Meet Our Team

NewYork-Presbyterian

Outpatient Services

Columbia Outpatient Team

Kim Valenza MPH, RD, CDN, CDCES

Kim Valenza MPH, RD, CDN, CDCES

Supervisor

Expertise: adult / pediatric nutrition, diabetes education and breastfeeding support

Kim re-joined NYP in 2022 as the Supervisor of Outpatient Nutrition, Diabetes Education and Breastfeeding Support services at the Columbia campus after working at Fruit Street Health as the Director of Clinical and Coach Operations. She previously worked at NYP as an inpatient clinical nutritionist and intestinal transplant nutritionist at the Columbia campus and senior clinical dietitian in the kidney/pancreas transplant program at the Weill Cornell campus before being promoted to an inpatient clinical nutrition supervisor at the NYP Columbia campus. Kim completed her Dietetic Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2008. She has a MPH in Health Policy and Management from CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College and a BS in Nutritional Sciences from Pennsylvania State University. Kim is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She is passionate about leveraging technology to address health disparities.

Kimberly Altman, MS, RD, CSP, CDN

Kimberly Altman, MS, RD, CSP, CDN

Senior Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: adult cystic fibrosis

Kimberly joined NYP as an inpatient clinical nutritionist in 2007 after working at St Joseph’s University Medical Center, Patterson NJ and Tufts Medical Center, Boston MA. Kimberly assumed her current position in 2017. Kimberly completed a combined Dietetic Internship/Master’s program at Frances Stern Nutrition Center and Tufts University in Boston, MA in 2000. She has a BS in Dietetics from the University of Delaware in Newark, DE. Kimberly is nationally recognized for her expertise in nutrition related to CF. She works at the Gunnar Esiason Adult Cystic Fibrosis and Lung and mentors colleagues, participates in research, contributes to professional literature and is a strong advocate and resource for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation events and fundraising initiatives.

Angelica Santana, MPH, RD, CDN, CDCES, BC-ADM

Angelica Santana, MPH, RD, CDN, CDCES, BC-ADM

Senior Dietitian/Nutritionist and Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Expertise: diabetes management

Angelica joined NYP in 2016 after working at the William F. Ryan Community Health Network. Angelica completed her Dietetic Internship at NewYork Presbyterian in 2011. She has a MPH in Nutrition from Hunter College and BA in Psychology from Marymount Manhattan College in New York. She is Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM). Angelica works closely with doctors, nurses, social workers and other providers to support patients with diabetes and improve their health in the Ambulatory Care Network Associates in the Internal Medicine (AIM) and NYP Outpatient Nutrition practices. She promotes healthy lifestyles, considering the diverse cultural needs, helping her patients reach their health goals. Angelica is the quality coordinator of New York Presbyterian’s Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES) accredited DSMES program.

Sabrina Toledano, MS, RD, CDN, CSO

Sabrina Toledano, MS, RD, CDN, CSO

Senior Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: adult digestive diseases, pancreas, oncology

Sabrina joined NYP in 2010 working as an inpatient clinical nutritionist before transferring to her current role in 2016. Sabrina completed her Dietetic Internship at NYP in 2010, has MS in Clinical Nutrition from Rutgers University NJ and a BS from Syracuse University, NY. She is Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. She has published research in Nutrition in Clinical Practice on “Exploring the Differences Between Early and Traditional Diet Advancement in Postoperative Feeding Outcomes in Patients with an Ileostomy or Colostomy”. Sabrina works in the Division of Digestive Diseases and The Pancreas Center with a wide range of patients with gastrointestinal diseases to help optimize their nutritional intake while limiting digestive distress.

Alexandra Mercado Adorno MS, RD, CDCES, CDN

Alexandra Mercado Adorno MS, RD, CDCES, CDN

Dietitian/Nutritionist and Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Expertise: adult and pediatrics, diabetes, gestational diabetes, weight management, heart health

Alex joined NYP in 2018 after working NYC Health + Hospital/Harlem Hospital. She completed her dietetic internship in 2015 at VA Caribbean Healthcare System. Alex has a MS in Diabetes Education and Management from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BS from University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She works in the Ambulatory Care Network Audubon and NYP Outpatient Nutrition practices. Alex is a native Spanish speaker and is passionate about providing individualized culturally competent nutrition and diabetes care and education to diverse patient populations.

