an interpreter training program for multilingual medical students. Connor confirmed his passion for family medicine through his clinical experiences, and seeing the important role that family doctors play in coordinating care and continuity with their patients.
Connor is thrilled to be a part of Columbia’s residency program, where he will be able to continue to work with underserved Spanish-speaking populations. His clinical interests include language-concordant care, adolescent medicine, and palliative care. Outside of medicine, he enjoys playing volleyball, exploring New York, trying new foods, and spending time with friends and family.
Chava L. Dodge-Cogan, MD (PGY1)
Liana H. Greer, MD (PGY1)
Bradley Milam, MD (PGY1)
Bradley was born and raised in West Virginia; he is the child of two public school teachers and the grandchild of coal miners. He graduated from a public high school there and was educated at Yale.
While in college, Bradley discovered his passion for history as well as his passion for advocacy. As an openly gay man who remained in the closet in high school, he wanted to make a difference for those who couldn’t have a voice for themselves. He began lobbying in his free time for an employment and housing non-discrimination act that would have protected LGBTQ residents from workplace termination or housing eviction in West Virginia. For his senior essay, he wrote a history of gay and lesbian life in West Virginia, which won Yale’s LGBT Studies Department Prize that year.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale and working as a legal assistant at a small criminal defense law firm in New York City, Bradley returned to West Virginia to become the first executive director of the statewide LGBT advocacy organization there. He organized students, teachers, parents, and concerned community members around a more comprehensive anti-bullying policy. Their advocacy efforts led to the West Virginia Board of Education’s passage of Policy 4373, an anti-bullying policy that covers every public school student in the state of West Virginia. It became West Virginia’s first statewide policy or law to enumerate sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as protected classes. Also during his time as executive director, Bradley toured the state and heard from so many teens who had been bullied as he had been, workers who had been fired and residents evicted for being trans or gay, and many who felt they had no one to talk to. He saw power in being a family physician trying to heal and alleviate suffering on the front lines, and he saw what difference a compassionate doctor could be to a community grappling with discrimination, intolerance, or poverty. He decided to leave his job and become a physician. He completed the premedical post-baccalaureate program at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated from the West Virginia University School of Medicine.
Bradley is thrilled to be a resident physician in family medicine at Columbia. His special interests include care for the underserved, LGBTQ health, and reproductive health.
Luke Powell, MD (PGY1)
Luke Powell was born in Jamaica and spent the first several years of his life not far from the beach. He moved to the United States at age 8 and grew up in Lancaster County, PA. He studied Biotechnology at Penn State and Medicine at Georgetown University. During his time at Penn State, he developed an interest in teaching. He expanded his interest during medical school to include Medical Education as well as getting involved with Community Health. He is excited to explore New York City and to serve his new community.
Jeanette S. Qablawi, MD (PGY1)
Jeanette was born in Evanston IL and raised in Cocoa Beach Florida. She got her B.S. at The University of South Florida, and also minored in Leadership. It was during her undergraduate education that the seeds of advocacy were sowed. She volunteered at the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement and worked with underprivileged youth. She also was very involved with AMSA in undergrad and did a month long internship at the D.C. headquarters that involved lobbying on the hill for policy change. After graduation she took a year off and worked at a catering company and as a medical scribe. The year off gave her time to reflect on what she really wanted to do. She knew she wanted to become a physician who would always be the voice for her patients and actively strive to better our healthcare system.
She attended Morsani College of Medicine and was a member of the SELECT program which prepares students to be physician leaders who can accelerate change in health care. While in medical school, Jeanette became very interested in global health and went on her first medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic. She loved her experience so much that the next year she helped coordinate the trip and went again. During her fourth year she spent a month in India on another international rotation. She found this one extremely interesting because not only did it focus on clinics but it was also a learning experience in regards to health systems. The NGO, India Institute for Mother and Child, also had branches in economics, woman’s peace council, and education.
Another passion Jeanette discovered in medical school was her interest in preventative care and nutrition and this led her to discover the branch of Integrative medicine. Jeanette chose family medicine because she felt it incorporated her desires to practice holistic medicine with a focus on lifestyle, nutrition, and mental health. She was also drawn to the long lasting connections you make with your patients.
Jeanette is so excited to be a part of Columbia’s Residency program, she loved this program for its emphasis on quality improvement projects, it’s patient population, and it’s integrative medicine track. Outside of medicine you will find Jeanette in nature, posted up with paint brushes and acrylics, or practicing yoga. She also loves to run, and is a huge foodie!
