Jill Magioncalda, FNP

Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Creates Virtual Connections via Telehealth

I want my patients to ask questions so they learn and understand their health needs.”

Jill Magioncalda knows the importance of understanding a medical diagnosis. Her son, now grown and healthy, was born with a birth defect and had three surgeries before he was a year old. “I wanted to empower myself with knowledge so I would know the questions to ask,” she said. That inspired her to become a nurse, and to pursue the advanced education and training of a family medicine nurse practitioner. Today, she helps patients at Vanguard via telehealth, also called telemedicine.

Jill began her career as a nursing instructor at ECPI University, inspiring the next generation of nurses. In that role, she worked to implement and coordinate efforts with the South Carolina State Board of Nursing to adopt the first LPN program for the university. At the same time, she volunteered and then worked at a free medical clinic, serving those in greatest need. Jill continued her career in a variety of medical settings. She has worked in long-term care and rehabilitation, in a Healthy House Calls program, in hospice, and was one of the pioneering practitioners in telemedicine.

When COVID-19 hit, Jill was on the front lines, offering her expertise at one of New Jersey’s mega sites. “I found again that people needed to understand what is going on, and needed good solid evidence-based medicine,” she said. She helped to educate those patients about COVID.

Jill joined Vanguard because of its patient-first focus and its robust telemedicine program. “When I wake up in the morning, I’m excited to go to work,” she said. “I get an opportunity to connect with my patients and form relationships from the very first encounter.” Patients like Jill’s easygoing manner and openness. She encourages them to ask questions and to take the helm of their own healthcare, partnering with her for healthy outcomes. She also works closely with the Vanguard team. “I really enjoy the collaboration,” she said.

When she’s not busy working, Jill enjoys helping with events for her town. She and her husband are active in planning Olde Freehold Day and Freehold’s Halloween Extravaganza.

Alexandra Citro, PA-C

Telemedicine Physician Assistant Enjoys Practicing Family Medicine

“I see patients through a family practice lens. I look at all facets of their mental and physical health to help them feel their best.”

Alexandra Citro discovered her future career while she was hospitalized at age 20 for a heart problem. “The physician assistant (PA) was amazing,” she said. “She took the time to talk with me and ease my fears during a scary situation.” Alexandra already had her eye on a career in healthcare, but at that moment she set out to learn more about physician assistants. “It was the perfect blend of everything I wanted,” Alexandra said, “with a large focus on patient care.”

She went on to work initially in hematology oncology with cancer patients, then in family medicine and urgent care. “I really love the continuity of care in family medicine,” she said. “I enjoy getting to know my patients and being able to help them not only when they have an immediate need, but with their overall health.”

As a telemedicine provider, Alexandra starts by reviewing a patient’s medical history before she sees him or her on video chat. “I like to get a picture of my patients first because that may affect the treatment I recommend.” She goes on to make sure patients have a medical home and addresses their overall mental and physical health during a virtual visit. “My focus is on the whole person, including preventive care. Therefore, I might recommend diet, exercise, meditation or other lifestyle changes that will help them feel good.”

Alexandra joined Vanguard for its focus on the whole patient. “I like that Vanguard isn’t linked to a huge hospital and is independent. It has a family feel to it where both providers and patients are part of that family.”

When she’s not working, Alexandra enjoys cooking and baking for her kids.  She also loves to read. She and her husband, John, have three young children and enjoy spending time together. When her schedule allows, Alexandra also volunteers. She has cut hair for Locks of Love and packed lunches for Feed the Need, furnishing meals to children in Africa through her church.