Meet Our Staff
YiLi Zhou, M.D., Ph.D.
YiLi Zhou, M.D., Ph.D. is a Harvard-trained, board-certified pain specialist and neurologist.
Dr. Zhou graduated from Wenzhou Medical College, China in 1982 with training in both modern western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. He had neurology fellowship training at Shanghai Medical School, specializing in EMG/NCV and evoked potential studies. He served as an attending neurologist in China.
Dr. Zhou came to the USA in 1991. He obtained Ph. D. degree in psychology at Kent State University. He then went to Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, where he served as a chief resident in neurology and worked with Dr. Robert J. Schwartzman, a world renowned RSD expert. Dr. Zhou joined MGH Pain Center, Harvard Medical School in year 2000 as a pain fellow, where he further enriched his skills in interventional pain management.
Dr. Zhou then served as the Director of Jackson Memorial Hospital Outpatient Pain Clinic in University of Miami from 2002 to 2004, where he trained many neurology and anesthesiology residents and pain fellows. He was also the Medical Director of Alternative Medicine Program at University of Miami. Dr. Zhou came to North Florida and founded Florida Pain and Rehabilitation Center (Formerly Comprehensive Pain Management of North Florida) in 2005. Currently Dr. Zhou also serves as a Courtesy Research Associate Professor at the University of Florida.
Over the last three decades, Dr. Zhou has successfully treated thousands of patients with various neurological and pain conditions. He has been involved in multiple research projects and has published extensively in clinical neurology, neuroscience and pain medicine. Dr. Zhou has lectured extensively in neurology and pain medicine in many universities in the US and in international pain meetings.
Dr. Zhou is a triple-board certified by American Board of Neurology/Psychiatry, American Board of Pain Medicine and American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians. He is the winner of the Distinguished Physician Award by the Florida Medical Association in 2004, 2006 and the Physician Recognition Award by the American Medical Association in 2003.
Hoang (Wayne) T. Vu, D.O.
Dr. Hoang (Wayne) T. Vu is board certified by both the American Board of Pain Medicine and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Vu earned his degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California in 2003. He finished his Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency in 2007 as a Chief Resident at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.
He then completed his Interventional Spine and Pain Fellowship training at Lags Spine and Sports Care Medical Center in California in 2008. Dr. Vu worked at Advanced Pain Management in Milwaukee, WI as an attending physician for the last two years. He Joined Florida Pain and Rehabilitation Center in February 2011. Dr. Vu was well loved by all his patients and colleagues in his previous practices and is looking forward to establishing great relationships with his new patients.
Dr. Daniel Merck, M.D.
Dr. Daniel Merck, M.D. is a Board Certified Pain Management Physician and has been practicing for over 20 years. He is passionate about improving his patients’ quality of life. He received his undergraduate degree from Samford University, and his medical degree from the University of Alabama.
Lourdes Varela–Batista, M.D.
Dr. Varela is a fellowship trained pain specialist and board certified PMR expert. Her specialities include physical medicine and rehabilitation and interventional pain medicine. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Puerto Rico and completed her medical degree from New York Medica College. Dr. Varela completed her physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.
Vinh-Loc Nguyen, P.A.
Vinh-Loc Nguyen is a NCCPA certified physician assistant and is licensed by the State of Florida Department of Health. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology and Bachelor of Arts Degree in economics from University of Florida in 1994. He had a successful career in the financial industry before returning to his true passion for medicine.
Vinh completed his physician assistant training from The George Washington University in August of 2009, earning a Master of Health Sciences, Physician Assistant Program. The George Washington University Physician Assistant Program has annually been ranked as top 3 program in the country by US News and World Report. After graduation, he worked with two of the top orthopedic spine surgeons of the southeastern region in Orlando for 4 years. He then joined the Florida Pain and Rehabilitation Center team in May 2014. He is a member of both the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants.
Kirstie Nicol, P.A.
Kirstie has been serving as a physician assistant at Florida Pain and Rehabilitation Center, Lake City since September 2016. She is board certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). She received her master of science in physician assistant studies, at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. While at Clarkson University she presented her thesis on the topic of palmaris longus in athletes and non-athletes. Kirstie has a bachelor of science degrees in biology from King’s College in Pennsylvania. Before she joined Florida Pain and Rehabilitation Center she worked in a medical mission outpatient clinic in the Dominican Republic and was a counselor at a Muscular Dystrophy Association camp. Kirstie has also been an AmeriCore volunteer.
Irene Aponte Moreno, N.P.
Ms. Irene Aponte Moreno is an Adult-Gerontology certified Nurse Practitioner and licensed by the State of Florida Department of Health. In 2014, she received her Master of Science degree in Nursing from the University of South Alabama. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Jacksonville State University in December of 2006. In 2003, she received an Associates of Arts degree from Southwestern Michigan College. She also completed an Associate degree in Informatics from the University Institute Antonio Jose de Sucre located in Lara State, Venezuela.
She had the opportunity to work with the veteran population as a registered nurse for 7 years in the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville. She also worked as a Registered Nurse for 2 years in Gadsden Regional Medical Center located in Alabama. She joined our team right after obtaining her Adult-Gerontology NP certification in August of 2015. Currently, she is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner.
Sunny Park, N.P.
Ms. Sunny Park is an AANP and ANCC certified Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, licensed by the State of Florida Department of Health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude with Bachelor of Arts in Drawing from Southern Illinois University in 1999. She pursued nursing career and graduated with Associate of Science in Nursing in 2007 and started working as a registered nurse in Cardiovascular ICU in St.Luke’s Medical Center. She continued with her education and graduated with Magna Cum Laude obtaining Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2010 from Cardinal Stritch University. During her nursing education, she was awarded multiple scholarships including the Lamplight scholarship by Milwaukee Nurses Association.
She worked as a Registered Nurse in various Critical Care setting including Cardiovacular Intensive Care Unit, Neuro/ Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, and Medical Intensive Care Unit. Sunny received Master’s Science in Nursing in 2014 from University of Miami. She worked as a hospitalist in Inverness and Leesburg before joining Florida Pain and Rehabilitation Center in 2016. Sunny looks forward to building trusting relationships with her patients to best assist in alleviating pain.