Meet Our Faculty!


Rebecca Blumhofer, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor

Wheaton College, 2004
Boston University School of Medicine, 2010
Boston University School of Public Health, 2006
UMass Worcester Family Medicine Residency, 2013
Professional Associations: AAFP
Areas of Interest: Adolescent Health, Women’s Health, Maternal Child Health


Philip Bolduc, MD
Assistant Professor
Fellowship Director, Community-Based HIV and Viral Hepatitis Fellowship
Brown University, BS in Electrical Engineering
University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2000
Lawrence Family Medicine Residency, 2003
Professional Affiliation: American Academy of HIV Medicine, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
Areas of Interest and Research: HIV, Hepatitis C, addiction and chronic pain
About Family Health Center: Family Health Center serves a vibrant, diverse, challenging and inspiring patient population.  It has become my “medical home” and it is an honor to work here among so many talented colleagues.  HIV medicine is an ever-evolving blend of scientific and psychosocial challenges that I find both stimulating and rewarding.
Personal Facts: I am a Worcester native and a former electrical engineer who worked on solar photovoltaic system R&D before going to medical school.  I live in the city and participate in civic life in different ways, and am always impressed with the people I meet in different arenas who are working to make Worcester a great community.



Lucy Candib, MD
Radcliffe College, 1968
Harvard Medical School, M.D., 1972
Residency: 1972-1973 Rotating internship Cambridge City Hospital
1974-1976 Worcester City Hospital/Umass Family Practice Residency
Areas of Interest and Research: Woman-centered care, pregnancy and birth, and throughout the lifecycle; Empowering care of chronic illness, esp. diabetes; Violence and victimization of children and adults, and the aftermath; Culture, immigration, refugees, asylum. Author of Medicine and the Family: A Feminist Perspective (Basic, 1995) Co-author (with Sara Shields, MD) of Woman-Centered Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (Radcliffe, 2010.)
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY/Danby, Vermont
About Family Health Center: Diversity of staff, patients, cultures, illnesses at a health center with a wide variety of services. Commitment to high quality care linked with training programs (MDs, NPs, social workers, dental residents) all in a setting dedicated to the underserved. Academic faculty with ongoing research interests relevant to our population (conveying prevention to low literacy patients; health care for homeless families; breast feeding practices among low income women; Centering Pregnancy, and many others.) Faculty with strongly evidence-based approaches and broad reading interests, always questioning, many of whom have practiced for years at the health center and have deep understanding of relationships with patients. Integration into medical care of mental health services, nutrition and health education services for multi-lingual populations. Residents graduate with diverse competencies and skills to go on learning—and many continue in health centers elsewhere.
Why Family Medicine? It was 1972. I knew I wanted to take care of women; within 2 months into my rotating internship I knew I wanted to take care of infants and children, too. Then I found out I liked working with adults, helping untangle the confusing symptoms from mind and body. I read Michael Balint and learned that the doctor plays a role in how the patient’s illness gets constructed. The only people who were talking about all this, who could link it all together, who saw that family relationships were central to health and sickness, who were critical of medical care as it was then—-were the people starting family practice residencies. I signed on as one of the first residents in this program. I was not disappointed!
Personal Facts: I live on 10 acres on a pond within the Worcester city limits and sometimes bike to work on a recumbent bike. I am working on a book possibly titled “It Runs in the Family” about diabetes and depression in my family of origin.



Lisa Carter, MD
Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.D., 1999
Family Practice Residency: Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, 2003
Basic Clinical Pastoral Education (chaplaincy program), UNC, 1997
Masters of Public Health in Maternal/Child Health, UNC, 1998
Areas of Interest and Research: Psychiatry, Underserved Medicine
About Family Health Center: I feel very blessed to have meaningful work that engages both mind and heart. At Family Health Center of Worcester I feel that I am part of a vibrant, thriving team that provides comprehensive services to patients and deeply impacts their lives. I have delightful colleagues and I love working with the residents. I think residents see me as a role model for balancing professional and personal life, which is something we all struggle with in underserved medicine, and I enjoy helping them plan for balanced lives and careers. I truly love my job.


