Waguih El Masry, MD PA – Internal Medicine (SMRC)
Waguih El Masry received his medical degree in 1989 followed internship in 1991 from the University of Alexandria Egypt. From 1991 to 1992, Dr. El Masry was involved with Cancer Research at Ohio State University. He was certified by ECFMG in 1992 and fulfilled his Internal Medicine Residency at Western Pennsylvania Hospital from 1993 to 1996 becoming Board Certified in Internal Medicine. After serving as Primary Care and Emergency Room Physician at Meyersdale Medical Center from 1996 to 2000, Dr. El Masry began practice in Bradenton, Florida. He currently has privileges at Manatee Memorial Hospital and Blake Medical Center as well as at several nursing facilities throughout Sarasota and Bradenton. At Manatee Memorial Hospital, Dr. El Masry is currently the Vice Chief of Staff on the Executive Committee having previously served as Treasurer, and is the Chairman of the Physician Hospital Organization.
Diego Fallon, M.D. – Internal Medicine (FINR)
Dr. Fallon attended the National University of Colombia in Bogota where he received his Doctorate in Medicine and Surgery in 1980. Dr. Fallon is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. Professional affiliations include Southern Medical Association, Fellow of the Academy of IntraAmerican College of Physicians and Surgeons, Medical Director of the Transitional Care Unit at Florida Hospital Wauchula, and Medical Director of the American Cancer Society Hardee County Chapter.
Ralph F. Gonzalez, M.D. – Neurologist (SMRC)
Dr. Gonzalez graduated in 1991 from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Biology; followed by a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1995. Post-graduate training in internal medicine and neurology were received at Shands Teaching Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. He became the Chief Resident, Department of Neurology, in 1997, followed by clinical neurophysiology fellowship in 2000. Dr. Gonzalez is Board Certified in Neurology and Vascular Neurology, a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, the Manatee County Medical Society, and the Florida Medical Association. He has privileges at Manatee Memorial Hospital where he is chairman of the Credentialing Committee, a member of the Medical Executive Committee, and is the Medical Director of the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Unit. Dr. Gonzalez also has privileges at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.
Gregory Hanes, M.D. – Neurologist (FINR)
Gregory P. Hanes, MD is a neurologist and clinical neurophysiologist in Sarasota, FL. Dr. Hanes received his medical degree from Drexel University and received his neurology training at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Hanes stayed on at the Cleveland Clinic for a fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology, Neuromuscular Disorders and EMG. He is now a partner of Negroski, Stein, Sutherland, and Hanes Neurology. Dr. Hanes has hospital privileges at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Doctors Hospital of Sarasota. Dr. Hanes is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Florida State University College of Medicine with chiefly educational responsibilities. He also serves as the MDA clinic director for Sarasota and its surrounding counties. Dr. Hanes has board certifications in neurology (ABPN), clinical neurophysiology (ABPN), and electromyography (ABEM). Primary areas of interest include nerve and muscle disorders, myasthenia gravis, ALS, traumatic brain injury, EMG, EEG, and therapeutic use of Botox for the treatment of spasticity, dystonia, blepharospasm, and headaches.
Craig Lichtblau, M.D. P.A. - Director of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Dr. Lichtblau is a Board Certified physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation. A graduate of the School of Medicine, American University of the Caribbean, British West Indies. Dr. Lichtblau completed internship and residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Jewish Hospital Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Lichtblau’s professional affiliations: Diplomat American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. He operates a private physical medicine and rehabilitation out-patient private practice service and is the Medical Director for St. Mary’s Hospital in-patient rehabilitation unit in West Palm Beach, Florida. He serves as consultant to the Children Medical Service for the state of Florida and is a member of the children’s multi-disciplinary asset team.
Herman R. Matallana, D.O. – ENT (SMRC)
Herman Matallano received his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine in 1996 from Kansas City University of Medicine and Bio-Sciences. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Sun Coast Hospital in Largo, Florida followed by his Otolaryngology-Head and Neck/Facial Plastic Surgery residency at Des Peres Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Memberships include: American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American Academy of Facial Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, American Osteopathic Association, Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, and Central Florida Physicians Alliance. Dr. Matallano currently serves as Chief of Surgery at Bartow Regional Medical Center in Bartow, Florida.
