Our Practice

About Us

Island Fertility is a full-service fertility practice in collaboration with Stony Brook Medicine, directed by James Stelling, MD. It has been a long-time dream of Dr. Stelling along with his partner, Bradley Trivax, MD, to build a community practice that can provide all types of fertility treatment in a warm, compassionate atmosphere, encompassing state-of-the-art andrology and embryology laboratories ready to provide the highest quality and most advanced technology available for our patients. Our physicians are board-certified reproductive endocrinologists and are the most qualified doctors to diagnose and treat fertility preservation and infertility problems. Our team consists of Dr. Richard Bronson, Dr. Avner Hershlag, Dr. James Stelling, Dr. Bradley Trivax and Dr. Lauren Zakarin Safier. 

Our Facilities

Our primary location is a full-service fertility practice. We have the capabilities to diagnose any type of infertility, for the most part, on-site, with minimal need to refer you out for further testing. We provide on-site cycle monitoring, ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination (IUI), fertility preservation, sperm cryopreservation, oocyte cryopreservation, in vitro fertilization (IVF), embryo cryopreservation and preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) of embryos. Our endocrinology lab is running state-of-the-art reproductive hormone analysis on the Roche Cobas e411.

We find that most patients experiencing infertility only need minimal treatment and regulation of cycles. For patients who need more advanced treatment, our brand new IVF lab is ready to provide this service. We have assembled the most advanced technology available, including Nikon and Olympus microscopes, Eppendorf micromanipulators, a Hamilton Thorne LYKOS and Saturn 5 laser system allowing our embryologists to choose the method that best suits your embryos' needs. We have built our laboratory to conform to the highest air quality standards to ensure optimal growth and development. Our tissue bank is protected with the maximum security possible, including 24-hour temperature monitoring, to ensure that your frozen specimens are stored safely away until you are ready to utilize them.


Our Team

Physicians

Richard BronsonRichard Bronson, MD, FACOG

Dr. Bronson is Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pathology at Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University and Director of Reproductive Endocrinology. He is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, holding boards in obstetrics and gynecology as well as reproductive endocrinology. Additionally, he is a current member of the Endocrine Society, The Society of Reproductive Endocrinologists, the American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine, and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, having been a Post-Graduate Course Director for that society and has served as a member of the Committee on Biotechnology of the New York State Bar Association.

Dr. Bronson grew up in a medical household. His dad, a general practitioner in the days when doctors made house calls, had strongly influenced Dr. Bronson's medical practice style. He is a recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. He has always been interested in the "why" of things, which has resulted in his strong desire to delve deeply into issues, perhaps due to his undergraduate training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He graduated from the New York University School of Medicine (as did his father), with honors. After an internship at Bellevue Hospital and two years of pioneering research on embryo transfer sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH), he did a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the Pennsylvania Hospital, in Philadelphia. 

Dr. Bronson returned to New York following a two-year tour of active duty in the U.S. Army Medical Corps at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, working initially at North Shore University Medical Center, then at Stony Brook. Over his career, he has had the opportunity to interact with a varied group of clinicians and scientists of many backgrounds, both locally and nationally. Dr. Bronson has served as President of the American Society of Reproductive Immunology and has been an Associate Editor of the journals Human Reproduction, the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, and Reproduction, and Section Editor of Reproductive Biology & Medicine Online (RBMO). He is the primary author of more than 80 peer-reviewed research papers. Dr. Bronson has been active for many years treating couples with infertility and working to understand its causes. He feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to play a significant role in providing excellent clinical care, advancing medicine through the acquisition of new knowledge and transmitting that knowledge to future doctors.

Dr. HershlagAvner Hershlag, MD, FACOG

Dr. Hershlag is dual board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology. He is a Visiting Professor at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. Dr. Hershlag is also Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Modern Fertility. Dr. Hershlag served as the chief of Northwell Health Fertility between 2011-2018. He was also the program director of the fellowship program in reproductive endocrinology, which he had established.
 
Dr. Hershlag completed his undergraduate and graduate education training in his native country, Israel, and graduated from the Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem. Following three years of a general surgery residency at Hadassah, Dr. Hershlag moved to the United States in 1984. In the United States, he completed his obstetrics and gynecology residency at the George Washington University Medical Center and a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Yale School of Medicine. His research has recently focused on the impact of genetics on infertility and the fertility preservation and prevention of cancer through genetic screening and preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). He is also invested in access to fertility care and the ethics of reproductive technologies. 

Dr. Hershlag has cared for patients for more than 30 years and established successful programs at Northwell Health, including preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), egg freezing, fertility preservation for cancer patients and donor eggs (third party reproduction). Dr. Hershlag frequently participates in international conferences. Most recently, he has organized and co-chaired the International Summit on Assisted Reproduction and Genetics (SARG) meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel (virtual in 2020) and chaired a course in preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) at the CoGen meeting in Paris, France (virtual in 2020.)

He is a past member of the board of directors of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. Dr. Hershlag is the author of over 75 peer-reviewed papers, over 30 book chapters, and a novel entitled Misconception. He is the recipient of several awards, including Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors over the past several years and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 2019 Star Award.

