Lori Gara-Matthews, MD, FAAP
I come from a medical family. Three of my grandparents were physicians and my father was a surgeon. Once I got past my childhood dreams of being a ballerina, becoming a doctor was a natural choice for me. Out of my three siblings, my brother is the only one who didn’t go into the “family business” – he is a television producer.
For me, the most gratifying aspect of my practice is helping parents understand their children better and helping them capitalize on their strengths. I love being part of the process as a family grows and changes over time. Helping parents with sleep and behavior problems is so critical. Children and families need their sleep to function at their best!
I was born in New York and graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology in 1985. I attended Stony Brook School of Medicine and also completed one year of research in Molecular Genetics while there. In 1990, I graduated and became an MD. I did my internship and residency at Schneider Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, NY, finishing in 1993.
In 1994, I traveled for a year with my husband, who is also a pediatrician. We worked in a number of exotic locations including an Apache reservation and in Gabon, Africa. In 1995, I completed a fellowship in Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
After fellowship, I worked at the Center for Children with Special Needs doing Developmental Pediatrics and also in General Pediatrics private practice. Since 2001, my practice has included both General and Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics in the Western suburbs of Boston. My husband and I often switch off with one of us covering their patients on the weekend and the other chasing after our four children in my spare time. When I get a moment outside of being a doctor or a mom, I enjoy exercise and playing the cello in chamber groups.
Michael Friedberg, MD, MA, FAAP
I was born and raised just outside of Rochester, New York by two teachers, so education was instilled in me from the beginning. For college, I wanted to explore a new area so I moved to Boston to attend Tufts University to study Biochemistry and fell in love with Massachusetts. My passion for medicine was sparked while volunteering at a local free clinic during undergrad studies, but a summer opportunity working in an operating room showed me that spending time with patients, and understanding all aspects of their care was my true calling, therefore primary care was in my future. During my pediatric rotation in Medical school I fell in love with the play between embracing my inner child and educating parents and families. Yet the greatest pleasure was watching kids grow from infancy to adulthood, while advising and counseling in every step of the way. I was hooked!
After Medical school at Boston University, my wife and I decided to explore somewhere new-California! After enjoying the beautiful weather, hiking year round and spending 3 years at Stanford for residency and 2 years working as a pediatrician at Kaiser San Jose, we realized we missed home and moved back to Massachusetts. I am excited to continuing expanding my role within the practice and executive within the Affilitate Pediatric Practices (APP), but more importantly, thrilled to have found my “forever home” with Pediatric Healthcare at Newton Wellesley.
In my free time, I love hiking with my wife, 2 boys, and our newest addition, our little girl! and our dog, running on the treadmill, cooking new dishes, and baking apple pies! I have an extensive fun sock collection and have continued my tradition of “bow tie Fridays”, a tradition I started with my fellow male residents at Stanford.
I serve as the Practice Medical Representative for Pediatric Health Care at Newton Wellesley at the monthly Affiliated Pediatric Practices meetings and also have been elected to serve on the Board of Managers for Affiliated Pediatric Practices as well.
Alexandra Wallace MD, FAAP
I was born in Miami, Florida and enjoyed year-round sunshine until I moved to Boston for college. I studied Biochemistry at Northeastern University while falling in love with all New England has to offer. I decided Boston would be my permanent home while attending Tufts University School of Medicine, followed by my Pediatric training at MassGeneral Hospital for Children through Harvard Medical School. While at MGH, I received the “Back to Bedside” grant and built a library of books for children admitted to the hospital. I can happily say that along the way, I figured out a proper winter wardrobe and now can’t imagine life without a perfect, crisp New England fall.
My biggest inspiration throughout my medical journey is my older sister, Lizzy, who was born with an intellectual disability. Growing up with Lizzy has not only taught me patience, understanding, empathy (not to mention humor), but has led me to want to spend my life helping children and their families navigate and appreciate the beauty in their own unique developmental journeys. I have a particular interest in Genetic and Metabolic disorders and nothing makes me happier than meeting newborns for the first time in the nursery.
When not at work, I love to explore the city, hang out at our nearby Jamaica Pond, go on long bike rides, and hike mountains in Maine and Vermont. I am absolutely humbled and thrilled to be joining Pediatric Healthcare at Newton Wellesley and I am looking forward to building my practice alongside my husband Will and daughter Clara.
Jennifer Lucarelli MD, FAAP
I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts where my mother was also my school nurse, so my interest in the health of children is longstanding. I attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and then medical school at Columbia in New York City. I also completed pediatric residency in Manhattan, at Mt. Sinai Hospital, before making a long-awaited return to Massachusetts to train at Boston Children’s Hospital in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.
I am passionate about addressing family, school, and social-emotional well-being in addition to physical health to help children grow to meet their full potential. I practiced in the Center for Children with Special Needs at Tufts following fellowship but wanted to regain the intimate connection with kids and families of a primary care pediatrician. I am thrilled to be part of the team at Pediatric Healthcare at Newton Wellesley caring for local families.
When I am not at work I am a health and fitness nerd and a podcast junkie. I can be found hanging out at the park with my three young children and husband Mike, or at Sunday dinners with our large extended family.