1026 Union Road
West Seneca, NY
Phone
Fax
716.712.0851
716.712.0853

Our Team

Southgate Medical Group includes outstanding board-certified physicians as well as highly trained nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, and other medical professionals. The following individuals comprise our current medical and professional staff.

Click a name to read more.

Providers

Angela Barnes, DO

Dr. Barnes is a graduate of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and of Weber State University where she earned her bachelor of science in microbiology with a minor in chemistry. She's committed to women's health issues and is admired by both patients and colleagues for her personable manner and communication skills.


Dr. Barnes participates as a Clinical educator of first year medical students at the University at Buffalo, and is on the Board of Directors of Catholic Medical Partners. She also has a particular interest in wellness and antiaging. She is certified in the use of Botox, Dysport, and dermal fillers.

Brandon Brownell, MD

Dr. Brownell is a Western New York native who graduated from Ross University School of Medicine and earned his Master of Science degree at Canisius College, specializing in Health and Human Performance. He completed his residency with the University at Buffalo in the Department of Family Medicine before specializing in Sports Medicine. With his background in Family and Sports Medicine, Dr. Brownell has a passion to return patients of all ages back to their active lifestyles. As part of his Sports Medicine fellowship Dr. Brownell worked with the UB Bulls Division-1 athletes, both on and off the field. He has a focus in ultrasound guided musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Brownell is a recipient of the Family Medicine Outstanding Service Award from the University at Buffalo and the Health and Human Performance Center Award from Canisius College. His professional affiliations include the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association.

Jay Thomas Hassenfratz, DPM

Dr. Hassenfratz earned his bachelor of arts degree at Canisius College and is a graduate of the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine where he was awarded the Dr. Marvin W. Shapiro Operative Podiatry Award for outstanding proficiency in podiatric surgery. He completed his residency/fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic with special training in foot fractures/ dislocations and diabetic foot pathology and reconstruction. Dr. Hassenfratz has been in private practice since 2002 and is affiliated with St. Joseph Hospital, Mercy Hospital, and the Center for Ambulatory Surgery. Dr Hassenfratz is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Lisa B. Hoffman, MD, FACP

Dr. Hoffman is the president of Southgate Medical Group. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Canisius College and graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. She completed her postdoctoral training in the Primary Care Program in Internal Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. Dr. Hoffman was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1995 and recertified in 2016. She previously worked as a partner physician in two other medical groups in Western New York before forming Southgate Medical Group in 2003.


Dr. Hoffman has served the Board of Directors of Catholic Medical partners since 2009. She holds the position of Board Chairman from 2016-2017. In addition, Dr. Hoffman is a fellow in the American College of Physicians.

Richard Karaga, DO

Dr. Karaga is a Board Certified physician specializing in family medicine. He is a graduate of the Lake Erie College of Medicine where he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree. Dr. Karaga served his internship and residency at Sisters of Charity Hospital where he distinguished himself as Chief Resident of the Family Medicine Department. Dr. Karaga is a member of the American Osteopathic Association and the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.

Daniel J. Murak, MD

Dr. Murak, board certified in Family Medicine, is a founding partner of Southgate Medical Group. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Biology at the State University College at Buffalo, graduated in 1983 from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and completed his residency program in Family Medicine at Buffalo General Hospital. He served under the National Health Service in Southern Texas for 3 years and also did volunteer work at a Central America Refugee Camp in Harlingen Texas. He returned to Western New York in 1989 and has been practicing Family Medicine since.

Anh-Thu Nguyen, MD

Dr. Nguyen is a graduate of St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies where she won the highest class score achievement in bioethics. She performed her family medicine residency at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, New York and was previously awarded an Honors Bachelor of Science with a major in biology at York University in Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Nguyen is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians. She is fluent in English and Vietnamese and enjoys archery, field hockey, snowboarding, and cooking.

Erica S. Redenbach, FP, DO

Dr. Redenbach earned her DO at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona and completed her family medicine residency training program at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, New York. She was awarded her master’s in biomedical sciences at Midwestern University and her bachelor’s of science in zoology at Michigan State University. Dr. Redenbach is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, and the American Osteopathic Association. In addition to medicine, her interests include reading, cooking, traveling, photography, cinema, and piano.

Robert R. Roché, DO, MS

Dr. Roché is a diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice and is licensed in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In addition to his practice at Southgate Medical Group, he is an attending physician in the Department of Medicine at Mercy Hospital. He received his DO degree from the School of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of the State of New Jersey in Stratford, NJ and his MS degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed his residency in family practice medicine at Virtua Health Systems in Voorhees, NJ.


A former National Institutes of Health Graduate Fellow, Dr. Roché is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine, the American Medical Association, the Academy of Osteopathy, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is certified in advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support and his additional medical skills and interests include sports medicine, geriatric medicine, and pharmacology.

