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Gracey Named Vice Chair for Education in Department of Medicine

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Catherine Gracey, MD, who has devoted her career to educating and mentoring medical students, residents, and faculty, was named vice chair for Education. She is associate program director for Evaluation, Assessment & Faculty Development for the Internal Medicine Residency Program, and is interim chief of General Medicine.

“Dr. Gracey is a respected and beloved member of our team who has a proven track record of leadership in medical education,” said Ruth O’Regan, MD, chair of Medicine. “Her expertise and passion will have a profound impact on our faculty and residents. I am excited to see our already outstanding educational program grow and advance under her guidance.”

Gracey takes the role previously held by Brett Robbins, MD, who was recently appointed senior associate dean for Graduate Medical Education. Gracey said “The Department of Medicine’s programs are in a great place; Brett did a fantastic job. Under his leadership, the residency and fellowship directors put their heart and soul into creating positive learning environments. I look forward to working within that legacy and building on it.”

First, Gracey wants to learn from department educators what they need to support their professional development and the success of their educational programs. She recognizes that a challenge for faculty is how to fit teaching and mentoring into their busy day-to-day work. She is eager to explore strategies to support all the different ways that we can develop the educational culture of the Department of Medicine.

Gracey is most excited about building community. She remembers moments during her own education when the learning environment was conducive to education, but also times when it was not, and she strives to ensure that we do all we can to create and support a culture where all can grow.

“All people, especially learners, should feel accepted and celebrated,” she said. “They also need a place where it’s psychologically safe to say, ‘I need help.’ Now, I can think creatively about how we approach education and build the best environment. I find that fun and challenging.”

Her dedication to mentoring has been celebrated, evidenced by her receipt of several distinguished awards, including the Lawrence A. Kohn Senior Teaching Fellowship, and the Rudolph Napodano Award.

Gracey received her MD here at URSMD and completed her residency in the Primary Care Program in Internal Medicine, and then joined our faculty. She also obtained her master’s in Health Professions Education through the Warner School of Education.

Endocrinology Division Will Inspire Future Specialists With New Program

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry is launching a new initiative to inspire future endocrinologists by creating student interest groups, hosting faculty-led education sessions, and offering Excellence in Endocrinology awards. UR was selected as one of only 10 medical schools in the US by the Endocrine Society to host the new Medical School Engagement Program (MSEP). This initiative aims to address the declining number of medical graduates entering fellowships by showcasing the specialty’s exciting and impactful opportunities and offering superlative mentorship.

Leading the initiative are division chief Stephen Hammes, MD, PhD, and Adnin Zaman, MD, assistant professor of Medicine. The MSEP will offer financial support for these activities for two years. The program will sponsor the recipients of the Excellence in Endocrinology awards to attend ENDO, the annual conference, where they will participate in Endocrine Mentor Day to meet with society leaders.

Hammes emphasized the importance of mentorship in selecting a specialty. He shared that his own interest was sparked by the fellowship associate program director while he was a resident. “She got me interested and I never looked back once. We’re aiming to introduce this excitement even earlier in medical students.”

This effort is greatly needed because the number of endocrine fellowship positions has increased by 78 percent since 2010, while the number of applications dropped by 4 percent.

Zaman notes that medical school curriculum has condensed endocrinology education into just two or three weeks. That shift makes it difficult for students to gain a comprehensive understanding of the specialty.

Hammes added that medical students often experience their rotations in inpatient settings, which doesn’t reflect the typical outpatient practice, and limits their exposure to what being an endocrinologist truly is like.

Excited for the program to start, Zaman said “endocrinology is a fascinating field. The diseases we treat are chronic, so we get to maintain long-term relationships with our patients. There is no body system that isn’t affected by endocrinology, so we often collaborate with internists due to the broad reach of our specialty. Our goal with this program is to ignite this passion in the next generation.”

Endocrinology Takes Center Stage at Major Conference: Hammes Delivers Presidential Speech

Monday, June 17, 2024

The Department of Medicine had a stellar representation at this year’s Endocrine Society annual meeting, an international gathering that draws researchers from around the world. Attended by over 7,000 participants, the event showcases the exceptional work of our faculty, fellows, and residents through poster abstracts, moderated sessions, and chairing roles.

Notable highlights include:

  • Benjamin Gigliotti, MD, led a debate on the main stage about the use of T3 in patients with hypothyroidism, which drew a large crowd. 
  • Laura Calvi, MD, who currently serves as president of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), led a joint symposium between the two societies.
  • Ismat Shafiq, MBBS, was appointed to the board of the Association of Program Directors in Endocrinology and Metabolism.

