Progress Notes

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Alumni from the MD Class of 1982, (pictured left to right): Rich Davis, Jeff Lifson, John Murphy, Jim Cooke and Bob McKlveen, along with their spouses, enjoyed a week of sailing the U.S. Virgin Islands, Culebra and Vieques. The five friends are a subgroup of a dozen classmates who have gathered for mini-reunions over 30 times since graduation. As McKlveen shared, “The bonds made at [Northwestern] last a lifetime.”

1940s

Daniel Marshall, ’47 MD, was the 2018 recipient of the American College of Physicians’ Henry Gift Award. The award recognizes a Connecticut-based internist distinguished for a “lifetime of service to the care of patients and active participation in the local medical community.” Marshall retired in October 2018 after being in practice for six decades.

1960s

James F. Bellenger, ’60 MD, is pictured with Martha Catherine Hotchkiss, not a Northwestern alumna, with whom he went to a school dance in the 1940s in Birmingham, Alabama. In September 2018, she reached out to him and they discovered that they lived just an hour apart in Tennessee. They have since met up and reconnected. They are now back in each other’s lives after all these years, with their story featured in the local paper.

Left: James F. Bellenger, ’60 MD, is pictured with Martha Catherine Hotchkiss then and now

Charles Maseredjian, ’66 DDS, class reunion chairman, is calling all Northwestern University Dental School (NUDS) Class of 1966 alumni to save the date: June 25 – 26, 2021. The NUDS Class of ’66 will be celebrating their 55-year reunion in Chicago. More information to come. Contact Maseredjian at 818-841-4695 (office) or 818-822-3172 (cell).

1970S

Edward Forkos, ’70 MD, of Las Vegas, Nevada, who specialized in internal medicine shared: “My principal preoccupation my whole life has been mountaineering. I’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed a parallel life in this world and am still going strong with rock-climbing, canyoneering, and general and exploratory mountaineering. I do a lot of teaching, including technical skills, high-altitude and wilderness medicine, and proper land stewardship, and try to inspire the next generations. My wife is my constant companion in these endeavors. I also enjoy puttering around in the kitchen; listening to a wide range of music, especially classical and jazz; and watching weird and provocative movies. I can’t complain.”

Above: Edward Forkos, ’70 MD

Elenuté Nicola, ’70 MD, of Iowa City, Iowa, specialized in psychiatry. Nicola still works part-time with R3 continuum and distress management at various organizations, and enjoys playing racquetball and studying French.

Karsten Konerding, ’70 MD, of Henrico, Virginia, wrote, “As a radiologist, I was present during the early days of CT, MRI, ultrasound, and mammography, and participated in the transformation of radiology from a casual, laid-back consultative specialty to a dynamic 24/7/365 practice, providing real-time patient care in the acute setting.” His favorite memory from medical school was, “Courting and marrying Hazle, my ‘trophy bride’ of 51 years.”

Lawrence Rathbun ’70 MD, shared his many accomplishments, including serving as: cocreator of the Cardiac Anesthesia program at the NRMC San Diego; chairman of anesthesia at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina; chairman of Anesthesia of Providence Hospital and Springhill Hospital in Mobile, Alabama; and surgeon in the 4th Marine Division. He lives in Richmond, Texas.

Above: Elenuté Nicola, ’70 MD

Above: Karsten Konerding, ’70 MD

Below: Michael Supancich, ’70 MD

Below: Andrew Lewicky, ’70 MD

Michael Supancich, ’70 MD, lives in Carlsbad, California, with his wife, Cheryl. He practiced ophthalmology. He shared, “I really enjoyed my practice years in Monterey County, California. The proximity to Laguna Seca Raceway provided a nice respite from my practice. [Now] I live near the beach and enjoy the walks along the beach, along with landscape photography.” Supancich has served as board chair of the Spondylitis Association of America, along with leading the local spondyloarthritis support group, for 16 years.

Andrew Lewicky, ’70 MD, of Winnetka, Illinois, whose specialty was ophthalmology, wrote: “Over the years, I have lectured at meetings and courses, and was an invited surgeon in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The most memorable of these activities was being invited to teach and operate onboard Orbis, the flying eye hospital, on its inaugural mission to Moscow and Leningrad, when both cities were still part of the USSR. My second mission with Orbis was to Kathmandu in Nepal. Finally, I developed in 1980, and patented in 1982, the Lewicky Anterior Chamber Maintainer, a surgical instrument that is still in use today throughout the world in eye surgery.

