Maria Chafoya, NP

Medical Education:

Walden University

Anna Maria College

Nurse Practitioner

A graduate of Walden University, Maria started her career as an LPN and later became a registered nurse and then a nurse practitioner.

Maria decided to become an advanced practitioner because she wanted to continue learning and provide a higher level of care to her patients, including skills such as suturing. After spending so much time studying to be a caregiver, Maria has developed an interest in teaching. “Later in life I would love to teach nursing students in a classroom setting or out in the field,” she explains. “I would also like to do some medical mission trips someday.”

Maria says that her biggest area of expertise is acute care. “I have enjoyed the fast pace of acute care, treating many different patients with a variety of problems,” she explains. “I love coming into work and caring for a wide range of issues, from a common cold to someone needing inpatient care. What I like the most about being an advanced practitioner is helping people feel better. Knowing that I can help others and being able to care for them really makes me happy.”

In her spare time Maria loves spending time with her family and friends, especially her nephews. “I love outdoor activities whether it is the beach or hiking with my dog Harold,” she explains. “I also enjoy playing soccer and traveling with my sister, cousins, or girlfriends to different countries. There is so much to explore in the world!”

Marissa Zingg, FNP

Medical Education:

Rivier University

Northeastern University

Nurse Practitioner

Marissa started her career as a nurse, working in a medical intensive care unit. As a nurse at the bedside, she realized the impact of education and communication on patient care outcomes. “I wanted the opportunity to enhance my patient’s understanding of their health as well as become an active member in their outpatient care,” she explains.

Now Marissa works at ReadyMED, which provides an array of walk-in care services for patients. “ReadyMED offered me a great opportunity to see a diverse patient population with a wide variety of concerns,” she explains. “I love taking on new challenges.”

Marissa says her ultimate goal is to make her patient’s feel empowered about their health and help them improve it when they need to. “I want every patient to have a better understanding of their condition and their prognosis as well as feel like they are an active participant in their care.”

When she is not busy helping patients, Marissa enjoys staying active. She is an avid runner who also loves skiing, photography and creating – whether it’s sewing or refinishing an old piece of furniture. She also enjoys taking care of her two cats.

Dr. James Sullivan

Medical Education:
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
National Naval Medical Center
UMass University Hospital


Growing up, Dr. James Sullivan used to watch the TV show MASH and dreamed of becoming a surgeon one day. “Although my mother was a nurse, watching that show definitely got me interested in medicine as well as the military,” he explains. “When I was in the service, I did start medical training as a surgeon, but later decided that working in emergency medicine was more suited to someone with a growing family. However, it was a great experience being a physician in the military and something that I will always be very proud of.”

At ReadyMED PLUS, Dr. Sullivan sees patients for a variety of issues large and small. He likes to work closely with his patients and quickly communicate everything they need to know. “I like to tell patients that this is what you have been diagnosed with, this is how we are going to treat it, and this is what you need to do after you leave. People want you to be attentive to their needs, and I think we do a good job of that at ReadyMED.”

One of the reasons that Dr. Sullivan likes working at ReadyMED PLUS so much is the breadth of care he can provide. “We can perform CT scans as well as ultrasounds and provide patients a very high level of care here,” he explains. “The technology we have gives us the ability to diagnose a lot of different problems and that can really make a difference for the patient.”

When he is not busy at ReadyMED, Dr. Sullivan enjoys listening to music (he is a big Bruce Springsteen fan) as well as reading, hiking, biking and gardening. Once his children are finished with their education, he and his wife look forward to traveling more.

Judi G. Machira

Medical Education:
Regis College
Quinsigamond Community College

Nurse Practitioner

Judi started her career as a nurse working in acute care. Although she enjoyed the environment, she decided to become an advanced practitioner in order to provide her patients with more well-rounded care. “Having been a nurse in acute care, I became interested in providing preventative medicine to help patients avoid problems in the future,” she explains. “As a family nurse practitioner, I also enjoy delivering care for patients throughout their lifespan.”

At ReadyMED, Judi enjoys being able to make a big impact with her patients, whatever their medical problem might be. In her spare time Judi enjoys travel, reading, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Irfana Abdulhameed

Medical Education:

UMass Lowell, FNP

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, BSN

Nurse Practitioner

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Irfana worked as a registered nurse for seven years before becoming a family nurse practitioner. She made the decision to become a nurse practitioner after watching the advanced practitioners she worked with bring a higher level of care to patients and realizing she could do the same.

At ReadyMED, Irfana enjoys working closely with patients and offering the best care that she can provide. When seeing patients, Irfana makes a point to always listen carefully and get all the medical information she needs to make a diagnosis. “I believe the patient knows their body and their symptoms better than anyone and they need to be involved in making decisions about their care,” she explains.