In addition to DOM faculty, several University of Rochester undergrads, graduate students, and medical students presented their work. Erin Gibbons, a graduate student in the Hammes Lab, earned the Presidential Poster Competition Award for tumor biology.

Stephen Hammes, MD, PhD, division chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, has spent the last year as president of the Endo Society. A major highlight of the conference was Hammes delivering the Presidential Address.

“I have been a member for 25 years,” Hammes said, “and have always considered it my home. Despite having over 18,000 members, this community has always felt like a family for me, and I would not be who I am today without the mentorship, support, and friendship from the Endocrine Society. As I finish my presidency year, I am incredibly grateful and honored that I had the chance to give back to this amazing group of people who have done so much for me. What a great year, capped by an awesome meeting that I got to share with our wonderful URMC colleagues and friends.”

View the full list of presentations. Abstracts available online.

Watch the Presidential Address (10 minutes)

Gastroenterology Showcases Expertise at DDW

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

The Gastroenterology & Hepatology division recently had great success presenting their work and delivering presentations at the annual Digestive Diseases Week (DDW) conference. This gathering saw thousands of professionals convene in Washington D.C. in late May to share their insights, research, and best practices.

Truptesh Kothari, MD, MS, said “DDW 2024 is considered one of the largest meetings attended in the world of Gastroenterology. It provides a great platform for new technology, tools, and endoscopic skills.

“I had the opportunity to represent URMC at the conference. I had the opportunity to give three lectures on various topics, including complex polypectomy, therapeutic endoscopic ultrasound, and ERCP in altered anatomy. Shivangi Kothari, MDVivek Kaul, MD, and I participated in a multi-center study which was selected for oral presentation at the meeting. I was selected as vice-chair for the special interest group in Endoscopic Ultrasound for 2024-26 by the current president of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), and we had a welcome meeting for the same.

“We continue to thrive for academic success by participating and representing our division of GI and the University at such large-scale national meetings like DDW.”

Presenters and their Works (in alphabetical order)

Tanya Bruckel, MD

  • Moderating Poster Tour: Advancing Clinical Practice: GI Fellow Directed Quality Improvement Projects
  • Poster: Small Education Grants have an Outsized Impact for AGA Members
  • Presentation: AGA Academy of Educators Plenary. What is coaching?

Arthur DeCross, MD

  • Board Review Presentation: Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Ahmed Dirweesh, MBBS

  • Panelist: Metabolic Surgery – 9th Annual Association of Bariatric Endoscopy Course
  • Moderator: Hands-on bariatrics workshop – Association of Bariatric Endoscopy

Sarah Enslin, PA

  • Presentation: Optimizing the Role of the APP - Onboarding to Continuing Professional Development

Alexandra France, MD

Vivek Kaul, MD

Shivangi Kothari, MD

Truptesh Kothari, MD, MS

  • Presentation: Safety and Efficacy of Prevention of GI Bleeding After EMR – ESD: A Multicenter North American Experience (with S. Kothari and Kaul)
  • Lecture: Management of Complex Polyps - Pearls in Complex Polypectomy – To Do or Not To Do
  • Lecture: ASGE Learning Center, Knowledge Plus Theater - ERCP in Altered Anatomy
  • Lecture: ASGE Learning Center, Knowledge Plus Theater - Tips and Tricks in Therapeutic EUS

Danielle Marino, MD

Brandon Sprung, MD

  • Board Review Presentation: Chapter 9 - Diarrhea and Constipation

DOM Faculty Shine as Rivera Reflects on 20 Years of ATS Research

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Thousands of physicians, researchers, and trainees gathered in San Diego for the annual conference of the American Thoracic Society (ATS). The event showcases recent developments in patient care and respiratory research from across the globe. The Department of Medicine had a strong presence, as faculty from three divisions, Pulmonary and Critical Care fellows, and Internal Medicine residents shared posters and abstracts, and facilitated sessions.

One point of pride for the DOM is that Patricia Rivera, MD, division chief of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, is the president of the ATS, which created the video, “Breath: Celebrating 20 Years of the ATS Research Program.” In this inspiring segment, Rivera reflects on how “research grows and builds. It’s really through collaboration, because ultimately it all goes to one mission: improve the lives of our patients.” She expresses appreciation to those who have come before, and reinforces the importance of supporting early-career researchers to carry things onward.

View a full list of DOM presenters and their works.

