Dr. Andrew Lasher

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Andrew Lasher

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Lasher is the Chief Medical Officer for Aspire Health and a board certified internist and palliative care physician. Prior to joining Aspire as “Employee #2” he most recently served as Director of Palliative Medicine and Internal Medicine Residency Program Director at California Pacific Medical Center and as a Medical Director for Sutter Health At Home’s Advanced Illness Management (AIM) project and Hospice in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Lasher completed his residency and palliative care fellowship at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, and attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Dr. Ellis Allen

Alabama

Dr. Ellis Allen

Dr. Allen is the lead physician for Aspire Health in the greater Mobile area. He has been in private practice for 23 years in Foley, AL. Dr. Allen has served as a Medical Director for hospice and home health, in addition to leading one of the largest independent physician associations in Alabama. Dr. Allen earned his medical degree from the University of South Alabama, where he continues to serve as adjunct faculty. After medical school, he completed his internship at Lloyd Noland in Birmingham, spent 5 years on active duty in the US Navy and then returned to a Family Practice residency at Carraway Methodist in Birmingham. Dr. Allen is board certified in Family Practice.

Dr. Alisha Benner

North Carolina & Virginia

Dr. Alisha Benner

North Carolina & Virginia

Dr. Benner is the lead physician for Aspire Health in North Carolina and Virginia. She completed her medical school and internal medicine residency at University of Nebraska Medical Center. After 12 years as an internal medicine hospitalist and Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine, she completed her fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Dr. Benner is board certified in Internal Medicine and board eligible in Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. James Castillo

Texas

Dr. James Castillo

Dr. Castillo is the lead physician for Aspire Health in the greater Rio Grande Valley area. Having lived both near Brownsville and Mexico during his childhood, Dr. Castillo also currently serves as the Cameron County Health Authority. In 2011, Dr. Castillo was named “Physician of the Year” at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen. Dr. Castillo earned his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Kristen Coller

Tennessee

Dr. Kristen Coller

Dr. Coller is the lead physician for Aspire Health in the greater Nashville area. She brings ten years of Palliative Medicine experience to the Aspire Team. Dr. Coller formerly served as the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Director at The Ohio State University Medical Center. She completed her residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Fellowship at Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care in conjunction with KU Medical Center. Dr. Coller is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Kimberly Curseen

Georgia

Dr. Kimberly Curseen

Dr. Curseen is the lead physician for Aspire Health in Georgia. She is also the Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Outpatient Services for Emory Healthcare, and previous director of the Geriatric Palliative Care Clinical Services Program at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Curseen attended medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine/MCV and completed her Internal Medicine residency training at Yale University. She completed fellowship training in Geriatrics and Palliative Care at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Hospice & Palliative Medicine. Dr. Curseen was named a Palliative Medicine Inspirational Leader under 40 by the Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine in 2014-2015.

Dr. Tara Friedman

Senior Medical Director – Mid-Atlantic

Dr. Tara Friedman

Dr. Tara Friedman serves as Senior Medical Director for Aspire Health. In this role she provides clinical leadership for Aspire Health’s research, advocacy and clinical projects. She also serves as the lead physician for Aspire Health’s Mid-Atlantic market. Dr. Friedman most recently served as national medical director of Palliative Medical Associates, a subsidiary of Vitas Healthcare focused on building non-hospice palliative care programs. Dr. Friedman serves on the board of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and completed her residency and fellowship at Mt. Sinai in NYC and the University of Pennsylvania respectively. She is a graduate of Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. Dr. Friedman is board certified in Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Danielle Godinez

Pennsylvania

Dr. Danielle Godinez

Pennsylvania

Dr. Danielle Godinez is a physician for Aspire Health in the greater Pittsburgh area. She is also Medical Director of Saxony Health Center since 2012 and is a Co-Medical Director for Hope Hospice.  In addition, Dr. Godinez cares for patients in 6 long term care facilities in the northern Pittsburgh region. She is board certified in Family Medicine and graduated from The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Godinez has practiced ambulatory medicine for over 15 years and most recently, has shifted her practice to the geriatric, palliative and hospice fields.

Dr. Clare Hawkins

Texas

Dr. Clare Hawkins

Dr. Hawkins is the lead physician for Aspire Health in Texas. He is a board certified palliative care physician who also serves on the board of the Renaissance Physician Organization, one of the largest IPAs in the country, and as Immediate Past President of the Texas Academy of Family Medicine. Dr. Hawkins leads the palliative care service as well as teaching in a family medicine residency at San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown where he was residency director for 16 years. Dr. Hawkins completed his medical school degree and residency at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg Canada.

