Harvard Health Experts and Contributors

List of Experts

photo of Ashwini Bapat, MD

Ashwini Bapat, MD


Dr. Ashwini Bapat is thrilled to work as an attending palliative care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. She received her undergraduate education at McGill University; her medical degree at Tufts University; and completed her internal medicine residency and fellowship in hospice & palliative medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Her interests include the intersection of palliative care with medical education, telemedicine, narrative medicine, and global health.
Read more about Ashwini Bapat, MD
photo of Miriam Barshak, MD

Miriam Barshak, MD


Miriam Barshak, MD, is an Infectious Disease Specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Barshak’s undergraduate education was at Stanford University, where she earned a BS in Biological Sciences. She then graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at the Partners’ Combined Program in Infectious Diseases (Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital). Dr. Barshak has extensive experience in treating patients with infections. Through her work at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, she has gained extensive experience and expertise in treating eye and ear infections.
Read more about Miriam Barshak, MD
photo of Melissa Bartick, MD

Melissa Bartick, MD


Melissa Bartick, MD, MSc, is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who has worked as a hospitalist since 1997. Her primary research interest is in breastfeeding and its implications for women’s and children’s health, public health, economics, and sudden infant death. She has published peer-reviewed articles on sleep in hospitalized patients, and hospital quality improvement. She has served in leadership positions in numerous statewide, national, and international organizations, including the American Public Health Association, the US Breastfeeding Committee, and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. She has two adult children.
Read more about Melissa Bartick, MD
photo of Elizabeth Bashoff, MD

Elizabeth Bashoff, MD


Elizabeth Bashoff, MD, is an Endocrinologist and Senior Physician in the Adult Diabetes section at the Joslin Diabetes Center, an Attending Physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She serves as Medical Director of the Joslin Clinic Diabetes Outpatient Intensive Treatment (DO IT) program, a specialized team approach for people whose diabetes requires extended attention and evaluation. Dr. Bashoff teaches clinical diabetes skills to medical students, residents, and fellows, and is a member of the OSCE Core Faculty at Harvard Medical School.
Read more about Elizabeth Bashoff, MD
photo of Nicole Baumer, MD, MEd

Nicole Baumer, MD, MEd


Nicole Baumer, MD, MEd is a child neurologist/neurodevelopmental disabilities specialist at Boston Children's Hospital, and an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Baumer is director of the Boston Children's Hospital Down Syndrome Program. She specializes in treatment of individuals with Down syndrome, autism, ADHD, and other neurobehavioral disorders. Dr. Baumer's research involves characterization and diagnosis of neurodevelopmental profiles in Down syndrome, and investigation of educational, behavioral, and medical interventions in neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Baumer has an older sister with Down syndrome and has lifelong experience with individuals with disabilities. Dr. Baumer received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She trained in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, and in neurodevelopmental disabilities at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Baumer has a master’s degree in education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Baumer was a fellow in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders (LEND) program at Boston Children's Hospital.
Read more about Nicole Baumer, MD, MEd
photo of Lisa Bebell, MD

Lisa Bebell, MD


Lisa Bebell, MD, is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and Assistant in Medicine at MGH in the Infectious Diseases Unit. As a physician, she practices Critical Care Medicine and Infectious Diseases, though she spends most of her time carrying out research on peripartum infections, including antibiotic resistant infections during and after pregnancy. Currently, she is working to better understanding the role of the placenta in transplacental antibody transfer and early life health outcomes, particularly among HIV-exposed, uninfected children in Uganda. Dr. Bebell received her MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed her residency at the University of California, San Francisco.
Read more about Lisa Bebell, MD
photo of Mark Benson, MD, PhD

Mark Benson, MD, PhD


Mark D. Benson, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of Preventive Cardiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). He is also a basic and translational researcher in the field.  Dr. Benson received his B.A. in biological sciences from Columbia University and his M.D. and Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Michigan. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at the University of Michigan, his fellowship training in cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and his post-doctoral training in multi-omics research at BIDMC. Dr. Benson is a principal investigator at the CardioVascular Institute at BIDMC. His laboratory’s interests are focused on applying emerging metabolomics, proteomics, and genomics technologies to detect signatures of small molecules in blood that may be used to predict an individual’s future risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify novel biomarkers and pharmacological targets that may improve preventive cardiovascular disease therapy.
Read more about Mark Benson, MD, PhD
photo of Bonnie Bermas, MD

