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Our Surgical Team

Our team of physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners is committed to ensuring each of our patients receives high-quality care throughout the process – from consultation during surgery and through the follow-up period. Each doctor brings an area of proficiency and unique specialties to the group. And with every surgery, we care for our patients with understanding and compassion.

The majority of our doctors trained when open abdominal surgery was the norm, giving them a vast amount of invaluable knowledge and experience not available in surgical training programs today. We fully understand the benefits of the laparoscopic era, but our experience enables us to feel completely comfortable with any procedure, regardless of the level of complication.

St. Joseph’s Physicians Surgical Services physicians have always been on the leading edge of surgical capabilities in the Syracuse area:
Among the first surgeons in Syracuse to use robotic laparoscopic surgery and perform laparoscopic colon surgery
Some of the first and only surgeons in our area to perform breast ultrasounds and minimally-invasive stereotactic biopsy procedures in an office setting, including mammosites

  Scott P. Albert, MD 
Dr. Scott P. Albert joined Dr. Kara C. Kort, medical director for St. Joseph’s Health Breast Care and Surgery Center. Together, the two surgeons will lead an interdisciplinary team of breast health experts who provide diagnostic care, treatment and follow up based on national standards of care.


Dr. Albert earned his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University, where he also completed his residency, and he completed his fellowship at Ohio State University College of Medicine with a focus on Surgical Oncology. Dr. Albert has been published in books and peer reviewed journals and is a professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University. He will be providing Surgical Oncology services at St. Joseph’s in addition to Breast Care and Endocrine Surgery.

Thomas F. Certo, MD
Dr. Certo brings over 20 years of experience in general surgery to Upstate Surgical Group. He was the first general surgeon to use laparoscopic surgery at St. Joseph’s, and was instrumental in the procedure’s introduction into common practice.  Dr. Certo is highly involved in physician leadership in the hospital as medical staff president and a member of the long range planning committee.


Evan Dentes, MD
Dr. Dentes earned his Medical Degree at SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York, where he completed residencies in both medicine and surgery. He has been a member of the St. Joseph’s Health medical staff since 1981.

Balasubramanian Sivakumar, MD 
Dr. Balasubramanian Sivakumar is a board-certified critical care surgeon with more than 25 years of surgical experience. He is the most experienced robotics surgeon and is the director of both the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and the Department of Surgical Physician Assistants at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.  Dr. Sivakumar, or Dr. Kumar as he is called by his patients and colleagues, has received the Patrician Ann Award and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s Pink Hero Award in recognition of his caring manner.

“The primary focus of my practice is surgery,” says Dr. Kumar. “In these days when more and more surgeons specialize, I am probably one of few surgeons who still do a wide range of general surgery, much of it laparoscopically.” Among the procedures he performs are thyroid and endocrine surgery, laparoscopic kidney, colon, pancreatic and gallbladder surgeries.  He is a board-certified critical care surgeon. “I would like to be known as a healer, not just a treater,” Dr. Kumar says.  “Treating people implies a distance between the doctor and the patient, it is more dispassionate.  My patients feel very comfortable with me.  I try to reach out to them.”

In 2003, he was given the Susan G. Komen Breast cancer Foundations’ Pink Hero Award in recognition of his caring manner. An experienced medical instructor, Dr. Kumar has taught a number of courses at area hospitals, including advanced trauma life support, surgery and critical care.  He is the Director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, as well as the Director of the Department of Surgical Physician Assistants at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.  Dr. Kumar is also the Medical Director of CNY Infusion, a home care agency.

Dr. Kumar earned M.D. and B.S. degrees at Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad, India.  He served internships at Osmania General Hospital, Hyderabad, India and at Mount Vernon Hospital, Mount Vernon, New York.  His general surgery residency was completed at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, New York.  He performed a critical care fellowship at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York.

Anthony S. Oliva, MD
Dr. Oliva is a skilled general surgeon within the group. Before his work at Upstate Surgical, Dr. Oliva operated a private practice in general surgery and was a managing partner of a surgical specialist group in North Carolina. Today, Dr. Oliva is also a frequent lecturer on various topics related to surgery.

1987 – 1991 B.A., Chemistry with Classics Concentration, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts
1991 – 1992 M.A., Medical Science, Boston University Graduate School, Boston, Massachusetts
1993 – 1997 Doctorate of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts

  Kara C. Kort, MD
Dr. Kort is an accomplished surgeon and professor with deep expertise in surgical treatment of breast and endocrine disease. Previously, she was a member of Upstate Medical University’s surgical practice and served as the division chief and medical director of the Patricia J. Numann Breast and Endocrine Surgery Center. 

Dr. Kort’s practice focuses on providing surgical treatment for diseases of the breast, thyroid and parathyroid including cancer evaluation and treatment planning. She also provides general surgery services.  

A native of Massapequa, New York, she completed both her Doctor of Medicine degree and residency in general surgery at SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse. She is an associate professor of surgery at Upstate Medical University and was the 2011 Humanitarian Award recipient for the Carol M. Baldwin Research Fund of Central New York. 

Atul Maini, MD 
Dr.Maini is a Board Certified General Surgeon and a Fellow of American College of Surgeons. He has been selected as “America’s Top Surgeons”in 2009.

