Our Services

Surgical Services

Our Physicians

Ahamed-Sultan-MD

Sultan Ahamed, MD

College: University of Madras, India
Medical School: University of Madras, India
Residency: Hospital of St. Raphael
Board Certification: Surgery


Allen-Jerilyn-MD

Jerilyn S. Allen, MD

College: Boston College
Medical School: University of Connecticut
Residency: University of Connecticut Health Center
Fellowship: Beeson Aesthetic Surgery Institute
Board Certification: Otolaryngology/Facial Plastic Surgery
Languages Spoken: Spanish


Anbari-Ammar -MD

Ammar Anbari, MD

College: University of Pennsylvania
Medical School: Temple University School of Medicine
Internship: Temple University Hospital
Residency: Temple University Hospital
Fellowship: Rush University Medical Center
Board Certification: Orthopaedic Surgery


Arcand-Nicole-MD

Nicole L. Arcand, MD

College: Providence College
Medical School: Brown University, Alpert School of Medicine
Internship: Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University
Residency: Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University
Fellowship: Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University
Board Certification: Orthopaedic Surgery
Languages Spoken: French
Professional Interests: Foot and Ankle


Belcher-Julie-MD

Julie Z. Belcher, MD

College: Williams College
Medical School: Jefferson Medical College
Residency: George Washington University Hospital
Board Certification: Obstetrics & Gynecology


Briggs-Stephen-MD

Stephen T. Briggs, MD

College: Dartmouth College
Medical School: University of Connecticut Medical School
Internship: Medical Center of Delaware
Residency: Medical Center of Delaware
Board Certification: Obstetrics & Gynecology
Professional Interests: Advanced Laporoscopic Robotic Procedures, Chief Backus Obstetrics and Gynecology Department


Brown-Matthew-MD

Matthew W. Brown, MD

College: Texas A&M University
Medical School: University of Texas Health Science Center
Internship: Naval Medical Center-San Diego
Residency: Naval Medical Center-San Diego
Board Certification: Obstetrics & Gynecology


Burch-James-MD

James T. Burch, MD

College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Medical School: State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn
Internship: Salem Hospital, Salem Massachusetts
Residency: Albany Medical Center
Fellowship: Tufts University School of Medicine
Academic Position: Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Board Certification: Radiology/Vascular & Interventional Radiology/Neuroradiology


645-886d78cb85a50026300618dbeccb001e.-William_LR

William R. Cambridge, MD

College: University of Massachusetts
Medical School: Jefferson Medical College
Residency: University of Connecticut; Hartford Hospital
Board Certification: Orthopaedic Surgery
Professional Interests: Charter Member-Fellow, American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, Associated with Hip and Knee Societies


Casillas-Sergio-MD

Sergio R. Casillas, MD

Dr. Casillas is a member of the medical staff since 2004, is double board-certified in General Surgery and Colon and Rectal Surgery. He did his general surgery training at the State University of New York in Syracuse, New York, then specialized in Colon and Rectal surgery followed by a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in Cleveland, Ohio. He has been named one of the Top Doctors in the state by Connecticut Magazine for three consecutive years.

Dr Casillas specializes in the surgical treatment of a wide range of gastrointestinal problems, including colorectal cancer, colorectal polyps, diverticulitis, rectal prolapse, inflammatory bowel disease, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, anorectal disease, hemorrhoids, fistulas, fissures, and fecal incontinence.

He also performs a wide range of general surgical procedures including gallbladder surgery, hernia, soft tissue masses, breast surgery, and skin lesions. Most of his surgeries are done with the latest minimally invasive techniques including robotic surgery using the Da Vinci robotic system.

