James A Rothschild, MDProgram Director
Dr. Rothschild grew up in San Diego, California where he spent his days playing volleyball, soccer, and working on cars. Following his undergraduate studies at Harvard University, he attended Jefferson Medical College (now Sidney Kimmel Medical College) and subsequently completed a year of general surgery internship at Naval Medical Center San Diego. An HPSP scholarship recipient, Dr. Rothschild served in the United States Navy as a flight surgeon for 7 years, during which time he deployed to Camp Al’ Taqaddum, Iraq with the Marines in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007-08. After completing his anesthesia residency training at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Dr. Rothschild completed a year of combined fellowship in high-risk obstetric anesthesia and liver transplant anesthesia at Johns Hopkins in 2013. He then worked in private practice in Baltimore for seven years in the University of Maryland medical system before joining us at Tower in the fall of 2020. Dr. Rothschild is currently a lieutenant colonel in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and is attached to the 111th Attack Wing Ground Surgical Team. He and his wife, Emily, live in the beautiful countryside of Chester County, Pennsylvania. When he’s not running one of his four kids around to their various activities or chasing his greater Swiss mountain dog around the yard, you can find him in the garage tinkering with his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro.
Erica Thurber, MDAssociate Program Director
Dr. Thurber grew up near Reading, Pennsylvania where she spent most of her time caring for and riding horses. Starting from a very young age, she competed in English-style equestrian sports across the eastern United States. Following high school, she attended Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she majored in biology and competed on the college equestrian team. She also spent a semester abroad in Denmark, where she furthered her premedical studies. After graduating from college, she attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She completed her residency in anesthesiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and subsequently completed a fellowship in regional anesthesia at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She became a faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University for one year, after which she joined the anesthesia department at Tower Health, Reading Hospital in 2018. At Tower Health, she took on the role of Clerkship Director for the medical students, and later became an Assistant Program Director of the residency program. She also developed the acute pain service at the Reading Hospital. Dr. Thurber lives within walking distance of the hospital in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania with her husband, Patrick, and two children, William (4) and Eleanor (2). When she is not chasing after her children, Dr. Thurber enjoys all things fitness and wellness. You can find her running, biking, taking fitness class, and/or attempting to learn yoga and meditation.
Daniel J Katz, DOAssociate Program Director
Dr. Daniel Katz is originally from Philadelphia, PA and grew up in Southern New Jersey. He attended McGill University, majoring in Humanistic Studies after taking a gap year to travel across Europe and North Africa. Following college, and several years living in Western Canada, he pursued a career in medicine, first working several years as an EMT while completing his perquisites for medical school. He graduated from Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2017 and completed a residency in Anesthesiology at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. He now lives in Berks County with his wife Karon and family. His interests in medicine and anesthesiology center around resident education, ultrasound, obstetrics, vascular and thoracic surgery.
Mary Katherine Hollinger-Yurick, MDVice Chair, Department of Anesthesiology
Dr. Yurick obtained her medical degree from the Jefferson Medical College. She performed a medical internship at Abington Hospital and an anesthesiology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where she was selected as Resident of the Year. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology.
Born and raised in Berks County, Dr Yurick joined the medical staff at Reading Hospital in 2007, first as part of Reading Anesthesia Associates and then Tower Health Medical Group. Dr. Yurick has served in many roles including as the Educational Conference Coordinator, anesthesia liaison for neurosurgery and gynecology, Reading Hospital Ethics Committee and Departmental Director of Quality. In 2022 Dr Yurick was appointed Vice Chair of the department. In this role she leads departmental and institutional quality and safety initiatives. As well, Kate has been a member of the Reading Hospital Ethics Committee since 2015. She completed the Advance Physicians Leadership Academy (APLA) in 2018.
Currently, Dr. Yurick is pursuing a master’s degree in Healthcare Quality and Safety from Thomas Jefferson University College of Population Health. She is an active member of the Society for Perioperative Assessment and Quality Improvement (SPAQI).
