Tampa Laparoscopic Surgeon click here to instantly connect to our office
The skill to heal. The spirit to care. Home Our Team Procedures Patient Testimonials Clinical Research Media Contact Us
the southeastern center

Our Team

To view members of a particular department, please click on one of the links below for the department you wish to view:

Providing preeminent care for our patients begins with a commitment to clinical research. The conditions that we treat are the same ones we actively research. We maintain research databases on many disorders including GERD, achalasia, pancreatic cancer, cholangiocarcinoma and on the minimally invasive operations we provide.

We run a large number of investigator initiated and industry sponsored clinical trials for a variety of disorders including gallbladder disease, liver tumors, and pancreatic cancer. Due to the seriousness of pancreatic cancer and many of the disorders that we treat, we are committed to finding the most innovative treatments for our patients. We offer clinical trials for patients with locally advanced unresectable disease, metastatic disease, as well as trials for neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment.

Our Current Clinical Trials

. Neoadjuvant vs. Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Resectable Pancreatic Cancer

. RenovoRx Cheomembolization for Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

. PBI-05204 for Stage IV Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

. Pre-operative Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy

. PV-10 for patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

. Qualifying Visualization with LESS Cholecystectomies

. Epidural vs. General Anesthesia for patients undergoing LESS Cholecystectomies

. Volumetric Pancreatic Protocol

. ERAS for Pancreatic Surgery

For more information on our clinical trials, or to inquire if you or a loved one may qualify for a trial, please call 813-964-7913.

Sharon Ross

Sharona Ross, M.D.

Dr. Sharona Ross was born and raised in the State of Israel. After her two years of military service in the Israel Defense Forces, she moved to the U.S., where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from the American University in Washington, DC and later Alpha Omega Alpha from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC.

Dr. Ross completed her General Surgery residency at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, Department of General Surgery and was later awarded the prestigious HPB/Advanced Gastrointestinal Surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship at USF/Tampa General Hospital. She then completed an Endoscopic Gastroenterology Fellowship at the Division of Digestive Disorders & Nutrition, Department of Medicine University of South Florida.

During her surgical training, Dr. Ross was very fortunate to have been blessed with four beautiful children: Eran (21), Nicole (19), Stephanie (15), and Justin (10).

Dr. Ross is currently the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Director of Surgical Endoscopy, Director of Advanced GI & HPB Fellowship Program, Founder & Director of the Florida Hospital Tampa Women in Surgery Initiative and the Program Director/Chair of the 2010-2017 Annual International Women in Surgery Career Symposium.

She was one of the first surgeons in the United States to undertake Laparo-Endoscopic Single Site (LESS) surgery, and continues to develop new, innovative techniques and instrumentation to improve its safety and application. As well, Dr. Ross is one of the few surgeons in the United States to offer patients robotic complex abdominal operations for esophageal, stomach, small bowel, pancreatic, liver, and gallbladder cancers.

As a thought leader in American medicine, Dr. Ross continues to push the envelope in the advancement of Minimally Invasive Surgery.

Click here to read full bio


Alexander Rosemurgy

Alexander S. Rosemurgy, MD

I came to the University of South Florida (USF) in 1984 upon completing my residency at the University of Chicago. One of my early responsibilities was to organize trauma care in Hillsborough County. I led a successful effort and was the driving force to develop a Level One trauma center at Tampa General Hospital. I was the Director of the TGH Regional Trauma Center for nearly a decade. In that time period, the trauma program became one of the busiest clinical programs in the country. The program was very prolific in scholarly activity, consequently becoming a leader in innovative approaches to the injured patient and achieving national recognition. I also participated in the development of the Hillsborough County Trauma Agency and was its first medical director. My work in trauma was recognized by a position on the editorial board of The Journal of Trauma. I served on the board for more than a decade. During this time, I was also Assistant Chief of Surgery at the James A. Haley Veterans Administration Hospital and, later, Acting Chief of Surgery. During my time as Acting Chief of Surgery, measures of work within the James A. Haley VA hospital became more clearly defined and I led the hospital's efforts to be more productive.

