Eda Akyar, MD
Eda was raised in New Jersey with her twin sister by immigrant parents. She attended Carnegie Mellon University where she was a Science and Humanities Scholar and conducted research in both biological sciences and public health. She majored in Biological Sciences and earned a minor in Chemistry. At CMU, Eda recognized her passion for global and community health, founding CMU’s chapter of Global Medical Brigades and later creating local brigades to support surrounding Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
After college, Eda served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Tana Toraja, Indonesia. There, she taught conversational English to high school students and helped lead the UNESCO Youth Desk International Youth Forum. Upon her return to the United States, Eda attended the Yale School of Public Health where she earned a Master of Public Health in the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases. At Yale, she was selected as a member of the Global Health Justice Practicum to explore the intersection between HIV criminalization and prostitution in the US. After graduate school, Eda worked as a clinical research coordinator and published research on linkage to care amongst suburban heroin users with hepatitis C in New Jersey.
Eda attended Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine where she led Loyola’s student-run free clinic during her second year. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eda organized and led Loyola University Medical Center’s COVID-19 hotline. She was awarded the Susan Hou Humanitarian Award and graduated with both Research Honors and Global Health Honors. Eda also worked as a public health administrator for the Chicago Department of Public Health, assisting with Chicago’s nursing home COVID-19 response and vaccine distribution. She is a founding board member of the Chicago Refugee Coalition. Eda is thrilled to be part of the NYP-Columbia Family Medicine Program and looks forward to pursuing her interests in community health and underserved medicine.
Carla Anderson, MD
Carla, a first-generation college and medical school graduate was born and raised in Southeast Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan in Neuroscience with a minor in Women’s Studies: Gender and Health. After college, she moved to Bronx, New York where she attended medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Having witnessed first-hand the effects of health disparities, Carla is passionate about learning ways to reduce health disparities and learning more about the barriers faced by those who are underserved. During medical school, she volunteered at a student-run free clinic at Walton Family Health Center. She believes that it is important for physicians to listen to their patients, while learning about their health concerns and finding ways to advocate for patients.
As a resident of the Columbia/NYP Family Medicine Program, Carla is excited about being a part of the Washington Heights Community and having the opportunity to continue to serve vulnerable populations in New York City.
In her free time, Carla enjoys acrylic painting, pilates, and spending time with friends and family.
Melissa Encarnacion, MD
Melissa Encarnacion was born and raised in New Jersey. She is a first-generation college graduate who earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Seton Hall University and medical degree at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Having been raised in a Dominican household, she became sensitive to the health care challenges of the Latinx community as she developed her interest in medicine. She participated as a student doctor and Spanish interpreter at Promise Clinic, a student-run clinic through which she worked in an interdisciplinary team to provide primary care for medically underserved and uninsured patients. Through these experiences, Melissa fell in love with promoting community wellness through primary care. Melissa is very excited to be part of NYP-Columbia Family Medicine Residency Program, where she will further nurture her interest in community medicine, advocacy, and women’s health. In her free time outside of medicine, Melissa enjoys playing the piano, exploring new places (or food), and strategic board game
Roxanne Ko, MD
Roxanne Ko grew up on an organic farm in Pālolo, Hawai’i. She received her first degree in linguistics and spanish from Boston University with plans on working in community improvement and education. A highlight of her time after graduation was her service in the United States Peace Corps, where she worked to develop sustainable agricultural practices and improve food security and nutrition in Guinea. This experience was a pivotal moment in her life and inspired her to enter the field of medicine. She continued her education and received a second degree in microbiology from the University of Hawai’i and explored her interests in medical innovation by working at Columbia University’s Genome Center while applying to medical school. For her medical education, she returned home and received her medical degree from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai’i. Now back at Columbia University for residency, Roxanne is excited to re-immerse herself in the Washington Heights and Upper Manhattan neighborhoods and learn about what can help the community thrive. She always embraced a healthy and active lifestyle and would like to work to make that a reality for all of her patients. She has a passion for pediatrics, geriatrics and preventative medicine and believes that true community involvement is one of the best ways to build strong and healthy neighborhoods. Outside of medicine Roxanne is an avid runner, diver and hiker and loves to learn languages.
