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Our Physicians




Ayad M. Al-Katib, MD
Ayad Al-Katib, MD is Medical Director of Oncology and Section Chief of Hematology at St. John Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Al-Katib is a professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology. He also is a member of the graduate faculty in the Cancer Biology Program. Dr. Al-Katib comes to St. John after serving as director of the multidiciplinary Lymphoma Group, Karmanos Cancer Institute since 1994, as well as several other leadership positions. Dr. Al-Katib is a reviewer for professional journals and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), as well as a member of the NCI's Phase I Research Investigators Group. His professional society memberships include the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Hematology, American Federation for Clinical Research, International Society for Experimental Hematology, New York Academy of Science, Southwest Oncology Group, and Detroit Immunological Society. Clinical, research, and teaching interests of Dr. Al-Katib focus on malignant lymphoid disorders (lymphoma and related diseases). He is nationally and internationally known as an expert in this field and has published more than a hundred scientific papers in this area. His practice, the Lymphoma Clinic of Michigan, is dedicated to the management of malignant lymphoid disorders. The practice is limited to disorders such as non-Hodgkins lymphoma, multiple myeloma, Hodgkins disease, Waldenstroms macroglobulinemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, hairy cell leukemia, Castleman's disease and related disorders. Primary responsibility for treatment of these disorders or one time-consultation/second opinion are available to patients. Dr. Al-Katib was named one of the area's top oncologists in Hour Detroit magazine's 2004 and 2008 "Top Docs" survey. Dr. Al-Katib's practice is limited to malignant disorders of the lymphatic/immune sy


Amr M. Aref, MD
Amr Aref, M.D. is the Section Chief of Radiation Oncology at St. John Hospital and the Van Elslander Cancer Center. He is certified in radiation oncology by both the American Board of Radiology and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has also volunteered to sit for the recertification exam given by the American Board of Radiology, and he passed this exam in the year 2000. Prior to his arrival to the Van Elslander Cancer Center, Dr. Aref worked at Karmanos Cancer Institute for eight years, and he served as the residency program director, clinical chief, and associate specialist in chief for the department of radiation oncology. Dr. Aref also served as assistant leader of the breast program at Karmanos Cancer Institute. Dr. Aref has special interest in breast cancer, head and neck cancer, and malignant lymphomas and he several presentations in those areas at national and international meetings, and they were published in peer-reviewed medical journals. Dr. Aref is a member of several professional societies, including the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO). Dr. Aref received his medical degree from Cairo University and was trained in radiation oncology at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. He has held full-time faculty positions at the University of Missouri, University of Alberta, and the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Aref was named one of the area's top oncologists by Hour Detroit magazine in its 2004 "Top Docs" survey.


Laura A. Biernat, MD
Laura A. Biernat, M.D. specializes in Medical Oncology and has a specific interest in the treatment of breast cancer. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Medical Oncology. She received undergraduate and graduate training at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Biernat completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Oncology fellowship program at the Detroit Medical Center. She served as Chief Oncology Fellow in her final year of training and then joined the staff of Wayne State University/Karmanos Cancer Institute as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1996. During her tenure there, Dr. Biernat was an integral member of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer team at Karmanos Cancer Institute. She currently is the Director of the Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic at the Liggett Breast Clinic at the Van Elslander Cancer Center. Dr. Biernat's professional memberships include Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha, Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and the Southwest Oncology Group. Dr. Biernat's special interests are in treating breast cancer and offering customized care for the individual patient in a compassionate manner. She is very interested in the development of more effective cancer treatments and encourages patient participation in clinical research studies when available. Dr. Biernat was recognized as a "Top Doc" in oncology by Hour Detroit magazine in 2008.


John E. Boccaccio, MD
Specialization in general surgery with special attention to hernia surgery and the use of the latest technology. Minimally invasive and quick recovery times. Also provides colonoscopy treatment and prevention of colon cancer.


