Our Team

Meet Our Team

Dr. Emmet W. Le, MD, Medical Director

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.  

Igor Sister, MD, MS, CMA, FACP 

Dr. Sister received his education and medical degree from Ryazan State Medical University.  He began his medical practice as an Internist, but a few years later, after relocating to Israel, he became interested in Geriatrics.  Caring for seniors, overseeing their well being and aging process and understanding the challenges of dementia became a special focus and passion for Dr. Sister.

After finishing his residency in Geriatrics and receiving a Masters Degree in Geriatrics from Sacler Medical School of the Tel Aviv University, Dr. Sister became head of the Geriatric Department and served as a Geriatric Fellowship Director of the Safed Hospital.  After moving to the United States, Dr. Sister continued his training, completing a residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Geriatrics. While practicing geriatrics he first became aware of the evolving medical specialty of palliative care. 

Combining all his years of medical experience and medical knowledge in helping patients and their families make decisions about what care they want and clarifying what is important to them, palliative care became a natural part of his practice.

Kathleen Mackessy, RN, FNP

Kathleen Mackessy has 17 years of nursing experience which includes critical care and trauma, medical, surgical, home health, and wound care.  Kathleen followed a progressive leadership training from the bedside to a supervisory and then management position where she managed 200 nurses and hospital staff.  While Kathleen loved the management experience and the learning, she felt something was missing.  It was the one on one patient experience that makes being a nurse such and honor.

She went back to school at California State University San Marcos and received her Master’s Degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2018.  She is certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.  Her dedication to serving patients with chronic illness is what brought her to this position.  “I am honored to be allowed to be a part of this time in their livers.  It is important to me to get to know them and to find out what gives them joy.  Although illness and death is the most difficult time in one’s life, it can be a time of discovery and it is my goal to aide in making patients and family ready for this transition.  We palliate symptoms of illness, often this is just the beginning of what we do as palliative care providers.  We offer hope, comfort, and compassion and meet our patients and families where they are on their journey.  Caring for patients and their families during illness is sacred and I am blessed to be invited to share this journey with them”.

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.

Barbara Smith-ercke, FNP

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.

Meagan Goodman, MSN, FNP-BC

Meagan Goodman received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2011. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing at Creighton University in 2015, specializing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Meagan is Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

She also has past experience in pain management and interventional radiology, along with experience as a Registered Nurse in the burn, trauma and intensive care units. She is BLS certified and a member of the California Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Christina Marquez, Palliative Program Manager, Masters of Gerontology

Christina Marquez has over 18 years of experience working with seniors in the healthcare setting.  Ms. Marquez obtained her Masters of Gerontology from California State University in 2002.  She began her career in Skilled Nursing Facilities as a Social Services Director, then completed an Administrator in Training Program.  During her career, marriage took her overseas to Okinawa Japan.  While in Japan, Christina worked as a Family Readiness Officer for Marine Air Tactical Squadron 18.

Christina moved to San Diego in 2015, where she worked for several years as a Director of Business Development for a large hospice and implemented their first Palliative Care Program across 4 California sites.  Christina’s passion is meeting with families, guiding patients in goals of care conversations, and the ability to bring some joy during the most difficult time in a patient’s life.  Christina is a Certified Care Manager, POLST certified trainer, and has had extensive training in Advanced Care planning discussions.