Sara Casey, DO
Assistant Professor
Providence College
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2011
Residency: UMass Worcester Family Medicine Residency, 2014
Areas of Interest: Women’s health and public health



Harmony Caton, MD MPH
Director FHCW Chronic Pain Program
Director FHCW Office Based Opioid Treatment Program
University of New Hampshire, BS in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, 1995
Boston University School of Public Health, MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 1998
University of Virginia School of Medicine, MD, 2010
Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency, 2014
Areas of Interest: Addiction Medicine, Healthcare for the Homeless, Refugee Health
Personal Facts: Love to bake, knit, hike, travel, and practice yoga.



Warren Ferguson, MD
Professor and Department Vice Chair
Director of Academic Programs, Health and Criminal Justice Programs
at UMass Medical School
University of Massachusetts, Amherst; B.S, Biochemistry, Summa Cum Laude
Boston University School of Medicine, M.D.
Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency
Areas of Interest and Research: Health Equity and Health Disparities, Primary Care Workforce; Health Policy for Vulnerable Populations
Hometown: Medford, MA
About Family Health Center: I have been practicing at the Family Health Center of Worcester (Queen Street) for 26 years and was the medical director for ten of those years. The health center serves a very diverse population, racially, ethnically and socioeconomically. I love practicing and teaching at the health center because I learn something new every day. The faculty are superb clinicians and teachers who are committed to caring for the underserved and training the future family physicians for community health centers and other underserved sites.
Why Family Medicine? I knew I would become a family physician by the middle of my first year of medical school despite the fact that only 6 of my 150 student class went into this specialty. I fell in love with the concept of whole person and family oriented care. Unquestionably, family physicians are best prepared to integrate management of medical and behavioral health issues.
Personal Facts: I enjoy gardening, hiking in the woods and good spy novels. 


Shelby Lee Freed, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner Residency Director
& Faculty Instructor UMass Medical School

Family Health Center of Worcester Nurse Practitioner Residency Program, 2012
MGH Institute of Health Professions, BSN, MSN
Fairfield University, BA
Areas of Interest and Research: Community Health & Underserved Medicine, Nurse Practitioner Residency Programs, Inter-professional Education & Wilderness Medicine
About UMass: Once Family Nurse Practitioner Resident at Family Health Center of Worcester, now Director of the program, I have shared a wonderful experience and inter-professional relationship with the UMass Medical School and its residents. I am passionate about educating all providers (NP, MD, DO, Dental, Mental Health, Opthomology, etc.) to help them work together to improve the health of the underserved population across the country.
Personal Facts:  have a strong interest in the Pacific Northwest, backcountry wilderness and medicine that applies. I am an avid runner, hiker, skiier and eater. I love the mountains, food and my pup!


Melanie Gnazzo, MD
University of Rochester Family Medicine Residency
University of Connecticut
Professional Affiliations: AAFP
Areas of Interest and Research: Immigrant and Refugee care, women’s health including maternity care, office procedures
About Family Health Center: I am excited to be a part of the UMass community. The physicians I work with are excellent clinicians and educators. The other staff work hard to make sure patients are cared for appropriately. Everyone really strives to provide the best care to all patients, particularly those in the greatest need
Personal Facts: I enjoy spending time with my family hiking, exploring small towns and having quiet dinners with family and friends


Lisa S. Gussak, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Assistant Director of Perinatal Services
Tufts University
University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 1994
St Paul Ramsey Medical Center, 1997 (St. Paul, MN)
Professional Affiliations: STFM
Areas of Interest and Research: Teaching and learning in medicine, Women’s Health, OB
Personal Facts: Will travel for new or delicious food. I am seriously addicted to thrift and consignment stores. I love storytelling and podcasts. 


Tracy Kedian, MD
Associate Professor
UMass Worcester Family Medicine Residency, 1999
University of Massachusetts Medical School, 1996
McGill University
Areas of Interest and Research: Clinical interest in care of the underserved, women’s health obstetrics and colposcopy. Academic interest in medical education. Research in assisting learners in academic difficulty.
Hometown: Plymouth, MA
About Family Health Center: UMass is an inclusive, energetic community of family physicians with a mission of caring for patients who truly need it, teaching learners with compassion and dedication and performing research to make people’s lives better. I believe in our department and our work. There is no where else I would rather be.
Why Family Medicine? I am a family doctor because I love being “in the room”. The human connection with your patients combined with the constant intellectual challenge makes this the most exciting and rewarding field of medicine.
Personal Facts: I speak four languages and love to travel.