Norman A. Bolz, MD


Cynthia H. Browne, MD
Dr. Browne is a board certified radiation oncologist with specialties in breast cancer and nutrition. Dr. Browne started her education at the University of Colorado where she received her PhD in Physical/Medical Anthropology and subsequently her MD. She then completed her residency at Stanford University. She is board certified by the American College of Radiology. She started her private practice in San Francisco in 1988 and came to Michigan in 1998. She has been with St. John Hospital and Medical Center since 2000. She is a national speaker in the field of nutritional oncology and nutrition in chronic disease. She sits on The Nutritional Advisory Board for Cancer Treatment Center of America and has a private practice in nutritional medicine for chronic disease. Her approach to cancer treatment is holistic and centers on the mind, body, and spirit connection. She offers not only conventional methodologies but also cutting edge complementary medicines focusing on lifestyle and diet changes. Dr. Browne feels her approach to treat patients with traditional and complementary medicines impacts not only current cancer diagnosis and treatment, but also a patient's risk of recurrent cancer.


Paul J. Chuba, MD
Dr. Chuba is a board certified Radiation Oncologist with special interests in pediatric radiation as well as brain tumors, prostate cancer, and radioactive implants. Dr. Chuba currently serves as Chief of Radiation Oncology at St. John Macomb Hospital. He is active in research both locally and as part of national and international cooperative groups. In 2004, Dr. Chuba was recognized as one of the Detroit area's "Top Docs" in pediatric oncology by Hour magazine in its annual survey.


Jeffrey S. Falk, MD
Dr. Falk is a Surgical Oncologist who focuses primarily on breast cancer. Dr. Falk started his medical education at Eastern Kentucky University where he received a Bachelors of Arts in Chemistry. He then attended the University of Cincinnati where he received his medical degree. Dr. Falk then moved to Michigan where he completed his residency at William Beaumont Hospital. Dr. Falk went on to complete a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. After his fellowship in 2001, Dr. Falk joined the University of Pittsburgh, Magee-Womens Hospital as Assistant Professor of Surgery. Dr. Falk remained with the University of Pittsburgh until 2007 where he joined The St. John Health Breast Care Program. Dr. Falk is board certified by the American Board of Surgeons. He is a member of the Society of Surgical Oncology as well as the American Society of Breast Surgeons . Dr. Falk has affiliations with numerous professional and scientific societies. Dr. Falk has a special interest in research and clinical trials. One of his numerous areas of interest is partial breast irradiation. Dr. Falk speaks locally and nationally on advances in partial breast irradiation. He has written numerous papers on all aspects of surgical care and has been the principal investigator of several breast trials. Dr. Falk performs the most cutting edge surgical techniques and breast cancer management, including skin sparing mastectomy and oncoplastic breast conserving surgery. Dr. Falk lives in Michigan with his wife and three children.


Abdelkader A. Hawasli, MD
Dr. Hawasli is board certified in general surgery since 1986. He is the director of Laparoscopic Surgery and the Minimally Invasive Surgery Center at St. John Hospital. He was the president of Michigan Society of General Surgeons and the president of the Michigan Chapter of the American Society of General Surgeons. He has been voted a "Top Doctor" several times by Detroit Monthly and Hour Magazine. Dr. Hawasli has been on the teaching staff at St. John Hospital since 1985. Dr. Hawasli has been on the leading edge of other laparoscopic minimally invasive procedures. He has performed several thousands of such procedures including removal of the gallbladder, appendix, spleen, adrenal gland, colon, repair of groin hernia, and hiatal hernia. In addition, he has been performing anti-reflux procedures for heartburn (GERD). Dr. Hawasli also brought laparoscopic removal of kidneys for transplant, laparoscopic Cryo, and recently radio-frequency ablation of unresectable liver cancers. Most recently, Dr. Hawasli added the laparoscopic placement of Lap-Band for morbid obesity. The operation is done as an outpatient, is adjustable, reversable, and does not involve any cutting of the stomach. In addition, Dr. Hawasli has interest in minimally invasive endocrine surgery such as removal of the parathyroid. Dr. Hawasli was recognized in 2004,2005, and 2008 as one of the region's most respected general surgeons in Hour Detroit magazine's annual "Top Docs" ranking.


