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Our Staff

Our clinical team includes physician assistants (PAs)nurse practitioners (NPs) and registered nurses (RNs)who specialize in urology and play a key role in providing quality, coordinated patient care.

PAs and NPs are clinical professionals with advanced degrees who are licensed to practice medical care. They work together with physicians and can evaluate and treat many urologic conditions. Many times you will have an initial visit with one of our Pas or NPs prior to your visit with a surgeon. Our RNs provide support during patient visits and play important role in patient education, guiding you through treatment and rehabilitation.

 

Urology Physician Assistants

  • Brian Antonucci is a physician assistant within the Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Urology. He specializes in surgery, assisting in a variety of robotic procedures offered by JHH Urology, and the acute care post-operative setting. Following surgical intervention, Brian helps patients navigate recovery through education, discharge and follow up care. Brian started his career in urology after graduating from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences where he received a Master of Science in Health Sciences for Physician Assistants in 2011. He started his career in urology at The Brady Urologic Health Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital where he first learned to assist in robotic cases. After spending 7 years learning his craft and building lifelong experiences in New York City, Brian moved to the Baltimore area to be closer to family. He was proud to join the Brady Urology team at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2018. Since moving to his new home, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Amanda, and their three young children. Together, they enjoy engaging in outdoor activities and sports on the weekends.

  • Lynda Mettee is a Physician Assistant who works at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center taking care of all inpatient and post-operative needs of our patients. She received her Bachelors Degree in Biology from Marymount University where she was involved in Virology research. She received her professional certificate in Physician Assistant studies at the Community College of Baltimore County, Essex and earned her Masters Degree from the University of Nebraska. Lynda had been a Physician Assistant for 20 years and has been with the Brady Urological Institute since 2005. She has been involved in multiple clinical and retrospective research studies in Prostate Cancer detection, treatment, outcomes and improving post-operative care. She is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Miller Coulson Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant Clinical Excellence Award. She is very involved in the Maryland Academy of Physician Assistants, serving as the Treasurer for 6 years as well as maintaining her American Academy of Physician Assistant membership. She also serves on the Credentialing committee for the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. In her free time, Lynda enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys boating on the Chesapeake Bay and cheering for her local sports teams.

  • PetraBefore joining the Brady Urological Institute in 2008, Petra Szima-Cotter graduated from the Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in 2000 with a medical doctor degree, and in 2008 obtained a physician assistant degree from the Anne Arundel Community College. Petra always strives to provide compassionate and thorough inpatient care, and has also participated in the active surveillance program, following prostate cancer patients under the guidance of Dr. H. Ballentine Carter. Currently, her main focus is assisting in robotic urologic surgeries, as well as providing mentorship to peers and students. She has assisted in a live robotic radical prostatectomy performed by Dr. Mohamad Allaf, and has an interest in acquiring and perfecting skills in novel robotic techniques such a single port robotic surgery. Petra is a member of the AAPA, MDAPA, AUA, Mid-Atlantic AUA, Endourology Society, and the Society of Hospitalist Medicine.

  • Grace Thomas, PA

    Grace Thomas is a physician assistant who cares primarily for patients with an elevated PSA. When not in the clinic she can be found assisting in robotic surgery or prostate biopsies. She received a bachelor's degree from Grove City College in Cellular and Molecular Biology. After graduation she attended the University of Maryland Baltimore/Anne Arundel Community College Collaborative Physician Assistant program, where she graduated with a master's in health sciences and a physician assistant degree in 2017. Shortly after graduation she started working as a physician assistant at the Brady Urologic Institute. She was honored to receive the Advanced Practice Rookie of the Year award in 2019.

  • Lauren Vedrine, PA

    Lauren Vedrine is a physician assistant working on the Brady Urology inpatient team since 2021. She received her bachelor's degree in neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. After gaining patient care experience as a patient care technologist on a medical/surgical unit in the suburbs of Chicago, she moved to Washington, DC to obtain her master's degree as a physician assistant. Lauren completed her studies at George Washington University in 2021, taking special interest in the management of urologic conditions during her elective rotation. She enjoys mentoring aspiring PA's and is an active member of the AAPA.

 

Urology Nurse Practitioners

  • Rita Abujaber is a certified registered nurse practitioner at the Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute and sees patients at the Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center — Green Spring Station. She cares for all urologic conditions with particular specialization in active surveillance for prostate cancer, prostate cancer screening, and male LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms). She co-director of the Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance Program.

