Robert Jacobs_150
Robert “Bob” D. Jacobs, ’55 MD, writes, “Greetings, classmates. It has been 60 years since graduation, and at the urging of my daughter, I am finally sending this update. I was very happy practicing pediatrics on the San Francisco peninsula, reluctantly retiring in 2005. My wife, Ruth, who was charge nurse on the orthopedics ward at Wesley while I was a medical student, passed away in 2010, after a busy life involved in Burlingame, Calif., civic affairs and taking care of me and our two daughters, Vicki and Lauren. In the fall of 2013, I moved to Stoneridge Creek, a retirement community in Pleasanton, Calif. My best wishes to my classmates, and I would be happy to hear from you.”

David “Dave” Oberlin, ’56 MD, joined the medical service of the U.S. Army in Jan. 1956, and was on active duty for the last six months of his senior year. He interned at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Texas, and completed his orthopaedic residency in the Letterman Program, with training at Shriners Hospital for Children in Los Angeles. He spent 3 1/2 years at Irwin Army Hospital in Fort Riley, Kan., 13 months in Korea and a year at Fort Ord, Calif. He left the service on June 30, 1966, and then practiced for 34 years in Chico, Calif., before moving to Southern California in 2004.


William Faller, ’65 MD, served as a pathologist in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1973 and continued in the active reserves until 1991.

His father, Adolph Faller, Jr., ’33 MD, was also in the military. Adolph joined the Illinois National Guard after both of his parents emigrated to the U.S. from Germany in the 1930s. He was on active duty from April 1941 to December 1945. During his service, he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service during the period of June 20 to August 1, 1944. The citation states that as commanding officer of the 13th Mountain Medical Battalion, lieutenant colonel Faller “displayed unusual initiative and sound judgment in moving two motorized medical companies into the combat areas just before the dry weather road was closed due to the monsoon rain. By his exceptional leadership, his units were able to maintain constant medical supply and wounded evacuation service to the…Chinese Division during the battles for Kamaing and Mogaung, Burma.” He was also recognized by the Chinese and decorated as an honorary officer of the British Empire for his efforts in the North Burma campaign.

Donald Parker_150Donald C. Parker, ’65 MD, moved to Miami to begin his internship and then residency in anesthesia at Jackson Memorial Hospital after graduation. During this time, he was involved in research related to diving physiology in both humans and dolphins, the results of which were published in Science. He joined the Navy in July 1969, and served at the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia where he treated soldiers returning from conflict, until his discharge in 1971. Throughout his life, he was inspired by their bravery and dedication, and was proud of his service to his country. After his discharge, he returned to Miami where he continued his career as an anesthesiologist at Mercy Hospital.

In addition to being a respected physician, since he was a young man he had been inspired to become an astronomer. While he also maintained interests in diving and competitive sailing, his true passion was astrophotography. In fact, he became a world-renowned astronomer, studying our solar system and pioneering many of the methods used in digital planetary imaging today. More information online. He published more than 100 articles in journals such as Nature, Science, ICARUS and the Journal of Geophysical Research, and co-authored the book “Introduction to Observing and Photographing the Solar System.” He served as the director of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers and contributed over 20,000 images to professional astronomers at NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and other institutions. For his work in solar system science, he received numerous awards including having an asteroid (Mars-crossing asteroid 5392) named in his honor. He passed away Feb. 22, 2015, declaring, “this will be interesting.” He was fascinated by the universe and everything in it until the very end. Dr. Parker was generous in mind and spirit and will be missed by multitudes of astronomers, fellow physicians, friends and especially by his family.

Jeffrey M. Ignatoff, ’67 MD, ’75 GME, completed his residency training in urology at Northwestern and then remained on faculty in the Department of Urology. He completed 30 years of practice, primarily in the Evanston Hospital system, then retired ten years ago to Savannah, Ga. After a few years, Dr. Ignatoff was offered an opportunity to join the faculty of Mercer University School of Medicine as an associate professor in the division of biomedical sciences.

He writes, “Mercer had just initiated the Savannah campus as a four-year medical school, and my areas of involvement are part time—including small group tutorial sessions in the first two preclinical years in several organ-based phases. Initially, this prompted some fairly serious review on my part, as the phases comprehensively contain both basic science and clinical topics. I also had the opportunity to assist the anatomy faculty as instructor in the gross anatomy lab and am involved with the clinical skills courses taken by the first- and second-year students—similar to the physical diagnosis course we had at Northwestern. The ability to mentor these bright young physicians in training has been among the most fulfilling endeavors of the latter part of my career.

