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Department News

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UR Aging Institute Hosts First Aging INSPIRED! Event

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The University of Rochester Aging Institute (URAI) held its first event to celebrate the intersection of aging and the arts. These gatherings are designed to educate the community on the work being done at the URAI that aims to empower older adults in achieving healthful longevity. The inaugural event took place on October 9 at Hatch Hall at the Eastman School of Music, “A Celebration of Aging and the Arts.”

The afternoon was a collaboration between URAI, the Eastman School of Music, and Eastman Performing Arts Medicine. Guests were entertained with music from the Eastman Community Music School Jazz Performance Workshop, a group of older adult musicians. Carol Podgorski, PhD, MPH, MS, from the department of Psychiatry, and Caroline Nestro, PCNS, PhD, MS, from the School of Nursing, moderated a panel discussion titled “Music as We Age – The Path to Vital Living.” Panelists included Reverend Lawrence Hargrave, Michael Rotondo, MD, chief executive officer of UR Medical Faculty Group, Ray Pettis, a lifelong musician sharing his personal experience, and his wife Susan Woolston Pettis. 

One highlight of the event was a virtual interview with Ron Carter, currently 86 years old, a Grammy award-winning, internationally renowned artist, who is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. He is well known for being one of the most influential bassists in jazz. Jeff Campbell, professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media, conducted the interview in Hatch Hall, while Mr. Carter appeared on video from his home in New York City to discuss how music has impacted his life. 

The URAI will make future plans to sponsor additional Aging INSPIRED! events focused on visual, literary, and performing arts. “We will explore how aging influences artistic expression and how the arts impact the aging process,” said Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, director of the URAI. “We aim to engage the University and Greater Rochester communities in activities designed to explore sources of vital living and inspiration as people age. Ultimately, we want to optimize the experience and enrich the lives of older people in our communities.”

Planning Committee members include Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, director of the URAI and division chief of Geriatrics & Aging, Yeates Conwell, MD, professor of Psychiatry, Carol Podgorski, PhD, MPH, MS, professor of Psychiatry, Gaelen McCormick, director of Eastman Performing Arts MedicineCaroline Nestro, PhD, MS, RN, assistant professor of Clinical Nursing, Mackenzie Spencer, marketing strategist, and Kara Horvath, administrator of the division of Geriatrics & Aging. 

A few days after the event, professors Conwell and Podgorski, along with Elinor Freer, associate professor of Piano and Chamber Music, and community members Ray and Susan Pettis, were special guests on WXXI’s Connections. The episode “How can the arts impact our lives as we age?” dives into both the Pettis’ personal experience, and the research of the URAI and Eastman School of Music on how learning an instrument can have a positive impact on people living with dementia or memory loss. 

Enjoy this behind the scenes look at the event and learn all about the URAI and Aging INSPIRED!

Vivek Kaul Launches Podcast with ACG: “Brains & Guts”

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Brains & Guts: The GI Innovation Podcast logoThe new podcast from the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) launched in October during the annual ACG meeting in Vancouver. Vivek Kaul, MD, professor of Medicine, is the co-founder and inaugural host of the first episode. Kaul is a Fellow of the ACG, and the founder and immediate past Chair of the ACG Innovation & Technology Committee. He served in this role from 2018-2023.

The podcast, Brains & Guts, will be broadcast on a monthly basis and will aim to dive deep into all aspects of innovation, discussing how new entrepreneurs can take an “idea to commercialization.” The first episode, “Why Innovate in GI?” introduced the key concepts related to the significance of innovation in medicine and the typical challenges and opportunities that new entrepreneurs will encounter on their journey.

It also emphasized the importance of bridging the knowledge gap in this realm, especially for young and upcoming colleagues who may not have received formal education or training in this regard. Furthermore, the podcast highlighted the potential for individuals, industry colleagues, national societies, as well as funding agencies to collaborate and partner to further the mission of innovation.

In future episodes, the podcast will host well-known, established innovators and entrepreneurs in Gastroenterology who will share their wisdom and experience, as well as describe the “recipe” for how they can bring new ideas and concepts to reality for the care of patients.

This podcast was launched through the ACG Innovation & Technology Committee and can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. Be sure to bookmark the Brains & Guts homepage to keep an ear out for future episodes.

Palliative Care Division Receives 7th Joint Commission Advanced Certification

Monday, November 27, 2023

URMC was the first academic medical center in the country to earn Joint Commission advanced certification in Palliative Care 14 years ago. The division, now under the leadership of interim chief Erin Denney-Koelsch, MD, is proud to receive its seventh biennial re-certification, maintaining a reputation for excellence. An assistant Quality Officer from the Joint Commission said via email, “I commend your program’s collaboration and innovative problem-solving in working towards the three Evidence of Standards Compliance that will be incorporated into your program’s delivery of care.”

In addition, the URMC Palliative Care Program was recognized by the Medical Center Board of Directors Quality of Care Committee and Strong Memorial Hospital Quality Committee for the extraordinary services the team provides to the Rochester community.

“The URMC Palliative Care team has earned two remarkable honors this month,” said Denney-Koelsch. “With patients and families at the center of our work, our team takes the passion from bedside care into our performance improvement efforts, to the administrative, research and education, and community engagements initiatives. And through that, we bring that work back to the bedside through impeccable, dignified care for those with serious illness. It is such an honor to serve such a remarkable group of compassionate people. Our whole team deserves to be proud.”

Kaul and Division of Gastroenterology Receive Donation from Pancreatic Cancer Association of Western NY

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Mary Pettinaro, Lynn Platt and Mary Ellen Smith present check to Mark Levstik, MD and Vivek Kaul, MDThe Pancreatic Cancer Association of Western York (PCAWNY) is a very active and well-known patient advocacy and support group based out of Rochester, New York. For more than a decade, this organization has served as a beacon of support, awareness, education, and advocacy for patients and families dealing with the scourge of pancreatic cancer. The group has been very active in terms of fundraising to support various pancreas cancer activities and have also hosted a very popular and well attended annual walk in town every November for this very important cause.

The PCAWNY and the University of Rochester Medical Center have had a very close and collaborative relationship throughout this time, focused on patient care, education, research and advancement of the field in general. In the past the group has supported clinical and translational research in pancreatic cancer at Wilmot Cancer Institute, and has worked very hard to support URMC’s clinical trial efforts in this disease.

Providers from the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology are a key part of the outstanding multidisciplinary team that leads pancreatic cancer research and care at URMC, and for the Upstate NY region. Vivek Kaul, MD, has collaborated closely with the PCAWNY, almost since its inception, across multiple clinical and patient education/awareness missions. In late October, the PCAWNY presented a generous donation of $30,000 to the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology to help support various missions related to pancreas care at our center.

