T.E.A.L.® Board Members
Started by sisters Louisa and Pamela after Louisa's Ovarian
Cancer diagnosis, the board has grown from a foundation started by a family to
a thriving community based organization reaching millions worldwide.
Board of Directors
Scientific Advisory Board
T.E.A.L.® Board Of Directors
Pamela Esposito-Amery, Co-Founder, CEO, Board Member
Pamela Esposito-Amery is the co-founder, CEO and a board member of Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer Louisa M. McGregor Ovarian Cancer Foundation also known as T.E.A.L.®, the nonprofit foundation behind New York City’s largest walk/run specifically for Ovarian Cancer. In 2009, Pamela and her sister, the late Louisa M. McGregor, co-founded T.E.A.L.® in order to promote public awareness of Ovarian Cancer, raise funds for research, and support women affected by the disease. Under Pamela’s continued leadership, T.E.A.L.® has raised over $2 million benefiting Ovarian Cancer research and awareness programs. She has overseen T.E.A.L.®'s nationwide expansion of support and events - in addition to global outreach that spans Europe, Asia, and Australia as well as the opening of the NASDAQ in 2015 and the New York Stock Exchange in 2016. Pamela has been recognized for her work with T.E.A.L.® on NY1 as its "New Yorker of the Week", and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, including Health Talk with Dr. Manny, Good Day New York, The Doctor Oz Show, Nash Radio, and The David Webb Show. Pamela has also participated as a judge for the 2017 Miss Greater NYC Scholarship Pageant. In 2016, Pamela was named a Brooklyn Woman of Distinction by Courier Life. In March of 2015, Pamela was featured alongside fellow Ovarian Cancer advocates in the NY Daily News' cover story "We Are Jolie: How Everyday Women Cope with the Same Cancer Issue Facing Angie", which prompted a conversation about the medical options available to women at high risk for contracting Ovarian Cancer. Pamela also works to educate about Ovarian Cancer through TE.A.L.®'s Community Outreach Program, regularly leading speaking engagements, lectures, and presentations at health fairs, symposiums, schools, universities, hospitals, and community centers.
Prior to joining T.E.A.L.® full-time in 2011, Pamela was a senior artist representative and production manager at a creative artist management agency.
Gina Pappalardo, Treasurer
A native of Brooklyn, Gina Pappalardo joined T.E.A.L.® as a
volunteer after meeting co-founder Louisa McGregor and becoming inspired by her
strength and spirit in the face of ovarian cancer. She soon assumed a leadership role as T.E.A.L.®’s treasurer
and has helped develop the T.E.A.L.® Walk/Run into the largest of its kind in New York City.
Gina has over 20 years of
experience in bookkeeping and accounting and is a member of the American
Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.
John Cucarese, Secretary
A longstanding member of T.E.A.L.®’s board, John Cucarese is
deeply committed to raising awareness about ovarian cancer and to providing
women with the tools they need to proactively fight the disease. A member of Lions Clubs International
since 2001, he is the current President of the Flatlands Lions Club and the T.E.A.L.® Committee chair for the District 20-K1 Lions Clubs of Brooklyn and
Queens, where he has been instrumental in making T.E.A.L.® a signature
project. John also helped to
organize Lions relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and secured a
foundation grant to support the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Gerritsen Beach,
Brooklyn. He is an advisor and
mentor for Leos, the Flatlands Lions youth program. In 2006, he was honored by the New York Firefighters Burn
Center Foundation for his support of severely burned children. A transportation professional with over
20 years of planning experience at MTA New York City Transit, he currently
manages the agency’s federal compliance monitoring and service equity programs. He is a graduate of Columbia
Annette Abolt, Board President
Annette Abolt has over 30 years experience in geriatrics specializing in dementia and Alzheimer's disease including 20 years as an activity director in assisted living facilities. Her passion for helping people and her personal friendship with co-founder Louisa McGregor brought her to T.E.A.L.®, and she is determined to help find a cure for ovarian cancer by supporting efforts in medical research. She also takes pride in helping organize T.E.A.L.®'s stage activities at their annual T.E.A.L.® WALK. Annette has a BS Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Herbert H. Lehman College.
