Welcome to msxhealthandlife.com, your resource for the latest community-based health and lifestyle content that will help you live a healthy, meaningful life in Morris and Essex Counties. We offer health and wellness tips, solutions and expert advice on chronic pain, cardiovascular health, stress, diet, exercise (for body and mind) and more. Our inspiring home and garden ideas will help you achieve a harmonious home inside and out, and our local “Home Design Guide” is a great resource listing thousands of local businesses for all your home needs. Explore our vast list of restaurants throughout Morris and Essex Counties and search through our expansive offering of healthy and delicious recipes. And for your convenience, both guides offer mapping technology to get you to your destination of choice. Stay connected with our up-to-the-minute “Community Calendar,” which lists events throughout Morris and Essex. We understand the importance of supporting local people and businesses, and that by doing so, you better yourself, your community and your planet.
Meet our Board of Advisors:
Allergy & Asthma
Frank J. Picone, M.D., of the Two River Allergy and Asthma Group in Tinton Falls has been ranked as a “Top Doctor” by Castle Connolly for 13 consecutive years and has been treating adult and pediatric patients in his private practice since 1974. He completed his fellowship in allergy and immunology at Harvard’s Children’s Hospital in Boston, his pediatric residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami School of Medicine, his postdoctoral training at Newark City Hospital and his medical degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Recently, Dr. Picone has been selected to be included on the “Best Doctors in America” list for 2011–2012. Board-certified in allergy and immunology and in pediatrics, Dr. Picone is a diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and the American Board of Pediatrics. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor with Drexel University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, the Chairman of the Department of Allergy and Immunology at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and an attending physician at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology and the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology, and he is a past president of the New Jersey Asthma, Allergy & Immunology Society.
Karl Strom, M.D., is one of the most highly recognized bariatric surgeons in the nation. As Director of the Mountainside Hospital Bariatric Program in Montclair, he has changed the lives of 1,500 people who relied on his expertise for bariatric surgery. Under his leadership, the Bariatric Surgery Program at Mountainside Hospital has earned the prestigious designation as a Center of Excellence from the American Society of Bariatric Surgery (ASBS). Dr. Strom serves as proctor, teaching other bariatric surgeons the latest bariatric techniques and technologies. Dr. Strom received his Doctor of Medicine degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine.
Dana Holwitt, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a breast surgeon at Montclair Breast Center, who completed a fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She graduated cum laude from Colgate University and earned her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia, where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. During her residency, also at Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Holwitt was elected Surgical Intern of the Year and won the Basic Science Research Award. As a breast surgeon Fellow, Dr. Holwitt was invited to deliver two presentations at the 2008 American Society of Breast Surgeons Meeting and was awarded the Best Scientific Presentation Award for manuscripts that will be published in the American Journal of Surgery. Most recently Dr. Holwitt was the keynote speaker at the annual Young Survival Coalition dinner (May 2011), and a special guest on “12 to Your Health,” News12 NJ, airing July 4 and 5, 2011. Dr. Holwitt, along with colleague Dr. Nancy Elliott, was invited to attend the first-ever Nipple Sparing Mastectomy Conference (Feb. 2011).
Robert D. Slama, M.D., F.A.C.C., is Chief of Cardiology at Summit Medical Group and a member of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Consultant Medical Staff. Dr. Slama has hospital privileges at Overlook Hospital and Morristown Memorial Hospital. Since joining Summit Medical Group in 1980, Dr. Slama has helped develop cutting-edge innovations for the care of his patients. Among his contributions is the Coumadin Care Clinic, which Roche Diagnostics designated as an exemplary Coumadin maintenance facility. The clinic earned the coveted 2003 DREAM Award for outstanding care—a first-time honor for cardiology.
Michael Kirk, D.C., is board certified by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the state of New Jersey. He practices at Performance Health & Chiropractic in Moorestown which he founded in 2004. Dr. Kirk is a Southern Regional board member of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors.
Jay Schuster, D.D.S., of Metro Dental Associates in Morristown, is a graduate of New York University College of Dentistry. He is a member of the New Jersey Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Academy of General Dentistry.