PCAWNY board members Ms. Mary Pettinaro, Ms. Lynn Platt and Ms. Mary Ellen Smith presented the check to the division on behalf of the organization on Oct 26, 2023. Kaul and division chief Mark Levstik MD, express their sincere thanks and gratitude to PCAWNY for this generous gift, and will continue to partner with them to help care for our patients and advance the field.

Infectious Disease Division Dominates the Stage at ID Week in Boston

Thursday, November 9, 2023

ID Week is a cornerstone event of the year, bringing together the Infectious Diseases Society of America with many other influential societies dedicated to the fields of ID, microbiology, and global health. Drawing an international crowd, experts convene to share insights on cutting-edge technology and progress in clinical care. The conference often brings up emerging infectious diseases and current public health challenges, making it a crucial event for the global health care community.  

URMC had a substantial impact at the conference through a strong presence of moderators, speakers, and poster presentations. Division Chief, Paul Bohjanen, MD, PhD, attended the conference to support the faculty, residents, and fellows who presented. “I am proud of the great impact that the ID Division at URMC has on the field of infectious diseases, as evidenced by our numerous important presentations this year at ID Week."

Presentations

by author in alphabetical order

Angela Branche, MD – Associate Professor 

  • Moderator: Putting RSV Burden Under a Microscope: Trends, Advances, and Impact on Lives
  • Moderator: New Developments in Vaccines
  • Speaker: Translating Breakthroughs in RSV Vaccine Science into Care for Older Adults
  • Speaker: Epidemiology of RSV and Prevention Measures
  • Speaker: RSV in Adult Populations: Gains and Gaps in Our Understanding of Disease Burden
  • Speaker: The Role of the Infectious Disease Specialist in Supporting Community Vaccination

David Dobrzynski, MD – Assistant Professor

  • Moderator: Mentoring, Coaching and Sponsoring: Enhancing Critical Supports for Career Success

Ghinwa Dumyati, MD – Professor 

  • Poster: Characteristics of Patients with Initial Clostridioides difficile Infection (CDI) That Are Associated with Increased Risk of Multiple CDI Recurrences
  • Poster: Trends in Incidence of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) In Seven US sites, 2016─2020
  • Poster: Characteristics of Community-Associated Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase Producing Enterobacterales Infections in Monroe County, NY, 2020-2021
  • Poster: Characteristics of nursing homes with higher rates of invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections
  • Poster: Sociodemographic and Occupational Characteristics Associated with Delayed and Low COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Among Healthcare Personnel: Monroe County, NY
  • Poster: Healthcare-associated invasive Staphylococcus aureus among adults with prior COVID-19-associated hospitalization, 2020
  • Poster: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia 30-Day Mortality During 2020 Compared to 2016-2019: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19
  • Poster: Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii complex infections and SARS-CoV-2 positivity in 9 U.S. sites, 2020-2022

Ted Louie, MD – Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine

  • Workshop Speaker: Pus, Slough and Drainage: Oh My! Hands-On Introduction to Wound Care for the ID Clinician
  • Poster: Orthopedic Provider Adherence to American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) Guidelines for Dental Prophylaxis in Total Joint Replacement
    • Louie and Sonal Munsiff, MD are both co-authors

Sonal Munsiff, MD – Associate Professor

  • Moderator: Updates in Bacteremia
  • Poster: Evaluating the effect of respiratory isolation for TB on patient- and public health-important outcomes- a systematic review

Kelly Russo, MD – Internal Medicine Resident

Alexandra Yamschikov, MD – Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine

  • Poster Presenter: High Rate of Adverse Events in Patients Receiving Oral Antimicrobials Under a COpAT Monitoring Protocol

Caprio Recognized for Geriatric Leadership with Award and New Role

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Thomas Caprio, MD, professor of Medicine in the division of Geriatrics & Aging, has recently achieved two significant milestones in his career. He has dedicated his work to improving the health and well-being of older adults, serving in multiple leadership roles at the University of Rochester Medical Center, as well as several national societies.

The State Society on Aging of New York held its annual conference in mid-October. Caprio presented at the Walter M. Beattie, Jr. Symposium, on the topic “Transformation Toward an Age-Friendly Health System Through Interprofessional Collaboration.” Caprio was later honored with the Walter M. Beattie Award. This recognition is the society’s equivalent of a lifetime achievement award, honoring distinguished members for their contributions and commitment to the goals of the State Society.

“I recall first working with the State Society on Aging almost 20 years ago,” said Caprio, “and I was so impressed by the work of the Walter Beattie Award recipients at that time. I never imagined I would ever be part of this distinguished group. I feel deeply honored to be recognized by the State Society and this inspires me to continue my advocacy on behalf of older adults.”

Annette Medina-Walpole, MD, division chief of Geriatrics & Aging and director of the UR Aging Institute, said “Dr. Caprio is a visionary leader not just within our division and at URMC, but across our state and nation. This award is a testament to his talent, expertise, and commitment to the care of older adults and the education of interprofessional geriatrics health providers.”

Caprio’s additional accomplishment is his appointment as Director at Large of the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board of Directors for a two-year term. His appointment to the board is a testament to his expertise and dedication to improving end-of-life care for patients and their families.

“I am really proud of the work of this board which has worked consistently to elevate the practice standards for hospice medical directors and improve upon the quality of end-of-life care for patients nationwide,” said Caprio.

Pulmonary Division Heads to Hawaii for CHEST Conference

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) took place October 8 to 11 in beautiful Hawaii. This organization includes more than 22,000 pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine professionals. The department of Medicine was well represented by several faculty, a fellow, and a resident, who shared their research through presentations and posters. From cutting-edge research to transformative clinical interventions, they left an indelible mark on the conference.

One standout moment was Pulmonary division chief, M. Patricia Rivera, MD, taking the stage for the Women as Leaders in Chest Medicine panel. Rivera, a powerhouse in her field, not only leads the division at URMC, she also holds the prestigious title of president of the American Thoracic Society, which testifies to her reputation as a trailblazer in medicine. The panel also included the women presidents of CHEST and the European Respiratory Society. In 2023, more than seven global respiratory societies are led by women. The themes of this panel were courage, finding a voice, and what leaders can do to amplify and promote women in their field.

Sandhya Khurana, MD, FCCP, professor of Medicine, who also presented at the conference, reflects on the whole event. “It was a pleasure to speak at some of the key asthma sessions at CHEST. It is always great to share the podium with expert colleagues from other institutions, and to hear each other’s unique perspective.”

Additional highlights include Khurana and Rivera receiving the Distinguished CHEST Educator Award, and David Nagel, MD, PhD, receiving a CHEST Research Grant in Pulmonary Fibrosis for his project “Elastin Remodeling Promotes Pulmonary Fibrosis.”

