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26 ſ Health + Hospitals Doctors Recognized for Outstanding Patient Care at Annual Doctors’ Day Celebration

Doctors across the health system are nominated by their Chief Medical Officer for the recognition

May 07, 2024

ſ Health + Hospitals Chief Medical Officer Dr. Machelle Allen and the 2024 Doctors’ Day honorees

New York, NY — ſ Health + Hospitals today celebrated its Doctors’ Day and the 26 doctors recognized for their outstanding patient care. This year, for the first time, ſ Health + Hospitals is honoring three physicians at their new Gotham Health Centers of Excellence, which provide Long COVID services, as well as primary care services. The doctors were nominated by their facility’s Chief Medical Officer to qualify for the achievement. This year’s honorees include pediatricians, primary care doctors, emergency department physicians, an oncologist, a pathologist, a neurologist, an HIV specialist, an optometrist, and others. They come from a diverse array of nations such as Ukraine, Nigeria, China, Burma, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Haiti, India, and Pakistan. Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Machelle Allen joined staff at The View at Battery Park to recognize outstanding doctors in the nation’s largest municipal health system. Biographies of the 26 doctors recognized in this year’s event are available here.

“Today’s honorees state that it is a privilege and an honor to serve our patients. However, it is my privilege and honor to work with our providers,” said ſ Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD. “This year’s recipients mirror the diversity of our patients, coming from nations around the world and speaking a wide range of languages. They showcase the commitment to excellence and achievement we see across our health system.”

Dr. Gail T. Prado, one of this year’s Doctors Day awardees, in the lab at ſ Health + Hospitals/Woodhull

Honorees include the following:

  • Dr. Sara Rostanski has led the Department of Neurology’s stroke program at ſ Health + Hospitals/Bellevue since 2018. Under her leadership, the program developed a neuro-ICU for complex stroke patients as well as an advanced outpatient clinic – two of the advances that have made Bellevue the only ſ Health + Hospitals facility, and one of the few public hospitals in the country, certified by The Joint Commission as a comprehensive stroke center.

    “My goal was to build a world-class stroke center at Bellevue,” said Dr. Rostanski. “Flash forward six years, and after a lot of hard work with a dedicated multidisciplinary team and a tremendously supportive hospital administration, we obtained The Joint Commission certification. It was a validation of the high-quality stroke care we provide at Bellevue for patients throughout the health system.”
  • Dr. Cheryl Smith has been one of New York City’s most dedicated HIV doctors for more than 30 years – not only serving the medical needs of those with HIV but advocating for critical social supports and helping lead the state’s education and prevention efforts. Since 2014, she has brought that expertise to ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Sydenham. At Sydenham, she has about 150 HIV patients and virtually all are on antiretroviral therapy that keeps viral loads undetectable for most. Since 2008, Dr. Smith has also been an associate medical director at the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute, where she founded and directs a program that uses digital technology to improve education and communication about HIV and epidemics.

    “[Caring for patients with HIV] was just something that my heart gravitated to,” said Dr. Smith. Now that patients mostly have their viral loads suppressed, her focus the focus of care has largely shifted from patients’ physical health to the hardships they face beyond their disease, like housing. “The psycho-social determinants of health are tremendously important in every disease but they are particularly and critically important with HIV.”
  • Dr. Boris Mashalov helped develop an adolescent clinic in his role as an attending physician at ſ Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. It addresses issues like sexual health including pregnancy, mental health, and weight management. Among his proudest accomplishments is the successful implementation of the Adolescent Immunization Project, which resulted in 90 percent of North Central Bronx adolescent patients being fully immunized— roughly double the national average of 45 percent.

    “The whole vision of our adolescent clinic at the beginning is to make it like a home — a safe harbor,” said Dr. Mashalov. “Many of our adolescent patients might not share with their parents when they’re in trouble, so we want to be a place where you always can come to us. If you’re available and you’re there for them, they start trusting you.”
Dr. Polina Gilchyonok, one of this year’s Doctors Day awardees, speaking to a resident at ſ Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur skilled nursing facility

Here is the full list of ſ Health + Hospitals Doctors’ Day 2024 Award recipients:


ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis
Winifred O. Egbuna, MD
Attending Physician

ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Morrisania
Teresa Polito, MD
Attending Physician, Pediatrics

ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Tremont
Wilmer J. Petite, MD
Attending Physician, Cardiology

ſ Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
Robert Faillace, MD
Chief of Medicine

ſ Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
Attending Physician, Pediatric Emergency Medicine

ſ Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
Boris M. Mashalov, MD
Attending Physician, Pediatrics

Dr. Julia Mai, one of this year’s Doctors Day awardees, conducting an eye exam at ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland


ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Broadway
Abimbola Oduguwa, MD
Attending Physician, Pediatrics

ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland
Julia Mai, OD, FAAO

ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York
Maqsoodur Rahman, MD
Attending Physician

ſ Health + Hospitals/Kings County
Selwena R. Brewster, MD, MBA
Associate Chief Medical Officer 

ſ Health + Hospitals/McKinney
Lisel M. Hope, MD, MPH, FACE
Attending Physician

ſ Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health
Eleonora Akker, DO, FACP
Director of Medical Education
Program Director of Transitional Year
Associate Program Director of Internal Medicine Residency

ſ Health + Hospitals/Woodhull
Gail T. Prado, MD
Attending Physician, Pathology


ſ Health + Hospitals/Bellevue
Sara K. Rostanski, MD
Associate Chief of Neurology

ſ Health + Hospitals/Carter
Prem C. Srivastava, MD
Attending Physician

ſ Health + Hospitals/Coler
Nazma A. Hossain, MD
Attending Physician

ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur
Fontine Zhang, MD
Attending Physician

ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Sydenham
Cheryl A. Smith, MD
Attending Physician

ſ Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur
Polina Gilchyonok, MD
Chief of Service, Subacute Rehabilitation

ſ Health + Hospitals/Harlem
Umesh Paudel, MD
Chief, Division of Neonatology

ſ Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan
Mahrukh Bamji, MD
Chair of Pediatrics

Dr. Umesh Paudel, one of this year’s Doctors Day awardees, caring for a neonatal patient at ſ Health + Hospitals/Harlem


ſ Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Roosevelt
Ei Khine Moe, MD
Primary Care Physician

ſ Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
Barbara M. Dilos, DO
Director of Anesthesia

ſ Health + Hospitals/Queens
William X. Li, MD, M.Sc
Director of Radiation Oncology


ſ Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services
Jean Liautaud, MD, CCHP
Assistant Chief of Service, Medicine

ſ Health + Hospitals/Simulation Center
Zachary A. Blankenship, MD
Clinical Education Director



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About ſ Health + Hospitals
ſ Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on , , and .