The Department of Anesthesiology

The Department of Anesthesiology at Women & Infants Hospital is one of the first departments in the country to provide in-house coverage for all patients, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our team of providers has years of experience and a unique focus on women.

The department is also unique in that physician anesthesiologists, certified nurse anesthetists, and nurses specially trained in anesthesia work closely together to provide specialized services for all patients. All physician anesthesiologists are board-certified.

Contact Information

Women & Infants Hospital
101 Dudley Street
Providence, RI 02903
P: (401) 274-1100

The Anesthesiology Department provides care for the following services:

Types of Anesthesia


This type of anesthesia will make you relaxed and sleepy. The medicines will be given through an intravenous (IV) placed in a vein in your arm or hand. Your surgeon will also give you numbing medicine (local anesthetic) in the area of the procedure so that you do not experience pain.

General Anesthesia

This type of anesthesia will put you into a deep sleep so that you do not experience pain. Initially, the medications will be given through an intravenous placed in a vein in your arm or hand. Once you are asleep, you will also breathe a medication to help keep you asleep. During this time the anesthesia provider will be closely monitoring your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, oxygenation, and temperature. The anesthesia provider will also constantly check to make sure that you are in a deep sleep. You will be awake as soon as the surgery is finished.

Regional Anesthesia

(Epidural, Spinal, Combined Spinal-Epidural)

This type of anesthesia will make part of your body numb by giving you a numbing medicine (local anesthetic) so that you do not have pain. The medicine is given into the spinal or epidural space. This type of anesthesia is often combined with sedation. The numbing feeling will wear off after the surgery is finished.

Having a Baby

The anesthesia plan for a woman having a baby is very individualized and never the same for two people. Our goal is to honor all of your wishes while also providing you with the safest and best care. Epidural anesthesia is the most requested type of anesthesia to help relieve the pain associated with labor. We encourage all pregnant women to meet with an anesthesia provider and/or attend a birthing class to discuss the numerous options available to you. Although some women prefer not to have any type of anesthesia, we are still here to care for you if you need anything or change your mind during the birthing process.

Preparing for Surgery

Can I meet with an anesthesia provider prior to my surgery or delivery?

Patients having any type of surgery, including a cesarean section, should contact the OR booking office to schedule an appointment, (401) 277-3771. Patients having a vaginal delivery should contact the Anesthesia Department to schedule an appointment, (401) 274-1122, ext. 41288 or 41289.

Can I eat or drink on the day of my surgery?

You should not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the day of your surgery.

Can I take my medicines on the day of my surgery?

Please discuss this with your surgeon, family physician or internist. Any medicines taken on the morning of surgery should only be with a small sip of water.

What type of anesthesia will I receive for my surgery?

The type of anesthesia that you will need depends on many factors, including the surgical procedure. Often times you will have a choice of anesthesia type, and your anesthesia provider will discuss them with you prior to your surgery.

I am concerned about having nausea, vomiting and pain associated with my surgery.

All patients will receive medications and other therapies to help minimize the chance of developing these symptoms from having surgery.

Meet the Team

Physician Anesthesiologists
  • Kue Choi, MD, Chief, Department of Anesthesiology
  • Doris Costello, MD
  • Calin Drimbarean, MD
  • Elizabeth Gamble, MD, Vice Chief, Department of Anesthesiology
  • Peter Gravallese, MD
  • Donna Griffith, MD
  • Sung-Hee Lee, MD
  • Dhananjay Mehta, MD
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Louise Amalfetano, CRNA
  • Bruce Bennett, CRNA
  • Michelle Brodeaur, CRNA
  • Nancy Calenda, CRNA
  • Paul Costigan, CRNA
  • Lynn Curran, CRNA
  • Carol Donabedian, CRNA
  • Thomas Donovan, CRNA
  • Thomas Kerwin, CRNA
  • Laurie Laverty, CRNA
  • Mark McMullen, CRNA
  • David Olszewski, CRNA
  • Peter Rudden, CRNA
  • Christine Schwab-Boudreau, CRNA
  • Joseph Tong, CRNA
  • Sandy Wright, CRNA