More About the Surgeons at SightMD
Dr. Aaron Avni is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract/implant surgery, LASIK and other refractive surgery procedures and the management of glaucoma. He graduated from the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, and completed his ophthalmology residency program at the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. Dr. Avni has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
Lawrence M. Buono, MD, earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at New York University before obtaining his medical degree at Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pa. He then completed a medical/surgical internship at University of Pennsylvania’s Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Buono fulfilled his ophthalmology residency at New York Medical College in Valhalla and a subsequent neuro-ophthalmology fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.
Dr. Buono next served as assistant professor of ophthalmology at Duke University in the neuro-ophthalmology and comprehensive ophthalmology departments. He has authored several published ophthalmic papers, and has educated medical students, residents and fellows.
Since relocating to Long Island, N.Y., Dr. Buono has treated countless cataract surgery patients at his private practice, where he offers presbyopia-correcting intraocular lens implants (IOLs). He serves on the medical staff at Eastern Long Island Hospital, Peconic Bay Medical Center and Southampton Hospital.
Paul A. Choinski, MD, FACS, is a board-certified ophthalmologist who has more than 20 years of medical and surgical experience. He practices general ophthalmology with an emphasis on cataract surgery, refractive surgery and treatment of glaucoma. Dr. Choinski attended college at Binghamton University and completed a culture program at the University of Wroclaw in Poland. He attended SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse and went on to complete his internship and residency in ophthalmology at SUNY Buffalo. He joined Hampton Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.C., and became board certified in ophthalmology in 1991. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an attending physician at Southampton Hospital, Southampton, New York, and the Suffolk Surgery Center in Shirley, New York.
Dr. Jonathan Ellant is a board-certified ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained cataract and refractive surgeon. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Dr. Ellant completed his ophthalmology residency at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and a cataract and refractive surgery fellowship program with world-renowned surgeon Howard Gimbel in Calgary, Alberta.
Dr. Ellant was the first surgeon at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary to implant the iStent for the treatment of glaucoma, and an early adopter of microinvasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS). He is active in teaching residents and lectures widely on such topics as advanced cataract surgery technologies, dry eye and MIGS. Dr. Ellant previously served as the Director of Ophthalmology at St. Clare’s Hospital in New York as well as the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center.
Victor Giamos, MD, provides comprehensive ophthalmology to the patients of Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region. Dr. Victor Giamos joined the Ophthalmic Consultants in July of 2012 providing general ophthalmology care as well as cataract and LASIK surgeries to his patients. Prior to joining Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region, he spent several years with a multi-specialty eye practice as a medical and surgical ophthalmologist in Long Island, New York.
Dr. Victor Giamos attended St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York where he graduated as Summa Cum Laude, receiving his Doctor of Pharmacy. He went on to study medicine at State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medical and Biomedical Sciences, receiving his Doctor of Medicine in 2008. Dr. Victor Giamos completed a residency preliminary year of internal medicine at New York Medical College, Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island, New York. He continued his ophthalmology training at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York, where he was appointed chief resident during his senior year in 2012. Dr. Victor Giamos also completed a two-month ophthalmology surgical rotation at Columbia University-Harkness Eye Institute in Manhattan, New York in 2012.
Michael B. Gold, MD, grew up in Brooklyn, New York and then attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and his medical degree from the New York State Program at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel. He returned to Brooklyn and continued his training with an Internship in Pediatrics at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Gold then completed his Residency in 1988, serving as the Chief Resident in Ophthalmology at the Kings County-Downstate Medical Center.
Dr. Gold has been in private practice as a comprehensive ophthalmologist since that time, initially in Fresh Meadows and then in Little Neck, Queens. He is a Surgical Attending with the Northwell Health System (previously known as North Shore- LIJ) and performs cataract surgery at the Eye Center in Syosset and at the Surgicenter in Garden City. Laser surgery for the correction of “after-cataracts” and for the preventative treatment of glaucoma are performed in the office. Dr. Gold also serves as a Clinical Instructor for the Northwell Health Ophthalmology Residency Program, from which he has received numerous Teacher of the Year Awards. Besides his work with the residents in the clinic, he assists and instructs them in the operating room as they begin their surgical training. As a board certified ophthalmologist, he is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Ophthalmology as well as a member of the New York State Ophthalmological Society.