Jorge J. Villalba, M.D., F.A.A.C.A.P., Psychiatry – Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Villalba graduated from Universidad Central del Este (Central Eastern University) College of Medicine, San Pedro de Marcoris, Dominican Republic. Dr. Villalba completed an internship at St. Vincent’s Medical Center (New York Medical College) in the areas of Internal Medicine, Neurology and Psychiatry during which he also completed a residency in general (adult) Psychiatry. He concluded a fellowship program at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in the area of child and adolescent Psychiatry — where he was appointed the Chief Resident. Dr. Villalba is Board certified as a child, adolescent, adult and forensic Psychiatrist (Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology), is a Diplomate of the American Board of Disability Analysts (Senior Analyst), is a fellow of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, is a fellow of the InterAmerican College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as a clinical assistant professor at the University of South Florida, College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Villalba has extensive experience in the areas of traumatic brain injury and neuropsychiatry and has privileges at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Bay Pines, FL where he diagnoses and treats veterans, soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries and related sequolae. He also provides services to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office as a psychiatrist. He has served in the capacity as an advisor to the National Tourette’s Society-Florida Chapter and the State of Florida, Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
Kevin E. O’Keefe, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist - Director of Neuropsychology
Dr. O’Keefe graduated from Widener University in Pennsylvania with a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1997. Past experience centers around neuropsychological testing, individual & group therapy, and instructional roles in psychology & psychological testing.
Jeffrey Walden, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist – SIL Program Director
Dr. Walden graduated from Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology in 2001. His past experience is focused upon the neuropsychological assessment of individuals with acquired and developmental neurological disorders, as well as the conduct of psychotherapy and cognitive remediation with survivors of traumatic brain injury. He has worked within outpatient and acute inpatient rehabilitation settings
Sara Malowitz, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist - Clinical Neuropsychologist (FINR)
Dr. Malowitz graduated from Argosy University in Tampa, Florida with a doctorate in clinical psychology in 2009. Past experience includes neuropsychological testing, neuropsychological consultations with patients in the Skilled Medical Rehabilitation Center at FINR, individual therapy, facilitating substance abuse process group at FINR, and serving as an instructor for undergraduate students in general and developmental psychology courses.
Clinical Staff & Directors
Abigail Ashe, NHA - Administrator (SMRC)
Stephanie Ortiz, RN - Director of Nursing (SMRC)
Bennie Colbert - Program Director (FINR)
Lisa Applequist, RN - Director of Nursing (FINR)
Sarah Bense, DPT, CBIS - Senior Physical Therapist
Sarah received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University at Buffalo in 2008. She completed her final student clinical affiliation at FINR. Enjoyment spawned from working with this specialized population led her to relocate from New York to Florida following graduation to accept a full-time position. She recently became a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) and enjoys working with individuals who have experienced brain injury or other neurologic impairment and their families. In addition, Sarah is a clinical instructor and loves to mentor physical therapy students towards what she believes is a truly rewarding career. Sarah is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and is a member of the Neurology Section.
Shannon Beattie, BA MS CCC-SLP - Senior Speech Language Pathologist
Shannon Beattie received her Master of Science from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida in 2002. After completing her internship at FINR, she began working full time in 2003. She is clinically privileged to perform Endoscopic Swallow Studies, specializing in children and adults with brain injury. Shannon has been a member of FLASHA since 2007 and ASHA since 2003. She is in ASHA Special Interest Divisions: Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech Language Disorders (2), Administration and Supervision (11), and Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (13).
Dustin Newcombe - Occupational Therapist
Annettia Simpson, RRT - Senior Respiratory Therapist
Annettia received her degree in Respiratory Care from Northern Kentucky University in 2006. She began working in Dearborn County Hospital where she fulfilled duties in the ER and ICU providing ventilator management. In 2009, Annettia provided tracheotomy care and ventilator management in Cardinal Hill, a long-term acute care facility.
Other Clinical Staff
- Florida Certified ESE teachers
- Certified Behavior Analysts
- Certified Dieticians
- Florida licensed respiratory therapists