Sujana Bhattacharyya, DO (PGY2)
Raised in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, Sujana has long cared
about vulnerable people, social justice, and healing. A daughter ofBengali immigrants, she was taught to be self-reflective and inquisitive about the world around her. She embraced these traits as an undergraduate at Stanford University, where she double majored in Biological Sciences and History. At Stanford, her interests in women's issues, community health, and integrative medicine took root, as did
many important lifelong friendships.
Sujana spent some years working, exploring, and growing prior to medical school. At an educational start-up in the Silicon Valley, she helped run a small business while guiding adolescents and their families through personal and academic challenges. She also worked at
Planned Parenthood in San Francisco, which gave her insight into how policy impacts women’s health. She later did community health research at UCSF, predominantly studies that examined homelessness and HIV. These experiences, along with volunteer work at an AIDS hospice,
allowed her understanding and love for vulnerable populations to blossom.
Recognizing epidemiology as an important tool in medicine, she moved to New Jersey to pursue a Masters in Biomedical Sciences and later an MPH at Rutgers University. During this time, she continued community health research in urban prenatal care and also trained in Ayurvedic medicine and yoga, striving to incorporate these healing modalities.
In medical school at Rowan SOM (formerly UMDNJ SOM), Sujana further cultivated and integrated her passions. Among her different leadership roles, being President of her school's AMWA chapter was her most significant; she teamed with others to initiate events that
facilitated women’s health advocacy and to support women in medicine. She taught yoga to her peers and at a women’s rehabilitation facility to promote wellness and volunteerism. She felt honored to receive several awards for her leadership and service, including
induction into the Gold Humanism Society.
As a Family Medicine physician-in-training, Sujana believes in the value of providing humanistic, holistic primary care by truly listening to the needs of her patients and community. Clinically and academically, her interests continue to lie in women's health, nutrition and integrative medicine, palliative care, communityresearch, and humanism in medicine.
At Columbia-NYP, Sujana is delighted to be part of a socially-conscious community of compassionate physicians, especially at a strong academic institution amidst vibrant New York City. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching yoga, working out, dancing, writing, traveling, exploring cities, watching shows like Law and Order SVU, serving the community, reflecting on bettering herself and the world around her, and creating meaningful connections - accompanied by hearty laughs and delicious chai - with friends and family.
Allie (Alexandra) Brown, MD (PGY2)
Alexandra Brown was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with Bachelor degrees in Biology and in French and completed a Master's of Arts in French Cultural Studies at Columbia University's Reid Hall campus in Paris, where she wrote her thesis on the role of rap in French culture. Prior to attending medical school at the University of Vermont, she worked for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative at the World Health Organization, in Switzerland.
She has always been focused on working with medically underserved populations and has worked at Planned Parenthood of Baltimore, as a counselor for surgical patients, for AmeriCorps in Baton Rouge as a Breast and Cervical Cancer Outreach coordinator, and now is thrilled to work at Farrell Community Health Center.
She is fluent in French and learning Spanish, in order to better serve her patients. She enjoys full-spectrum family medicine, treating patients from birth through delivery and end-of-life care.
Rebecca Halvorsen, MD (PGY2)
Rebecca was born in Dunfermline, Scotland and raised in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. When she matriculated at The College of William and Mary, she had not yet uncovered the path that would lead her to medicine. She spent a semester abroad in Kenya and Tanzania studying wildlife management and conservation. While there, she began to understand the complex relationship between culture, politics, conservation, and health care and her priorities shifted. After graduation, she returned to East Africa and spent eight months volunteering with underserved populations and studying public health in rural Kenya, where she presented her original research on the effect of community health workers to the local council and key stakeholders in the local health system.
As a medical student at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Rebecca was committed to serving her peers and her local community. Her enthusiasm for helping others succeed was apparent in her work as a writer for the school’s medical note taking service, as well as in the hand-drawn study guides she created for her classmates, which continue to be passed down to subsequent classes. Outside the classroom, Rebecca volunteered with HOPES, the EVMS student-run free clinic, working directly with uninsured patients as a student clinician, as well as analyzing and working to improve HOPES’ delivery of care through quality improvement projects.
Rebecca is excited to join the Columbia CFCM team and continue to pursue her interests in full spectrum family medicine, global health, and working with underserved populations. She is particularly excited about the opportunity to learn Spanish and get to know the Washington Heights and Inwood communities.