URMC Presents at NY State Thoracic Society Meeting

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Members of the Department of Medicine recently showcased their expertise through posters and presentations at the annual conference of the New York State chapter of the American Thoracic Society, held at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY.

Augusto Litonjua, MD, MPH, a professor from Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, delivered the prestigious Trudeau Lecture, “Early Life Origins of Asthma and Lung Disease.” Paritosh Prasad, MD, an associate professor from Infectious Diseases, engaged the audience with his lecture “Pro/Con – Steroids in CAP.”

Louis Arens, MD, an Internal Medicine resident, earned second-place in the poster session with his case report, “Respiratory Failure in a Patient with Pleural-Based Extramedullary Plasmacytoma.” The first-place poster went to medical student Emma Mathers, for “Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder (PTLD) disguised as Lung cancer in a Heart.”

Of special note, Manoj Mammen, MD, associate professor from Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, holds a significant role within the New York chapter. He has served as the vice-president, and at this meeting was advanced to president-elect. He will serve in that role from 2024 – 2025. “The NYS Thoracic Society is a state chapter of the American Thoracic Society,” said Mammen, “representing the state’s Pulmonary & Critical Care medicine physicians. The chapter enables members and trainees a regional forum to pursue valuable opportunities in education, networking, advocacy, and service.”

Hospital Medicine Division Shines at SHM Converge

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The Society of Hospital Medicine’s annual conference, SHM Converge, serves as a platform for hospitalists to share knowledge, research findings, and best practices. This year, the division of Hospital Medicine from URMC played an important role in leading impactful workshops and informative poster presentations. 

“In the ever-changing landscape of medicine,” said Wunnie Brima, MD, PhD, an attendee, “clinical update sessions at SHM Converge are valuable. Knowledge is power, and these updates are the fuel for progress.” 

Elizabeth Pope-Collins, MD, also attended. She said “SHM Converge yields so many fantastic opportunities to develop multi-center research and to forge deeper networking connections. It’s energizing to meet some of the most innovative minds in hospital medicine and to get to learn from them and even collaborate with them.” 

Presenters and Highlights

Anita Balaji, PA  

  • Workshop Speaker: L.E.A.D from Where You Are: A Framework to Advance the Academic Footprint of Hospitalist Physicians and NP/PAs
  • Elected NP/PA SIG Secretary

Catie Glatz, MD

Ashley Jenkins, MD, MSc

Lalita Movva, MD

Grace Ng, MD

Jennifer Readlynn, MD

  • Co-Course Director: Academic Leadership Summit
  • Speaker: More Than Likes and Followers: Using Social Media for Professional Identity Development
  • Facilitator: L.E.A.D from Where You Are

Nina Rizk, MD

Laura Saldivar, MD

Jenny Shen, MD

  • Facilitator: Periop Care
  • Executive Council Secretary: Periop SIG

Baumgart Named Fellowship Director for Hematology/Oncology

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Megan Baumgart, MD, was appointed to Fellowship Director for the division of Hematology/Oncology, effective April 1, 2024. She joined URMC faculty in 2014, and has spent the last decade devoted to patient care, research, and education, earning recognition along the way for her contributions.

She received an Annual Award for Outstanding Oncology Research. In 2019, she led the Early Career Women Faculty Leadership Development Seminar. 

Baumgart's compassionate approach to patient care, coupled with her consistent efforts to organizational enhancement, sets her apart as an understanding caregiver and a leader in her field. Her involvement in mentoring programs, coupled with her significant role in shaping educational curricula as associate director, underscores her unwavering support for fostering the growth of future generations of medical professionals. Her active engagement in clinical research reflects her determination to enhancing the field.

“I have the greatest admiration for Megan as a scholar, clinician, and educator,” said Aram Hezel, MD, division chief of Hematology/Oncology. “It is her commitment and dedication to her patients and to progress through research that makes her such an effective teacher, and perfect example for our trainees. I'm grateful for Megan's contributions over the last decade to our division and cancer center and look forward to seeing the fellowship continue to flourish under her direction.”

Baumgart graduated from Albany Medical College in 2007, and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital, followed by a fellowship in Medical Oncology at Yale New Haven Hospital.

The division thanks Carla Casulo, MD, for five years of leadership. Casulo is assistant director of Cancer Research Training and Education at the Wilmot Cancer Institute.

Geriatrics Division Has Strong Presence at Conference, Nelson Receives Prestigious Award

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Faculty members from the division of Geriatrics & Aging showcased their expertise at the annual meeting of the American Medical Director’s Association Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (AMDA PALTC), marking a notable presence and garnering accolades. Beyond contributing as speakers during sessions, the division had much to celebrate.