Patricia Gentile, Vice President
Patricia Gentile, otherwise known as “Aunt Patsy,” joined T.E.A.L.® as a volunteer during its first walk in 2009. With her positive attitude, her love for
helping others, and her creativity, Patsy soon assumed a leadership position on T.E.A.L.®’s board and spearheads decoration and craft projects for its events. A native of Brooklyn who currently
resides in Staten Island, she has been married to her husband John for more
than forty years and has two daughters and two granddaughters. In
addition to raising awareness of ovarian cancer through her work with T.E.A.L.®,
she enjoys bowling and volunteering at a local assisted living center, where
she hosts “Cooking with Patsy,” a program that involves sharing food, recipes,
and memories of family cooking with the residents.
Flora Poleshchuk is a board certified genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics. Flora used to practice embryology in an IVF center where she cryopreserved eggs and embryos for women and couples battling cancer. This experience inspired Flora to become a genetic counselor and stimulated her ongoing interest in cancer genetics. After completing her genetic counseling Master's degree in 2011, from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, she practiced clinical genetic counseling at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY where she was introduced to and partnered with T.E.A.L.®. Since 2014 Flora has been with Myriad Genetics Laboratories as a Regional Medical Specialist in the New York City area, providing ongoing cancer genetics education and support to healthcare providers in our area. Flora is currently serving as Co-chair of the Cancer Special Interest Group for the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the largest subspecialty group in the genetic counseling profession.
Louisa M. McGregor, Co-Founder (in memoriam)
Louisa McGregor lost her four-year battle with ovarian
cancer on March 8, 2011. Louisa
established Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer Louisa M. McGregor
Ovarian Cancer Foundation (T.E.A.L.®) with her sister Pamela Esposito-Amery, and
together they created the T.E.A.L.® Walk, which quickly became the largest
ovarian cancer walk in New York City. While battling the disease, Louisa appeared in many public
service announcements, including spots from Gilda’s Club and Stand Up To
Cancer, and she appeared on The Today Show and the documentary The Whisper: The
Silent Crisis of Ovarian Cancer to educate others. She received many awards for the work she did while
undergoing treatment, including an honor by the New York State Senate for
Women’s History Month, a Lions Club Humanitarian Award, and a Brooklyn Women of
Distinction Award. June 6, 2011
was designated Louisa M. McGregor Day in Brooklyn in her honor.
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John McGregor has been raising awareness about ovarian cancer
since his late wife Louisa McGregor was diagnosed in 2007. Having experienced firsthand how
devastating the disease can be, he is dedicated to educating women and their
families about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. John has worked in the beverage industry
for over 25 years, volunteers extensively with the Boy Scouts of America, and
helped his son achieve the level of Eagle Scout.
Phyllis Bellochio began advocating on behalf of ovarian cancer
as soon as Louisa McGregor was diagnosed and has been a staunch believer in T.E.A.L.®’s mission since its inception. A wife, mother, and entrepreneur, Phyllis enjoys nothing more
than relaxing in her backyard on a lazy Sunday afternoon with her family, friends,
and three beautiful horses.
Lawrence S. Esposito
When Lawrence Esposito’s daughter Louisa McGregor was
diagnosed with ovarian cancer, he knew that he had to do everything he could to
support her. He has been a big
part of every decision that Louisa and her sister Pamela Esposito-Amery made
since co-founding T.E.A.L.® In
addition, he has been actively involved in Brooklyn’s business community for
over 40 years. Larry has served as
President and Treasurer of the Flatlands Lions Club, and he is a past president
of both the Master Plumbers Council of the City of New York and the Kings
County Master Plumbers Association. In 2006, he was recognized for his support of the New York
Firefighters Burn Center Foundation and received the Distinguished Recognition
Award from the Lions Eye Bank for Long Island. He was grateful to receive the 2009 Melvin Jones Fellowship
for Humanitarian Service from the Lions Clubs International Foundation, the
organization’s highest honor.