Presentations in alphabetical order

Fernando Camacho, MD, MS – Internal Medicine Resident 

Patrick Donohue, MD – Assistant Professor 

Sandhya Khurana, MD, FCCP – Professor 

Daniel Lachant, DO – Assistant Professor 

Caroline Quill, MD – Associate Professor 

M. Patricia Rivera, MD – Division Chief 

Melinda Tonelli, MD – Critical Care Fellow

James White, MD, PhD – Professor 

Department of Medicine Celebrates Increased National Performance Rankings

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

US News & World Report released the results for the 2023-2024 Best Hospitals rankings, with Strong Memorial Hospital coming in at number one in the Rochester region! While the entire hospital celebrates this great news, the department of Medicine would like to recognize the divisions that host specialties and condition/procedures which received rankings: ALL of which greatly improved compared to last year.

“These improved rankings reflect the hard work and dedication of all of our faculty, APPs, staff, and trainees who contribute to the excellent care we provide,” said Ruth O’Regan, MD, chair of Medicine. “Our team is collaborative and innovative, paving the way for better patient outcomes. Thank you for all that you do.” 

*Note, the ranking is where we stand compared to all eligible hospitals across the U.S.

Specialty: Cancer

  • #196 / Improved ranking by 234 
  • High performing procedures and conditions:
    • Leukemia, lymphoma & myeloma
    • Colon cancer surgery
    • Lung cancer surgery
    • Prostate cancer surgery

Specialty: Cardiology, Heart & Vascular Surgery

  • #140 / Improved ranking by 38
  • High performing procedures and conditions:
    • Heart attack
    • Aortic valve surgery
    • Heart failure

Specialty: Diabetes & Endocrinology

  • #197 / Improved ranking by 45
  • High performing procedures and conditions:
    • Diabetes

Specialty: Gastroenterology & GI Surgery

  • #124 / Improved ranking by 209
    • High performing specialty!
  • High performing procedures and conditions:
    • Colon cancer surgery

Specialty: Geriatrics

  • #259 / Improved ranking by 90

Specialty: Pulmonology & Lung Surgery

  • #70 / Improved ranking by 132
    • High performing specialty!
  • High performing procedures and conditions:
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • Lung cancer surgery
    • Pneumonia

Special Mention: Nephrology, high performing procedure and condition - kidney failure

There are many factors weighed to calculate the final score. Each division has a unique set of circumstances which led to their increased rank. Across the board, “mortality” scores improved: this score is based on 30-day survival rate of patients after being admitted to the hospital. The department of Medicine credits this increase to the in-depth collaboration of most specialties with the division of Hospital Medicine, led by Justin Hopkin, MD. This multidisciplinary approach can positively impact earlier diagnosis, coordinate care for complex patients, and transition patients to where they need to be in the hospital. Hopkin notes that there have been increased efforts in better recording of how sick patients are, which leads to more precise treatment plans. 

Another positive change has been the designation of URMC as an Age-Friendly Health System. As the hospital serves an increasingly large number of older patients across all specialties, the focus of Age-Friendly health care has had a positive impact on patient outcomes and satisfaction.

URMC Presents at Endo 2023 as Hammes Takes on Presidency

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Faculty and fellows from the division of Endocrinology had a successful conference year at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society. This internationally recognized gathering, held in June in Chicago, IL, brought together an impressive assembly of more than 7,000 attendees, including leading experts, researchers, and practitioners in the field of endocrinology from around the world.

The department of Medicine made a significant impact at the conference, showcasing their expertise and contributions through diverse formats such as poster abstracts, oral presentations, and the chairing of sessions.

One of the most prominent highlights of the event was the appointment of division chief and executive vice chair Stephen Hammes, MD, PhD, taking on the presidency of the Endocrine Society for the 2023-2024 term. The esteemed role conferred upon Hammes is a testament to his exceptional accomplishments and outstanding leadership within the field. He previously served on several society committees, was editor-in-chief of two Endocrine Society journals, and is currently deputy editor of the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

“I am simply thrilled to have an opportunity to give back to a Society that has played a major role in my career since my first meeting as an endocrinology fellow in 1998,” said Hammes. “Among many goals for next year, my main focus will be what has always been my passion: improving the clinical and academic development of up-and-coming physicians and scientists interested in careers in endocrinology. I am excited to represent our amazing department of Medicine at this national level, and cannot wait to get to work!”

Presentations by Author

Olga Astapova, MD, PhD – Assistant Professor 

Chandni Bheeman, DO – Fellow 

Lindsay Carafone, MD – Fellow 

Yumiko Esaki, MD – Fellow 

Tumininu Faniyan – Lab Manager of Chhabra Lab

Erin Gibbons – Graduate Student in Hammes Lab

Sara Macleod, DO, MPH – Assistant Professor 

Lara McHan, MD – Medicine/Pediatrics Resident 

Susanne Miedlich, MD – Associate Professor

Muhammad Raza, PhD – Postdoctoral Associate

Dennis Samuel, DO – Fellow 

Committee Members

Olga Astapova, MD, PhD: Member of the Annual Meeting Steering Committee, and Editorial Board of the journal Endocrinology

Inga Harbuz-Miller, MD: Trainee, and chair of the Career Development Core Committee 

Sara Macleod, DO, MPH: Member of the Clinical Affairs Core Committee

Ismat Shafiq, MBBS: Member of the Special Programs Committee, and chair of the Adrenal Pituitary Special Interest Group

Mary Bonnet Receives Prestigious Geriatric Academic Career Award

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Mary Bonnet, MD, assistant professor of Medicine in the division of Geriatrics & Aging, has received the Geriatric Academic Career Award (GACA), funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, granted to only 26 people nationally. The GACA is a highly-selective, four-year national K award designed to support the career development of junior faculty as academic geriatricians and interprofessional educators. 

Bonnet’s project, beginning July 1, will align with URMC’s Age-Friendly Health System (AFHS) efforts as she works to champion the AFHS in the assisted living and nursing home environment. She will bring dementia-focused, AFHS curriculum to training venues throughout our regional and rural health care system. Her goal is to utilize technology to integrate those initiatives into Project ECHO®. 

“It is an incredible honor to be afforded this award,” said Bonnet, “to better myself as an educator and national leader within the field of geriatrics. I am very grateful for the support of my division and department as I look forward to the expansive opportunities these next four years bring.”

Bonnet’s primary mentor on the project is Dallas Nelson, MD, with additional mentorship and support provided by Thomas Caprio, MD, division chief Annette Medina-Walpole, MD, and Carol Podgorski, PhD, MPH, MS, professor of Psychiatry. 

“The GACA award is given to the brightest and the best geriatrics educators in our nation and reflects Dr. Bonnet’s accomplishments in the field of academic Geriatrics and her potential to be a high-impact leader in our field,” said Medina-Walpole. 

