(315) 500-7546 (SKIN) | info@empirederm.com


Dr. Raphael

Dr. Raphael, a native of Syracuse, NY, is a Board-Certified Dermatologist and fellowship-trained Dermatologic Surgeon. He specializes in Mohs Micrographic Surgery for skin cancers and facial reconstruction as well as cosmetic dermatology including injectables, lasers and other non invasive cosmetic procedures. Dr. Raphael completed his medical training at The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After his internal medicine internship, Dr. Raphael completed his residency in Dermatology at Emory University. As a resident, Dr. Raphael was elected to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Board of Directors, the largest specialty organization representing surgical and cosmetic dermatologists.

Dr. Raphael has advanced fellowship training in Mohs Micrographic Surgery as well as cosmetic dermatology and laser procedures. He has completed the prestigious ACGME accredited Mohs Micrographic Surgery Fellowship at SkinCare Physicians in Boston, MA. Dr. Raphael has also completed a fellowship in Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgery trained by faculty from Harvard, Yale and Brown. This premier fellowship is only one of a few accredited by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

Dr. Raphael has authored numerous book chapters and scientific papers in peer reviewed journals in the field of Dermatology focusing on skin cancer and non invasive cosmetic procedures. He was featured on satellite radio as an expert in skin cancer and dermatologic surgery. He is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and American Society for Laser Medicine.

Dr. Cizenski

Jeffrey Cizenski, MD is a native of Syracuse, New York. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the University at Buffalo and was an Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AOA) member at SUNY Upstate Medical University where he earned his medical degree. Dr. Cizenski completed his internship at St Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, New York and his dermatology residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX where he served as chief resident. Dr. Cizenski has published literature in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, International Journal of Dermatology, British Journal of Dermatology and Cutis. He has also authored book chapters in dermatology texts.
During residency, Dr. Cizenski was the recipient of a grant from the American Society of Dermatopathology for research conducted on Merkel Cell Carcinoma, a rare form of skin cancer. He was later awarded a prize for the presentation of this project at the Texas Dermatological Society Meeting. Dr. Cizenski has a passion for medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology.
He enjoys college basketball, NFL football, travel, cooking and spending quality time with his wife and daughter.  Dr. Cizenski is excited to return to central New York to serve the community where he was raised. 

Dr. Tracey

Virginia Tracey MD is a Board-Certified Dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. She is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill followed by a dual MD/ MPH degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Tracey also completed a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship studying metastatic melanoma. During medical school Dr. Tracey was appointed membership to Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Society. She was also awarded the university wide Tulane 34 Award.

Dr. Tracey completed internship in internal medicine and dermatology residency at Tulane University Medical Center. During residency, she served on the American Academy of Dermatology Residents and Fellows Committee. She received awards for best senior resident research project by Louisiana Dermatologic Society and the annual Dermatopathology Resident Award.

She has published papers in peer reviewed journals including Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Journal of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, and Cutis. She also has co-authored chapters in dermatology and internal medicine text books.

Dr. Tracey enjoys taking care of patient’s medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatologic needs. She spends her free time with her husband and 2 young daughters.

Dr. Ash

Mark Ash, M.D. is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan and focuses on medical, surgical, pediatric, and cosmetic dermatology. Dr. Ash enjoys caring for patients of all ages and backgrounds, and he is dedicated to providing comprehensive, compassionate, and personalized dermatologic care. Dr. Ash has a special interest in caring for those with skin cancers and autoimmune and rheumatologic skin diseases.

Dr. Ash attended Calvin University for his Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Biochemistry prior to attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for his Master’s degree in Nutrition. He completed his medical education at East Carolina University, where he was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honor Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society based on his academic excellence and compassionate approach. During his internship in internal medicine at SUNY Upstate, he was honored as the Internal Medicine “Intern of the Year.” He completed his dermatology residency at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Ash has authored academic publications and presented at national and regional conferences.

Beyond medicine, Dr. Ash enjoys soccer, woodworking, hiking, wine tasting, and spending time with his wife (a Syracuse native) and three children.

Travis Hayden, MPAS, PA-C

Mr. Hayden completed his undergraduate studies at Le Moyne College and upon graduating he was awarded enrollment into the U.S. Navy’s Health Services Collegiate Program. Through the program he received his formal training as a physician assistant (PA) at the Sisters of Charity Medical Center of Staten Island, New York. He then proudly served on active duty as a Medical Service Corps Officer in the U.S. Navy, working as a PA in military and family medicine. During his time in the Navy, he completed his master’s degree in physician assistant studies from the University of Nebraska. While stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy he pursued his interest in dermatology through training with the dermatology department of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Since completing his tour in the Navy in 2003, he has been working in the field of dermatology where he feels fortunate to be able to provide high quality dermatological care to the many patients in beautiful upstate New York.
Mr. Hayden’s passion is focused on patient care and helping to educate healthcare professionals to improve the quality of care patients’ receive. To that end, since 2003 he has enjoyed teaching PA students and currently holds a faculty position at Le Moyne College Physician Assistant Program as the Assistant Academic Coordinator. He also is a clinical instructor and preceptor for the SUNY Upstate Medical University Physician Assistant Program. In 2013 he was honored to receive the Central New York Physician Assistant Association’s PA Educator of the Year award.
Mr. Hayden is an NCCPA nationally certified PA and is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and a Fellow member of the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) where he has held appointments as Committee Chair and as Board of Director. He is the founding Editor in Chief of the Journal of Dermatology for Physician Assistants (JDPA) and an inaugural Board of Trustee member and Research Committee member of the Dermatology PA Foundation (DPAF).