Medical School: La Salle University, Mexico City, Mexico
Internship: State University of New York Upstate Medical Center
Residency: State University of New York Upstate Medical Center
Fellowship: The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Board Certification: Surgery/Colon & Rectal Surgery


Chaudhry-Nauman-MD

Nauman Chaudhry, MD

College: Adamjee College, Karachi, Pakistan
Medical School: Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
Internship: Yale New Haven Hospital
Residency: Yale Eye Center, Yale University School of Medicine
Fellowship: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine
Academic Position: Clinical Assistant Professor, Yale University School of Medicine
Board Certification: Ophthalmology


Cherry Jr.-Thomas-MD

Thomas C. Cherry Jr., MD

Dr. Cherry has been a member of the Backus Hospital Medical Staff for more than 26 years, Dr. Cherry specializes in plastic, cosmetic and hand surgeries, including a minimally invasive endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery and body-contouring procedures like abdominalplasty. He is board-certified in plastic surgery and received a Certificate of Added Qualifications for hand surgery. He received his medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, completed residencies at Yale-New Haven hospital and the Medical College of Ohio Hospital, and a fellowship at the Albany Medical Center Hospital. He practices at Backus Physician Services’ office in the Backus Medical Office Building, 330 Washington St., Suite 410.

College: University of North Carolina; Columbia University
Medical School: University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Residency: Yale-New Haven Hospital; Medical College of Ohio Hospital
Fellowship: Albany Medical Center Hospital and Albany Plastic Surgeons, PC
Board Certification: Plastic Surgery


Coletti-David-MD

David E. Coletti, MD

College: Boston University
Medical School: Georgetown University
Residency: Georgetown University Hospital
Board Certification: Surgery
Professional Interests: Director of Trauma, Breast Cancer Steering Committee Surgical Liason, General/Vascular Surgery with focus on Hernia repair; Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery


Cranmer-Kevin-MD

Kevin B. Cranmer, MD

College: Dartmouth College
Medical School: Harvard Medical School
Internship: Albert Einstein Medical Center
Residency: Wills Eye Hospital
Board Certification: Ophthalmology
Professional Interests: Chief, Backus Department of Ophthalmology


Criscuolo-Gregory-MD

Gregory R. Criscuolo, MD

College: Queens College
Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine
Internship: Johns Hopkins Hospital
Residency: Johns Hopkins Hospital
Fellowship: National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, London, England; National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
Academic Position: Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Connecticut
Board Certification: Neurological Surgery


Culviner-William-MD

William T. Culviner, MD

College: Lafayette College
Medical School: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine
Internship: Naval Hospital-Portsmouth
Residency: National Capital Consortium-Naval Medical Center-Bethesda; Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Board Certification: Otolaryngology


Deren-Michael-MD

Michael M. Deren, MD

Dr. Deren attended college and medical school at Georgetown University. Following graduation he returned to his home state of Connecticut and completed a general surgical residency at Hartford Hospital. His residency was interrupted by military service as a battalion surgeon with the 3rd Marine Division. Following completion of his general surgical residency Dr. Deren went on to a cardiothoracic fellowship at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He has been in surgical practice since then in New London and Norwich, and is board-certified in general and thoracic surgery as well as quality assurance. He has been active in organized medicine locally as President of the New London County Medical Society. He is Past President of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) and is currently in his 10th year as Chairman of its Board of Trustees. Dr. Deren is a former member of the Governing Council of the AMA/OMSS and is currently a member of the AMA’s Council on Constitution & Bylaws and is the CSMS’s AMA Delegation Chair.

College: Georgetown University
Medical School: Georgetown University
Internship: Hartford Hospital
Residency: Yale-New Haven Hospital
Board Certification: Surgery/Thoracic Surgery


DiFrancesca-Joseph-DPM

Joseph W. DiFrancesca, DPM

College: Saint Anselm College
Podiatric School: California College of Podiatric Medicine
Residency: Cranston General Hospital; Roger Williams Medical Center
Board Certification: Podiatric Surgery


Engel-Kirk-DMD

Kirk F. Engel, DMD

College: Pennsylvania State University
Dental School: Temple University School of Dentistry
Internship: Naval Hospital - Portsmouth
Residency: National Naval Medical Center-Bethesda
Board Certification: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery


Escalon-Juan-MD

Juan C. Escalon, MD

Dr. Escalon specializes in all facets of thoracic surgery, including lung, mediastinal, chest wall and esophageal operations, as well as pacemakers. He completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine after attending the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he completed his general surgery residency. He is board-certified in surgery and board-eligible in thoracic surgery. He is also trained in robotic surgery.

