Family Medicine Faculty

Thomas Agresta, M.D.

Associate Professor, Director of Medical Informatics

Dr. Agresta graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1986 with a degree in biomedical engineering and went on to New Jersey Medical School, graduating in 1990. He then graduated from UConn/Saint Francis Hospital Residency Program in 1993. For several years he was in private practice in Hartford, while maintaining a tie to the residency as a part-time faculty member. Dr. Agresta joined the department full-time as director of Predoctoral Education and was responsible for coordinating the UConn School of Medicine's third-year Family Medicine experience. Dr. Agresta is interested in information technology and currently is the director of Medical Informatics in Family Medicine and co-director of Biomedical Informatics at the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, University of Connecticut. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Miwako, a certified nurse midwife, their daughter, Hanako and son, Michio. Together they enjoy traveling, cross-country skiing, hiking, and camping. Dr. Agresta also loves music and enjoys playing guitar and occasionally writing a song or two.

Thomas P. Agresta, M.D.

Hugh Blumenfeld, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Hugh Blumenfeld is a native New Yorker and was educated at M.I.T., University of Chicago and New York University where he earned a Ph.D. in Poetics. He worked as an English professor and then spent ten years touring the U.S. and Europe as a professional singer-songwriter before deciding to combine his love of arts and sciences by becoming a doctor. A decidedly non-traditional applicant, he was fortunate to be accepted at the UConn School of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. degree in 2007. He stayed on to complete his residency in Family Medicine and joined UConn's medical faculty in 2010.

Dr. Blumenfeld practices at the Family Medicine Center at Asylum Hill, where, in addition to seeing his own patients, he supervises the clinical work of medical students and residents. As director of Behavioral Medicine at the residency program, he has created an evening clinic for primary care psychiatry; helps design and teach the year-long psychosocial and community medicine course, and lectures on topics relating to mental health. Practicing the full scope of family medicine, he works side by side with the residents on the inpatient service at Saint Francis Hospital and delivers babies with them. Dr. Blumenfeld also teaches a wide range of topics at the medical school's Farmington campus - from evidence-based medicine to complementary and integrative medicine - with a special interest in medical humanities and ethics. Since its inception, he has been a core faculty member of the Urban Service Track, a model program for interprofessional team-based care, and he is a faculty advisor for the medical students' online literary and arts journal, Anastomoses. He spends most of his free time at home with his wife Andrea and their two teenage sons, but still plays a few local concerts a year. He can also still do a layout on the trampoline - at least for now.

Hugh M. Blumenfeld, M.D., Ph.D.

Nicole Cahalan, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Nicole is originally from Colorado travelling east to New York City for undergrad for a change of pace. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and a minor in studio art. While in college, she participated in research involving how health literacy related to medication overdoses in children, as well as research about childhood obesity. She worked as a medical assistant for a year before starting medical school at St. George’s University, where she graduated magna cum laude. During her four years of med school she was fortunate to live in the U.K., the Caribbean island of Grenada, and Brooklyn. She completed her residency training at UConn Family Medicine in June 2019. After residency, she joined the faculty at UConn Family Medicine as an assistant professor. She will continue working with medical students and residents in an outpatient setting at Asylum Hill Family Medicine Center, as well as inpatient at Saint Francis Hospital. She enjoys being able to care for patients of all ages and get to know entire families. Her particular interests include global health, hospital medicine, and medical education. Outside of work her interests include travel, movies, hiking, scuba diving, true crime podcasts, and her two cats.

Robert A. Cushman, M.D.

Professor

Dr. Cushman completed his undergraduate degree at Amherst College in 1976, then continued research in cell biology for three years before proceeding to Emory University School of Medicine, receiving his M.D. in 1983. His postgraduate training in family medicine was at the Highland Hospital/University of Rochester Program, and included an extra year serving as co-chief resident, during which time he pursued additional training in family therapy. He joined the UConn faculty in 1987 as the practice's medical director, became program director in 1990, was appointed as department chair in 1996, and served in that role for twenty years. Since stepping through the chair role, he has resumed more teaching with students and residents, more clinical time delivering patient care, and hopes to improve the capability of EMR’s to manage family and social history and other social determinants of health. His academic interests have included asthma, the doctor-patient-family relationship, community-oriented primary care, and international family medicine models. He and his wife, Deborah, raised their two children here in Connecticut, and are now the proud grandparents of two young grandsons, one nearby in West Hartford, and one in Boulder, CO. His favorite recreational activities are hiking, kayaking/canoeing, cycling, and cross-country skiing. He also enjoys disc golf, and, after a many year hiatus, is contemplating returning to the Connecticut Ultimate Frisbee summer league in 2017!