Shikha Patel, DO
Shikha was born in India and immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of nine. Her journey in medicine started in high school through attending the Health Care Sciences Academy at Morris County School of Technology in Denville, NJ. She then graduated with a BS in Human Biology, Health, and Society from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. While in college, she realized her passion for health policy and became interested in addressing both individual and societal level health problems. Being drawn towards the holistic model of patient care, she then decided to attend medical school at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, NJ. In medical school, she advocated for changes in the healthcare system through meeting with Congress officials and writing resolutions for professional medical organizations. She also promoted osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) in the community through volunteering at the free OMM clinic.
Shikha is excited to be a part of the residency program at Columbia where she can pursue her many interests, including community medicine, integrative medicine, preventive care, health policy, and medical education. In her free time, Shikha enjoys watching international TV dramas, exploring New York City by foot, and spending time with family and friends.
Aerial Petty, DO
Aerial earned her BA in Spanish and minor in Anthropology from the University of Florida, her Masters in Medical Sciences from the University of South Florida, and her medical degree from the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM). She enjoys using her Spanish to volunteer at underserved clinics in her community so that non-English-speaking patients may receive the best quality of care possible regardless of any cultural or language barriers they may face. As a medical student, Aerial played an active role in the SNMA and Omega Beta Iota Honor Society.
Aerial participated in the National Medical Fellowships (NMF) Primary Care Leadership Program twice, completing projects on the opioid epidemic in Boston, MA and later, on COVID-19 virtually in Miami, FL. She was also a three-time recipient of the NMF United Health Foundations Diverse Medical Scholars Program, where she completed a community needs assessment that led to the creation and implementation of a mental health education program for adolescent minority girls in her community.
Aerial’s professional interests include social determinants of health, health disparities, mental health, health policy and advocacy, and minority health care. Outside of medicine, she loves reading fiction novels, learning languages, eating way too many sweets, and discovering what it means to be a New Yorker. Aerial can still hardly believe that she gets to join her co-residents as a part of the NYP/Columbia University family medicine residency program and is so excited for her future here.
Aury Garcia, MD
Aury was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Washington Heights, NYC. As a first generation graduate in her family and someone who grew up in an underserved community, she was privy to many of the challenges that vulnerable populations face and the need for more Spanish speaking physicians. In pursuit of helping to ameliorate some of these challenges, Aury obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and pre-medical track at Columbia College. While at Columbia, Aury discovered her passion for reducing inequities through volunteer work in community hospitals, mentorship of children from marginalized communities, and health disparities research. For two gap years, prior to attending the Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, she conducted hypertension and stroke disparities research with a particular focus on Latinx and black communities. Furthermore, while in medical school, Aury’s interest in primary care blossomed through opportunities such as the Daniel Noyes Brown Primary Care Scholars Program, Columbia-Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership student run clinic, and mixed-methods research focused on the first 1,000 days of life.
Aury is beyond excited to continue her residency training in her home and alongside family medicine mentors dedicated to clinical excellence and above all, compassionate care. In her free time, you can find Aury spending quality cuddles with her yorkie-poodle Leo, or indulging in the delicious NYC culinary scene with her husband, Geo.
Dara Jackson, MD
Dara is from Rockland County, NY, and the first person in her family to graduate from Medical School; born to Jamaican parents, who taught her the value and importance of cultural diversity. Witnessing first-hand the health disparities that exist, Dara knew she wanted to pursue a career that would help reduce such disparities and bridge access to adequate health care. She received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and later attended Rutgers Medical School in Newark, New Jersey.
Dara clings to a philosophy that, to be a great physician, it is important to understand the particular obstacles that patients face each day that may or may not impact their health outcomes. Thus, she made it a priority to volunteer in community organizations such as Harmony House Women's Shelter, where she not only conducted educational sessions for underserved pregnant women and new mothers, but also advocated for these women to get better access to health care. Additionally, she worked with at-risk youth in Newark, New Jersey, and researched addressing risky sexual behavior in vulnerable adolescent populations. Dara is thrilled to continue her educational experience in Family Medicine at Farrell Community Health Center; a location that values working together as a family, as well as devoting one's time and energy advocating for the vulnerable and diverse population they serve at NYP Columbia.