In the early 1990's I began to pursue my interests in gastrointestinal surgery with a more singular focus. I developed a Digestive Disorders Initiative at Tampa General Hospital, and I was the Surgical Director of the Digestive Disorders Center at Tampa General Hospital for more than a decade. Many of the responsibilities of this position were administrative, such as quality assurance, developing continuing professional education, and organizing the clinical research support for the Digestive Disorders program, as well as developing an environment which promoted productivity. My efforts recently resulted in the opening of a state-of-the-art endoscopy facility at Tampa General Hospital and the opening of a beautiful inpatient unit for patients of the Digestive Disorders program. I have had a wonderful relationship with the Tampa General Hospital and its administrative leadership. My relationship with them has led to the development of three JACHO approved programs: Gastro-Esophageal Disorders, Gastrointestinal Malignancies, and Hepatobiliopancreatic Disorders.

For more than a decade I was the Director of the Division of General Surgery at USF. In that time period, I was responsible for the fiscal well-being of the Division, a very challenging time in the life of the University. When I first became Division Director, the Department of Surgery was in great financial peril and the Division had languished for years. I recruited many fine surgeons during my time as Division Director. Also a very successful research program with a supporting infrastructure was assembled during my time as Division Director.

Click here to read full bio

Iswanto Sucandy, MD

Dr. Iswanto Sucandy is a highly experienced board certified surgeon with dual fellowship training in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, as well as Advanced Gastrointestinal Minimally Invasive Surgery. He primarily specializes in minimally invasive and robotic surgery for disorders of the liver. Dr. Sucandy is one of the very few surgeons in the country who offers advanced minimally invasive robotic liver resection to treat malignant and benign liver tumors. Dr. Sucandy is proud to bring his experience and expertise to the Tampa Bay community.

Specialties

Bile Duct Tumors (Cholangiocarcinoma)
Stomach Tumors/Cancer
Gallbladder Disorders
Pancreatic Cancer
Hernia Repairs (Hiatal, Paraesophageal, Incisional and Inguinal)
Complex Abdominal Procedures

History

Dr. Sucandy was born and raised in South Celebes, Indonesia. After completing one of the most prestigious and oldest medical school in Indonesia, he moved to the United States where his decade long surgical education started as a research scholar at the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Sucandy then completed his residency in General Surgey at Jefferson Health-Abington Hospital in Philadelphia where he served as the Academic Chief Resident and also a recipient of Rosenfeld Scholarship for his academic and clinical excellence.

After finishing his general surgery training in Philadelphia, Dr. Sucandy went to pursue a fellowship in Advanced Gastrointestinal and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine/Yale New Haven Hospital. Because of his passion to improve care of patients with liver, pancreas and bile duct cancers, Dr. Sucandy went to complete a second fellowship in HepatoPancreatoBiliary Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center/Thomas E Starzl Institute, where liver transplantation and minimally invasive liver resection were pioneered in the United States and in the world.

As a result of his endeavours in the fields of minimally invasive surgery and hepatopancreatobiliary surgical diseases, Dr. Sucandy was chosen as the 2016-2017 recipient of the very prestigious IRCAD (Research Institute Against Digestive Cancers in Strasbourg, France) Awards supported by SAGES (Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons) and Karl Storz Endoscopy. Dr. Sucandy continues to push the envelope in the advancement of minimally invasive surgery and robotic liver resection to benefit patients with benign and malignant gastrointestinal and hepatopancreatobiliary tumors.

Education

Airlangga University School of Medicine

Fellowships

Yale University - Advanced Gastrointestinal/Minimally Invasive Surgery and Bariatric Surgery
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery

Residency

Jefferson Health - Abington Hospital - General Surgery

Board Certifications

American Board of Surgery 2014

Awards

  1. IRCAD / Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons Fellowship Award 2017, Strasbourg, France
  2. Frederick Coller Surgical Society Award 2013-2014 (Visiting Mayo Clinic, Department of Surgery / Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Rochester, MN)
  3. Rosenfeld Cancer Center Surgical Scholarship Award 2013-2014, Philadephia, PA
  4. Duke University Medical Center / Minimally Invasive EndoSurgery Award 2011-2012, Durham, NC

Office Info

Phone: (813) 615-7030
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Forat Swaid

Dr. Aviad Gravetz, MD

I was born and raised in Israel and until recently lived in Tel-Aviv with my wife and 3 kids. I attended medical school at "Sapienza" University of Rome, Italy, and I graduated cum laude in 2008. I completed a General Surgery residency program at Sheba Medical Center in Israel and Mt. Sinai hospital New York in 2016. I feel proud and privileged to take part as a fellow with the team led by Dr. Ross and Dr. Rosemurgy. With this fellowship, I aspire to continue my professional development and pursue a meaningful and fulfilling career as a dedicated, compassionate, and well-trained physician and surgeon.

Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer Cooper, BS, Director

I started working with Dr. Alexander Rosemurgy in 2004 as his Clinical Research Coordinator. I immediately realized how passionate he was about his work and his patients, and this passion was contagious. I developed a sincere interest in his research and his practice. I worked closely with Dr. Ross during her fellowship, and then as an attending. She shared the same passion and commitment. I adore both of them and consider them to be family.

They are truly thought leaders in their field. When they moved to Florida Hospital, I decided to move with them to manage their practice. It is truly a privilege to work with people who care so much about what they do, who work endless hours towards patient care, and who are eternal teachers of students interested in medicine. More dedicated physicians could not be found. We have an amazing team here, and I am so proud to be a part of it. We get to care for wonderful patients, and I am truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful practice.

Cory Brien

Cory O’Brien MA, CCC-SLP Program Coordinator, Speech and Swallowing Center

I graduated in 2001 from the University of Tennessee's Masters program in Speech Pathology. Since graduation, I have worked in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, out-patient clinics and skilled nursing facilities. I specialize in the evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders, including the use of the Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES). I have been involved in training and educating speech pathologists across the country on how to effectively manage patients experiencing swallowing difficulties.

I live in Tampa with my family and enjoy spending time with my two sons. My passion for helping others inspired me to join Florida Hospital’s Speech and Swallowing Center in April 2013. I am excited to join this multi-disciplinary team committed to serving patients effectively and compassionately.

Misty Pittman

Misty Pittman, Practice Manager

I have had the honor of working for the Digestive Health Institute, Drs. Rosemurgy, Ross, Harris and Sanjeevi over the last several years and have loved every minute of it. I have learned more about compassion and patient care than I ever could have imagined. The dedication, long hours and professionalism these surgeons and gastroenterologists display is truly motivational to me and makes me want to remain an integral part of always evolving and improving the process of what they do. It is my absolute honor and privilege to help this office function and maintain the highest level of care we can give our patients and make sure that we are supporting our physicians and our speech pathologist to the highest level we can. There is nothing more moving than to be able to reach out and connect and help patients and families in their time of need and often be their last hope. The work that is done in this office is nothing short of amazing. We have a talented staff that works in an extremely busy practice, and they do it for the love of patients. They strive to provide the best care to each and every patient in their time of need. We are all one on this journey, and I am truly grateful to play a role in the services we provide to the community and the people who need us.

Ralph La Lone

Ralph La Lone, Senior Administrative Assistant

I will never forget the day I first started working with Dr. Rosemurgy, January 28 th, 2003. I had just recently moved back to Florida to live closer to my family and only one week before I met Dr. Rosemurgy for the first time. He observed from my resume that I have been born in Alpena, Michigan and lived for almost a decade near a little town called Gwinn, Michigan where my father was stationed at K.I Sawyer Air Force Base. Dr. Rosemurgy himself grew up in a town about an hour south called Escanaba, Michigan. He immediately decided to give his "home boy" a shot, and here I am a decade later. Dr. Rosemurgy is a paragon in the field of Surgery, an amazing educator, and above all, a mentor and father figure for all the young people whose lives he helps mold and influence. It is a rare privilege to meet and speak with all the people whose lives he has touched over the life of his career and a greater pleasure when I am able to be a part of that process.

Dr. Ross was still a resident at the time I started my new position in General Surgery. I would get to know her over the next several years as a Fellow for our office and then as the newest Attending Surgeon for our group. We became fast friends. Eventually, I was assigned to work directly with her and was amazed as I watched her spearhead innovation after innovation. During my time with her, she started the Women in Surgery Career Symposium to help mentor and encourage young women in medical school who might be interested in a career in surgery. She is a leader in Minimally Invasive Surgery, an ever evolving field that seems like something you would see in a sci-fi movie. She is an inspiration to everyone whose life she touches.

But by far, the most treasured and inspiring experience I've had is our patients. Our patients come from every background. Rich or poor, powerful or helpless, scared or brave faced, each person who comes to us comes with their own story of fear and hope. I am grateful to be able to share in their experience and strive every day to help bring them the strength and resolve to face whatever challenges lie ahead of them.

