From Hamilton to Harvard, and Back
You never know where the road will lead you, but for Alissa Brotman O’Neill, a 1993 graduate and valedictorian of Steinert High School, the road brought her back to Hamilton Square.
She returns home with her husband Leon O'Neil, an attending cardiologist with Hamilton Cardiology and their two young children. She left Hamilton to attend Harvard University where she graduated magna cum laude; completed her medical training at UMDNJ/SOM and performed her fellowship in vascular surgery at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine-Englewood Division.
Hamilton, however, has always been close to her heart.
“Growing up, Hamilton was a place that allowed me to think that anything was possible,” she said. “From sports to academics, my own limits were pushed by great coaches and teachers.”
As a winner of twelve varsity athletic letters, she spent much of her school days running track and swimming. Brotman O’Neill led Steinert to a Mercer County Cross Country Championship, also winning personal honors. She continued running in college as a member of Harvard's Division I team.
Academically, Brotman O’Neill completed a senior project that won the Mercer County Science Fair and took her to Nashville where her project placed third in the international competition.
“I was driven and motivated to work hard to achieve my goals, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my coaches and teachers, like coaches Jerry Bleistein and Doug Martin and teachers Barbara Walker and Bill Kester.”
Accomplished in new minimally invasive and endovascular technology, including aortic aneurysms and peripheral arteries, Brotman O’Neill is recognized as a leader within the field of venous disease, including varicose veins. She was also recently named “Top Doctor” in SJ Magazine.
"My path to becoming a surgeon started as a high school volunteer in the operating recovery room at RWJ Hamilton," she said. "I'm an excited to return to Hamilton."
Brotman O’Neill, a board certified vascular and general surgeon, began seeing patients at the RWJ Vein & Vascular Center in April 2012, joining Dr. Sto Poblete.
“For years, the only way to treat certain conditions was by providing open surgeries in the operating rooms,” said Brotman O’Neill. “Today we’re performing more in-office, same-day procedures because of the advancements in minimally invasive techniques.”
Dr. Brotman O'Neil and Dr. Poblete are trained in new, minimally invasive vascular surgery as well as open surgery, and both come from academic institutions that are breaking new ground in the vascular surgery arena.
“It’s an incredible time to be involved in vascular surgery," said Brotman O'Neil. "There is a mix of a fine, technical surgical component with an explosion of new technology and new minimally invasive approaches. It’s truly exciting.”