Morsani College of Medicine Alumni Society

Class Notes

Winter 2020


MD Alumni:

Alicia Billington, MD ’14, began a position as Assistant Professor, Division of Plastic Surgery, East Tennessee State University. Dr. Billington also completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering and her Plastic Surgery residency at USF in 2014 and 2020, respectively.  


Daniel Duncanson, MD ’89, published “Healthcare Leadership During a Pandemic” in the Fall 2020 edition of House Calls, the official publication of the Alachua County Medical Society.  Dr. Duncanson serves as Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair at SIMEDHealth in Gainesville, FL.


Peter Embi, MD ‘97, received the prestigious designation of Fellow in the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (IAHSI), located in Geneva.  Dr. Embi serves as President and Chief Executive Officer at Regenstrief, and is also the Leonard Betley Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Informatics and Health Services Research at Indiana University School of Medicine, Associate Director of Informatics with Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and Vice President for Learning Health Systems with Indiana University Health.


G. Michael Swor, MD ‘81, leads Swor Women’s Care in Sarasota, named a 2020 Top 10 Places to work in Sarasota-Manatee, FL.  


USF Health Alumni Faculty/Provider Appointments:

Ali M. Abbas, MD, MPH, joined the faculty as Director of Bariatric Endoscopy at the USF/TGH Bariatric Center & Department of Internal Medicine Division of Digestive and Nutrition.  He attended medical school at Al-Kindy College of Medicine and his Internal Medicine residency and Gastroenterology fellowship at USF and returns to USF following an Advanced & Bariatric Endoscopy Fellowship at Harvard University in Boston.


Mark Armanious, MD, joined the faculty as Assistant Professor, Headache and Pain Medicine in the Department of Neurology, Division of Neuromuscular, Headache, and Pain Medicine.  Dr. Armanious received his MD from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA and his Neurology residency at the University of Miami, where he served as Chief Resident.  He completed two fellowships at USF, the first in Headache and Facial Pain Medicine and the second in Clinical Neurophysiology.


Sara Garcia, MD, joined the faculty as Assistant Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics.  Dr. Garcia completed her MS in medical sciences and her MD with a concentration in international medicine at USF.  She was named TGH NICU of the year in 2018.


Alexander Haas, MD, joined the faculty as Assistant Professor, Morsani College of Medicine Department of Neurosurgery & Brain Repair.  Dr. Haas attended the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine and completed his Neurosurgery resident, including a Chief Resident year, at USF.


Natalie Moreo, MD, joined as Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis Division.  She attended Ross University College of Medicine and completed her residency in Neurology and a Multiple Sclerosis fellowship at USF.  While at USF, she also served as Chief Resident of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Liaison.



Fall 2020

New Alumni Faculty/Provider appointments:

Anthony P. Cannella, MD ’06 joined the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine in May 2020 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine. He is also part of the Hospital Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs at the James A. Haley VAMC and joins the Moffitt Cancer Center ID team. Most recently, Dr. Cannella was on faculty at the University of Florida College of Medicine and a member of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute.  


Waldo Guerrero, MD ’08 returned to USF Health Morsani College of Medicine in August 2020 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, Neuroendovascular Division. After receiving his medical degree from USF in 2008, he completed a vascular neurology clinical research fellowship at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and an endovascular surgery fellowship at the University of Iowa. Most recently, he was at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. 


Charles J. Bailey, MD (Vascular and Endovascular Surgery ’14) became an Assistant Professor of Vascular Surgery at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine in February 2020. Previously, he was a surgeon with Cardiac Surgical Associates in the Tampa Bay region. He completed his medical degree at Wayne State University, his residency at Emory University, and a fellowship in Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at USF. 


Ju Hee Katzman, MD (Internal Medicine ’18, Infectious Disease ’20) joined the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Assistant Program Director of the Infectious Disease Fellowship Program. Dr. Katzman received her medical degree at De La Salle Health Sciences Institute before coming to USF for a residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Infectious Disease. 

 

Robby Wu, DO (Cardiology ‘20) joined the USF Health as an Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Provider. Prior to completing cardiology and advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology fellowships at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, he earned his medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed an internal medicine residency at Danbury Hospital, Yale School of Medicine. 

