Meet Our Executive Leader and Providers

Our seasoned Senior Executive Director and board-certified Medical Directors lead an expert interdisciplinary team of advanced practice professionals, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and aides who specialize in caring for people facing a serious illness or life-limiting condition. Our team is actively involved in each patient’s plan of care in order to achieve the best outcome.

Samina Ahsan, MD
Title: Medical Director

Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Ritabelle Fernandes, MD, MPH, FACP
Title: Medical Director

Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Dr. Ritabelle Fernandes is the Supportive Care Medical Director of Bristol Hospice Hawaii, and has more than 16 years of leadership and experience in developing palliative care programs in Hawaii and in the US Affiliated Pacific Islands. Working across the palliative medicine spectrum, Dr. Fernandes has led successful grass roots palliative care initiatives by partnering and collaborating with Ministries of Health in Micronesia. These include palliative care navigation training in The Republic of the Marshall Islands, establishment of home-based palliative care program at the Ministry of Health Kosrae, creation of a Family Caregiver Certificate at the Palau Community College, establishment of Home Health Insurance Benefit at the Healthcare Fund in The Republic of Palau.

Before joining Bristol Hospice, Dr. Fernandes was a practicing geriatrician at the Kokua Kalihi Valley where she developed many programs to serve low-income seniors such as a memory clinic, home-based palliative care services, chronic diseases group visits, caregiver support groups, and the establishment of clinics based at public housing and elder center. Dr. Fernandes is also an Associate Professor at the Department of Geriatric Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii. She is Principal Investigator on multi-million dollar grant initiatives from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Administration on Aging involving diabetes, geriatric medicine, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Fernandes has published research on home-based palliative care demonstrating a reduction in acute care hospitalizations and increase in documentation of end-of-life wishes for minority populations.

Dr. Ritabelle Fernandes a graduate of the Seth G. S. Medical College, University of Mumbai, India. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at University of Rochester, NY and Geriatric Medicine fellowship at University of Hawaii. Dr. Fernandes holds board certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, and Internal Medicine. Her hobbies include
music and singing, she has a teaching diploma in Piano from The Trinity College of Music London.

Sherry Saito, MD
Title: Medical Director

Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Sherry Saito, MD FAAHPM is an Associate Medical Director of Bristol Hospice Hawaii. She has been working in the field of hospice and palliative medicine for over 15 years. She is a a fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and is board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Saito was born and raised in Hawaii spending her childhood years on the Waipahu Sugar Plantation. She graduated from Waipahu High School and went on to the University of Hawaii. She attended the John A. Burns School of Medicine and completed an Internal Medicine Residency, followed by a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine.