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.

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.

Brenda Patrick, MSN, NP

Brenda holds a Master's Degree in Nursing from the University of California San Francisco and is also a Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner. She has an extensive background in clinical nursing care and leadership including surgical ICU,CCU, nephrology, hemodialysis and she has served as a pre and post kidney transplant coordinator.  Brenda has devoted the last five years of her extensive career to providing palliative care in support of patients and their families who are experiencing chronic illness or life limiting medical conditions. She has also earned her certification as an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse.

Arianna M. Villa, MSN, FNP-C, Palliative Care Program Director  

Arianna spent the first thirteen years of her career as a Registered Respiratory Therapist before deciding to pursue her nursing degree. Eleven of these years were spent at UCSD Medical Center working with patients with chronic lung disease, pre/post lung transplant patients, and performing clinical research. She holds a Master's Degree in Nursing from Azusa Pacific University and is a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner.  She has spent the last four years of her career devoted to hospice and palliative care, both in frontline patient care and in management, serving in such roles as RN Case Manager, Clinical Manager, and Director of Patient Care Services. Arianna has always focused on serving individuals experiencing chronic illness, complex disease or life limiting conditions.  She uses her clinical skills to work with patients and their families to help them enhance quality of life, explore their priorities, clarify what is important in their lives and thus help them both clinically and emotionally address their heart desires. She believes that it is truly an honor to be a professional in palliative and hospice care.