Meet Our Team
Emmet W. Lee, MD, FAAHPM
Dr. Lee holds Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MD from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Lee’s hospital affiliations include Palomar Medical Center and Pomerado Hospital.
Dr. Lee was first drawn to the field of hospice and palliative medicine by a desire to provide his patients with the best possible continuity of care. He is committed to treating each of his patients as a whole person, a process that includes involving their families as active participants in the patient’s care. Dr. Lee draws from both his experience and his continuing education in hospice and palliative medicine as he works to help other physicians and patients’ families who are supporting patients faced with life-threatening diseases or who are dealing with severe symptoms from their diseases.
Sabiha Pasha, MD, ABIM
American Board of Internal Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine
Dr. Pasha has been in practice for 22 years the majority of it walking the halls in a hospital. When patients get admitted to a hospital they are at their most scared and vulnerable. Often they are left alone to traverse the complexity of their illness with confusing treatment choices while at the same time managing their ever meager resources. Some die without a soul to witness their passing. In 2005 I was introduced to palliative care. It promised to restore autonomy and dignity to the chronic and seriously ill. To focuses on quality of life as defined uniquely by the patient. To support the family even while ameliorating pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. It was exactly what my patients needed. As it turns out, the training and certification was exactly what I needed. Palliative care catapulted me onto a path of self- discovery, compassion and resiliency. Every day I am a witness to fear and courage. And I have learned to be still and just be present. Ultimately, suffering is a part of life and having someone to hold your hand even for a moment can ease the pain. Palliative care is not rocket science, but it is the one last bastion where the art of healing lives on.
Nayana M. Trivedi, MD
Nayana M. Trivedi was inspired to become doctor seeing her physician father teaching medical students. She graduated as valedictorian from the University in India. She did her residency in Internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach and became a board certified Internist. Dr. Trivedi is also certified in Geriatrics and Integrative and Holistic Medicine.
For the past twenty-years Dr. Trivedi has been serving the North County Coastal community providing comprehensive & preventive medical care. For the past ten-years, she has not only cared for patients in her medical office, but in hospitals, nursing homes and in home hospice settings. Dr. Nayana Trivedi subscribes to the World Health Organization’s motto that health is a balanced state of physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being.
Anish Patel, MD
Dr. Patel earned his Bachelor of Science degree in life science with a specialization in pharmacology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He earned his MD from Ross University in The Commonwealth of Dominica. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is pursuing his Hospice and Palliative Medicine certification. His hospital affiliations include Scripps Mercy Hospital, Scripps Mercy Chula Vista, Palomar Medical Center and Pomerado Hospital.
Dr. Patel believes there is more to suffering than having physical symptoms. For some people, the dying process is fraught with confusion, fear, and anguish. Navigating through these complicated emotions can be overwhelming without help. Dr. Patel desires to help people cope with end-of-life issues by first understanding exactly who his patients and their families are before creating custom-fit plans. “I am always learning something new because each person I meet is uniquely beautiful.”
Amir A. Assari, MD
Board Certified in Internal Medicine and in Hospice and Palliative Medicine Dr. Assari supports our palliative care program at Palomar Health System and is dual board certified in both hospital medicine and palliative medicine. He provides inpatient hospice and palliative care, consults and serves as a hospitalist for the system as well. Dr. Assari was honored to be physician of the year at Pomerado Hospital in Poway in 2017.
Kornelia A. Kopec, NP
Kornelia is a Family Practice Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. She holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology from University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Lewis University. Kornelia earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree as a dual Family Practice and Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner from the University of San Diego. Her doctoral work was selected and presented at the 2016 Western Institute of Nursing Conference. Kornelia served in the United States Navy, as a Navy Nurse Corps commissioned officer from 2005-2009 specializing in hematology and oncology. Kornelia is dedicated to providing physical, emotional and spiritual support to families and patients with serious and potentially life-limiting illnesses as a palliative and hospice health care provider.
Edward Teare, NP
Edward holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toledo and a Masters Degree as an Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. He is board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Edward was drawn to palliative care by the holistic approach to relieving suffering and the opportunity to establish close relationships with patients and their families as they face a difficult time in their lives. I relish the ability to provide patients autonomy in their health care decisions.
Carol Lieber, NP
Carol received her certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Arizona in 2009. Carol’s qualifications include over 25 years of experience in nursing – both as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner. Carol’s career has included experience in direct patient care, education, and management settings. Her varied experience lends to a well-rounded approach to palliative patient care. Working with low-income, culturally diverse communities, and volunteering in Mexico and Peru has given her the insight and capability to provide culturally-sensitive care. In addition, her first job as an oncology nurse gives invaluable insight when working with the chronically ill. Carol says palliative care offers her the opportunity to blend her acute care and home health experience. She believes this adds perspective with breadth and depth for providing care with compassion and a holistic approach to home bound patients.
Barbara Smith, FNP
Barbara Smith-Gercke holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Rush University in Chicago, and an MSN/FNP from the University of San Diego. Barbara is certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and has over twenty years of experience as a Nurse Practitioner.
When asked about her interest in Palliative medicine, Barbara shares the experience of helping her brother-in-law deal with the failing health of his father, and of being able to help them move toward patient-directed care. She speaks of the importance of being able to empower people to direct their own care by helping them to articulate their wishes and preferences for the direction of their treatment.
Haili Hannah, Care Coordinator
Haili Hannah is our palliative care coordinator. She works with patients and their families to answer their questions, schedule their appointments and assist with access to services. She is licensed as an EMT and currently pursuing a degree as a registered nurse in the hopes of furthering her career in medicine. Haili was inspired to work in the medical field from a young age from watching her mother, and has had experience in urgent care and specialty medicine settings. She is passionate about working with palliative care patients and their families to help make a difficult time in life as easy and stress free as possible.