Our Physicians

The doctors at Physicians Eldercare all share a special interest in working with older adults. Our team includes physicians with expertise and advanced credentials in chronic disease managements, mental health and dementia, and helping families face end-of-life issues together. Our physicians serve as medical directors in our nursing facilities.


Gerardo E. Arnaez Zapata, MD
Physician

Gerardo E. Arnaez Zapata, MD

My goal has always been to provide the highest quality of medical care to my patients and their family. A fundamental tenet to achieve this involves having a clear understanding of the patients and their family's goals and wishes and only then appropriately adjusting the care provided to suit the needs of everyone involved. Not only does this apply to geriatric care, but to medicine in all its aspects.

Undergraduate Education

B.A. in Philosophy, University of Chicago; Completed requirements for B.A. in Biology, University of Chicago

Medical Education

Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Residency

Internal Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

Medical Certifications

Board eligible in internal medicine

Sue Auffinger, MD, CMD
Physician, Board Member

Sue Auffinger, MD, CMD

I have special interests in palliative care and behavioral medicine. I especially enjoy helping patients with advanced directive planning. I empower patients to be active in decision making regarding the care options available.

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Exercise Science/Zoology, University of Massachusetts

Medical Education

State University of New York, Upstate Medical College, Syracuse, NY

Residency

Family Practice, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, Syracuse, NY

Medical Certifications

Board Certified in Family Medicine, Certified Medical Director

Memberships

North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Directors Associations

Greg Bugaj, MD, CMD
Physician

Greg Bugaj, MD, CMD

I am interested in post-acute rehabilitation care, managing chronic and complex illnesses with the aim to restore functional ability. I approach each patient as an individual human being who deserves dignity and respect no matter where he or she is on life’s journey. I focus on realistic goals and expectations and on maximizing quality of life and comfort at the end of life.

Undergraduate Education

B.A. in Biology, University of Rochester

Medical Education

State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine

Residency

Internal Medicine, University of California at San Francisco

Fellowship

Geriatric Medicine, University of California at San Francisco

Medical Certifications

Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Certified Medicine Director

Memberships

American Geriatrics Society, American Med. Direct. Association

Thomas Calogero, MD
Physician

Thomas Calogero, MD

As we approach our golden years, it is important to address our changing needs and take an integrative approach to facilitate the quality of our lives and the connections to our loved ones. It is my steadfast belief that patients and their families should be involved with medical decision making and be active participants. It is my proud duty to be involved with a patient’s care and to communicate with their families in order to accomplish this. I have particular interest in rehabilitative medicine, behavioral medicine, and polypharmacy. I am happy to be part of the team at Physicians Eldercare and part of your community.

Undergraduate Education

BA, State University of New York

Medical Education

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

Residency

Family Practice, Southside Hospital, Bay Shore, NY

Medical Certifications

American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians

Allen Chamovitz, MD, CMD
Physician, Board Member

Allen Chamovitz, MD, CMD

I enjoy the practice of medicine. It is the interaction with patients, their families and communities that I find interesting. This interaction does not change for the geriatric population. It sustains them!

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Psychology, University of Maryland

Medical Education

University of Louisville

Residency

Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital. Family Medicine, Medical Center of Beaver County

Fellowship

Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Medical Certifications

Board Certified in Family Practice, Certified Medical Director

Memberships

American Medical Directors Association, American Association of Family Physicians, American Medical Association, American Geriatrics Society

Maria Diaz-Valle, MD
Physician

Maria Diaz-Valle, MD

To provide compassionate and comprehensive care across a spectrum of the geriatric population while empowering the patient to fully participate in their own health care to achieve a better quality life.

Undergraduate Education

B.A. Biology, University of Puerto Rico

Medical Education

University of Puerto Rico

Residency

Family Medicine, University of Puerto Rico

Fellowship

Geriatric Medicine, University of Puerto Rico

Medical Certifications

American Board of Family Medicine with added qualifications in Geriatric Medicine

John Gambino, MD, CMD
Physician, Board Member, Quality Improvement Officer

John Gambino, MD, CMD

Most important to me is providing high quality of care to all my patients and my commitment to quality improvement processes. My special interests include addressing polypharmacy, palliative care and infectious diseases within post-acute care facilities.

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Biochemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Medical Education

New York Medical College, Vahalla, NY

Residency

Internal Medicine, St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center of New York

Medical Certifications

Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, Certified Medical Director from The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine in Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Memberships

The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine

Christopher Herman, MD, CMD
President Physicians Eldercare, Physician, Board Member

Christopher Herman, MD, CMD

As people go through the process of aging, functional and medical changes occur. These changes are often challenging and require a team approach to management. I believe that active involvement by a physician can greatly improve the quality of a patient’s experience. I have enjoyed working as a partner with my patients and their families to manage complex geriatric problems through the years.

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Microbiology, University of Georgia

Medical Education

Medical College of Georgia

Residency

Internal Medicine, Wake Forest University - Bowman Gray School of Medicine

Fellowship

Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest University - Bowman Gray School of Medicine

Medical Certifications

Geriatric Medicine certificate of added qualification, Diplomate of American Board of Hospice and Palliative Care, American Board of Internal Medicine eligible, Certified Medical Director

Memberships

American Medical Directors Association, past president of NC chapter

Gary Henry, MD
Physician

Gary Henry, MD

Whether a person is in a nursing home for short term rehabilitation or long term care I strive to provide compassionate, comprehensive care that is patient-centric and consistent with the patient’s goals.