“Following retirement from active clinical practice and related activities, I found that the one area I missed was the opportunity to interact with medical students and house staff. My position at Mercer and its primary teaching hospital has filled that void and has been an intellectually stimulating opportunity, which still allows plenty of time to enjoy the recreational and cultural offerings of this part of the world. My wife, Kathy, and I have ample time for fairly frequent travel, some of which includes visits to our widely scattered children and grandchildren.

“For those contemplating or entering retirement, I enthusiastically recommend maintaining some affiliation, such as that which I have enjoyed, if your interest is there and the opportunity is available.”


Louis H. Martone, ’70 MD, of Pittsburgh, opened a private practice in dermatology in 1976, where he continues to work full time. He enjoyed his 45th reunion.

RichardBERLIN_150Richard M. Berlin, ’76 MD, announced the publication of his third poetry collection, “Practice.” Dr. Berlin, a psychiatrist,  uses his work to bring doctors closer to patients through creative writing. His previous books have won prizes, including: “Secret Wounds,” selected by USA Book News 2011 Awards as the best poetry book of the year, and “How JFK Killed My Father,” winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize. Additional awards include the 2010 John Ciardi Poetry Prize from BkMk Press and finalist awards from the ForeWord Book Review Prize and the Eric Hoffer Award. 

F. Douglas Carr, ’78 MD, vice president and medical director at the Oregon West Network for PeaceHealth Medical Group, was appointed chief medical officer at New West Medicare.

Martha L. Rhoades, ’78 MD, is looking forward to retiring July 1, 2016. She has been working part time at Billings Clinic for a few years now, where she represents psychiatry on the Montana State Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission. Dr. Rhoades writes, “Away from work, I have been married 29 years and we have one son. I love growing iris, hiking, horseback riding and skiing here in Montana.”


Jay Jamieson, ’80 MD, spent 1983 to 1985 in the National Health Service Corps, then one year from 1986 to 1987, as a medical missionary in the squatter villages of Manila, Philippines.

Jeffrey “J. A.” McErlean, ’80 MD, writes: “At the very end of my second year at NUMS (as it was known in its day), I incurred a service obligation with the U.S. Public Health Service/Indian Health Service. The rationale for my action was partly noble and idealistic, as my father had worked for the National Park Service in the early 1950s, and my mother regaled me with tales of travelling the Southwest during the early years of their marriage. Perhaps the most real, in-your-face reason, however, was that both of my parents passed away suddenly and prematurely at the end of my undergraduate years. As the oldest child, I was faced with a choice: claim the lion’s share of an estate diminished by 1970’s-era taxation encountered in the wake of my parents’ passing, leaving fiscal crumbs for two younger sisters in their quest for higher education, or Plan B. Plan B evolved into my service obligation.

“I was married in June 1980, a week before my scheduled official graduation date, with full disclosure to my young bride that there would be an adventure awaiting us after completion of my rotating internship at Evanston Hospital, in the form of a two-year payback obligation to the Indian Health Service for support and scholarship provided to me during my last two years at NUMS.

“So, just a few days after finishing my internship, my young bride and I packed our new 1981 Jeep Cherokee with all our worldly belongings, including a new Samoyed puppy, and made the five-day drive to San Carlos, Ariz., to work with the San Carlos Apaches.

“This experience was bittersweet. On one hand, it rounded out some rough spots in the realm of basic family medicine and primary care, but also set me back essentially three years in my post-graduate training, so that when we returned to Chicago, I had to complete yet another internship at the beginning of a five-year surgical residency at Rush. My surgical resident peers could not believe that I took such a detour in my clinical training years. I will go so far as to say that I was often ridiculed and reminded that time spent in the hinterlands could have been directed to earlier completion of my residency, perhaps even to include a specialty fellowship that might have followed (not to mention the marketability and the enhanced income that such micro-focus often brings to such accomplishments.)

“I will conclude by summarizing that my two years on an Indian reservation working for the Public Health Service probably made me a better primary care physician, but this carried no weight whatsoever with surgical department chairmen or my peer group, and may in fact have suggested that I was weak, relatively unfocused and uncertain in my choice of surgical residencies. If they only knew the whole story…”

Lydia Sarro_150Lydia Sarro, ’81 MD, writes: “My husband Joe and I recently had the great pleasure of hooding our daughter, Julia Bartolomeo, as she received her MD (magna cum laude), from Boston University School of Medicine. Julie will be starting her residency in family medicine at Boston Medical Center in June. I am particularly proud that she has chosen a career in primary care. A week prior to this happy event, we celebrated as our younger daughter, Cara, received her doctorate in physical therapy from Northeastern University. I know she will have a rewarding and meaningful career taking care of patients as well. She, like her sister, loves living in Boston, and as her parents, we are thrilled to have them both living just a few hours away from our home in Western Mass. I have continued to practice general pediatrics with the same group for almost 29 years. Many of the parents in my practice were once my patients. That is one of the great joys of pediatrics!”