Bonnet joins a long legacy of URMC Geriatrics faculty who have held this prestigious career development award, including Jennifer Muniak, MDSuzanne Gillespie, MDThomas Caprio, MDDallas Nelson, MDNancy Shafer Clark, MD, and Annie Medina-Walpole, MD.

Pulmonary Division Presents at ATS Conference as Rivera Steps into Presidential Role

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

In May, thousands of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep specialists gathered in Washington, DC for the annual conference of the American Thoracic Society. Faculty and fellows from the URMC division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine had a strong presence as they led sessions and presentations of their work, and held other roles such as chair, moderator, and facilitator.

One major highlight was on May 23, division chief Patricia Rivera, MD, gave her incoming Presidential address to the ATS, officially starting her one-year term. She is making history as the first Latina woman to take on this role. Her moving speech gave insight into her personal journey as the daughter of Cuban immigrants, and how life lessons from that were applied to her professional journey. Today, she is not only a nationally renowned lung cancer specialist, she is also a champion of DEI work, for both health care professionals and delivering equitable care to patients.

Pulmonologist Jim White, MD, PhD, attended the conference and was in the audience for Rivera’s speech. “I was so proud to call myself a U of R faculty member after this address,” he said, in an email to department of Medicine colleagues. “I’m sure there were many in the audience motivated and inspired to be better humans and citizens of a global community after listening to her.”

Read the Full List of Presentations by Lead Author

Yao Receives Grant for Cardiac mRNA Research

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Peng Yao, PhD, associate professor of Medicine and Biochemistry & Biophysics at the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute and the RNA Center: From Genome to Therapeutics, has received a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for his research project “uORF-mediated Translational Control of Cardiac Transcription Factor Expression.”

His project is focused on studying messenger RNA (mRNA) in relation to heart disease, which is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US and the world. mRNA is responsible for creating proteins in the human body. Disease happens when there is too much “bad” protein or too little “protective” protein. Yao and his lab will study a specific protein factor called GATA4 and its mRNA, which is often over-produced in heart disease. 

Understanding protein synthesis in cardiac muscle cells in normal physiology compared to cardiac muscle enlargement due to heart disease will help researchers develop novel ideas for preventive and therapeutic interventions. Yao has already discovered that GATA4 can be made in two forms: big and small. The big form can cause heart muscle cells to enlarge, but the small form can counteract those effects. He has identified a part of the GATA4 mRNA that acts as a “switch” to determine which protein form it generates. Similar to the COVID mRNA vaccine, a potential GATA4 mRNA-targeting RNA drug could instruct cells to produce specific proteins to prevent or treat heart disease. 

This research grant is funded at over $2 million through March 2027.

Cardiologists Have Impactful Presence at HRS Conference

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

URMC faculty and researchers from the division of Cardiology and the Cardiovascular Research Center (CCRC) presented their work at the Heart Rhythm Society conference in New Orleans, LA. This annual meeting is dedicated to the specific work of cardiac rhythm disorders and electrophysiology.

“The Heart Rhythm Society conference is the largest international conference in the field of heart disorders,” said Ilan Goldenberg, MD, director of the CCRC. “We at the University of Rochester have been leading this field for the past 40 years with landmark clinical trials that impacted practice guidelines. Our incredible contribution to this conference, including featured late breaking clinical science by our team and abstract presentations by our faculty, fellows, residents, students, and international collaborators, shows that we are continuing to dominate and impact the field of heart rhythm disorders.”

Highlights of the meeting included the presentation of three clinical trials led by Wojciech Zareba, MD, PhDValentina Kutyifa, MD, PhD, and Goldenberg, each of which explored the field of novel therapies for the prevention of sudden cardiac death in patients with inherited and acquired arrhythmic disorders. There were two late-breaking sessions featuring Kutyifa and Goldenberg’s work. In addition, faculty, trainees, and fellows had a strong presence through chairing sessions and presenting abstracts of their work. 

Presentations by Lead Author

Anika Sophie Beierle – Visiting fellow from Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany

Ido Goldenberg – Cardiology research fellow

Ilan Goldenberg, MD – Director of CCRC

Valentina Kutyifa, MD, PhD – Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Medicine, Director of the Clinical Trial Enrollment Unit in Cardiology

Amole Ojo, MD – Assistant Professor, Cardiology

Matthew Wang, MD – Former Interventional Radiology resident 

Wojciech Zareba, MD, PhD – Professor, Cardiology Heart Research 

The following faculty were co-authors on many of these presentations: Mehmet Aktas, MDBurr Hall, MDDavid Huang, MDScott McNitt, MS, and Spencer Rosero, MD

Division of Geriatrics & Aging Present at AGS Conference

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Earlier this month, geriatricians from across the country gathered in Long Beach, CA, for the annual scientific meeting of the American Geriatrics Society. The meeting offers education sessions, symposia, workshops, and people present their work on emerging clinical issues, current research, health policy, and delivery of geriatric care. Many members of the URMC division of Geriatrics & Aging presented their work in poster sessions.

One of the highlights of the conference was Brian McGarry, PhD receiving the Health in Aging Foundation New Investigator Award. He is recognized for his research which focuses on the effects of Medicare policies on patient access, long-term care quality, and the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes.

Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, division chief of Geriatrics, said “Our division had a strong showing at the 2023 AGS annual meeting! I am so proud of the amazing research, education, and clinical care that was highlighted by our fellows and faculty.

Presentations & Posters

Melissa Loh, MBBCh, BAO

Brian McGarry, PhD

Kate McBride, MD – Fellow, Jennifer Muniak, MD, and Joseph Nicholas, MD, MPH

Khoi Paul Dang-Ho, MD, – Fellow, Jennifer Muniak, MD, and Joseph Nicholas, MD, MPH

Szilvia Arany, DMD, PhD – from Dentistry, Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, division chief, and Thomas Caprio, MD

Marissa LoCastro – Medical Student in Geriatric Oncology Research Group

Mostafa Mohamed, MBBCh – Postdoctoral Associate in Geriatric Oncology Research Group

Matthew Nelson, MD – Fellow, Jennifer Muniak, MD

Brian House, MD, MPH – Fellow, and Janice Chen Zhao, MD – Hematology/Oncology Fellow, and Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, division chief

Lisa Vargish, MD, MS

Dr. Jennifer Anolik Receives Lupus Research Alliance Grant

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Jennifer Anolik, MD, PhD, has received funding through the Lupus Mechanisms and Targets Award from the Lupus Research Alliance. The award is granted to those who have proposed research projects that will explore new potential treatment approaches to prevent lupus from developing, or slow down disease progression. The project’s co-Principal Investigator is Javier Rangel-Moreno, PhD.

The Lupus Mechanisms and Targets Award is for research that focuses on investigating molecular pathways or targets leading to the development of new or improved therapies for patients with cutaneous and systemic lupus erythematosus. The award is for $600,000 over three years.

