PLAINVIEW: 901 Old Country Rd., Plainview, NY 11803
HUNTINGTON: 110 East Main St., Huntington, NY 11743
SpineCare Long Island
Kevin J. Mullins, MD, FAANS, FACS | Salvatore M. Zavarella, DO, FACOS | Amit Sharma, MD | Joshua E. Ryan, MD | Salvatore Insinga, D.O. | Michael A. Hershey, MD | Jerry Thomas, DO | Reginald M. Rousseau, M.D.
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.
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.
Dr. Joshua E. Ryan is a 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.
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.
Dr. Amit Sharma is a board certified physician who specializes in interventional pain management. Dr. Sharma is the Director of the Pain Program at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, and also serves as its Chairman of the Division of Pain Medicine for the Department of Anesthesiology.
Recognized by his peers for his skills and commitment, Dr. Sharma has been selected by Castle Connolly as one of the Top Doctors in the US for Pain Medicine for the last several years. He was also recognized recently by New York Magazine and Newsday as a Best Doctor in his field. He has also consistently received the “Patients Choice Awards” and “Compassionate Doctor Award” for many years. He is a lifetime member of American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians and a member of numerous national and international pain societies.
Dr. Sharma did his residency in anesthesiology at The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University in New York City. On completion, he was rewarded as the best resident of the year. He then obtained fellowship training in interventional pain medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was honored with Pfizer best fellow of the year by Johns Hopkins. Dr. Sharma served as an Assistant Professor at Columbia University prior to going in private practice.
Having performed over 18,000 interventional procedures over the past few years, Dr. Sharma specializes in the diagnosis and management of back and neck problems, along with neuropathic and cancer pain. He also has special interest in ischemic pain and peripheral vascular disease related issues. He has an expertise in neuromodulation (spinal cord stimulation), intrathecal drug delivery systems, minimally invasive spine procedures (Kyphoplasty, Intradiscal Electrothermy, Nucleoplasty, MILD) and radiofrequency ablative procedures. Along with the other physicians at SpineCare Long Island, he is a strong proponent of non-operative options such as physical therapy and acupuncture.
Dr. Sharma is well published in peer-reviewed journals and has authored numerous textbook chapters. He has been invited as a guest speaker at several national pain meetings. He has also done research in the field of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS or RSD). His team at Johns Hopkins was provided a financial grant to conduct the largest study on CRPS patients which was published in a renowned journal. Having served as a teaching faculty, training residents and fellow doctors, Dr. Sharma carries the passion of education with him. He believes in educating patients and spends time explaining every aspect of their treatment plan with them.
Dr. Michael A. Hershey is a physician with double board certification in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. He received his medical degree from the Weill Cornell Medical College, and his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, graduating with highest honors. After completing his residency in Anesthesiology at Columbia, he finished fellowship training in Pain Medicine at the prestigious NYU Langone Medical Center, ranked one of the 10 best hospitals in the United States in 2016-17 by US News & World Report.
Prior to residency, Dr. Hershey also completed a research fellowship in Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. His passion for medical research is evidenced by his contribution to numerous publications that investigate state-of-the-art pain treatments that safely and effectively treat a broad spectrum of pain syndromes and conditions.
Jerry Thomas, DO is a board-eligible physiatrist, or physical medicine & rehabilitation specialist. Dr. Thomas completed a seven-year Bachelor / Medical Degree at NYIT-New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completed his residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital both at Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, NY. During his extensive training, Dr. Thomas completed clinical rotations at Hospital for Special Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Helen Hayes Hospital, Blythedale Children’s Hospital and James J. Peters VA Medical Center.
Dr. Thomas’ goal when evaluating and treating patients is to help each patient return to their everyday activities. Every patient is different, and whether the patient is an athlete or fitness enthusiast, or a grandparent enjoying time spent with grandchildren, Dr. Thomas works with each patient to construct a treatment plan tailored to their specific diagnosis and treatment goals.
Collaboration with the interventional pain management specialists and spine-focused neurosurgeons at SpineCare Long Island allows Dr. Thomas to offer his patients the full spectrum of treatment options. If conservative treatments have been exhausted or aren’t an option, Dr. Thomas works with other SCLI physicians and follows his patients until their goals have been met.
Dr. Thomas’ specific clinical interests include non-operative spine medicine, musculoskeletal medicine, spinal cord injury, spasticity and cancer rehabilitation. He has presented lectures on anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, journal reviews and pain medicine to a wide variety audiences. Dr. Thomas is a native New Yorker with interests in photography, weight lifting, running, music and discovering great food.
Reginald M. Rousseau, M.D., is an interventional pain physician. He was formerly the Chief of Pain Management Services at Franklin General.
Dr. Rousseau attended Yale University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Biology. He went on to receive his medical degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he also completed his medical internship. Dr. Rousseau fulfilled his anesthesiology residency and interventional pain management fellowship at the prestigious Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, NY.
A Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology with a subspecialty certification in Pain Management, Dr. Rousseau also has a medical certification in acupuncture, which he incorporates into his holistic treatment plans.
Dr. Rousseau is heavily involved in community lectures related to pain management. He is an active member of numerous medical societies including American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, National Medical Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists and New York State Society of Anesthesiologists.
Dr.Rousseau has been committed to serving medical and humanitarian needs, both locally and abroad. Upon multiple trips to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, he partnered with organizations such as Project Medishare and Wings over Haiti, to provide immediate medical care to earthquake trauma victims, as well as supporting the establishment of a medical clinic and school for a village.
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 can 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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