Elizabeth Downs

Elizabeth Downs, Referral Coordinator​

Bio coming soon.

Estelle Sloan

Estelle Sloan, Front Office Assistant​

Bio Coming soon!

Kecia Walden, Front Office Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Chantal Henry, Front Office Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Valencia Flowers, Front Office Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Tammie Penn

Tammie Penn, Authorization Coordinator

I have been in the medical field for 24 years in several different specialties. I have had the opportunity to work in OB/GYN, Nephrology, Hepatobiliary/Renal surgery, Hepatology and now Digestive Disorders and Pancreatic Cancer with Advanced Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery. Of all of the physician groups that I have worked in, this surgical practice is by far the most rewarding, in that we are extremely patient centered. Being able to help patients is what has given me the most happiness. When a patient comes in and needs a lifesaving procedure that only we can provide them, it is incredible to see the entire staff come together to make it happen. Our physicians are driven by patient satisfaction and incredible outcomes, even with the high complexity of our patient needs. It is a great feeling working for physicians that are in the business of caring for their patients. Being a part of this group has reignited the spark in me of why I am in the medical field; the patients.

Deowattie John

Deowattie John, BSN, MS, MPH, ARNP

I am from Guyana, South America, where I started my nursing in career in 1975. I moved to New York in 1991 and obtained my BSN in 1999, from SUNY at New Paltz. To avoid the Winters of the North East I moved to Florida. I obtained my MS and MPH from the University of South Florida. I am honored and very privileged to be part of the team at Southeastern Center for Digestive Disorders and Pancreatic Cancer Advanced Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery. I am married with one son and a granddaughter. I love traveling, enjoying nature and learning different cultures.

Bettina Prator, ARNP

I was born in the Philippines and moved here in Florida when I was 18 years old. I got my Bachelor's degree in Nursing from a Catholic university in the Philippines and was trained in the era of starched aprons, white stockings, nursing shoes and cap. I got my Master's degree in Nursing from University of South Florida, Tampa and then a post-graduate Nurse Practitioner certificate in Acute Care from University of Texas-Houston. I have been a Nurse Practitioner for 14 years and spent majority of my career in the field of surgical digestive disorders. I truly enjoy working with Dr. Rosemurgy & Dr. Ross and the patient population that we serve. My favorite part of my job is providing education to the patients throughout their journey- before and/or after their surgery. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Dr. Rosemurgy since 1995 and with Dr. Ross since 2005. I certainly look forward to working with them for years ahead as they continue to provide efficacious, innovative, safe and benevolent treatment.

My greatest pride and joy is being the Mom of two beautiful and smart young daughters, Ava & Aly who keep me busy on my days off work. A marathon runner and an avid yogi, I take every opportunity to exercise and eat healthy but like any average person I occasionally would stumble my way through with my sweet tooth.

Sandry Freeman

Sandy Freeman, ARNP

I am a recent graduate of the University of Tampa. I have been a nurse for over twenty years, specializing in surgery. My passion for my patients and their care led me to continue my education. I came to the practice of Dr. Ross and Dr. Rosemurgy because of their commitment and dedication to their patients.

Outside of my profession, I am a wife and mother of two college sons. I also have a mixed lab pound dog that completes our wonderful family. My hobbies include outdoor activities including biking, hiking and gardening.

Dana Manzi

Dana Manzi, ARNP

As a Florida native , I graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2006 with a Bachelors Degree in Nursing. After a specialized career of caring for patients with the most extensive gastrointestinal surgeries, transplant surgery, trauma surgery, and Neurology in the Intensive Care Unit, I continued my education in the Masters program at USF.

I chose a career as a Nurse Practitioner because I am passionate about my patients and the support they need. The surgical team at Florida hospital is dedicated, compassionate, hard-working, and great with patients and their families. As I have always loved to help others, I am honored to be working with Dr. Rosemurgy, Dr. Ross, and their entire team at Florida hospital.

Outside of my time at Florida Hospital, I enjoy my days with my husband and my daughter Emma, who lights up my life. My days are spent mostly outdoors especially doing activities such as bicycle riding or taking my daughter to the park.