Elliot G. Levy, ’71 MD, has co-written the book Investing 101 for Doctors, How to Invest Wisely and Still Sleep Well at Night (dollarsfordrs.com), which he describes as “a guide for investing directed specifically towards doctors.” Levy became interested in investing toward the middle of his career in endocrinology, realizing that “in order to be successful, I had to understand the business side of medicine.” His first book, Private Practice, What You Don’t Learn as a Resident, was published by the Endocrine Society.

Eli Michaels, ’70 MD, who lives in Illinois and practiced urology, shared, “My family is my wife Rebecca, an educator who specialized in learning disabilities. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ we have created together. We have honored our parents, delighted in the achievements of our nieces and nephews, and thoroughly spoiled our dear Wheaten Terrier, Lucy, age 14.”

Above: Peter B. Geittmann, ’77 MD and team

Peter B. Geittmann, ’77 MD, ’81 GME, has, over the course of 35 years, delivered more than 5,000 babies at Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) in the suburbs of Chicago. While working at NCH in the operating room, he met his future wife, Margie Geittmann, an OR nurse, and married in 1985. They have three daughters, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. His wife shared some of his many achievements and generous acts, from helping raise $33,000 to help pay the medical bills of an OR nurse hit head-on by a drunk driver, to raising funds that enabled NCH to buy iPads and three hydraulic cribs, and finally, starting a foundation to help underinsured women. Mrs. Geittmann wrote, “The inspiration for the foundation came when Dr. Geittmann evaluated an uninsured 39-year-old Hispanic woman in the ER for a possible ectopic pregnancy. She was a mother of four, and after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, he told the daughter that her mother would have to undergo extensive surgery and chemotherapy. The daughter meekly asked, ‘Is chemotherapy expensive?’ The Dr. Peter Geittmann Foundation raised $200,000 dollars for NCH.”

Alan L. Sisson, ’77 MD, has become medical director for the pharmacy division of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Texas, and Montana. Sisson also sings with the international award-winning a cappella chorus, New Tradition Chorus, headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, and is the vice president of marketing and public relations for the chorus.

Alumni Fighting COVID-19

Geraldine Menard, ’97 MD, ’00 GME, is chief of general internal medicine at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans. Her father, William Frable, ’59 MD, ’60, ’64 GME, submitted this photo of her. Menard was featured in The New York Times in an April 5 article about the understated U.S. death toll from COVID-19.

Laura Bontempo, ’94 MD, ’98 GME, an emergency medicine physician in New Haven, Connecticut was quoted in Reuters for a special feature called, “A Day Fighting the Coronavirus.” She said: “I’m used to treating sick patients. I treat sick patients all the time. It’s very different knowing that the patient you are treating is actually a risk to you as well. That’s the main difference here. No one who works in hospitals is afraid of treating sick people. Just want to keep staff safe and the patients safe at the same time.”

Visit the online edition of the article at: reut.rs/2SAvK0M

Sherene Farkhran, ’03 MD, MPH, ’06, ’09 GME, who is a physician in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in Chicago, was lauded for her efforts in the fight against COVID-19 by Barack Obama on his Instagram. Sharing her story with his millions of followers, Obama quoted Farkhran, who said, “Although I have been working with critically ill patients for many years, this experience has been very emotional. What gives me the most hope is how people have come together to support in whatever way they can — from bringing food to making PPE for our staff.”

Karen Kaul ’84 MD, PhD, chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at NorthShore University Health System in Evanston, Illinois, started conducting COVID-19 testing in her lab March 12 — the first lab in Illinois to offer testing outside of the Illinois Department of Public Health — offering results to patients within 24 hours. Within a week, they were testing 100 patients a day, and, as of press time, they were testing about 1,000 patients daily. Kaul’s department is also helping evaluate antibody testing. “There are still so many questions that we need to answer,” Kaul said.

