Our Team

We are a team of dedicated clinical research professionals committed to safe and ethical clinical research. At each site, a team of board-certified internists or family physicians, nurse practitioners, and clinical research coordinators work together to implement and conduct trials with a commitment to quality clinical research and exceptional patient care. We are current with Good Clinical Practices and our coordinators are certified by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. All clinical research activities are overseen and centrally managed by our Director of Clinical Research.

Austin
Barry R. Austin, DO

Barry R. Austin, D.O., is Board-Certified in internal medicine by both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Association of Osteopathic Specialists. He is also certified in geriatrics by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his osteopathic internship at Erie Osteopathic Hospital in Pennsylvania. He completed his internal medicine residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He joined the staff of St. Clair Hospital and has practiced medicine in the Pittsburgh area since 1983. In addition, Dr. Austin has been an associate professor of medicine at Lake Erie School of Osteopathic Medicine since 1998. He has been a member of Preferred Primary Care Physicians since 1995. Dr Austin’s interest in research led him to become an Investigator for industry sponsored clinical trials in 2000. Since then he has been involved in more than 40 adult clinical trials.

Purighalla
Raman S. Purighalla, MD

Raman S. Purighalla, M.D., is a graduate of the Rangaraya Medical College in Kakinada, AP, India, where he completed a six-month senior residency in psychiatry. He completed senior residencies in nephrology at Appolo Hospital in Hyderabad, AP, India, and in internal medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. His further training included a research externship in renal transplant nephrology at the University of Pittsburgh. He joined Preferred Primary Care Physicians and the staff of St. Clair Hospital in 1999. Dr. Purighalla joined the research division in 2000 as a sub-investigator which then led to acting as a Principal Investigator for industry sponsored trials. Collectively he has overseen more than 40 adult clinical trials.

Uma Purighalla
Uma Purighalla, MD

Dr. Uma Purighalla is board-certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She graduated from the Medical College of Pennsylvania.  She completed an internship at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh and residency at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY. Dr. Purighalla has been with Preferred Primary Care Physicians and the staff at St. Clair Hospital since 2000. Her interest in research led her to become a Sub- Investigator for Preferred Clinical Research since 2001.

Hewitt
Kimberly Hewitt, DO

Dr. Hewitt graduated from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her residency at UPMC Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh before beginning her career at St. Clair Memorial Hospital as a Hospitalist. Dr. Hewitt joined Preferred Primary Care Physicians in 2012 specializing in Internal Medicine.

Jean Watkinson
Jean M. Watkinson, PA-C

Jean graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree from Gannon University Physician Assistant Program. She gained expertise in several areas of medicine including Family Practice, Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery and Outpatient Testing before joining Preferred Primary Care Physicians in 2002. Jean was a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator from 2002 until 2011 for Preferred Primary Care Physicians. As a PA-C, she then became a Sub- Investigator for Preferred Clinical Research in 2011 and has participated in over 30 industry-sponsored clinical trials collectively.

Bennett
Nathan L. Bennett, MD

Dr. Nathan Bennett is a Board-Certified Family Physician and a Certified Headache Medicine Subspecialist. His practice with Preferred Primary Care Physicians is in Pleasant Hills, PA. He completed his residency at Forbes Family Medicine Residency in Monroeville, PA (1993) and is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College (1990) and Washington and Jefferson College (1986). Dr. Bennett treats all ages and a wide variety of medical issues. As a Headache Specialist, he is the founder and medical director of the Preferred Headache Center. He is involved in the development headache guidelines and educational programs on a national level. He is also the principal investigator and author in clinical research studies in headache and many other areas of medicine. Dr. Bennett has an interest in clinical informatics and quality measure development. He serves on committees with Medicare, Siemens Healthcare, and at Jefferson Regional Medical Center. He is a medical director of Preferred Healthcare Informatics; a consulting firm geared to assist physicians with electronic health records and outcomes improvement. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, American Headache Society, International Headache Society, and National Headache Foundation.

Palchick
Bryce A. Palchick, MD

A graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Dr. Palchick completed a dual residency in family medicine and internal medicine at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. Dr. Palchick is board certified in family medicine and internal medicine with an additional certification in geriatrics. He obtained CPI (Certified Physician Investigator) certification from the Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Investigators in 2006. His research interests include the common diseases of general medicine including diabetes, heart disease, lipids and hypertension.  His professional memberships include the Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Investigators, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, American Diabetes Association, and the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Palchick joined Preferred Primary Care Physicians in 2002 and has been conducting clinical trials since 2003.