Irfana says that the best part of her job at ReadyMED is knowing that she has helped someone. When she is not busy with patients Irfana enjoys reading and watching movies with her kids.

Dr. Omar Alani

Medical Education:

University Of Damascus Faculty of Medicine


Woodhull Medical And Mental Health Center


Originally from Syria, Dr. Omar Alani began his medical career as an emergency room physician. He first came to America to begin a residency in Pediatrics. At ReadyMED, Dr. Alani concentrates on seeing children and young adults under the age of 26.

“Considering my medical interests, this is really a dream job for me,” he explains. “I have always liked treating children and adolescents. They usually recover from illness better because they are younger and have fewer health issues. Plus having my own children, I know what they go through when they are sick.”

Dr. Alani is a very “hands-on” physician and enjoys doing different procedures in the office such as suturing, casting, removing skin lesions and warts, and incision and draining. He always makes a point to work closely with the family of a child when making a diagnosis. “When you work in pediatrics, you need to connect with the parents as well as the child. It’s important to explain the problem and make sure that everyone is on track with the treatment plan.”

Dr. Alani says that seeing patients in a walk-in care facility is always more challenging than in a typical office. “In this type of setting, you need to make decisions very quickly. Fortunately, at ReadyMED we have a lot of great technology to help in diagnosis, and this makes it a lot easier for everyone.”

When Dr. Alani isn’t busy treating patients he enjoys being around his family and watching sports, especially soccer. He also loves reading history and literature. He and his wife also enjoy visiting local restaurants and being a part of the Arabic-speaking community in Worcester.

Dr. Robert Hansen

Medical Education:

New Jersey Medical School


University of Massachusetts


Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Robert Hansen says that he has been in Massachusetts long enough to become a Red Sox fan but not long enough to have an accent. After studying chemical engineering at WPI, he found that field really wasn’t his cup of tea. “I found I missed the interaction with people,” he explains. “So, I decided to apply to medical school and have been enjoying medicine ever since.”

Dr. Hansen spent most of his career working in emergency medicine before coming to Reliant. One of the reasons he enjoys working at ReadyMED now is that he can have an immediate effect on his patients. “I like the fact that you can fix things like cuts and scrapes, sore throats and minor broken bones here. At ReadyMED Plus we have a lot of great technology including a CT scanner, ultrasound and a lab to help diagnose patients, so we can handle a lot of different problems here. It also helps patients avoid going to the emergency room for care.”

One thing that Dr. Hansen likes to do when he is with a patient is avoid confusing medical jargon. “I have taken my parents to the doctor and after hearing an explanation they have asked me, ‘what did he just say?’ So, I always try to explain things in simple terms that people can understand. That really makes it easier for everyone involved.”

When he is not seeing patients at ReadyMED, Dr. Hansen enjoys being with his wife and family. He has a real passion for physical fitness and has turned his garage at home into a dedicated gym. He enjoys participating in a sport called the Tactical Games, which combines athletic contests and target shooting.

Dr. Darshak Patel

Medical Education:

Windsor University School of Medicine


Houston Medical Center


Although he was born in India, Dr. Darshak Patel grew up in Massachusetts not far from Worcester. After graduating from medical school, he became a Family Practice physician but also spent some time working for walk-in care providers. “I found I really enjoyed providing walk-in care. As a primary care doctor, you usually don’t do a lot of procedures and I found I really enjoyed that aspect as well as the faster pace,” he explains. “I liked the balance of different types of care.”

One of the reasons Dr. Patel enjoys working at ReadyMED PLUS is that it provides many extra services for patients including ultrasound imaging, CT scans, and IV infusions. “The technology we have here can really make a difference,” he explains. “For instance, with a CT scanner you can diagnose appendicitis on the spot, and get that patient quickly to the operating room for treatment. I think that’s pretty impressive.”

Dr. Patel always makes a point to take as much time as needed when working with patients. “Walk-in care is very fast-paced but that doesn’t mean you can compromise the care that you give. You have to make sure that you know all the different issues your patient is facing. So I always take my time to make my assessment and make sure my patients get the care they need.”

When he is not busy at ReadyMED, Dr. Patel enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He also loves watching movies, going to the gym, listening to music, and sports such as rowing and biking.

Nicole Ostrikis, PA

Medical Education: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Physician Assistant

Amanda LaFlamme, PA

Medical Education: Bryant University

Physician Assistant

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston and Bryant University, Amanda decided to become an advanced practitioner because she enjoys working directly with patients advancing the common goal of better overall health and wellness.

Amanda enjoys the fast pace of working in urgent care at Reliant. “I really enjoy supporting patients both in their immediate needs and also doing my best to ensure they have access to long-term and follow-up care after their visit,” she explains.

