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    855-272-4654 (855-BRAIN-LI)

Physician Bios

Kevin J. Mullins, MD, FAANS, FACS | Salvatore M. Zavarella, DO, FACOS | Joshua E. Ryan, MD | Salvatore Insinga, D.O. | Ahmad Latefi, D.O. | Amrit K. Chiluwal, MD

Spine Surgeons

Kevin J. Mullins, MD, FAANS, FACS

Board-certified Neurological Surgeon
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Medical Director of SpineCare Long Island

Dr. Kevin J. Mullins is a board certified neurosurgeon who specializes in the management of spinal and cranial disorders. In July 2013, Dr. Mullins was named the Chairman of the Neuroscience Service Line at Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island. In that role, he coordinates the neuroscience services of CHS’ six acute care hospitals, three nursing homes, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community-based agency for persons with special needs. CHS has identified neuroscience as a critical service line, and Dr. Mullins leads the planning and implementation of strategic initiatives for this program.

Dr. Mullins is the Chief of Neurosurgery and Director of Neurosurgical Services at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, a position he has held since 2000. He previously served as the Chief of Neurosurgery for Southside Hospital from 2000-2010, and Director of the Harvey Cushing Neuroscience Institute at Southside Hospital from 2005-2010.

Since 2005, Dr. Mullins has been recognized annually as one of the Best Doctors in America. He was also named Long Island’s Top Neurosurgeon by the Long Island Business News (2007), and received the “Patients’ Choice Award” in 2010. Dr. Mullins is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of numerous local and national medical and neurosurgical societies including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Mullins obtained his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University where he graduated cum laude, and his medical degree with Alpha Omega Alpha honors from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He completed his general surgery internship and residency in neurological surgery at the University of Rochester, then obtained advanced training in spine surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Mullins was a Clinical Associate in Neurological Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital prior to returning to Long Island where he grew up.

Dr. Mullins has performed over 5,000 neurosurgical operations and specializes in the management of neck and back problems. Patients undergo a comprehensive evaluation, most being managed with non-operative interventions such as physical therapy or pain management. For a minority of patients who require surgery, Dr. Mullins performs a full spectrum of surgical procedures that range from minimally invasive to complex spinal reconstruction. Dr. Mullins also has extensive experience in the surgical and radiosurgical management of primary and metastatic brain tumors.

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Salvatore M. Zavarella, DO, FACOS

Board-certified Neurological Surgeon
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Director of Spine Surgery at SpineCare Long Island
Director of Spine Surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital
Associate Chief of Neurosurgery at Good Samaritan Hospital

Dr. Salvatore M. Zavarella is a board certified neurosurgeon, and is an integral part of the neurosurgical team at SPINECARE. Dr. Zavarella obtained his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his general surgery internship and residency in Neurological Surgery at Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine. Dr. Zavarella recently completed a prestigious fellowship at The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where he obtained advanced clinical specialization in neurosurgical oncology, with a focus on the surgical treatment of primary and metastatic spine tumors and performing awake brain tumor surgery. During this time he published peer-reviewed papers on the treatment of metastatic spine tumors and was invited to write a chapter in a prominent spine textbook.

Dr. Zavarella received his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biomedical Sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He received the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute scholarship for international research, and from this work he was able to secure a position as Laboratory Manager at Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

The recipient of multiple foundation grants for research, Dr. Zavarella started a clinical trial entitled “The brain and spinal cord tissue donation program” whereby spinal cord and brain tumor patients could donate a portion of their tumor specimen, at the time of surgery, to study cell signaling mechanisms in central nervous system tumors.  From this work, Dr. Zavarella has published cell signaling mechanisms involved in the invasion of medulloblastoma and glioma cells.

Dr. Zavarella’s clinical expertise is in the treatment of complex spine tumors, adult degenerative deformity and scoliosis, herniated disc, spinal fractures, spinal stenosis, disc arthroplasty, minimally invasive spine surgery including lateral spine surgery, peripheral nerve tumor surgery, brain tumor surgery including awake surgery for metastatic and primary brain tumors.

Dr. Zavarella’s focus is to treat neurosurgical disorders with a non-operative conservative or minimally invasive approach when possible, and when surgery is indicated he is able to offer a wide range of open and minimally invasive options tailored to each patient.

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Joshua E. Ryan, MD

Board-certified Neurological Surgeon

Dr. Joshua E. Ryan is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in both cranial and spinal procedures. Dr. Ryan obtained his medical degree from The University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in neurological surgery at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. Dr. Ryan underwent extensive training in minimally-invasive spine surgery techniques with pioneers in the field while at Georgetown.