He is very excited to join SightMD and its excellent team of physicians and staff members. NSEC provides its patients with access to some of the best ophthalmologists in the metropolitan area as well as the most modern and advanced technology. Its insistence on caring for its patients in the most complete and compassionate manner is absolutely consistent with the personal attention Dr. Gold provides to each and every one of his patients. It is his guiding principle never to dismiss a patient until all concerns have been addressed and all questions have been answered. He is in frequent communication with the patients’ primary care physicians to ensure that status updates are provided and that there are no gaps in their care.
In his spare time, Dr. Gold is an avid road cyclist and frequently does 100 mile rides. He enjoys reading, mostly biography and history. And, he lives and often dies, with the New York Mets (having passed on the frequent pain of being a Met fan to both of his children).
David Immanuel, MD, PhD, is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and fellowship trained as a cornea specialist. His office is located on Hilton Avenue in Hempstead bordering Garden City (less than a mile south of the Garden City Hotel), where he has been in private practice for approximately 10 years (www.cornealeyedoc.com).
Dr. Immanuel specializes in cataract and refractive surgery and performs as many as 400 cataract procedures per year. His goal with cataract surgery is not just to treat the cataract, but also to provide his patients with spectacle-free distance and near vision once the cataract has been removed. This is achieved by utilizing special intraocular lenses along with the precision of laser cataract surgery. Dr. Immanuel is very excited about offering this new technology to his patients because it makes cataract surgery both safer and more precise.
Brad Kligman, MD, joins SightMD as a fellowship-trained cornea and refractive surgery specialist. He was born and raised on Long Island and is excited to be returning home to practice in his community. After graduating from East Meadow High School, he attended Cornell University where he studied Human Biology, Health and Society. He earned his Bachelor of Science with Distinction and was named an Outstanding Senior in the College of Human Ecology. He was also inducted into the Alpha Omicron Nu honor society for his academic achievements. Dr. Kligman then earned his M.D. at NYU School of Medicine. It was while observing cataract surgery in his third year of medical school that he realized the restoration of sight through intricate and precise microsurgery was the career that he wanted to pursue. During this time, he was invited to complete a pre-residency research fellowship in ocular oncology at the Wills Eye Hospital, where he gained extensive knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of ocular cancer.
Throughout his training, Dr. Kligman has been very involved in research, publishing over 20 peer-reviewed articles, textbook chapters and abstracts. He has presented his research at both national and international conferences on topics ranging from ocular tumors, to corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL) and corneal transplant techniques. He was awarded Best Paper of Session at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons and his work was featured in the Best of ASCRS 2016 session. Dr. Kligman is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Cornea Society, and ASCRS. He is also an active member of the New York State Ophthalmological Society where he helps to organize events for the Young Ophthalmologists (YO) Subcommittee.
Faye Knoll, MD, is SightMD’s cornea and external disease specialist. As an undergraduate, she attended the State University of New York (SUNY) Binghamton, where she majored in biology and minored in Spanish. At SUNY Binghamton, she was elected into the Phi Beta Kappa Society and graduated summa cum laude. Following the completion of her bachelor’s degree, Dr. Knoll attended medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., where she was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society and graduated cum laude.
She then completed a transitional intern year at Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle, N.Y. This was followed by an ophthalmology residency at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., where she served as chief resident in ophthalmology. After completing her residency, Dr. Knoll went on to complete a fellowship in cornea and external diseases at the renowned New York Eye and Ear Infirmary in New York City.