At ReadyMED, Amanda likes to follow the holistic approach to patient care which involves examining the psychological, social, and mental health factors that may contribute to the symptoms and presentation of disease. “I believe it is extremely important to value the individual’s experience and circumstances when it comes to their own health and wellbeing.”

Amanda enjoys working closely with the healthcare team and connecting with patients. “I value the provider-patient relationship and I think that level of trust, respect, and responsibility is equally important amongst the healthcare team.

In her spare time Amanda loves to be with friends and family, as well as hiking and exploring the outdoors with her two rescue dogs. She also loves snowboarding, volleyball, kayaking, traveling, and sunny days at the beach.

Dr. Sarah Ghabbour

Internship & Residency: Tufts Medical Center
Medical School: Dartmouth College, Geisel School of Medicine


For as long as she can remember, Dr. Sarah Ghabbour always wanted to be a pediatrician. “I just wanted to treat children, it’s always been my life-long dream,” she explains. “To tell you the truth, I could never imagine myself doing anything else.”

As a pediatric urgent care physician at ReadyMED, Dr. Ghabbour likes being able to take care of all the different types of problems that children might have. “I like the satisfaction of being able to fix something and provide a solution quickly. The great thing about ReadyMED is that you can be seen the same day and find a resolution for what’s going on.”

When treating her patients, Dr. Ghabbour realizes that every child is part of a family and that the family is essential to good care. “I like working closely with parents and answering their questions and concerns so I can provide the guidance needed for proper treatment during the course of an illness. Good communication is really essential in pediatric medicine.”

Dr. Ghabbour had a child during her medical residency and feels that has helped her better understand the challenges that mothers often deal with. “I think it makes me more empathetic with parents and allows me to better understand the struggles they go through such as sleep deprivation, difficulties with breast-feeding, and other issues since I have experienced them myself.”

In her spare time, Dr. Ghabbour enjoys ice-skating, hiking, soccer, reading novels and listening to a good podcast. She also loves spending time with her family.

Jennifer Bordenca, PA

Medical Education: MCPHS University

Physician Assistant

Jennifer started her career as an RN and later decided to become an advanced practitioner. “I felt I would get more satisfaction by being able to provide a higher level of care for my patients as a physician assistant. I really enjoy diagnosing, treating, and being directly responsible for the management of my patient’s care.”

Jennifer enjoys working in the urgent care field because every day is different. “I really enjoy the fast-paced environment here and the variety of care,” she explains. “Plus I get to do procedures which I really enjoy. When people come here for care they often have an acute need and I enjoy helping them and making an impact. I like that every day is different and you never know what to expect.”

Jennifer tries to approach and treat every patient as if they were a member of her own family. “I always acknowledge patient issues and work to make them feel at ease while providing as much compassion as I can.”

In her spare time Jennifer enjoys traveling and trying new restaurants with her husband. She also enjoys hiking, walking her dogs and being with extended family. She also loves reading and spending summer weekends in New Hampshire.

Kristen Burke, DNP

Medical Education: UMass Amherst

Nurse Practitioner

Kristen’s medical career began as a medic in the US Army many years ago. Since that time, she has continued to advance her career in medicine. “I realized that by becoming a nurse practitioner I could provide patients with a higher level of care and care for the entire patient, not just their illness.”

Kristen enjoys working in the fast-paced environment of ReadyMEDSM. “Working here I am able to not just care for people but provide the level of service they need when they are sick or injured,” she explains. “Being able to care for others who are having a bad day makes me happy and hopefully improves their day as well.”

For Kristen, providing care is a team sport. “I believe that’s it important to work closely with the patient to provide the holistic level of care that they deserve. Patients frequently need to talk with someone about what they are experiencing – not just have someone tell them what is happening to them.”

In her spare time Kristen loves to complete DIY projects around the house, read a good book and play with her two dogs.

Jared Aldrich, PA

Medical Education: MCPHS University

Physician Assistant

Jared first became interested in a career in medicine when he was a teenager. “I was in a car accident and that experience helped fuel my interest to work in emergency medicine and as an urgent care provider,” he explains. After gaining some experience as an EMT Jared decided to pursue becoming an advanced practitioner. “I decided I wanted to provide a higher level of care for my patients. I’ve always had a desire and a passion for helping people and working as a physician assistant allows me to fulfill that goal.”

Working in urgent care, Jared enjoys the ability to provide care and reassurance to those who need it the most – and are at their most vulnerable. Jared says that he believes in treating all his patients as if he were treating a loved one. “I try to understand that they are coming to me in a time of need. So I try to recognize that and put people at ease and be as empathetic as possible. Then, I try to treat the physical ailments with my medical knowledge. I believe doing both helps make someone recover more efficiently.”

