Meet Our Staff

From our November 2015 Newsletter

This month we're getting to know Jamie Rhynd, one of our amazing Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.

What do you do at Bridgewater Pediatrics, and how long have you been here?
I am a Nurse Practitioner at Bridgewater Pediatrics. I started working here in December of 2014.

What's your favorite part of your job?
I have so many favorite parts about being a Nurse Practitioner, so it’s difficult to speak about just one area! I love the counseling and education I am able to provide to my patients and to their parents. I also love that no two days are exactly alike and that I learn more every day. 

This month we're talking about Thanksgiving. What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the cooking the day before. I think I like that more than the actual eating sometimes! I love being with my family in the kitchen with music playing and all the wonderful smells from the oven.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?
Most of all I love spending time with my family and friends. My boys keep me busy, but I truly wouldn't have it any other way.  I love discussing books with my oldest and watching my youngest play soccer. This time of year is so beautiful, and I try to get outside as much as possible. I love hiking, apple picking, and soaking up the autumn sunshine.

And we love having you in our Bridgewater Pediatrics family, Jamie! Happy Thanksgiving!

From our July 2015 Newsletter

This month we're introducing you to the newest member of our team, Cathy Dennehy, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

Welcome to Bridgewater Pediatrics! Tell us a bit about what you were doing before you joined our team.
In the short time since joining Bridgewater Pediatrics, I have felt so welcomed by my coworkers and the families they help. I have been a pediatric nurse practitioner for 34 years. While still in nursing school, I knew that my passion was pediatrics, and I would continue in that specialty throughout my career. I have worked in private practices in Hanover and Newton as well as pediatric clinics in Brockton and Boston prior to joining Bridgewater Pediatrics. My main focus has been patient care, but I have also been involved in clinical administration, quality improvement initiatives, and  have been a clinical instructor for prospective nurse practitioner students.

What's your favorite thing about being a Nurse Practitioner?
My favorite things about being a nurse practitioner are building relationships with patients and families and empowering them to make decisions about their healthcare. While I may be able to offer them guidance regarding growth and development, preventative health care needs, illness, and their treatments,  I always learn so much from them.

This month we reminded parents about summer safety. What are some of your favorite summertime activities?
My favorite summertime activity is spending time with my families outdoors. I enjoy having family barbecues, swimming, boating, and kayaking. Our family spends a lot of time up on a lake in New Hampshire.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?
When not at work, I like traveling with my husband, family, and friends. I am a new grandmother and enjoy spending time with my grandson. Although my children are grown and they are starting families of their own, we still enjoy having a weekly family dinner together. I also strive to learn something new every day.

Thank you, Cathy, and welcome to the Bridgewater Pediatrics family!

From our April 2015 Newsletter

This month we featured a section about asthma, so we're learning more about Beth Klements, our Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and resident expert on asthma care.

What do you do at Bridgewater Pediatrics, and how long have you been working here?
I have worked at Bridgewater Pediatrics as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner since August 2002. I work 2 or 3 Saturdays per month, providing Urgent Care to children who happen to be sick or injured on the weekends.

This month we're featuring a section about asthma. As the Asthma Clinical Nurse Specialist at Boston Children's Hospital, we know you have expertise in asthma care. What are some important things for parents to know about asthma?
Here's what I would like everyone to understand about asthma: there are two things that happen to a person's airways when they have asthma - the muscles around the airways tighten, and the inside of the airways become swollen. That is why two different types of medicine are often prescribed. Albuterol (also known as ProAir, Proventil, Ventolin, or Xopenex) works as a "quick reliever" to relax the muscles around the airways. Inhaled steroids, (such as Flovent, Pulmicort, or Advair) work as "controllers" to keep the swelling down in your airways. If prescribed, these medicines should be taken every day, to keep the airways open. All inhalers should be used with a spacer.

If your child's albuterol is not working, or you see them using their neck or stomach muscles to breathe, or if they are short of breath while walking, talking, or playing, you should seek medical help immediately.
Do you have any top tips or resources to recommend for parents of children with asthma?
I recently  created nine new asthma instructional videos at Boston Children's Hospital. The videos cover proper use of common asthma devices, such as nebulizers, inhalers, and peak flow meters.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?
When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my 90-year-old dad, my 4 adult children, and of course, my 3 grandsons. I also enjoy reading and working in my garden.

