Our Team


Every physician on staff is either board certified or board eligible in obstetrics and gynecology. Each is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has privileges to practice medicine and perform surgery at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca. 

Steven A Gelber, MD:

Dr. Steven A. Gelber was educated at Albany Medical College and completed his internship and residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.  He is board certified and has been practicing in Ithaca for over 20 years. Since completing residency, he has continued to embrace effective new surgical and diagnostic techniques. He enjoys listening to his patient’s concerns, educating them and working together on thoughtful health care choices.

Phaelon Silva, MD:

Dr. Phaelon Silva was educated at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He practiced for eight years in Watertown, NY, before arriving in Ithaca. Dr. Silva is especially interested in minimally invasive surgery and complicated obstetrics. One of his highest priorities is providing education to his patients so they can make informed decisions about their healthcare.

Kathleen Gardner, MD

Dr. Kathleen Gardner was educated at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She completed her internship at the University of Pittsburgh and residency at Magee Women’s Hospital.  She practices both Obstetrics and Gynecology and specializes in urinary incontinence. Coming to Ithaca from a large practice in rural Maine, Dr. Gardner is brimming with energy and cheer.

Dvorah Milner, MD

Dr. Dvorah Milner was educated at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency in OBGYN at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. She practices both Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Milner brings a thorough, thoughtful, and empathetic approach to the care of her patients.

Lisa Baclawski, MD

Dr. Lisa Baclawski received her undergraduate degree at Houghton College before traveling to Grenada for Medical School at St. George’s University. She returned to Central New York to complete her residency in OBGYN at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. She enjoys the various aspects of Obstetrics and Gynecology including assisting women through pregnancy and delivery, performing gynecologic surgeries and spending time as a primary care physician in the outpatient setting. She is passionate about empowering women through educating them about their bodies. Lisa spends most of her free time with her husband and son but also enjoys a wide range of activities including mountain biking, hiking, singing and gardening.

Licensed Midwives

Midwives are dedicated to providing you with the personalized health care experience you deserve. We follow the midwifery model of care to provide primary and maternity care services to help women of all ages maintain health. We emphasize on health promotion and education, disease prevention, and informed decision-making.  Midwives build partnerships with women and their families by listening and providing information, guidance, and counseling in a shared decision making process. We partner with other members of our healthcare team through collaboration and referral to provide optimal care. The midwives at OBGYN & Midwifery Associates all have NYS midwifery licenses and are nationally certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).

The Midwives Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.

The Midwives Model of Care includes:

  • Monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
  • Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
  • Minimizing technological interventions
  • Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention

The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.

(May 1996, Midwifery Task Force).

Kate Pierce, MS, CNM:

Kate fell in love with the Ithaca area while earning a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell. After completing her Masters of Science in Nurse-Midwifery from the University of Pennsylvania, she joined OBGYN & Midwifery Associates in 1991. Over the years, she has delivered hundreds of babies and felt thousands of pregnant bellies and still finds the process exciting. She specializes in pregnancy care and delivery. In her spare time, while not catching up on sleep, she enjoys sewing, sailing and cuddling with her cats.

Lisa Benedetto MS, CNM:

Lisa joined OBGYN & Midwifery Associates of Ithaca in 2012 after practicing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where she primarily attended out of hospital births. She first began practicing midwifery in Boulder, Colorado where she spent the majority of her adult years living in the Rocky Mountains and raising her daughter. Lisa graduated from Colorado University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s in Nursing and went on to complete her Masters of Science in Nurse-Midwifery from Frontier Nursing University in 2009.  She is a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and the New York State Association of Licensed Midwives (NYSALM).  Lisa is a childbirth educator and teaches the childbirth education classes at OBGYN & Midwifery Associates. She has a special interest and additional training in Herbal Medicine and Essential Oils specific to the childbearing years. Lisa is passionate about supporting physiologic birth and assisting women to make informed decisions.