Anolik’s project will investigate if sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors—a class of drugs approved to treat type 2 diabetes and associated kidney disease—can improve outcomes in lupus nephritis, which is inflammation in the kidneys caused by lupus that affects 40 to 70 percent of lupus patients. Current treatment approaches target inflammation with little impact on fibrosis and injury. Anolik will study mice with lupus nephritis to see if SGLT2 inhibitors reduce kidney hypoxia, inflammatory CD8 T cells, and kidney injury. She will also begin to investigate the effects of treatment with SGLT2i on clinical outcomes and pathogenic CD8 T cells in the blood and urine of patients with lupus nephritis.

“Kidney failure is a major complication for lupus patients,” said Anolik. “We hope that SGLT2 inhibitors will eventually be a new strategy to help prevent this.”

One of Anolik’s lupus patients was in need of a new kidney, then learned she needed a new heart at the same time. This patient underwent a rare dual-organ transplant, and is now thriving thanks to a multi-departmental collaboration.

Hospital Medicine/General Medicine Present at Two Conferences, Introduce Rising Chief Residents

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Faculty from the divisions of Hospital Medicine and General Medicine, along with residents from the Internal Medicine program, attended Academic Internal Medicine Week earlier this month in Austin, Texas. This meeting is the premier conference in the US for faculty and staff from medical schools and teaching hospitals, offering courses, workshops, poster sessions, and networking events.

Workshops

Posters

Also in attendance at the conference were Christine Osborne, MD, Jennifer Readlynn, MD, Jenny Shen, MD.

One of the highlights of the conference is the Chief Residents Meeting, where the incoming chief residents can begin learning and networking before officially taking on the role in June. The DOM was excited to host rising chief residents Taylor Cox, MD, Anima Ghimire, DO, Piotr Karmilowicz, MD, and Sarah Rusnak, MD, for this meeting.

Later in April, faculty traveled to Burlington, VT, for the Northeast Group on Educational Affairs (NEGEA) Conference, where they gave two oral presentations:

Kothari to Lead Landmark Study in Gastroenterology: SHARP Trial

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

URMC has been selected as a site for the NIH funded SHARP Trial: a first-of-its-kind study to evaluate the effects of an ERCP procedure on patients with pancreas divisum with recurrent pancreatitis. Only 20 other sites are involved in the program. Research at URMC will be led by Truptesh Kothari, MD, MS, associate professor of Medicine in Gastroenterology/Hepatology.

Pancreas divisum (PD) is a congenital birth anomaly. It is found in roughly 10 percent of the population, and of those who have PD, 10 percent have symptoms of acute pancreatitis.

The SpHincterotomy for Acute Recurrent Pancreatitis (SHARP) clinical trial will determine the benefits and effects of an Endoscopic Retrograde CholangioPancreatography (ERCP) procedure with minor papilla sphincterotomy (cutting of the opening of the pancreatic duct) for patients with PD.

“The SHARP trial will be a landmark study,” said Kothari, “and will place URMC on the global map in the field of pancreatico-biliary.”

Co-investigators are Shivangi Kothari, MD, and Vivek Kaul, MD. Soon, the team will begin enrolling patients for the study.

Pulmonologists Present at ATS Conference

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

In March, faculty from the division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine attended the New York State Thoracic Society Conference at New York Medical College in Valhalla. The NYS Thoracic Society is the local chapter of the national American Thoracic Society, of which our own Patricia Rivera, MD, is the president elect, who will serve from 2023-2024.

This annual meeting provides a venue for pulmonary and critical care providers from across the state and the Northeast to hear state-of-the-art lectures and network with colleagues. The regional meeting has a poster session for trainees, medical students and residents, as well as a Fellows’ Forum for presentation of fascinating or challenging cases.

“The meeting is a great place for trainees to present and get feedback in a smaller, more intimate, and cost-effective location than the larger national meetings,” said Michael Nead, MD, PhD.

Presentations

Patricia Rivera, MD: “The Present and Future of CA Lung Cancer Diagnostics”

Michael Nead, MD, PhD: “Pro-Con Debate Robotic Bronchoscopy: The start of something new or oversold?”

Anthony Pietropaoli, MD: “Sepsis management: cookbooks (aka bundles) just don’t cut it.”

Also in attendance were Manoj Mammen, MD, and Pulmonary fellow Bishal Gyawali, MD.

Stamm Receives Grant for Humanities Project: COVID-19 in Rochester’s Black Communities

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Laura Stamm, PhD, is the director of DEI for the department of Medicine. She recently earned a $10,000 grant from the Humanities Project for an oral histories project she is leading, titled “Making Public History: Oral Histories of COVID-19 and Rochester’s Black Communities.”

This project will provide a collection of audio clips that captures the impact of COVID-19 on Rochester’s Black communities. Using community-based participatory research methods (CBPR), Stamm will listen to, record, and preserve the experiences of those made most vulnerable by the pandemic. Charles White from Neurology is the project Community Co-Lead, and Christine Zizzi, MPA, from the Center for Health & Technology is the Project Manager.

It is a widely accepted fact that COVID-19 disproportionately affects Black communities, but there is little research available on how COVID-19 and the impact of the disproportional burden differently affects Black communities. Moreover, most research on COVID-19 in marginalized communities is told from the perspective of scientific researchers, rather than by individuals who experience the everyday impact of the pandemic.

Scholarship on vaccine hesitancy in the Black community, for example, typically cites survey data and theorizes about why Black people might not trust medical institutions without hearing directly from Black community members about why their experiences and understandings of history cause them to distrust medicine.

The proposed project will provide a collection of stories about COVID-19 directly from voices of Rochester’s Black communities that centers their experiences and provides a new narrative of life and health during a global pandemic. Preserving these Black oral histories in an archival collection and digitized open access website affirms their historical importance and assures their existence for future generations.

When completed, the website will be part of the Black History and Culture Special Collection in the University’s Rush Rhees Library.

Division of Hospital Medicine Share Work at SHM Converge

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

In March, the Society of Hospital Medicine gathered for its annual conference to share world-class education for hospitalists across the nation, including educational tracks, technological advances, academic research, and interactive workshops. Many of our residents and faculty from the divisions of Hospital Medicine and General Medicine presented their research in the Scientific Abstract Competition.