 

MD Alumni: 

Nicholas DeVito, MD ’12 received a 2020 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the USF Alumni Association. He created the USF Morsani College of Medicine’s peer-taught Step 1 medical licensing exam course and physician shadowing program, and he is currently an oncologist and immunotherapy researcher at Duke Cancer Institute. He is also the recipient of the 2018 Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation’s Physician-Scientist Training Award. 


Madeline (Snyder) Deutsch, MD ’15 is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She received the Outstanding Teacher Award from Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, in June 2020. 


John D. DeNigris, MD ’16 has joined the Yag-Howard Dermatology and Aesthetic Center in Naples, FL, led by Cyndi Yag-Howard, MD ’93. Dr. DeNigris was the chief resident for the USF Morsani College of Medicine Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery and also completed a fellowship in internal medicine at MCOM. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.  


Chelsea Frost, MD ’16 had an abstract, “Is adjacent segment disease following instrumented short lumbosacral fusion influenced by postoperative sagittal alignment?,” accepted for podium presentation at the National Association of Spine Surgery 35th annual meeting and an abstract, “Spontaneous Regression of a Foraminal Discal Cyst: Case Report,” accepted for poster presentation at the Spine Intervention Society’s 2020 annual meeting. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Virginia and is beginning a fellowship at Emory University.  


Gilbert Murimwa, MD ’19 is a general surgery resident at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. His first paper as a resident, “Comparative Outcomes of Adenosquamous Carcinoma of the Gallbladder: An Analysis of the National Cancer Database,” was published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery in July 2020.  


Ali Wells, MD ’20 was the second place winner for the Florida Academy of Family Physicians scholarly poster presentation at the FAFP Family Medicine Summer Forum with her poster, “Cost Savings of HPV Testing Alone Versus Co-Testing in Cervical Cancer Screening at a Medical Student-Run Free Clinic.”  

 

GME Alumni: 

Shailesh Rajguru, DO, FACN (GME ’99) is a neurologist and executive board member at the Bond Clinic in Winter Haven, FL. He is a member of the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists for the American Osteopathic Association and was appointed member of several leadership committees and task forces for the association, including single residency accreditation with AOA and ACGME programs. He was the neurology and stroke medical director at Bartow Regional Medical Center in Florida from 2011-2015. 


Dr. Chinyere Okpaleke, MD (Family Medicine ’18) received a 2020 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the USF Alumni Association. She is a family medicine hospitalist physician for BayCare Health System and an international medical missionary. She is the founder of Reality Speaks, a nonprofit serving student-athletes and people in need, and the owner of Be Dope Do Yoga, a free community yoga program. Dr. Okpaleke is also the recipient of BayCare Medical Group’s Golden Compass Award for Service. 


Spring 2020

James Avery MD ’81, a Visiting Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, recently released his book, Marijuana: An Honest Look at the World's Most Misunderstood Weed.


Joann Somers MD ’82 was recognized by Continental Who's Who as a Pinnacle Lifetime Achiever in the field of Medicine as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist at her Private Practice.


Diane Duffy MD ’89 published her article, “How complementary feeding in infants affects allergies, chronic disease, and neurodevelopment” in the February 2020 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, which also featured it on the cover.


Thomas P. Slavin MD ’05 was named senior vice president of medical affairs for Myriad Oncology in Salt Lake City. Previously, he served as assistant professor in the departments of medical oncology and therapeutics research, and population sciences, at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA.


Abu-Sayeef Mirza MD ’16 received a 2020 College of Public Health Outstanding Alumni Award.



Spring 2019


Courtney Bovee ’11 was honored by The National Business Journal with the Influencers - Rising Star Award. This award highlighted young executives influencing business across the nation. Dr. Bovee is a glaucoma surgeon at Mid Florida Eye Center in Orlando. She hopes to bring technology to Central Florida that will help end irreversible blindness caused by glaucoma.


Blessy (Mathew) Jacob MD ’09 was recently made partner with Florida Cancer Specialists. She practices out of the Venice and Englewood, Florida locations.


Jack Jennings MD ’02 was named chief of musculoskeletal radiology for Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in St. Louis, Mo. He is an associate professor of radiology and the director of musculoskeletal and spine intervention procedures at the university.


Joshua Kraft MD ’14 joined Mount Nittany Physician Group in State College, Pa., as an OB-GYN physician.


Larry Kuhn MD ’90 and his wife are principals of Saving Grace in Uganda, a nonprofit organization that seeks to end street life in Uganda. Together, the Kuhns and their team provide hope and stability, education, medical care, advocacy to street children, who do not have anyone to care for them and are in desperate situations. Watch here to learn more about Saving Grace in Uganda.


