Great doctors are not simply trained in medical knowledge; they have learned how to be thorough, compassionate and resourceful as well. Overlook Medical Center's faculty is dedicated to teaching every resident how to be the best physician possible. Faculty members enthusiastically offer themselves as mentors to help residents achieve their goals.
Dr. Jeff Brensilver has been chair and program director of the Department of Medicine since 2007. With 30 years of experience in leadership roles (previously at St. Luke's-Roosevelt in New York City and New York Medical College in Westchester, NY), Dr. Brensilver offers an approach to medical education that blends personal mentoring with a focus on pathophysiologic reasoning and an emphasis on interpersonal communication skill development and training in reflectiveness.
Dr. Brensilver attended Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, followed by an internal medicine residency at Bellevue Hospital Center and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. He then completed a nephrology fellowship at Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston. Each of these educational experiences exposed him to outstanding clinicians, scientists and educators. As a transplant nephrologist, Dr. Brensilver developed his educational philosophy: a broad, deep knowledge of general internal medicine defines the consummate internal medicine physician, enabling him or her to guide patients through medical, psychological and spiritual crises.
Dr. Brensilver enjoys daily participation in noon report and clinical rounds. He ensures that residents gain experience in medical ethics and in palliative care. He has published widely and works directly with residents on their scholarly projects.
Dr. Gina LaCapra, associate program director of Overlook Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Residency Program, received her bachelor of arts in biochemistry from New York University and completed a post baccalaureate program at Columbia University. She graduated from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) – New Jersey Medical School, and completed her internal medicine residency at UMDNJ–Cooper Hospital University Medical Center. Dr. LaCapra is board-certified in internal medicine and is currently a fellow in the American College of Physicians. She has been associate clinical professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 2008.
Before joining Overlook Medical Center in 2004, she was associate director of medical education and associate program director of internal medicine at Union Hospital in New Jersey. At Overlook Medical Center, in addition to her role as associate program director, Dr. LaCapra is director of the preoperative center, where she focuses on the perioperative care of the surgical patient in both the hospital and outpatient settings. Dr. LaCapra’s other educational duties include, board review, morbidity and mortality conference, research development and the American College of Physicians' Challenge Bowl. Her administrative duties include assisting the program director in carrying out the duties for the ACGME, resident evaluations and curriculum development. She won the Mentor of the Year Award from the internal medicine residents in June 2008. Her academic interests include dermatological manifestations of systemic diseases, medical disease during pregnancy and other women's health issues, vaccine-preventable illnesses, thyroid disease, hematological disorders and medical ethics.
After being a part time teaching preceptor for more than six years, Dawn Calamari, DO, joined Overlook Medical Center where she will continue educating residents in the ambulatory setting as well as in the Vauxhall Clinic.
She received her bachelor of science degree in biology with a minor in psychology at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ, magna cum laude. In 1995, she graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine, and trained in internal medicine at Union Hospital, an affiliate of Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Union, NJ.
She stayed on at Union Hospital serving as Chief Resident, and graduated with her Internal Medicine Residency in 1998. She has been board-certified in Internal Medicine since 1998 specializing in geriatric medicine. For several years, she served as the medical director at Cornell Hall Care and Rehabilitation Center in Union, NJ, where she continues to care for long term and short term rehabilitative patients. She worked as the osteopathic program director for Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, and served as a clinical instructor for the geriatric students of her Alumni, UMDNJ-SOM. In 2005, she was honored to be awarded the title of Fellow, from the American College of osteopathic Internists for her dedicated role as an osteopathic educator. She was also the recipient of the Patient's Choice Award 2008-09 and the Compassionate Doctor Recognition in 2011-12.
Dr. Sharen Anghel completed her undergraduate education at Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ, and received her medical degree from Rutgers Medical School. Her internship and residency were completed at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 2007.
She joined Overlook Medical Center’s faculty in August 2007, and now directs the medical student clerkship program. Her special interests are medical education and quality improvement/patient safety. Some of the Department of Medicine projects she currently leads or participates in are: venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis and anticoagulation management, diabetes mellitus performance improvement, Rapid Response Team, mortality reduction and computer provider order management systems. She mentors residents through many of these projects, emphasizing a culture of change and patient safety.
Dr. Eve Benvenuti, is board-certified in internal medicine and acts as the preceptor for the residents at the Vauxhall Community Health Center ambulatory teaching site.
After graduating from New York University School of Medicine, Dr. Benvenuti completed her residency at SUNY Health Sciences Center at Syracuse, NY. Prior to joining Overlook Medical Center in 1993, she worked at the Harvard Community Health Plan in Cambridge, Mass; the Hitchcock Clinic, NH; and Muhlenburg Hospital, Plainfield, NJ.
Dr. Benvenuti has received several teaching awards. Her interests include outpatient medicine and preventive medicine.
Dr. Michelle Elkins attended medical school at the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France, and completed her residency in internal medicine at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. She is board-certified in internal medicine with a certificate of added qualifications in geriatrics, and holds a long-term care medical director certification.
Dr. Elkins has more than 25 years of experience in geriatrics and long-term care, medical education, medical leadership and bioethics. She recently served as corporate medical director for a large health care system's long-term care division, comprising nine nursing homes and three assisted living facilities. Dr. Elkins is the recipient of the NJ Society on Aging 2005 Gerontologist of the Year award. She is the past president of the NJ Medical Director's Association and is voluntary faculty at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Lisa Hurckes completed her undergraduate training at the University of Chicago with a bachelor of arts in chemistry and completed a post baccalaureate program at Columbia University. She graduated from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) – New Jersey Medical School and completed her internal medicine residency at Overlook Medical Center. Dr. Hurckes is board-certified in internal medicine and is a member of the American College of Physicians. She is an associate clinical professor of medicine at Rutgers Medical School.
Prior to joining Overlook Medical Center in 2011, Dr. Hurckes was in private practice for 14 years, with special interests in preventative healthcare, women’s health and elder care.
Dr. Rani Gundavarapu joined Overlook Medical Center in July 2014. Prior to this she served as associate program director, chief of geriatrics and assistant professor of medicine for Jacobi Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Gundavarapu is board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics and palliative care.
Her special interests are resident education and faculty development activities.
Dr. Califano graduated summa cum laude and valedictorian at University of Rome “La Sapienza.” She completed a residency in internal medicine followed by chief residency at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, NJ, where she stayed on as full-time faculty in the Internal Medicine Department. Dr. Califano has been board-certified in internal medicine since 2003. She is a clinical associate professor at Rutgers Medical School, chairman of the patient care review subcommittee, and medical director of the Adult Health Center. She received the Teacher of the Year award in 2005 and 2014.