Our Team

At Bridgewater Pediatrics, our team consists of experienced, compassionate pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and friendly, nurturing staff members who take great joy in giving our young patients the personalized pediatric care that they deserve.  All of our clinicians are highly educated professionals who have undergone advanced medical training in pediatrics. We are lifelong learners who continually pursue ongoing education in order to provide the most up-to-date care for our patients and their families. We have a genuine love and respect for children, and we strive to meet the comprehensive needs of each child that we see. We look forward to building a relationship with you and your family.

Fred Kern, MD, FAAP


Dr. Kern has enjoyed serving children, parents, and families for over 25 years. He is board certified in pediatrics and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Kern founded Bridgewater Pediatrics in 2000, after serving in a medical group for 13 years. His founding vision has been to provide high quality medical care in a caring and compassionate environment. His desire is for Bridgewater Pediatrics to be a comprehensive medical home for children and their families—a practice which nurtures the physical, emotional, academic, and spiritual health of all.

Dr. Kern received his medical degree from McGill University and completed his pediatric internship and residency at Duke University Medical Center. He graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in biology, cum laude. In 1998, he was awarded the Brockton Community Service Award for establishing a pediatric HIV clinic. In 2015, Dr. Kern completed a two-year course in advanced behavioral health care through the Pediatric Physicians Organization of Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kern serves as the managing partner of Bridgewater Pediatrics, and is excited to lead the expansion of services in our new building.

Dr. Kern and his wife, Lisa, live in Bridgewater and have four adult children. He enjoys running, skiing, and photography. He serves on the board of directors of Keeping Pace with Multiple Miracles and South Shore Community Church.

Katherine Forbes-Smith, MS, APRN, BC

Family Nurse Practitioner

Katherine is a board certified family nurse practitioner who joined our practice in 2001. She received an undergraduate degree from Gordon College and a Master of Science degree in nursing from Boston College in 2001, magna cum laude. She is a clinical instructor for nurse practitioners at Boston College and Northeastern University and is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society for nurses. Katherine has a special interest in adolescent medicine with expertise in the areas of gynecology and mental health. She gives numerous presentations and lectures to youth and families on issues related to adolescent health.

Katherine and her husband, Karl, live in Bridgewater with their three daughters. They are active members of South Shore Community Church. Katherine also serves on the board of directors of Shore to Shore Mission Network and as the Founder and President of The Well, A Center for Hope and Healing. In her free time, she enjoys downhill skiing, running and spending time with her girls.

Debra A. Picerno, MD, FAAP


Dr. Debra Picerno joined Bridgewater Pediatrics in 2006. She received her medical and undergraduate degrees from Boston University and completed her pediatric residency at the Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine in 2004. She is board certified in pediatrics and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Picerno served in the United States Navy as a general medical officer for five years after graduating medical school. She completed a pediatric internship at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and then served two years in Yokosuka, Japan where she served in the emergency department. Dr. Picerno then completed her naval service in New London, CT in 2002 and was thrilled to devote herself to the full-time practice of pediatrics.

Dr. Picerno and her husband, Mathew, live in Bristol, Rhode Island with their daughter Sophia and pug, Maggie.

Matthew Shurtleff, MD

Board Certified Pediatrician

Dr. Matt Shurtleff joined Bridgewater Pediatrics in January of 2016. He is board certified in pediatrics. Dr. Shurtleff received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Boston University in 1998 and his medical degree from the Boston University School of Medicine in 2003. He completed his pediatric internship and residency training at New York Presbyterian Hospital  - Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City in 2006. Before joining our practice, he wore many hats in a dynamic role at Boston Medical Center - caring for children and adolescents in the pediatric clinic, working with electronic medical records as a clinical informaticist, and teaching pediatrics to medical students as a clinical preceptor.

Dr. Shurtleff and his wife, Julie, live in Mansfield with their three young children and their energetic Brittany Spaniel, Riley. In his free time, he loves to hike, play with his kids, listen to music, and explore the outdoors in all four of New England’s seasons. 

Elizabeth Melville Klements, MS, PNP-BC, AE-C

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Beth received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Nursing from Boston College. She is a board certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Asthma Educator and an active member of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).

Beth joined Bridgewater Pediatrics in 2002. She also serves at Boston Children’s Hospital as the Asthma Clinical Nurse Specialist. Beth has served on the faculty of Simmons College and Boston College. She speaks regularly on topics of asthma and other pediatric issues at local, national, and international nursing conferences.

Beth enjoys spending her free time with her four adult children and her three wonderful grandsons.