Alexander Doctoroff, D.O., a board-certified dermatologist, is the current president of the New Jersey Dermatological Society. He founded and practices at Metropolitan Dermatology with offices in Clark and Teaneck. He also holds the position of Assistant Chief of Dermatology at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in East Orange; teaches medical residents and students at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where he is a clinical assistant professor; and is on staff of Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. In addition to general medical dermatology, Dr. Doctoroff specializes in cosmetic dermatology, surgical dermatology, and anti-aging skin treatments.
Shari Friedman, a medical esthetician, was inspired at a young age by her grandmother, an early entrepreneur in the beauty industry, and ever since has had a fascination with skin care and makeup. While earning her bachelor’s degree in marketing, Shari held the first of several positions with Estee Lauder Companies. After graduation, she went on to pursue work in New York City in radio, TV, event planning and fundraising while still maintaining part-time work as a manager and esthetician for several spas. For nearly six years, Shari has been a Medical Esthetician at The Peer Group. She is a proud member of the Society of Plastic Surgical Skin Care Specialists. Her philosophy is that even the finest makeup application must start with the right canvas—beautiful and healthy skin.
Spain, a personal fitness trainer at the Active Center for Health & Wellness in Hackensack, has been a National Academy of Sports Medicine–certified personal trainer since 2004. He has a C.P.T. (certified personal trainer) certificate and a C.E.S. (corrective exercise specialist) certificate and is well-versed in developing programs that provide optimum results, taking into account the activities his clients enjoy.
L. Monica Chavez, D.O., is a board-certified geriatrician and internist at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck. In this role, she manages acute and long-term comprehensive medical care, including diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of diseases within the adult/geriatric community. She received her medical degree from Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal in Lima, Peru, and her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, N.Y. She completed her residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and received a fellowship to practice geriatric medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Integrative & Complementary Medicine
Julie Taw, M.D., is the Medical Director of The Center for Integrative Healing at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1998 and her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Irvine in 1993. She completed her primary care internal medicine residency at New York University/Bellevue Medical Center in New York City in 2001. She is a member of American College of Physicians. Her professional interests include primary care and mind-body medicine.
John J. Halperin, M.D., is board certified in internal medicine, neurology, clinical neurophysiology and electrodiagnostic Medicine. Dr. Halperin is Medical Director of the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute in Morristown and Chair of the Department of Neurosciences at Overlook Medical Center in Summit. He is an attending neurologist at Overlook Medical Center, Morristown Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. In addition, he is professor of neurology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
Heidi Skolnik, M.S., C.D.N., F.A.C.S.M., is the founder and president of Nutrition Conditioning in Englewood Cliffs, which oversees the nutrition programs at The Juilliard School, The Knicks basketball team, School of American Ballet and Fordham University Athletics. She worked with the New York Giants football team for 18 years and has consulted for professional teams and Olympic athletes. Heidi continues to see clients once a week at The Women’s Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery, in New York City and sits on the Board of The National Osteoporosis Foundation. She holds master’s degrees in both exercise physiology and nutrition.
OBGYN & Women’s Health
Matthew Iammetteo, M.D., is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and practices at Madison Avenue Ob-Gyn in Morristown. An active member of the Advisory Board of Morristown Memorial Hospital, Dr. Iammatteo recently was elected to the Board of Directors of Life Line Medical Associates, LLC, an organization comprising of 100 OB/GYNs throughout New Jersey. Areas of special expertise include high-risk pregnancy, hysteroscopic surgery and laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Iammatteo is the woman’s health care provider for female employees of the New York Jets, as well as the wives and daughters of the players and coaches.
Cindy Parnes, M.D., attended Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville and did her residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. She has been practicing in Bergen County since 1989, when she joined an established OB/GYN practice. She is board-certified in OB/GYN with yearly recertification and a Fellow of the American College of OB/GYN. In January 2006, Dr. Parnes decided to devote her practice entirely to all aspects of gynecological medicine and she opened the Gyn/Woman’s Health Issues practice in Paramus and in 2010 opened NJ Women’s Wellness Center in Montvale.
Donald McCain, M.D., PH.D., F.A.C.S. serves as chief of surgical oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center, as vice chairman of the John Theurer Cancer Center and as an assistant clinical professor of surgery at UMDNJ. Dr. McCain completed his residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center followed by a surgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He’s been published in multiple medical journals and authored a chapter on wound healing in The Mount Sinai Handbook of Surgery. His private practice, Cancer Surgery Associates, LLC, is located in Hackensack.