In her free time, Rebecca enjoys rock climbing, hiking, tasting new foods, and exploring her new home in NYC with her partner, who is a pediatrics resident at Montefiore.
Elizabeth Han, DO (PGY2)
As a child of international scholars, Elizabeth had already travelled to five continents and lived in two countries by the age of eight. Her parents emphasized the virtue of serving their local community and further reaching out to underserved areas through volunteering. Over the years, Elizabeth accompanied her parents on their service trips and grew up to identify as a global citizen. At the age of 13, after graduating from elementary school in Seoul, Korea, she decided to move on her own to Seattle. With the support of her parents, she made a cross-continental move to live with a host family that they had found on the Internet. As a young immigrant in the U.S. living on her own, she began to cultivate her interests in global health, community medicine, and immigrant health through volunteering and participating in community service.
After graduating from the College of William and Mary, she worked as a professional dog trainer as well as a data coordinator for quality improvement projects at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston. She continued to volunteer at shelters and taught at adult schools for immigrant adult students. These years of eclectic experiences along with the values her parents imparted from childhood ultimately led Elizabeth to her goal of pursuing family medicine with emphasis on public health and community medicine for the underserved. She is thrilled to join the family medicine program at Columbia University, where she will have the privilege to train with other dedicated and passionate residents and faculty.
Danielle Isenburg, DO (PGY2)
Danielle was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience and minor in Geography from Bucknell University. During her junior year, Danielle studied abroad which fostered a love of cultures and people’s stories. Additionally, Danielle volunteered multiple times in a health clinic in Nueva Vida, Nicaragua, and it is here that her passion for community medicine and desire to be a family physician was born.
In 2013, Danielle returned to the Garden State and began medical school at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (formerly UMDNJ-SOM). Here, Danielle had the privilege to provide free health care with the student-run Camden Community Health Center and serve as Executive Director. During her third year, Danielle was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and was the recipient of the 2017 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. Additionally she received recognition for academic achievement and commitment to the community by being awarded the 2017 Outstanding Achievement in Family Medicine and the 2017 Community Service Award.
Danielle is honored to be training in family medicine and admires the empathy and solidarity of the family physicians she has had the privilege to learn from. Danielle desires to practice medicine in an underserved, socioeconomically and ethnically diverse community. She has a strong interest in integrative and preventative medicine as well as hospice and palliative care. Danielle is thrilled to have matched at Columbia CFCM where the faculty and residents are truly the real deal.
The COPC curriculum and emphasis on developing a deeper understanding of the Washington Heights community is what drew her in. The opportunity to combine both an opposed and unopposed education model through training at The Allen, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center allows for a community hospital experience while having access to the resources of a large academic institution. Lastly and most importantly, every person that she met from CFCM was genuine, passionate, and driven to be their best for the community they serve—this humbled and inspired Danielle, and makes her grateful to complete residency training at Columbia.
In her free time, Danielle enjoys running and hiking, experimenting with new recipes, traveling to new cities and exploring coffee shops with her husband Ray. She is thrilled to be living in Bergen County, NJ again close to family and friends. Danielle tries to live by her favorite quote from Mother Teresa-- “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love is put in the giving.” She hopes to carry this reminder with her through residency training at Columbia and her future career as a family physician.
Molly (Mary) Warren, MD (PGY2)
Molly Warren was born and raised in the small town of Homer in Upstate, New York. It was in this small town that she began to appreciate the need for and impact primary care can have on communities, particularly through volunteering at her local community hospital. During her undergraduate time at Cornell University, Molly worked as a primary school teacher trainer in Rwanda, further exposing her to working in underserved communities. In the Ithaca area, Molly volunteered with local immigrant farmworkers by teaching ESL. She completed a degree in Human Biology, Health, and Society at Cornell with a minor in Global Health.
After college, Molly worked for two years at the National Institutes of Health conducting clinical research in diabetes and obesity. She went to medical school at Georgetown University with the goal to pursue family medicine and became intimately involved in the Washington, D.C. community. Molly worked as a coordinator for the HOYA Clinic, a student-run free clinic located in the largest emergency family homeless shelter in D.C during her time at Georgetown. As a National Health Service Corps scholarship recipient in medical school, Molly was devoted to pursuing primary care in underserved communities from the beginning. Her family medicine rotation on an Indian Health Service site in New Mexico solidified her interest in going into Family Medicine.
After spending a month in Ecuador during her fourth year of medical school, Molly is devoted to providing health care to Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. She is excited to begin her career in Family Medicine at NYP / Columbia Community and Family Medicine, where she can continue to pursue her interests in integrative medicine, advocacy, and policy work in New York City.
