Program Leadership and Faculty

Program Leadership

J. Gene Chen MD, MHS

Program Director

J. Gene Chen MD, MHS is the Program Director for the University of Florida Pediatric Residency and a pediatric critical care medicine physician at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. He received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina.  He conducted his pediatric residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital / Washington University and his pediatric critical care fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.  He joined the pediatric critical care faculty at Arnold Palmer Hospital in 2010 and became Program Director for the pediatric residency in 2015.

Scott Rivkees, MD

Academic Chairman, Department of Pediatrics

Scott A. Rivkees, MD, is the Academic Chair for the Department of Pediatrics at UF. He earned his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1982. He completed his residency training and fellowships in pediatrics, pediatric endocrinology and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Arwa Saidi, M.B. BCh., M.Ed.

Associate Program Director

Dr. Saidi received her MB BCh degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland in 1988. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics and a fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. After working in Dublin for several years, she went to work briefly in Orlando before joining the Pediatric Cardiology Faculty at the University of Florida in 2003.

Penelope Tokarski, MD

Associate Program Director

Dr. Tokarski received a Bachelor of Science, Summa cum Laude from Nazareth College. She’s a graduate of Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and completed pediatric residency & acute care fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She’s currently serving as the assistant director of adolescent medicine at Orlando Health & received the Pediatric Residents Faculty Award twice.

David Skey, MD

Associate Program Director

Dr. Skey is a graduate of Brown University Medical School and was a recipient of the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. He completed pediatric & chief residency at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA. He’s a member of the AOA Medical Honor Society and a former National Health Corps Scholar. He joined the program at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in 2006.


Program Faculty

Amanda Cooke

Amanda Cooke, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician with the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Pediatric Residency Group.

After receiving her medical degree in the honors program at University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, Dr. Cooke attended medical school at Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee. She then completed both an internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.

Prior to joining Orlando Health, Dr. Cooke was an academic pediatric hospitalist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, and an instructor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Cooke’s clinical interests include the treatment of children with pneumonia and bronchiolitis, and more specifically the use of heated high-flow nasal cannula for the treatment of bronchiolitis. She is also involved in research about penicillin allergy and community-acquired pneumonia in children. In addition to her research, Dr. Cooke has co-authored several published articles. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of Pediatric Academic Societies.

Hanane Dahoui, MD

Ambulatory Pediatrics

Dr. Dahoui received her medical degree from St Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She moved to Florida in 2011 where she joined the faculty at the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville as an assistant professor. She joined the faculty of the residency program at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in 2014.

Jean Moorjani, MD

Pediatric Hospital Medicine

Dr. Moorjani, MD, graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.S. in biology, followed by a medical degree from VCU School of Medicine. She completed a three-year pediatric residency at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. She joined the Medical Education Pediatric Faculty Practice at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in January 2011.

Adaobi Okobi, MD

Ambulatory Pediatrics

Dr. Okobi received a medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. She completed her pediatric training at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia and served as a chief resident at St. Barnabas Hospital pediatric residency program in the Bronx. She worked as a pediatrician at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Providence and then as a pediatrician at the Brevard Health Alliance.

Sunita Patil, MD

Ambulatory Pediatrics

Dr. Patil received a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University. She received her medical degree, Cum Laude from Jefferson Medical College. Her Pediatric residency was completed at A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital. She joined the faculty of the Pediatric Residency Program for Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in 1999.

Jaya Surujdyal, DO

Pediatric Hospital Medicine

Dr. Surujdyal is a Pediatric Hospitalist at Arnold Palmer Medical Center. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Minor in Spanish Language from the University of Florida. She earned a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences from Barry University.  She then completed medical school at Nova Southeastern University, followed by pediatric residency at the University of Florida at Orlando Health.

Jamee Walters, MD

Pediatric Hospital Medicine

Dr. Walters received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology from Canisius College. She’s a graduate of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and specialized in social-medicine track. She completed her pediatric residency at Rainbow Babies and Children’s in Cleveland. She joined the full-time faculty of the residency program at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in 2015.


Chief Residents

Brandon Alexander DO

Chief Resident

Dr. Alexander received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Missouri State University, and received his medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.  He completed his pediatric residency training at University of Florida at Orlando Health.  Following his chief year, he will be pursuing a career as a Pediatric Hospitalist.

Thao Vu MD

Chief Resident

Dr. Vu received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University. She received her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at the University of Florida at Orlando Health. After completion of her chief year, she will be pursuing a career in general pediatrics.


Program Coordinators

From left to right: Lisa Bailey, Nancy Ramos, Sarah Evans