Brittany Martinez, MD
Brittany Martinez, a first-generation college and medical school graduate, was raised in River Edge, New Jersey. Growing up in a Puerto Rican and Dominican household, Brittany remained close to her cultural roots and was constantly reminded of the importance of family, creating strong networks, and embracing her community. She has had a passion for medicine, teaching, and mentorship since a very young age, which she attributes to her childhood mentor and pediatrician, Dr. Zeyad Baker. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences with a minor in Health and Society from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and went on to attend Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) to receive her Medical Degree. Her fluency in both English and Spanish helped her to connect seamlessly with the underserved Hispanic community throughout her various clinical and community service experiences. It has been important for her to use this skill in advocating for her Spanish-speaking patients, and to promote Spanish-speaking skills among her medical student colleagues. Brittany’s passion for working with the underserved, as well as her personal understanding of the many barriers they face, has motivated her to continuously serve as an advocate for the Hispanic community, especially whenever she felt that their voices were not being heard. She has held many leadership roles to bridge the language barrier between her Spanish-speaking patients and their health care providers. As a resident of the NYP/Columbia Family Medicine Residency Program, she is eager to continue to be the voice for the Latino community, to inspire others from underrepresented groups to pursue a career in medicine, and to be recognized as a committed patient and community advocate.
Erica Meninno, MD
Originally from a small town north of Boston, Erica graduated from Boston College with a degree in International Relations. The social justice work, led by the Jesuits at BC, was foundational to her experience as an undergraduate student. Erica joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, working at Chrysalis in Los Angeles as a case manager for individuals experiencing homelessness. She continued to work with the homeless population back in Boston at St. Francis House, and developed additional skills in addiction services, counseling, and group facilitation.
As a student at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Erica merged her prior professional experience with her newly developing clinical skills. She spent evenings providing resources and basic medical care to individuals on the street through Georgetown Street Medicine Outreach and ran workshops across DC, distributing naloxone and empowering community members to intervene to save a life from the opioid epidemic. Erica is thrilled to take care of and learn from patients at the Farrell Community Health Center and the Allen Hospital. She is driven to continue to explore how the medical community can contribute to our patients’ well-being and fulfillment.
In her free time, Erica enjoys jewelry-making, sipping cappuccinos while reading a good book, cooking (and eating) with her husband, and visiting gardens for inspiration for her apartment plants.
Amy Sun, MD
Amy was born and raised in Woodbury, Minnesota, right outside of the Twin Cities. She majored in economics at Princeton University. After college, she worked for two years outside of Boston at a research organization in their health care finance division, where she was introduced to health care reforms that emphasized the importance of primary care. During that time, she volunteered as a social services coordinator at a community health center in Somerville, where she fell in love with community-based family medicine. She then moved to NYC to attend medical school at Weill Cornell Medical College. During medical school she became very involved with the student-run free clinic and the geriatrics house call program. Amy is incredibly excited to be a part of the Columbia/NYP Family Medicine program and is looking forward to caring for patients of all ages in the Washington Heights community. Her interests within family medicine include reproductive health, full-spectrum medicine, geriatrics, health care delivery, and community medicine. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, watching sitcoms and The Bachelor, dancing, water coloring, and unsuccessfully doing NYT crossword puzzles.
Megha Srivastava, MD
Megha was born and raised in the Chicagoland area to a family of Indian immigrants. While studying Medical Anthropology and Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University, Megha spent time engaging with local communities in Cleveland, Ohio, and expanding her passion for public health. Following university, Megha spent a year volunteering in Antigua, Guatemala, and Faridabad, India, working with local health care providers and teaching English and math to children and young adults. Megha began her medical career at the Stritch School of Medicine of Loyola University Chicago with a strong passion for underserved populations and primary care. After her third year of medical school, Megha spent an extra year in a global health fieldwork fellowship program in rural Bolivia. As a coordinator for a local clinic, Megha learned the challenges of providing quality healthcare in low-resource settings and the ability of compassionate, knowledgeable, culturally competent physicians in navigating such challenges. Megha looks forward to joining the NYP/Columbia FMR family and continuing her passion to serve vulnerable populations in the unique, diverse New York City. In her free time, Megha enjoys painting, dancing, binge-watching TV, and trying not to spend all her money on bubble tea (but usually failing).
Hannah Brooks, MD
Hannah was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Vassar College with her BA in Psychology and her certification in Elementary Education. She taught Kindergarten in East New York, Brooklyn for five years while getting her Masters in Special Education from CUNY Hunter College. While remaining committed to community and family health and education, she decided to return to school full time to complete a post-baccalaureate program to pursue a medical career as a means of achieving these goals. She received her MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she found the Family Medicine specialty to most closely align to her values as a physician and educator. Her academic interests focus on community medicine, advocacy and health equity, hospital medicine, and resident education. Outside of medicine, Hannah enjoys exploring all corners of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, spending time with family and friends, and cooking.