Abstract Presentations

Risk Factors for Escalation of Care from General Medical Units

Faculty: Yousaf Ali, MD, MS, Adam Bracken, MD

Ramadan Dietary Order Quality Improvement Initiative

Faculty: Conrad Gleber, MD, MBA, ;Jennifer Readlynn, MD, Julia Trumbo, MD, Amy Blatt, MD
IM Residents: Jessica Oribabor, MD, MS, Dean Salem, MD
Med/Peds Residents: Hannah Doyle, MD, Hayley Flanagan, MD
Food & Nutrition Services: Kathryn Schneider, RD

A Rare Cardiac Tumor Presenting as Flank Pain

Faculty: Ellie Garbade, MD

A Novel Tool for Diagnostic Reflection and Calibration

Faculty: Jennifer Readlynn, MD, Michael Rothberg, MD, Christopher Mooney, PhD, MPH, Ellie Garbade, MD, Valerie Lang, MD, MHPE, Catherine Glatz, MD, Brendan Robinson, DO (formerly of URMC)

Windows Into the Heart: Bilateral Endophthalmitis Due to Aggregatibacter Endocarditis

Faculty: Jenny Shen, MD
Ophthalmology Residents: Manasi Joshi, MD, Greg Sanda, MD
Med Student: Alexander Poulakis

But What Does Inclusion Look Like? Insights From Hospitalists

State of Research in Adult Hospital Medicine

Pediatric Hospital Policies for the Inpatient Care of Adults

Faculty: Ashley Jenkins, MD

Other conference highlights included Jennifer Readlynn, MD, who co-directed the Academic Hospitalist Leadership Summit, and Meghan Train, DO, who was honored as a Fellow in Hospital Medicine.

Faculty and Fellows from Allergy Present Their Work at AAAAI 23

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) held its annual conference last month in San Antonio. The academy can boast of more than 7,000 allergists and immunologists across 74 countries, many of whom convened for the meeting to share research, best practices, and resources in their field.

Several URMC faculty and fellows flew down to share their work and participate in sessions. 

“The conference is a great way to reconnect with colleagues in person and exchange ideas about developments in the field,” said Jessica Stern, MD. She was able to highlight collaborative work on improving health inequities in allergic disease. She is working on the national and local level to encourage all learners and faculty to use an equity lens in their work. At the AAAAI meeting different forums and styles were used to deliver this information in an engaging and accessible way.

Our Pediatric Allergy/Immunology colleagues also presented at the meeting.

Division of Geriatrics Presents at AMDA PALTC Conference: Gillespie Delivers Outgoing President’s Address

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Several faculty and fellows from the division of Geriatrics & Aging attended the annual scientific meeting of the American Medical Director’s Association (AMDA) Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (PALTC) earlier this month in Tampa. This year’s conference reflected how health care workers in PALTC settings have had disproportionate burdens during the COVID pandemic. Suzanne Gillespie, MD, associate professor here at URMC and the 2022-2023 president of AMDA PALTC, said “as we find our new normal, it is more important than ever before that our leaders gather to advance policy advocacy, to teach and learn best clinical practices, and to maintain the strength of our professional community.”

Presentations Given By:

  • Suzanne Gillespie, MD - Associate Professor, Geriatrics
    Speaker: Enhancing Leadership for Women in PALTC: Reclaiming Happiness in our Lives
  • Dallas Nelson, MD - Associate Professor, Geriatrics
    Speaker: General Session III: Health Policy
    Roundtable Facilitator: Billing and Coding
    Session Chair: Red Eye Rounds: Medical Direction Challenges
  • Tim Holahan, DO - Assistant Professor, Geriatrics
    Speaker: General Session III: Health Policy
    Roundtable Facilitator: Ethical Issues
  • Sarah Howd, MD - Assistant Professor, Geriatrics
    Session Chair: Memory Care Matters! Advocacy Updates in Assisted Living Focusing on Dementia
  • Ghinwa Dumyati, MD - Professor, Infectious Diseases
    Session Chair: Taking Control of Your Infection Prevention and Antibiotic Stewardship Programs: Case Based Workshop
  • Kate McBride, MD and Matt Nelson, MD - Geriatric Medicine Fellows
    Participated in the AMDA Futures Program, a one-year learning experience designed to introduce a career in PALTC medicine

You can find information on each speaker and presentation by searching their name in the online conference program

As Gillespie prepares to pass the torch of AMDA PALTC leadership on, she reflects on her time at the conference, and the future of medicine here at URMC.

“In my Outgoing President's address, I highlighted the importance of our professional community and the many accomplishments that the Society had during the past year - including important collaborative work with the White House Task Force on COVID 19 to improve vaccination and clinical therapeutics, increased recognition of the medical director reflected in state and federal legislation proposing training and transparency requirements, and dissemination of a wide range of important clinical tools in important topics (like deprescribing, Parkinson's disease, delirium and more).  

I am proud to be one of several faculty members from the Department of Medicine's Division of Geriatrics & Aging that are leading the charge to improve PALTC during this critical time. We are making a difference in the lives of millions of people who are cared for in PALTC settings and in the lives of their caregivers.”

Match Day 2023: DOM Announces Incoming Residents

Friday, March 17, 2023

On March 17, fourth-year medical students celebrated Match Day, when they learned where they will go for their residency programs. The University of Rochester celebrated in-person with friends and family present. Some UR students will continue their medical education here at URMC, and we will also see incoming residents from several other renowned institutions.

The department of Medicine hosts two residency programs: Internal Medicine, and Medicine/Pediatrics

The Internal Medicine Residency Program is directed by Amy Blatt, MD, and has accepted 30 incoming residents, four of whom are from UR, into the categorical, primary care, and preliminary medicine programs. The program will also be home to eight neurology interns, one of whom is a UR student, who’ll spend their PGY-1 year with the department of Medicine. The residents by program include:

Categorical Internal Medicine: 25 (1 of whom is from UR)

  • Joseph Abiade – Meharry Medical College
  • Ellie Camanzo – University at Buffalo
  • Darla Carvallo Castaneda – University of San Marco
  • Andrea Donofrio – SUNY Upstate
  • Paul Hart – University at Buffalo
  • Marwa Hussain – Florida Atlantic University
  • Matthew Jorizzo – Oregon Health & Science University
  • Chaitya Joshi – University at Buffalo
  • Ulyana Khaba – Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University
  • Kelsey Kille – SUNY Upstate
  • Charles Leahy – Northeast Ohio Medical University
  • Rebecca Lee – University at Buffalo
  • Ashleigh Manktelow – Creighton University
  • Monica Masterson – Cooper Med School of Rowan University
  • Genevieve Medina – University of Rochester
  • Josiah Miller – Thomas Jefferson University
  • Princess Onuorah – UNC Chapel Hill
  • Gregory Russo – SUNY Upstate
  • Andrew Sepiol – Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Yousuf Shah – Stony Brook University
  • Rhea Sharma – Indiana University
  • Charles Springer – Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Bisher Sultan – University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Brian Unruh – University at Buffalo
  • Emily Wu – Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, Arizona

Primary Care: 3 (1 of whom is from UR)

  • Claire Filloux – University of Rochester
  • Christine Kim – Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Tyler Pocchiari – SUNY Upstate 

Preliminary Interns: 2 (both are from UR)

  • Ursula des Bordes – University of Rochester
  • Eleanor Pope – University of Rochester

Neurology Interns: 8 (1 of whom is from UR)

  • George Albert – SUNY Downstate
  • Margaret Barlet – Duke University
  • Alexander Gerhardstein – Wake Forest University
  • Timothy McWilliams – University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Jonathan Spiegel – Brown University
  • Audra Supraski – Florida State University
  • Wade Whitt – University of Rochester
  • Ryan Wolfe – Boston University

The Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program is directed by Brett Robbins, MD, and accepted eight incoming residents, 2 of whom are from UR. 

