Our Team at the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology

Our multidisciplinary team consists of seven pediatric gastroenterologists trained in every aspect of pediatric gastroenterology including nutrition and liver diseases. The team also consists of registered nurses, a pediatric nurse practitioner, registered dietitians, child psychologists, child life specialists, social workers, occupational therapists and speech pathologists. We also offer a pediatric feeding team.

 

Clinicians

Director, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nutrition & Liver Diseases

Neal Leleiko, MD, PhD is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Medical Director, Pediatric GI Feeding Program

Dr. Cerezo is a pediatric gastroenterologist and is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Dr. Herzlinger is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Dr. Kasper is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Director of Pediatric Endoscopy

Dr. Ross is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Dr. Shalon is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Dr. Shapiro is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Dr. Silverstein is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Special Teams Coordinator

Beth Pinkos, MS, RDN
Fellowship Coordinator -- Pedi GI

Beth Pinkos, MS, RDN is a teaching associate in pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Psychologists

Co-Director, Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic

Julie Boergers, PhD, specializes in integrated behavioral health approaches for pediatric medical problems. She is the co-director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic, the co-director of the Psychology Liaison Program for Pediatric Oncology, and a member of the feeding team in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology. Dr. Boergers has been awarded The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Teaching Recognition Award for her outstanding clinical and research training of residents and fellows in psychology, psychiatry and pediatrics.

Dr. Boergers graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She earned her master's and doctorate in child clinical psychology from the University of Denver. She completed an internship in child clinical/pediatric psychology at Children's National Medical Center, and a fellowship in pediatric psychology at Brown Medical School before joining the faculty in 1998.

Research Interests

Dr. Boergers' research program focuses on sleep patterns of children with chronic illnesses (including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma), as well as the effect of childhood sleep disruption on family and academic functioning. She also has longstanding research interests in the area of adolescent health risk behavior, including smoking and suicidal behavior.

Selected Publications

  • Boergers, J., & Koinis-Mitchell, D. (2010).  Sleep and culture in children with medical conditions.  Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, 915-926. 

  • Gilman, S.E., Rende, R., Boergers, J., Abrams, D.B., Buka, S.L., Clark, M.A., Colby, S.M., Hitsman, B., Kazura, A.N., Lipsitt, L.P., Lloyd-Richardson, E.E., Rogers, M.L., Stanton, C.A., Stroud, L.R., & Niaura, R.S. (2009).  Parental smoking and adolescent smoking initiation: an intergenerational perspective on tobacco control. Pediatrics, 123(2), e274-81. 

Director of Child Psychology, Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children's Hospital

Debra Lobato Barrera, PhD, joined the staff of Rhode Island Hospital in 1984. She is the director of child psychology at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital and professor of psychiatry and human behavior (clinical) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She also serves as the associate director of the division of clinical psychology in the medical school. She is the founder and director of SibLink, an internationally recognized program for siblings of children with chronic illness and developmental disability.

Lobato is active in the development of integrated medical and behavioral health services to address pediatric problems. She co-directs the bio-behavioral research and clinical services in the division of pediatric gastroenterology in the department of pediatrics at Hasbro Children's Hospital, and maintains active clinical leadership and service within the departments of psychiatry and pediatrics.

Lobato participates on numerous committees and was one of the founding members of the Clinical Psychology Diversity Committee. She has been particularly committed to advancing research and training on issues of culture, diversity, and health disparities. Lobato has been awarded the Brown Medical School Distinguished Teacher Award and Excellence in Teaching Award for her outstanding teaching and supervision of medical school interns, residents, and postdoctoral fellows in clinical psychology, psychiatry, and pediatrics.

Research Interests

Lobato's research focuses on the needs of children and families affected by chronic illness and disability. She has received support from the National Institute of Health, the Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation, the Hassenfeld Foundation, and the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown. Recent studies have examined how cultural factors affect family and sibling relationships and adjustment to disability, and how siblings participate in the care of children with a variety of chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, and GI disorders. Lobato is currently leading a multi-site study examining how psychological and behavioral factors, such as depression and adherence, impact care and outcomes in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease. 

Lobato graduated magna cum laude from Queens College of the City University of New York in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She earned her master's and doctorate degrees in psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Heather Pelletier, PhD

Wendy Plante, PhD, is a staff psychologist at the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center/Rhode Island Hospital and clinical assistant professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is associate clinical director of SibLink, a clinical research program dedicated to the adjustment of healthy siblings to medical, developmental, and psychiatric disorders in their brothers and sisters. She also provides clinical services to children at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, including the pediatric gastroenterology, nutrition and liver diseases clinic.

