Our Providers

All professionals at Next Step Pediatrics maintain the highest levels of accreditation and pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest trends in the medical field. Read on to learn more about our staff's experience and training.

About Dr. Jeff Bucci

Dr. Jeffries L. G. Bucci is a Maryland native and an alumnus of the University of Maryland, including the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Upon graduating in 1996, Dr. Bucci entered his pediatric residency at the University of Maryland Medical System. He began practicing in the Towson and Bel Air locations in 1999. Dr. Bucci took a one-and-a-half-year hiatus from practicing in Maryland to practice in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, and then returned to Maryland in 2004 to begin assuming the practice of Dr. J. Douglas Pinney, the same practice which he now operates.

Happily married with two daughters, Dr. Bucci loves to hike, bike, and travel with his family. His other hobbies include salt and freshwater aquariums, gardening, and home improvement. He was born in Rome, Italy, and while an infant, his family moved to the United States so his parents could further their careers in biochemical research and academia. Dr. Bucci is conversant in Italian, but English is his primary language.

About Dr. Lancer (formerly Dr. Emerson)

Dr. Melissa E. Lancer hails from the state of Kansas where she completed her undergraduate and medical school education through the University of Kansas. She completed her pediatric residency training at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas.

Dr. Lancer joined Dr. Bucci in primary care pediatrics (as Dr. Emerson) in 2012 while working as a Pediatric Hospitalist at the UM- St. Joseph's Medical Center, where she cared for a wide variety of pediatric patients including urgent care, emergency medicine and newborn & in-patient hospitalized patients. Here she gained a broad knowledge base as well as a firm footing in the surrounding community.

Dr. Lancer is married and welcomed her first child, Liliana Kaye, into the family on July 6, 2015. She enjoys travel, trying world cuisines and spending time with her family.

About Samantha Gerding, CRNP

Sam grew up in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, of the Pocono Mountains. She obtained her degree in Biology from DeSales University where she ran cross country and track and field. She then completed her Nursing degree and Pediatric Nurse Practioner Degree at Thomas Jefferson University, while also working as a Registered Nurse in a pediatric emergency department in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. She joined our practice in November 2019 after relocating to Baltimore, Maryland. 

In her free time, Sam loves going to the beach, running, and spending time with her family, friends and new puppy, Stanley. She is looking forward to the opportunity of taking care of your child!

About Allison Groff DNP, CRNP

About Allison Groff DNP, CRNP

Alli grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She obtained her degree in Nursing from York College where she also enjoyed performing in musicals.  She then completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.  Alli worked as a Registered Nurse in pediatric acute care at Penn State Children's Medical Center, in Hershey, PA. When she moved to Baltimore to work towards her DNP, she also worked at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, MD in the Pediatric After Hours as a Registered Nurse.  In her free time, Alli loves going to the beach, hiking, doing Peloton, and spending time with her family, cat Penne, and new puppy, Stella.  She is extremely excited about the opportunity to be a part of your child's growth and development!


About Emily Monnett DNP, CRNP-AC

Emily grew up in Baltimore and graduated from The Park School. She received her Nursing degree from the University of Maryland (Go Terps!) and spent her last six years of bedside nursing in the Johns Hopkins Pediatric ICU. Emily most recently attended the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing where she received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in both Pediatric Primary Care and Acute Care specialties. Emily adopted her dog Charlie in 2014 and married her husband Chris in October 2022. In her free time, she loves to travel, spend time with her family and friends, and is a huge Ravens fan and UMD basketball fan.


About Charlotte Chudy MSN, RN, CPNP-PC

Charlotte grew up in the state capital of Annapolis, Maryland. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Vermont where she was on the sailing team. She then moved back to Maryland to complete her Nursing degree and Pediatric Nurse Practioner degree at John Hopkins University. She continued working at Johns Hopkins in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She joined our practice in January 2023.

 In her free time, she and her husband do home renovation projects on their 100-year-old house and spend time with her family in Annapolis, sailing in the bay. 

family chudy boating with a baby chudy