Jennifer Muniak, MD, and Katlyn McBride, MD, won first place in the Case Series/Case Reports poster category. Tim Holahan assumed his role as chair of the AMDA Public Policy Committee, solidifying the division’s influence in shaping industry policies.

And Dallas Nelson, MD, received the esteemed Medical Director of the Year award for her outstanding leadership of the UR Medicine Geriatrics Group. (Read the AMDA press release on her achievement, and watch this video featuring Nelson.) “I am honored to have received this recognition on a national level for the great work we are doing locally in the Rochester region,” she said. Nelson was also elected as secretary of the Board of Directors.

Jennifer Muniak and her poster at AMDA
Jennifer Muniak presents her poster at AMDA
Dallas Nelson receives the Medical Director of the Year award at AMDA
Dallas Nelson receives the Medical Director of the Year Award at AMDA

Division chief Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, said “Dr. Dallas Nelson has clearly demonstrated excellence as a medical director at the University of Rochester, both locally and nationally. Her leadership and contributions to the care of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, particularly during the pandemic, are commendable and noteworthy. She is well deserving of this prestigious award!”

Presentations by Speaker:

Timothy Holahan presents at AMDA
Timothy Holahan presents
  • Brian McGarry, PhD: Award-Winning Research Sponsored by the Foundation for PALTC
  • Jennifer Muniak, MD: Getting to Person-Centered Care for Older Adults with Obesity in PA-LTC
    • Poster: Implementing Ketamine in PA-LTC for a Patient with Chronic Pain (With Katlyn McBride, MD)
  • Timothy Holahan, DO: Ethical Considerations in Applying Artificial Intelligence to Post-acute and Long-term Care
    • General Session III: Health Policy Update- Member of public policy committee panel
    • The Confident Trial: A Study to Increase Long Term Care Vaccine Confidence
  • Sarah Howd, MD: Common Challenges in Assisted Living and How to Navigate Them, Parts 1 and 2
  • Suzanne Gillespie, MD: The inside scoop: Secret to success across stages of a PA LTC
  • Dallas Nelson, MD: Age-Inclusive Telehealth: What Is It and How Can We Achieve It?
    • Coding Changes that Impact Your PALTC Practice
    • General Session III with Holahan

Further details on each speaker and presentation can be found in the online conference program.

Match Day 2024: DOM Announces Incoming Residents

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

As the anticipation that comes from Match Day winds down, our attention now turns to the arrival of our future residents, eager to embark on the next step of their medical journey. 

Directed by Amy Blatt, MD, the Internal Medicine residency has the largest incoming group with 32 new physicians joining us from 15 different schools. Notably, seven of them are graduates from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. The program is also the host of adult neurology residents. 

Please welcome:

Categorical Internal Medicine: 25

  • Jonathan Alessandrini – SUNY Upstate
  • Alexander Chirokikh – University of Rochester
  • Amanda Chow – University of Rochester
  • Megan Cleary – Wright State University
  • Michael Garone – SUNY Upstate
  • Thomas Glozman – Albany Medical College
  • Deepak John – New York Medical College
  • Sarah Khan – Ohio State University
  • Gregory Lawson – University of Nebraska
  • Meghan Long – University at Buffalo
  • Ronald Lott – Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Med
  • Julia Mo – University of Rochester
  • Ali Murra – Northeast Ohio Medical University
  • Kenmarie Ng Brown – Ponce Health Sciences University
  • Joseph Petroff – SUNY Upstate
  • Avi Prajapati – University of Nebraska
  • Manali Shah – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Med
  • Olivia Sorci – University at Buffalo
  • Kevin Sturr – Boston University
  • Rahel Tekeste – University of Texas
  • Ava Wexler – Hadassah Medical School
  • Zachary Williamson – Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Med
  • Katherine Woo – University of Rochester
  • Jie Yin – Boston University
  • Chase Yuan – Albany Medical College

Physician-Scientist Training Program: 

  • Ian Mathews – University of California
  • Matthew Rice – Hofstra University

Primary Care: 1

  • Shelley Verma – University at Buffalo

Preliminary Interns: 4

  • Adam Gargano – University at Buffalo
  • Howard Kenney – University of Rochester
  • Sue Qin – University of Rochester
  • Anna Stolarczyk – University of Rochester

Adult Neurology: 