Renate D. Savich, ’82 MD, writes: “I have been very active in neonatal global health initiatives throughout the world. I have taught neonatal resuscitation in China, Indonesia and Mexico. I am on the steering committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics Helping Babies Breath Initiative (HHB). HHB is a neonatal resuscitation curriculum for resource-limited circumstances, developed on the premise that assessment at birth and simple newborn care are things that every baby deserves. The initial steps taught in HBB can save lives and give a much better start to many babies who struggle to breathe at birth. HHB is an initiative of the American Academy of Pediatrics and has many partners, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Saving Newborn Lives/Save the Children and the Millennium Villages Project.

Our latest initiative is the 100,000 Babies in Ethiopia, Nigeria and India. This is a focused effort in these three countries to decrease neonatal mortality using intensive training, QI and data collection. We will be going to Ethiopia in August to work with the Ethiopian Pediatric Society and the Ministry of Health to help them implement this program. Two new training modules, Essential Care for Every Baby and Essential Care for the Small, are being rolled out worldwide. I am a master trainer for this Survive and Thrive effort. I have also been invited to Iran in November to set up their first-ever Neonatal Resuscitation Program.”

Renate Savich, MD, caption

Renate Savich, MD, (center, facing camera) helping teach neonatal resuscitation in Indonesia.

Rosalyn Singleton, ’82 MD, finished her pediatric residency in 1985. She writes: “Being the daughter of a beekeeper, I was privileged to receive a National Health Service Corps Scholarship. My husband and I have spent the past 30 rich years in the Indian Health Service and tribal health, initially in Arizona, and now have been in Alaska for 27 years. I spent my fledgling years as a pediatrician on the Navajo reservation along with fellow Northwestern grad, Pat O’Connor, ’82 MD, ’85 GME.

“During those years, I made occasional calls to Dr. Stan Shulman and the Northwestern pediatric infectious disease team for consults on difficult meningitis and bone and joint infections. Over the years, I’ve watched first-hand the dramatic impact of Hib, hepatitis A and B, and pneumococcal vaccines in decreasing child morbidity and mortality. What a delight to reconnect with Dr. Shulman last year when he was giving a talk at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Convention!”

Scott Cordes, ’83 MD, ’88 GME, assistant professor of clinical orthopaedic surgery, and Victoria Brander, ’86 MD, ’90 GME, associate professor of clinical physical medicine and rehabilitation, both at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, were featured in the May 14 Chicago Tribune with Operation Walk Chicago for providing trauma services to earthquake disaster victims in Nepal. Established in 2005 by Northwestern professor Dr. David Stulberg and Dr. Brander, Operation Walk Chicago doctors helped treat an estimated 1,200 victims from the April 25 earthquake.

Timothy Herrick, ’83 MD, finished two years of family and travel medicine with Oregon Health and Science University’s Department of Family Medicine. There, he shared responsibility for resident global experiences, student rural experiences and led his clinic’s effort to attain their health maintenance quality metrics. He also co-authored a chapter on travel medicine for the next “Taylor’s Family Medicine.” Dr. Herrick is married to Joan Burlingham Herrick, ’82 PT, and is the father of two great kids.

Larry Kwak, ’83 MD, ’84 PhD, chairman of the Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma and co-director of the Center for Cancer Immunology Research at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, was appointed director of the Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center at City of Hope, Duarte, Calif.

Munish Gupta_150Munish Gupta, ’86 MD, ’91 GME, professor, vice chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, chief of orthopaedic spine surgery, and co-director of the Spine Center at the University of California-Davis, was appointed professor and chief of spine surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine.



Wayne Saville, ’86 MD, vice president of clinical development oncology at Tocagen Inc., was appointed vice president of clinical oncology at Xencor, Inc.

Charles S. Modlin, ’87 MD, transplant surgeon and urologist at the Cleveland Clinic, walked 26 miles in May to raise awareness of the 26 million Americans living with kidney disease. He writes, “I know all too well what kidney disease does to a person and how it impacts the community. While I can treat patients with kidney disease, most of these individuals would be much better off avoiding kidney disease in the first place. I’m walking to raise awareness and support those who have kidney disease in our state.”

Charles Blanke_150BCharles Blanke, ’88 MD, of Portland, Ore., is professor of medicine at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Science University. He is also chair of SWOG (formerly the Southwest Oncology Group), one of the National Cancer Institute’s five large-scale cooperative groups that test new cancer treatments and prevention programs. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in February to raise awareness of the importance of cancer clinical trials and to bring attention to dwindling federal funding for the NCI and its clinical trials network. He has been an avid rock climber and amateur mountaineer for 30 years.


