Symptom Management and Supportive Care Service - Meet Our Team

Pedro H. Calves, MD, FACP, FCCP

Dr. Calves was born in Havana Cuba and immigrated to the United States along with his family in 1959. Raised in Queens, Dr. Calves is a product of the New York City public school system, attended Pace University in Manhattan as a Biology Major, then Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse for his Medical Degree.

Returning to the metropolitan area, Dr. Calves became a Resident in Internal Medicine at Nassau County Medical Center (NCMC) in 1985. He finished his residency in 1988 and went on to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey at Cooper Hospital in Camden for a one-year Fellowship in Critical Care Medicine. Returning once again to NCMC, Dr. Calves entered a fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine, during which he helped to manage the Residency program serving as Chief Resident. Settling on Long Island, he went into practice of Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Diseases in 1991 in Babylon, New York.

“You may not be able to cure everyone… but you can make them feel better.”
           - Pedro Calves, MD

During his many years caring for seriously ill patients, it became clear to Dr. Calves that along with technical expertise, what is needed is an open line of communication with patients and their families. It is just as important to know what the person who is sick wants out of life, as it is to know what antibiotic to use.

With this revelation, Dr. Calves became one of the founding members of the Palliative Care Service at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip in 2002. In 2005, he became the first Chief of the Division of Palliative Medicine at Good Samaritan, developing an Inpatient Palliative Care Unit and an Outpatient Ambulatory Palliative Care Center. Two years later, he was able to bring the program to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown.

As the programs continued to grow and in an attempt to properly focus time and effort ont them, Dr. Calves left private practice in 2010, and became the Catholic Health Services Regional Director of Palliative Care Services. In 2011, Dr. Calves brought Palliative Care to St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson cementing a partnership between CHS-Palliative Care and Good Shepherd Hospice in which (in 2013) he became Senior Associate Medical Director for Palliative Care Services for Catholic Health Services of Long Island.

During this time, Dr. Calves has presented original research at numerous national Palliative Care meetings and has published several abstracts that have enlarged the knowledge base in this new and important area of medicine.

Serving as Medical Director for Bishop McHugh Family Health Center in Babylon, Dr. Calves helps to deliver basic Medical Services to those residents of Long Island who are uninsured.

Dr. Calves holds the rank of Commander in the US Navy Medical Corps, currently serving in the US Naval Reserve.

 

  

Gina Marie Zarrilli, DO, FCCP

Dr. Zarrilli attended Trinity College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973, majoring in English Literature. Later, deciding medicine was her true passion, she continued on with her education and graduated from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002. Dr. Zarrilli completed her internal medicine residency in 2005 at Beth Israel Medical Center, Albert Einstein School of Medicine. She went on to Stony Brook University and in 2008 and completed a fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.
 
Dr. Zarrilli is multi-certified to complement her vast array of specialties. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. As a testament to her dedication to her profession, she has been involved in research, lectures and grand rounds and has attended many lectures throughout the country.  Additionally, Dr. Zarrilli has had two manuscripts accepted into The Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography and The Journal of Bronchology, respectively. 

Dr. Zarrilli’s dedication to her patients’ well-being has taken her into the Hospice and Palliative Care arena where she continues to provide comfort and support during all phases of patient care.  Additionally, she has a holistic approach to health for both her patients’ and herself.  Dr. Zarrilli has been training in the Japanese martial art of Aikido since 1975 and is a 6th degree black belt and teacher. She is also a daily practitioner of yoga.

 

 Cindy Saraceno, RN, BSN, RN-BC, CHPN

Cindy Saraceno has been a Nurse Consultant in the Palliative Care Department since 2006 and recently was promoted to the position of Palliative Care Nursing Coordinator. Ms. Saraceno has practiced the philosophy of palliative care for her entire nursing career. Prior to transferring to the Palliative Care Department in 2006, she worked on a medical unit where the focus of care was ‘The Acute Care of the Elderly” and the care of the chronic ventilator patient. This is where she first began to recognize the importance and need for palliative care. Many of these patients and their families faced life-threatening illness or long term debilitating disease. Over the twenty years of taking care of long-term ventilator patients, Ms. Saraceno's priority was to help identify her patient’s goals for care and supported maximizing their quality of life. She recognized that patients and their families needed education and emotional support to help guide them during these difficult times.