Dr. Knoll’s special interests include penetrating keratoplasty, Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK), cataract surgery, anterior segment reconstruction, sutured intraocular lenses, and refractive surgery. Dr. Knoll has been active in ophthalmic research and has presented at multiple national meetings. She is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
Jeffrey L. Martin, MD, FACS, FAAO, earned his undergraduate degree in biology with summa cum laude honors from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He received his medical degree from the School of Medicine at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. He then completed an internship at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and served as chief resident in ophthalmology at the Nassau Medical Center. Dr. Martin teaches resident ophthalmologists at the Northport Veterans Administration Medical Center. He is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Medical Society of the State of New York, the Suffolk County Medical Society and the New York State Ophthalmologic Society. In addition, he is a Fellow of both the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
John Mauro, DO, completed his Bachelor of Science degree at St. John’s University in Queens and attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He served a medical internship at Mercy Medical Center in Philadelphia, where he received the Outstanding Intern of the Year award. Dr. Mauro completed his medical residency in Ophthalmology at Nassau University Medical Center/Stony Brook University, where he served as chief resident. He completed fellowship training at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School in Cambridge and at the Boston Eye Group. During his fellowships, Dr. Mauro specialized in the treatment of uveitis, complex ocular inflammatory diseases, as well as cataract surgery, implantation of multifocal and astigmatism correcting intraocular lenses, glaucoma surgery, corneal transplants, and the latest techniques in laser refractive surgery. Dr. Mauro is at the forefront of ophthalmic research and has authored numerous book chapters, articles and presentations. In addition, he has been involved in multiple prospective and experimental research trials. Dr. Mauro is an attending ophthalmologist at St. Catherine of Sienna Hospital and will soon train resident ophthalmologists at the Northport Veterans Administration Medical Center. He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Brian McGuinness earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and medical degree from State University of New York at Buffalo. He has been performing LASIK since its FDA approval in 1996. Dr. McGuinness is on staff at Stony Brook University Hospital and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary in New York City.
Richard Nattis, M.D., graduated from New York Medical College and completed his ophthalmology residency training at St. Vincent’s Hospital Medical Center in New York. He now specializes in cataract, refractive and laser eye surgery. Dr. Nattis has been recognized in the book “How to Find the Best Doctors in the Tri-State Area,” as well as been awarded the Physicians Recognition Award by the American Medical Association. He is actively involved in teaching medical students and practicing physicians.
Dr. Nattis was appointed to the position of chief of the department of ophthalmology at Good Samaritan Hospital in 1991. Additionally, Dr. Nattis has served as a clinical assistant instructor in ophthalmology at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has also served on the board of directors of the New York Eye Bank and New York Diabetes Association, and currently serves on the board of directors of Child Abuse Protection Services of New York.
In addition to being board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, Dr. Nattis is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, New York State Ophthalmological Society, Suffolk County Ophthalmological Society, Medical Society of the State of New York, Long Island Ophthalmological Society, New York Diabetes Association and the American Medical Association.
Dr. John Passarelli has over 30 years of experience as a respected ophthalmologist and specializes in cataract and refractive procedures. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and his medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate. Dr. Passarelli completed his ophthalmic residency training at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in NYC, where he was named chief resident. He has been performing LASIK since its FDA approval, and is frequently asked to train his peers. Dr. Passarelli has also presented to prestigious organizations like the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He is on the Advisory Council for the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame.
Craig Richter, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has close to 20 years of medical and surgical experience in the practice of ophthalmology. He takes great pride in the close relationships that he has built with his patients and is committed to offering them the highest level of medical and surgical eye care available.
Dr. Richter completed his undergraduate degree at Cornell University with a major in Biology. He then moved to New York City where he received his medical degree at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Richter completed his residency in ophthalmology at the prestigious New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and served as an attending physician where he trained residents in both medical and surgical eye treatments.
Dr. Richter is an attending physician at Huntington and Syosset Hospitals. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, and is a member of the Medical Society of the State of New York.
Dr. Edward Riegel is a board-certified ophthalmologist that specializes in cataract surgery, corneal pterygium surgery and micro-laser surgery. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Duke University and received his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC. Dr. Riegel completed his ophthalmology internship and residency training at St. Vincent’s Hospital. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Raju Sarwal is a board-certified ophthalmologist that specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of cataracts and glaucoma. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Sarwal completed his ophthalmology residency at University of Illinois at Chicago Eye and Ear Infirmary. He then received sub-specialty training in glaucoma at the Duke Eye Center.
Dr. Sarwal is the current president of the Suffolk Ophthalmology Society, and on the faculty at several area hospitals. He has spoken to national audiences about industry topics and been named to the Best Doctors of America list every year since 2009.
Michael Savetsky, MD, is a board certified Cornea/External Disease and Refractive surgeon, specializing in LASIK, PRK, Cornea transplants, Cataract surgery, Pterygium, Dry eye, and general ophthalmology. In addition to ocular surface diseases, he also treats other common ophthalmic disorders such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. He also offers premium Intraocular Lens technology and Femtosecond Laser-assisted Cataract surgery. Prior to joining SightMD, Dr. Savetsky practiced ophthalmic care in Los Angeles, CA. He did his Ophthalmology training at Tulane University Hospital in New Orleans, LA, and went on to train in Cornea and Refractive Surgery at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Society of Cornea & Refractive Surgery.