Hannah Melnitsky, MD
Assistant Professor
Director of Women's Health Education, UMass Worcester Family Medicine Residency
Family Medicine Residency with Maternal Child Health Fellowship at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, TX
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Professional Affiliations: AAFP
Areas of Interest and Research: Women’s Health and obstetrics, general family medicine
Personal Facts: Multiple publications, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador and speak fluent Spanish


Jennifer Jo Averill Moffitt, RN, CNM, MSN
Perinatal Services Manager
Family Health Center
Tufts University, BA Child Development, 1995
Fulbright, Kingston, Jamaica 1995-1996
UCSF, Master's in Nurse Midwifery, 2003
Areas of Interest and Research: Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) with Community Health Center Populations, PTSD in Pregnancy, Health Disparities, LGBT health, Reproductive Choice, Labor Support
About Family Health Center: The first day that I interviewed at Family Health, I knew I wanted to work here forever. I wanted to join the people who were providing state-of-the-art, high-quality, culturally competent, comprehensive prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, and interconception care to traditionally underserved pregnant and postpartum women and their families, and I wanted to help train future MDs, NPs, and CNMs to do the same. At Family Health we actively work toward the goal of reducing of infant mortality and minimizing health disparities in Worcester. We offer traditional prenatal and postpartum care, as well as Centering Pregnancy group prenatal care and Well Mother/Well Baby groups. Every week, our OB audit ensures that all of our providers are meeting standards of quality care, including those that are measured by the national IMPLICIT network (Interventions to Minimize Preterm and Low birth weight Infants through Continuous Improvement Techniques). It is an honor to be part of this time of transition in a woman's life, and we strive to make it a time in which she is able to recognize her own strengths, a time of growth in the face of challenges, a time in which her self-efficacy and overall health can be maximized. We aim to provide respectful and compassionate care to all, regardless of ability to pay, regardless of how a woman defines her family, regardless of what choices she makes for her life.
Personal Facts: Favorite activites: Running, reading and playing outside with my kids, cooking spicy food, having dates with my partner, and writing poetry.


Laura I. Petras, MD
Assistant Professor
Site Director, Southbridge Office
Connecticut College, BA 2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School, MD, 2009
Residency: University of Virginia Health System Family Medicine Residency, 2012
Areas of Interest: Underserved populations, refugee health, global health, women's health, procedures, adolescent medicine.
Personal Facts: I was born and raised in Worcester, MA. I met my husband in the Philippines while doing a Henry Luce Fellowship at a Family Health Center. We have 2 amazing children and love traveling and staying active as a family.





Claudeleedy Pierre, MD
Assistant Professor
Brown University
Brown University Alpert Medical School
Boston University Family Medicine Residency
Greater Lawrence Family Medicine OB Fellowship
Areas of Interest & Research: Maternal Child Health, Underserved Communities/Populations, Diabetes, Teaching, & Team Approach to Health Care


 Valerie Pietry, MD, MS
 Assistant Professor
 Dartmouth Medical School, M.D., 1989
 Residency: Brown University Family Medicine Residency, 1992
 Areas of Interest and Research: Behavioral pediatrics, Attention Deficit Disorder; Community-Oriented Primary Care, Spirituality and Health
 About Family Health Center: The residents in this program are very motivated to give the best care they can for each patient. I enjoy the interactions with residents that lead to my learning more, which can be applied to my own  practice of medicine. I appreciate getting to know the residents as they come through our site. 



Melissa Rathmell, MD
Assistant Professor

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, S.B. Computer Science
University of Massachusetts, M.D., 1999
Residency: UMass/Barre, 2002
Areas of Interest and Research: Integrative Medicine, Women's Health, Procedures, Teaching
Why Family Medicine? I started my career as a software engineer and worked part time as an EMT and then a paramedic as a hobby. Over the years I found that I enjoyed the medical aspects of my life more than the engineering, and so I decided to take the plunge and go to medical school. Then, after practicing Family Medicine for a few years, I realized that Western medicine had little to offer many patients. I started looking into non-Western therapies and have become an Integrative Medicine Practitioner. I am currently a board-certified medical acupuncturist and am trained in basic osteopathic manipulation, clinical hypnosis and functional medicine. I am always adding new tools to my kit, so there may be more by the time you read this! I also love doing and teaching various dermatologic and gynecologic procedures.