“The mainstay of my practice is to provide compassionate and expert care to my patients and to treat them the same way as I would want my family members to be treated. I thrive for excellence and anything lesser than the best should not be delivered to my patients” Dr. Maini says.

Dr. Maini brings with him with extensive experience in Advanced laparoscopic surgery, thyroid, breast cancer and abdominal surgeries. He is also trained in and performing da Vinci Robotic Surgery.

He has special interest in treating Venous disease including Varicose veins, Venous Reflux disease with modern cutting edge techniques utilizing Laser technology and micro phlebectomy along with Sclerotherapy for spider veins.
Dr.Maini earned his Medical Degree in Sri Deva Raj Urs Medical College Karnataka India. He then worked as a Research Fellow in SUNY Syracuse NY during which period he authored multiple publications. He is also a member of multiple Professional Societies including American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Massachusetts Board of Medicine. He is also ACLS and ATLS certified.

His General Surgery training was completed in SUNY Syracuse NY and since then has provided excellent surgical care to his patients.

C. Melinda Stevens, DO

SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY  07/08-Present
General Surgery Resident

Touro U. College of Osteopathic Medicine, Vallejo, CA 08/04-06/08
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Graduated magna cum laude

California State University, Fullerton, CA   08/01-06/02
Post-baccalaureate Premedical Program 

Georgia Southwestern State University, Americus, GA 03/92
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry   

  Travis Webb, MD 
Dr. Travis Webb provides general surgery services to St. Joseph’s Physicians Surgical Services patients. He has a special interest in hernia surgery and abdominal wall reconstruction. 

He earned a Medical Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Albany. He completed his residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons and the American Medical Association.  

David W. Wormuth, MD, MPH 
Dr. Wormuth has almost 20 years experience specializing in cardiothoracic surgery. He is the founder of CNY Thoracic Surgery, and treats patients at all Syracuse area private hospitals. Dr. Wormuth also has a clinical faculty appointment at University Hospital. 

  Lisa A. Cico, MSN, ANP-C
Lisa has been practicing as an NP focused on Breast, Endocrine, and Plastic Surgery care since 1998. Prior to joining St. Joseph’s, she served as co-coordinator of SUNY  Upstate’s multi-disciplinary Breast Cancer Program providing surgical, radiation, and medical oncology for breast cancer patients. She completed her BSN in 1997, and her MSN/NP in 1998 at SUNY Upstate Medical University, and graduation with her MSN/NP degree, she was awarded the “John Bernard Henry, MD, Endowed Scholarship Award.”

A resident of Syracuse, Lisa has served on the Executive Board of the NYS Nurse Practitioner Association in multiple capacities, President twice, treasurer once, and helps develop their annual conference day. Lisa enjoys the opportunity to deliver patient education not only in her practice, but has developed multiple patient education materials, and in 2013, accomplished bringing together Upstate’s Thyroid Cancer Faculty for the first “Thyroid Cancer Mini-Symposium: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach and Update in the Care of the Patient with Thyroid Cancer,” inviting providers from the community and surrounding areas for this free CME conference.

  Nicole Mattes, RPA-C 
Nicole is a graduate of Le Moyne College where she competed the Physician Assistant program. Prior to joining St. Joseph’s Physicians, she worked as a general surgery physician assistant at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center where she provides both pre- and post-operative care to surgical patients DaVinci trained, she serves as first assistant in general, thoracic, urologic, bariatric, colorectal, and gynecologic surgeries.

Yana Popilevskaya, RPA-C 
Yana is a Physician Assistant with 9 years of experience in surgery.  Prior to joining USG, she worked for St. Josephs hospital in General and Thoracic surgery with crosscovering of subspecialties. She is trained  to assist in open, laparoscopic and DaVinci robotic procedures. Graduate of Brooklyn College with Bachelors degree in Biology and MCP Hahnemann University with Bachelors degree in Physician Assistant studies. She is NCCPA board certified. 

Mya Robertson, MSFNP, CBEC 
Mya received her bachelor of science degree in nursing at Elmira College.  She obtained her master of science degree at Upstate Medical University with a minor in education.  She is certified through the ANCC as a Family Nurse Practitioner.   She worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center prior to her employment at Upstate Surgical Group.  She is certified as a Breast Health Navigator to help assist patients with a variety of breast problems.  She is trained to do genetic counseling and testing for Hereditary Cancers.  She is the only certified breast examiner in the Syracuse area, one of seven in New York State. 

Urgent Care Locations

St. Joseph's Physicians in Liverpool
5100 West Taft Road
Liverpool, NY 13088

St. Joseph's Physicians in Fayetteville
4100 Medical Center Drive
Fayetteville, NY 13066

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Contact St. Joseph's Physicians

Family Medicine, Liverpool: 315.452.2828
Family Medicine, Fayetteville: 315.637.7878
Family Medicine, Radisson: 315.652.1325
Family Medicine, Heritage Group,
Fayetteville: 315.663.0059
Family Medicine, Heritage Group,
Cazenovia: 315.655.8171
Internal Medicine, Syracuse: 315.474.0542
Surgical Services, Liverpool: 315.634.3399
Surgical Services, Fayetteville: 315.632.3300