Julian L Castaneda, MDCore Faculty Member , Section Chief of General Anesthesia
Dr. Castaneda hails originally from Bogota, Columbia, but now calls Collegeville, Pennsylvania his home. Raised in Reading, PA as a child, Dr. Castaneda is deeply connected to the local community. Having double majored in Biology and Spanish at Ursinus College, Dr. Castaneda then completed medical school and his anesthesia residency at Temple University. After training, Dr. Castaneda joined the Reading Hospital anesthesia department and has been with us since. Today, he is both core residency faculty and section chief of general anesthesia for the department. On weekends you can find him at the beach or in the mountains with his wife Brenna and their three children.
Lorenzo C Rafer, MDCore Faculty Membe, Director of Medical Student Education
Lorenzo Rafer was born in Paterson, New Jersey and attended NYU for undergrad with a BA in Music from the College of Arts and Sciences. He obtained his medical degree from Penn State University College of Medicine at the Hershey Medical Center in 2014 and finished his anesthesiology residency also at Hershey in 2018. He has interests in undergraduate medical education, furthering the departmental scholarly mission, and resident wellness and education. Outside of the hospital, he loves to cook, travel, play golf, and spend time with family and friends both in the surrounding area and around NYC.
Rafael E Martinez, MDCore Faculty Member, Department Director for Obstetric Anesthesia
Dr Martinez trained at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and has been board certified since 2008. He previously practiced at Lehigh Valley Health Network where he served as Associate Professor for USF medical school. While there, he served as a career advisor for the medical school and taught first year medical students a "Doctoring" course which incorporated physical examination skills into clinical case discussions. He also served as the director of education for the department of anesthesia for over 5 years, coordinating the anesthesia education of residents from various specialties and medical students alike. His clinical areas of interest include regional, obstetric and neuroanesthesia. His hobbies include playing basketball, traveling, fitness, and being a total foodie. Fun fact about Dr. Martinez: by far the tallest member of the department (and likely the entire hospital), he played collegiate basketball as well on the Puerto Rico National Team where he won a silver medal at the 1997 World Basketball Championships.
Andrew S Longenecker, MDCore Faculty Member, Department Director for Orthopedic Anesthesia
Dr. Longenecker was born and raised in Reading, PA and is a third-generation physician at Reading Hospital with strong family ties to the area. He studied Biology and Music at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. He then completed medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia and subsequently travelled to central Pennsylvania in Danville to complete residency training at Geisinger Medical Center. He has small children at home which has been his primary focus outside of work. He has dreams of obtaining his private pilot license and hopes to improve his golf game someday. In the spring and summer months he spends some time with his beehive dSin hopes for some fresh local honey. In the fall and winter months he enjoys spending time outdoors and hunting primarily for white tail deer.
Jay P Nassar, MDCore Faculty Member
Born in Yonkers, NY, Dr. Nassar spent his high school years in local recording studios as an assistant engineer, and on tour as a live sound engineer. After much convincing by his physician uncle, he realized it was time to continue his education and give medical school a chance. After completing his undergraduate studies at The City College of New York, he received his medical degree from SUNY Buffalo. During his surgical rotation in medical school, Dr. Nassar quickly found his home on the non-sterile side of the sterile drapes. He completed his anesthesia residency at SUNY Buffalo in 1993 and later joined a private group in Harrisburg, PA, where he was one of the founding partners of Riverside Anesthesia Associates. His passion is cardiac anesthesia and was heavily involved in residency training during his time in Harrisburg. In March of 2022, Dr. Nassar joined us and hasn’t looked back. Dr. Nassar has a love for teaching and enjoys shaping the minds of future anesthesiologists. When he isn’t climbing Mt. Everest or spending time in his recording studio, you can find Jay flying the friendly skies with the Reading Aero Club (he’s also a licensed pilot).