Robert A. Cushman, M.D.

Andrew Feller, M.D.

Dr. Feller was born in New Haven, CT but grew up in sunny Miami. He graduated cum laud from Tufts University in 1991 with majors in biology and environmental studies. He then went on to the University of Florida (Go Gators!) for medical school and residency where he was chief resident. He began working in private practice in East Hampton, CT for two years and then moved to East Hartford where he has been since 2000. He works full-time with Dr. Zagieboylo and Dr. Rani in the Family Medicine Center at East Hartford. He has a focus on patients with disabilities and is the medical consultant for a number of group homes in the state. Additionally, he precepts residents at Asylum Hill Family Practice Center as well as teaches first year medical students at UConn Health in Farmington. Recently he has been appointed to serve on the State of Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, hiking, and is getting into rock hounding.

Andrew Feller, M.D.

Andrea Gillis, D.O.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Gillis is a Connecticut native, growing up in Southbury, CT, in a large Italian family! She went to Boston, MA to pursue her undergraduate degree in Biology and Psychology at Northeastern University. Prior to medical school, Dr. Gillis worked in pre-clinical research, studying Alzheimer’s disease and ALS as well as in clinical research, assisting in cardiovascular trials through the TIMI Study Group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She then moved to New York to attend medical school at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.

As an osteopathic medical student, she learned the philosophy and benefit of holistic and manual medicine. She was drawn to long term, comprehensive care and the focus on the patient-doctor relationship, which ultimately guided her to a career in Family Medicine.

Dr. Gillis completed her Family Medicine residency in 2019 at UConn/Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center where she served as chief resident in her final year. After completing residency training, Dr. Gillis joined the faculty at UConn Department of Family Medicine as assistant professor. She will work directly with the Family Medicine residents both outpatient and inpatient located at the Family Medicine Center at Asylum Hill and Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. She will also take on the role of teaching Family Medicine to the medical students at the UConn School of Medicine.

As a Connecticut native, Dr. Gillis is thrilled to be joining the UConn team as she has always had the desire to return to and practice medicine in a community close to home. Her professional interests include medical education, health promotion and advocacy, dermatology, and osteopathic medicine. She lives in West Hartford, CT with her husband. Her personal interests include spending time with family and friends, cooking, exercising, boating and scuba diving, and traveling.

Andrea Gillis, D.O.

Robin Gold, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Gold received her B.A. degree from Brandeis University in 1988, graduating summa cum laude with concentrations in both Chemistry and Biology, with Highest Honors in Chemistry. She then relocated from Waltham, Massachusetts to the Bronx, New York where she earned an M.D. degree and election into Alpha Omega Alpha in 1992. Dr. Gold (at that time known as Dr. Bersch) then returned to her home state, and completed the University of Connecticut/Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center Family Practice Residency Program in 1995. In an effort to solidify her training in maternity care, Dr. Gold went to Jasper, Texas in April 1996 where she planned a three-month "mini-fellowship." After just a few short weeks, it became evident that this was a superb, unique learning opportunity for rural family medicine. At Dr. Gold's request, with the academic support of the Family Medicine Department at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a one-year Rural Family Practice/Maternity Care Fellowship was created. Dr. Gold helped to design the fellowship, was the first to complete it in April 1997, and was the on-site fellowship director for the subsequent three-and-a-half years. In addition to the focus of practicing family medicine in a rural environment, the fellowship taught operative obstetrical skills including C-sections, postpartum tubal ligations, and dilation and curettage procedures. In August of 2000, Dr. Gold was swept off her feet by her Prince Charming and returned to Connecticut. Dr. Gold joined our faculty as the Obstetrics and Gynecology coordinator. Here, she plans to utilize the skills she learned in Jasper in the education of family practice residents.