Michael Veliky, O.D., graduated from Manhattan College with a bachelor of science degree in biology and completed his optometry degree at The New England College of Optometry. Having completed his residency at Omni Eye Services, he then joined Omni as Center Director of the Rochelle Park office. Dr. Veliky is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the American Optometric Association. He has been an officer of the Bergen-Passaic Society of Optometric Physicians since 1995, serving as President since 1997. He is a two-term past president of the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians, where he continues to serve on both the Industrial Relations and Legislative committees. He is honored to serve as adjunct faculty at the New England College of Optometry, State University of New York College of Optometry, Pennsylvania College of Optometry, University of Houston College of Optometry, Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry and the University of California Berkeley College of Optometry. A recipient of several awards, Dr. Veliky was named New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians’ Young Optometrist of the Year in 1998. In 2001 he was selected as the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians’ Optometrist of the Year. He was presented with the society’s Special Purpose Award in 2004 for his work on the Legislative Committee.
Mark A. Hartzband, M.D., is the Medical Director and founder of Hartzband Center for Hip and Knee Replacement in Paramus and Englewood and the Director of the Joint Replacement Service at Hackensack University Medical Center. He specializes in minimally invasive hip and knee replacements and has helped develop some of the industry’s most advanced orthopedic implants. Dr. Hartzband lectures internationally and has been published on total hip and knee arthroplasty, minimally invasive techniques and computer assisted surgical navigation.
Michael Lamacchia, M.D., is the Chairman of Pediatrics at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, a member of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System based in Paterson. Born in New York, Dr. Lamacchia received his medical degree at the Universita degli Studi Pisa, Italy. He completed his residency in general pediatrics at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, and trained in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Lamacchia has served as Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Chairman of Infection Control, and Chairman of the Institutional Review Board. In 2004 he was named Chairman of Pediatrics at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. He also serves as Chairman of the Clinical Resource Utilization Committee and Ambulatory Care Committee. Dr. Lamacchia is actively involved in clinical research in pediatric HIV and viral illnesses. As Medical Director of the “Up, Up and Aweigh” weight reduction program, he is responsible for awarding childhood obesity grants from the Agents for Children’s Health Foundation, the Kraft Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatrics. A resident of Park Ridge, Dr. Lamacchia also serves on the Executive Board of Trustees of Community Blood Services in Paramus and the Northern New Jersey Maternal Child Consortium.
Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery
Dr. Valerie J. Ablaza, M.D., is a partner and corporate Vice President of The Plastic Surgery Group in Montclair, performing both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. She is board-certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, is a fellow of The American College of Surgeons and is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Ablaza received her medical degree from The Medical College of Pennsylvania and completed her plastic surgery residency at The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. She has had numerous articles published in medical journals and has written chapters for plastic surgery and orthopedic textbooks. She co-authored the book Beauty in Balance: A Common Sense Approach to Cosmetic Surgery and Treatments. Dr. Ablaza is currently president-elect of The New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Farhad Rafizadeh, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a board-certified general and plastic surgeon, specializing in cosmetic surgery of the face and breasts, liposuction and reconstructive breast surgery after mastectomy. He earned his medical degree at Lausanne School of Medicine in Switzerland and completed his residencies at Saint Barnabas Medical Center (general surgery) and Morristown Memorial Hospital (chief). He earned a fellowship in plastic surgery at New York Hospital’s Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He serves as chairman of plastic surgery at Morristown Memorial Hospital and is affiliated with Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Morristown Ambulatory Surgery Center.
Isaac Starker, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a plastic surgeon at The Peer Group in Florham Park. He served as president of the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2005 and as president of the medical staff of Morristown Memorial Hospital in 2008 and 2009. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Atlantic Health System from 2008 to 2010 and was recently elected Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery of Morristown Memorial Hospital. A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Starker earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from New York University and completed his general surgery training at Saint Lukes–Roosevelt Hospital and his plastic surgery residency at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and maintains memberships in numerous professional societies, including the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons, the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons, the New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.
Richard T. Braver, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S., graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., and the W.M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago. He completed his residency training at the New York City College of Podiatric Medicine and affiliated hospitals and institutions in New York City. He underwent fellowship training in the Chicago area sponsored by the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. While at American University he ran varsity cross-country and track and was later sponsored for competitions by the University of Chicago Track Club. He has been on the medical staffs of numerous walking and running races including the Boston, Chicago and New York City marathons. Dr. Braver has also interned with the physical therapists at the New York City Ballet and in the Department of Biomechanics of the United States Olympic Committee training center in Colorado Springs. Dr. Braver has been a consultant/wear tester for several of the major athletic shoe companies. Currently he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Runner’s World magazine and also a contributing writer to Podiatry Today. Dr. Braver maintains his private practice, Active Foot & Ankle Care in Englewood, Haskell and Fair Lawn.