Jaime Lincoln, MS, CPNP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Jaime Lincoln is a Certified Pediatric Nurser Practitioner who joined our practice in 2012. She studied Biology and Health Sciences at Stonehill College, where she graduated cum laude in 2008. She went on to earn a degree in Nursing and Advanced Practice Nursing at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions where she specialized in Pediatrics and graduated in 2011, summa cum laude . Before coming to Bridgewater Pediatrics, Jaime served as an RN at Framingham Pediatrics, as a teacher's assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital, and as a Nurse Practitioner at Dr. Bain's Pediatric Primary Care office in Lowell. Jaime also serves as the Pitching Coach for the softball team at Stonehill College. In her spare time, Jaime enjoys community service projects, softball, snowboarding, running, and spending time with her dog, Larry.


Jamie Rhynd, MS, RN, CPNP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Jamie Rhynd is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who joined our practice in 2014. Jamie discovered her love of pediatrics during her time as a registered nurse at Mass Eye and Ear in Boston, MA and South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, MA. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Nursing from Regis College in Weston, MA where she graduated summa cum laude. Jamie is also a faculty member at Regis College where she serves as the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton, MA and teaches pediatric nursing. Jamie and her husband live in Whitman, MA with their two sons and two dogs.   Jamie is an avid soccer fan who enjoys being active outdoors, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.


Catherine (Cathy) E. Dennehy, MSN, CPNP-PC
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Cathy is a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner who joined our practice in 2015. She received an undergraduate degree from Boston State College, received her nurse practitioner certification through the University of Virginia, and a Master of Science degree in nursing from Simmons College. She is a clinical instructor for nurse practitioners at Simmons College. Before coming to Bridgewater Pediatrics, Cathy worked at Newton Wellesley Family Pediatrics as a pediatric nurse practitioner and medical home care coordinator. She has also worked at Hanover Pediatrics and Dorchester Multi Service Center as a nurse practitioner and clinical director of pediatrics. 

Cathy is a current member of the Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and the Massachusetts Medical Reserve Corp. She is an active member of the Quality Improvement Committee for the PPOC at Boston Children's Hospital.

Cathy lives in Hanover with her husband, Bill.  They have two grown children and one grandchild. She has been an active member of her community by serving on the School Committee and the town's Advisory Committee.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.




Joshua Cabral, MS, LMHC
Behavioral Health Clinician    

Josh is a licensed mental health counselor and trained family therapist.  He received his undergraduate degree from Bridgewater State University and his MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern Nazarene College.  He also has additional training in primary care behavioral health with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Josh has worked in a variety of behavioral health capacities, including therapeutic mentoring, in-home family therapy, crisis intervention, family stabilization, group therapy, private practice, and school counseling.  Josh has worked with families and individuals on a number of different issues including depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, addiction, grief, and marital/family conflict.  

Prior to joining Bridgewater Pediatrics, Josh worked as a licensed school adjustment counselor.  He also serves as an adjunct professor at Eastern Nazarene College in the Early Childhood Education Department where he teaches various courses in  psychology, such as lifespan development, human exceptionalities, educational psychology, child psychology, and psychological and educational assessment.  Josh also works as a psychotherapist at The Well in Bridgewater.  He is an active member of South Shore Community Church and enjoys being outdoors, reading, and spending time with his wife and two children.


Christina Larson, RDN, LDN

Tina Larson  joined our practice in 2011. She received her dietetics degree at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and interned at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. She provides nutrition education to patients and families, and offers grocery tours, weight loss counseling and nutrition wellness evaluations.

Tina and her husband live in Bridgewater and are the parents of three daughters. Tina is an exercise enthusiast, enjoying cycling, yoga and fitness.

Deborah Penn
Patient Care Coordinator

Deborah joined Bridgewater Pediatrics in November of 2000. She attended LaSalle Junior College and the University of Massachusetts, earning a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology. After teaching for ten years, Deborah joined Bridgewater Pediatrics as a medical secretary, and she has been our Patient Care Coordinator since June of 2010. She enjoys serving our patients and their families as they navigate their way through our complex healthcare system. Deborah serves on the Board of Directors for The Well, A Center for Hope and Healing and on the Board of Trustees at The Village at Wildflower Green.

Deborah and her husband live in Raynham. They enjoy kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, sailing, cycling, hiking and sunsets on the beach. They have two grown children and four grandchildren.


Sarah O'Neil, Certified Medical Assistant 

Sarah has been a certified medical assistant since 2005 and has worked in a variety of settings including; work in labs, the Brockton Hospital ER and Saint Anne's Hospital in Fall River.  Sarah fell in love with pediatrics when she joined Bridgewater Pediatrics in May of 2016 and is an important part of the BP family!  Sarah is working towards her RN and is enrolled at Bristol Community College in Fall River.  Sarah lives in Raynham with her three kids and in her free time enjoys camping, volunteering, exploring Boston and going to country concerts with her friends.