Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

Dr. Mark P. Leondires
Medical Director

Dr. Mark P. Leondires, Founder of Gay Parents To Be and Medical Director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMA of Connecticut), is board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. In addition to serving as Chair of ASRM's LGBTQ Special Interest Group, he is currently a member of Resolve's Physician Council. Dr. Leondires has been selected as a Castle Connolly "Top Doctor" in CT & NY for five consecutive years. 

Prior to joining RMA of Connecticut, Dr. Leondires served as the Director of Assisted Reproductive Technologies at the Combined Federal Program for Reproductive Endocrinology. While under his direction, the ART Program was one of the most successful in the Washington DC area and in the top tenth percentile nationally. During this time he was an Assistant Professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and clinical faculty for the Combined Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology. His professional society memberships include the Society of Reproductive Endocrinologists, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Dr. Cynthia Murdock
Reproductive Endocrinologist

Dr. Cynthia Murdock is a staff physician and a fertility specialist in Reproductive Medicine at RMA. She is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and treats many of our Moms To Be through Gay Parents To Be.

Dr. Murdock is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Murdock was previously an assistant clinical professor at Creighton University School of Medicine and a staff physician with Reproductive Health Specialists at Nebraska Methodist Hospital. She has also served as an Assistant Professor of OB-GYN at the National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Diana D’ Amelio
Physician Assistant

As a clinician, Diana sees patients and performs physicals and procedures like endometrial biopsies, ultrasounds, and saline sonograms. She also oversees the third party reproduction program, which includes donor eggs, gestational carriers, and intended parents. Finally, she is the team leader in the Danbury office of RMA of Connecticut. Diana received her undergraduate degree in biology from Cornell University and completed the Surgeon’s Assistant Program at Cornell University Medical College. She has practiced in the field of infertility since 1993.

Lisa Schuman
Psychotherapist, Director of Mental Health Services at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut

Ms. Schuman has been counseling individuals and couples and serving the LGBTQ community for more than two decades. She has advocated for education on family building issues with many fertility and adoption groups and has lectured at, and run workshops for, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in NYC, the Triangle Community Center in Connecticut, the Family Equality Council and many professional organizations such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Adoptive Parents Committee.

Ms. Schuman has won awards for her research and has lectured at many schools in the tristate area on non-genetic parenthood, learning differences and self-esteem.

Melissa Kelleher, LCSW
Fertility Counselor

Melissa works with couples and individuals during their fertility journey, helping them handle loss and disappointments, as well as giving them the tools to make decisions related to their fertility challenges.

Jamie Speer, MS
Genetic Counselor

James Speer, M.S., a certified genetic counselor, has over 10 years of experience in the fertility field.As a genetic counselor, Speer’s role is to obtain detailed health and family histories, identify conditions with genetic components and risk factors, discuss inheritance patterns, and provide information regarding genetic testing options. Many of the fertility patients he works with will have donor sperm or donor oocytes as part of their fertility treatment. It is important to understand the genetics of the donor as well as the intended parents to fully understand any inheritance risk factors.

His career started as a lab technician conducting genetic research and testing. In addition to working with patients for more than 20 years, Speer has been a professor and was the Associate Director of the Joan H. Marks Graduate Program In Human Genetics at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. Outside of the office, Speer keeps busy as a father of four children

Nora Bolger, RN, BSN, MA
Third Party Reproduction Program Manager

Nora Bolger is nurse manager of the Third Party Reproduction program, helping Gay Parents To Be build their families. She began her specialty in reproductive endocrinology at RMA of NY in 2004. Her hospital experience was obtained at NYU Medical Center and Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn where she worked in the newborn nursery and provided postpartum care and lactation teaching.

Nora’s areas of clinical interest are women’s health, integrative and Chinese medicine. She received her BA and a Masters in Health Advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College. She received her BSN from the College of New Rochelle, where she was a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the nursing honor society.

Erica Paganetti
Embryology Laboratory Manager

Erica graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Science in biology from Springfield College in Springfield, MA. Shortly after graduation, she began working for RMA-CT as an embryologist. Over a decade later, she has gained skill and knowledge in the newest scientific techniques, enabling her to be a part of the team that provides excellent care to our patients. While working at RMA-CT, she completed a Master’s degree in Clinical Embryology and Andrology from the Jones’ Institute at Eastern Virginia Medical School and graduated at the top of her class in 2017. She has a special interest in and passion for cryopreservation. She personally helped to build RMA OF CONNECTICUT’s highly successful vitrification program that began in 2009.

Erica was born and raised in Connecticut. She is the proud mom of two awesome little boys and has the support of an amazing husband. Her beautiful family is what motivates her to help others build a family of their own.

Rachel Leto, RN
Third Party Reproduction

Rachel Leto is a Registered Nurse and the Team Lead for the Third-Party Reproduction program. Rachel first joined RMA of Connecticut as a patient coordinator in 2008. Throughout her time in this role, Rachel attended St. Vincent’s nursing school and obtained her licensure in 2012. Due to her interest in fertility, Rachel remained at RMA of Connecticut and transitioned from her role as patient coordinator to IVF nurse. In 2013, Rachel joined the RMA of Connecticut’s Third-Party nursing staff due to her passion for helping couples in need of donors (both egg and sperm) as well as gestational carriers. In her current role, Rachel is involved in all aspects of the Third-Party process and has extensive knowledge with the processes involved in selecting an egg donor and gestational carrier as well as the medical aspect that is involved in both types of cycles.

Rachel was born and raised in Connecticut, where she currently resides. She is a wife and mom to two beautiful girls and two fur babies- Molly and Tully. Rachel enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends, running 5ks, spending as much time outside as possible and reading for fun! She is proud to be a part of the Gay Parents To Be program at RMA of Connecticut.

Shaunda Brown
Insurance & Billing Advocate

Shaunda Brown joined the Gay Parents To Be team in 2015 where she works as the Insurance & Billing Advocate. Her experience includes insurance verification, billing and coding, accounts receivable and payable. Shaunda is proud to be a part of the Gay Parents To Be team and enjoys working with Dr. Mark Leondires, with whom she shares the same passion and enthusiasm in helping to make patients’ dream of starting and/or building their family a reality. In her spare time, Shaunda enjoys the arts, visiting beaches and participating in activism.

Beatrice Abshire
Patient Navigator

Beatrice Abshire has been a member of the Gay Parents To Be team at RMA of Connecticut for many and has recently transitioned into her role as the Administrative Supervisor for the program. She has 20 years of experience working in the fields of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine. Previously she has worked for the Labor and Delivery Department at Norwalk Hospital, Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta New England Fertility and Women’s Health Care of New England serving in different roles within the medical community.

Beatrice, or Bea as she likes to be called, is fluent in Spanish. She earned her Associates Degree in Science as well as a certification as a Medical Assistant at Norwalk Community College.
She has achieved an extensive knowledge and understanding of the medical, psychological and financial aspects of Third Party Reproductive Medicine and has robust experience working with same-sex couples as well as international patients. Beatrice is eager to assist the intended parents to start or expand their family.

Mickey Augustin
Patient Navigator

Mickey Augustin recently joined the Gay Parents To Be team as Third Party Patient Navigator. As a Third Party Patient Navigator, she assists dads and moms to be as they go through the process of building their families using an egg donor and, potentially, a gestational carrier. She enjoys the opportunity to assist couples in building and expanding their families, as well as educating the potential donors about their own fertility in the process.

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