Undergraduate Education

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Medical Education

East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC

Residency

Family Medicine, Pitt Memorial Hospital, Greenville, NC

Medical Certifications

American Board of Family Practice

Memberships

NC Medical Society, American Academy of Family Physicians

Gregory Jones, MD
Physician

Gregory Jones, MD

Rehabilitation, Diabetes, Hypertension, Lifestyle modifications for healthy living, Wound management, Cardiovascular disease, Pulmonary disease, Orthopedic injuries, Musculoskeletal disorders

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Biochemistry, Eastern Carolina University

Medical Education

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Residency

Family Practice, Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, NC

Medical Certifications

Board Certified in Family Medicine

Memberships

North Carolina Medical Society, NCAFP, AAFP, Christian Medical Society

Rafael Miranda, MD
Physician

Rafael Miranda, MD

To care for the geriatric population and their family is rewarding and fulfilling. Guiding the patient and their family through short term rehabilitation or long term care while providing excellent medical care is my main goal.

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Biology, University of Puerto Rico

Medical Education

University of Puerto Rico

Residency

Internal Medicine, Veterans Affair San Juan Medical Center, San Juan, PR

Medical Certifications

Board eligible in Internal Medicine

Charlotte McManaman, MD
Physician

Charlotte McManaman, MD

What I enjoy most about Geriatric Care is being the guide to this vast, complex world of healthcare and medical illness. It is important to truly understand the expectations and perspectives of my patients. Each patient and their family are unique and I enjoy spending the time to get to know each of them. In this way, I can bring out the best in their health and well-being at each stage of their changing lives.

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Biology with honors with a specialization in Health Humanities, Michigan State University

Medical Education

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Residency

Internal Medicine, Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego, CA

Medical Certifications

Certified Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine

Memberships

American Medical Association, North Carolina Medical Society

Rajan Mitchell, DO
Physician

Rajan Mitchell, DO

Able to meet the needs and wishes of families when caring for their loved ones.

Undergraduate Education

BA in Biology, Rutgers University

Medical Education

University of Medicine and Dentistry-School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford, NJ

Residency

UMDNJ-SOM, Stratford, NJ

Medical Certifications

Family Medicine, Medical Review Officer

Memberships

American Osteopathic Association, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians

Dawn Owens-Watterson
DO, Physician

Dawn Owens-Watterson

The most valuable and rewarding aspects of medicine relate directly to the care of patients, and that is where my true interests lie. In caring for the geriatric population, I enjoy partnering with patients and their families to help achieve the goals that we set together. Giving patients a voice in their most important healthcare decisions helps to ensure their contentment, especially when there are difficult choices to be made.

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Biological Sciences / Pre-medicine, Ohio University

Medical Education

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Residency

Family Medicine, Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Waukesha, WI

Memberships

American Academy of Family Physicians, North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Association

Renee Pitzele, MD
Physician

Renee Pitzele, MD

Patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are often lonely and enjoy talking about their past experiences. I enjoy listening, and find it helps them feel more empowered. I address the patients and families concerns about health care issues with respect and endeavor to make their lives more meaningful.

Undergraduate Education

Bachelor of Science, Honors in Genetics, McGill University, Quebec, Canada

Medical Education

McGill University, Quebec, Canada

Residency

University of Western Ontario, Ontario Canada

Medical Certifications

American Board of Family Practice

Shiva Rao, MD,
Physician

Shiva Rao, MD,

My philosophy has always been to treat all patients on an individual basis, and with respect, compassion and dignity. I believe this to be extremely imperative, with special emphasis in dealing with the geriatric population. I always welcome and encourage patients and their families not only to ask questions and understand their problems thoroughly, but to play an active role in their treatment. I feel this goes a long way in the healing process.

Undergraduate Education

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Science, Karnataka Medical College, Hubli, India

Medical Education

University of Bombay

Residency

General Surgery, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Bronx, NY

Fellowship

General Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, Hartford, CT

Medical Certifications

American Board of Surgery

Memberships

Fellow of the American College of Surgeons

Maria Dorina C. Sevilla, MD, CMD
Physician

Maria Dorina C. Sevilla, MD, CMD

I have a special interest in caring for the fragile elderly with chronic medical problems, considering and simplifying their multiple medications, and working toward maintenance of comfortable and good state of health.

Undergraduate Education

B.S. General, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines

Medical Education

University of Santo Tomas, Manilla, Philippines

Residency

Internal Medicine, Charleston Area Medical Center, Charleston, WV

Fellowship

Geriatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

Medical Certifications

Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Certified Medical Director

Memberships

American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Geriatric Society, American Medical Directors Association

Scott Sheldon, MD, CMD
Physician

Scott Sheldon, MD, CMD

Undergraduate Education

BS in Biology and Chemistry, North Georgia College

Medical Education

Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, GA

Residency

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Fellowship

Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest University - Baptist Medical Center, Winston Salem, North Carolina

Medical Certifications

American Board of Internal Medicine, Certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Memberships

American Geriatrics Society, American Medical Directors Association, The American College of Physicians, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Venezela Thomas Slade-Hartman, MD
Physician

Venezela Thomas Slade-Hartman, MD

I enjoy helping people to control their diabetes and congestive heart failure to decrease the complications of these problems and improve quality of life. I also enjoy helping patients and their families with end-of-life issues so that their family members progress through the end-of-life journey with comfort and dignity.

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Chemistry, Wake Forest University

Medical Education

Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Residency

Family Practice, University of Alabama at Birmingham Huntsville Regional Medical Campus

Memberships

American Academy of Family Physicians