Physician Leaders

Meet our Physician Leaders

David F. Perse, MD

President & CEO 
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center

David F. Perse, M.D., was named President of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in April 2011 and CEO in February 2012. A board-certified general surgeon, he came to St. Vincent Charity from Lutheran Hospital, where he was on the medical staff for 25 years. He also served as President of Lutheran Hospital and as Regional Director of Wound Care for the Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals. In his role of President and CEO, Dr. Perse leads the operations and implementation of the strategic direction of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, ensuring the continued quality, service excellence, financial strength and growth of the Medical Center. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and The Ohio State University School of Medicine. He was a resident at Mt. Sinai Medical Center. A native Clevelander, Dr. Perse, who continues his surgical practice at St. Vincent Charity, is a member of the Academy of Medicine, American College of Surgeons, Society of American Gastroinstestinal Endoscopic Surgeons and the Cleveland Slovenian Business and Professional Association.


Joseph Sopko, MD

Chair of the Department of Medicine
Vice President of Medical Affairs

Dr. Sopko has been a member of the Medical Staff at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center since 1979. He is Medical Director, Pulmonary Services; Director, Medical Intensive Care Unit; Director, Department of Medicine; and Chair, Division of Pulmonary Medicine. In addition, he shares his knowledge and expertise through the hospital’s medical residency program. In 2012, Dr. Sopko was named the Vice President of Medical Affairs. In this role, he oversees quality performance and patient safety, as well as assisting in the strategic planning and operational improvement for the medical center.

Among his many contributions, Dr. Sopko played an integral role in establishing the hospital’s Regional Center for Blood Conservation – one of the first hospital-wide blood conservation programs in the country – and was one of the physician champions involved in obtaining licensure for respiratory therapists in the state of Ohio in 1988. He established the first hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Cuyahoga County used to treat infection, radiation tissue damage and emergencies such as diving accidents and carbon monoxide poisoning. St. Vincent Charity maintains the only 24/7 emergency treatment for patients needing hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

He received his medical degree from Tufts University, and completed his internship, residency and fellowship training at University of Iowa Hospitals. In the community, Dr. Sopko serves on the Board of Directors of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Foundation (TUPCF) of Ohio, the Board of Trustees of the Sisters of Charity Health System, the Board of Medical Consultants for the Cleveland Police Department and the Respiratory Therapy Advisory Committee for Cuyahoga Community College. A proponent of boating safety, he also teaches classes and participates in public service campaigns as an active volunteer member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Robert Richardson

Robert F. Richardson Jr., MD

President of Medical Staff

Dr. Richardson is the currently elected President of the Medical Staff at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.  In this role, he acts as the representative of the medical staff to the hospital's administration, the Board of Directors, and to the community.  He joined the medical staff in 1999, immediately after completing fellowship training.

He has been director of Neurology since 2002. He is board certified in both neurology and electromyography.  He is an assistant clinical professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and a clinical associate professor of Neurology at Ohio University.  He is a medical graduate of Case Western Reserve University and graduate of Stanford University.  He completed an internal medicine internship at Mt. Sinai Hospital, neurology residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland, and a neurophysiology fellowship at University Hospitals of Cleveland.  He operates his private practice in downtown Cleveland and Warrensville Heights and sees inpatients at St. Vincent Charity.

Dr. Richardson led a successful effort at St. Vincent Charity for its national certification and multiple re-certifications from JCAHO as a Primary Stroke Center. He is a member of numerous organizations including the American Academy of Neurology, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Medical Association. He speaks on stroke and multiple sclerosis in Cleveland’s African-American community because he believes knowledge improves access to medical care.  He is a board member of the Kym Sellers Foundation, a local foundation providing education on multiple sclerosis.


John A. Bastulli, MD

Physician Director of External Affairs
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center

Since joining St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in 1998, Dr. Bastulli has served as Director, Division of Anesthesia, and Medical Director, Surgical Services. In addition, he is president of Cleveland Anesthesia Group and medical director of Independence Surgery Center. In 2012, Dr. Bastulli was named the Physician Director of External Affairs. In his role, Dr. Bastulli assists the medical center in the areas of physician recruitment, business development, medical staff affairs and advocates for the medical center with organizations such as the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland and Northern Ohio, Ohio State Medical Association and the Ohio State Legislature.

Prior to joining St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Dr. Bastulli served at Mt. Sinai Medical Center of Cleveland and Deaconess Hospital of Cleveland. Dr. Bastulli is board-certified in anesthesiology and intensive care medicine. He received his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio, and his bachelor's degree from Case Western Reserve University. He completed an internship and a Critical Care Medicine (surgical) Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and a residency in anesthesiology at University Hospitals.

Dr. Bastulli's additional certifications include: Diplomat of the American Board of Anesthesiology; Certificate of Special Qualifications in Critical Care Medicine from the American Board of Anesthesiology; and Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management. He is a member of many professional associations, including the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Ohio Society of Anesthesiologists. In addition, Dr. Bastulli presently serves as Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland and Northern Ohio.


Keyvan Ravakhah, MD

Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency
Director of Research
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center

Dr. Ravakhah practices internal medicine and serves as the program director of the Internal Medicine Residency. He came to St. Vincent Charity from Huron Hospital, where he served as chairman of the Department of Medicine and had previously served as program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. He received his medical degree from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, and completed his residency at Huron Hospital. He also earned his MBA from Case Western Reserve University and completed a General Internal Medicine Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Ravakhah has written extensively on a number of topics, including palliative care, congestive heart failure and infectious diseases. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.


Join us in our 150th year of service as we launch a more than $125 million vision over the next decade for an integrated medical campus in downtown Cleveland. With $34 million committed, we begin with Phase II, a four-year $50 million plan to support critical improvements. Learn more