  • Jai Ahluwalia – New York Medical College
  • Kavya Bana – University of Rochester
  • Shri Karri – Texas Tech
  • Kathy Lu – Tufts University
  • Imani Miles – University of Rochester
  • Nathan Rotundo – Michigan State University, Grand Rapids
  • Mallory Rowley – SUNY Upstate
  • Aidan Sullivan – Albany Medical School

Meet the 2023 Internal Medicine and Medicine/Pediatrics Residents (PDF, 3.5 Mb)

Division of Cardiology and Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center Present at ACC 23

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The American College of Cardiology recently hosted its annual scientific session and expo in New Orleans, with many URMC residents, fellows, and faculty presenting their work. Members of the department of Medicine shared their research with an audience of thousands from around the globe. 

“ACC is always a highlight of my academic year,” said Erica Miller, MD. “In his opening address, ACC president Ed Fry expertly balanced the joy of gathering with colleagues and the really tough challenge of persevering in the current health care environment. Our UR residents and fellows wowed us with outstanding posters, and cardiologist Amole Ojo, MD, was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC). As always, I learned a ton from and was inspired by my Med Ed colleagues at the Program Directors symposium. I spent a lot of time at the Health Equity hub seeing the great work cardiologists and the ACC are doing around the world to advance equitable care for all. T minus 13 months until ACC 2024 in Atlanta!”

“One of the highlights of the conference is meeting colleagues from around the world, networking, and representing the University of Rochester,” said Valentina Kutyifa, MD, PhD, from the Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center (CCRC), echoed by Ilan Goldenberg, MD, CCRC director, who joined ACC 23 for study meetings. Fellows and residents even got to go for a UR lunch together, hosted by Spencer Rosero, MD, chief of Cardiology, and Erica Miller, MD, associate program director of the Cardiology Fellowship Program. 

Poster Presentation Titles

  • Anas Jawaid, MD, Cardiovascular Disease Fellow – “Carcinoid Syndrome Presenting with Coronary Artery Spasm”
  • Laura Saldivar, MD, Med/Peds Resident – “Bradycardia, Renal Failure, Atrioventricular Nodal Blocking Agents, Shock and Hyperkalemia: A Rare Syndrome Threatening Cardiovascular Collapse” (Twitter post)
  • Sina Salehi Omran, MD, Cardiovascular Disease Fellow – “Vagal Reactions Causing Ventricular Arrhythmia in Brugada Syndrome” (Instagram post for both posters)
    • “A Diastolic Dilemma: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy with Concomitant AL Amyloidosis”
  • Emily Xiao, MD, Cardiovascular Disease Fellow – “A Case of Wide Complex Tachycardia in A Patient with Propionic Acidemia And Long QT Syndrome”
    • “Prominent Eustacian Valve Resulting in Iatrogenic IVC To Left Atrial Shunt Detected by Multimodal Imaging” (Instagram post for both posters)
  • Ming Q. Wu, MD, Cardiovascular Disease Fellow – “Walking in And Out of The Hospital with A Complete Thrombotic Left Main Coronary Artery Occlusion” (Instagram post)
  • Valentina Kutyifa, MD, PhD, Professor, Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center – Invited Faculty, Chair of Moderated Poster Session, “Sudden Death and Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias” (Twitter post)
  • Ido Goldenberg, MD, IM Chief Resident at RGH, Research Fellow at Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center – Oral Presentation, “Risk of Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias in Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy”
  • Paul J. Blasio, MD, current IM Resident, incoming Cardiology Fellow – “Yamaguchi Syndrome in A Patient with a Heart Transplant” (Instagram post)
  • Erica Miller, MD, Assistant Professor, Cardiology – “Equity in Action: Development of A Health Equity and Quality Improvement Curriculum for Fellows in Training” (Instagram post
  • Monhaned Serdah, MD, current IM Resident, incoming Cardiology Fellow – “A Case of Right Atrial Pseudoaneurysm With Hemorrhagic Effusion Due to Cardiac Angiosarcoma” (Instagram post)

Liesveld Appointed Associate Chief for Academic Affairs and Hematology

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Jane Liesveld, MD, professor of Medicine, has been named associate chief for Academic Affairs and Hematology for the division of Hematology/Oncology. 

She will be responsible for the structure, organization, and oversight of promotions processes and academic guidance to rising faculty within the division. She will also serve as a leader in hematology, helping to guide clinical organization and oversight of clinical operations and other division matters relating to hematology faculty. She will work alongside division chief Aram Hezel, MD, as well as Chunkit Fung, MD, associate chief of Solid Tumor Oncology and Clinical Affairs.

“The Hematology/Oncology division has grown over the last few years,” says Liesveld, “and our faculty covers a wide berth of clinical arenas including classical hematology, hematologic and solid tumor malignancies, and cellular therapies. Heme/Onc faculty members contribute in so many creative ways to the research, patient care, and educational missions of the Medical Center, and I am excited to work with all those individuals and especially our junior faculty to help them to grow and thrive not only within our division but also in the Wilmot Cancer Institute and in the department of Medicine.”

“Dr. Liesveld has been a member of our Hematology/Oncology team for many years and we are pleased to have her taking on this important leadership position,” says Hezel, division chief of Hematology/Oncology. “Please join me in congratulating her on this role.”

Transplant Hepatology Team Highlights from 2022

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The URMC Liver Transplant program found great success in their clinical activities last year.

The team performed 75 liver transplant surgeries in 2022. Liver transplant patients at URMC have a one-year patient survival rate of 96 percent, and a one-year graft survival rate of 92 percent, surpassing expected rates for this type of surgery based on the acuity of patients who receive transplants at URMC.

The only liver transplant and live-donor liver transplant program in upstate New York, URMC is one of the leading programs in North America for liver transplantation, and one of the first two centers in the nation to offer transplants for select patients with advanced colorectal liver metastasis.

In 2022, URMC’s outreach clinics received 464 visitors between our locations in Syracuse and Buffalo. The team also received 140 referrals last year for transplantation for patients with advanced colorectal metastasis, with 95 percent coming from outside of New York state. 4 of the 75 transplants were for these complex cases.

The Transplant Hepatology team includes department of Medicine faculty Bandar Al Judaibi, MBBS, medical director, Mark Levstik, MD, Priya Farooq, MD, Marie Laryea, BSc, MDCM, and Gopal Ramaraju, MD.