When Rena Esposito’s daughter Louisa McGregor was diagnosed
with ovarian cancer, she stood firm by her side and dedicated herself to
supporting efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease. With her extensive managerial and
secretarial experience, she has helped T.E.A.L.® in multiple capacities as it has
expanded throughout New York and nationwide. Rena is a wife and mother of three, with three grandchildren
whom she loves dearly.
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Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Sharyn Lewin
Sharyn N. Lewin, MD, is a board-certified gynecologic
oncologist at Holy Name Medical Center, specializing in the diagnosis, treatment and management of ovarian,
endometrial, uterine, cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers. Her practice
employs a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team approach for women at high risk
for ovarian cancer and other gynecologic malignancies.
Dr. Lewin's expertise includes complex surgical procedures for gynecological
cancers, and she has extensive training in robotics and other minimally
invasive techniques. She uses intraperitoneal chemotherapy and has research
interests in novel chemotherapeutic agents for recurrent ovarian cancer. She is
a national educator on the condition known as hereditary breast and ovarian
cancer syndrome, the author of more than 100 publications, and an advocate for
quality improvement in female-focused health care.
Dr. Lewin was most recently a member of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at
Columbia University Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the
Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University College of
Physicians and Surgeons. At New-York Presbyterian, she was medical director of
the Woman to Woman Program, which provides psychosocial support for individuals
with gynecological cancers.
Dr. Lewin completed her fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and her residency in obstetrics and gynecology
at Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes Jewish Hospital in St.
Louis, MO. She earned her medical degree from the University of Kansas School
Dr. Samantha Cohen
Dr. Samantha Cohen is a board certified Gynecologic
Oncology at the Mount Sinai Hospital. She is a graduate of the Albert Einstein
College of Medicine and completed both her OB/GYN residency and gynecologic
oncology fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital.
As a gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Cohen specializes in the
diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic malignancies, such as uterine, ovarian,
and cervical cancer. Dr. Cohen also specializes in minimally
invasive surgical techniques, including laparoscopic and robotic surgery,
treatment of cervical dysplasia, and management of complex non-malignant
Dr. Cohen began seeing patients in
Brooklyn in 2011 and has since then become an important part of cancer care for
women in Brooklyn and the neighboring communities. In addition to being the
recipient of multiple awards for excellence in medicine, Dr. Cohen has recently
been honored by the Brooklyn community for her work in establishing important
resources for patients. In addition, Dr. Cohen was featured in both the
November 2013 and September 2014 special section of the New York Times
Magazine, under New York Rising Stars.
Dr. Cohen’s research activities include being a founding
member of the Ovarian Cancer Translational Research Program that began at Icahn
School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and now is a multicenter consortium. The
focus of this research has been developing a personalized approach to ovarian
cancer detection and treatment, with a particular interest in next-generation
sequencing to discover novel genetic changes in ovarian cancer. Her research
efforts have been nationally recognized, including recent publications in the
peer-reviewed journals, Gynecologic Oncology and Journal
of Ovarian Research. Her research participation in the Icahn School of Medicine
at Mount Sinai is ongoing. She is an active member of the Society of
Gynecologic Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American
Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Dr. Kevin M. Holcomb MD
Dr. Kevin Holcomb is Director of the Division of Gynecologic
Oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital as well as an Associate Professor of
Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell
University. He received his BA from Cornell University and attended New York
Medical College in Valhalla, NY. Following an internship and residency in
Obstetrics and Gynecology at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Dr.
