Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center Clinical Care Team
Our clinical care team members, including doctors, physician assistants, a nutritionist, psychologists, and researchers, work together to provide integrated, comprehensive care for people who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Our Team in New York City
Our Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center physicians in New York City include experts in gastroenterology and surgery.
Our Team on Long Island
Our Advanced Practice Providers
Juliette A. Bender-Heine, PA-C
A physician assistant (PA) in gastroenterology, Ms. Bender-Heine received her bachelor’s degree from Earlham College in 2008 and her master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Chatham University in 2013. Before moving to New York, she worked for almost five years as a physician assistant in IBD at Presbyterian Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Ms. Bender-Heine strongly believes in a patient-centered, team approach to treating people who have IBD, and in keeping people actively involved in all aspects of their care. She enjoys coordinating care for patients and helping to improve their symptoms and quality of life.
Joanna Esterow, PA-C
A PA who has a passion for working with people who have IBD, Ms. Esterow graduated from the Hofstra University physician assistant program in 2004. After joining NYU Langone, she initially worked in the medical treatment of IBD. In 2016, she expanded her role and is now involved with both the medical and surgical treatment of people with the most complex cases of IBD. She is actively involved in IBD research and clinical trials and teaches students and other clinicians about the disease to improve quality of life for people who have IBD.
Rachelle Sideris, MSN, RN, ACNS, SWOCN
Luba Yushuvayev, MS, ANP-BC
Our Nutrition Specialists
Arielle Leben MS, RD, CDN
Ms. Leben is a registered dietitian who specializes in working with people who have IBD as well as various other gastrointestinal disorders, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroparesis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and diverticular disease. She works closely with patients to deliver personalized nutrition interventions that include food, meal planning, and dietary supplements. Ms. Leben enjoys forging long-term relationships with patients while helping them make sustainable changes to promote better overall health and quality of life. Ms. Leben graduated from NYU with a masters in clinical nutrition and completed her dietetic internship at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Arlene Stein, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC
Ms. Stein is a nutrition support dietitian who has worked for NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island (formerly called Winthrop-University Hospital) since 2000. A member of the Division of Gastroenterology at NYU Long Island School of Medicine, Ms. Stein provides care for a variety of gastrointestinal issues including IBD, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, and short bowel syndrome. She also manages home total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and enteral nutrition.
Our Clinical Research Coordinators
Heather Dufficy, BA, CCRP, NREMT-P
As program manager of the clinical trials division at NYU Langone Nassau Gastroenterology Associates, Ms. Dufficy oversees gastroenterology research and clinical trials. In this role, she seeks out and evaluates new IBD treatments so that we may offer them to our patients before U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval through clinical trials. Ms. Dufficy believes that no other career choice would provide the sense of fulfillment she receives from helping people with IBD improve their quality of life.
Ghoncheh Ghiasian, MPH
Our research program manager, Ms. Ghiasian ensures that the clinical research experience here is positive for our patients. She is excited to be working at the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center and strongly believes in the importance of clinical research in increasing treatment options for people living with IBD.
Our Mental Health Experts
Jessica A. Gerson, PhD
Dr. Gerson is a clinical psychologist who provides care to people with IBD and to those who have had or will have colorectal surgery. She also sees people who have other gastrointestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Gerson offers short-term integrative individual psychotherapy and IBD-focused hypnotherapy and runs support groups. She also conducts research and trains psychologists. Dr. Gerson received her PhD in clinical psychology from LIU Brooklyn in 1999, as well as postdoctoral training in IBD-centered hypnotherapy, family systems therapy, and mindfulness meditation training. She is a member of the medical advisory board for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Dr. Gerson provides services in New York City and on Long Island.
Mary Rzeszut, MSW, LCSW
Ms. Rzeszut is a licensed clinical social worker at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island who is experienced in various evidence-based therapeutic treatments to address the psychological distress of living with IBD and irritable bowel syndrome. These include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness practices. She offers both in-person and virtural sessions.