Brian D. Snyder, MD, FACP

A managing partner of the Southgate Medical Group since its inception in 2003, Dr. Snyder specializes in clinical pharmacology, geriatrics as well as hospice and palliative care medicine. He is also an internist at BLT Medical Group, LLP and Medical Director for Home Care and Long Term Care with the Catholic Health System and Family Choice of New York. He is Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University at Buffalo (UB) and is board certified in Internal Medicine as well as Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine.

Dr. Snyder is a graduate of Northwestern University and earned his medical degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Evanston Hospital, Northwestern University, in Evanston, IL. He is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Directors Association.

Claude G. Sy, MD

A partner physician at SMG, Dr. Sy is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and earned his medical degree at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. His residency in internal medicine was completed at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo where he's also currently affiliated. He formerly served as an internist with two other Western New York medical groups. Dr. Sy holds membership in the American College of Physicians.

Rexford Lee Thomas, Jr., PhD, MD, FACS

Dr. Thomas is a distinguished surgeon with a specialty in surgical oncology. He earned a doctorate in organic chemistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY), Roswell Park Division, and is a magna cum laude graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He completed his surgical residency at SUNY at Buffalo where he became Administrative Chief Surgical Resident. He went on to complete a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Thomas was certified by the American Board of Surgery in 1998 and recertified in 2009. He is an Assistant Clinical Instructor of Surgery at SUNY at Buffalo. He is also the recipient of numerous awards for his chemistry and cancer research and is senior author of several scientific papers and abstracts in cancer research. Dr. Thomas is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgery.

Raghupathy Varavenkataraman, MD, FACP

Dr. Varavenkataraman has been a member and partner physician of the Southgate Medical Group since 2003. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and earned his medical degree at the Stanley Medical College in Madras, India. Dr. Varavenkataraman did his internal medicine residency at the Nassau County Medical Center in East Meadow, NY where he also served as attending physician in the Division of Emergency Medicine. He is licensed in the state of New York. Dr. Varavenkataraman formerly held a research position in gastroenterology at the University of California, worked as the House Officer in Internal Medicine at San Mateo County General Hospital, and served as internist at three other Western New York medical groups before joining SMG.

Natalie Chapman, PA-C

Natalie Chapman holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree from the Physician Assistant Program at D'Youville College where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Her professional career includes clinical experience in the areas of internal medicine, geriatrics, primary care, family medicine, cardiology and mental health. Ms. Chapman is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is licensed in the state of New York. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and WNY (Western New York) Physician Assistant Association.

Nicole A. Fore, PA

A New York State licensed physician assistant, Nicole Fore earned her MS in Physician Assistant Studies and BS in Natural Science-Health Sciences at Daemen College in Amherst, NY. She has wide experience in women’s health, internal medicine, and family medicine and direct clinical experience in general surgery, emergency medicine, pediatrics, gastroenterology, and psychiatry. Ms. Fore has also traveled abroad to work with medical teams in the Dominican Republic and Rabat, Morocco. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and has been honored with numerous awards including the Presidential Scholarship.

Lianna Ferger, PA-C

Lianna M. Ferger is a certified Physician Assistant who completed her Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Daemen College, where she earned honors on the Dean’s list and as a Presidential Scholarship recipient. She has work experience from the Emergency Department at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, as well as clinical experience in internal and family medicine, women’s health, mental health and gastroenterology. Lianna is a member of the New York State Society of Physician Assistants and the WNY Physician Assistant Association.

Lauren Fuest, DPT

Lauren Fuest is a graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Natural Science /Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Daemen College. Her proficiency, compassion, and treatment skills in working with adults, children, and seniors in orthopaedic and sub-acute rehab settings have earned wide respect from both patients and clinicians. Ms. Fuest is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

John D. Hanavan, FNP

John Hanavan comes to us with an expertise in orthopedics. John graduated from the Albany Medical College of Union University as a Family Nurse Practitioner and earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at D’Youville College. He has over 30 years of experience as a nurse practitioner with extensive training and experience in orthopedics, sports medicine, occupational and family medicine. John has provided side-line coverage at a variety of sporting venues including high school and collegiate sports, NYS and MAC wrestling championships, and semi-pro and arena football. He has worked very closely with UB athletics providing care both in the training room as well as on the fields. In addition John is an expert in various orthopedic injections and has a special interest in providing care to the elderly. John was a member of the National Ski Patrol for 19 years. In addition he is a member of the New York State Coalition of Nurse Practitioners.

Jessica L. Hargarther, MS, AGNP

Jessica Hargarther is an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner with a wide range of experience in managing diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, asthma, and other clinical issues specific to adult/gerontology patients. Jessica’s work as a registered nurse in the fields of critical care, perioperative care, and interventional nursing are also valuable additions to her unique skill set at Southgate Medical Group. She is a graduate of St. John Fisher College where she earned a bachelor of science in nursing and was awarded a master of science at Stony Brook University. Ms. Hargarther is certified in advanced cardiac life support and is a member of both the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the New York State Practitioner Association.