Ahmed Amari, MD (PGY3)
Ahmed was born and raised off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the beautiful city of Tripoli, Libya. That is where Ahmed was first exposed to and fell in love with helping people through the practice of medicine. He developed a special interest in preventive medicine after his grandmother was diagnosed with advanced dementia. Ahmed earned his medical degree from the University of Tripoli. He enjoyed teaching medical students during his internship year in Libya and worked as a general practitioner after his graduation.
Ahmed desired to become the best doctor he could be, so he immigrated to US to pursue his dream in Family Medicine. He traveled across the US, from Colorado to Washington to Texas learning from different US physicians, conducting research and gaining new skills.
Ahmed is elated to be part of the holistic based Columbia Family Medicine Residency Program. He is planning to work in primary care to apply preventive measures to save and improve the lives of people. Outside of his work, Ahmed enjoys camping, taking road trips, cooking, exploring new places with his wife and spending time with his close family and friends.
Heather Belle, MD (PGY3)
Heather was born and raised in Tampa, Florida with the desire to be a physician since she was three years old. Heather started volunteering at her local community hospital at the age of fourteen, and she has been in love with medicine since. Heather studied at the University of Florida where she was named one of eight Lombardi Scholars. Through the Lombardi Scholarship, Heather studied abroad in Merida, Mexico; Cuzco, Peru; and Johannesburg, South Africa where she performed various health sanitation projects and research on HIV/AIDS. During her undergraduate career, Heather performed research at Moffitt Cancer Center where she was named an American Cancer Society Fellow for her work in microarray protein phosphatase gene analysis where she identified two potential oncogenes. Heather found her interest in geriatrics, volunteering extensively at Oak Hammock, a local Gainesville assisted living center and memory support unit for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Heather is a proud member of Phi Mu Fraternity where she served several years as the academics chair and was presented the Most Outstanding Greek Scholar Award at the University of Florida. Heather received undergraduate degrees in Microbiology and Cell Science and Spanish, graduating cum laude with honors and Phi Beta Kappa.
At Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Heather pursued her interest in geriatrics and hospice/palliative care with her scholarly project titled, “A Study of Geriatric Medicine” in which Heather volunteered weekly at various independent living, assisted living, nursing home, and hospice sites throughout the central New Jersey area while also working on a reflection comparing the various sites. Heather was appointed to SGA as the representative of Saidi College, one of three learning communities that make up the College Advising Program (CAP) at RWJMS where Heather worked with the other CAP representatives to foster a sense of family and mentorship within the medical school by organizing monthly events to promote community and friendly competition. Heather also served as Co-Vice President for the Medicine Interest Group at RWJMS during medical school, organizing various lunch lectures, panels, and events.
In her spare time, Heather enjoys running in Central Park and taking ballet classes in NYC. Aside from being located in beautiful NYC, Heather’s passion for studying abroad made Columbia an obvious choice for residency with its COPC project in the Dominican Republic as well as her opportunity to work with a vast urban, underserved population that is largely Spanish speaking. Heather hopes to work long term with the geriatric underserved community as she feels they are a group that frequently falls under the system’s radar. Heather is excited to start her career as a physician and could not imagine a better place to do it than Columbia-New York Presbyterian surrounded by people who are kind and share the same passion as her.
Louis Cicatelli, DO (PGY3)
Sheerin Habibullah, MD (PGY3)
Sheerin was born in a small town in India and spent the first several years of her life in the southern most state in India. It was in India where she was first exposed to the huge disparities in access to healthcare that people experience through social and physical environments. This background forms her foundation of interest in Family Medicine, studying health disparities, and working in an underserved community.
She later moved to the United States where she now calls Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to be her home. After high school, she pursued a B.A. in Public Health Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. She continued to develop her interest in Community health, global health, and health disparities during these four years. During college, she also was in the Editor-in-Chief of Epidemic Proportions, a Public Health Research Journal, as well as Model UN, and volunteering at the International Rescue Committee. She also completed a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management.
After college, she went to medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. There, she was was part of the International and Urban community interest program and spent all of her primary care rotations working in urban underserved communities. She spent her time working at CrossOver clinic, a clinic that provided healthcare to the uninsured population in Richmond.
