Kids’ doctors find the right place

Teenagers are famous for clamming up when an adult asks questions. But time and again the adolescents Keren Phillips, M.D., sees in the Monmouth Family Health Center prove they didn’t get the memo.
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Keren Phillips, M.D.

Teenagers are famous for clamming up when an adult asks questions. But time and again the adolescents Keren Phillips, M.D., sees in the Monmouth Family Health Center prove they didn’t get the memo.

“Once I’m alone with them, with their parents in the waiting room, they easily open up about what’s hurting or bothering them, or what difficult issues they’re struggling with, such as drugs, sex or eating disorders,” she reports.

Dr. Phillips, 41, joined The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center in March 2009 after taking time off from medicine to focus on her own two children: Jordan, now 8, and Samantha, 4. She graduated from the State University of New York Health Science Center of Syracuse School of Medicine in 1996, finished her pediatrics residency at the Children’s Hospital of New York–Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center in 1999, and completed a fellowship in adolescent medicine at North Shore University Hospital in 2002.

Having been an assistant professor of pediatrics at New York Medical College from 2002 to 2004, she now teaches medical students and pediatrics residents on rotation through the Monmouth Family Health Center, a federally qualified health center. She is working to expand adolescent medicine services at The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center—for example, she’s developing an eating disorders program.

A self-described “New York City girl trying to become a Jersey girl,” Dr. Phillips lives in Manalapan with her husband, Bradley, and their children. They enjoy visiting Jersey Shore beaches and hiking around the Manasquan River Reservoir.

I. Thomas Cohen, M.D.

After 30 years of performing surgery on children of all ages, I. Thomas Cohen, M.D., is embarking upon what he calls an “amazing opportunity.” As the first full-time pediatric surgeon at The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, he plans to establish a comprehensive inpatient and same-day surgery program for newborns, children and adolescents. This will allow him to continue to use his expertise in neonatal surgery and childhood surgical oncology care.

Dr. Cohen and his wife, Dianne, settled in Tinton Falls almost two years ago, leaving behind the bitter winters of Massachusetts and upstate New York, where they had worked for more than two decades. “The timing was perfect” for his new career challenge, says Dr. Cohen. “The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth is a state-of-the art facility and I’m 15 minutes away from my home and the Jersey Shore beaches.”

Originally from South Africa, Dr. Cohen and his wife emigrated to the U.S. more than 30 years ago. He completed his medical education, general surgery residency and pediatric surgery fellowship in South Africa and England, and also had fellowship training in pediatric surgical oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

The Cohens have two grown sons: Paul, a cardiology fellow in Boston; and Justin, who is completing a doctorate in wine marketing.

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