Courtney Hurley, PA-C

Courtney Hurley is a graduate of the B.S./M.S. Program in Physician Assistant Studies at D’Youville College where she distinguished herself on the Dean’s List and as president of the Student Physician Assistant Association. Her clinical experience has included internal medicine, family medicine, primary care, pediatrics, vascular surgery, orthopaedics, OB/GYN, emergency medicine, psychiatry, geriatrics, and dermatology. Ms. Hurley holds certifications in acute cardiac life support, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and has trained in both infection control and in the Identification of child abuse and maltreatment.

Heather Leary, AGPCNP-BC, RN BSN

Heather Leary earned her master of science, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, summa cum laude, at the University at Buffalo. She has wide experience in primary care, urgent care, geriatrics, cardiothoracic intensive care, cardiac medical intensive care, and other nursing specialties attained from her work at several leading American hospitals and medical centers. Ms. Leary is ANCC Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Board Certified and is a member of the Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State.

Janet May, PA-C

Janet May was awarded a bachelor of science degree in the Physician Assistant Program at Gannon University in 2000. Prior to joining Southgate Medical Group, she worked as a physician assistant at Prime Care Family and Urgent Care and the Pratt Medical Center in Fredericksburg, VA. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is licensed in the state of New York.

Sarah McGowan, PA-C

A 2017 graduate of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at Daemen College, Sarah was awarded a Presidential Scholarship, was on the Dean’s List all semesters and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Sarah is a nationally certified and NYS licensed Physician Assistant. She has work experience in Rheumatology as well as clinical experience in family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, dermatology and otolaryngology.

Megan Morano, PA-C

Megan Morano received her bachelor of health science degree from Daemen College, where she appeared on the Dean’s List each semester, and then earned her master of science in Physician Assistant Studies degree from Daemen. Her clinical experience includes dermatology, pediatric and adolescent medicine, OB/GYN, emergency medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, plastic surgery, and family medicine, a discipline about which she is especially passionate. Ms. Morano is also certified in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and New York State Mandatory Infection Control Training. She is a member of the Western New York Physician Assistant Association.

Philip M. Ostrowski, PA-C

Philip Ostrowski is a cum laude graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Program at D’Youville College. His professional and clinical experience includes urgent care, occupational medicine, college health, family practice, internal medicine, and pediatrics. He is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Sarah Rizvi graduated from the University at Buffalo with a bachelor of science degree and earned a master of science in Physician Assistant Studies at Daemen College. Her professional career includes clinical experience in the areas of family medicine, infectious disease, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, internal medicine, neurosurgery, emergency medicine, mental health, and orthopedic surgery. Ms. Rizvi is certified in advanced cardiovascular life support and basic life support and is a member of the New York State Society of Physician Assistants and the Western New York Physician Assistant Association.

Bethany Sachel, PA-C

Bethany Sachel is an honors graduate of Daemen College where she earned her Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Science, Physician Assistant degree. She has wide experience in primary and urgent care as well as emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, and mental health. Mrs. Sachel holds both New York State Physician Assistant Certification and National Board Certification.

Sheila Tober, PA-C

Sheila Tober earned her bachelor of science in biology from Canisius College and was awarded a master of science in Physician Assistant Studies from Daemen College. She brings a wide-ranging medical experience to the practice including work in gynecology, family medicine, internal medicine, surgical assistance, psychiatry, emergency medicine, counseling, and administration. Ms. Tober holds New York State Physician Assistant Licensure and Physician Assistant National Certification. She is a member of Western New York Physician Assistants Association and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Edward Tojek, PT

Edward Tojek earned a bachelor of arts in the biological sciences and a bachelor of science in physical therapy at the University at Buffalo. He is a New York State licensed physical therapist with wide clinical experience in the fields of education, home care, orthopedics, rehabilitation, and therapeutic massage.

Corry Wierzbowski earned her bachelor of science degree in physician assistant studies at Gannon University. Her clinical career includes experience as primary care provider for adult and pediatric patients in private medical practices in the areas of gynecology, acute injuries, acute illness, and chronic illness management. She is also a lecturer in the Physician Assistant Program at D'Youville College where she works with students in clinical medicine and pharmacology. Ms. Wierzbowski is a New York State Registered Physician Assistant certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. She is also certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is a member of the Western New York Society of Physician Assistants.

Paula Gorman, RN, CMPE, Chief Operating Officer

Paula Gorman is a seasoned healthcare operations leader with wide experience in medical administration. She is responsible for all business and clinical operations as well as facilities management, human resource management, risk management, information systems, quality management, security and privacy compliance, reimbursement and coding, purchasing, marketing and many other areas essential to the successful management of the practice and the benefit of its patients.


Ms. Gorman was previously the operations director and director of nursing of a large multi-specialty physician group in Western New York. She is a graduate of Houghton College where she earned a bachelor's degree in business management.

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