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Meet the BFREE Team

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Associate Program Coordinators 

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  Sarah  Yashar-Gershman 


Angela Cabrera


Siri Peddineni


Angelica Joshi


Primary Investigator

Dr. Bernstein is a professor of Pediatrics at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. He is involved in a broad range of clinical, educational, research, and advocacy activities and has notably enhanced pediatric clinical practice. He is a published representative of nationally established groups and has directly influenced national policy. In 2013, he created, a unique online educational tool available in English and Spanish, to support individualized maternal education, provide guidance, and time management to promote breastfeeding during the baby's first 6 months of life. Dr. Bernstein will oversee all activities, budget, and reporting functions of the grant. 

Henry (Hank) Bernstein, DO, MHCM, FAAP

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Lactation Consulant

Jennifer L. Giordano, MS, APRN, FNP, IBCLC

Jennifer L. Giordano is the Director of Latch With Love, Inc., East Setauket, NY and Lactation Consultant for Peds First Pediatrics, Medford, NY.   Jennifer is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and known as an expert in the field of lactation management.  She was the Lactation/Perinatal Education Coordinator for St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center and Lecturer/Board Advisor for Prepared Childbirth Educators, Inc. She taught a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor course nationally which focused on preparing hospitals for Baby-Friendly designation and is a member of the Association of Lactation Providers, Long Island, NY.  Jennifer is excited to assist increasing breastfeeding community support as the IBCLC of the New York State Department of Health-Northwell BFREE Grant Team. 

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Project Coordinator

Pamela is a registered dietitian for General Pediatrics at CCMC and is the project coordinator. She has extensive experience with implementing health interventions in various settings. In a similar role on our previous grant, she coordinated training and quality improvement projects in nine pediatric practices to help change their breastfeeding culture. She played an instrumental role in helping Dolan Family Health Center successfully become the first NYS designated Breastfeeding Friendly practice in the Metropolitan region. For this project, Pamela will coordinate all aspects of the project including outreach, provider training, follow-up, assist in implementation and evaluation of operational activities, work closely with project staff to connect organizations and develop strong coalitions, and report any collected data. 

Pamela Reichert-Anderson, MA, RDN, CLC


Anastasia Schepers, MA, RDN, CLC, MS


Project Coordinator

Anastasia Schepers is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master's degree in clinical nutrition. Most of her 35 years in the field have been spent educating youth and parents on making healthy lifestyle choices, focusing particularly on food and beverages.  Anastasia provides a variety of interactive and educational programs in Queens, Nassau, and Western Suffolk under the Kohl’s Cares Keeping Kids Healthy Program, a grant aimed at reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity. Programs focus on including more fruits and vegetables, eating breakfast, making healthy beverage and snack choices, and engaging in physical activity. For this project, Anastasia will coordinate all aspects of the project with Pamela, work closely with project staff to connect organizations and develop strong coalitions, and report any collected data. 

Associate Program Coordinators 

Sarah graduated from Princeton University in 2022 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Global Health and Health Policy. She has previously conducted research on indigenous women’s health in Ecuador as well as researched bilingual children’s language learning in a developmental psychology lab. She is looking forward to working with BFREE and the communities on Long Island to promote breastfeeding initiatives.

Siri graduated from Emory University in 2023 with a bachelor of science in Anthropology/Human Biology and a minor in Global Health, Cultures, and Society. She has previously conducted research on increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates amongst refugee, immigrant, and migrant communities in Clarkston, Georgia. Siri is excited to join the BFREE team and work alongside community members to promote breastfeeding initiatives and education across the New York area.  

Angelica graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2023 with a degree in Chemistry and minors in Biology and Neuroscience. She previously conducted research in infrared nanospectroscopy as well as adolescent alcohol exposure using an animal model. She is excited to work with the BFREE team and the communities of Long Island to promote breastfeeding/chestfeeding!

Angela Cabrera graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology Honors and a minor in Psychology. In the past, she has conducted research on maximizing the photosynthetic efficiency of plants through molecular cloning in efforts to combat food insecurity. Angela is greatly looking forward to working with the BFREE team and collaborating with communities in New York to promote breastfeeding support and education.

Former Program Administrator

Dawn Kempa, RN, IBCLC

Program Administrator

Dawn has served as a RN IBCLC for 22 years and is the project administrator. She has been the CCMC WIC program manager for 14 years has vast experience in supporting under served mothers with breastfeeding. Dawn also serves on a number of committees within Northwell Health to make breastfeeding the norm, which includes making clinical practices and hospitals breastfeeding and baby friendly. For this project, she will utilize her expertise to provide comprehensive staff administrative support, host breastfeeding training sessions, and help staff Baby Cafés®. 

2022-23 Associate Program Coordinators

Alix Rosenberg, BS

Alix graduated from Duke University in 2022. She designed her own major, entitled “Health and Illness: Gene-Environment Transactions,” which analyzed the influence of genetic and environmental modifiers on health. Outside of class, Alix worked in a research lab striving to understand why a high-fat diet correlates with colon cancer. Alix is matriculating into medical school this fall.

Maria Fernanda Machicao, BS

Fernanda graduated from Duke University in 2022 with a bachelor of science in Environmental Science and a minor in Chemistry. While at Duke, she conducted research on the impact of heavy metal pollution due to gold mining on cognitive development in Peru, and she traveled to Madre de Dios in the Peruvian Amazon to conduct fieldwork. Fernanda is matriculating into medical school this fall.

Muskaan​ Sawhney, BS

Muskaan graduated in 2022 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology Honors and a minor in Chemistry. She has conducted research in interventional and sustainable obesity prevention in underserved populations and transdisciplinary research determining predictive risk factors of childhood obesity. Muskaan is passionate about increasing preventative medicine accessibility and awareness to the public. 

Former Associate Program Coordinators

Fernanda Machicao, BS
Alix Rosenberg, BS
Muskaan Sawhney, BS
Michiyah Collins​, BA, CLC
Janvi Shukla, BA
Caroline Castleman, AB, CLC
Gloria Zhao, BA, CLC
Chisom Chigozie-Nwosu, BA, CLC
Heesu Park, BS, CLC
Tara Mathias-Prabhu​, BS, CLC
Abby Coco, BA
Michelle Chen, BA, CLC
Maggie Sherin, BA, CLC
Pearl Subramanian, BA, CLC
Yigna Wang, BA
Casidhe-Nicole Bethancourt, BA, CLC
Victoria Chi, BA, CLC
Shannon Cleary, BA, CLC
Ling Jing, BA, CLC
Angie Lee, BA, CLC
Irene Song, BA, CLC
Tiffany L. Wang, BA, CLC
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