Our Team at Center for Weight and Wellness

Medical

Medical and Program Director, Center for Weight and Wellness

Vincent Pera, MD, is the director of the Center for Weight and Wellness. He helped establish the center more than 30 years ago, then called The Miriam Hospital Weight Management Program. He is a board-certified specialist in bariatric medicine and in his clinical career has treated more than 12,000 patients suffering from obesity and obesity-related medical conditions.

In addition to his clinical work in weight management, Dr. Pera has been involved in numerous research publications and has authored and co-authored research publications and textbook chapters. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Bariatric Medicine, and an assistant professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He has presented on the topic of obesity at regional and national obesity seminars and conferences.

Angela Simpson, MD, is a physician with the Center for Weight and Wellness, with specialized expertise in treating adolescents. She is board certified in internal medicine and has more than 15 years of experience practicing primary care medicine.

Richard Morgera, MD, is board certified in internal medicine. He is an assistant professor of family medicine (clinical) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Laura Henseler, MD, is a physician with the Center for Weight and Wellness. She is board certified in family medicine.

Wendy Fennelly, PA-C
Physician Assistant
Jean Capone, NP
Nurse Practitioner

Jean Marie Capone, FNP, is a family nurse practitioner at the Center for Weight and Wellness. She received her bachelor's degree in nursing at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. She received her master's degree in nursing from Boston College in 2012. She enjoys helping patients at the Center for Weight and Wellness on their journey to achieve their health goals.

Kerri Costa, RN
Nurse

Kerri E. Costa, RN, BSN, CDOE, is a nurse at the Center for Weight and Wellness. She holds bachelor’s degrees in nursing and exercise science and is a certified diabetes outpatient educator. She has worked in the health care field for more than 15 years.

Behavioral

Staff Psychologist, Lifespan Physician Group

Maria L. Buckley, PhD, is a psychologist at Lifespan Physician Group and a clinical associate professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Buckley provides individual and group behavioral treatment within cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and leads psychoeducational groups in The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Management Program. Dr. Buckley is a clinical supervisor within Brown University’s Clinical Psychology Internship Training Program and a fellow of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Recent Publications

Please visit http://research.brown.edu/myresearch/Maria_Buckley for a full list of Dr. Buckley's recent publications.

  • Busch, A. M., Scott-Sheldon, L. A., Pierce, J., Chattillion, E., Cunningham, K., Buckley, M. L. (2014). Depression Predicts Pulmonary Rehabilitation Completion among Women, but not Men. Respiratory Medicine, 108, 1007-1013. 
     
  • Busch, A. M., Leavens, E. L., Wagener, T. L., Buckley, M. L., Tooley, E. M. (2016). Prevalence, Reasons for Use, and Risk Perception of Electronic Cigarettes among Post-Acute Coronary Syndrome Smokers. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev, 36, 352-7.

  • ​Pack, Q.R., Bauldoff, G., Lichtman, S.W., Buckley, M., Eichenauer, K., Gavic, A., Garvey, C., King, M..L. (2018). Prioritization, development, and validation of American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation performance measures. Journal Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev, 38: 208-214.
     
  • ​Blackstock, F.C.,Lareau, S.C., Nici, L., ZuWallack, R., Bourbeau, G., Buckley, M. Durning, S., Effing, T.W., Egbert, E., Goldstein, R.S., Kelly, W., Lee, A., Meek, P. M., Singh, S. (2018). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Education in Pulmonary Rehabilitation. An Official American Thoracic Society/Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand/Canadian Thoracic Society/British Thoracic Society Workshop Report. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 15, 769-784.
     
  • ​Gathright, E.C., Busch, A.M, Buckley, M.L., Stabile, L., DeAngelis, J., Whited, M.C., & Wu, W. (In press). Improvements in depressive symptoms and affect during cardiac rehab: Predictors and potential mechanisms. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev.
     
  • Buckley, M., Eichenauer, K. (2018, in press). Ch. 5 Psychosocial Assessment and Intervention. Guidelines for Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs, 5th ed. American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, Inc.
Research Scientist

Ernestine Jennings, PhD provides individual treatment focused on activating health behavior change and coping with chronic illness. In addition, she leads weight management groups in The Miriam Hospital Weight Management Program. Dr. Jennings' research has focused on using behavioral interventions to improve physical and mental health in both apparently healthy and known disease populations. She is specifically interested in developing smoking cessation interventions for women. She is a research mentor within the Brown University Clinical Psychology Residency.

Contact Dr. Jennings

Email:  EJennings1@Lifespan.org

Staff Psychologist, Lifespan Physicians Group

Julie Morris, PhD is a staff psychologist at The Miriam Hospital, where she provides individual counseling in behavioral medicine focused on health behavior change, coping with chronic illness, management of chronic pain, and co-existing depression and anxiety. Dr. Morris provides clinical training within the Brown Clinical Psychology Residency.

Recent Publications

Moring, J.C., Bowen, A.M., Page, T., & Angiola, J.E. (2014). HIV in Rural Areas. In J.Warren & B. Smalley (Eds.), Rural Public Health: Best Practices and Preventive Models. New York, NY: Springer.

Ross, L.M., Moring, J.C., Angiola, J.E., & Bowen, A.M. (2014). The influence of sexual scripts and the “Better than Average” effect on condom responsibility. Journal of College Student Development, 55 (4):408-412.