Peter D. Kowynia, MD
Dr. Kowynia is a board certified general surgeon. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the president of Northeast Surgical Specialists. He received undergraduate and graduate training at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. General surgery residency was completed at St. John Hospital in Detroit. Professional memberships include the American Society of General Surgeons, the Medical Surgical Association, and the Detroit Academy of Surgeons. Dr. Kownyia is well trained and experienced in all aspects of general surgery including gastrointestinal and oncologic surgery. His special interests are laparoscopy, biliary tract disease, breast disease, gallbladder surgery, hernia surgery, skin lesions, and any abdominal surgery. He is actively involved with cancer committees at the Van Elslander Cancer Center. He is on staff at St. John Hospital. Dr. Kowynia also offers the following laser treatments: hair removal, leg and facial vein treatments, skin rejuvenation, skin refime and tightening, and laparoscopic laser surgery. Dr. Kowynia also offers hernia surgery, biliary surgery, and skin treatments including Botox and dermal fillers.


Daniel J. Lehman, MD
Dr. Lehman, M.D., F.A.C.P. joined Great Lakes Cancer Management Specialists (aka: Hematology-Oncology Associates East, P.C.) in July 1991. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, receiving a B.A. degree in Psychology. He then went on to receive his Doctorate of Medicine in 1984 from the American University of the Caribbean. His internship and residency in internal medicine were done at St. John Hospital and Medical Center. He completed his subspecialty training in Hematology and Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital. Dr. Lehman is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and medical oncology, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He is also a member of the American Society of Hematology, the Michigan State Medical Society, Wayne County Medical Society, and the American Medical Association, as well as a member of the Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology, and currently serves as President elect of its Board of Directors. Dr. Lehman serves on various committees at St. John Hospital and Medical Center. He is committed to the state of the art treatment of cancer patients. To that end, he is an active principal investigator in programs sponsored by the National Cancer Institute as well as the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Project.


Robert J. Leonard, MD
Robert J. Leonard, MD, FACP, joined Great Lakes Cancer Management Specialists after completing his subspecialty training in medical oncology and hematology at The University of Michigan Medical Center. Dr. Leonard received his bachelor's degree from The University of Michigan, then attended Wayne State University School of Medicine. His internship and residency in Internal medicine were completed at Northwestern University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Leonard is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, and Hematology, and has been elected as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He is a member of the clinical faculty of Wayne State University. He has been active with the American Cancer Society and is a past President of the Board of Directors in Wayne County. He established the clinical trial program at St. John Hospital and Medical Center for cancer treatments as a member of the Michigan Cancer Research Consortium. He served as the principal investigator for many years and remains committed to offering his patients state-of-the-art cancer therapies. Dr. Leonard is dedicated to ensuring the best quality of life for his patients. He also is board certified in Palliative and Hospice Medicine and has served as the Medical Director of St. John Hospice since its formation. He was involved in the collaborative program between St. John Hospital and Duke University in studying and promoting Palliative Care with patients and their families, medical personnel, and in the community. He has been recognized by his peers as one of the area's top oncologists in Hour Magazine, having been elected a "Top Doc" each year from 2004 through 2010. Dr. Leonard believes in offering the most current state-of-the-art cancer care, along with optimal symptom management compassionately in partnership with patients and their families.


Larry R. Lloyd, MD
Dr. Lloyd is a graduate of Wayne State University School of Medicine. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery. He has extensive experience in laparoscopic surgery, being one of the first physicians in Michigan to perform laparoscopic procedures. Dr. Lloyd was recognized as one of the region's most respected general surgeons in Hour Detroit magazine's annual "Top Docs" ranking in 2004,2005, and 2008. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS). He specializes in thyroid and parathyroid surgeries, gallbladder, hernias, melanomas, lesions, breast biopsies, and lap bands. He also performs the full range of general surgery and colonoscopy.