Holcomb completed a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the State University
of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. He has a strong clinical
interest in the role of minimally invasive surgery in gynecologic oncology and
serves as the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery for the Department of
Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cornell. Dr. Holcomb has authored several
manuscripts regarding various topics in gynecologic oncology including the
surgical management of endometrial cancer, serum biomarkers in adnexal masses, and
preinvasive disease of the cervix in HIV-positive women. He received the
National Faculty Award by the Council of Residency Education in Obstetrics and
Gynecology in 2002 and 2004. He is a full member of the Society of Gynecologic
Oncologists and a Fellow of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Holcomb has been recognized annually by Castle Connolly Ltd. and New York
Magazine as a top doctor in the New York metropolitan area since 2010. He is a
past president of the board of advisors for the American Cancer Society upper
Manhattan office as well as the Metropolitan Gynecologic Cancer Society.
Dr. Elizabeth Poynor
MD, PhD, FACOG is a gynecologic oncologist and advanced
pelvic surgeon. After completing advanced surgical training in gynecology,
gynecologic oncology and advanced pelvic surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center and maintaining a successful surgical practice there for more
than a decade, she decided to focus exclusively on the care of women in a more
comfortable and private setting. After establishing her private practice, she
was noted in 2007 and 2008 to be a Castle Connolly Guide Top Doctor for the New
York Metro Area, for gynecologic oncology.
Dr. Poynor graduated magna cum laude from Princeton
University in 1984. She then graduated from Columbia College of Physicians and
Surgeons in 1988 and completed her residency training in Obstetrics and
Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. Dr. Poynor completed her
fellowship in gynecologic oncology in 1995 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center, and remained on the surgical attending staff until July of 2006. While
developing and maintaining a busy surgical practice as an Assistant Attending
Surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of
Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cornell Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences,
she also obtained a PhD in cell biology and genetics from Cornell. Dr. Poynor
is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology. In
June of 2006, after amassing a vast experience in radical pelvic and minimally
invasive pelvic surgery, Dr. Poynor established her solo private practice in
gynecologic oncology and pelvic surgery in Manhattan. This move was made in
order to provide her patients with leading-edge, top quality care in a
patient-centric, calm and compassionate fashion. In addition to providing
surgical and medical care to the highest standards in her field, she provides a
distinct focus on the importance of the patient-physician relationship.
Over the years Dr. Poynor has co-authored numerous
publications and book chapters on topics in gynecology and gynecologic
oncology, and has lectured nationally, internationally and through the national
media. As a surgeon scientist her work involved translating basic science
principles into clinically meaningful treatments and she served as Director of
Translational Research for the Gynecology Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center. Dr. Poynor has also served as an investigator in numerous
clinical trials relating to the surgical, medical and biologic treatment of
gynecologic cancers and has participated in national leadership programs in
gynecologic oncology including the Committee on Experimental Medicine in the
Gynecologic Oncology Group.
Dr. Poynor provides comprehensive surgical management of
gynecologic cancers and works with medical and radiation oncologists in order
to facilitate a compassionate, multidisciplinary approach to the management of
women's cancers. Through her extensive experience in the treatment of women's
cancers and recent move into the private setting, she is able to provide
leading edge cancer care in an unhurried and calm atmosphere so that treatment
plans and options can be discussed in a private, thorough and unrushed fashion.
She also provides operative care, counseling, and surgical alternatives to
women who require, or may be considering complex gynecologic surgery. There is
a focus on minimally invasive surgery in the practice and advanced laparoscopic
techniques are employed. In addition to traditional outcomes evaluation of
operative procedures, there is also a focus on cosmetic and quality of life
outcomes for patients who require surgery.
Dr. Poynor's practice also focuses on the care of the woman
who is at elevated risk to develop cancer based on an abnormal Pap smear, her
personal medical history, or family history of cancer. She has special
expertise in the complex management of women and their families who have a
genetic predisposition to developing breast cancer and gynecologic
malignancies. Dr. Poynor also provides gynecologic care for women who currently
have or have survived cancer, and may be experiencing side eff ects from prior
or ongoing treatments. A large portion of her practice is devoted to the
management of menopausal symptoms and sexual health of women who may not be
candidates for hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Poynor has thus developed a
special interest in the management of health and quality of life issues related
to menopause in the cancer survivor.