Tyffanie Ammeter MS, RD, CSG, CDN

Tyffanie Ammeter MS, RD, CSG, CDN

Dietitian/Community Nutritionist

Expertise: older adults

Tyffanie joined NYP in 2019 after working at the Riverside Premier Rehab & Healing Center, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, and Laurie Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy. Prior to this she worked in technical accounting in Santiago, Chile. Tyffanie completed her dietetic internship in 2017 at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She has a MS in Nutrition & Public Health from Teachers College and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She is Board Certified as a Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition. Tyffanie has a passion for working with culturally diverse communities and specializes in the older adult population. She enjoys learning from others as well as collaborating with communities to advocate for positive change.

Claudia Castaneda Tinoco RD, CDN, CDCES, CLC

Claudia Castaneda Tinoco RD, CDN, CDCES, CLC

Dietitian/Nutritionist and Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Expertise: adult and pediatrics, diabetes, gestational diabetes, weight management, heart health

Claudia joined NYP in 2018 after working at Community Healthcare Network, NY and at Karuna Eating Disorder Clinic and her private practice, Total Wellness and Nutrition, both in Mexico City. Claudia completed her dietetic internship in 2008 at the National Institute of Perinatology Isidro Reyes Espinoza in Mexico City. She has a BS degree in Nutrition and Food Science from Iberoamerican University in Mexico City. She is a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and Certified Lactation Consultant. Claudia works in Ambulatory Care Network Washington Heights Family Health Center and NYP Outpatient Nutrition practices. She is a native Spanish speaker and is passionate about helping a culturally diverse population thrive by promoting overall healthy habits and using food to treat and prevent chronic diseases.

Jill Eklof MS, RD, CDN

Jill Eklof MS, RD, CDN

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: bariatric surgery

Jill joined NYP in 2022 after working at CarePoint Health, Integrated Bariatric Institute, Atlantic Health Systems, Morristown Medical Center and MNT Associates LLC in NJ. Prior to becoming a registered dietitian Jill worked for Accenture Mortgage Cadence as a product engineer and solutions specialist overseeing large software implementation projects. Jill completed her dietetic internship at the College of Saint Elizabeth, NJ in 2020. She has a MS and BS in Food and Nutrition from College of Saint Elizabeth, NJ and BS in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University, TN. Jill works in the Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery and helps to navigate patients through pre- and post- op bariatric surgery nutrition to ensure they feel their best while meeting sustainable goals.

Sharon Haier RD, CDN, IBCLC, CDES

Sharon Haier RD, CDN, IBCLC, CDES

Dietitian/Nutritionist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

Expertise: breastfeeding support, lactation consultation

Sharon joined NYP in 2017 at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and Sloane Women's Hospital before transferring to the Breastfeeding Support Program. Previously, she worked at Mount Sinai West Hospital. Sharon completed her dietetic internship at NewYork Presbyterian in 2014. She has a MS in nutrition and exercise physiology from Columbia University, Teachers College and a BS in marketing and merchandising management from Virginia Tech. She is a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Sharon works in the Ambulatory Care Network Breastfeeding Support Program and provides breastfeeding and nutrition support leveraging video visit technology to help families meet their feeding needs and goals.

Ilana Kersch MS, RD, CDN, CNSC

Ilana Kersch MS, RD, CDN, CNSC

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: adult digestive diseases

Ilana joined NYP in 2022 after working at Mount Sinai Hospital, NY as an inpatient Clinical Nutrition Coordinator in the Solid Organ Transplant, Gastrointestinal/Hepatobiliary Surgery, Critical Care patients and malnutrition programs. She completed her dietetic internship at New York University in 2013 and has a MS in Clinical Nutrition and BS in Nutrition and Food Studies from NYU and is a Certified Nutrition Support Clinician. Ilana works in the Division of Digestive Diseases. She provides individualized nutrition care for patients with digestive diseases, working closely with physicians, to help support patients achieve their health goals, manage digestive symptoms, and improve quality of life.