Dr. Ryan received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University and graduated as valedictorian. While at NC State, he also received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Chemistry and Minors in both Genetics and English.

Minimally-invasive spine surgery utilizes natural tissue planes to decrease disruption of the natural anatomical structures. This includes muscle-splitting approaches with tubular dilators for decompressions (for spinal stenosis, disc herniation, etc.) as well as for spinal fusions. It also includes lateral lumbar fusions and percutaneous posterior instrumentation. These approaches decrease blood loss, postoperative pain, and length of stay in the hospital. Dr. Ryan uses a patient-specific approach to deciding a treatment strategy and uses minimally-invasive approaches when they are appropriate.

While Dr. Ryan’s subspecialty expertise is in minimally-invasive spine surgery, the breadth of his clinical skills spans a wide field from complex cranial operations to complex spinal fusions. His clinical approach involves comprehensive evaluation with detailed explanations about the anatomy, disease process, procedures, and treatment plan in a way that is easy for the patient to understand. He takes a non-operative approach when surgery can be avoided and utilizes treatment modalities such as physical therapy and pain management when appropriate.

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Salvatore Insinga, D.O.

Board-certified Neurological Surgeon

Dr. Salvatore Insinga is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in general neurosurgery disorders including brain tumors, spinal disorders, hydrocephalus, radiosurgery, cerebrovascular and minimally invasive techniques of the brain and spine. His clinical expertise is in endoscopic procedures of pituitary tumors and skull base. 

Dr. Insinga obtained his undergraduate degree from New York University, and his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his neurosurgical training at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and a prestigious fellowship at Winthrop University Hospital. 

In practice for over 20 years, Dr. Insinga spent five years at the St. Barnabas Health Care System in Livingston, New Jersey, before returning to New York, where he embarked upon a long and accomplished career at Northwell Health Physician Partners. 

Earlier in his career, Dr. Insinga held numerous leadership positions throughout the Northwell Health System including: Chief of Neurosurgery, Southside Hospital, Director of Neurosurgical Spine, Southside Hospital, and Director of Neurosurgery, Eastern Region.

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Ahmad Latefi, D.O.

Board-certified Neurological Surgeon

Dr. Ahmad Latefi is a nationally recognized, board-certified neurosurgeon. He treats disorders of the brain and spine. Prior to joining SpineCare Long Island, Dr. Latefi served as Director of Spine for Neurosurgery, Northwell Health, Northshore/LIJ. In addition, he served as Asst. Professor for Neurosurgery at the Hofstra School of Medicine.

Dr. Latefi completed a Spine Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, where he focused on spinal oncology and spinal deformity. Today, he is a well-established neurosurgeon and uses a variety of techniques including minimally invasive, robotic and endoscopic approaches to the spine. He is also one of the few surgeons in the world to utilize Kyphoplasty with Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy (IORT) for metastatic tumors of the spine. His goal is always to increase quality of life for patients while maintaining the highest level of ethics in patient care.
Dr. Latefi has published numerous articles in neurosurgical journals on topics including tumors of the spine and complex deformities. He has been seen on CBS news, as well as highlighted in a NY Times article on tumors of the spinal cord. Dr. Latefi has presented at AANS, CNS, SRS and many other prestigious national and international medical societies. He has also traveled on missions to serve the underprivileged in the Dominican Republic, Vietnam and Haiti.

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Amrit K. Chiluwal, MD

Fellowship-trained Neurological Surgeon

Dr. Amrit K. Chiluwal is a fellowship trained neurosurgeon who believes in patient-centered care. He obtained his medical degree from New York Medical College and completed his neurosurgery residency at Northwell Health. During his training, he completed an enfolded focused training in minimally invasive spine surgery and, in his final year of training, was appointed chief resident. Dr. Chiluwal underwent an additional year of fellowship training in complex cranial, cerebrovascular and complex brain tumor surgery at the prestigious Lenox Hill Hospital. His particular interest and expertise is in treating degenerative diseases of the cervical and lumbar spine, deep lesions/tumors of the brain and the skull base, cerebral bypass, aneurysms, carotid stenosis and brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

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Over the past 20 years, the spine physicians at Spine Care Long Island have been the preferred back doctor for low back pain and neck pain patients from across Long Island, from the North Shore and South Shore of Nassau County and Suffolk County, and from Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn to the East End. Those with back pain or neck pain often struggle to find a back doctor or spine center that caån provide a second opinion for spine surgery and offer nonsurgical treatment for back pain, neck pain, scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and pain symptoms related to a herniated disc. Spine Care Long Island is a regional spine center that provides spinal injections, minimally invasive spine surgery, artificial disc surgery and other advances in spine care.

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