    Rita obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Bethlehem University and her Master of Science in Nursing at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She continued specializing through a post-Masters in Nurse Practitioner in Critical Care at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

  • Tracie Cometa is a nurse practitioner who cares for patients with all urological conditions. She received a bachelor's degree from Towson University in nursing. After 10 years working as an operating room nurse, she decided to follow her dream to help take care of patients. She enrolled and completed her nurse practitioner training at Walden University. She was inspired to help urologic patients after her caring for urologic patients in the OR. She has more than three years of professional experience. She is an active member of the American Nurse Practitioner Association. She is a mother of four kids and spends much of her free time cheering her kids on at their various sports events.  

  • Kristen FarlingKristen Farling joined the Brady Urological Institute in 2002 and is a Certified Urologic Nurse Practitioner and Assistant in Urology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She obtained her BSN, MSN and DNP degrees from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with a focus on the survivorship needs of prostate and bladder cancer patients (sexual recovery, intimacy, and urinary continence). Dr. Farling is an active member of the Society of Urological Nurses’ and Associates (SUNA), Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland (NPAM), American Urological Association (AUA) and Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA). She hosts monthly Pre Surgical Zoom Webinars for upcoming prostatectomy patients and often a guest speaker at local prostate cancer support groups and national urology conferences. Dr. Farling's a prior nursing professor at both the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Nursing and the University of Southern California. Dr. Farling's the author of peer reviewed journal articles and contributed chapters to Lippincott Manual of Nursing among others. In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, pilates, Peloton and spending time with her husband and friends.

  • Greg Howard is a Baltimore-native Nurse Practitioner at the Brady Urological Institute since 2020 and sees patients at both Johns Hopkins Hospital and Green Spring Station - Urology Outpatient Centers.  He collaborates with both Max Kates, MD, and Nirmish Singla, MD, caring for patients of urologic cancers to include bladder, kidney, testicular, and prostate in the outpatient setting.  Greg Howard completed his Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences at UMBC, Associate Degree in Nursing at CCBC, and Master of Nursing at Walden University. He is nationally board-certified as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialling Center and credentialled as Certified Perioperative Nurse (CNOR). He started his medical career in 2010 within the Johns Hopkins Burn Center focusing on burn and wound care before transitioning into the operating room specializing in robotic, urologic/genitourinary, gynecologic, and plastic surgery. Greg brings his genitourinary experience in cystoscopy, robotic, and endoscopic procedures to help patients understand their condition, treatments, recovery, and ongoing care.  

  • Rebecca McDonald is a Nurse Practitioner who has worked at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute since 2011.  She practices at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center as well as the Greenspring Station. She works collaboratively with all of our urologists and specializes in general urological care. Rebecca began her career as an LPN in 1983, and eventually earned her Master’s Degree at the University of Maryland in 2001. She is Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner. 

  • Michal Secker FNP-C is a Nurse Practitioner at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute and works at the Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as the Greenspring Outpatient Center.  She works collaboratively with Dr. Amin S. Herati, MD, the Director of Men's Health and Director of Male Infertility.

    Michal Secker FNP-C completed her Bachelors in Nursing at Drexel University and her Master's in Nursing at George Mason University. She is certified by the AANP as a Family Nurse Practitioner and has a nursing certificate in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility from ASRM. She began her nursing career in the PICU and Labor and Delivery, however has spent the majority of her career working in reproductive and sexual medicine at the Muasher Center for Fertility, The Genetics and IVF Institute as well as The Fairfax EggBank. She joined the Brady Urological Institute in 2018 and works in concert with Dr. Herati treating patients for infertility, sexual dysfunction, men's health/hypogonadism, benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) and pelvic/scrotal pain. Prior to her nursing career, Michal Secker also completed a Bachelors of Art in music at the University of Delaware. ?

  • Riane Thrasher is a Nurse Practitioner at the Brady Urological Institute and works at the Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as the Greenspring Outpatient Center. She works collaboratively with Dr. Mohamad Allaf, MD, the Director of Urology, Minimally Invasive, and Robotic Surgery, as well as Dr. Brian Matlaga, MD, the Director of Stone Disease. Riane obtained both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, and her Master of Science in Nursing degree at The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. She holds a national certification with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. She began her nursing career at Akron General Medical Center in the area of Orthopedic Perioperative Care and General Medicine, however has spent the majority of her career working in the Medical/Surgical Intensive Care unit. Her passion for nursing and the drive to continue her education led her to pursue her lifelong goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. Riane joined the Brady Urological Institute in 2021, and works in collaboration with Dr. Allaf, treating patients for both prostate cancer and kidney cancer. She also works alongside Dr. Matlaga, managing and treating patients with kidney stones.

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