Bonnie Bermas, MD

Contributing Editor

Dr. Bonnie L. Bermas, is an associate rheumatologist at Robert Breck Brigham Arthritis Center, and an associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School.
Read more about Bonnie Bermas, MD
photo of Rachelle Bernacki, MD

Rachelle Bernacki, MD


Dr. Rachelle Bernacki is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, senior physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and medical director of the Center for Geriatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). As a geriatrician and palliative care clinician, the overarching goal of her work is to improve the quality of care and long-term outcomes of seriously ill older adults. Her areas of expertise are focused on advance care planning, communication, implementation science, and the integration of palliative care and geriatrics into population health and surgery. Dr. Bernacki also served as the associate director of the serious illness care program at Ariadne Labs, and is board certified in palliative medicine, geriatrics, and internal medicine. She is a fellow of both the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and the American Geriatrics Society, and currently serves on the board of directors of AAHPM. In 2022 Dr. Bernacki received the BWH Senior Faculty Mentoring Award.
Read more about Rachelle Bernacki, MD
photo of Carolyn A. Bernstein, MD, FAHS

Carolyn A. Bernstein, MD, FAHS


Carolyn Bernstein, MD, FAHS, is a neurologist specializing in headache medicine. A graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, she interned at Boston City Hospital. She did her postgraduate training at Boston City Hospital and New England Medical Center, and is board certified in neurology and headache medicine. Dr. Bernstein has won Harvard Medical School awards for teaching and for humanism in medicine. She was also awarded the National Headache Foundation’s Healthcare Provider of the Year award in 2008. Her interests include migraine, hormonal headache, women’s issues in neurology, and the use of integrative therapies in the treatment of headache and pain. She is the author of The Migraine Brain: Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health (Free Press 2008). She has edited and co-written two textbooks: Pain in Women (Springer, 2012) and Medical Problems During Pregnancy (Springer, 2017). Dr. Bernstein is an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.
Read more about Carolyn A. Bernstein, MD, FAHS
photo of Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH

Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH


Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH, is the co-director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a pediatric hospitalist at Boston Children’s Hospital. In his work at the Center, Dr. Bernstein examines the human health effects of global environmental changes, such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity, with the aim of promoting a deeper understanding of these subjects among students, educators, policy makers, and the public. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University, he received graduate degrees in medicine (MD) and public health (MPH), from the University of Chicago and Harvard University, respectively. He is a recipient of Stanford University’s Firestone Medal for Research and a Harvard University Zuckerman Fellowship. He serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health Executive Committee, the Board of Scientific Counselors to the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the board of directors of the US Green Building Council. An avid bicyclist, Dr. Bernstein pedals to and from work year-round. (Photo credit: Harvard University)
Read more about Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH
photo of Suzanne Bertisch, MD, MPH

Suzanne Bertisch, MD, MPH


Suzanne Bertisch, MD, MPH, is an Associate Physician and Clinical Director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses 1) adapting sleep health interventions to a variety of community and clinical populations and 2) impact of sleep disorders consequent influence on pain and cardiometabolic health, for which she has won several awards. Dr. Bertisch has also published on national patterns of use of pharmacologic and behavioral treatments of insomnia. She also coleads innovations aimed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in the primary care setting. She was named a Top Doctor by Boston Magazine in 2017.
Read more about Suzanne Bertisch, MD, MPH
photo of Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH

Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH


Dr. Joseph R. Betancourt is the vice president and chief equity and inclusion officer of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH); the founder, senior advisor, and faculty of the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH; faculty at the Mongan Institute; an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School; and a practicing internal medicine physician. Dr. Betancourt is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in health policy, health care disparities, diversity, and cross-cultural medicine.
Read more about Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH
photo of Irun Bhan, MD

Irun Bhan, MD


Irun Bhan, MD, is a transplant hepatologist and physician scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and his MD degree from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program at Harvard Medical School, where he worked as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellow. He subsequently completed his residency training in internal medicine at Columbia University, where he served as Chief Resident. He further trained as a clinical fellow in gastroenterology and advanced/transplant hepatology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Bhan specializes in the full spectrum of acute and chronic liver diseases with a particular interest in transplant for oncologic indications. His research interests include the development of blood-based biomarkers in chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Read more about Irun Bhan, MD
photo of Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H

Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H

Former Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter

Dr. Deepak Bhatt is a cardiologist and lecturer at Harvard Medical School. He is now director of Mount Sinai Heart at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City. Dr. Bhatt formerly served as the chief of cardiology at VA Boston Healthcare, and is the director of the Integrated Interventional Cardiovascular Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and VA Boston Healthcare. He is the author or coauthor of more than 500 publications. Dr. Bhatt earned his medical degree from Cornell University, and a master of public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and was a fellow in interventional cardiology and cerebral and peripheral vascular intervention at the Cleveland Clinic.
Read more about Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H
photo of Ami Bhatt, MD, FACC

Ami Bhatt, MD, FACC


Ami B. Bhatt, MD, FACC is the Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an active clinical cardiologist, investigator, and educator. She graduated from Harvard College, obtained her doctoral degree from Yale School of Medicine, and trained at Massachusetts General Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Boston, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in internal medicine, pediatrics, adult cardiology, and adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). Dr. Bhatt’s team has transformed adult congenital heart disease care at the MGH into an internationally renowned program. At the MGH Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, the program has established a multidisciplinary infrastructure with heart failure, cardiac transplantation, electrophysiology, structural heart & valve specialists, as well as obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, genetics, and pediatrics. Importantly, the program’s multidisciplinary approach extends to social work, financial counselors, network development, and international patient care teams. The infrastructure and support provided by the MGH Corrigan Minehan Heart Center have been essential to promoting the program’s growth. The MGH Adult Congenital Heart Disease Health & Wellness program underscores that one individual with heart diseae in a family can promote healthy behaviors in all. Through the MGH ACHD Health & Wellness program at Mass General Waltham, patients receive education about congenital heart disease, exercise assessment and prescription, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease primary prevention education. Dr. Bhatt was nationally recognized as an educator by the American College of Cardiology in 2015 and by the American Heart Association in 2016 for ACHD program building and design efforts. She is internationally recognized for authoring statements and training guidelines, and for her research and care redesign efforts to better target resource utilization in complex tertiary ACHD care. She has developed a robust multidisciplinary curriculum at Mass General to provide formal congenital heart disease education to cardiovascular fellows from programs without an established CHD program. She has individually mentored hundreds of trainees and actively advocates to establish congenital heart centers nationally and internationally, all with a goal of empowering individuals with CHD to lead full and productive lives. Dr. Bhatt’s educational and outreach activities are fueled by her belief that individuals with complex disease deserve collaborative care between tertiary centers and community caregivers. She innovates at the MGH Corrigan Minehan Heart Center in the domains of telemedicine for ACHD patient visits, provider consultation, multimodality teleconferences, and adoption of mobile health technologies for caregivers and patients. Her interest in digital health strategy stems from her beliefs that state of the art, high quality, personalized care can be delivered to individuals in the community and that concierge medicine is possible for everyone. As Director of Outpatient Services for the MGH Cardiology Division, Dr. Bhatt is working with patient & family advocates, administration, and process improvement & workflow design teams on enhancing the outpatient care delivery model. Her work centers on applying process improvement and systems design thinking to enhance multidisciplinary care and create transparent systems for coordinating and achieving patient centered outcomes, alleviating physician burn-out, and emphasizing that the two are not mutually exclusive. The MGH Healthcare Transformation Lab is home to her creative side, and allows her the space to innovate with partners from different professional disciplines. When she’s not busy innovating, Dr. Bhatt spends time with her husband and two daughters, having dance parties and traveling.
Read more about Ami Bhatt, MD, FACC
photo of Michael Bierer, MD

Michael Bierer, MD


Since getting his MD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Michael Bierer has been at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for over 30 years. Along the way he got an MPH in Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and a participated in a Fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston VA. Dr. Bierer is currently a physician on staff in Internal Medicine at MGH and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has busy primary care and addictions practices. Dr. Bierer has been teaching staff and residents about the management of addictions for many years. He is currently part of the new hospital-wide effort to address substance use disorders in a comprehensive and innovative, multidisciplinary program. He is also one of the “voices” of the New England Journal of Medicine.”
Read more about Michael Bierer, MD
photo of Kelly Bilodeau

Kelly Bilodeau

Former Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Kelly Bilodeau is the former executive editor of Harvard Women’s Health Watch. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and later went on to become a managing editor at HCPro, a Boston-area healthcare publishing company, where she covered healthcare industry trends and topics such as patient safety, medical billing, radiology, and breast imaging. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Boston Magazine, as well as numerous healthcare trade publications.
Read more about Kelly Bilodeau
photo of Randie Black-Schaffer, MD