Dr. Clay Jackson

Tennessee

Dr. Clay Jackson

Dr. Jackson is the lead physician for Aspire Health in the greater Memphis area. He also serves as Medical Director for Methodist Hospice and Palliative Services, which is affiliated with the largest health system in Memphis. Dr. Jackson is also Director of the Palliative Medicine Fellowship and Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Jackson earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified in both Family Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine. Dr. Jackson also has a graduate degree in theology from Oxford University and actively serves as a pastor of a local Memphis church.

Dr. Matthew Janssen

Southern California

Dr. Matthew Janssen

Southern California

Dr. Janssen is the lead physician for Aspire Health in Southern California. Dr. Janssen graduated from Pomona College in 1996, Phi Beta Kappa.  After working as an ambulance driver for a year, he attended UCLA Medical School. Dr. Janssen completed his residency at University of California Irvine in Emergency Medicine and was also Chief Resident and Resident Teacher of the year in 2005.  Dr. Janssen also completed his fellowship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine at University of California Irvine. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Bryan Johnson

Tennessee

Dr. Bryan Johnson

Dr. Johnson is the lead physician for Aspire Health in the greater Chattanooga area. He is an Associate Professor for Clinical Medicine for the Internal Medicine program at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. He completed his Family Medicine training at East Tennessee State University, Bristol TN and graduated from Mercer Medical School in Macon, GA. Dr. Johnson is triple board certified in Family Medicine, Hospice & Palliative Medicine and Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Simeon Kwan

Texas

Dr. Simeon Kwan

Dr. Kwan is a physician for Aspire Health in the greater Houston area. He completed his palliative care fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Prior to that, Dr. Kwan graduated from the Waco Family Medicine Residency Program with a special focus in international medicine. Dr. Kwan received his medical degree from the University of North Texas.

Dr. Dana Lustbader

Senior Medical Advisor - New York

Dr. Dana Lustbader

Dr. Lustbader is a Senior Medical Advisor for Aspire Health and is the lead physician for the greater New York metro area. She also serves as Chair of the Dept. of Palliative Care at ProHEALTH in New York. Previously, she created the Palliative Medicine program for Northwell Health and started the training fellowship as Program Director. Dr. Lustbader also serves as a member of the Critical Care Leadership Network for Greater N Y Hospital Association and served on the N Y State Task Force on Life and the Law as an expert on ethics. Dr. Lustbader is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Hofstra School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her internal medicine residency at NYU-Bellevue and critical care fellowship at St Vincent’s Hospital. Dr. Lustbader is triple board certified in Internal Medicine, Hospice & Palliative Medicine and Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Laura Mantine

Pennsylvania

Dr. Laura Mantine

Dr. Mantine is a physician for Aspire Health in the greater Pittsburgh area. She is also employed by Personal Care Medical Associates, a private geriatric and palliative medicine practice in Western Pennsylvania and serves as Associate Medical Director of the Good Samaritan Hospice inpatient unit at Heritage Valley Beaver. She is also a Certified Hospice Medical Director and has previous experience working in PACE programs. Dr. Mantine is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine and a graduate of Temple University School of Medicine and completed her residency at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dr. David McGrew

Florida

Dr. David McGrew

Dr. McGrew is the lead physician for Aspire Health in Florida. He is a founding member and past president of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). Dr. McGrew has been delivering hospice and palliative medical services in the West Central Florida region for 30 years. In one of his prior roles, Dr. McGrew oversaw implementation of a home-based palliative care program that resulted in high patient and family satisfaction as well as a 60% drop in hospitalizations and ER visits for patients living with advanced CHF and COPD. Dr. McGrew earned his medical degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Dr. Lisa Minsky-Primus

New York

Dr. Lisa Minsky-Primus

Dr. Minsky-Primus is a physician for Aspire Health in the greater New York metro area. She has been a Clinical Instructor since 2007 at the NYU School of Medicine, where she has served as a member of Bellevue Hospital’s Palliative Care service and NYUSOM’s Internal Medicine Primary Care faculty. Before pursuing advance training in Hospice and Palliative Care, Dr. Minsky-Primus provided in-home medical care to homebound residents on Roosevelt Island and served as an Instructor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her residency and palliative care training at NYU / Bellevue, and attended medical school at the State University of New York in Syracuse. She is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Jessica Montalvo

Illinois, Indiana & Missouri

Dr. Jessica Montalvo

Dr. Montalvo is a physician for Aspire Health in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. She is also a member of the palliative care faculty at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Montalvo also serves as hospital mentor in the collaboration between Northwestern and Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois known as Preference Aligned Care and Treatment, or PACT. She completed her residency at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Dr. Montalvo is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Sam Perna

Alabama

Dr. Sam Perna

Dr. Perna is the lead physician for Aspire Health in the greater Birmingham area. He also serves as the Medical Director of the Pediatric Palliative Care Team at Children’s of Alabama.  He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine the University of Alabama – Birmingham with secondary academic appointments in Nursing and Pediatrics. Dr. Perna is a graduate of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. He is board certified in both Family Practice and Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Martha Presley

Kentucky & Tennessee

Dr. Martha Presley

Dr. Presley is a physician for Aspire Health in Kentucky and Tennessee. She completed medical school and residency in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University. She subsequently served on faculty as a hospitalist before completing her fellowship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine at Vanderbilt. She also earned her law degree from Vanderbilt and has experience working in the health policy field. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Rupali Rajpathak

Mid-Atlantic

Dr. Rupali Rajpathak

Dr. Rupali Rajpathak is a physician for Aspire Health in the Mid-Atlantic. She is a board certified internist and palliative care physician. She completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and an internal medicine residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. She received a medical degree from Topiwala National Medical College at the University of Mumbai, India, and a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. In 2014, Dr. Rajpathak was named as an inspirational leader in hospice and palliative medicine under the age of 40 by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Donald Ratchford

Pennsylvania

Dr. Donald Ratchford

Dr. Ratchford is a physician for Aspire Health in Pennsylvania. He is board certified in Family Practice and Hospice & Palliative Medicine. Dr. Ratchford also serves as Medical Director of Palliative Care Services at Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College and completed his residency at Latrobe Area Hospital.

Dr. Steven Robertson

Northern Ohio

Dr. Steven Robertson

Northern Ohio

Dr. Robertson is the lead physician for Aspire Health in Northern Ohio. He brings over ten years of home-based primary care and hospice medical directorship experience to the Aspire team, having personally performed over 25,000 house calls. Dr. Robertson earned his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH and completed his combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics training at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.  Dr. Robertson is triple board certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Christian Sinclair

Kansas & Missouri

Dr. Christian Sinclair

Kansas & Missouri

Dr. Sinclair is the lead physician for Aspire Health in Kansas and Missouri. He is a past president of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine(AAHPM). Dr. Sinclair is also the Editor of the website Pallimed. In addition, he serves as Assistant Professor in the Division of Palliative Medicine, University of Kansas Health System and leads outpatient palliative care in the KU Cancer Center. He was part of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee who published the report Dying in America 2014 and now serves on the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Quality Care For People with Serious Illness. Dr. Sinclair has also worked with Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care and as National Hospice Medical Director with Gentiva. Dr. Sinclair is a graduate of University of California, San Diego and completed his residency at Wake Forest and palliative care felllowship at Hospice & Palliative Care Center in Winston-Salem, NC. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. David Thimons

Pennsylvania & West Virginia

Dr. David Thimons

Dr. Thimons is the lead physician for Aspire Health in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He also serves as President of Personal Care Medical Associates, a private geriatric and palliative medicine practice in Western Pennsylvania. He has held Medical Director roles for various nursing homes, home health agencies, hospices, and geriatric and palliative related grants over the past few years. He has also functioned as the Director of Medical Education and the Geriatrics Director at Heritage Valley Health System. He is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and is currently board certified in both Hospice & Palliative Medicine and Family Medicine.

Dr. Martha Twaddle

Senior Medical Advisor – Illinois

Dr. Martha Twaddle

Dr. Twaddle is a Senior Medical Advisor for Aspire Health and is the lead physician for Illinois. A former President and Board member of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), Dr. Twaddle was named by AAHPM as one of the 30 most influential visionaries in the history of the field. She also serves as the Chair for the Circle of Life Committee for the American Hospital Association, as an Advisor for The Joint Commission and CHAP and as faculty for the Center to Advance Palliative Care. She serves as an Associate Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Twaddle is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Julie Workman

Ohio

Dr. Julie Workman

Dr. Workman is the lead physician for Aspire Health in Ohio. She is also the Medical Director of Palliative Care for Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati. Dr. Workman graduated from Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1995 and has been in practice for 21 years. She completed her residency at University Hospital. Dr. Workman is board certified in Family Medicine.

Dr. Robert Zalenski

Michigan

Dr. Robert Zalenski

Michigan

Dr. Zalenski is the lead physician for Aspire Health in Michigan.  He also currently serves as Medical Director of Palliative Care at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO).  Dr. Zalenski has published over 100 articles and presented nationally and internationally on palliative medicine and health care innovation.  He is tenured at Wayne State University School of Medicine and has led clinical research teams, taught medical students, residents, and palliative medicine fellows over the past 30 years.   Dr. Zalenski pioneered palliative care programs in the VA and at the Detroit Medical Center.  Previously, Dr. Zalenski was the System Director for Palliative Medicine at Vanguard and Tenet Health from 2012-2016.  Dr. Zalenski completed medical school at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and his residency at University of Illinois Metropolitan Group Hospitals. He is board certified in Hospice & Palliative Medicine and Emergency Medicine.

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