Meet the team

Southcoast’s pediatric team is made up of a dedicated group of physicians, nurses and support staff with the single focus of caring for your child.

The physicians from Boston Children’s Hospital who make up the team at St. Luke’s have trained and worked at some of the top educational and medical institutions in the nation. They now bring their expertise and experience to the families of the South Coast.

This team of physicians and caregivers works closely with families and local pediatricians to deliver the best care available.

Our nurses have a wealth of experience in caring for children, and all inpatient nurses have been certified in pediatric advanced life support.

Brian Sard, MD
Medical Director, Pediatric Services

As Medical Director, Dr. Sard is responsible for medical oversight, development and coordination of Southcoast’s hospital-based pediatric services.

Dr. Sard is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore as well as a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at Boston Medical Center. He is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine. Before joining Southcoast, he practiced pediatric emergency medicine at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

Athena Xifaras, MD
Associate Director, Pediatric Services

As Associate Director, Dr. Xifaras is responsible for monitoring clinical quality standards that are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics and Boston Children’s guidelines to deliver the highest quality of pediatric care to the region.

Dr. Xifaras is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. She completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She is board certified in pediatrics and counts pediatric obesity and quality improvement among her professional interests. Dr. Xifaras currently serves as a member of the City of New Bedford’s Board of Health.

Linda A. Bishop, MD, FAAP

Dr. Bishop attended the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., after receiving her undergraduate degree at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. She then completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Bishop’s clinical interests include general pediatrics and hospital medicine. Dr. Bishop is board certified in pediatrics.

Sara Gonzalez, DO

Dr. Gonzalez received her medical from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo, Calif., after receiving her undergraduate degree from University of Scranton in Scranton, Penn. She completed her internship and residency in pediatrics at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Penn.

Fluent in Haitian Creole, Dr. Gonzalez completed a Global Pediatric Fellowship in Health Service Delivery with Boston Children’s Hospital in Saint Marc, Haiti. She is board certified in pediatrics.

Kathleen M. Petillo, DO

After graduating from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine, Dr. Petillo completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at The Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in affiliation with the University of Buffalo.

G. Andrew Sechler, MD

Dr. Sechler earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. He completed a combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He has extensive global health experience in South America and Africa, and currently helps lead a Harvard affiliated program in Liberia. His clinical interests include rural health care delivery, tropical medicine and travel medicine. Dr. Sechler is fluent in Spanish.

Myles D. Webster, MD

Dr. Webster earned both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt. He went on to complete an internship in general surgery at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I., as well as an internship and residency in pediatrics at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Dr. Webster’s clinical interests include pulmonology and infectious diseases

Jill Veselik, MD

Dr. Veselik received her medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, Ill. She completed her residency in pediatrics from Loyola University in Maywood, Ill., and fellowship in pediatric global health from Boston Children’s Hospital and Kirehe, Rwanda. Her clinical interests include global health/tropical medicine, rural health care and urgent care. She is board certified in general pediatrics.