Alexis Crews

Alexis Crews, OR Coordinator

I have been working with Drs. Ross and Rosemurgy for over nine years. I have had the opportunity to grow and become a leader in my profession. Every day I come to work knowing that today is going to be great day because our doctors are going to attempt to give a person another shot at life. I have come to appreciate and value making great relationships with the people I interact with on a daily basis. I have a beautiful family that is very supportive of my career choices. For fun I love to hang out with friends and my children. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for providing for me and my family. Thanks to Drs. Ross and Rosemurgy I have had a chance to give back to the medical community.

Abigail Espeut

Abigail Espeut, EMT-P, Clinical Manager

I have been working with Dr. Ross and Rosemurgy for almost four years, and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I started working with them when I was sophomore in college and now I am about to graduate with my Masters. I could not have made it without their advice and encouragement. I have had multiple opportunities for individual growth and career advancement because of the work environment they facilitate. I love working with them because they really encourage you to be the best you can be and nothing is impossible especially if you don't give up. I have had the privilege to work with some of the most passionate, animated, and intelligent people. I have been a member of the planning committee board for the Annual International Women in Surgery Career Symposium for over three years, and it has been a rewarding as well as enlightening experience. It is a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and know in your heart that you are truly following your dreams. The love of my life is my pit bull, Ziggy and in my spare time I like to read and watch movies. It is a good feeling to be a part of team that you consider family.

DeeDee Barreiro

DeeDee Barreiro, RN, Lead Clinical Nurse

I have been an RN for 25 years, with most of my experience being in oncology, both on the floor and in the ambulatory services setting. With abnormal fear of blood in my younger years, I never thought I could become a nurse. When my mother became ill and I was able to help her through many aspects of her illness, I thought I might be able to help others. I was fearful of doctors and knew nothing about medicine. I didn't even know enough to ask an intelligent question or to realize there are choices available regarding treatment. I vowed to become an informed advocate for my family and friends, so they would never feel as helpless as I did when my mom was ill. So here I am, 25 years later, working with the finest doctors in their field, and I am fortunate enough to be able to assist our patients with their journeys through the healthcare system. My goal is to give them the best care possible in a timely fashion.

Minerva Burgos, Medical Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Donette Brown

Donette Brown, Medical Assistant

I have been a Medical Assistant for both the Gastroenterology Service and the Surgery Service for the past two years, but I have been a Medical Assistant for over 5 years total. I choose to be an MA because I truly enjoy interacting with my patients and insuring my patients receive the best quality care they can. It is important to me that patients have all of their needs met and leave feeling cared for and understanding what is happening with their healthcare. I will be attending school to become a Registered Nurse so that I can expand the capacity in which I can care for patients, with my ultimate goal being to work in the anesthesiology department, so that I gain experience and become a nurse anesthetist. When I’m not caring for patients and going to school, I am at home enjoying time with my wonderful family who support me and help me get through these busy times. It is my privilege to work alongside my team of doctors. Not only do they inspire me, but they also motivate me while I’m learning from them.

Quenisha Henderickson

Quenisha Hendrickson, Medical Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Erica Rivera

Erica Rivera, Certified Medical Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Shannette Scott

Shannette Scott, Patient Care Liaison

Bio coming soon!

Nancy Burns

Nancy Burns, Referral Coordinator

Bio coming soon!

Heather Bingaman, Clinical Research Coordinator

Bio coming soon!

Janelle Spence, Clinical Research Associate

Bio coming soon!

Timothy Bourdeau, Research Associate

Bio coming soon!

Lindsay Agema, Business Development Physician Liason

I graduated with my Bachelors from The University of South Florida and my courses were focused on biomedical sciences and public health. My interests growing up ranged in everything from art to harp, to gourmet cooking; however, my interest in research and GI medicine developed from a partnership I formed a couple of years ago with The Southeastern Digestive Disorders Group. I came from a position in Interventional Radiology at Florida Hospital as a coordinator and gained four years of medical knowledge and experience that I have brought with me to this great practice. It was my intention to seek out a research position with this group the moment I met them, and was ecstatic when the director offered me just that. I am so thankful to have this experience with these two surgeons and their practice, and most importantly, their patients. My main focus in research for this group settles in pancreatic cancer and GI surgery. I have full determination to contribute as much as possible to these two concentrations of medicine while I am here and look forward to applying this to my future educational programs.

Click here to read about our cutting edge research and innovation
Sharona Ross, M.D. - Tampa Laparoscopic Surgeon
Located at 3000 Medical Park Dr, Suite 500 Tampa, FL 33613. View Map
Phone: (813) 615-7030
Website: