Matthew E Barnas, MD, DFAPA

Dr. Barnas is the Medical Director and founder and medical director of both Pelorus TMS and Pelorus Elder & Behavioral Health, with 17 years of experience practicing medicine. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dr. Matthew BarnasPsychiatry and Neurology, Board Certified in both Geriatric and Adult Psychiatry. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers–New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) medical school, actively teaching medical students and Psychiatry residents.

Dr. Barnas completed a TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) certification program at Duke University. He completed his Geriatric training at Yale University, which included training in nursing home Psychiatry, and learning the associated rules and regulations. Prior, he was the Chief Resident of Adult Psychiatry at NJMS, where he earned the A. Lester Granet annual award for excellence in teaching and leadership. He earned his medical degree from Rutgers-NJMS. He graduated magna cum laude from Seton Hall with a B.S. in Biology and is a diplomate of their liberal arts University Honors Program.

Dr. Barnas’ clinical interests include evaluating and treating geriatric cognitive disorders (ie Alzheimer’s Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia), mood and anxiety disorders, and cognitive disorders in younger adults (ADHD). He is often consulted by other physicians to assist with evaluating and treating psychiatric issues in seniors, including the behavioral aspects of dementia (ie agitation, insomnia, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia).

At the Cognitive Research Center of NJ, he is an investigator in current research trials seeking safer, more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s Dementia. He has presented on these topics at national meetings (AAGP and AAAP) and on behalf of community organizations like United Way, Alzheimer’s Association, and Alzheimer’s NJ. He has also published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and the book Comprehensive Review for the Psychiatry Boards.

Dr. Barnas is on the medical staff at Buttonwood Behavioral Health Hospital, Morristown Medical Center and Overlook Medical Center.


Unnati D Patel, MD

Dr. Patel is an expert in Consultation and Liaison (C & L) Psychiatry, and has been practicing medicine for over 12 years. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Board Certified in Adult Psychiatry.

Prior to joining Pelorus in 2014, Dr. Patel was the Director of C & L Psychiatry at RWJ Somerset Medical Center for 5 years. She completed her Psychiatry training, including training in C & L practice, at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). She was the Chief Resident of Psychiatry at NJMS, where she earned the A. Lester Granet annual award for excellence in teaching and leadership. She earned her medical degree from St. George’s University. She completed her undergraduate education at Rutgers University, with a B.A. double major in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Psychology.

Dr. Patel has made numerous educational presentations to nursing home staff in the community and has published a chapter in a book on the use of Neuromodulation treatments.

Dr. Patel is on the medical staff at RWJ Somerset Medical Center.


Deborah Ocasio, MD

Dr. Ocasio is an expert in Psychosomatic Medicine, and has been a physician for over 15 years.  She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Board Certified in Adult Psychiatry.

Prior to joining Pelorus in 2018, Dr Ocasio was the Co-Medical Director of the Psychosomatic Medicine (i.e. Consultation Psychiatry) service at Morristown Medical Center for 5 years.  Before that, she served at two clinical teaching sites for New Jersey Medical School: Hackensack University Medical Center (Chief of Inpatient Psychiatry) and University Behavioral Health Care (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry).

Dr. Ocasio completed her Psychiatry training, including training in Consultation Psychiatry, at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). She was the Chief Resident of Psychiatry at NJMS, where she earned the A. Lester Granet annual award for excellence in teaching and leadership. She earned her medical degree from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico, and a Fifth Pathway Certification from St. Vincent’s Midtown Hospital in New York City.  Dr. Ocasio completed her undergraduate education at Universidad de Puerto Rico, with a B.S. in Biology, Pre-Medicine track.

Dr. Ocasio is bilingual English-Spanish, and was previously selected to participate with the Hispanic Center of Excellence at UMDNJ-NJMS.


Samantha Colon, DNP

Samantha is a Board Certified Doctor of Nursing Practice, with specialization in Psychiatry and Mental Health.  Prior to joining Pelorus in 2018, she completed her doctoral degree at Rutgers with Honors.  Her Bachelor’s degree in nursing was also earned at Rutgers, Magna Cum Laude.  She completed her Associate’s degree in Nursing at Brookdale Community College, with honors.

Samantha earned many distinctions during her education and training, including membership in Sigma Theta Tau (The Honor Society of Nursing, Alpha Tau Chapter), and serving as Vice President of Finance of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.  She was also a two term Vice President of the Student Nurses Association at Brookdale Community College.


Chioma Agbo, DNP

Chioma is a Board Certified Doctor of Nursing Practice, with specialization in Psychiatry and Mental Health.  Chioma brings substantial Psychiatric experience to Pelorus, having worked for 5 years as a Charge Nurse at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.  Prior to joining Pelorus in 2018, she completed her doctoral degree at Rutgers.  Her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing was earned at New Jersey City University, and her Associates degree in Nursing at Essex County College.  Chioma also has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Nigeria.

Chioma earned many distinctions during her education and training, including the Salutatorian award at Essex County College, membership in the National Nursing Honors Society, and also in the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

Chioma is bi-lingual, fluent in both English and Ibo.


Michelle Matro, PA-C

Michelle is a Board Certified Physician Assistant, with significant interest and experience in Geriatric and Adult Psychiatry. She completed her Psychiatric training during her Physician Assistant program at Bridgeport Hospital – Yale New Haven Health. 

Prior to joining Pelorus in 2015, Michelle worked full-time at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania treating the inpatient population on the Older Adult Behavioral Health Unit. During her time at St. Luke’s, Michelle gained significant experience in treating elders with Behavioral Health conditions, including Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and various types of Dementia.

Michelle completed her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience magna cum laude at the University of Scranton, her Master’s degree in School Psychology summa cum laude at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and another Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies cum laude at Pace University.  She is currently an active member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.


Samantha Meilands, PA-C

Samantha is a Board Certified Physician Assistant, with prior experience in Psychiatric and skilled nursing facility settings. Prior to joining Pelorus in 2015, she maintained an “A” average in her PA program at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology and Neuroscience with honors at Ramapo College.

Samantha has previously worked for three years in a community Psychiatric private practice, and has years of past volunteer experience in skilled nursing and rehabilitation settings.


Elizabeth Corvino, MS, APN, FPMHNP-C

Elizabeth is a Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She completed both her undergraduate and her Nurse Practitioner degrees at NYU in Manhattan, where she was also a University Honors Scholar.

Prior to joining Pelorus in 2017, Liz was a Health Services Program Director at Good Shepherd Services in New York City. Part of her duties included overseeing the mental health treatment for a 46 bed program. Some of her other diverse work experience included working on an interdisciplinary ACT team in Brooklyn, where she provided direct care in the community to previously undomiciled “SPMI” designated individuals (suffering from severe and persistent mentally illness).

Liz has also participated in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training for Depression and Suicide Prevention at The Beck Institute.


Eve Kessler, APN-C

Eve is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, with specialization in Psychiatry and Mental Health. She completed both her NP and BS Nursing degrees at Rutgers.

Prior to joining the Geriatric practice at Pelorus in 2018, Eve worked for years at the other end of the age spectrum.  She was a NICU nurse at Overlook Hospital for years, and at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) before that.

Eve is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Alpha Tau chapter.


Kelly Nussbaum, APN-C

Kelly is a Board Certified Nursing Practitioner with specialization in Psychiatry and Mental Health.  She brought her substantial Psychiatric experience to Pelorus in 2018, having previously worked in for at the Center for Family Guidance, St. Claire’s Hospital, and Chilton Memorial Hospital.  Kelly completed a Masters in Behavioral Sciences at Kean University, and her nursing degree at Clara Maas School of Nursing.  She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Caldwell College.   Kelly also has certification and experience working as a school nurse and health educator.


Emmanuel K. Adjin, APN-C

Emmanuel is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner with specialization in Psychiatry and Mental Health.  He joined Pelorus in 2018, after completing the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program at NYU.  Emmanuel earned his Nursing degree at Binghamton University and has a BA in Psychology from Genesco College. He brings significant experience in mental health nursing, including past duties at NYU’s busy Emergency Department, and at other hospitals including St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Lincoln Hospital, and Stony Lodge Hospital.  Emmanuel also holds a certification in cognitive behavioral therapy.


Priscilla Duerstock, PA-C

Priscilla is a Board Certified Physician Assistant, with past interest and training in Psychiatry and Geriatrics. Prior to joining Pelorus in 2018, she graduated from the Physician Assistant program at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.  Priscilla completed her undergraduate studies at Montclair State University, earning a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Community Health Education.

Priscilla also has interest and experience in education.  She is a certified EMT, and has taught Health class in High School as well as CPR/First Aid certification courses.  She is a Langevin Certified Professional Trainer.


Maria Miralda-Tena, PA-C

Maria is a Board Certified Physician Assistant, with prior training in Psychiatric and skilled nursing facility settings. Before joining Pelorus in 2018, she completed her PA education at Arcadia University.  Maria made the Dean’s List at Pennsylvania State University while earning her B.S. in Psychology (with Neuroscience option), as well as a Minor in Biology.  She is also a certified EMT.  Maria has volunteered her time and medical skills abroad, including in Panama and Guatemala.

Maria is bi-lingual, fluent in English and Spanish


Lynn O’Malley, APN-C

Lynn is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner with significant experience working in Psychiatry and Mental Health.  She completed her Nurse Practitioner education at the University of Pennsylvania, and took Psychiatry courses at the University of Charlottesville.  Lynn completed a B.S. in Nursing magna cum laude at Seton Hall University, and a Nursing degree at Orange Memorial Hospital.

Before joining Pelorus in 2018, Lynn worked in Virginia Beach for many years, where she assisted patients with mental health and substance abuse issues. Lynn also has extensive military training and experience, both home and abroad.  She has earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal four times, and a Meritorious Service Medal five times.