preventive medicine

New Clinicians, Researchers at UConn Health

Meet some more of the clinicians and researchers who recently joined UConn Health.

Dr. David Karimeddini, radiology
Dr. David Karimeddini, radiology

Dr. David Karimeddini leads the nuclear medicine section of the Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Therapeutics. His clinical interests include radiology, nuclear cardiology, thyroid disease and oncology imaging. His training includes a nuclear radiology fellowship at Yale University, a diagnostic radiology residency at Hartford Hospital, and an internship in medicine at UConn Health. His M.D. is from the Temple University School of Medicine. He is board certified in nuclear medicine and diagnostic radiology.

Dr. Keri Discepolo, pediatric dentistry
Dr. Keri Discepolo, pediatric dentistry

Dr. Keri Discepolo is a dentist who is board certified in pediatric dentistry. She sees patients in several locations, including Farmington and West Hartford, and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Discepolo completed a pediatric dentistry residency at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, where she remained as a clinical instructor for nearly seven years. Her interests are in infant and adolescent oral health interventions, with a focus in hospital dentistry. She holds a D.D.S. (doctor of dental surgery) from the New York University College of Dentistry and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University.

Dr. Saira Cherian, primary care
Dr. Saira Cherian, primary care

Dr. Saira Cherian is a primary care physician seeing patients in the Outpatient Pavilion. Her clinical interests include preventive medicine and osteopathic medicine, including treatment of back and neck pain. Cherian stayed at UConn Health, joining the faculty after completing an internal medicine residency here. She holds a D.O. from the Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Cherian is board eligible in internal medicine and speaks English, Spanish and Malayalam.

Lyla Natt, family medicine nurse practitioner
Lyla Natt, family medicine nurse practitioner

Lyla Natt is a family medicine nurse practitioner who sees patients in West Hartford. Her experience includes medical-surgical, step down, psychiatry, and long-term care. Other clinical interests include primary and preventive care, diabetes, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition to being licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse, Natt holds a Master of Nursing from the Quinnipiac University School of Health Sciences.

Dr. Cristina Sánchez-Torres, psychiatry
Dr. Cristina Sánchez-Torres, psychiatry

Dr. Cristina Sánchez-Torres is now a member of the UConn Health psychiatry faculty, with whom she trained as a fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry. She sees patients in Farmington and West Hartford. Her clinical interests include electroconvulsive therapy, autism, attachment, psychotic disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Sánchez-Torres completed medical school and a psychiatry residency at the University of Puerto Rico before her fellowship at UConn. She is board eligible in both psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry, and speaks English and Spanish.

Kristyn Zajac, psychology research
Kristyn Zajac, psychology research

Kristyn Zajac is a researcher in the Behavioral Cardiovascular Prevention Division of the Calhoun Cardiology Center. She earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Delaware, then completed a National Institute of Mental Health-funded postdoctoral research fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina’s National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center. Zajac’s research focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions for substance abuse and mental health disorders among high-risk adolescents and young adults.

 Photos by Janine Gelineau/UConn Health (except Zajac’s, which was submitted)

UConn Observes National Primary Care Week (Updated)

  • UConn medical student Jeanne Rolle and UConn dental student Lauren Dulieu staff the welcome station at the Mansfield Senior and Wellness Center during a National Primary Care Week community fair. (Nicole Davoren for UConn Health)
Interprofessionality—patient care from a team representing several disciplines working together—is the emphasis of UConn’s observance of National Primary Care Week.

The annual celebration of the contributions of primary care to community health this week included lunch-and-learn sessions, workshops, and community health fairs.

This year provided more than 1,250 student-hours of educational programming. During Wednesday’s community health fairs, 145 students and faculty members served nearly 400 patients.

UConn medical, dental, nursing, and pharmacy students, along with Quinnipiac University physician assistant students, staff the health fairs, offered free blood pressure and blood glucose screenings and providing health education materials covering topics such as oral health, nutrition, medication interaction, heart health and diabetes prevention.

Primary Care Week aims to introduce health professions students to the importance of community-responsive primary care, encourage their collaboration as members of future primary health care teams, and work to reduce problems in health care access experienced by underserved populations.

The lunch-and-learn sessions are now available via Mediasite:

Oct. 27:

Oct. 29:

UConn Primary Care Week Schedule

Saturday, Oct. 24

Retreat in the Berkshires
Presentation: “Revitalizing Underserved Communities: Principles in the Promise Zones” by Gina Federico Muslim, Community Solutions, NE Hartford

Monday, Oct. 26

Primary Care Dinner
Presentation: “The Future of Primary Care is Interprofessional” by Dr. Luis Padilla, Health Resources and National Health Service Corps

Tuesday, Oct. 27

Lunch & Learn Cross-campus Video Session
Presentation: “Interprofessional Team in Action: Suboxone Clinic” with Dr. Marwin Haddad and Interprofessional Provider Team, Community Health Center

Family Medicine Interest Group
Dermatology Hands-on Night at UConn Health

Wednesday, Oct. 28

Community Health Fairs

  • South End Senior Wellness Center, Hartford
  • Hispanic Senior Center, Hartford
  • North End Senior Center, Hartford
  • Community Health Services, Hartford
  • Hartford Public Library
  • New Britain Police Department
  • Mansfield Senior & Wellness Center
  • Mansfield Parks and Recreation
  • Dixwell-Newhallville Senior Center, New Haven
  • United Community & Family Services, Norwich

Thursday, Oct. 29

Lunch & Learn Cross-campus Video Session
Presentation: “Primary Care Practice 2025: A Mad Max World?” with Dr. Robert Zavoski, Connecticut Department of Social Services

Friday, Oct. 30

Interprofessional Educational Deans’ Afternoon