Robin B. Gold, M.D.

Fonda Gravino, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Gravino is a Connecticut native and graduate of Smith College. She began medical school at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in Mexico and completed it at New York Medical College. Dr. Gravino completed her Family Medicine residency in 2005 at UConn/Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center where she served as chief resident in her final year. She was awarded the Rhea Barton STFM Resident Teacher Award upon graduation and the Sports Medicine Resident Award twice.

After finishing residency, Dr. Gravino moved to sunny Sarasota, Florida where she practiced fulltime outpatient family medicine in a group practice and part time workers compensation and personal injury medicine. Due to a desire to be closer to family, Dr. Gravino and her husband returned to Connecticut in 2010 with their two children.

Dr. Gravino is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the UConn School of Medicine; works directly with the Family Medicine residents at the FMCAH to teach them outpatient medicine; cares for her own patients at the FMCAH; and works per diem in the emergency department at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. She enjoys caring for not only her own patients, but feels an important and meaningful part of her work is training tomorrow’s physicians. Dr. Gravino was chosen by the UConn School of Medicine students as the Outstanding Clinical Preceptor of the Year Award in 2014 and chosen by the UConn School of Medicine students as the faculty inductee into the Gold Humanism Honor society in 2015.

Dr. Gravino’s professional interests include women’s health, procedures and urgent care. She is a member of both the AAFP and STFM and serves as secretary on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Academy of Family Physicians. Her personal interests include interior design, gardening, raising her family (currently a husband, 2 children, a black lab, a gecko lizard and a blind bird), reading historical fiction, and local travel.

Fonda Gravino, M.D.

Jacqueline Guajardo, M.A., Ph.D.

Director of Behavioral Health
Assistant Professor

Dr. Jacqueline Guajardo is a licensed clinical psychologist. She holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the City University of New York and a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Dr. Guajardo completed her graduate clinical training at the Bellevue Hospital and Medical Center Forensic Unit in New York City, the Counseling Services Unit of the Kings County District Attorney's Office in Brooklyn, NY, and the Project Second Try Program for Juvenile Sex Offenders of the New York University Lutheran Family Health Centers at Sunset Terrace in Brooklyn, NY.

For more than a decade, Dr. Guajardo has provided mental health treatment, clinical and forensic evaluation services for children, families and adults. Since coming to Connecticut in 2008, Dr. Guajardo has served as a both clinical and consulting psychologist for the Connecticut State Department of Children and Families, where she provided clinical consultation and training to the department's Girls Services Unit and Human Anti-Trafficking Response Team. Dr. Guajardo has also served as a practicing staff psychologist and faculty member for the Albert J. Solnit Center South Campus, Connecticut's only state- run psychiatric hospital for children. Dr. Guajardo has also served as chief psychologist and director of Juvenile Justice Intermediate Evaluations for the Village for Families and Children in Hartford, CT.

Prior to relocating to Connecticut in 2008, Dr. Guajardo served as the clinical coordinator for the FEMA-SAMHSA funded, Child and Adolescent Trauma Treatment Services Program (CATS) for children and families affected by the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, where she was amongst the first to introduce and modify evidenced based trauma-focused therapies to meet the needs of inner city ethnic and linguistic minority children and communities.

Dr. Guajardo's clinical specialties and research interests include the integration of psychotherapy and complimentary alternative medical practices; multi-cultural assessment and treatment of severe mental illness, assessment and treatment of self-injury, child sexual abuse, domestic minor sex trafficking, domestic homicide, traumatic grief and loss; development of best practices for gay, lesbian and transgender mental health services; assessment and development of community approaches to reduce ethnic and racial disparities in the mental health and criminal justice systems.

Jacqueline N. Guajardo, M.A., Ph.D.

Charlene Li, M.D.

Associate Clinical Professor

Dr. Li is a 1980 alumna of the UConn Family Medicine Residency program and an associate clinical professor at the University of Connecticut Medical School. She opened Windsor Family Medicine in 1980 and practiced family medicine (including obstetrics and hospital care) for 32 years. She retired from full-time private practice in July 2012 and joined Family Medicine as a preceptor and a member of the Medical Student Education division of Family Medicine. She has been active in the Connecticut Academy of Family Physicians, serving as president twice and also as a delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians Congress of Delegates. She has been the editor-in-chief of The Core Content Review of Family Medicine, a national continuing medical education program and board review, since 2001. Her interests outside of medicine include pottery and music.