Dr. Glenn Scibilia is a board-certified ophthalmologist that specializes in advanced laser cataract surgery with leading intraocular lens technology. He earned his undergraduate degree at Purdue University and his medical degree at New York Medical College. Dr. Scibilia completed an internal medicine residency at New Rochelle Medical Center, and his ophthalmology residency training at New York Medical College, where he was named chief resident. He completed a fellowship training program in cornea and external diseases at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, where he also served as a clinical instructor for medical students and residents and performed research.
Dr. Scibilia is a former adjunct professor at Hofstra University’s physician’s assistant program and currently on staff at several area hospitals. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Paul Sforza graduated with honors from Harvard College, then earned his M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. After a medical internship at Lenox Hill Hospital, he performed his residency in Ophthalmology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He returned to New York for further subspecialty training in Corneal and Refractive Surgery at North Shore University Hospital, an NYU Medical School affiliate.
Dr. Sforza was the chief of Corneal Surgery at SUNY-Downstate Medical School from 1998-2000. He is still actively involved in academic medicine and continues to train doctors in the most advanced microsurgical techniques at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Downstate Medical School. He was named “Attending of the Year” in 2006 by the graduating Ophthalmology residents at Albert Einstein.
Dr. Shetal Shah is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in the medical and surgical treatment of corneal diseases, cataract surgery and LASIK surgery. She earned her undergraduate degree at New York University and her medical degree at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Shah completed her internship at Maimonides Medical Center and returned to SUNY Downstate for her ophthalmology residency. She later went on to complete a cornea and refractive surgery fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern.
Kathleen Van Valkenburg, MD, joined SightMD in 2015, bringing over twenty years of clinical, educational and surgical experience. Raised in the midwest, she graduated from the University of Minnesota and immediately headed to New York to pursue graduate studies. She received a Masters of Science degree from New York University and completed additional pre-medical studies at Columbia University. During medical school at New York University, she did research at Manhattan Eye & Ear Hospital in diseases of the retina and macula. Her research and publication in Fluorescein Angiography became the impetus to pursue a career in Ophthalmology.
Dr. Van Valkenburg completed her residency at North Shore University and has been in private practice in Manhasset and Garden City for over twenty years. Known by her patients as “Dr. Van”, her practice is focused on Comprehensive Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Surgery for families and takes great pride in the long term multi-generational relationships that have developed since the beginning of her Residency. Specifically, she has expertise in surgical and medical management of Glaucoma, Cataracts and Refractive surgery.
Dr. Van Valkenburg performs the most state of the art cataract and laser surgery and enjoys seeing joyful patients after offering them the most up-to-date intraocular lens implants. In addition, the office provides advanced technology for evaluation and treatment of serious and rare eye diseases. The office prides itself in accommodating ophthalmic emergencies and effective communication with consulting physicians.
Dr. Van Valkenburg is Board Certified in Ophthalmology and continues the extensive continuing education required by the American Academy of Ophthalmology for active board certification. She is a member of the Long Island Ophthalmology Society, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, and the Nassau County Medical Society. Dr. Van Valkenburg continues her active involvement in the education of ophthalmology residents and enjoys mentoring ophthalmic surgery techniques to future eye surgeons both locally and abroad.
Lawrence Zweibel, MD, FACS, FAAO, completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at New York University (NYU) and his medical degree at Albany Medical College. He served his medical internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York and was a chief resident in ophthalmology at the French and Polyclinic Medical Center. He currently serves as the Chief of Ophthalmology at St. Catherine of Sienna Hospital. Dr. Zweibel is a member of the Medical Society of the State of New York, the Suffolk County Medical Society and the New York State Ophthalmologic Society. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Aleksandra Michalik, D.O., earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her medical degree with honors from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her ophthalmology residency training at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Interfaith Medical Center, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, and South Nassau Communities Hospital. Dr. Michalik also completed subspecialty fellowship training in glaucoma at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She belongs to the American Glaucoma Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology.