Jessica Swiatocha, MSN, FNP-BC
Manager of Wellness Services and Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and oversees program implementation and growth. She is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner and attended Harvard University’s Mind Body Health Program. With her background, she pioneered the development of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s Ed & Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute in 2011. Jessica’s interests are in primary and secondary prevention of disease, and in helping patients achieve optimum health in a holistic manner. Her background in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation puts emphasis on the importance of exercise, nutrition, stress management, and treating the person as a whole in order to repair the body.

Patti Hernandez, Coordinator
Patti attended Queens College where she was a multisport athlete while earning her B.A. degree in Sociology. She has worked at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital since 2007 and joined the Wellness Institute in 2011 for the grand opening of the Hampton Bays studio. As coordinator over the years, she has worked and will continue to strive to bring new and exciting programs to keep the East End Community educated, active, and healthy.

Alyssa Christensen, Coordinator
Alyssa has a B.S. degree from C.W. Post College and a Masters of Social Work degree from Stony Brook University in 2019. She began working at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital in 2016 in the Cardiac Rehab Department and eventually transitioned to the Wellness Institute where she presently works implementing new programs and fitness classes at the Southampton location.

Cecilia “Cece” Hernandez
Cece started working at Stony Brook Southampton hospital during COVID at the vaccination PODS, and was later cross trained in the Hospital Rehab department, Westhampton Rehab, and Wound Care, before settling in to her permanent position in Cardiopulmonary Rehab & Wellness. Managing the schedules between both departments, requesting and filing new patient paperwork, and verifying insurances are just a few of Cece’s many roles that keep the departments running smoothly.


Margaret A. Ianacone, DAOM, CNC, LAC
An acupuncturist at the Wellness Institute, Margaret has treated multiple health conditions for over 10 years. She has studied meridian exercises specific to cancer patients through the TCM Foundation. Margaret received her Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is an active member of the Acupuncture Society of New York and America. She leads acupuncture circles, does 1:1 treatments and teaches Tai Chi/Qi gong classes at local libraries and senior centers.

Creative Writing

Lora René Tucker, LMSW
With over 30 years writing poetry and advocating for mental health and social justice, Lora’s poetry has been featured in multiple venues. She published her first book of poetry, Writes of Passage in 2010 and was an adjunct professor for NYU’s School of Social Work. She is a poetry editor and a published author. She was awarded a fellowship for a MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook University and has made public appearances on a national level showcasing her work.


Paula Montagna, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC
A registered dietitian with over 30 years of experience, she has worked at NYU and Memorial Sloan Kettering. She is currently the Director of Clinical Nutrition at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. Certified in Functional and Culinary Nutrition from the Institute of Functional Medicine, Next Level Nutrition and Genomic Kitchen, Paula marries the concept of nutrition science with culinary preparation making for a unique and fun class. She believes that food is medicine and is an integral and necessary component to an individual’s health and well-being.

Angelica Knuppel, MS, RDN, CDN
Angelica holds a Master’s degree in nutrition. She is very passionate in the health and fitness field, specializing in childhood nutrition, bariatric surgery counseling, weight loss counseling and clinical nutrition. She has been a part of Southampton Hospital for several years and is proud to be a part of such a wonderful team.


Albert O’ Connell III, R-LCSW
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, NLP practitioner, Addictions Specialist & Certified Hypnotherapist, Albert offer a Solution Focused Short Term approach to therapy. With over 30 years experience, he has helped many individuals make the positive modifications to their attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and behaviors to drastically improve the quality of their lives. Albert is a graduate of Florida International University, Miami Florida and Adelphi University, Garden City New York as well as a member of member of the National Guild of Hypnotists and the National Association of Social Workers.

Fitness Instructors

Leisa Taylor
A certified pilates instructor, dancer, and movement educator, with advanced training in ReForMat™ by Steele Pilates and Pilates Therapeutics. She has multiple women’s health certifications through the Pilates Method Alliance®. Leisa believes firmly in the power of movement to help heal and sustain. Rooted in flow, functionality, and strength, Leisa’s approach provides a remedy to injury-prone exercises through intentional, carefully curated low-impact, full-body workouts. Leisa has been humbled to share her love of movement in classes and wellness retreats throughout the Hamptons and NYC, as well as in workshops both nationally and internationally.

Oscar Gonzalez
Certified Master Fitness Trainer, Licensed Zumba Instructor & Dancer/Choreographer. Oscar has led many classes in our Hampton Bays location including Zumba, TRX and core strengthening classes over the past 10 years.