Charlene Li, M.D.

Tim Lishnak, M.D.

Assistant Program Director

Tim is a local product of Connecticut. He was born in the hardware city (New Britain, CT for those not from these parts) and raised in West Hartford. He traveled all the way to Hartford to attend Trinity College and, upon graduation, began to work in biomedical research. Deciding that he preferred to interact with actual people more than their DNA, he matriculated at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. During that time, he was fortunate to meet family medicine faculty who ignited in him a spark for family medicine leading to his entering the UConn/Saint Francis residency followed by completion of the UConn sports medicine fellowship. After a period in private practice, he moved to Vermont to return to the world of academic family medicine at the University of Vermont. When his wife’s career (maternal-fetal medicine physician) brought them back to Connecticut he “came back home” to UConn. He sees patients at the UConn family medicine office in Canton and enjoys his time with the residents at Asylum Hill where he is an inpatient rounder, outpatient preceptor, and assistant program director.  When not working, he can usually be found with his family (wife, two energetic boys, and an equally energetic dog), often outdoors, enjoying all that the local area has to offer.

Tim Lishnak, M.D.

Smriti Ohri, M.D.

Medical Director

Dr. Ohri completed her medical degree (M.B.B.S.) from India. She moved to Chicago in 2006 where she worked as a research assistant in Pediatrics at North Western University. She helped create a new online curriculum for neuro-critical care fellows. In 2008, she moved to Detroit, MI where she completed her residency training in family medicine at Doctors’ Hospital of Michigan, affiliate Wayne State University School of Medicine. She wanted to further her knowledge and skills as an academic clinician and decided to do a Clinical Leadership fellowship from Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon. She continued to work as an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at OHSU for three years during which she completed Education Scholars’ Program. She and two of her co-fellows also started a novel patient centered multidisciplinary program for patients with diabetes. This helped patients better understand and manage their diabetes in partnership with their physicians. In 2015, she moved to UConn Health/Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center and joined as a faculty in the Department of Family Medicine. She became medical director in 2017. She sees patients at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center and at the Family Medicine Center at Asylum Hill, Hartford. She is involved with resident and medical student education. Her areas of interest include chronic disease management and hospital medicine.

Outside of work she spends time traveling and hiking.

Smriti Ohri, M.D.

Eugene Orientale Jr., M.D.

Professor

Dr. Orientale graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1983 and earned his M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1987. He completed residency training at UCLA in 1990 and then began work at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. There he served as a predoctoral director, Family Medicine Clerkship director, and in the advisory role of medical students as an assistant dean. He received five prestigious teaching awards in seven years and became the youngest tenured faculty member in Family Medicine. In 1994, he obtained the certificate of added qualification in geriatrics. He has a special interest and expertise in procedures in family medicine. In 1997, Dr. Orientale was selected by students and faculty of the University of Tennessee to be the sole faculty member elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He began with UConn/Saint Francis Family Medicine in late 1997. For seven years, he served as director of the "Principles of Clinical Medicine" course at the UConn School of Medicine. Dr. Orientale precepts junior and senior residents during "procedure" mornings. His wife, Jean, is a teacher of the hearing impaired, at the American School for the Deaf. He and his wife reside with their twin daughters in Glastonbury. Outside interests include travel, bird watching, astronomy, woodworking, biking, skiing, and watching baseball.

Eugene Orientale Jr., M.D.

Adam E. Perrin, M.D.

Dr. Perrin graduated from Amherst College in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. He attended Wayne State University School of Medicine where he was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha in 1987, receiving his medical degree in 1989. Dr. Perrin completed his training at the Middlesex Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program in Middletown, CT in 1992. He spent the initial six years of his professional career splitting his time between work in the emergency department and private family practice before settling into full-time community practice in 1998. Along the way Dr. Perrin developed an interest in sports medicine and in 1999 he earned a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine. He currently serves as a team physician and Medical Director of Athletic Injury Care at Wesleyan University. In addition to sports medicine, Dr. Perrin has a special interest in chronic disease management and medical quality. He served as the medical director for the NCQA-accredited Middlesex Hospital Center for Chronic Care Management from 2008 to 2015.