Her clinical interests include individual and family adjustment to pediatric chronic illness, pain management, and pediatric clinical hypnosis. Plante participates in the teaching of residents and fellows in clinical psychology, child psychiatry, and gastroenterology. She has an interest in bioethics and psychology practice issues, serving on several hospital, state psychological association, and national psychological association committees devoted to ethics, disaster mental health, and colleague assistance.

Plante earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Clark University, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She completed a predoctoral clinical internship at duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware and a postdoctoral fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She joined the staff of Rhode Island Hospital and Alpert Medical School in 2001.

Research Interests

Wendy Plante’s research interests focus on family adjustment to pediatric chronic illness and disability, with particular attention to the experiences of brothers and sisters. She collaborates with Debra Lobato, PhD, and Barbara Kao, PhD, on projects examining factors (including family and cultural variables) affecting sibling functioning, as well as how siblings influence and support family management of childhood disease.  

Selected Publications

  • Lobato, D., Kao, B., Plante, W., Seifer, R., Grullon, E., Cheas, L., Canino, G. (2011). Psychological and school functioning of Latino siblings of children with intellectual disability. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 696-703. NIHMSID#249304
  • Sieberg, C., Flannery-Schroeder, E., & Plante, W.A. (In Press). Children with co-morbid recurrent abdominal pain and anxiety disorders:  Results from a multiple-baseline intervention study. Journal of Child Health Care.
  • Kao, B., Lobato, D., Grullon, E., Cheas, L., Plante, W., Seifer, R., & Canino, G. (In Press). Recruiting Latino and nonLatino families in pediatric research: Considerations from a study on childhood disability. Journal of Pediatric Psychology.
  • Kao, B., Romero-Bosch, L., Plante, W., & Lobato, D. (In Press). The experiences of Latino siblings of children with developmental disabilities. Child: Care, Health & Development.  

 

Feeding Team

Medical Director, Pediatric GI Feeding Program

Dr. Cerezo is a pediatric gastroenterologist and is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Co-Director, Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic

Julie Boergers, PhD, specializes in integrated behavioral health approaches for pediatric medical problems. She is the co-director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic, the co-director of the Psychology Liaison Program for Pediatric Oncology, and a member of the feeding team in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology. Dr. Boergers has been awarded The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Teaching Recognition Award for her outstanding clinical and research training of residents and fellows in psychology, psychiatry and pediatrics.

Dr. Boergers graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She earned her master's and doctorate in child clinical psychology from the University of Denver. She completed an internship in child clinical/pediatric psychology at Children's National Medical Center, and a fellowship in pediatric psychology at Brown Medical School before joining the faculty in 1998.

Research Interests

Dr. Boergers' research program focuses on sleep patterns of children with chronic illnesses (including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma), as well as the effect of childhood sleep disruption on family and academic functioning. She also has longstanding research interests in the area of adolescent health risk behavior, including smoking and suicidal behavior.

Selected Publications

  • Boergers, J., & Koinis-Mitchell, D. (2010).  Sleep and culture in children with medical conditions.  Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, 915-926. 

  • Gilman, S.E., Rende, R., Boergers, J., Abrams, D.B., Buka, S.L., Clark, M.A., Colby, S.M., Hitsman, B., Kazura, A.N., Lipsitt, L.P., Lloyd-Richardson, E.E., Rogers, M.L., Stanton, C.A., Stroud, L.R., & Niaura, R.S. (2009).  Parental smoking and adolescent smoking initiation: an intergenerational perspective on tobacco control. Pediatrics, 123(2), e274-81. 

Beth Pinkos, MS, RDN

Beth Pinkos, MS, RDN is a teaching associate in pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Susan Wright, MEd, CCC-SLP
Speech Pathologist
Lauren Zagryn, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist
Elissa Streisel, MS, CCC-SLP

Nurses

  • Jeanne Cinotti, RN
  • Doreen Nanni, RN
  • Cindy Sokol, RN
  • Kelly Miller, LPN

Fellows

  • Carolina Cerezo, MD
    Program Director
    email: CCerezo@Lifespan.org 
  • Beth Pinkos, MS, RDN
    Program Coordinator
  • Anjali Gangram, MD
  • Basavaraj Kerur, MD
  • Timothy Menz, MD
  • Julie Sanville, DO
  • Naveetha Unnikrishnan, MD

Registered Dietitians

  • Katelyn Fox, MS, RDN
  • Stephanie Marchand, PhD, RD, LDN, CLC
  • Maria Santini, RD, CNSC, LDN

Social Worker

  • Sarah Ferszt, LCSW

Child Life Specialist

  • Karen Swartz, CCLS

Administrative Staff

  • Christy Angevine, BA, CLS
    Physician Practice Manager, Pediatrics

Clinical Research Team 

  • Barbara Bancroft
    Clinical Research Nurse
  • Melissa O’Donnell
    Clinical Research Assistant