Meet Our Faculty!

Thank you for your interest in Fitchburg Family Medicine.  Feel free to contact any of our faculty any time to learn more!

You can also read more about the personal biographies of faculty members who have been interviewed in our residency newsletters!

 
apo  

Nicholas Apostoleris, PhD
Fitchburg Residency Behavioral Science Director
Associate Residency Director and Division Chief
Assistant Professor
Nicholas.Apostoleris@umassmed.edu
Worcester State Hospital/UMass Medical School, Dept. of Psychiatry Internship, 1999
Clark University, Clinical Psychology Ph.D., 2000
UMass Medical School Fellowship, Primary Care Clinical Psychology, 2001
Areas of Interest and Research: Dr. Apostoleris teaches research methodology and behavioral science, consults with medical providers, provides direct patient care,and supervises the program's post-doctoral fellowship in Primary Care Psychology. Areas of clinical interest include substance abuse and dual diagnosis issues, severe psychopathology, and child assessment. Areas of research interest include intrinsic motivation, home education, and psychological factors related to health outcomes.

     
Margarita  

Margarita Castro-Zarraga, MD
Assistant Professor
Margarita.Castro-Zarraga@umassmemorial.org
The Brooklyn Hospital Center (Residency)
College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila
Professional Affiliations: American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Heart Association
Areas of Interest and Research: Adult congenital heart disease, female sexual dysfunction, herbal medicine, meditation, raw food vitamins, student education in family medicine
About UMass: "UMass has given me the opportunity to practice academic full-spectrum family medicine in the service of an underserved population. It is an honor to be working along side such gifted and genuine professionals. When you find the job that gets you up and excited in the morning, that is the greatest blessing."
Personal Facts: "I had a stint as a movie jockey on a local cable channel over one summer when I was a teenager…I learned Vipassana meditation, essentially "body scanning" --- helps me discipline my mind and deal with stress."

     
 newfelix  

Felix Chang, MD
Assistant Professor and Inpatient Service Director
Felix.Chang2@umassmemorial.org
Guayaquil University School of Medicine in Ecuador, 1986
UMass Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency, 2006
Areas of Interest and Research: Dr. Chang completed his training at the Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency Program in 2006. He remains on faculty at the Residency. He serves a Latin outreach program at the Leominster FHC. As director of the residency's Family Medicine Inpatient Service, Dr. Chang supervises morning report and rounds and lectures frequently on topics related to inpatient medicine, maternity and pediatrics. Dr. Chang is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

     
Devito  

Cheryl DiVito, DO
Osteopathic Program Director
Cheryl.DiVito@umassmemorial.org
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2002
University of Massachusetts Family Medicine Residency Program, Fitchburg, MA, 2005
Areas of Interest and Research: Dr. DiVito completed her training at the Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency Program in September, 2005. She remains on the faculty at the residency. Dr. DiVito directs the osteopathic residency and also directs the maternity curriculum.

     
new Led  

James J. Ledwith, MD, FAAFP
Residency Director and Assistant Professor
James.Ledwith@umassmemorial.org
College of William and Mary, 1979
Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, MD, 1983
Family Practice Residency at The Toledo Hospital, OH, 1986
Areas of Interest and Research: Clinical interests include chronic disease management, preventive services, obesity, substance abuse and suboxone therapy. I love delivering babies! Practice-based research interests include patient safety and care improvement.
Hometown: Numerous homes in my youth in MA, NJ, and PA, but Tappahannock, VA became hometown for me and my children. I am currently settled in Franklin, MA. 
About UMass Fitchburg:  "After 19 years of clinical practice before coming to UMass, I maintain a passion for community service and for the care of patients with a focus on health maintenance and systems implementation to enhance safe, accessible, comprehensive service. When I made the move to UMass, I shopped for a residency that was community-oriented and expressed care for its members, patients and staff like family. I found what I was looking for in Fitchburg!" 
Personal Facts: "My wife Lauren keeps my life in balance and my three children keep me active. Hobbies (often conflicting) include good food, reading, fitness, visiting the Cape, and protecting my home from the enthusiastic exploration of our new lab pup, Cassie. One day, with no kids' sports and school events, and with house renovations completed, I'll dust off my golf clubs or perhaps join another medical mission team."
Community Involvement: Dr. Ledwith also serves as the Medical Director of the Epworth Free Clinic in Worcester.