One of the things that Jared likes the most about working at ReadyMED is that every day is different. “Working here is like solving a new puzzle every day and I love being able to meet and talk with new people,” he explains. In his spare time Jared enjoys being with his wife and family and enjoys camping, fishing, canoeing, and going for walks in the woods.

Allyson Alting, NP

Medical School: UMASS Lowell

Nurse Practitioner

Allyson knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a nurse just like her mother. My mother is a true, big-hearted caregiver and a huge role model for me.” she explains. My father was also important in encouraging me to continue my education and pushing me to be the best I could be in my field.” 

Trained as family nurse practitioner, Allyson sees patients of all ages. She started both her registered nurse and nurse practitioner careers in the emergency room. I love working in the outpatient setting and I love helping those who are urgently in need,” she explains. pride myself on offering my patients reassurance, guidance, and also educating them about how to manage their current situation. 

Allyson always approaches each patient with the same compassion regardless of their problem“I believe each patient’s health concern should be validated and investigated appropriately to ensure the patient leaves with appropriate answers, education and follow-up as needed,” she explains. “This, in turn, helps ensure they are satisfied with their care. I love the smile on my patients face as they leave feeling reassured, educated, and more prepared to deal with their current situation. 

Allyson said she struggles with the lack of education patients have about preventative measures, such as proper diet and exercise. We see so many patients with repeated ailments related to their lifestyle choices. If we, as providers, educate people more about preventative health measures and healthier lifestyle choices I am hopeful we can become an overall healthier community.” 

When she is not busy with her patients, Allyson enjoys being with her family. “I love time with my husband out on the motorcycle on sunny days, hikes with our French bulldog Monti, and enjoying some free time with my two younger sisters.” 

Dr. Michael Gaudet

Medical School: UMass Medical School
Residency: Maine Medical Center
Fellowship: UMass Medical School


Idah Shayo, NP

Medical Education: UMass Medical School

Nurse Practitioner

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts and Fitchburg State College, Idah has assisted patients in a variety of settings during her career, including the cardiac floor of a hospital and also in the mental health field. Idah became an advanced practitioner because she loves working with people and using her knowledge and experience to help them. In her spare time, Idah enjoys traveling and experiencing other cultures. She especially likes to cook different cuisines from around the world.

Rachel Berkowitz, NP

Medical Education: Regis College

Nurse Practitioner

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and Regis College, Rachel Berkowitz finds her role as a Nurse Practitioner very fulfilling. “I enjoy getting to know people on a personal level, working with others, and learning new things, and being a Nurse Practitioner allows me to do that,” she explains. “It is truly a privilege to do this job.” Rachel thinks that the best care is given when the patient and provider team together to achieve common, realistic goals. “I have always felt that a common sense of respect, acceptance of personal strengths and challenges, and quality listening yield the best health outcomes for my patients. Most importantly, by creating these interactions, an intimate and honest relationship can be fostered.” In her free time, Rachel enjoys trying new types of cuisine. She also loves traveling and exploring new places plus spending time with her husband and English bulldog Bella.

Shaina LaBonte, NP

Master of Science: MCPHS University

Nurse Practitioner

Like many nurse practitioners, Shaina first started her career in medicine as a registered nurse. Back when she was working as an RN at a large teaching hospital, she marveled at the growth of the interns as they progressed through their residency. “One day, I said to myself, ‘Why can’t I do what they’re doing?’ Going to medical school didn’t seem to fit into my life at that point, but working alongside nurse practitioners and physician assistants made me realize that they were just as competent and experienced as doctors were. It was then I made the decision to become an advanced practitioner so I could continue to help patients and families in a more advanced role.”

Shaina is board-certified in Family Medicine and has a strong interest and background in Emergency Medicine, which is a great asset to her at ReadyMED. “Having an FNP degree has allowed me to assess, diagnose, and treat patients of all ages and stages of life,” she explains. “In addition, working in emergency medicine and urgent care has allowed me to deal with almost every type of patient problem and perform procedures in a quick, fast-paced environment.”

When treating her patients, Shaina never forgets that she is caring for someone’s loved one. “I always make a point to treat every patient with the kind of respect and care I would want for my own family and friends,” she explains. “Medicine is both an art and a science. Time and experience have shaped what we know as the medicine of today. They help to guide us in the right direction when caring for patients. But, dealing with people who are vulnerable and coming to you in a time of need requires empathy, listening, and support that must be tailored to each individual.”

In her spare time Shaina enjoys being outdoors, hiking, traveling, yoga, and experiencing life through the eyes of her two amazing daughters.