From our January 2015 Newsletter

We recently posted our Class Schedule for 2015, so this month we're featuring the instructor of those classes, Bernadette Sircar, our Lactation Consultant.

What do you do at Bridgewater Pediatrics?
I am a Register Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I work with Bridgewater Pediatrics to ensure that mothers and their babies get the best start possible. I teach a Newborn Care Class and a Prenatal Breastfeeding Class for our expecting families. I help moms and their babies have a positive breastfeeding experience and address any of their concerns.

What’s your favorite part of teaching classes to new parents?
My favorite part of teaching is meeting growing families and helping them to prepare for their newest addition.

Can you share your top two or three tips for parents of newborns?
Always carry an extra outfit (because you will need it eventually!). Nap when your baby naps. Don't worry about the dishes! And finally, never be shy to call and ask a question. I am always here to help and have probably heard your question before!

What do you like to do when you are not at work?
Family is a priority to me, both inside and outside of work. I love to cook and go shopping with my daughters and daughter-in-law. I always look forward to movies with my kids, golfing with my son, and dinner with my husband. I enjoy traveling and going to the zoo!

From our October 2014 Newsletter

We're featuring Sammi Byers this month, one of our amazing Medical Assistants. Sammi has been with us since 2011. She started part-time as a student, and we were so impressed that we hired her full-time shortly after that! 

What do you do at Bridgewater Pediatrics?
I am a Certified Medical Assistant.  I take vitals, like blood pressure, height, and weight. Then I get a brief history and some background information about why the child is here. After the patient visits with the clinician, I usually follow-up with vaccinations if necessary and add required information to the child's medical record.

Since you have so much experience giving kids medications and shots, do you have any tips for making these things less scary for kids?
I always try to distract them with a nice comment about them -- something personal that I notice, like cool sneakers, a fun outfit, or telling them they look like a rock star (we have so many rock stars at Bridgewater Pediatrics!). I think it's important to be honest with the child. Walk him or her through the process they are about to experience, have a calm and warm tone, and smile.

This month we're talking about fall. What's your favorite fall activity?
My favorite fall activity is apple and pumpkin picking with my 7-year-old daughter.  I also love being creative and carving and decorating the pumpkins.  Fall foliage is also fun for us. I like interacting with my daughter as she picks colorful leaves, identifying her favorites from the foliage in order to design collages for her school projects.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?
My favorite pastimes are spending quality time with my family and friends, going to the beach, riding scooters, and roller skating.  I take pleasure in the time I spend with my daughter Alexis, creating and designing art work just for fun.  The joy and comfort I see in her eyes grounds me. I also enjoy down time walking the beach with my headphones enjoying nature.

From our July 2014 Newsletter

We're featuring Betsy Donovan this month. She's been at Bridgewater Pediatrics since the day we opened our doors!

What do you do at Bridgewater Pediatrics?
I’m the Referral Coordinator, so I help refer people to specialists when they need it. I take care of all insurance referrals and authorizations. If you need a referral, I help connect you with the right doctor and work behind the scenes to make a smooth transition for you and an open communication between the specialist and our office when appropriate.

What's your favorite part of working at Bridgewater Pediatrics?
I love knowing that I’m helping parents and their children get the care that they need. Being referred to another physician can sometimes be stressful and confusing, and I'm happy to help coordinate the referral process in a way that supports our families.

This month we're talking about healthy summer snacks. What are some of your favorites?
I love fresh fruit and dip, and of course lots of  veggies and salads. My go-to source for recipes is All Recipes. I highly recommend it!

And finally, what do you like to do when you're not at work?
I enjoy volunteering at the Nemasket Orphaned Animal Haven. I also enjoy reading, and I love to spend time with my husband and 4 children.

Thank you, Betsy, for all you do!

From our April 2014 Newsletter

This month we're featuring Dr. Debra Picerno, who has been with Bridgewater Pediatrics since 2006. You can read her bio on Our Team page.

What's your favorite part of working at Bridgewater Pediatrics?
My favorite part of working at Bridgewater Pediatrics is developing relationships with our amazing families and watching their children grow!


What do you like to do when you're not at work?
When I am not at work, I like to spend time with my husband and daughter on the Rhode Island shore.

You wrote a great article about Autism Awareness for our April newsletter.  What are the top three tips you recommend for parents of children with autism?

1. Contact a local agency for support and resources. Check out the Autism Speaks website and download their 100 Day Kit.

2. Make sure you are a strong advocate for your child. If needed, consider hiring an advocate.

3. Have faith that there is help and support available, people care about you and your child, and therapies make improvements!

Thanks, Dr. Picerno!

From our December 2013 Newsletter

This month we're getting to know one of the newest members of the Bridgewater Pediatrics family, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Kate Kelly.

Now that you've settled in at Bridgewater Pediatrics, can you tell us what you like most about working at this practice?
What I like most about Bridgewater Pediatrics?  That's a tough question!  I'm very blessed to have my dream job in such a wonderful practice.  I've been so fortunate to feel welcomed by all of the staff and by the patients and their families as well.  In many ways, I'm a kid at heart, so I love having the chance to engage that part of my personality on a daily basis.  I also love the variety that comes with working in a pediatric practice.  My first patient of the day might be a teenager and my next could be a newborn.  The past six months have been a great experience and I look forward to continuing to work with our patients and families.

We posted some winter vacation safety tips in this newsletter. Are you taking any time off for the holidays, and what are some of your plans?
This year my family is coming to Boston for Christmas.  My parents live in Indiana and my brother and his fiancee live in LA, so it is quite the feat to get the whole crew together.  We look forward to playing board games and exploring the city.  This is our first time cooking Christmas dinner, so hopefully the turkey will work out!

What are some things you like to do when you're not at work?
My husband and I both enjoy food and cooking.  We like to try new recipes at home and enjoy eating out for special occasions.  We often have friends over for dinner at our place.  I also enjoy being outside whenever I can.  I like to go for long walks and practice yoga.  I'm always up for an adventure and love to travel and try new things.

It's great getting to know you, Kate! We're so glad you're part of the Bridgewater Pediatrics family!

From our September 2013 Newsletter

This month we're featuring our head nurse, Chelsea Neenan, who has been with Bridgewater Pediatrics since 2008.

What do you do at Bridgewater Pediatrics, and what's your favorite part of your job?
I am an RN at the office and the clinical supervisor. I oversee the medical assistants and triage majority of the calls. I also order the vaccines and supplies as well as coordinate specialty vaccines such as Synagis for infants at high risk for RSV.  My favorite part of my job is the relationships I have developed and continue to develop with patients and families. When triaging calls, I enjoy being a resource for parents and patients to turn to with questions or concerns.

Kids are getting ready to go back to school, and we know you just graduated this spring. Congratulations!  Do you have any advice for some of our teenage patients who might be interested in pursuing a nursing career?

My advice would be to never give up on your dreams. When I graduated high school I didn't have great confidence when it came to school. I decided to go through a Medical Assistant program which allowed me to gain the confidence I needed to pursue nursing school.

What kinds of things do you like to do when you're not at work?
When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, shopping, and playing with my German Shepherd puppy, Riley.
Thanks for all you do, Chelsea!


From our June 2013 Newsletter

This month we're featuring our amazing Nurse Practitioner, Katherine-Forbes Smith. Katherine is a board certified family nurse practitioner who joined our practice in 2001.

What do you love most about working at Bridgewater Pediatrics?
I love working at Bridgewater Pediatrics because I love getting to know the children and families that come in. Being a mom myself, I love to share in the joys and struggles of raising kids in today's world.  I enjoy providing support, encouragement and resources to help parents raise healthy kids. I also really love helping an anxious child feel more comfortable and less scared during the appointment.  It's very rewarding.  And of course, I love working with teenagers.  They are my favorite.  I enjoy helping them process the complexity of their feelings and emotions and trying to help them navigate the process of going from being a kid to being an adult.  My patients have taught me so much over the last 12 years of working at Bridgewater Pediatrics, and as I raise my own children now, I use what I have learned every day while parenting them!