Wendy Lopez MS, RD, CDN, CDCES

Wendy Lopez MS, RD, CDN, CDCES

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Expertise: adult and pediatrics, diabetes, gestational diabetes, weight management, heart health

Wendy joined NYP in 2022 after working at Cecilia Health as the team lead diabetes educator and for Open Door Medical Center and Metropolitan Hospital as an outpatient dietitian. Prior to this Wendy was the nutrition educator at La Vida Es Preciosa and did program evaluation for Finch Network/City Harvest. She is the cofounder and CEO of the platform Food Heaven. Wendy completed her dietetic internship at CUNY Brooklyn in 2014. She has a MS in Nutrition and Food Studies from CUNY Hunter and BS in psychology from SUNY New Paltz. Wendy works in the Ambulatory Care Network Farrell Family Practice, Charles B. Rangel Community Health Center and NYP Outpatient Nutrition practices. She has won several awards for diversity advocacy and is fluent in Spanish. Wendy believes nutrition care should be culturally inclusive, accessible and patient centered. Through her practice, she explores the intersections of nutrition, food, wellness, culture and body image.

Kyle Murray MS, RD, CDN, CDCES

Kyle Murray MS, RD, CDN, CDCES

Dietitian/Community Nutritionist

Expertise: pediatric and family community nutrition

Kyle joined NYP in 2018 after working at Wykoff Heights Medical Center and with the NYC Department of Health Stellar Farmer’s Market Program and the Children’s Aid Society’s Eat Smart New York Program. Kyle completed his dietetic internship at NYP in 2017. He has a MS in Nutrition from Hunter College and BA in Sociology and Spanish from New York University. He is a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. He works in the Choosing Healthy and Active Lifestyle for Kids (CHALK) and School Based Health programs and counsels high school students to reach their health and fitness goals and addresses food insecurity through community engagement including workshops, youth mentoring and access to community healthy food resources.

Laura Natali RD, CDN

Laura Natali RD, CDN

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: bariatric surgery

Laura joined NYP in 2018 after previously working with Alaris Health and Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Laura completed her dietetic internship at the University of Delaware in 2012, where she also had completed her BS degree in dietetics and biology. She works in the Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery with patients through the surgical healing process and aims to create individualized plans that are both enjoyable and sustainable in order to promote health for life.

Rachel O’Connor RD, CDN, CSO

Rachel O’Connor RD, CDN, CSO

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: oncology

Rachel joined NYP in 2020 after working at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. Rachel completed her dietetic internship through Keen State College in 2017. She is completing a MS in Nutrition at Stony Brook University and has a BS in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Tech. Rachel is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. She works at The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and helps patients understand the mental and physical benefits of nutrition as an ally in their fight against cancer.

Breindel (Brendel) Plonka, MS. RDN, CDN, CNSC, CDCES

Breindel (Brendel) Plonka, MS. RDN, CDN, CNSC, CDCES

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: adult diabetes, weight management, heart health, nutrition support

Brendel joined NYP in 2017 after working at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Brendel completed her Dietetic Internship at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in 2015. She has a MS in Dietetics and Nutrition from Kansas University Medical Center and BS in Nutritional Science from Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD. Brendel is Certified in Nutrition Support and is a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She works in the Ambulatory Care Network Associates in Internal Medicine (AIM) practice and provides nutrition care and counseling for patients with diabetes, heart disease, weight management and other health related nutrition challenges. She is passionate about providing accessible and compassionate nutrition care to her patients, empowering them to improve their nutrition and health.

Mel (Carmelo) Rivera RD, CDN

Mel (Carmelo) Rivera RD, CDN

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: adult and pediatrics, diabetes, gestational diabetes, weight management, heart health

Mel re-joined NYP in 2022 after working at Urban Health Plan and Bronx Lebanon Hospital as a registered dietitian after previously working at NewYork Presbyterian as a diet technician. Mel completed his dietetic internship in 2006 at NewYork Presbyterian. He has a BS in dietetics, food and nutrition from City of New York Lehman College. Mel works in the Ambulatory Care Network Associates in Internal Medicine (AIM) practice and provides nutrition care and counseling for patients with diabetes, heart disease, weight management and other health related nutrition challenges. He is bilingual in English and Spanish and takes pride in building rapport with patients to help them achieve their individual goals.

Shayne Robinson, RD, CDN, CSO

Shayne Robinson, RD, CDN, CSO

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: adult ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), cardiothoracic surgery, heart failure, oncology

Shayne joined NYP in 2013, after working as an oncology dietitian at the Beth Israel and Saint Vincent’s Comprehensive Cancer Centers. She transferred from NYP/Weill Cornell as an Outpatient Oncology Clinical Nutritionist to NYP/Columbia in 2017. Shayne completed her dietetic internship at New York Institute of Technology in 1997. She has a BS in dietetics from University of Maryland – College Park. She has co-authored textbook chapters, published articles and lectured extensively on oncology nutrition. Shayne has dedicated her career to clinical care for complex patients and nutrition education for health professionals and the public.