Upon completion of her Ob/Gyn residency training, Regina de Leon Gomez, ’95 MD, served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps/Indian Health Service at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center in Phoenix, from 1999 to 2002. She received the U.S. Public Health Service Citation for Exemplary Performance of Duty in 2001. Dr. Gomez writes, “This was one of my best experiences and has served me well throughout my years as an Ob/Gyn.”


Josh-Cohen-Hayden and Harper_150Josh Cohen, ’07 MD, and Jackie Cohen, ’06, welcomed twins, Harper Riley (girl) and Hayden Gideon (boy), in November. They’re already sporting Northwestern colors!




Julian D’Achille, ’08 MD, graduated from the general surgery residency program at Tufts Medical Center on June 19. He started a fellowship in plastic surgery at Louisiana State University, New Orleans, in July.


Jefferson Jones, ’11 MD, ’11 MPH, joined the USPHS after a residency as an epidemic intelligence service officer with the CDC. He has been proud to serve his country during Ebola, dengue fever and measles outbreaks, as well as in confronting obesity. He writes that it is a great program for anyone interested: (www.cdc.gov/eis/index.html).

On a deployment to Sierra Leone in Nov. 2014, Jefferson Jones, ’11 MD, ’11 MPH, gave infection prevention and control trainings for local healthcare workers treating Ebola patients.

On a deployment to Sierra Leone in Nov. 2014, Jefferson Jones, ’11 MD, ’11 MPH, gave infection prevention and control trainings for local healthcare workers treating Ebola patients.

Michael Yarrington, ’14 MD, married Amy Jia, ’11, in May.


Carl L. Backer, MD, ’85, ’87 GME, of Chicago, was selected as president-elect of the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society. His two-year term begins in 2016. Dr. Backer, a professor of surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine, has been division head of pediatric cardiovascular-thoracic surgery at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago since 2008.

Dale Coy, MD, ’89, ’92 GME, of Barrington, Ill., a physician at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, wrote “Morton’s Fork: A Doctor’s Dilemma” (Windy City Publishers, 2012). The novel reveals the emotional toll that the Affordable Care Act is taking on the nation’s physicians and argues that medical-legal reform is necessary for the legislation to succeed. Dr. Coy is enjoying the book club circuit in Chicago.

Kenric Murayama, MD, ’92 GME, program director at Abington Memorial Hospital, joined the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine as chair of the Department of Surgery in June.

Samir Desai, MD, ’99 GME, of Houston, is an assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He wrote “Medical School Scholarships, Grants & Awards: Insider Advice on How to Win Scholarships” (MD2B, 2014). Dr. Desai has mentored several award and scholarship winners and is committed to helping medical students overcome career challenges. He provides regular updates on award and scholarship opportunities on his website (www.medschoolawards.com/).

Diana Kerwin, MD, ’00 GME, founder of Texas Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders (part of Texas Health Physicians Group), was appointed medical director of the memory care program at Presbyterian Village North in Dallas.

Daniel K. Choi, MD, ’11, ’14 GME, of Chicago, became a pediatric hematologist and oncologist and faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine in Aug. 2014. His practice focuses on the care and treatment of children with all types of cancer and blood disorders. In June, he completed a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at Northwestern’s McGaw Medical Center and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.


Susan-Davis_150Susan Davis, ’77 BSPT, has a private practice in New Jersey, Joycare Onsite, LLC, where she provides physical therapy to pets in their home, in clinics, animal shelters, farms and zoos. She published a book in 2013 titled, “Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Animals: A Guide for the Consumer.” 



Molly McCool Jones, ’08 DPT, of Colorado Springs, is an outpatient neurological physical therapist through University of Colorado Health. In June 2014, she earned her board specialty certification as a neurologic clinical specialist.


Hugh Ryan, ’52 DDS, of Downers Grove, Ill., enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps shortly after Pearl Harbor. He was underweight to get into the service, so he ate 28 bananas on check-in day and passed his physical. He trained in a Boeing-Stearman Model 75 biplane. He flew in that same airplane two years ago at the age of 89. Ryan recently went on an Honor Flight, which transports veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the war memorials.

After serving in World War II, he continued his education at Northwestern. Ryan had a dental practice in Downers Grove for more than 40 years. He enjoyed backpacking in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and served as parish historian for his church. Ryan says his most remarkable accomplishment is raising six children with his late wife, Mary. She died in 1999.

Harry-Sheehy-150Harry L. Sheehy, ’81 DDS, of Chicago, wrote “The People’s Cardinal” (Image Creation, 2014). The novel looks into the future of the Catholic Church, examining the dangers it faces if it does not meet the needs of the faithful in a rapidly changing modern world. He had studied to become a Jesuit priest.