Adonis N. Lorenzana, MD
Specializing In: Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Dr. Lorenzana is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and is board certified in Pediatrics in Canada as well. He is also board certified in Hospice and Pallative Care Medicine. He graduated from the National University of Honduras. He completed his Pediatric residency at the Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans, Lousiana and a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Chicago. He is a member pf the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Society of Oncology, and the American Association of Hospice and Pallative Medicine. His special clinical research interests is in the biology of childhood Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL). Through the Children's Oncology Group (COG), he is currently studying the role soluble CD30 as a disease marker in ALCL. He has been named one of the area's top pediatric oncologists by Hour Detroit Magazine in its "Top Doc" survey multliple times. His main interest is to provide comprehensive medical and supportive care for all children and families afflicted with life-limiting conditions.


Robert Morris, MD
Dr. Morris is board certified in gynecologic oncology and limits his practice to the management of cancers of the female reproduction system. His practice includes surgical resection, chemotherapy, and clinical research. Dr. Morris was recognized as a "Top Doc" in obstentrics and gynecology by Hour Detroit magazine in 2008.


Hadi Sawaf, MD
Dr. Sawaf is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and is Board Eligible in Pediatric Critical Care Dr. Sawaf is Section Chief of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Department at St. John Providence Health Systems. He has been named repeatedly amoung "Top Docs" by Hour Detroit Magazine since 2005. He is Principle Investigator at Children Oncology Group (COG), Cure Search, a national research organization of healthcare professionals devoted to the study and treatment of pediatric malignancies. He graduated from Damascus University in Damscus, Syria. He completed his Pediatric Residency at Henry Ford Hosptial in Detroit, Michigan and a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at William Beaumont in Royal Oak, Michigan. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics adn is a member of the Board of Directors of the Leukemia Society of America. He is active in clinical cancer research through access to state of the art clinical trials in Pediatric Oncology.


Donn M. Schroder, MD
Dr. Donn Schroder is board certified in general surgery. He has practiced surgery for over 20 years and is experienced in the latest techniques. Dr Schroder is dedicated to providing the best possible care for his patients by spending the time they need with them to deal with their surgical problems. He was the president of the Academy of Surgery for Detroit in 2002 , he was the president of the Midwest Surgical Association in 2009-2010 and he is on the editorial board of the American Journal of Surgery. His practice specializes in breast, thyroid, and abdominal surgery. He was one of the first in Michigan to do video laparoscopic surgery and was the first to bring radio-frequency tumor ablation to St. John Hospital & Medical Center. Dr. Schroder is one of the pioneers in laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder, repair of inguinal hernia and colon removal. He remains committed to bringing cutting edge technology combined with personal caring to his patients. Dr. Schroder has been repeatedly as one of the region's most respected general surgeons in Hour Detroit magazine's annual "Top Docs" ranking. Most importantly, Dr Schroder will do his utmost to take the best possible care of you.


Jerome E. Seid, MD
Dr. Seid began his undergraduate training at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island before completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry at the University of Michigan in 1981. Dr. Seid then received a Masters of Science degree in Toxicology from the University of Michigan, Rackham School of Graduate Studies in 1983. He completed his Doctor of Medicine degree at Wayne State University in 1987, and then moved to Chicago, Illinois where he finished his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at Northwestern University. Returning to Ann Arbor, Dr. Seid undertook his subspecialty training in hematology and oncology at the University of Michigan, completing his studies in 1993. Dr. Seid remained on the faculty at the University of Michigan for a year before entering private practice in Pittsburgh, PA in early 1994. While in Pittsburgh, Dr. Seid maintained an active role as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, teaching medical and nursing students, residents and fellows. Dr. Seid has been active on various hospital cancer and medical committees. He has served as one of the Medical Directors of the Forbes Hospice in Pittsburgh and maintains a strong interest in the teaching of end-of-life issues to colleagues, physicians-in-training, and students of medicine and nursing.