College: University of Houston
Medical School: University of Texas School of Medicine
Residency: University of Texas
Fellowship: Yale University School of Medicine
Board Certification: Thoracic Surgery
Languages Spoken: Spanish


Friedman-Franklin-MD

Franklin P. Friedman, MD

College: Trinity College
Medical School: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Residency: (Surgery) University of Miami - Jackson Memorial Hospitals (Urology) University of Maryland Hospitals
Board Certification: Urology - Adult and Pediatric


Giacchetto-John-MD

John J. Giacchetto, MD

College: Northeastern University
Medical School: New York Medical College
Residency: Hartford Hospital; The University of Connecticut Health Center
Fellowship: (Adult Reconstructive Surgery) Mt. Sinai and Hennepin County Medical Center
Board Certification: Orthopaedic Surgery


Glenney-Daniel-MD

Daniel T. Glenney, MD

College: Bates College
Medical School: Tufts University
Internship: Bay State Hospital
Residency: McLaren Hospital
Board Certification: Orthopaedic Surgery


Goldblatt-Jeffrey-MD

Jeffrey S. Goldblatt, MD

College: College of William and Mary
Medical School: Medical College of Virginia
Residency: University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Hospital
Board Certification: Surgery


Green-Steven-MD

Steven J. Green, MD

College: LaSalle University
Medical School: Temple University School of Medicine
Internship: Pennsylvania Hospital
Residency: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Board Certification: Otolaryngology


Haffner-Gregory -MD

Gregory M. Haffner, MD

College: Trinity College
Medical School: Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland
Internship: Hospital of Saint Raphael
Residency: Yale New Haven Hospital
Board Certification: Ophthalmology


Hendsch-Suzelle-MD

Suzelle A. Hendsch, MD

College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Medical School: Boston University
Internship: Baystate Medical Center
Residency: Baystate Medical Center
Board Certification: Obstetrics & Gynecology


728-7784f21423d5f34bb1c93519b2a43a4f.-Jeffrey_LR

Jeffrey A. Hertz, MD

College: University of Pennsylvania
Medical School: New York Medical College
Internship: Long Island Jewish-Hillside Medical Center
Residency: Downstate Medical Center
Board Certification: Ophthalmology


Kalla-David-MD

David A. Kalla, MD

College: Brown University
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Residency: University of Connecticut Health Center
Board Certification: Obstetrics & Gynecology
Professional Interests: Chairman, Backus Division of Surgical Services


Kardestuncer -Tarik-MD

Tarik Kardestuncer , MD

College: University of Connecticut
Medical School: University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Internship: Columbia University Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Residency: University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Fellowship: Harvard University Medical School; Brigham and Women's Hospital; Massachusetts General Hospital; Boston Children's Hospital
Board Certification: Orthopaedic Surgery
Professional Interests: Chief, Backus Department of Orthopedic Surgery


Kierstein-Jeffrey-DPM

Jeffrey M. Kierstein, DPM

College: Bates College
Podiatric School: Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine
Residency: Saint Francis Hospital
Board Certification: Podiatric Surgery


Kohanski-Phillip-MD

Phillip Kohanski, MD

College: University of Massachusetts
Medical School: New York Medical College
Internship: Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Residency: Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Board Certification: Radiology/Vascular & Interventional Radiology


Lee-John-MD

John C. Lee, MD

College: University of Connecticut
Medical School: University of Connecticut
Residency: Montefiore Medical Center
Fellowship: New York Eye & Ear Infirmary
Board Certification: General Surgery


