Our Team


Sam Balooch

Director of Fitness / co-founder & CEO

Sam Balooch has over 18 years of experience in the health and wellness field, both through direct work with clients, and in operating high end fitness centers. He received a degree in Business Management from the Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University. Sam is also both a NASM and ISSA certified personal trainer, and a champion INBA professional bodybuilder. He is a true trend setter within the fitness and wellness industry. His love for psychology and the science of anatomy has brought him to create the Helix&Gene wellness program, predicated on the slogan “Train your Mind, Change your Body.”

Sam has dedicated his life to learning about philosophy, psychology, fitness and nutrition. He believes that through a true understanding on how these elements are related, that with a proven plan, clients can gain their optimal results and truly change their bodies and lives.

& Co-founder

Daniel Benilevi, M.D.

Medical director / Co-founder & President

Dr. Benilevi graduated Cum Laude from New York University and continued his education at Touro College, majoring in Biomedical Sciences. He obtained his Doctorate of Medicine at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Dr. Benilevi completed his residency in Pediatrics at Winthrop University Hospital, where he served as Chief Resident.

Dr. Benilevi is an attending in the Cohens Children’s Hospital at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and served 10 years in the Pediatric Emergency Room at the NYU-Winthrop University Hospital. Dr. Benilevi is a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and currently practices at Kings Point Pediatrics.


Lori Graham

Director of Nutrition

Lori Graham has been a health care professional for 35 years.  Much of her professional life she has worked as an Occupational Therapist, but she went on to receive an M.S. in Exercise Science, a Post Master’s in Nutrition, and Certification in Functional Medicine.  Lori’s patients hold her in high-esteem because of her big heart, patience, knowledge, and her strong commitment to championing her patient’s weight-loss and health challenges. Lori is a walk the talk kind of practitioner and is not only well versed, but understands the therapeutic value of many types of diets: vegan. vegetarian, paleo, keto, low-histamine, FODMAP, specific carb, and the raw food diet.  Her passion is to transform her the health of her patients by blending the best of precision medicine and genetics to personalize weight loss and nutrition plans.


John DOlimpio

Fitness coach / nasm certified personal trainer

John D’Olimpio is a NASM certified personal trainer, with a bachelors degree from Fordham University. John understands the importance in building a lasting connect with his clients, and takes special care in fostering a trusting and engaging bond during sessions. Physiologically, his focus is on functional movements with an attention to proper body mechanics and spinal stabilization, all while maintaining an professional and welcoming atmosphere. John is also an artist, and has taught art classes to thousands of people across Long Island. He uses the same creative energy to develop engaging workouts, thinking out of the box to maximize a client’s potential .


Denise Vanga

Fitness Coach / NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Having had a slew of health issues, my main goal in life was to become the healthiest and strongest version of myself. My passion is to help my clients transform their lifestyles to be the best version of themselves they can be.  It’s more than personal training, its a commitment and a journey which I am so grateful to be a part of.


Melinda Lamantia, RN

Nutritional Coach

Melinda Lamantia has joined Helix and Gene as a Nutritional Coach. As a seasoned nurse professional with over 25 years of experience in various departments, she has gained a diverse nursing education. Melinda acts as a source of positive change for our clients and advocates for the importance of emotional, social, physical and spiritual health and its relation to overall quality of life. By facilitating sets of health, nutrition and weight loss goals with our clients, she creates an accountability towards nutritional intake and healthier habits that better our clients overall wellness. Melinda is a firm believer that nutrition is a very individualistic experience and acknowledges the frustrations that come with its inconsistencies. She is excited to support as many people as possible to restore their health.


Maryann Hopkins, RN

Nutritional Coach

Maryann is a firm believer that food is your medicine. She is a compassionate, dedicated worker who loves helping and working with others towards their goals. She is a graduate from Hunter College.

Maryann believes in living a healthy lifestyle and to strengthen our minds and bodies.


Amy L. Lee

Certified Professional Life Coach & Nutrition  Counselor

Although her background is largely in technology, Amy has always had a passion for wellness and nutrition.  That passion drove her to change career paths, and she is now a certified professional life coach and highly successful weight loss counselor.  Her genuine warmth and good humor resonate with her clients, and she excels at encouraging and motivating them to be their best selves. She is truly invested in building both physical and emotional health, and many of her clients credit her heartfelt compassion and dedication for their continued successes.

Besides her obvious enthusiasm, Amy brings a wealth of knowledge to Helix & Gene.  She prides herself on being well-versed on the latest healthcare philosophies and continually studies nutritional trends to remain current in the industry.  She is committed to promoting health and wellness, and truly revels in empowering her clients to be successful and reach their goals.