Randie Black-Schaffer, MD


Dr. Randie Black-Schaffer is a physiatrist specializing in stroke rehabilitation. She founded the first young adult stroke rehabilitation program in the country, and started the young adult stroke service at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, as well as directing the Spaulding inpatient stroke program. Dr. Black-Schaffer has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on stroke in young adults and stroke rehabilitation, and is invited regionally and nationally to speak on these topics. As a national stroke rehabilitation expert she chaired the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s stroke care strategic planning committee in 2015. Dr. Black-Schaffer has been named a Castle Connolly Top Doctor each year since 2011, a Distinguished Woman in Medicine since 2018, and a Boston Magazine Top Doctor since 2016, and has received numerous Partners in Excellence Awards for clinical quality improvement initiatives. She has mentored trainees at all medical levels and twice received Teacher of the Year swards from PM&R resident physicians.
Read more about Randie Black-Schaffer, MD
photo of Rachel A. Blake, MD

Rachel A. Blake, MD


Dr. Rachel A. Blake is an obstetrician-gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. She also spends time each year working at Princess Marina Hospital in Gabarone, Botswana. She attended the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and serves on the Brown Medical Alumni Association board of directors.
Read more about Rachel A. Blake, MD
photo of Sara N. Bleich, PhD

Sara N. Bleich, PhD


Sara N. Bleich is a professor of public health policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Sara served as a White House Fellow (2015–2016), where she was a senior policy advisor to the US Department of Agriculture and the first lady’s Let’s Move initiative.
Read more about Sara N. Bleich, PhD
photo of Susan D. Block, MD

Susan D. Block, MD


Dr. Susan D. Block received her AB from Stanford University, her MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and completed residencies in internal medicine and psychiatry at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston; she is board certified in both fields. She has been a national leader in the development of the field of palliative medicine. She is known as an expert in medical education, communication, psychosocial oncology, faculty development, and health system change. Dr. Block was the founding chair of the department of psychosocial oncology and palliative care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital; a founding director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care, a national center of excellence for palliative care education; and the founder and director of the serious illness care program at Ariadne Labs. She is the author of over 200 publications and has won numerous awards for education, research, and leadership in both palliative medicine and psychiatry.
Read more about Susan D. Block, MD
photo of Kimberly Blumenthal, MD, MSc

Kimberly Blumenthal, MD, MSc


Kimberly Blumenthal, MD, MSc is an Allergist/Immunologist and drug allergy researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  She is also the Director of Allergy/Immunology Clinical Epidemiology Research within the Division of Rheumatology Allergy and Immunology, the Quality and Safety Officer for Allergy at the Edward P. Lawrence Center for Quality and Safety, and the Quality Director for Allergy/Immunology.  Dr. Blumenthal performs drug allergy research that uses methods of epidemiology, informatics, economics, and decision science.  Her research is funded by the NIH and foundations, including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Foundation and CRICO, the risk management foundation.  Dr. Blumenthal is recognized nationally for having created innovative approaches to the evaluation of penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotic allergies in the hospital that have since been adopted by other hospitals throughout the US and internationally, broadly referenced, and incorporated into expert recommendations. Dr. Blumenthal graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Economics.  She studied medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, which she completed in 2009, before training at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Internal Medicine and Allergy and Immunology. She completed a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2017.
Read more about Kimberly Blumenthal, MD, MSc
photo of Kathryn D. Boger, PhD, ABPP

Kathryn D. Boger, PhD, ABPP


Kathryn D. Boger, PhD, ABPP, is board certified in clinical child and adolescent psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology, and specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety and mood disorders. She has extensive training and experience in the delivery of evidence-based treatments, in both outpatient and residential levels of care. Dr. Boger co-founded the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program (MAMP) in 2013 and has served as program director since the program’s inception. In 2021, she transitioned to senior clinical consultant to MAMP so that she could co-found a new company with the mission to provide accessible, effective, and efficient anxiety and OCD interventions for children, teens, and families.
Read more about Kathryn D. Boger, PhD, ABPP
photo of Emeric Bojarski, MD

Emeric Bojarski, MD


Emeric F. Bojarski, M.D. is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He founded Equilibrium Behavioral Health, a telepsychiatry private practice, to harness the power of telemedicine in addressing the prominent shortage of psychiatrists nationwide.   Dr. Bojarski graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency in adult psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He did his fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital, where he continued to teach students about child development and psychodynamic aspects of suicide in LGBTQ youth. Dr. Bojarski specializes in identity formation across the lifespan and ameliorating treatment-resistant depression.
Read more about Emeric Bojarski, MD
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