 

James StellingJames Stelling, MD, FACOG, HCLD

Dr. Stelling is dual board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility and has a quarter-century of experience helping people build families. He has graduated with distinction from Cornell University as a biology major and then at Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, where he was awarded the UpJohn Award for Clinical Excellence. Dr. Stelling stayed at Stony Brook University Hospital for his Ob/Gyn residency, where he was administrative chief of residency and won the award of Resident of the Year as well as the AAGL Excellence in Laparoscopy Award.  Dr. Stelling was fellowship-trained in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School and completed his fertility training at Boston IVF. Dr. Stelling is a board-certified high complexity laboratory director (HCLD) and is often working in the laboratory with his embryology team. He is an Assistant Clinical Instructor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility at Stony Brook University Hospital as well as a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Also, Dr. Stelling is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, The Society of Reproductive Endocrinologists, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Endocrine Society, the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, The Suffolk Ob/Gyn Society, where he serves on the board as secretary and the American Medical Association. He is also currently the Division Director of Gynecologic Endocrinology at Good Samaritan Medical Center, the same hospital that he was born. Dr. Stelling is licensed to practice in the state of New York.

Dr. Stelling was born and raised on Long Island and has devoted his career to helping Long Island families conceive healthy pregnancies. He is dedicated to applying cutting edge technology in a comfortable and affordable atmosphere for patients.  His research interests include uterine anomalies and preimplantation genetic testing. He is the director of the tissue bank and donor egg program. He has devoted much of his career to helping patients preserve their fertility for the future, for both men and women facing either therapies or disorders that may render them infertile. He is well versed in both semen cryopreservation and oocyte vitrification.
 

 

Bradley TrivaxBradley Trivax, MD, FACOG

Dr. Trivax is dual board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. An honors graduate of the University of Michigan, Dr. Trivax earned his medical doctorate at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and completed his residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Winthrop University Hospital. Dr. Trivax completed his subspecialty fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was the recipient of the Outstanding Laparoendoscopic Award. Dr. Trivax excels in minimally invasive surgical treatments for the management of fibroids, endometriosis and uterine abnormalities. 

Dr. Trivax is a clinical instructor at both Stony Brook University Hospital and Winthrop University Hospital. He is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, the Nassau County Obstetrics and Gynecology Society, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. He serves on the board of the patient advocacy group, Path2Parenthood.

Dr. Trivax is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender/Questioning) community and offers sensitive fertility treatment plans to address their various needs. He is a supporter of the Family Equality Council and has helped hundreds of LGBTQ couples and individuals start their families.

A scientist at heart, Dr. Trivax has conducted considerable original research on women's health issues such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the treatments of fibroids infertility, adhesion therapies as well as research in the area of sexual health. Additionally, he frequently lectures both nationally and internationally on all aspects of fertility treatments.

Born in the Midwest, Dr. Trivax fell in love with Long Island during his residency and settled here with his wife to raise their six children. He works with his staff to streamline the complex world of infertility for his patients, so they are more comfortable with their options and with their treatment. He is fluent in English, Spanish and Hebrew.
 

 

Lauren SafierLauren Safier, MD, FACOG

Dr. Safier is dual board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility.  She graduated from Cornell University and then returned home to South Florida, where she attended medical school at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Safier completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Weill Cornell-New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, and then went on to complete subspecialty training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Columbia-New York-Presbyterian Hospital. During her training, Dr. Safier was awarded the Special Resident in Minimally Invasive Gynecology Award (by American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists), has presented her research at national meetings and has published on topics including polycystic ovary syndrome, fertility options in HIV discordant couples, in vitro fertilization, ovarian reserve testing, fertility preservation and oocyte donation. She completed her thesis work on gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9 in haploid human pluripotent stem cells.

She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine as well as the Suffolk County Ob/Gyn Society. Dr. Safier currently holds an appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine at Stony Brook University.

Born and raised in Florida, Dr. Safier settled in Eastern Long Island with her husband and two children. Her special interests include infertility, fertility preservation, genetic testing, and polycystic ovary syndrome. 


Nurse Practitioners


Psychologists


Management Team

Danielle Johnstone, Practice Administrator

Danielle Johnstone has been working in women's health for 22 years. Her career began in a growing Ob/Gyn practice as a billing manager. She then moved over to a fertility practice as a receptionist/biller as she completed her bachelor's degree in mathematics at Stony Brook University. She stayed with the same fertility practice for almost two decades and held several different titles between the front desk and finance departments. She had her own journey with infertility and understands firsthand the emotional stress that our patients experience. She is dedicated to training her staff on being compassionate advocates for our patients.  

Jennifer Jenkins, MS, Laboratory Manager

Jennifer Jenkins has been working in the fertility field for over two decades. Her career began as a receptionist as she completed her bachelor's degree in biochemistry at Stony Brook University. She was then hired by the same practice as an embryologist, eventually supervising and then managing that laboratory. She holds a Master of Science in Clinical Embryology and Andrology and has worked on many research studies in the field. She has an extensive background in quality assurance and keeps the laboratories focused on excellence. She believes providing education is the key to helping patients navigate the complex world of fertility treatment. Island Fertility is, therefore, dedicated to providing patients with a high level of care and support during their journey to parenthood. Her own family was built using IVF technology and she understands how complex this journey can be.

Melissa Zappasoddi, RN, Clinical Services Manager

Melissa has more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and more than 10 years of experience as a nurse in bedside critical care and operating and recovery rooms. While at Island Fertility, she has held several different titles before her current management role as Clinical Services Manager. She is continually looking to expand her education and will be pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing. Having experienced her own infertility journey that resulted with the joyous birth of her identical twins, Melissa can relate in a very personal and comforting way to our patients.