  • Tameem Ahsan – Tufts University
  • John Ciarletta – University at Buffalo
  • Andrew Duffy – Thomas Jefferson University
  • Benjamin Fang – University of Rochester
  • Courtney Seigel – Indiana University
  • Rachel Siegel – Emory University
  • Samantha Tidd – Case Western Reserve University
  • William Yakubik – University of Vermont 

Brett Robbins, MD, led the Medicine/Pediatrics program for 25 years before his recent appointment to senior associate dean for Graduate Medical Education. “During his tenure there have been extensive changes in the practice of medicine and the structure of medical education,” said Ruth O’Regan, MD, chair of Medicine, “and he has met all of these challenges with the flexibility, creativity, determination, and compassion that he has worked so hard to instill in the hundreds of physicians he has trained and mentored.”

Erica Miller, MD, was named director of the Med/Peds program. Having completed her own residency and fellowship at URMC, Miller joined our faculty in 2018 and serves as associate program director for the Cardiovascular Disease fellowship. "Leading our Med/Peds Residency program is a tremendous honor," said Miller. "I'm eager to collaborate with our incoming intern class and our exceptional residency program team, continuing the tradition of excellence that shaped my own journey."

Please welcome the incoming Med/Peds residents:

  • Emily Briceno – Loma Linda University School of Medicine 
  • Marco Caiola – Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo 
  • Layton Camren – Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine 
  • David Deleon – New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Brian Garcia Valdez – Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
  • Omotara Ogundeyi – William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Julie Self – Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Louisiana Campus
  • Anna Yolitz – University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine 

Meet the 2024 Internal Medicine and Medicine/Pediatrics Residents

Kaul Appointed as Secretary General of the WGO

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Vivek Kaul, MD, professor of Medicine, was elected by the World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) Governing Council as its new secretary general, where he will also serve on the Executive & Finance committees.

The WGO is a global federation of 119 countries and their leading GI societies, and has active collaborations in place with the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). The WGO represents over 60,000 members worldwide. Established in 1958, the WGO is the leading international organization for Gastroenterology & Hepatology related education, training, and clinical practice guidance. Through its 24 international training centers, journal and guideline documents, the World congresses and the highly acclaimed TTT (Train the Trainer) workshops, the WGO serves its missions in close collaboration with national societies globally.

Prior to his current appointment, Kaul served as the immediate past chair of the WGO Endoscopy committee and also co-founded the Emerging Leaders Mentorship Program (ELMP) that pairs renowned mentors worldwide with interested mentees (especially from low resource environments) for their professional development. Kaul also serves on the WGO climate change working group and is a member of the WGO “Green Endoscopy” task force.

“I am very excited, honored, and humbled to represent URMC, NY, and the USA in this role. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to help increase our global engagement, visibility, and footprint. I look forward to partnering with University leadership to further our international missions,” Kaul said.

His four-year term began on January 1, 2024, and during this time Kaul will serve as a WGO liaison to international GI societies and work closely with the WGO president Geoffrey Metz (Australia) and president-elect Carolina Olano (Uruguay) to help develop future strategy across all missions of this organization.

Godishala Named Medical Director of Advanced Heart Failure Inpatient Services

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Anu Godishala, MD, assistant professor of Cardiology, was appointed medical director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program Inpatient Services and the 4-3400 Unit. She was also named Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Program. She joined URMC in 2020.

The Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology program at URMC is distinguished as the only cardiac transplantation center in NY outside the New York City area. This group performed nearly 40 transplants in 2023, and over 350 since the program’s inception. URMC is also one of the top five largest LVAD implant centers in the United States. 

Leway Chen, MD, MPH, director of the Heart Failure and Transplantation Program, said “We are very pleased to have Dr. Godishala in this new role. I look forward to her leadership on patient safety in all aspects of transitions of care. Dr. Godishala is a rising star in the advanced heart failure field, and truly an invaluable member of our team!”

Godishala said “As the medical director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program Inpatient Services, QI, and Patient Safety, I am proud to continue the mission, tradition, and vision of Dr. Leway Chen and the entire AHF team to provide the highest level, specialized care to our diverse population of advanced heart failure patients from across New York and neighboring states.”

She plans to improve the quality and efficiency of care through alignment with the most up-to-date medical guidelines, streamlined communication between multidisciplinary providers, better incorporation of ancillary service members, and renewed focus on individual patient priorities and goals. One of her specific objectives over the short term is to address vulnerabilities that arise during patient care transitions, both within the hospital as well as from the inpatient to outpatient settings.