Rozen
Shari Rozen, MD

Shari Rozen, M.D., is a Board-Certified Family Physician who graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She completed her residency at Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, Pennsylvania and has been in private practice since 2005. Dr. Rozen’s research interests include preventative medicine and women’s health. Dr. Rozen’s professional memberships include the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians. Dr Rozen joined Preferred Primary Care Physicians in 2005 and has been conducting clinical trials since 2005.

Gates
Michael E. Gates, MD

Dr. Gates, a graduate of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, completed his residency at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, part of East Carolina University, in Greenville, North Carolina. Dr. Gates, who was born it Pittsburgh, moved back to the area in 2006 after working in Greensville, PA, where he worked in private practice. Dr. Gates is Board Certified in Family Medicine and has professional memberships in the American Medical Association and the Pennsylvania Medical Association. Dr. Gates joined Preferred Primary Care Physicians in 2012.

Claire Pinyot
M. Claire Pinyot, CRNP

Ms. Pinyot graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Nursing. She attained Board Certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner in Family Practice through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Ms. Pinyot has extensive nursing experience in areas of outpatient surgery, medical-surgical aftercare, and emergency medicine. Her professional memberships include the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Nurse Practitioner Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Ms. Pinyot joined Preferred Primary Care Physicians in 2004 and has been a Sub-Investigator in clinical research since 2004.

Hartley
Paul A. Hartley, MD

Paul A. Hartley, M.D., is a Board-Certified internist. He received his medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1984 and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, in 1987. He has been a practicing physician in the Uniontown area for 25  years. On staff at Uniontown Hospital, he is medical director of the Progressive Care Center and a former chief of staff. In addition, he is the hospice director for Amedisys Homecare and Hospice. Dr. Hartley’s professional memberships include the American College of Physicians, Fayette County Medical Society, Pennsylvania Medical Society, and American Academy of Hospice Physicians. He has been a Principal Investigator conducting more than 90 adult clinical trials with Preferred Clinical Research since 2002, and is the Chairperson for their research department.

Patnam
Sridhar V. Patnam, MD

Sridhar V. Patnam, M.D., is a board-certified internist. He received his medical degree from Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, India, in 1978 and completed an internal medicine residency at Wayne State University Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, in 1982. Dr. Patnam has been a practicing physician in the Uniontown area for 28 years and is on staff at Uniontown Hospital. He is a member of the Fayette County Medical Society. He has been conducting clinical trials with Preferred Clinical Research since 2002.

Cook
Richard A. Cook, MD

Richard A. Cook, M.D., is a board-certified family physician with 29 years of clinical experience. A graduate of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, he completed his family practice residency at Latrobe Area Hospital in Pennsylvania. Dr. Cook is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Association. He was the president of the medical staff at Uniontown Hospital from 1993-1995, where he has been on staff since 1984.He has been conducting adult and pediatric clinical trials since 1998.

Labuda
Joseph M. Labuda II, MD

Joseph M. Labuda, M.D., is a board-certified family physician with 26 years of clinical experience. A graduate of West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, West Virginia, he completed his family practice residency at Latrobe Area Hospital in Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. Dr. Labuda currently serves on the board of medical staff  at Uniontown Hospital, where he has been on staff since 1987. He has been conducting adult and pediatric clinical trials with Preferred Primary Care Physicians since 1998.

Cook_Richard II
Richard A. Cook II, MD

Richard A. Cook II, M.D., is a board-certified family physician with 7 years of clinical experience.  A graduate of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, he completed his family practice residency at Washington Hospital in Washington Pennsylvania.  Dr. Cook II is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and American Medical Associations.  Dr. Cook II has been on staff with the Uniontown Hospital since 2008.  He has been conducting adult and pediatric clinical trials with Preferred Primary Care Physicians since 2008.

Iannamorelli
Anthony S. Iannamorelli, MD

Anthony S. Iannamorelli, M.D., is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician with 28 years of clinical experience.  A graduate of Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey Pennsylvania, he completed his internal medicine residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pennsylvania.  Dr. Iannamorelli is a member of American Medical Society.  Dr. Iannamorelli has served on the board of medical staff at Uniontown Hospital from 1989-1991, where he has been on staff since 1985.  He has been conducting adult trials with Preferred Primary Care Physicians since 2003.