Our Leadership Team

Medical Co-Director

Dr. Gerard J. Girasole, MD

Dr. Gerard J. Girasole, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, has extensive experience in the treatment of lumbar disc disease, neck pain, scoliosis, herniated discs and spinal stenosis in both operative and non-operative techniques. He is on the forefront of minimally-invasive surgical techniques for patients with low back pain and he is very active in the training of other surgeons in the various techniques. He is also actively involved in computer-assisted robotic spine surgery. Dr. Girasole currently serves as the medical co-director of the new Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. More About Gerard>>

Medical Co-Director

Dr. John Irving, MD

John “Jack” Irving, M.D. is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. A native of Milford, he graduated from the Tulane University School of Medicine where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and received the Gold Scalpel Award for excellence in Surgery. Dr. Irving then completed a five-year orthopaedic residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  He and his family moved back home to Connecticut where he has been a practicing orthopaedic surgeon in southern Connecticut for 30 years. More About Jack >>

VP, Ambulatory Services & COI

Donna Sassi, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Donna has more than 30 years of health care experience, with a focus in operational and labor relations, workforce planning, strategic planning and organizational development. She works closely with the leadership of Hartford HealthCare’s institutes and regions. She provides oversight of Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute for physician alignment, inpatient/outpatient surgical capacity, operations and growth and expansion opportunities for this service. Under her leadership, COI has achieved top-decile patient experience scores, and has earned advanced certification distinctions from The Joint Commission. More About Donna >>

Senior Regional Director of Operations

Andrew Turczak, MHS, MBA, PA-C

Andrew performed his undergraduate training at Quinnipiac University graduating summa cum laude and earning his BS in 2007. Upon completion of this degree, he earned his MHS from Quinnipiac in 2009 in physician assistant studies. More About Andrew >>

Director of Anesthesia

Dr. Theresa Bowling, MD

Dr. Theresa Bowling is a board-certified anesthesiologist with more than 20 years of experience. She graduated from Hofstra University Magna cum laude, attended medical school at the State University of New York at Syracuse, and was Chief Resident when she completed her anesthesia residency at Yale New Haven Hospital in 1995. More About Theresa >>

Operations Manager

Elizabeth Maselli, MS, MBA, PA-C

Liz completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at Sacred Heart University, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2005. Upon completion of this degree, she received her MS in Physician Assistant Studies from Mercy College in the Bronx, NY in 2008.  She then continued her education by obtaining her MBA at the Jack Welch Program at Sacred Heart University in 2016. More About Liz >>

Orthopaedic Program Manager

Karen Platt, BSN, RN, ONC

Karen began her career 25 years ago in orthopaedic and neurosurgical nursing with an emphasis on patient and family education. She collaborates with all disciplines to enhance the quality of care and services delivered to orthopaedic patients. More About Karen >>

Orthopaedic APP Clinical Manager

John Lignore, MS, PA-C

John is a native of New York City, where he completed his BS in Biology at Fordham University in May 1993. His interests include medicine and sports. John has a passion for biology and kinesiology and his first occupation in the medical field was as a physical therapy assistant. He sought a degree as a physician assistant and completed a BS in Health Services and a Masters in PA Studies from Mercy College in New York in August 2002.  He joined the orthopedic team at St Vincent's in 2003. He has an affinity for total joint replacement, fracture management, rehabilitation, and preventative medicine. More About John >>

Nurse Manager

Dena Dzialo, BSN, RN, ONC

Dena began her career as a bedside nurse specializing in orthopeadics and neurosurgery at St. Vincent’s 13 years ago. During this time she has focused on providing exceptional care at the bedside while ensuring patient safety and satisfaction. More About Dena >>

Regional Physician & Community Operations Manager

Billie J. Foraker, RTR

Billie has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare with a focus on orthopaedics.She is a registered radiologic technologist and has enjoyed working with orthopaedic surgeons her entire career. More About Billie >>

Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at St. Vincent's Medical Center