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

Dr. Ritabelle Fernandes is the Medical Director of Bristol Hospice Hawaii and Associate Professor of the Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Geriatric Medicine, JABSOM, University of Hawaii. She has over 20 years of leadership and experience in developing palliative care programs in Hawaii and in the US Affiliated Pacific Islands. Her abstract entitled supportive care an innovative approach for super-utilizers in managed care organizations, received special recognition at CAPC 2019 National Seminar.

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; family caregiver training at Hope House, Catholic Diocese of Samoa; and establishment of Home Health Insurance Benefit within the Healthcare Fund in the Republic of Palau.

Prior to 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 has served as Co-Principal Investigator on several grants from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Administration on Community Living (ACL) involving diabetes, geriatrics workforce enhancement, 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. She is a Commander in the US Navy Reserves. 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, 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.

Baron C.K.W. Wong, MD
Title: Medical Director

Dr. Baron Wong is an internist in Wahiawa, HI and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Pali Momi Medical Center, The Queen's Medical Center, and Wahiawa General Hospital. He received his medical degree from University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine and has been in practice 20 years. He specializes in geriatric medicine and hospital medicine/hospitalist and is experienced in nutrition, diabetes mellitus, and health technology/informatics.

Lam V. Nguyen, MD
Title: Medical Director

Dr. Lam Nguyen is a staff physician in the Pain and Palliative Care Department at The Queen's Medical Center. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. He completed an accelerated, six-year B.S/M.D program at the University of Miami in Florida in 1997. He then completed an Internal Medicine residency at Legacy Health Systems' Good Samaritan and Emanuel Hospitals in Portland, Oregon and stayed on as a chief medical resident. Following that, he pursued a Geriatric Medicine fellowship at the University of Hawaii where he also completed a fellowship in Medical Education.

Dr. Nguyen is board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. He is currently a member of The Queen's Medical Center Ethics Committee. He has previously served as a board member for the Alzheimer's Association - Aloha Chapter and then served as a board member and chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the National Alzheimer's Association.

Dr. Nguyen has been honored as Ke Kauka Po'okela, Outstanding Physician of the Year by The Queen’s Medical Center and also as Physician of the Year by Hospice Hawaii. He has also been recognized as one of Pacific Business News' "Best Doctors" in the field of palliative medicine.

Thomas L. Maglinao
Title: Associate Medical Director

Dr. Thomas L. Maglinao was born and raised in Hawaii. He graduated from AIea High School and went on to the University of Hawaii, where he received his training. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and serves as Assistant Clinical Professor at John A Burns School of Medicine. He is currently a hospitalist since 2013 at Kuakini and Queens Medical center. At Kuakini Medical Center where the majority of their patients are geriatric, he encountered and experienced many patients who went onto Hospice Care. His hobby includes surfing, hiking, and playing with his newborn twin boys, Mason and Maverick.