Angiola, J.E., & Bowen, A.M. (2013). Improving quality of life in advanced cancer patients: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy view. The Counseling Psychologist, 41(2):313-335.

Sarah Ouellette, LICSW
Social Worker, Weight Management
Psychologist, Clinical Behavioral Medicine Service of the Immunology Center at The Miriam Hospital

Megan Pinkston-Camp, MA, PhD, received a master’s degree in health psychology from Appalachian State University and a PhD in clinical health psychology from the University of Missouri, and also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in HIV and substance use at the Alpert Medical School.

She pursues research and clinical work in the clinical behavioral medicine service of the immunology clinic of The Miriam Hospital. She provides evidence-based therapy to HIV-infected patients who struggle with mental illness, substance use, and behavioral medicine concerns. Her research interests include the exploration and development of effective interventions for the syndemics that surround substance use, HIV infection/HCV co-infection, mental illness, and behavioral medicine concerns.

Staff Psychologist, Lifespan Physicians Group

Anna Schierberl Scherr, PhD is a staff psychologist at The Miriam Hospital, where she provides individual counseling in behavioral medicine focused on emotional and binge eating, health behavior change, coping with chronic medical conditions, and co-existing depression and anxiety. In addition, she provides group weight management treatment in The Miriam Hospital's Weight Management Program. She provides clinical training within the Brown Clinical Psychology Residency.

Recent Publications

  • Schierberl Scherr, A., McClure Brenchley, K.J., & Gorin, A.A. (2013). Examining a ripple effect: Do spouses’ behavior changes affect each other’s weight loss? Journal of Obesity, 2013, 1-8.
     
  • Gorin A.A., Niemeier, H.M., & Schierberl Scherr, A. (2011). Binge eating in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. In: V. R. Preedy (Ed.), International Handbook of Behavior, Diet, and Nutrition. New York: Springer.
Norma Ann Faraone-Ledgard, PhD, LCMHC
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Norma Ann Faraone-Ledgard, PhD, LCMHC, CAGS, DCH, has worked as a licensed clinical mental health care provider for over 25 years. She graduated from Rhode Island College with her bachelor of science in health and physical education, followed by her master’s degree in health education and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in clinical mental health. She completed her double doctorate in clinical hypnotherapy from Pacific University in Honolulu. Her specialties are in neurofeedback, biofeedback and clinical hypnotherapy. 

Dietitian

Theresa Jerominek, MS, RD

Theresa Jerominek, MS, RD, CDOE, is a registered dietitian who has been working in the field of weight management for 28 years at The Miriam Hospital. She received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition from University of Rhode Island and her master’s degree from University of New Haven. She enjoys simplifying confusing nutrition information for the public and helping her patients achieve their long term health and wellness goals.

Katy MacQueen, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian

Katy MacQueen, MS, RD, CSOWM, CDOE, is a registered dietitian who has been working in the field of weight management for over six years. She completed her bachelor’s degree in nutrition at the University of Rhode Island and her master’s degree at Tufts University. She is a certified specialist in obesity and weight management and a certified diabetes outpatient educator. She enjoys simplifying nutrition for the public and helping her patients achieve their long-term health and wellness goals.

Nicole Tella, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian

Nicole Tella, MS, RD, LDN, is a registered dietitian at the Center for Weight and Wellness, where she leads nutrition groups and sees patients to provide nutrition support. She received her master’s degree in nutrition and completed the dietetic internship at the University of Rhode Island. She is a licensed dietitian-nutritionist in Rhode Island and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Mary Jane Euell, MA, RD
Registered Dietitian

Mary Jane Euell, MA, RD, LDN, CDOE, is a registered dietitian with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree in counseling from Rhode Island College. Euell maintains a private practice, has worked at Kent Hospital as a clinical dietitian and adjunct faculty at Johnson and Wales University in the Culinary Nutrition Department. She studied the obesity rates of Warwick, RI public school students in grades 1 to 12 and provided age-appropriate teaching modules on healthy nutrition. Euell has worked with teens and adults to provide medical nutrition therapy along with strategies for long-term success.

Exercise Physiologists

Arianna Collela, CSCS
Austin Cooper
Exercise Physiologist

Administration

Director, Partial Hospital Program and Adult Outpatient Psychiatry

Mark Zimmerman, MD received his medical degree from Chicago Medical School. He completed his postgraduate training at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Zimmerman is board certified in psychiatry and is professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. 

He is principal investigator of the Rhode Island Methods to Improve Diagnostic Assessment and Services (MIDAS) project. Dr. Zimmerman is the author of more than 300 articles and serves on the editorial board of 10 journals.

He is the author of the recently revised Interview Guide for Evaluating DSM-5 Psychiatric Disorders and the Mental Status Examination, a leading textbook for psychiatric diagnosis and assessment. 

Suzanne Moriarty, MSW, CPM
Director, Physician Practice, Lifespan Physician Group, Psychiatry, Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital
Brenda Katzanek
Practice Manager

Health Educator

Joanne DeCataldo, MA
Health Educator

Joanne DeCataldo is a health educator and group leader in the Master’s Program at the Center for Weight and Wellness. She provides clinical, educational, referral, and outreach services. She provides support for the maintenance of weight loss through specific behavioral strategies and education. She received her bachelor of science degree in exercise science and health and fitness from Bridgewater State University and her MA in holistic leadership and counseling from Salve Regina University.  She is also a certified yoga teacher and American College of Sports Medicine clinical exercise physiologist.