     
new McC  

Peter C. McConarty, MD
Associate Professor, FMCH, University of Massachusetts Medical School 
Peter.McConarty2@umassmemorial.org
Harvard College, 1969
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 1973
University of California San Francisco General, Residency, 1976
Areas of Interest and Research: Diabetes, care of underserved populations, collaborative primary care, assisting patients in behavior change, care of chronic disease, furthering the demise of the current non-system of healthcare
Hometown: Easton, MA
About UMass Fitchburg: "Fitchburg is a manageable size, has enormous unmet medical need, a very involved and supportive medical community and a Community Health Center committed to being part of the solution."
Why Family Medicine? "Family Medicine represented the last, best hope for reform of a dysfunctional medical delivery system when I chose a residency in 1973, and it still does today."
Community Involvement: Member, Physicians of a National Health program; Campaign worker for President Barack Obama, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Mass Governor Deval Patrick, Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong and candidate John Kerry.

     
pass   

Abhijeet A. Patil, MD, MS
Associate Residency Director
Assistant Professor
Abhijeet.Patil@umassmemorial.org
Fellowship, Geriatric Medicine, University Of Massachusetts, Worcester, MA 
Residency, Family Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN
Master of Science, Exercise and Sports Studies and Sports Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, OH
Grant Medical College, Mumbai, MH, India
Professional Affiliations: American Academy of Family Physicians, American Geriatrics Society, Massachusetts Medical Society
Areas of Interest and Research: 1. Impassioned advocate for improvement of quality of life of the elderly population, through evidence based and compassionate geriatric medicine. 2. Global health: Social determinants of health and its impact on the health and provision of high qualiy health care to the vulnerable 3. Helping patients and families in complex decision making in heath care
4. Patient and community empowerment 5. e-health & m-Health. 6. Chronic disease management with an interdisciplinary and integrated approach.
About UMass Fitchburg: A wonderful place for quality health care education for professionals and health care provisions for patients. One of the few places where patient centered care is at the core of its vision.
Personal Facts: I believe in, ‘Change the Man In The Mirror, to Change The World for Better’ and follow Sir Rudolf Virchow’s philosophy; ‘The physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor and it's their obligation to point out problems and to attempt their theoretical solutions’. I am a founder of ‘i-PACE’ (i-Partners in All Inclusive Community Empowerment), a NGO in India, working for Education, Health and Environment for All! I am also an avid badminton and cricket player, and I love to paint!

 

 

 
feature Michele  

Michele P. Pugnaire, MD
Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health
Vice Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, UMass Medical School

Areas of Interest and Research:
Dr. Pugnaire is responsible for providing leadership for curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation in undergraduate medical education. She has served as Associate Dean for Admissions and Assistant Dean for Student Advising. During the past 15 years, Dr. Pugnaire has served in a variety of administrative and teaching positions in the Department of Family Medicine, and is currently Project Director for the Macy Initiative in Health Communication grant at UMass Medical School as well as Principal Investigator for the Pfizer Sexual Health in Undergraduate Medical School Curricula and AAMC/John A. Hartford Foundation Enhancing Gerontology and Geriatrics Medicine Education in Undergraduate Medical Education grants.

Her education interests and achievements include faculty development in student advising, technology in teaching, the McQ Standardized Family curriculum, and the expansion of the standardized family across three clerkships as the principal investigator for a UME 21 Associate Partnership grant. Dr. Pugnaire is the recipient of numerous teaching awards and maintains a community-based clinical practice in family medicine with the UMass Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency Program.