Sheerin chose Family Medicine because of its focus on the person and the opportunity to practice holistic care to people of all ages. The speciality also lends itself to true population and community health, making it a natural choice for Sheerin. She chose to come to Columbia because of it's unique location and dedication to serve this urban, underserved community. She was drawn to the strength of the academics as well as the dedication to research and passion for all of the diverse areas of Family medicine. In her spare time, Sheerin is most likely to be found behind a camera working on her photography or painting. She also loves exploring New York City, its art galleries and restaurants.
Danielle LaSalandra, DO (PGY3)
Born and raised in Stamford, CT Danielle initially became interested in medicine as a child when her parents pursued several different types of integrative treatments. She learned to see the many different opportunities available and wanted to be a part of the movement towards furthering medical knowledge and understanding. She graduated from the University of Virginia in biology and Italian and then completed a masters at Georgetown University in physiology and biophysics with a focus in complementary and alternative medicine. Following this time, she decided to work in the healthcare field before starting medical school.
Her diverse experiences included administrative assistant and medical assistant at an OB-GYN practice, Naturopath administrative assistant, and intake coordinator at a grief and trauma counseling center. Her passion has always been in viewing medicine as a manifestation of mind, body, and spirit, which fit particularly well with the osteopathic philosophy. At the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, Danielle was actively involved in her school. She served on the academic affairs committee as the curriculum representative, treasurer of the neuro-psychiatry club, and founder of the integrative medicine chair in the American Medical Student Association club. She also had the opportunity to study Ayurvedic medicine in India for a month.
During her medical school career Danielle was fortunate enough to be inducted into Sigma Sigma Phi service fraternity and Psi Sigma Alpha academic honor’s society. She is proud of her ability to treat patient’s osteopathically and is always excited about ways to spread awareness. Danielle’s areas of medical interest include integrative medicine, adolescent medicine, and behavioral health. She chose family medicine because it encourages a holistic, patient-centered approach that emphasizes the needs of the community. It allows physicians to treat individuals of all ages, and to serve as an important unifier in patient care. Danielle is so excited to see where medicine takes her, and is grateful to be part of such a supportive and innovative program at Columbia. Aside from medicine, some of her other interests include Latin ballroom dancing, singing (she used to train in opera!), and spending time being lazy with her cat.
Rajat Lamington, MD (PGY3)
Rajat began his journey to become a doctor from New Delhi, India, where he was born and raised. His grandfather’s wish before he passed away was to see him carry on the legacy and practice medicine. With this in mind, Rajat made a very bold decision to enroll himself at the age of seventeen in a six year MD program at Odessa National Medical University in Ukraine, one of the oldest and prestigious schools in Europe. He graduated summa cum laude and ranked first out of his graduating class. Rajat will never forget his experience in Ukraine, a beautiful country with an affluent culture, which happened to become besieged by war and uncertainty. Although it was a troubling time to be in Odessa, Rajat persevered, passed the European Licensing exam, KROK, top of his class, and made the first attempt by an Odessa National Medical University student to transfer and complete his medical rotations at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
New Delhi to Odessa is a big change culturally and mentally for any ambitious kid, but Rajat knew he could not stop there. Apart from his medical studies, he also joined Research with the Department of Surgery at Columbia and co-authored an abstract “Impact of Positive Surgical Margins on mortality after Radical Prostatectomy by disease risk group”, that was published in the American journal of Urology.
After completing his rotations, Rajat decided to prep for USMLE Step 3 and gained more administrative experience at the Renal Research Institute/Fresenius Medical Care North America. Alongside his professional experience, he also volunteered his time with the Research Team at the Center for HIV Educational Studies & Training and tutoring South Asian American adolescents in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at a local tutoring institute.
Rajat feels that Family Medicine is a program that trains physicians to be exceptional doctors with this multidisciplinary and holistic viewpoint. So it came as no surprise that when the time came for him to choose the best program that matched his ambitions and provided exceptional training, he returned to the Columbia family. Community oriented approach of the program, world renowned academic leaders as faculty, enormous opportunities for research and innovation and highly inspiring and friendly residents were a few reasons that made this top tier program, Rajat’s first choice. Outside of medicine, Rajat is a food connoisseur, likes to travel, go biking, finding the best places for ice cream in New York City and de-stressing on Sunday’s at church.
Rebecca Leeds, MD (PGY3)
Before joining the NYP FM family, Becca studied neuroscience at Brown University and subsequently earned her MD from Tufts University School of Medicine. As a fluent speaker of Spanish with significant interest in community medicine and social determinants of health, Becca chose NYP’s family medicine program for its strength in these domains. Her current research focuses on quality improvement of community medicine instruction and Spanish language immersion for residents.