Deb Jensen, PTA, e-RYT500
Debra Jensen is a Physical Therapist Assistant at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s Outpatient PT Department & Functional Fitness Program Coordinator since 1997, and is a member of the Parkinson’s Disease Interdisciplinary team. Debra teaches yoga and fitness classes, as well as community lectures. Debra’s classes have a deep focus on integration of body, mind and spirit as a means of attaining a more balanced and healthy lifestyle & maintaining wellness as we age.

Donna Kempermann
A locally renowned certified Personal Trainer, Pilates Reformer Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor. She holds over 7 certifications in numerous multidisciplinary physical fitness arenas and has over 30 years of experience. Donna likes to challenge and encourage her clients to surpass their physical and mental boundaries by using functional exercises. Her specialties are TRX suspension training, boot camp, functional training, bosu balance trainer, strength training and Pilates.

Kimberly Kluge, E-RYT, YACEP
A registered yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance and a certified teacher trainer. Kimberly found her calling in yoga but also enjoys teaching Barre, Pilates, and meditation classes focused on improving well-being and stress reduction.

Cristal Schultheis, CES
Cristal has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years with certifications in personal training, group fitness, and boxing. As a self-proclaimed cheerleader, she loves to encourage her clients during fun and energetic classes. Cristal guides her clients through exercises with positive reinforcement and encouragement. She believes exercise is not only about a strengthening the body but promoting a healthy mindset as well.

Tracie Sullivan, CES, FAS
Tracie has been training the local community through Group Fitness for nearly 20 years. As a cancer exercise specialist and functional aging specialist, Tracie offers safe and effective exercise programming with a focus on the chronic side effects of chemotherapy and the surgical procedures associated with cancer treatments. Tracie is also a qualified PWR Moves instructor, providing a unique skill set to offer improvements in balance, strength, and quality of life to those with movement disorders, including Parkinson's patients and stroke survivors.

Massage Therapists

Loretta M Dalia, LMT, RMT, CIMI
A licensed massage therapist, reiki master teacher and energy medicine practitioner with training in multiple modalities, Loretta specializes in medical massage. She is highly experienced in the areas of palliative care, cancer care, and medically fragile patients providing compassionate care. Loretta is the clinical coordinator of massage services for Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. Loretta is active throughout the community at health fairs and community centers providing on site massage.

Denise DeFazio RN, LMT, CDT
Denise has been practicing for over 20 years. She works with many survivors of cancer as well as those in treatment. Her specialty is Lymphatic Drainage and Myofascial Release. She like to see people enjoying a better quality of life with medical massage as part of their treatment.

Jennifer DiFonzo, LMT
Jennifer is a graduate of New York College of Health Professions 2010. She has been happily serving the community working at Stonybrook Southampton Hospital since 2013 as a massage therapist and energy worker. She has experience doing AMMA massage, Myofascial Release, Reflexology, and Tui Na, among others.

Eugene Hamilton, LMT
In his over 30 years of practice, Gene has studied a wide array of healing techniques and therapies. He attended Hofstra University where he studied business and psychology in 1983 before going to the Swedish Institute in Manhattan, New York to learn massage therapy. He is also an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner and teacher and certified as a hypnotherapist and neurolinguistic programming practitioner (NLP).

Jonnathan Pineda, LMT
Jonnathan has worked at the Wellness Institute since 2021 and has since amassed a loyal following of regular clients. He specializes in sports massage and Myofascial Release/Trigger Point Therapy.

Physical Therapist

Anna Sakhno PT, DPT
Anna received her doctorate degree in physical therapy from Stony Brook University in 2010. She began her career at Southampton Hospital in 2010 and has been working with patients across the continuum of care including in acute care, home care and outpatient settings. Anna is a certified pelvic rehabilitation practitioner, helping patients with pelvic floor dysfunction, incontinence and pelvic pain.


Alex Aponte, MD
Dr. Aponte graduated from the Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at The University of Buffalo, Suny Buffalo in 1992. He operates a family practice in Westhampton Beach, NY and practices Functional Medicine at The Ed and Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, where he also serves as the medical director. With over 25 years of experience, he has been recognized as a top doctor by Newsday, New York Magazine and Castle Connolly.

Dr. Kathryn Saxby, DO
Dr. Saxby is a general internist with a special interest in Nutrition, Public Health and Integrative Medicine at Meeting House Lane Medical Practice. She takes a holistic approach to traditional medicine, considering the whole person in her management, offering nutrition and integrative adjunct therapies alongside evidence based internal medicine. She focuses on the prevention of disease and optimizing health and wellness instead of just addressing sickness and illness.