Since joining the family medicine faculty at the UConn School of Medicine in 2012, Dr. Perrin has assumed several teaching and leadership roles. His teaching responsibilities include the Principles of Clinical Medicine course for first year students and the Family Medicine Clerkship for third year students. Dr. Perrin serves on the faculty of the Urban Service Track and is the faculty advisor for the Family Medicine Interest Group. In 2015 he was assigned the exciting new role of director of Student Wellness and in 2016 was named co-director of the Clinical Home section of the new medical school curriculum. He was honored by the Class of 2016 as the 2016 faculty inductee into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Dr. Perrin devotes his spare time to choral singing and other musical endeavors. He and his wife Alison enjoy skiing of both the alpine and cross-country variety.

Adam E. Perrin, M.D.

Saira Rani, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Rani graduated Cum Laude from State University of New York College at New Paltz with a degree in cellular and molecular biology. In 2011, she received her M.D. from the American University of the Caribbean and continued her postgraduate training at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, Department of Family Medicine. In July 2014, she joined the Family Medicine Center of East Hartford. Additionally, she precepts residents at Asylum Hill Family Medicine Center. Special interests include adolescents and women's health.

Saira Rani, M.D.

Preceptors/Clinical Faculty

HENRY M. FEDER JR., M.D.

Professor, Family Medicine and Pediatrics

Dr. Feder graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967, and from Jefferson Medical College in 1971. He was a fellow in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins Hospital and served as the clinical director of the Mescalero Public Health Hospital in New Mexico. Dr. Feder has been with the Department of Family Medicine since 1977 and has served as a residency director. His main area of research is pediatric infectious disease, with concentration in the area of Lyme Disease, Streptococcal and Non-Streptococcal Pharyngitis, Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis, Pediatric Fever Syndromes and Rabies. He is board certified in Family Medicine, Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. His first position was in family medicine at the University of Connecticut as assistant professor and has been with the Department as full professor for 18 years. He has twice won the resident teaching award in Family Medicine and has twice won the teaching award in Pediatrics. He is 50% Family Medicine and 50% Pediatric Infectious Disease at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Dr. Feder precepts at the practice center frequently.

THOMAS J. MCLARNEY, M.D.

Clinical Instructor

Dr. McLarney is the Medical Director at the East Hartford Community HealthCare Center which employs several of our graduates as well. He attended Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT receiving a bachelor's degree in biology. He then completed his medical training at Georgetown University. Dr. McLarney completed his residency training at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina.

Dr. McLarney has 10 years teaching experience at the Middlesex Hospital Family Practice Residency Program where he was clinical director. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the UConn School of Medicine and an attending physician at Saint Francis Hospital. He has also been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and is a member of both the Connecticut and American Academies of Family Physicians.

He was the 1999 recipient of the Kathleen McShane Outstanding Physician Award given by the CAFP and the 2003 recipient of the David Schmidt award given by the UConn/Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center Family Practice Residents. Dr. McLarney has a CAQ in Geriatrics, and is a certified instructor for ATLS.

MARIA SUMMA, PHARM.D.

Assistant Clinical Professor

Maria is a licensed pharmacist. She holds a Doctorate in Pharmacy from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Connecticut. She completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Maria joined the Family Medicine Center at Asylum Hill in 2010 through a clinical affiliation agreement with the University of Saint Joseph School of Pharmacy. Her role at Asylum Hill involves enhancing patient understanding of medication use, increasing adherence and access to medications, and partnering with other health care professionals to optimize medication therapy and promote safe medication practices in primary care. In July 2015, Maria was appointed as chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration at the University of Saint Joseph. She provides department leadership in program planning, development, and assessment, manages the department’s resources. Her additional responsibilities include the classroom and experiential education of pharmacy students, with a focus on courses involving self-care, the pharmacotherapy of the endocrine system, and women’s health. Maria and her husband Ralph are parents to two amazing daughters. As a family, they enjoy playing and watching all sports, spending time at the beach, and making memories with friends and family.

Maria Summa, Pharm.D.