Akash Sheth, MD
Akash Sheth, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a board certified general surgeon. He completed his undergraduate training at Wayne State University. He graduated "with high distinction" from the Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1991. Following this he completed his general surgery residency training at St. John Hospital from 1991 to 1996. Since 1996, he has been in private group practice. During that time he has cultivated an interest in minimally invasive surgery, particularly laparoscopic gallbladder surgery and laparoscopic appendix surgery. Procedures performed include: laparoscopic cholecystectomy; laparoscopic pre-peritoneal inguinal hernia repair; laparoscopic appendectomy, gastrointestinal surgery, breast surgery, oncologic surgery, and endocrine surgery. Dr. Sheths was recognized in 2004 and 2008 as one of the region's most respected general surgeons in Hour Detroit magazine's annual "Top Docs" ranking.


Dharti Sheth, MD
Dr. Sheth is a general surgeon with a special interest in breast diseases. She strives to not only assist patients with achieving a surgical cure or palliation, but also to provide them with emotional support during their journey through their treatment. Dr. Sheth is well-trained in all aspects of general surgery, including areas of gastrointestinal, endocrine, oncologic and laparoscopic surgery. Her primary area of interest is breast disease. Dr. Sheth is affiliated with national organizations dealing primarily with breast-related issues. Her involvement in national trials brings our community state-of-the-art treatment options, including sentinel lymph node biopsy. Additionally, her affiliation with the Van Elslander Cancer Center enables her to offer a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer patients. Dr. Sheth has staff privileges at several hospitals including St. John Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Sheth completed her undergraduate training at Wayne State University and went on to graduate from Wayne State University School of Medicine with high distinction. She completed her general surgery residency program at St. John Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Sheth is Board Certified and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. We aim to provide the highest level of quality care with compassion in all aspects of general surgical care. We are trained and board certified to treat most-all surgical diseases with particular emphasis on breast, stomach, colon, thyroid, parathyroid, and skin cancers.


Michael G. Taylor, MD
Dr. Taylor was recognized in 2004 as one of the area's most respected general surgeons in Hour Detroit magazine's listing of "Top Docs."


Christine Watt, MD
Dr. Watt is a board certified radiologist. Dr. Watt's special interest is Mammography. Dr. Watt is well known and highly respected nationally for her work in the field of mammography. This physician has written many articles for various publications and given papers and presentations at conferences. She has been interviewed numerous times by newspapers and magazines on the subject of breast cancer awareness. Dr. Watt has made several guest appearances on radio and television as well. Dr. Watt is a member of Eastpointe Radiologists, P.C., the group that provides the radiology services for St. John Hospital & Medical Center and the St. John Surgery Center. Dr. Watt is a Fellow of the American College of Radiology and of the Society of Breast Imaging. Dr. Watt is also a member of the following societies: Radiological Society of North America, American Roentgen Ray Society, Michigan Radiological Society, Bavarian-American Radiological Society, Michigan State Medical Society, Wayne State Medical Society, and the American Association for Women Radiologists.


Cheryl A. Wesen, MD
Dr. Wesen is the director of the St. John Health System Breast Care Program. She has been a general surgeon since 1985. She is board certified through the American Board of Surgery and is Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. She started her education at Cornell University where she received a bachelor's degree in nutrition with honors. Before going to medical school, she received a masters in nutrition from the University of Maryland. She then began her medical training at Temple University School of Medicine. She completed her surgical residency at Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio Texas. Following her residency she did a surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Wesen has been with St. John Health System since 1995 where she has practiced as a general surgeon with a special interest in breast cancer. Most recently, in 1996, she was asked to lead the St. John Health System Breast Care Program. Dr. Wesen oversees the breast programs of the St. John main campus in Detroit. As a breast surgeon Dr. Wesen is proficient in the latest in surgical techniques such as office-based core biopsies, sentinel lymph node biopsy, and skin sparing mastectomy. She has an excellent collaborative relationship with several plastic surgeons and is often able to offer immediate reconstruction with surgery. Dr. Wesen's reputation for compassionate care is well known in the community. Her passion for breast health and excellent patient care has earned her Hour Detroit Magazine's "Top Docs" award for several years. She was named Surgical Instructor of the Year in 1999.



 

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