Lesnik-Gregory-MD

Gregory T. Lesnik, MD

College: Fairfield University
Medical School: Albany Medical College
Internship: Yale New Haven Hospital
Residency: Yale New Haven Hospital
Board Certification: Otolaryngology
Professional Interests: Dizziness, Facial Reconstruction, Thyroid Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Chief Backus Department of Otolaryngology


Lesnik-Thomas-MD

Thomas H. Lesnik, MD

College: St. John's University
Medical School: Albany Medical College
Residency: St. Vincent Hospital and Medical Center; Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital and Cornell Medical Center
Academic Position: Clinical Instructor, Yale-New Haven Hospital & University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Board Certification: Otolaryngology


Levine-Eric-DPM

Eric A. Levine, DPM

College: University of Connecticut
Podiatric School: New York College of Podiatric Medicine
Residency: New York Hospital; Cornell Medical Center and Saint Barnabas Hospital
Board Certification: Podiatric Surgery/Podiatric Medicine/Diabetic Foot Wound Care
Professional Interests: Lower Extremity Wound Care, Sports Medicine


Lustberg-Herb-MD

Herb Lustberg, MD

College: University of Missouri-Kansas City
Medical School: University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
Internship: St. Lukes, Roosevelt Hospital
Residency: St. Vincents Hospital and Medical Center
Fellowship: Yale University School of Medicine
Academic Position: Assistant Professor, Yale University School of Medicine
Board Certification: Diagnostic Radiology/Interventional Radiology


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Richard J. Martin, MD, DMD

College: Bowdoin College
Medical School: University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Residency: (General Surgery & Maxillofacial Surgery) University of Connecticut Health Center
Academic Position: Clinical Instructor, University of Connecticut Health Center; Hartford Hospital
Board Certification: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery


McCullough-T. Casey-DO, FACOS

T. Casey McCullough, DO

College: Colby College
Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Internship: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Consortium
Residency: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; Albert Einstein Medical Center
Fellowship: L'Institut Mutualiste Montsouris, Paris, France
Academic Position: Assistant Professor, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Board Certification: Urological Surgery
Personal Interests: Ice Hockey, Music
Professional Interests: Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery


McKay-Peter-MD

Peter S. McKay, MD

College: Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT
Medical School: Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Internship: Brown University, Program in Surgery, Rhode Island Hospital; Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Residency: Queen's University Royal Victoria Hospital, Program in Ophthalmology (UK); Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, NYC
Fellowship: Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, New York City
Board Certification: Ophthalmology


Morgan-Anthony-DPM

Anthony H. Morgan, DPM

College: University of Maryland
Podiatric School: Temple School of Podiatric Medicine
Residency: Roger Williams Medical Center
Board Certification: Podiatric Surgery


782-140d2720a69915f919af51a1dd0f1ce0.-David_LR

David E. Oakley, MD

College: Hope College
Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine
Internship: University of Connecticut Health Center
Residency: University of Colorado Medical Center
Board Certification: Ophthalmology


Pagnozzi-John-MD

John A. Pagnozzi, MD

College: Rutgers College
Medical School: Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico
Internship: Long Island College Hospital/Downstate Medical Center
Residency: Cabrini Medical Center
Board Certification: Surgery


Paonessa-Kenneth-MD

Kenneth J. Paonessa, MD

College: Upsala College
Medical School: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School
Residency: St. Joseph's Hospital/Seton Hall University, New Jersey
Fellowship: (Spinal Surgery) New York University Medical Center
Board Certification: Orthopaedic Surgery


790-87cce936a51b3a1d801db594c240fc74.-Neil_LR

Neil Pastel, MD

College: Adelphi University
Medical School: Medical College of Virginia
Residency: St. Luke Hospital Center
Board Certification: Ophthalmology


