Initial Care Team
When a patient is brought to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, the severity of injury is assessed immediately by the Trauma Team. The trauma surgeons and nurses are responsible for the evaluation, care and plan of treatment. An evidence-based process is designed to ensure that critical care is delivered safely and timely so that all the patient needs are met.
To meet the individual needs of an injured patient, while coordinating efforts with the family, if available at that time, the trauma surgeons and nurses work as a collaborative team. Other medical specialists may also participate in care of the injured patient, as necessary. These providers may be from various surgical or non-surgical specialties. This includes the decision about when to use diagnostic evaluative tools like ultrasound or CT scans, x-ray, etc. and in what order to provide different pieces of the care plan, called the sequencing of care.
Kenneth R. Fretwell, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Chairman of Department of Surgery
Currently the Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Dr. Fretwell has worked for Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for over twenty two years. A Cornell University Medical Center trained general surgeon, he joined Jamaica Hospital in 1995 and was promoted to be the Director of Surgical Intensive Care Unit shortly thereafter. He has served as the Chairman of the Anesthesia & Invasive Procedures Committee and currently holds a seat on the medical board at the hospital. Dr. Fretwell has been a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Cornell University Medical Center since 2006. He has won many awards through the years including the Dewitt Award in Surgery as well as the Chief Resident Teaching Award. In 2015, he was also named Honorary Police Surgeon to the New York Police Department
Katherine McKenzie, D.O., F.A.C.O.S.
Trauma Medical Director
Dr. McKenzie is an Attending Surgeon who is dual Board Certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. Dr. McKenzie received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemical Sciences from Kansas State University, and her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. She completed her general surgery residency training at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Flushing, NY and a fellowship in Trauma and Critical Care Surgery at Rutgers University Hospital in Newark, NJ. Her research work was nationally recognized as she received first prize at the Annual Clinical Assembly by the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons in 2013. Dr. McKenzie has an interest in trauma, critical care and acute care surgery.
Robert A. Laskowski II, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Trauma Medical Director
Dr. Robert Laskowski is an Attending Surgeon who received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences at Drexel University and his MD/Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Drexel University College of Medicine. He completed his surgery residency at Stony Brook and his fellowship in Trauma/Surgical Critical Care/Acute Care Emergency Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center, R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.
Dr. Laskowski is also a veteran of the United States Army as a surgeon with combat deployment experience and is currently active in the Army Reserves as a surgeon.
Matthew Conn, MSN RN CCRN-K TCRN
Trauma Program Director
Mr. Matthew Conn has over 20 years of clinical and non-clinical/administrative experience in caring for trauma patients as a trauma, flight, and critical care nurse, and as trauma program leadership. Mr. Conn earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Rhode Island in 2000, and his Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nursing Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2021. He is board-certified in trauma and critical care nursing and maintains memberships in the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, American Trauma Society, and Society of Trauma Nurses.
Mr. Conn teaches nationally for the American Trauma Society, is a Course Director and Instructor for Trauma Nursing Core Course, and a Site Coordinator for Advanced Trauma Life Support. He holds local, regional, and state leadership positions in the trauma community. Mr. Conn has been recognized for his engagement, involvement, and contributions to collaborative committee and system work and development, having been awarded the NYS Division of the American Trauma Society’s Trauma Program Manager of Distinction Award for 2021. He is a Veteran of the US Army as an Army Nurse Corps Officer with combat deployment experience, enjoys being an educator and resource for others, and considers being in leadership roles a privilege.
Jeffery Chan, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Director of Acute Care Surgery
Currently the Director of Acute Care Surgery, Dr. Jeffery Chan received a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and his Medical Doctor Degree from Boston University. Dr. Chan received his residency training at New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Center. He is the recipient of the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell College Department of Surgery Faculty Teaching Award. Dr. Chan has collaborated on various research projects throughout his career in areas of basic sciences and surgery and these studies have been published in various surgery journals. He was also the recipient of teaching awards in 2010 and 2015.
William Nugent, M.D.
Dr. Nugent is an Attending Surgeon who is Board Certified in both Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his MD from Dartmouth Medical School, as well as an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He completed both his residency in surgery and fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at New York Presbyterian Hospital- Weill Cornell Medical Center. He has several publications in prestigious journals and has presented his work at various conferences nationwide. He is also an avid sailor and pilot.
Michael Amaturo, D.O.
Attending Surgeon & Clerkship Director
John Bliton, M.D.
Dr. Bliton is an Attending Surgeon who is dual board-certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After a year at the National Institutes of Health, he completed medical school at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He completed his General Surgery residency at Montefiore and Jacobi in the Bronx, as well as his fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at Baylor/Ben Taub Hospital in Houston. He has produced multiple publications in prominent national journals. His research and clinical interests are focused on ensuring everyone receives equal standard-of-care treatment regardless of socioeconomic or minority status
Danielle DeFoe, D.O.
Dr. Danielle DeFoe is an attending surgeon who is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Siena College and her DO/MS in neuromuscular science at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed surgical residency at Hackensack at Palisades and her fellowship in Trauma/Surgical Critical Care/Acute Care Emergency Surgery at Cooper Hospital. She is an adjunct faculty member for the U.S. State Department. She is an ATLS and Stop the Bleed Instructor and ASSET instructor candidate. Her interests include global medicine and disaster preparedness.