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Care New England Health System is expanding its orthopedics services with the addition of six new physicians to its Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. The physicians, all members of the Care New England Medical Group, will practice out of Kent Hospital and see patients in Pawtucket and Lincoln, RI, and in Attleboro, MA.

The new physicians are Steven Blazar, MD, orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist; David Cicerchia, MD, orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist; Jonathan Gastel, MD, orthopedic surgeon and specialist in sports medicine and trauma; Steven Graff, MD, orthopedic surgeon and specialist in hand and upper extremity; Maher El-Khatib, MD, specialist in pain management; and Ana Mata-Fink, MD, orthopedic surgeon and shoulder and elbow specialist.

“There has never been a more exciting time in our department, as we continue to bring cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art surgical techniques to the patients of Rhode Island and Southeastern New England,” said Robert Shalvoy, MD, executive chief of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. “We are very pleased to welcome these highly trained doctors to our department, which already includes some of the brightest and best-trained physicians and surgeons in the region, focused on listening, educating, and collaborating with patients and other caregivers to deliver quality, patient-centered care that is uniquely designed to meet the needs of each individual.”

Dr. Steven Blazar is board certified in orthopedic surgery, went to medical school at Boston University and was fellowship trained in spine surgery at Boston’s New England Baptist Hospital. Specializing in minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery, Dr. Blazar has more than 30 years of experience in adult inpatient deformity and reconstructive spine procedures from the neck to the low back. As the first spine surgeon in Rhode Island to implant an artificial disc, he has maintained his skills in the most advanced and evidence-based treatments for diseases of the spine. Dr. Blazar works collaboratively to incorporate a wide range of non-surgical services, including anesthesia pain management, non-narcotic medication trials, chiropractic, acupuncture, neuromuscular massage therapy, functional rehabilitation, and wellness behavioral intervention.

Dr. David Cicerchia completed his medical and surgical training at Boston University, and a spine surgical fellowship at Boston’s New England Baptist Hospital. His advanced training and fellowship is in the surgery of the spine, which includes disorders of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar area, specializing in minimally invasive and robotic surgery as well as intra-operative computer navigation. Dr. Cicerchia is conservative in his approach, choosing to first exhaust the many non-operative treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic, anesthesia pain management, non-narcotic pain medication, acupuncture, massage therapy, and functional rehabilitation.

Dr. Jonathan Gastel, who is board certified in orthopedics and subspecialty certified in sports medicine by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, has been practicing in Rhode Island since 1999. As a specialist in sports medicine, he has served as the orthopedic sports medicine team physician for Division I Bryant University since 2001, and previously as the Rhode Island College team physician. Dr. Gastel’s sports medicine and orthopedic trauma training includes orthopedic residency training at Brown University, sports medicine fellowship training at The Cleveland Clinic, and orthopedic trauma fellowship at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital. He received his medical school education at the University of Rochester where he was honored by admission to the Alpha-Omega-Alpha Honor Society and graduated magna cum laude from Yale University. Dr. Gastel treats a variety of conditions that are both sports and non-sports-related involving the upper and lower extremities, a majority of which involve the knee and shoulder. He also treats a variety of injuries/conditions including the elbow, hip, and foot including tennis elbow, tendinitis, ankle sprains, and fractures.

Dr. Steven Graff is board certified in orthopedic surgery. He attended medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, completed his internship in general surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and his fellowship at The Indiana Hand Center. He began his orthopedic practice in Rhode Island in 1994. He received a Certificate of Added Qualification in Hand and Microvascular Surgery from the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery in 1997. This additional certification designates him as an expert in the various aspects of upper extremity surgery. While his practice incorporates seeing all aspects of orthopedic surgery patients in the office, his surgical practice is strongly focused on the upper extremity from just below the shoulder to the hand. Conditions that he treats include but are not limited to fractures, dislocations, significant ligament injuries, significant tendon injuries including complete rupture and laceration, tendonitis, all forms of arthritis, neurologic problems involving the upper extremity including nerve compression syndromes and nerve trauma, the evaluation and treatment of abnormal lumps and bumps in the upper extremity, infections, and nail disorders.

Dr. Maher El-Khatib is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management, and has more than 14 years of experience in established practices treating a wide range of conditions and all types of pain, cancer-related pain, and pain after surgery. He takes a holistic approach to treating his patients, with a goal of reducing pain as well as helping patients achieve a better quality of life, including increased physical activity, improved sleep, and overall life enjoyment. Dr. El-Khatib attended medical school at the American University of Beirut before completing both his residency and internship at Texas Tech University. Dr. El-Khatib feels strongly that patients do not need to live in pain. After diagnosis, he discusses optimal approaches to managing pain and potential treatment options such as physical therapy, medication, nerve blocks, injections, radio frequency ablation, kyphoplasty, spinal cord stimulators, or surgery.

Dr. Ana Mata-Fink is a board eligible orthopedic surgeon with subspecialty fellowship training in shoulder and elbow surgery. She attended medical school at Harvard University and finished both her residency and internship at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Dr. Mata-Fink has been practicing in Rhode Island since 2016, focusing on injuries and arthritis of the shoulder and elbow. Common conditions she treats include rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability, shoulder and elbow arthritis, and fractures. She has advanced training in conventional and reverse shoulder replacement, elbow replacement, and arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

Care New England Orthopedics and Sports Medicine offers highly skilled care to patients of all ages with musculoskeletal defects and injuries, including those that happen while playing sports, with offices in Lincoln, Pawtucket, Providence, and Warwick, RI and in Attleboro, MA. Other providers include: Razib Khaund, MD, director of sports medicine; Norman Kornwitz, MD, specializing in total hip and knee replacement, arthroscopy, and fracture care; Philip Reilly, MD, specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic treatment, particularly knee and shoulder; Robert Shalvoy, MD, executive chief of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine; Jessica Morse, PA-C, specializing in orthopedic surgery; and Richard Peloquin, PA-C, specializing in orthopedic surgery.

For more information, visit carenewengland.org/orthopedics. For appointments, call (401) 729-2800.

Care New England Medical Group (CNEMG) is a patient-centered organization with a mission to improve the overall health of our community. With more than 500 physicians and advanced practitioners, CNEMG offers primary care and specialty services at Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, The Providence Center, the VNA of Care New England, Women & Infants Hospital, and at CNEMG office locations throughout Southern New England. Many CNEMG providers teach at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, participate in clinical trials, and publish research studies in collaboration with other academic institutions. The combination of teaching, research, and treatment keeps the team at the forefront of medical advances in prevention, intervention and treatment. For more information, visit carenewengland.org/CNEMG.

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