Residency applicants can contact Dr. Rathmell through


Navid Roder MD

UMass Community-Based HIV and Viral Hepatitis Fellowship, 2015 
Umass Family Medicine Residency (Family Health Center of Worcester) 2014
University of Basel, Switzerland (2009)
Professional Affiliations: AAFP, AAHIVM
Areas of Interest and Research: HIV and Viral Hepatitis (Fellowship Trained), OB/Women’s health, LGBT Health, Resident and Faculty education
About Family Health Center: Joining the UMass community has been filled with amazing professional and personal opportunities for my family and me. I cannot imagine an environment that could have better helped foster my varied interests in medicine, and am proud to be a part of the community of providers that helped train me.
Personal Facts:  Before moving to Worcester I hadn’t stayed in one place longer than one year for 12 years. I love learning languages, and hope to continue to do so. Aside from medicine I enjoy learning new instruments (most recently banjo and ukulele), and now have the “Pearl music hour” where we play up to 5 different instruments for our baby Pearl every evening. 

    Rola Saab, MD
Assistant Professor


Amber Sarkar, MD

University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Ben Gurion University Medical School for International Health 2010
Residency: UMass Family Medicine Residency (Family Health Center of Worcester)
Professional Affiliations: Kraft Practitioner Program in Community Health
Areas of Interest and Research: Underserved Medicine, Community Medicine, Global Health



Sara G. Shields, MD, MS
Associate Professor
Harvard University, A.B., 1984
University of California at San Francisco, M.D., 1989
Residency: University of Rochester, 1992
Maternal & Child Health Fellowship, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, 1994
Areas of Interest and Research: Maternity Care, Underserved Populations, Women's Health. Co-author (with Lucy Candib, MD) of Woman-Centered Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (Radcliffe, 2010.) I'm especially interested in breastfeeding and group prenatal care and how to teach residents to do groups.
About Family Health Center: When I'm able to be with residents attending one of their own patients' deliveries, I love encouraging the residents to discover and savor their unique longitudinal connections with laboring women and their families. This continuity during maternity care is what makes our role as family physicians so special and so important. Here at Family Health, we have such an incredible opportunity to serve a truly multicultural perinatal population with support systems that provide something unique and special to families otherwise so disempowered and disenfranchised in our society.
Personal Facts: My family loves pursuing New England's multi-season activities with kids (hiking, biking, camping, anything at Cape Cod, skiing and snowshoeing); in my nanoseconds of free time I enjoy reading novels, writing, knitting and sometimes coaching kids' soccer or teaching Sunday School.



Olga Valdman, MD
Director of the Global Health Track
UMass Medical School
Residency:  Lawrence Family Medicine Residency
Areas of Interest and Research: International Medicine, Maternal Child Health
About Family Health Center: I chose to come back to UMass after completing my residency because I missed the supportive and nurturing community that it is. Additionally, I truly missed Worcester as one of the most diverse (culturally, economically and racially) city I have ever lived in. Unlike New York and Boston where I had lived before, Worcester has the most sense of a mixed community which truly comes to life when you walk into the Family Health Center where I chose to come to. I walk into the building in the morning, look around and feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people from all over the world, hearing numerous languages spoken at the same time and being welcomed by our staff always ready to teach me about their community.
Personal Facts: Originally from Russia, I moved to the US at the age of 15. Being an immigrant myself, I have grown a deep interest and passion for working with immigrant and refugee populations, particularly in the underserved communities. While in medical school and residency, I was lucky to travel to several countries while learning about the local medical system and providing clinical services. In particular, I have travelled to Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Ghana, Ethiopia and Mexico. Back in Worcester, I co-founded an African Community Education program which works with children who are refugees from various African countries providing them with remedial education and psychosocial support; working with the African community in Worcester has been an amazing journey for me. In medicine, my biggest interests are Global Health and Maternal Child Health.


van duyne med 

Virginia Van Duyne, MD
Education Director at FHCW
Associate Residency Director
Assistant Professor
Gordon College
University of Vermont College of Medicine
Residency: UMass Worcester Family Medicine Residency Program, Family Health Center of Worcester site
Professional Affiliations: AAFP, STFM, National Health Service Corps 
Areas of Interest and Research: Maternal child health, interconception care, underserved communities, global health
Personal Facts: I grew up in the Worcester area and feel so fortunate to be dedicating my career to this community. I have the perfect balance of teaching, seeing patients and collaborating on projects in the inner city while living with my family in a farm town just outside.  

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