791-fc68d30cf9369db39c8810021984c948. Vinod_small

Vinod V. Pathy, MD

College: Yale University
Medical School: Temple University School of Medicine
Internship: Montefiore Medical Center
Residency: Montefiore Medical Center
Fellowship: Montefiore Medical Center
Board Certification: Surgery/Plastic Surgery


Payette-Christopher-DPM

Christopher R. Payette, DPM

College: Northeastern University
Podiatric School: Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine
Residency: Loyola University Medical Center
Board Certification: Podiatric Surgery


Rouse-Stephen-MD

Stephen M. Rouse, MD

College: Amherst College
Medical School: University of Rochester
Internship: Columbia Surgical Service, Columbia University at St. Luke's - Roosevelt
Residency: Combined Program-New England Medical Center, Boston University and Lahey Clinic
Board Certification: Otolaryngology


Salame-Camille-MD, MS

Camille G. Salame, MD, MS

College: American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Medical School: American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Residency: State University of New York Health Science Center
Fellowship: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Academic Position: Gamma Knife Unit, Neurosurgery, Yale New Haven Hospital
Board Certification: Neurological Surgery
Languages Spoken: French, Lebanese


Shah-Anish-MD

Anish U. Shah, MD

College: University of Pennsylvania
Medical School: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Internship: Roger Williams Medical Center, Brown University
Residency: New York Medical College
Board Certification: Internal Medicine/Ophthalmology
Languages Spoken: Gujarati, Hindi, French, Spanish
Personal Interests: Tennis, Ethics


Strick-Robert-DMD

Robert H. Strick, DMD

College: University of Connecticut
Dental School: University of Connecticut
Professional Interests: Chief, Backus Department of Dentistry
Personal Interests: Gardening, Reading


Stuart-Patricia-MD

Patricia A. Stuart, MD

College: Rutgers College
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Residency: Pennsylvania Hospital; Tufts Affiliated Hospitals
Board Certification: Orthopaedic Surgery


849-9083c957ed076edd5938231269c2cee7. Edward_LR

Edward M. Tarka, DPM

College: Syracuse University
Podiatric School: Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine
Internship: Hinsdale Surgical Center
Residency: St. Joseph's Hospital
Board Certification: Podiatric Surgery


Tousignant-Mark-MD

Mark R. Tousignant, MD

Dr. Tousignant has been a member of the medical staff since 2008 and is board certified in General Surgery.  He completed his training in general surgery at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.  He attended medical school at MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA.  Prior to becoming a surgeon, he was an engineer.

Dr. Tousignant specializes in the treatment of a wide range of general surgery problems with the latest minimally invasive surgery techniques, for the treatment of thyroid disease/cancer, parathyroid disease, hiatal hernia, reflux disease, gallbladder disease, breast surgery, abdominal wall hernia and colorectal disease.  He performs the most laparoscopic inginual and ventral hernias in the area.  Additionally, Dr. Tousignant is one of only a handful of surgeons in the state of Connecticut that performs scarless surgery for the treatment of gallbladder disease.

Moreover, Dr. Tousignant has developed a Bariatric program at Backus, offering laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding procedures.

Medical School: MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine
Internship: Rush University Hospital
Residency: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital; Middlesex Memorial Hospital, Rush University
Board Certification: Surgery
Professional Interests: Medical Director, Backus Weight Loss Center


Tramontozzi-Mark-MD

Mark E. Tramontozzi, MD

College: College of the Holy Cross
Medical School: Georgetown University School of Medicine
Residency: Georgetown University Hospital
Board Certification: Surgery


Welch-Melissa-MD

Melissa J. Welch, MD

College: Yale University
Medical School: New York University School of Medicine
Internship: Brown University, Women & Infants Hospital
Residency: Brown University, Women & Infants Hospital
Board Certification: Obstetrics & Gynecology
Languages Spoken: Spanish


Wesolek-John-MD

John H. Wesolek, MD

College: Colorado State University
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Residency: State University of New York at Buffalo
Board Certification: Surgery