People in the News

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (NYCBS) welcomes new additions to the oncology team:

Alfredo Torres, MD, will practice at the Port Jefferson, Setauket and Smithtown locations.

Alfredo Torres, MD

Dr. Torres is a third-generation physician in his family and knew early on that medicine was his passion.

A native of Venezuela, he credits the skills he has developed to limited access to medical resources.

“I grew up in a country filled with opportunities and hope. There were highly professional and skillful physicians, but Venezuela always experienced scarcity in medical technology, diagnostic resources and infrastructure,” Dr. Torres says. “I had to rely purely on clinical diagnosis to provide the right medical care for my patients.”

Dr. Torres attended medical school at Universidad de Carabobo, where he was a research assistant investigating immunology. He came to the United States because of its innovations in hematology-oncology. “I believe that my training and now practicing as a physician specialized in these fields in the U.S. made me better as I combined a hands-on clinical base with world-class medical research and technology,” he says.

Dr. Torres experienced his own heartbreak with cancer: his grandmother passing from colon cancer and his grandfather from leukemia.

“This has allowed me to empathize with my patients, truly relate to their diagnosis, and become an ally in their journey to finding a cure and/or improving their quality of life,” he says. He believes that each patient and diagnosis is different, and providing holistic support is needed for diagnosis and treatment.

While residing in Venezuela, Dr. Torres was a volunteer for the Funcamama-Breast Cancer Foundation and Fundación de Niños con VIH.

In the U.S., Dr. Torres completed his residency and fellowship at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he was awarded best poster presentation of ACP Journal Club presentations. He was also the grant recipient from the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation for Use of Virtual Reality to decrease chemotherapy-associated anxiety, symptom distress, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

Nicole Carreau, MD

Nicole Carreau, MD, will practice at 12 E. 86th St., Central Park. Studying medicine has been Dr. Carreau’s passion, and she was inspired to pursue it. “I was always interested in science, and I wanted to build a career in which I could make a difference in people’s lives every day,” she says.

Dr. Carreau’s research in both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients included leading a team of investigators across 17 centers in the U.S. and Canada. Her research could allow patients who were previously considered transplant-ineligible to become candidates for the procedure, resulting in longer-lasting remissions. “There are so many subtypes of lymphoma, each of which behaves differently. It affects people of all ages and both genders,” Dr. Carreau says.

She credits her experience from practicing at three locations: Perlmutter Cancer Center, Bellevue Hospital and the Manhattan VA Medical Center.

Dr. Carreau also credits her skills and expertise developed during college and medical school. At the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, she attained several honors, including the Carl F. Hinz Jr. Scholars in Medicine Award.

During her residency at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Carreau was the recipient of the Student Teaching Award and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award. As Chief Fellow at New York University, Dr. Carreau received the ASH Abstract Achievement Award.

Robert Hendler, MD, will practice at the Smithtown and Setauket locations. After seeing both of his parents working in the medical field, Dr. Hendler was inspired to become a physician.

Robert Hendler, MD

“They were role models for me. I have seen how hard they worked and how happy they were helping others,” he says. “I realized that I got the same satisfaction from the challenge and service of medicine.”

His time in school cemented the foundation on which he developed his skills and expertise. “During my education and formal training, I have met and worked with patients from many different backgrounds. I have found that everyone you meet has something to teach you, and there is always more to learn,” Dr. Hendler says.

He earned his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine. He then completed his residency and fellowship at Stony Brook University Hospital. In 2015, he was awarded best resident/fellow poster at the 4th Annual Partners in Quality and Patient Safety Day. As Chief Fellow at Stony Brook Hospital, Dr. Hendler represented fellows’ interests to faculty and administration.

Dr. Hendler’s interests include lung cancer and melanoma.

“In recent years, revolutionary steps have been made in how we treat these and many other types of cancers,” he says. “It has been fascinating for physicians and great news for our patients.”

Dr. Hendler is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology.

Nakul Singhal, MD, will be accepting new patients at the Bayside and New Hyde Park locations. Dr. Singhal notes that being a physician allows him to combine his interest in science with his love for helping other people.

Nakul Singhal, MD

“The oncology field is fascinating, with emerging therapies such as immunotherapy, CAR-T therapy and targeted therapy,” Dr. Singhal says. “I look forward to being part of the change in the coming years.”

He attributes the skills he has developed to being well-versed in hematology and oncology.

“I found myself drawn to not only the complexity behind hematology and oncology patients but also to the amount of creativity and empathy required to take care of each individual patient,” Dr. Singhal says. “It was a perfect fit.”

He earned his medical degree from the University of Toledo College of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Singhal completed his residency at North Shore LIJ-Lenox Hill Hospital followed by one year of internal medicine at Mount Sinai. As Chief Fellow at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 2015, Dr. Singhal developed a learning curriculum for fellows and led many teaching conferences. Prior to joining NYCBS, Dr. Singhal practiced at Hackensack Meridian Health and Atlantic Hematology Oncology Associates LLC in New Jersey.

NYCBS welcomes the knowledge and skills that Dr. Singhal has to offer our practice.

“I will bring the most personalized treatment plan for patients at NYCBS so they receive the most effective treatments possible,” Dr. Singhal says. “This is an amazing opportunity with New York Cancer & Blood Specialists’ growth and innovations in cancer treatment.”

The United Hospital Fund (UHF) honored Catholic Health Services’ (CHS) Kimon Bekelis, MD, System Chair of Neurointerventional Services, at its inaugural Tribute to Excellence in Health Care event. UHF recognized Dr. Bekelis and other healthcare leaders for their efforts to champion quality of care, patient safety and patient experience.

Hospitals and long-term-care institutions were invited to identify one individual at each site who demonstrated vision and accomplishment in improving quality of care. Each of the honorees received the Excellence in Health Care Award at a luncheon held in Manhattan in May.

Dr. Bekelis, a neurosurgeon with subspecialty training in minimally invasive endovascular neurosurgery, specializes in complex brain/spine operations.

In addition to his CHS role, he is the Director of the Stroke & Brain Aneurysm Center of Long Island, based at CHS’s Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center — the only Joint Commission Designated Comprehensive Stroke Center on the south shore of Long Island. Dr. Bekelis is Co-Director of the Neurointensive Care Unit at Good Samaritan, an Assistant Professor at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and Director of the Population Health Research Institute of New York. A talented researcher, he has led several projects focusing on outcome-predictive modeling, comparative effectiveness, resource utilization, regional disparities, diffusion of innovation, intensity of care, workforce allocation, medico-legal issues and cost.

“The tribute is both a celebration of personal leadership and an occasion to amplify and elevate the vital work underway to make our healthcare system more patient-centered, safe and effective,” UHF President Anthony Shih, MD, MPH, says.

Some 500 colleagues and healthcare leaders and supporters attended the awards program and lunch.

United Hospital Fund President Anthony Shih MD, MPH, and Catholic Health Services’ Chair of Neurointerventional Services
Kimon Bekelis, MD
Photo © UHF