Hannah is thrilled to be a part of the Family Medicine family here at NewYork-Presbyterian, where the education, health, and wellness of our patients are prioritized.
David J. Killeen, MD
David was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. He graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. His love for medicine was sparked during college volunteering with the Harrisonburg Rescue Squad as an EMT. While studying Spanish, David was able to study abroad in Costa Rica and Salamanca, Spain. He continued his education at the Universidad de Alcala de Henares in Madrid, Spain where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education. David shifted his focus back to medicine and worked at a Federally Qualified Health Center in his hometown. As quality improvement assistant he developed workflow and outreach to increase cancer screening rates. It was during that time when he fell in the love with family medicine. David applied and was accepted to be part of the fmSTAT program at Virginia Commonwealth University, which was designed for students who were interested and committed to Family Medicine. During medical school, David pursued many passions, including health care policy; interning under the CMO of Medicaid Services, rotating in the Madrid public health system and a Centro de Primer Nivel in the Dominican Republic and as a visiting scholar at the Robert Graham Center in Washington D.C. David wants to be part of health care system transformation and that begins with strong primary care at the center of the community.
Columbia’s residency program is an ideal fit for David, where he can combine his many interests including community health, integrative medicine, and reproductive health care, all while learning how to treat most aliments and provide comprehensive health care for people of all ages in a bilingual setting.
Adam S. Lustig, DO
Adam was born in Manhattan and raised primarily in Woodbury, New York. He attended Tulane University in New Orleans where he earned his BS in Neuroscience. It was in New Orleans where Adam volunteered and worked within medical and educational settings of marginalized communities. He then returned home to study medicine at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem, NYC, where he, as a medical student and volunteer, continued to examine the relationship between socioeconomic status and access to quality health care.
At a young age, Adam experienced the benefit and versatility of integrative and hands-on medical approaches. This motivated him to become the passionate osteopathic physician he is today, incorporating osteopathic manipulative medicine into patient care whenever possible. Adam believes strongly in the value and power of integrative, nutritional, preventative, and personalized care, particularly in underserved communities. Adam is beyond excited to have the opportunity to treat patients and their families at Farrell Community Health Center. In his free time, Adam loves to cook healthy meals, explore NYC, and rejuvenate in nature.
Silvina A. Om, MD
Silvina was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentin,a where she was first exposed to a wide range of health disparities and developed a passion for advocating for vulnerable populations. She studied Psychology and Molecular Biology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and received her MD from San Juan Bautista School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. Silvina is invested in providing an integrative and multidisciplinary approach to primary care that she believes all patients deserve. She enjoys full-spectrum family medicine with a focus on reproductive health and advocacy and values being able to foster meaningful lifelong relationships with her patients. Silvina understands that patients place their full trust in their family physicians and she honors this privilege by being their most enthusiastic advocate.
In her free time, Silvina enjoys spending time with family, exploring the vibrant NYC dining scene, dancing to anything with a beat, and going on as many new adventures as she can.
Sarah N. Phillips, MD
Sarah, a Connecticut native, fell in love with medicine after her summer working at Partners in Health in Boston. She returned to Colorado College and designed her own major in Global Health and founded the CC chapter of GlobeMed, an organization that partners universities with grassroots organizations addressing health disparities around the world. After college, she worked for a non-profit in Peru’s Sacred Valley for a year, training female community health workers, “promotoras de salud,” to be the first lines of care in rural mountainous communities. It became clear: the promotoras were only as useful as their skillset was broad. Especially in resource-poor settings, the most valuable caregivers are competent across a range of health needs. These women and these communities inspired her to gain that breadth in her medical education. As a medical student in Camden, NJ, Sarah further cultivated her interests in community focused medicine. Sarah is thrilled to be a part of the NYP/Columbia Family Medicine Community where she can continue to pursue her interests in global health, vulnerable populations, and women’s health.
Jenny Tobat, MD
Jenny was born and raised in Falls Church, VA. She attended Cornell University, where she learned Spanish, and graduated with a BA in Mathematics. During college, she took several Spanish classes and visited Honduras, her first major international journey. She also volunteered with an organization that provided services to people incarcerated in the local jail, which taught her a lot about underserved populations and systemic barriers they face. She went on to attend Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. There, she worked on a comprehensive Medical Spanish program to train bilingual providers. She was also a frequent visitor to a local federally qualified health center, where she worked with underserved populations and saw Spanish-speaking patients. Here at Columbia, she is excited to continue working with underserved and Spanish-speaking populations.