Arti Balar Masturzo MD ’01 joined Solsys Medical, LLC in Newport News, Va., as its chief medical officer. She previously served as executive vice president of clinical innovation at Healogics in Jacksonville, Fla.


Craig Singer MD ’98 has published his first novel, More Than Bones (Twin Rabbit Books, 2019), a suspenseful and humorous coming-of-age story about a medical school graduate.


Spring 2018


Jenna Beasley MD ’12 joined Henghold Skin Health & Surgery Group. Beasley previously completed her fellowship in dermatopathology at New York University.


Timothy Boyett MD ’02, radiologist and integrative medicine fellow at University of Florida and Valor Network, married USF graduate Kristal PhD '02. They live in Florida with their two sons, Denver (11) and Wesley (7) and enjoy homeschooling their boys, traveling, and spending time with their family.


Julie Cheek MD ’89 joined PeaceHealth Medical Group in Bellingham, Wash. She was previously a pediatrician at Unity Care NW in Bellingham.


Jeremy Davis MD ’05 was promoted to Surgeon-in-Chief at National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the nation’s research hospital, where he will provide oversight for all surgical-related activities, education and training, surgical quality and clinical outcomes. Read more about Dr. Davis here.


Daniel Dent MD ’90, professor of surgery and residency director, UT Health San Antonio, was elected secretary of the board of governors of the American College of Surgeons.


Nicholas Christian DeVito MD ’12, hematology/oncology fellow at Duke University, was recently granted the Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist award, a four-year grant that will support his work in tumor immunology and immunotherapy. Under the mentorship of Dr. Brent Hanks, Dr. Devito's work was recognized with a Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator award at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting. 


Roopal M. Karia MD ’95 was featured in The Leading Physicians of the World publication. She is a pediatric neurologist in Jackson, NJ.


C. Christopher Pittman MD ’88, chief executive officer and medical director of Vein911® Vein Treatment Centers, has been elected to the American College of Phlebology board of directors. Read more about Dr. Pittman here.


Paul M. Wallach MD ’84 nationally recognized leader in academic medicine named Executive Associate Dean of educational affairs and institutional improvement. Read more about Dr. Wallach here.


James Wilkinson MD ’78 recently started a new position at Vanderbilt University as the director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research.



Spring 2017


Sion "Bill" Carter MD '87, radiologist and chair of the MCOM Alumni Society Board, participated in a legacy ceremony with his daughter, Bethany, on May 6 at Emory University in Atlanta just prior to her graduation. Bethany majored in philosophy & religion and minored in Spanish and is a third generation Emory graduate, following in her father and grandfather's footsteps.


Brian Derby MD '07 has been awarded board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is a plastic surgeon at Sarasota Plastic Surgery Center in Sarasota, Florida. Read more about Dr. Derby by clicking here and read more about his certification here.


C. Scott Mahan MD '93, division head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, NC, was featured in USF's February Book of the Month for the Contributions to the Field collection for his book, "Are You Afraid of Snakes? A Doctor's Exploration of Alternative Medicine." Read more about the book and Dr. Mahan by clicking here.


Rahul Mehra MD '92, co-founder, chief executive officer and chief medical officer of MehraVista Health, LLC, an employee health and wellness management firm and a director on the MCOM Alumni Society Board, was honored at the College of Charleston Alumni Awards Gala. The Alumni Awards Gala recognizes alumni whose accomplishments in their chosen fields have brought honor to the college, showcasing the role the college has played in their lives as well as the impact they have had on society. Dr. Mehra, a 1983 graduate, received the Pre-Medical Society's Outstanding Service Award in Medicine. Read more about Dr. Mehra's background, involvement in the field and impact on his community on the Alumni Awards Gala website or watch Dr. Mehra's acceptance speech online.


Brian Williams MD '01 FACS, trauma surgeon and associate professor of surgery at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, spoke at the USF Diversity Lectures Series titled Reflection at the Intersection of Race and Medicine, addressing race relations and how they have shaped his life, citing the recent Dallas police shooting in 2016. On the event: "The main point I want the students to take away from my experience is that you cannot remain silent. Without good people speaking up to take a stance, they will continue to occur unabated.” Read about and watch Dr. William's Diversity Lectures Series feature on the USF Health News site.

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