Rachel Dorrer, PA-C

Rachel Dorrer, PA-C, is originally from Rochester, New York. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies, with a minor in Biology, at Hofstra University. During her undergraduate studies, she was a recipient of the Hofstra University Presidential Scholars Academic Scholarship. She went on to earn her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies also at Hofstra University, graduating with Summa Cum Laude Honors. During her training, Rachel completed and presented her master’s thesis examining the effects of Spironolactone on PMS symptom improvement in female acne patients.

Rachel has always had a strong passion for dermatology, especially medical and surgical dermatology. She enjoys caring for the pediatric, adolescent and adult population. Rachel is a NCCPA board certified Physician Assistant and is currently an active member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the New York State Society of Physician Assistants (NYSSPA) and the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA).

Rachel is excited to be back in Upstate New York. Out of the office, she enjoys hiking, cooking and spending time with her family.

Alisa Murphy, PA-C

Originally from Upstate, NY, Alisa is a Physician Assistant with 19 years of experience in the field of dermatology. She obtained her degree from Pennsylvania College of Technology and continued her dermatology training at Fletcher-Allen Health Care at The University of Vermont, where she studied under Dr. Glenn Goldman, President of The American College of Mohs Surgery. While training with Dr. Goldman, Alisa honed her skills in identifying skin cancers and surgically reconstructing wounds on the head and neck following Mohs micrographic surgery. From Vermont, Alisa moved to Pennsylvania, where she worked with one of the premier Mohs surgeons from The University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Leonard Dzubow. Alisa then moved back to the Syracuse region, where she has practiced general dermatology for 11 years.

Throughout her dermatology career, Alisa has had the opportunity to train and mentor residents, fellows, physician assistant students, and medical students from The University of Vermont and SUNY Upstate. Her specialties include skin cancer identification and removal, the repair of complicated excisions, and the diagnosis and treatment of general skin disorders. Alisa is an NCCPA nationally certified PA and is a Fellow member of the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA).

She is most passionate about the longstanding relationships she has cultivated with her patients over the past two decades. Alisa enjoys spending quality time with her wife and their four dogs.

Heidi DiMeis, MSN, FNP

Heidi was born and raised in CNY area. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Biology graduating Cum Laude at SUNY Upstate . She obtained her Master’s degree in nursing 2011in the accelerated program with a minor in education and Family Nurse Practitioner degree. Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner Heidi worked as a registered nurse for nearly ten years in varying clinical experiences. These ranged from dermatology, on call nursing, home care supervisor and pediatric home care. Ms. DiMeis believes strongly the key to building relationships with her patients is through strong communication . She advocates for patients to understand their medical needs, treatments and plans. She is compassionate to individual concerns and encourages patients to ask questions. Her clinical interests include skin cancer surveillance, acne, rosacea, wart treatment, eczema, psoriasis and other skin rashes, as well as, minor surgeries. She cares for patients across the life span, from pediatrics to geriatrics. In addition she has served as a mentor to NP students desiring to advance their careers.

Heidi is married with two grown children. She enjoys entertaining, gardening, baking and spending time with family and friends.

Kat Ferguson


Kat is a New York State licensed aesthetician who graduated with honors from the Aesthetic Science Institute in 2007. After graduating she was hired by American Laser Centers as a Technician and was quickly promoted to Clinic Manager. Since the start of her career in skincare, Kat has pursued advanced training in all things esthetic– from consultations to peels, dermaplaning and microneedling. Kat’s primary goal as a European-trained Aesthetician is to evaluate and treat each individual she sees, according to their unique needs. Whether youthful, aging, or somewhere in between– she wants to help bring your best face forward.

In her downtime, she enjoys spending time on the Great St. Lawrence River with her family and pets, gardening, boating, and relaxing.

Theresa Forger


Theresa knows first-hand the overwhelming frustration of managing your skin. For the past 30 years she has been educating people of all ages how to build their personal image so that they can look in the mirror and love what they see. Theresa was drawn to skincare as a result of growing up with severe cystic acne during a time when professional skin therapists were not prevalent. As the former business owner Theresa has made it her passion to provide quality care for her patients.

She is a New York State Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician with Paramedical Esthetics and Laser Certifications. She has studied advanced Esthetics in Colorado, Virginia, New York City, Montreal and Toronto. Theresa is currently an active member of the Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP), American Association of Master Esthetician (AAME) and The Esthetician Connection (EC).

She lives in Syracuse and enjoys water sports, working out and traveling.