Valerie Lang named Associate Chair for Medical Education Research & Scholarship

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Valerie Lang, MD, MHPEThe department of Medicine has a strong dedication to medical education. The majority of faculty are clinician-educators, and the DOM has found great success in creating educational scholarship and presenting at the national level. Chair of Medicine, Ruth O’Regan, MD, recently announced the creation of the new position of associate chair for Medical Education Research & Scholarship, and named Valerie Lang, MD, MHPE as the inaugural associate chair.

Lang joined URMC in 2000, and is a professor of Medicine in the division of Hospital Medicine, and a professor of Clinical Nursing. She is already regarded as a superb educator for learners at all levels, and she has mentored students, residents, and junior faculty. She currently serves as director of the Hospital Medicine Faculty Development Program, and is the inaugural director of Meliora in Medicine. She has earned many awards, including the Harry L. Segal Prize for Third Year Teaching.

Brett Robbins, MD, vice chair for Education of the DOM, had a hand in the development of the new position. “Dr. Lang is the quintessential educational scholar,” says Robbins. “She has spent her career developing an amazing skillset. She has already become our most popular scholarly mentor for our educators. Her successes at the national level have garnered her a tenured professorship and a position on our department’s promotions committee.”

The new role gives educational scholarship a champion to focus and coordinate efforts at study design, grantsmanship, outcomes measurement, and dissemination. A major goal of the office is to expand the impact of DOM programs by supporting faculty and APPs who are conducting research and other forms of scholarship in medical education.

“I’m thrilled to launch this new role,” said Lang, “and grateful for the department’s support for our educators and educational scholars. Getting this office off the ground will mean learning more about what will enhance our faculty’s work. I’ll start by reaching out to each division to understand their specific needs. Our plans include the creation of a single point of entry where faculty at any stage of their scholarly work can reach out for support, whether they need a consultation or access to other resources. We also plan to expand our resources to support medical education scholars to design, conduct, and disseminate their work. I look forward to partnering with our medical educators, scholars, and leaders in research and DEI to move this work forward.”

Transplant Nephrology Had a Record-Setting 2022

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Transplant Nephrology team saw great success last year with 105 total transplants (104 kidneys and one pancreas), which tied the previous year for most-ever transplants. Their highlight reel includes:

  • First successful heart-kidney transplant
  • Two liver-kidney transplants (the first since 2017)
  • Four pediatric kidney transplants (the most since 2014)
  • The largest number of deceased donor transplants: 77
  • They continue to maintain best outcomes in the region

This coming year, the team will re-energize community outreach efforts that were previously slowed by the pandemic as they continue to add new faculty to their ranks. 

The team includes Transplant Director of Nephrology, Jeremy Taylor, MDDavid DeWolfe, MDMatthew Gross, MDMohammad Karim, MBBSHafsa Tariq, MBBS, and Martin Zand, MD, PhD.

New DOM Diversity Leadership Announced

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Chunkit Fung, MD, has been named associate chair for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) for the department of Medicine. He was previously involved as co-director of DEI for the division of Hematology & Oncology, where he worked with division faculty and leadership to develop a three-year strategic plan of DEI initiatives. 

He takes over the role from Marie Laryea, B.Sc., M.D.C.M. In her two years as associate chair, she and director of DEI Laura Stamm, PhD, developed the Take Action, Stand Up Toolkit, and coordinated the inaugural DOM DEI & Health Care Equity Symposium. Stamm says “I am excited for this next chapter of DEI in the department. Chunkit and I are very aligned in our vision of building collaboration and connection across the department and URMC. I look forward to creating infrastructure that allows us to capitalize on the diverse strengths and perspectives of the department's faculty, staff, and APP members.”

Fung is an associate professor at the medical school, and serves as a faculty advisor for two affinity medical student organizations, SPECTRUM (LGBTQ+ medical student organization) and the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association. Here at URMC, he was a member of the LGBTQ+ faculty advisory committee, co-chair of the UR Faculty Senate, and a member of the Mentoring and Equity in Compensation and Support Working Group for the Commission on Women and Gender Equity in Academia of the UR. 

At the national level, Fung serves as a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Sexual and Gender Minorities Task Force and recently published a progress report on ASCO’s efforts in advancing health equity for LGBTQ+ people with cancer in ASCO Connection. He has volunteered for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ+ equality, with more than 3 million members nationwide, and became an HRC Board Governor in 2021. He has served as tri-chair for the HRC Western and Central NY Annual Dinner. HRC recognized his efforts with the HRC Leadership Award for Rising Star Gala Leaders in 2020.

“I am truly honored to serve in my new role,” said Fung. “I want to thank Dr. Marie Laryea for her vision and efforts in building a strong foundation for us to continue this important work. I am excited to collaborate with Laura Stamm, Audrey Clements, our Community Outreach and Engagement Liaison, department leadership, and all stakeholders in our community to implement the URMC Equity and Anti-Racism Plan for our department. Over the next few months, we will be reaching out to stakeholders in the department and our community to learn about your vision for what we can do together in the DEI space. We will also host weekly walk-in office hours at the department of Medicine DEI office in the hope to meet you and hear your stories. As Martin Luther King, Jr. remarked in the Oberlin College commencement speech in 1965 ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’ We look forward to working with all of you to do what is right.”

Thomas Caprio Appointed to Advisory Committee for NY State Master Plan for Aging

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

In November, Governor Kathy Hochul issued an executive order that established a Master Plan for Aging Council, co-chaired by the Department of Health and the Office for the Aging. They were charged with creating an advisory committee, and have recently appointed Thomas Caprio, MD, as a member.

Caprio is a professor of Medicine in Geriatrics & Aging. He has two decades of collaboration with different aging workgroups, including the State Office for the Aging, where he has experience with caregiver focused projects, respite care, health professional education, and advocacy for older adults. He is a past president of the New York State Society on Aging, and is currently the director of the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center. His work with different service providers, academic centers, and policymakers state-wide has built up his illustrious reputation, earning him this appointment. He did not submit his name for consideration, Governor Hochul herself specifically appointed Caprio to the position.

Before the executive order was announced, Caprio was a member of the New York State Master Plan for Aging Coalition, where he represented the University of Rochester. This group organized an open letter to Governor Hochul, signed by over 100 organizations of the coalition, calling for the creation of the Master Plan for New York State. Their efforts paid off in November, as the Democrat & Chronicle announced the initial plans.

The Master Plan will focus on improvements in how services are coordinated, delivered, and financed, to better meet the needs of older adults, their families, and caregivers. The goal is to have the plan in place by 2024.

“Dr. Caprio has a long and esteemed history of involvement with the New York State Office for the Aging,” said Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, division chief of Geriatrics & Aging. “He will leverage his expertise as a Geriatrician to ensure that our State’s Master Plan for Aging promotes the quality of life, health, and vitality of all aging New Yorkers.”