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Hebrew Senior Care

Hospital Care Team

The Behavioral Health Care Team at The Hospital for Senior Care

The care team at the Behavioral Health Hospital at Hebrew Senior Care specializes in serving the behavioral health needs of older adults.  Patients are co-managed by a psychiatrist who specializes in serving seniors and a geriatrician who specializes in the medical care of seniors.  Our entire behavioral health team understands that aging brings unique challenges. ‚ÄčOur interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, and pharmacists all have a specialty focus in the care and treatment of older adults. 

Ava Pannullo, MD, Geriatric Medicine, Medical Director, Chief Medical Officer 

Dr. Pannullo is board-certified in Geriatric and Internal Medicine.  Dr. Pannullo is a member of the American Geriatric Society, American College of Physicians and American Medical Directors’ Association.  Dr. Pannullo’s areas of interest include health and aging; including topics of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.  Dr. Pannullo is the Director of the Outpatient Services for Connecticut Geriatric Specialty Group; Hebrew Senior Care’s physician practice dedicated to the care of seniors.  Dr. Pannullo has practiced at Hebrew Senior Care since 1993.  Dr. Pannullo speaks English, German, and Italian.

♥ Fellowship: University of Connecticut Traveler’s Center on Aging in 1993, Geriatrics

♥ Residency: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical/ Beth Israel Medical Center

♥ Medical School: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical/ Beth Israel Medical Center

♥ Undergraduate: Vanderbilt University, B.S.

Martin Cooper, MD, The Behavioral Health Hospital at Hebrew Senior Care

Dr. Martin Cooper is the Psychiatrist-in-Chief of the Behavioral Health Unit.  In 2003, Dr. Cooper was honored for career achievement by being named a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. In 2009, he was named Clinician of the Year by the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry.  Dr. Cooper is the Medical Director of Connecticut Mental Health Specialists.

♥ Fellowship: University of Connecticut, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry

♥ Residency: University of Connecticut, Psychiatry 

 Medical School: University of Connecticut – School of Medicine 

♥ Undergraduate: Yale University, B.S.

♥ Faculty Appointments: University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry

Michelle van Duinen, APRN

Michelle van Duinen, APRN is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 30 years of clinical experience. She is board-certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She specializes in the comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and psychiatric treatment of adults in Stonington, Connecticut, and its neighboring communities. Michelle has moved her clinical practice to her hometown of Stonington to be closer to family and the area she grew up in.

Psychiatric mental health-related illness manifests in symptoms that affect an individual’s thoughts, mood, behaviors, and sleep. Michelle targets disruptive symptoms and helps her patients learn to navigate them with a wholistic approach to treatment.  Michelle is currently an attending treatment provider in the Acute Behavioral Health Hospital setting at Hebrew Senior Care, treating geriatric psychiatric hospital patients. The treatment focus in this hospital is the stabilization of symptoms of dementia and other brain-based illnesses. She is also an attending treatment provider at both Saint Francis and Johnson Memorial Hospitals. In these settings, she works with patients on acute mental health stabilization and/or detoxification for substance dependence.

♥ Undergraduate:  Associate of Science in Nursing from Mount Wachusett Community College,   Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Saint Joseph 

Graduate Degree: Master of Science in Nursing-Adult Psychiatric Mental Health from the University of Saint Joseph. 

♥ Faculty Appointments: University of Saint Joseph, Clinical Adjunct Faculty Member 

♥ Additional Training: Yale Psychiatric Institute, New Haven; Inistitute of Living, Hartford;  Assertive Community Treatment Team 


Heidi Haller, APRN

Heidi Haller is the APRN for Connecticut Geriatric Specialty Group and is a key member of the care team.  Ms. Haller is passionate about nursing believing each patient has a different story and it is that uniqueness that needs to be taking into account when planning appropriate care plans; especially for seniors.  Ms. Haller started her career as a staff nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital prior to deciding to focus on geriatrics.  Ms. Haller joined Hebrew Senior Care in 2006 and worked as a staff nurse on The Hospital at Hebrew Senior Care before joining CGSG.

♥ Graduate: MGH Institute of Health Professions, RN and MSN

♥ Undergraduate: University of Massachusetts, B.S.

♥ Certifications: American Nurses Credentialing Center, Adult Nurse Practitioner

♥ Publications: The Consultant 

♥ Other: Mentors Nurse Practitioner students from the University of Connecticut, University of St. Joseph and Yale University.

Denise Peterson, RN, FACHE, Hospital Administrator; President and CEO

Denise Peterson is a senior healthcare executive with progressive responsibilities in leading patient care services and clinical operations.  Ms. Peterson is a visionary leader with proven ability to foster and build partnerships with physicians and staff in order to accomplish strategic goals while enhancing the patient experience. Ms. Peterson is proficient at improving and enhancing quality outcomes by engaging interdisciplinary teams through change processes with demonstrated strength in turnaround situations.

♥ Master of Science:  Rensselaer, Healthcare Administration, Hartford, CT (1995)

♥ Bachelor of Science: University of Hartford, Nursing, Hartford, CT  (1991)

♥ Diploma in Nursing:  St. Francis School of Nursing, Hartford, CT  (1982)

Woodmark Pharmacy: Karen D. Shorter, A. Ph.A. MTM Certified 

Karen D. Shorter, A. Ph.A. M.T.M. Certified 05/2013

Hebrew Senior Care uses Woodmark Pharmacy for all their pharmaceutical needs including medications, supplies and pharmacy coverage.  Dr. Shorter works for Woodmark Pharmacy and is our primary pharmacist.   

Dr. Shorter has been practicing pharmacist for more than 40 years and brings to Hebrew Senior Care an extensive background in hospital level care.  Karen received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island in 1980 as well as an MBA in Strategic Management from Pace University in 1996.  Karen holds a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Florida and is board certified in Geriatric Pharmacy. 

♥ Graduate: Pace University, MBA in Strategic Management 1996

♥ Undergraduate: University of Rhode Island B.S. in Pharmacy Studies 1980

♥ Licensure: State of Connecticut, State of Massachusetts, and State of Vermont


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