Lori Gara-Matthews, MD, FAAP
I come from a medical family. Three of my grandparents were physicians and my father was a surgeon. Once I got past my childhood dreams of being a ballerina, becoming a doctor was a natural choice for me. Out of my three siblings, my brother is the only one who didn’t go into the “family business” – he is a television producer.
For me, the most gratifying aspect of my practice is helping parents understand their children better and helping them capitalize on their strengths. I love being part of the process as a family grows and changes over time. Helping parents with sleep and behavior problems is so critical. Children and families need their sleep to function at their best!
I was born in New York and graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology in 1985. I attended Stony Brook School of Medicine and also completed one year of research in Molecular Genetics while there. In 1990, I graduated and became an MD. I did my internship and residency at Schneider Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, NY, finishing in 1993.
In 1994, I traveled for a year with my husband, who is also a pediatrician. We worked in a number of exotic locations including an Apache reservation and in Gabon, Africa. In 1995, I completed a fellowship in Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
After fellowship, I worked at the Center for Children with Special Needs doing Developmental Pediatrics and also in General Pediatrics private practice. Since 2001, my practice has included both General and Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics in the Western suburbs of Boston. My husband and I often switch off with one of us covering their patients on the weekend and the other chasing after our four children in my spare time. When I get a moment outside of being a doctor or a mom, I enjoy exercise and playing the cello in chamber groups.
Michael Friedberg, MD, MA, FAAP
I was born and raised just outside of Rochester, New York by two teachers, so education was instilled in me from the beginning. For college, I wanted to explore a new area so I moved to Boston to attend Tufts University to study Biochemistry and fell in love with Massachusetts. My passion for medicine was sparked while volunteering at a local free clinic during undergrad studies, but a summer opportunity working in an operating room showed me that spending time with patients, and understanding all aspects of their care was my true calling, therefore primary care was in my future. During my pediatric rotation in Medical school I fell in love with the play between embracing my inner child and educating parents and families. Yet the greatest pleasure was watching kids grow from infancy to adulthood, while advising and counseling in every step of the way. I was hooked!
After Medical school at Boston University, my wife and I decided to explore somewhere new-California! After enjoying the beautiful weather, hiking year round and spending 3 years at Stanford for residency and 2 years working as a pediatrician at Kaiser San Jose, we realized we missed home and moved back to Massachusetts. I am excited to continuing expaning my role within the practice and executive within the Affilitate Pediatric Practices (APP), but more importantly, thrilled to have found my “forever home” with Pediatric Healthcare at Newton Wellesley.
In my free time, I love hiking with my wife, 2 boys, and our newest addition, our little girl! and our dog, running on the treadmill, cooking new dishes, and baking apple pies! I have an extensive fun sock collection and have continued my tradition of “bow tie Fridays”, a tradition I started with my fellow male residents at Stanford.
I serve as the Practice Medical Representative for Pediatric Health Care at Newton Wellesley at the monthly Affiliated Pediatric Practices meetings and also have been elected to serve on the Board of Managers for Affiliated Pediatric Practices as well.
I grew up outside Philadelphia and graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Chemistry and then completed my MD program at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia in 1984 and Pediatric Residency at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University Medical Program in 1987. After completing one year of clinical fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, I came to the Boston suburbs to start my career as a Primary Care Pediatrician. I have worked in Natick, Weston, and Southborourgh over the years.
I have always enjoyed sports and fitness throughout my life. I am an avid athlete who is passionate about the environment and adventure travel. I love skiing and winter sports and competing in bicycling, running, and Triathlon events. I have been participating in the Pan-Mass Challenge ever year since the 90's.
I encourage my patients to join in a lifestyle of fitness and healthy eating. Currently, I reside in Newton with my husband, pets and lovingly tended garden.
As a child in Melbourne, Australia, my favorite place to read was at a local park under a patch of gum trees, where I would daydream about faraway lands and worlds. I enjoyed long walks on the beach, noisy tram rides and the occasional visit to the “bush” (forested Australian wilderness) – sadly, there were never kangaroos or koalas in my own backyard! I received a Bachelor of Medical Science from Monash University in Melbourne, and having met my American husband, found my way to the “distant” United States, where I graduated with a medical degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1999. I completed my General Pediatrics training at the University of Chicago School of Medicine/Wyler Children’s Hospital and have been board certified in General Pediatrics since 2002.
The aspects of general pediatrics that I always found the most rewarding were those related to maximizing children’s developmental potential and improving emotional well-being. Pursuing my dream, I completed a three-year fellowship in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Hasbro Children’s Hospital/Brown University School of Medicine in Rhode Island, where I continue as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Adjunct) at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University in the Division of Departmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. I have an ongoing research interest in youth with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
It is my privilege and pleasure to care for children with special needs and their families. My expertise and interests are in the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with developmental differences, behavioral issues, learning difficulties and mental health concerns. I am passionate about working collaboratively with families, other healthcare professionals and schools to make informed diagnoses, assist families in finding strategies and solutions that work for them, and improving overall individual and family well-being.
I live in Newton with my husband and our four school-aged children, whose interests range from robotics and art to dinosaurs and dance. I continue to love books in my ever so limited “free” time and somehow still find precious moments for Pilates and family walks.
Jennifer Lucarelli MD, FAAP
I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts where my mother was also my school nurse, so my interest in the health of children is longstanding. I attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and then medical school at Columbia in New York City. I also completed pediatric residency in Manhattan, at Mt. Sinai Hospital, before making a long-awaited return to Massachusetts to train at Boston Children’s Hospital in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. My approach to pediatric healthcare is holistic, making this subspecialty a natural fit
I am passionate about addressing family, school, and social-emotional well-being in addition to physical health to help children grow to meet their full potential. I practiced in the Center for Children with Special Needs at Tufts following fellowship but wanted to regain the intimate connection with kids and families of a primary care pediatrician. I am thrilled to be part of the team at Pediatric Healthcare at Newton Wellesley caring for local families.
When I am not at work I am a health and fitness nerd and a podcast junkie. I can be found hanging out at the park with my two young boys and husband Mike, or at Sunday dinners with our large extended family.