Mahrie Moore, MS, CNM

Mahrie joined OBGYN & Midwifery Associates in 2009 after completing her Masters of Science in Nurse Midwifery at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. Prior to that, she received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Carleton College and her nursing degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Mahrie is enthusiastic about caring for women and their families during the childbearing years as well as providing well woman and gynecologic care across the life span. She has a particular interest in health education and working with families to help make informed decisions about their care.

Jessica Allison, MS, CM

Jessica joined OBGYN & Midwifery Associates in 2015, after completing her Master’s of Science in Midwifery at the Midwifery Institute of Philadelphia University. She was introduced to midwifery through the birth of her first child who was born in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico. Following her passion for global health she has spent time in both Haiti and Africa. Jessica has three daughters whom fill her days with dancing, laughing, and lively stories. As a longtime resident of Ithaca, she is thrilled to be able to serve the women within her own community.

Nurse Practitioners

A Nurse Practitioner is a Registered Nurse who has received advanced training and is Masters Degree Certified in treating and diagnosing illness. Nurse Practitioners can administer medications, diagnose illness and perform physical exams. Nurse Practitioners generally focus on wellness, prevention, and education. The role of the Nurse Practitioner at OB-GYN & Midwifery Associates focus on a variety of patients, this can include Prenatal Care and Education during pregnancy, Well Woman/Annual exams, Problem Focused visits, and Contraceptive Consults. We like to focus on Education for wellness and routine health screenings for women of all ages.

Lorene Jump, ANP-C

Lorene started with OBGYN & Midwifery Associates in 1986. Before that Lorene worked at Cayuga Medical Center as a registered nurse in the Recovery Room, Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit and Operating room. Lorene was a graduate of TC3 where she received her degree as a Registered Nurse and also studied Health Administration through California College of Health Sciences. After working as a registered nurse at OBGYN & Midwifery Associates for one year, Lorene continued her education at Community General Hospital in Syracuse and graduated with a Master’s degree in Adult Health Nurse Practitioner. Lorene is certified by the American College of Nurse Practitioners and is a member of the NYS Association of Nurse Practitioners. She volunteers at the Ithaca Pregnancy Center as the Medical Director and is a member of the board at Birthright. Lorene and her husband have raised three children in Ithaca and now enjoy spending time with their eight grandchildren. Her special interests include quilting, baking and gardening. Lorene loves working in all aspects of women’s health and enjoys working with a great group of providers.

Pam Cronk, FNP-C

Pam was raised in Western New York and graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1992 from SUNY Brockport. She has lived in the Ithaca area since then with her husband and three children. Pam previously worked as a registered nurse at Cayuga Medical Center for 18 years in the Maternal Child Health Department and was cross-trained in Labor and Delivery, Post-Partum, NICU and Pediatrics. She then returned to SUNY Upstate and received her Master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner in May 2011. She is happy to be able to continue working in Women’s Health and with the doctors and midwives of OBGYN & Midwifery Associates of Ithaca. Pam enjoys spending her free time with her family, traveling, reading, going to the beach and watching NFL football (Go Buffalo Bills!).


A diagnostic medical sonographer is a highly skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create images (sonograms) of structures inside the human body.  Physicians interpret the images to make a medical diagnosis.

Rene Black-Hellwitz, RDMS

Rene is a Registered Ultrasound Technician who has been employed with OBGYN & Midwifery Associates since 2006. Since 1984, she has been registered with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in Abdomen, Obstetrics and Gynecology. Rene has been performing ultrasounds for 31 years! She is also certified to perform the Nuchal Translucency exam for genetic screening and has had experience in 3-D technology since 1999.

Medical Assistants

The medical assistants at OBGYN & Midwifery Associates perform routine administrative and clinical tasks that assist in the day to day operation of the clinic. Typically, our medical assistants prepare examination rooms, take medical histories and vital signs as well as administer injections and assist with procedures. We recognize them as some of the most versatile and important members of our medical team.

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Office Staff

The office staff at OBGYN & Midwifery Associates are the first to greet you as you enter our clinic. They are responsible for answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, billing and maintaining patient accounts. We look forward to providing you with excellent customer service.

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