Since we're featuring family-friendly summer activities in this Newsletter, what are some of your favorite summer activities to do with your family?
In the summer, our family spends our vacation time in a little town in rural Maine.  My family has a cottage on a lake where I spent my summers as a child.  What I love most about bringing my children there in the summer is that they are exposed to a different way of life.  There is no TV or telephone, and best of all, there is no wireless connection for cell phones, iPods, iPads, etc!  It's always fun to watch my nieces and nephews go through a few days of "withdrawal" without their electronics.  But we all really enjoy the beauty of the lake, mountains, and of course spending time with our family.  I feel very blessed.

Tell us a little bit about your organization, The Well.
The Well is a holistic counseling and wellness center that opened in 2011.  I started The Well because I wanted there to be a place where my patients, along with other children, teens, adults and families, could get the kind of care that I would want for my family if we were struggling or needing support.  The Well is a beautiful facility that was started with the help of over 100 volunteers.  Today, The Well offers counseling, spiritual direction, workshops, support groups, massage, yoga and more!  We welcome all age clients and some insurances are taken, but most of what we offer is fee for service and offered at a reasonable price.  I love sharing The Well and all that we offer there to the community.  We encourage people to come by for a visit to learn more about what we offer or to check us out on the web at

From our March 2013 Newsletter

In honor of National Nutrition Month, we're getting to know more about Tina Larson, our Nutritionist. Tina is a Registered Dietitian who joined our practice in 2011. 

What do you do at Bridgewater Pediatrics?
My role at Bridgewater Pediatrics is to work with families who want to learn healthier eating and lifestyle habits. I also work with nursing mothers whose babies have developed allergies and also give grocery tours to families.

What are your top three tips for healthy eating for families?
First, get kids involved in meal planning and preparation - even at younger ages. I also recommend making your plate colorful,  with half the plate being made up of vegetables and fruits. Finally, eat meals together, and set a good example of balanced eating and physical fitness. Those are my top three tips, but I also recommend 13 Health Tips for 2013 from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?
In my spare time, I enjoy cycling, yoga and pilates, hiking or other exercise. I love to garden and sew. I volunteer at the Bridgewater Public Library and lead a reading group for adults. I have 3 daughters - a HS math teacher in CT, a veterinarian currently in an oncology residency program in Knoxville, and a Northeastern BioChemistry Sophomore plus a husband who loves sailing.

From our November 2012 Newsletter

This month we're getting to know Colleen Hammond, our Office Manager. Colleen recently celebrated a significant milestone: her 25th anniversary of working with Dr. Kern! Dr. Kern and his staff surprised Colleen with a wonderful party, where many of the staff raised their glass and toasted Colleen for her dedication, amazing work, and friendship over the past 25 years. Here's your chance to get to know Coll a bit more.

As Office Manager, what do you do at Bridgewater Pediatrics?
My role has gone more from patient care and reception duties to administration. I oversee all of our employees, assist with billing, do payroll, organize physician schedules, oversee the Medical Home -- I'm sort of a Jack of all trades. I also serve on the advisement committee for Children's Hospital Pediatric Physicians' Organization (PPOC). And you may even find me fixing the plumbing on occasion!  

What do you like best about working here?
I love working with and teaching the staff. I also enjoy the many different aspects of my job. It never gets boring, and I am always learning new things. The staff here is like family.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?
In my free time I enjoy cooking, reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

You recently celebrated 25 years of working with Dr. Kern. Wow! What's one of your favorite memories from your time together?
My best memory would be the day we walked into Bridgewater Pediatrics with not even a pencil in hand! We transformed the office into what it is today. Also, the fact that Dr. Kern had the trust in me to run his office. There are truly too many memories to list during my past 25 years. It is an honor to work here!

And we're honored to have you! Congratulations on a great 25-year run, Colleen!

From our August 2012 Newsletter

This month we're getting to know Christine Basile, one of our amazing nurses. Chris has been working at Bridgewater Pediatrics for almost 10 years. She's worked in nursing for 20 years, and in that time she's worked with a wide range of ages.  Her career journey eventually led her to pediatrics, and we're so glad it did! Many of you know Chris as the one who gives your kids shots! But here's an opportunity to learn more about her.

What do you like best about working at Bridgewater Pediatrics?
There are many components to my job. Some are enjoyable (like watching children grow), and some are not (like giving shots).  One