Ana Rodriguez Escalante MPH, RD, CDN

Ana Rodriguez Escalante MPH, RD, CDN

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: pediatric and family community nutrition

Ana joined NYP in 2019 after working at Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, MA and co-founding “Proyecto ABC” aka “Amigos del Buen Comer” to promote healthy behaviors in school environments in Mexico. Ana completed her Dietetics Internship at the University of Minnesota in 2016. She has a MPH from University of Minnesota MN and BA in Nutrition and Wellness from Tecnologico de Monterrey, in Mexico. She works as a Community Nutrition Specialist in the Choosing Healthy and Active Lifestyle for Kids (CHALK) and School Based Health programs.

Yolanda Sanchez MS, RD, CDN

Yolanda Sanchez MS, RD, CDN

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: adult infectious diseases

Yolanda joined NYP in 2022 after working at Urban Health Plan and Neighborhood SHOPP. Prior to becoming a registered dietitian, Yolanda worked as a consultant in accounting. She completed her Dietetic Internship at NewYork Presbyterian in 2008 and has a MS in Nutrition and Dietetics from New York University and a BA in Accounting and Information Systems from Queens College, CUNY. Yolanda works in the Ambulatory Care Network Comprehensive Health Program and provides individualized nutrition counseling and group education for patients with HIV and related conditions. Yolanda is a dedicated bilingual dietitian, helping patients to achieve their short- and long-term health goals with improved dietary habits and access to healthy foods.

Sadye Silva, MPH, RD, CDN, IBCLC

Sadye Silva, MPH, RD, CDN, IBCLC

Dietitian/Nutritionist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

Expertise: breastfeeding support, lactation consultation

Sadye joined NYP in 2020 after working in public health and community nutrition at NYC Department of Health Stellar Farmer’s Market, CAMBA, William F. Ryan Community Health Network WIC program, Pacify Health and Harlem United Adult Day Care program. Sadye, completed her dietetic internship at Texas State University in 2011. She has an MPH in Nutrition from CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and a BS in Nutrition from Texas State University. Sadye works in the Ambulatory Care Network Newborn Clinic and tailors breastfeeding support and education, leveraging technologies such as video visits, to empower and meet each family’s unique needs.

Emily Welin RD, CDN

Emily Welin RD, CDN

Dietitian/Nutritionist

Expertise: kidney stones, urology, nephrology

Emily joined NYP in 2018 after working as a dietitian at SSM Health in St. Louis, Missouri. Emily completed her dietetic internship and received a BS from University of Missouri-Columbia's Coordinated Program in Dietetics in 2016. She works in the Department of Urology and provides comprehensive nutrition care for patients with urological conditions including kidney stones and prostate, bladder and renal cancers to optimize their health and wellbeing. Emily collaborates closely with the urology and kidney specialists to provide her patients with an innovative and individualized approach to improve their health and overall quality of life.

Yaritsa Bastardo MS

Yaritsa Bastardo MS

Billing and Scheduling Coordinator

Yaritsa joined NYP in 2018 after working for Astor Services of Children and Families. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz NY with a MS in Mental Health Counseling and BA in Psychology and completed her counseling internship at SUNY New Paltz’s Psychological Counseling Center. Yaritsa coordinates all aspects of patient access to nutrition and diabetes self-management education services including supporting patients connect to their MyChart portal, schedule appointments and verifying their insurance coverage. She is passionate about providing excellent customer service and is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Jennifer Sanchez

Jennifer Sanchez

Virtual Patient Advisor

Jennifer joined NYP in 2020 after working as a Nutritionist Assistant and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor in the WIC programs of the William F. Ryan Health system. Jennifer previously worked in security as a desk sergeant/supervisor at LIU Brooklyn Campus and as security officer at Allied Universal- Time Warner Center and at Allied Barton Security Services BNY Mellon. Jennifer completed her GED in 2018 and is certified in CPR and AED First Aid. Jennifer is the Virtual Patient Advisor for the Outpatient Breastfeeding Support Program. She is an advocate for breastfeeding and is bilingual in English and Spanish. Jennifer helps families to leverage video visit technology to connect with certified lactation consultants for breastfeeding/lactation support.