1980S

Paul M. Palevsky, ’81 MD, has been named president-elect of the National Kidney Foundation. Palevsky is a member of the National Kidney Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science in the RenalElectrolyte Division at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and chief of the Renal Section at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

David Berman, MD, ’83 GME, writes, “Selected again by Boston magazine as one of ‘Boston’s Best Urologists,’ I am enjoying my 37th year at Merrimack Urology Associates, a six-person general urology practice based in Lowell, Massachusetts. But my heart is often in Seattle where my son and his family live; my two granddaughters, ages four and two, are fantastic creatures.”

Sigurd B. Gundersen, III, ’83 MD, is retiring after more than 35 years of clinical service and 20 years of administrative service. As medical chief of the Gundersen Medical Foundation and chair of the Foundation Board since 2014, Gundersen also served on the Gundersen Health System Board of Governors and the Executive, Peer Review, and Compliance
Committees.

Dr. Avery’s book “Marijuana: An Honest Look at the World’s Most Misunderstood Disease.”

James A. Avery, ’84 MD, is corporate medical officer at Diversicare Health Service. Avery also recently published his second book, Marijuana: An Honest Look at the World’s Most Misunderstood Weed.

Scott Zeller, ’86 MD, was awarded the 2019 Ritz E. Heerman Memorial Award from the California Hospital Association in recognition of his design and development of customized programs and delivery models to aid hospitals and health systems in transforming treatment protocols and raising the standard of care for behavioral health patients. Named 2015 ‘USA Doctor of the Year’ by the National Council for Behavioral Health, Zeller also recently published a new textbook, Emergency Psychiatry: Principles and Practice.

Bertrand C. Liang, ’88 MD, was appointed chief medical officer of Kitov Pharma Ltd., a clinical-stage company advancing therapies to overcome tumor immune evasion and drug resistance. In December 2019, Liang also was named a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

Above: Paul M. Palevsky, ’81 MD

Above: Sigurd B. Gundersen, III, ’83 MD

Above: Andrew Lewicky, ’70 MD

Above: Bertrand Liang, ’88 MD

Alumni Respond

REACHING OUT TO THE GRIEVING

As I write this, thousands of people have died from COVID-19 in the United States. Since we are social distancing, families who have lost someone special will not get to have a visitation, funeral, or shiva. This must make the pain even more intense.

I can understand how they feel. We got the phone call on the morning of December 18, 2009. Our youngest son, Alex, did not show up for work (at my office). A neighbor went to check on him and found him dead. He was 21. An autopsy later determined that the H1N1 flu he’d had in October had settled into his heart. Like many young people during the 1918 flu epidemic, it affected his heart seven weeks later, causing fibrillation and death. Shortly before he died, he got an MCAT score of 99.3%. He would have been a fabulous doctor. He wanted to be an internist.

I can’t remember who told me about the Compassionate Friends (compassionatefriends.org), but it literally saved my life. This support group is for bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings over 18. There are over 600 chapters in the U.S. and many overseas. I have run the Cincinnati East Chapter for more than five years now.

Hopefully, you will not need us. But if a friend, neighbor or patient does, our motto is, “We need not walk alone.”

Lindsay Wilson
Bibler, ’80 MD
lbibler@me.com

1990S

Joanne C. Smith, MD, ’92 GME, was one of six recipients of the 2020 Order of Lincoln, Illinois’ highest honor, awarded for professional achievement and public service. Smith has served as president and chief executive officer of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab since 2006 and also is on faculty at Feinberg.

Paul W. Florsheim, ’93 PhD, has co-authored Lost and Found: Young Fathers in the Age of Unwed Parenthood, chronicling the lives of several men as they transition to parenthood, weaving social history, developmental psychology, and public health into their stories. Florsheim discussed his book at Bookends and Beginnings in Evanston on March 12.

Charles Levy, ’93 MD, will retire as the chief of Rehab Medicine at North Florida-South Georgia Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida, one of the largest VA Medical Centers. He was the winner of the prestigious Paul B. Magnuson Award in 2015, the highest honor given to a VA researcher in rehabilitation who exemplifies the qualities of its namesake: for clinical, research and humanitarian excellence in the field.

G. Adam Flowers, ’94 MD, has authored the book My Apology, which delves into the topic of divorce from a biblical examination of the subject. The book is available on most book order platforms in both print and electronic formats.

Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck, ’94 PhD, ’95 MD, has been named chair of the Department of Inflammation and Immunity at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. A pathologist and leader in the study of epithelial stem cells in inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer, Stappenbeck will lead a team of over 50 principal investigators studying the origins and manifestations of a range of infectious, autoimmune, and inflammatory diseases.

Rawle A. Seupaul, ’97 MD, was recently named chief clinical officer of the Universityof Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Medical Center. Seupaul will continue to serve as chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the UAMS College of Medicine.

Kavitha Gandhi, ’98 MD, ’99 GME, Women in Medicine subcommittee co-chair of the Medical Alumni Association Board, presented to the Lake Forest High School Women in STEM Club, on the demands, requirements, and rewards that pave the road to becoming a physician.

Above: Paul Florsheim, ’93 PhD

Above: Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck, ’94 PhD, ’95 MD

Above: Rawle A. Seupaul, ’97 MD

Above: Joanne C. Smith, MD, ’92 GME

Above: Kavitha Gandhi, ’98 MD, ’99 GME and the Lake Forest High School Women in
STEM Club

Below: Shamila G. Rawal, ’02 MD

2000S

Shamila G. Rawal, ’02 MD, recently announced the opening of her new practice, The Rawal Institute for Hair Restoration and Aesthetic Medicine, in Madison, Wisconsin. Rawal’s practice specializes in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of alopecia, rejuvenation of the face and neck, and bioidentical hormone therapy.

Saravanan Krishnamoorthy, ’03 MD, recently joined Elegran, an independently-owned, technology-driven real estate brokerage company specializing in residential sales and leasing in New York City, and was featured in Yahoo Finance.

Carina Yang, ’03 MD, ’08, ’09 GME, was promoted to associate professor of Radiology at the University of Chicago in July 2019 after having joined as faculty member in 2013. Yang helped found the annual Radiology Expo. Last year, in its fourth year, the expo hosted just under 100 medical student attendees from 19 medical schools, including volunteer radiologists and trainees from across Chicagoland. She also leads the Radiology Simulation program and has expanded the international radiology conference held annually in Chicago, the Scientific Assembly and annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. Named the 2019 Anne G. Osborn American Society of Neuroradiology International Outreach Professor, for her passion for international teaching, Yang has taught in Newfoundland, Gwalior and Delhi in India, Hong Kong, and most recently Ethiopia.

Murad Alam, MD, ’06 MS, ’15 MBA, was appointed to the board of directors of the American Academy of Dermatology. Alam is professor, vice chair, and chief of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery in the department of Dermatology at Feinberg.

Above: Saravanan Krishnamoorthy, ’03 MD

Above: Yang and her husband Benson Yang ’07 GME sightseeing on their most recent trip to Ethiopia in October 2019.

Below: Cory Lee Simpson, ’10 PhD, ’12 MD

2010S

Cory Lee Simpson, ’10 PhD, ’12 MD, recently received the national “Patient Care Hero” honor from the American Academy of Dermatology for his exceptional work providing free dermatologic care to uninsured patients in Philadelphia. The award recognizes those who “transform patients’ lives by utilizing their expertise and collaborating with other physicians to treat serious skin disease.”

PT

Karin Schumacher, ’73 BAPT, PT, MPH, received the Dr. Ronnie Leavitt Award for Leadership in the Promotion of Social Responsibility in Physical Therapy from the Health Policy and Administration (HPA) Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) at its annual meeting in February 2020. She founded the CrossCultural and International Interest PT Group in 1985, now called the Global Health Special Interest Group, to develop resources, promote intercultural rehabilitation practice in lesser developed countries around the world and minority U.S. communities, and to encourage cultural competency teaching in professional schools of physical therapy. She is semi-retired and lives in Denver, Colorado.

MS

Austin Bland, ’19 MS, a graduate of the Feinberg Genetic Counseling program writes: “I now work as a public health genetic counselor with the Western States Regional Genetics Network. Of our projects with a national scope, we have developed videos to teach both providers and patients about telehealth and best practices. These videos are specifically targeted toward those who are new or inexperienced with telehealth, and would like to practice social distancing while still receiving medical care.”