Dr. Poynor is a respected and sought after source for the
popular press and has been quoted in such publications as: Town and Country,
More and Redbook. She has also appeared as an expert commentator on MSNBC, the
Today Show and WCBS.
Dr. Dennis S. Chi
MD, FACOG, FACS, has served as a faculty
member on the Gynecology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, since 1997. He is currently the Deputy Chief of
the Gynecology Service and head of the Ovarian Cancer Surgery Section. He was co-director of Pelvic
Reconstructive surgery, Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship and the
Pelvic Reconstruction Clinical Research Fellowships from 2001-2014. He helped to establish the
International Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship program at MSKCC. His experience
in population-based and patient-oriented research have led to over 200
peer-reviewed publications and international presentations that have
demonstrated the safe use of advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques in
the management of early ovarian cancer, the beneficial effects of the use of
extensive surgical procedures for advanced and recurrent gynecologic cancers,
and the establishment of clinical guidelines to determine appropriate
candidates for second and third operations in cases of recurrent uterine and
ovarian cancer. Dr. Chi is the principal investigator of four current MSKCC
IRB-approved prospective clinical protocols including a randomized, multicenter
phase II trial comparing secondary cytoreductive surgery with and without
Hearted Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy in patients with recurrent ovarian
cancer. On a national level, he has served multiple times as the director
or faculty member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology's annual postgraduate
courses aimed at instructing gynecologic oncologists throughout the world on
the most up-to-date surgical treatments for women with gynecologic
Dr. Oliver Zivanovic
MD, is a gynecologic oncology surgeon specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the uterus, cervix, ovary, and vulva. I am serving as a faculty member on the Gynecology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. As part of the Ovarian Cancer Section at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center I have extensive experience in the treatment of ovarian cancer and pharmacology of local intraperitoneal chemotherapy in patients with peritoneal surface malignancies. The goal of cytoreductive surgery is to remove as much visible disease as possible, making the tumor more responsive to chemotherapy and improving treatment success. At the same time I am working on quality improvement initiatives to reduce the burden of symptoms and complications following surgery and evaluating the role of patient-reported outcomes (PRO) and health-related quality of life (HRLQ) in cancer patients undergoing treatment.
Andrea Mattocks is the T.E.A.L.® Scientific Advisory Board Administrator. She has volunteered with T.E.A.L.® since 2010 after completing a one year internship with the organization. Andrea studied art history as an undergraduate at NYU before completing a master’s in public health with a focus in epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Andrea has a commitment to both women’s health and cancer care. She has worked with hospitals and non-profit organizations concentrating on teen pregnancy, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. She now works as a research coordinator at the Maimonides Medical Center Breast Center focusing in research on breast surgery and breast cancer in diverse populations.
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Established in 2009, T.E.A.L.® has grown over the years because of the help of hundreds of dedicated volunteers. In 2010, we were able to add 1 full time employee. By, 2013 we added another full time employee and in 2014 added a part time staff member to help with our growing needs. Every year our staff has grown to match the needs of our growing programs. T.E.A.L.® also has an internship program which helps facilitate some of the staffing needs.
For 7 years T.E.A.L.® was based out of a home office with monthly meetings at a volunteer’s home. In 2015 T.E.A.L.® moved into a new office space located at 533 16th St Brooklyn, NY 11215! This space is the T.E.A.L.® Community Center which is used as part office and part community center.
Below is our current list of staff members.
Pamela Esposito-Amery/Full Time CEO and Co-Founder
Lynn Koehler/Full Time Bookkeeper/Operations Administrator
Danielle Holloway/ Full Time Executive Assistant
Chloe Rhatigan/ Part Time Communications Coordinator
Melissa Belasoto/Part Time Programs Associate
Kadesha Maddox/Part Time Marketing Associate
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