Get to Know Southcoast Providers

Health+ talks with four providers who are new to Southcoast Health

Dr. Sharon Marable

Internal Medicine/Primary Care
Clinical interests: Prevention and Wellness, Women’s Health, Chronic Disease Management

Health+: What inspired you to become a physician?

Dr. Marable: My formative years in medicine were sparked when my parents encouraged me to pursue my love of math and the sciences. I participated in several science fairs and constantly performed experiments with my chemistry set on the kitchen table. I have also been inspired by my uncle, Dr. Rodney Hood, a leader and past president of the National Medicine Association, as well as other African-American physician forefathers and mothers.

H+: Why did you choose your area of care?

Dr. Marable: My interest in primary care, internal medicine, community health promotion, and public health was sparked as a medical student when I realized that truly healing a patient was more than interacting with them in an exam room and prescribing a medication. The primary care bond with a patient is based on building a long-term, trusting relationship with another human being, which I enjoy doing. I also understand that my patients’ health status is also influenced by community norms, the patients’ understanding of their medical condition(s) and the socio-economic determinants in the environment where my patients reside. This revelation prompted me to develop partnerships with community-based organizations and local community leaders to build culturally competent community health education initiatives and programs. I have been recognized for my efforts with a multitude of awards, honors and political citations in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island area.

H+: Was there a particular moment when being a physician became “more than medicine” for you?

Dr. Marable: When I realized that there are insurers, government policies and mandates that have an impact on the practice of medicine. At times these “rules” are made by individuals who are not even physicians. This revelation inspired me to enroll in the federal Primary Care Health Care Policy Fellowship program. Additionally, I continue to participate in advocacy activities and events sponsored by the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association, and the Massachusetts Medical Society so my voice can be heard.

H+: In your opinion, what matters most to patients? How do you deliver on that?

Dr. Marable: I believe that what matters most to a patient is what matters most to me when I am a patient. These qualities include a caring physician who listens, conveys empathy, and treats me with dignity and respect. Patients want a warm and welcoming physician, who treats them as a distinct individual and helps them troubleshoot the unique lifestyle challenges they encounter while managing their chronic illnesses. I deliver on these core working values by emulating them on a daily basis.

H+: Why did I choose to be a Southcoast physician?

Dr. Marable: Southcoast exudes a culture of excellence and promotes diversity in its recruitment of employees. Moreover, the Southcoast value statement resonates with my personal and professional core working values. Southcoast believes in promoting a culture of prevention and wellness and building community based partnerships in the execution of health promotion efforts, as I do. I believe I will be very happy and an excellent fit in this organization.

H+: What do you like to do in your personal time?

Dr. Marable: Read books, travel, practice Pilates, exercise, and relax with my friends, family and husband.

H+: What is one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

Dr. Marable: That my AncestryDNA analysis reveals 2% of my DNA is of Norwegian ancestry. Shocked me too!

Dr. Marable practices at: 12 Main St., Lakeville, MA,

508-973-0288


Dr. Erika D. Mello

Internal Medicine/Primary Care
Clinical interests: Holistic Medicine, Osteopathic Manipulation, Medical Acupuncture

Health+: What inspired you to become a physician? Why did you choose your area of care?

Dr. Mello: As cliche as it sounds, I have always enjoyed helping people. It is just in my nature. So pretty early in life I knew I wanted to be some sort of healthcare provider. I ultimately decided on primary care because it never sat right with me to just focus on one part of the body without incorporating the whole being. To this end, I also found my way to osteopathy, where the philosophy is slightly more on the holistic side. The basic training for osteopathic medicine is rooted in treating the whole person to allow for a healthier being, thereby helping the body to heal itself. Along with this there is more openness to alternative therapies and techniques, osteopathic manipulation being one of them, to achieve this end.

H+: What is your personal philosophy of care? 

Dr. Mello: In general, I want to help my patients improve their health in the simplest way possible by correcting the root of the problem and helping their bodies heal themselves. That is not to say that I don’t believe in prescription medication, as I have had many patients come to me with health problems for which they want no “medication.” I have argued for the value of our medical advancements, technologies and medications. However, as much as most people do not want to hear it, in today’s society, a lot of our health woes stem from the basic building blocks of healthy diet and exercise. Everything is related, and just as our immune system can’t clear infection well if our joints and muscles are out of alignment, blocking proper flow of oxygen to our organs or lymph drainage from an area of inflammation or injury, our body cannot run smoothly if we don’t eat the needed healthy building blocks. So I truly believe that in addressing one’s health, all these aspects of mind and body have to be acknowledged. I equally understand how difficult this is in today’s society. As a working mom, I know there is not enough time in the day to take care of yourself and often work with my patients in sharing different plans and techniques I try to use myself.

H+: In your opinion, what matters most to patients? How do you deliver on that?

Dr. Mello: I find the thing that matters most to patients is to be heard and listened to. I also feel this is at the base of what we are really trained to do as physicians — to listen to the littlest details and remotest history in order to accurately complete our diagnostic process. But often, again, in today’s society there is not enough time, and we as physicians are always fighting against a push to do more in less time. I feel that not only is it important to take appropriate time to listen to a patient’s symptoms and story to make an accurate diagnosis, but it is important to take time to check in with them as a person. The downside of this is that we may not address as many issues as desired in one visit, but I do feel there is a line beyond which good medicine cannot be pushed, and I work every day and with every patient to find that balance.

H+: Why did you choose to be a Southcoast physician?  

Dr. Mello: In my endeavors to find a medical home here in Massachusetts I have encountered many different physicians, groups and models. What I have always been drawn to at Southcoast is the down-to-earth attitudes and camaraderie. People seem valued as more than just a number, both physicians and patients.

H+: What do you like to do in your personal time?  

Dr. Mello: I really do try to practice what I preach and have always valued being active and finding time to exercise for my body and mind — whether it is running, biking, tennis or yoga. I also enjoy time with my family and travel.

H+: What is one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?  

Dr. Mello: Before moving to Massachusetts, I spent almost three years practicing medicine on a Navajo reservation (and I met my husband there). It was a goal I had since I was young and was a combination of my desire to travel and to help those in need.

Dr. Mello practices at: 1565 North Main St., Suite 306 , Fall River, MA ,

508-973-9500


Cheri Cerrato, NP

Primary Care
Clinical interest: Family Practice

Health+: What inspired you to become a provider? Why did you choose your area of care?

Cerrato: I have been in the medical field since I was 15 years old, beginning my career working with patients within the Veterans Hospital facility in Brockton, MA. That experience opened my eyes and heart and helped me see that everyone should be seen and heard, and if we as providers work with patients, their families and friends, we can ensure that each patient will receive the ultimate care and treatment to help them live long, healthy, happier lifestyles. I chose family practice because all ages deserve to be treated with kindness and support.

H+: Was there a particular moment when being a provider became “more than medicine” for you?

Cerrato: Being able to comfort, support and listen to each and every patient with open mind and heart and just listen with great respect and empathy, knowing that as a provider I have the means to give back and help each and every one of my patients in some way, even if it is just a hug, a hand shake or a smile. That is a “more than medicine” moment for me each and every time.

H+: What is your personal philosophy of care?

Cerrato: Be open-minded with every symptom, illness or complaint. Attempt to rule out everything before treating the unknown. But most important, listen to your patients; they know their bodies.

H+: In your opinion, what matters most to patients?

Cerrato: Patients need to feel they are being heard and are not being judged by their providers or rushed out the door with no answers due to a limited time slot in the schedule. Honesty and compassion are extremely important. I treat everyone as an individual, not a number on a chart. All my patients are special to me and worth every second of my time to help them in every way possible.

H+: Why did you choose to be a Southcoast Health provider?

Cerrato: Several years ago I myself was a patient in a Southcoast facility and was extremely impressed with the compassion, knowledge and support from every staff member I came in contact with. Shortly after completing my RN degree, I started working at Tobey Hospital and became part of an amazing family. Gaining the support of my new family and community, I went on to complete my FNP and knew Southcoast was where I would continue. “More than medicine” was something I personally witnessed within Southcoast and I believe in it with all my heart and I wanted to “pay it forward” with my own values and knowledge and continue to support my community with their medical needs.

H+: What do you like to do in your personal time?

Cerrato: I am a firm believer that quality and quantity of time is important, especially with family. I enjoy fishing, hunting, home projects and caring for my animals.

H+: What is one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

Cerrato: The movie Patch Adams is my biggest inspiration and how health care should be.

Cerrato practices at: 12 Main Street, Lakeville, MA,

508-973-0288


Dr. Jonathan Martin

Neurology
Clinical interest: Multiple Sclerosis

Health+: What inspired you to become neurologist?

Dr. Martin: I enjoyed many subjects in school — biology, language, art, architecture, and history for example. I ultimately chose medicine because I prefer an occupation with more human contact. I specialized in neurology because I like complexity and puzzles.

H+: In your opinion, what matters most to patients?

Dr. Martin: Patients want to feel that their physician is knowledgeable, sees them as unique human beings, listens to them and is willing to fight for them.

H+: What is your personal philosophy of care?

Dr. Martin: When I come to work in the morning, I try to remind myself that patients are counting on me to make things better for them, and that I need to be at my best.

H+: Why did you choose to be a Southcoast physician?

Dr. Martin: I was pleased that Southcoast made a commitment to improving the quality care for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) by establishing an MS center at Southcoast Brain & Spine. I hope to coordinate a team that includes an advanced practice provider (a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant); medical assistant; physical, occupational and speech therapy team; and social worker as well as other medical subspecialists.

H+: What do you like to do in your personal time?

Dr. Martin: I like traveling and riding my bicycle. I like building and making things, particularly things to eat. I love music.

H+: What is one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

Dr. Martin: That I am not running late.

Dr. Martin practices at: 480 Hawthorne St., Dartmouth, MA,

508-973-9180


To find a Southcoast provider, visit southcoast.org/doctors.