Clifford N. Lazarus, is a licensed psychologist and Clinical Director of The Lazarus Institute in Skillman. In addition to his general psychotherapy practice, Dr. Lazarus specializes in health and neuropsychology. He received his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in psychology from Rutgers University where he was a Henry Rutgers Research Scholar. From 1989 to 1994 he was the Associate Director of Princeton Biomedical Research, P.A., a leading facility dedicated to evaluating new generation psychiatric medications for pharmaceutical companies and the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Lazarus consults on matters of health psychology, evidence-based psychological treatment and integrating medical and psychological treatments. In addition to his professional publications, he is the author of the popular books Don’t Believe It For A Minute: Forty Toxic Ideas That Are Driving You Crazy; and The 60-Second Shrink: 101 Strategies For Staying Sane In a Crazy World and is a regular blogger for Psychology Today. He has been honored by the Prescribing Psychologists’ Register for his contributions to the efforts of training in psychopharmacology for psychologists. In addition to his clinical and consultation work, from 1993 to 1998 Clifford Lazarus co-hosted a weekly listener-call-in radio program “Mental Health Matters.”
Karen Z. Kowalski, M.P.H., O.T.R., graduated from Kean University’s school of public health and has been an occupational therapist in New Jersey for 13 years, at institutions such as P.G. Chambers School and Children’s Specialized Hospital and her own private practice. She is most recently working at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s School of Health Related Professions as the academic fieldwork coordinator and instructor of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. Kowalski is also a musician, talented in performance as well as pedagogy with a particular focus on the education of students with disabilities. She has written and presented on that topic as well topics in the practice of occupational therapy. Kowalski is currently involved in a peer mentorship group for central New Jersey entitled “Team Awesome OT.” She is an active member in the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the New Jersey Occupational Therapy Association (NJOTA).
Christopher L. Petti, M.D., is the Medical Director of Bergen Imaging Center in Englewood. He attended New York University School of Medicine, completed an internship in anatomic pathology at New York University Medical Center and his residency at the State University of New York Health Science Center, Kings County Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he received a fellowship in women’s imaging (breast and cross-sectional imaging). He is a member of the Radiologic Society of North America, the American Roentgen Ray Society and the American College of Radiology.
Ali Nasseri, M.D., is on staff at The Valley Hospital and New York University Medical Center in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology. He is a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta and the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. He performed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York City, and his fellowship was performed in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Nasseri is board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, holding Diplomate status in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is an assistant clinical professor at New York University School of Medicine and has written numerous articles and book chapters in reproductive endocrinology. He is also the recipient of the Wyeth-Ayerst Reproductive Endocrine Fellow Award, a Serono Laboratories grant for scientific research and the Parke-Davis Research Award to Advance the Management of Women’s Healthcare.
Michael L. Gross, M.D., graduated from the New York University School of Medicine, and is the Medical Director of the Active Center for Health & Wellness in Hackensack and the Orthopedic Director of Sports Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center. Dr. Gross completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine and is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. He is currently enrolled in a fellowship in anti-aging and restorative medicine and is working toward board certification form the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.
Andrew S. Levy, M.D., graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, and is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician practicing at the Center for Advanced Sports Medicine, Knee and Shoulder in Millburn. His writings on sports injuries have been published in several medical journals, including The American Journal of Sports Medicine, and he teaches orthopedics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He is affiliated with Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Morristown Medical Center.
Richard Lee, M.D., of Urologic Specialties in Englewood, graduated with honors from Cornell University in chemistry. He then went on to medical school at The Mount Sinai/New York University School of Medicine in 1995. He remained at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for his internship in surgery and completed his urologic training there as well. He has experience in both adult and pediatric urology including the most up-to-date oncology care. Dr. Lee was trained in advanced laparoscopic techniques and endoscopic procedures including laparoscopic nephrectomies, percutaneous kidney surgery and ureteroscopy. Dr. Lee is certified by the American Board of Urology.