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News and Events

In the Department

Kevin McGrody, Justin Hopkin Tapped for Department of Medicine Leadership Roles

November 7, 2018

Kevin McGrody, MD, and Justin Hopkin, MD, have been appointed to leadership roles—associate chair for Medical Informatics and chief of Hospital Medicine, respectively—in the Department of Medicine, supporting improvements to efficiency and systems for patient care.

Kevin McGrody, MDDr. McGrody is focused on optimizing clinical software tools and operations to enhance the patient experience. The role is familiar, as he held a similar position with Rochester Cardiopulmonary Group before the practice joined the Medical Center in 2015. The experience helped him as director of the 4-3600 Collaborative Medicine/Cardiology Unit and leader of the Heart and Vascular Service Line Informatics and CUPID Team. “This process really takes everyone on the team—administrative staff, doctors, nurses, schedulers, techs, check-in staff and Informatics/ISD team members—working together toward our goal of making the experience better for our patients and the institution,” Dr. McGrody said. “Improving our processes and software capabilities can be game-changers.”

Justin Hopkin, MDIn the his new role as Hospital Medicine Chief, Dr. Hopkin is focusing on expanding medical education and academic growth opportunities and creating a nocturnist program to support evening and overnight admissions are among his priorities. He joined the division two years ago, establishing himself as a leader and innovative thinker. “The Hospital Medicine Division has been transitioning toward a professional academic division under the leadership of Drs. Paul Levy and Marc Berliant. I want to continue encouraging academic achievement by our faculty, residents and trainees, which will, in the long term, support our patient care,” Dr. Hopkin said.

Five Department of Medicine Specialty Programs Recognized by US News & World Reports

August 13, 2018

Once again, several specialty programs in the Department of Medicine have been recognized by U.S. News & World Reports 2018-2019 rankings for America's Best Hospitals. The Nephrology specialty program has been recognized as one of the nation's best (ranked 44th in the nation). Other programs recognized as High Performing were: Diabetes and Endocrinology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, and Pulmonology. (High Performing programs scored in the top 10 percent among all hospitals analyzed but were not nationally ranked.) In addition, Strong Memorial was again recognized as the top hospital in the Rochester Metro area, and both Strong Memorial and Highland were the only hospitals in the region to earn Top 50 rankings out of nearly 5,000 hospitals evaluated nationwide. Read more about the rankings and ratings.

Winners of 2018 Pilot Research Program Announced

July 9, 2018

The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce that the 2018 recipients of the Pilot Research Program are:

  • Dr. Douglas Anderson, Division of Cardiology:  "Control of Cardiac Rhythm by a Novel Potassium-regulatory Micropeptide"
  • Dr. Daniel Croft, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care: "A Pilot Randomized Crossover Trial of Indoor Air Cleaning to Reduce Acute Exacerbations of COPD"
  • Dr. David Levy, Division of Nephrology: "Nephrology Division E-Consult Program"
  • Dr. Susanne Miedlich, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism: "Managing Diabetes in Patients with Schizophrenia: Is Early Therapy with the New GLP (Glucagon-Like Peptide) Analogue Semaglutide Superior to Standard of Care in Patients with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder on Olanzapine or Clozapine?"
  • Dr. Melissa Mroz, Division of General Medicine: "Addressing Obesity and Mental Health through Primary Care Based Lifestyle Management Intervention at Strong Internal Medicine"
  • Dr. Tanya Sahay, Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology: "Development of Primary Care Infrastructure for the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection at Strong Memorial Hospital"
  • Dr. Maria Slack, Division of Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology: "Regulation of the Nasal Transcriptome by House Dust Exposure"
  • Dr. Lisa Vargish, Division of Geriatrics & Aging: "Interprofessional Education in Geriatrics"
  • Dr. Himabindu Vidula, Division of Cardiology: "Telemedicine for Left Ventricular Assist Device Patients: Feasibility and Patient Perceptions"

Funding will begin in July 2018. Learn more about the Pilot Research Program.

Dr. Brett Robbins Appointed Vice Chair for Education

July 1, 2018

Brett Robbins, MD has been appointed the new vice chair of education for the Department of Medicine. He assumed the post as of 7/1/18, following in the footsteps of Dr. Donald Bordley, who held the post for 20 years. He will oversee all educational activities in the Department of Medicine including the medical student clerkship and student electives, Internal Medicine and Medicine/Pediatrics residency programs, and subspecialty fellowship training programs. He will also continue in his roles as director of the Medicine/Pediatrics residency training program and assistant designated institutional official (to Dr. Diane Hartmann) for all training programs at URMC that are categorized as “Medical” by the ACGME. “I am humbled and honored to assume the post held by Dr. Bordley, a true living legend in medical education and one of my most respected mentors. I hope to continue his tradition of educational excellence.”

Plans for the year include:

  1. Consolidate the administration of the 15 fellowship programs underneath 4 highly motivated and talented administrators whose skills we will develop and invest in.
  2. Create an infrastructure for mentoring and academic productivity utilizing the incredibly talented team of educators we have in the department
  3. Engender a community of mutual support, mentoring and professional development for all fellowship directors.
  4. Maintain and build on the outstanding national reputation we have in the department of medicine in the wake of Dr. Bordley’s leadership.

Six Department of Medicine Specialty Programs Recognized by US News & World Reports

August 8, 2017

Six specialty programs within the Department of Medicine earned a High Performing designation from US News & World Reports for 2017-2018. The Specialties recognized were: Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, and Pulmonology. In addition, Strong Memorial was ranked High Performing in seven conditions and treatments, including five performed by the Department of Medicine: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair, Aortic Valve Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Heart Bypass Surgery, and Heart Failure. U.S. News recognized hospitals that were high-performing across multiple areas of care and ranked them within their states and by metropolitan areas. U.S. News rated Strong Memorial as the top hospital in the Rochester Metro area and fourth among New York state hospitals. Read more about the rankings and ratings.

Michael Apostolakos Named Chief Medical Officer of Strong Memorial and Highland Hospitals

July 19, 2017

Michael J. Apostolakos, MD, Director of Adult Critical Care in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine for 20 years, is being named Chief Medical Officer of both SMH and Highland.

His appointment is pending approval from both URMC and Highland governance. Apostolakos will succeed Raymond Mayewski, MD, who stepped down June 30. As CMO, Dr. Apostolakos will oversee all matters related to medical staff affairs, clinical outcomes, patient safety and more.

Two DOM Faculty Appointed to Endowed Professorships

July 7, 2017

The University of Rochester Board of Trustees has appointed two Department of Medicine faculty to endowed professorships.  Steve Georas, MD of the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care has been appointed to the Walter & Carmina Mary Parkes Family Endowed Professor for 5 years, effective January 1, 2017.  Annette Medina-Walpole, MD, chair of the Division of Geriatrics & Aging, was appointed as the Paul H. Fine Professor in Medicine from July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2021.

Read the full announcement about faculty appointments

Brett Robbins Named President-Elect of MPPDA

April 4, 2017

Brett Robbins, MD,  professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and director of URMC’s Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program, is the new president-elect of the Medicine-Pediatrics Program Directors Association (MPPDA), which is part of the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM). 

Effective July 1, Robbins will transition into a four-year term as president of the MPPDA, which is entrusted with advancing medical education in combined medicine-pediatrics programs across the country, promoting the growth of new combined programs, and educating medical students about opportunities in the field.

Robbins, who is also chief of Adolescent Medicine, said he sees the role as being an ambassador for the importance of having physicians in our health system who can provide high quality care for patients across the lifespan.

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