In 1999, Ms. Saraceno was honored by receiving the prestigious “Marvin Bernstein Award” for the care of the ventilator patient. In September 2008, she received Board Certification in Hospice and Palliative Nursing. She has served as a preceptor to new nurses and found it exciting to coordinate and participate in new learning experiences. Ms. Saraceno orients new nurses on an ongoing basis, and medical students, residents and pharmacy residents, during their rotation through the Palliative Care Service. She received designation as an HPNA-Approved Educator in 2009.

Working with and educating nursing assistants is one of Ms. Saraceno's most reqarding accomplishments. She enjoys preparing them to take the certification examination andassist them in receiving their national certification as Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing Assistants. Ms. Saraceno is also a support group facilitator for our “Life Goes On" Cancer Survivor’s Group.

 Elizabeth Oberhausen, BS, RN, CHPN

Ms Oberhausen obtained her Associates Degree in Nursing in 1985 from Suffolk Community College, Brentwood. Her Nursing roles throughout her 33 years have included Hospital, Home Care and Hospice Services. These positions included both Bedside, Business Development and Administrative roles. In 2015, Ms Oberhausen obtained her BS in Healthcare Administration from Briarcliffe College in Patchogue.

Ms Oberhausen was awarded the Patrick J Scollard Award for Leadership, the highest level of leadership recognition within the CHS system. She is a member of the LI chapter of the Hospice and Palliative Nurse Association in which she held a Vice Presidential position for 4 years.

During her years at hospice, it became clear to Ms Oberhausen that there was a great need for patient, family and health care provider education regarding treatment choices. She observed that the ability to be symptom free during treatment or death eluded many patients. Family statements of “If we only knew our options, we would have chosen comfort measures sooner” only solidified her passion for Palliative Care.

In 2017, Ms Oberhausen joined the Symptom Management and Supportive Care Services Team and obtained her certification in Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing.

Kevin Stolz, Chaplain, MA, BCC

Kevin grew up on Long Island , the third of twelve children. He was  blessed with not only two parents who lived out of a seemingly bottomless well of love and patience, but a legion of wonderful aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

This  grounding in supportive love was the backdrop for everything that followed. But the true north star that guided those early years, and continues to this day, was the gift of faith. This faith was nourished not only through his relationships with friends and family (including now sixteen nieces and nephews), but through reading, retreats, the arts, nature and the wonderful gift of silence where one may be more open to God's presence in the deepest part of one's being.

While working in the legal field of a large company, Kevin's desire to deepen and channel his faith more fully, led to his studies for a Masters Degree in Theology at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington. It is there that he encountered people serving as hospital/hospice chaplains, which was the God-directed impetus toward additional studies which led to his present position at Good Samaritan.

Kevin feels especially blessed to be a member of the Palliative Care Team in the hospital. It is this team approach that is so appealing, as one should always approach people in the fullness of their humanity. Serving in this capacity is a sacred privilege that is humbling, but also keeps one grounded in the mystery and meaning of human life.

To serve God's people at probably the most vulnerable time in their lives is a constant reminder of the sacredness of each life, made in "the image and likeness of God." Our stance with each person we serve should echo the beautiful Eucharistic imagery contained in the following  words of Henri Nouwen:  "We are broken and blessed and given as bread for the world."

 Jenifer Scheer, LMSW

Jennifer Scheer has been the Social Work Supervisor at Good Samaritan Hospital since 2015. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Social Welfare at the University of Albany, SUNY. She went on to earn her masters degree in Social Welfare with a specialization in healthcare from Stony Brook University. Jennifer earned her LMSW in 2008. Jennifer has spent her career working in the healthcare industry working at community and tertiary care hospitals. She is a Certified Alzheimer/Dementia Care Specialist. Jennifer has completed intensive training on Cultural Competency and Health Literacy and is a certified trainer through the Suffolk Care Collaborative.

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