Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of General Internal Medicine

Division of General Internal Medicine Newsletter

  • GIM News
  • Donna L. Bishop, Editor
  • Next issue:
    May 25, 2018
  • Submission deadline:
    April 20th, 2018
  • E-mail: Donna Bishop

Faculty and Staff Changes

Welcome Aboard

Ann-Marie Rosland, MD, MS, started as an Associate Professor in the Division on October 1, 2017.  She will be based both at the VA and the University.

Ann-Marie conducts research that aims to improve health care for diabetes and other chronic conditions, and to support patient engagement and self-management, frequently by mobilizing the power of the patients’ social networks. She received her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in chemistry from UW–Milwaukee, earning the Emeritus Award for most outstanding chemistry undergraduate. She then attended Washington University Medical School with a Distinguished Student Scholarship. After completing her internship and residency at the University of Pennsylvania, she worked as a primary care clinician for the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Ambulatory Health Services. A few years afterward, she entered the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. After completing the program and earning a master’s degree in health and health services research, she was appointed as a research investigator at the VA Ann Arbor Center for Clinical Management Research, and in 2011 received an appointment as assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan. Since 2006, she has been an attending physician in the University of Michigan Healthcare System, and since 2007 a primary care physician at the VA Ann Arbor.

In the 10 years since she began at the VA, Ann-Marie has had great success in her research within the institution and beyond. She is currently active on 6 grants—as PI or co-PI on half of them, including a VA HSR&D-funded 4-year RCT to determine how technology-enhanced coaching of patients with high-risk diabetes and supportive family members may improve patient engagement and lower risk for complications. She is a co-PI for a $4 million Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) to improve prevention and management of chronic conditions by supporting Veterans and providers in making personalized healthcare decisions that take into account individual patient risk and preferences.

Ann-Marie actively disseminates her research, with 36 peer-reviewed publications in a broad spectrum of journals, including the American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Managed Care, Journal of Gerontology, and Patient Education & Counseling. A review of models for mobilizing family support for chronic disease management, published in Chronic Illness,was one of the top ten cited articles in the journal from 2010 to 2016.

Division Faculty Hospitalists

Satya Acharya, MD, began on July 1. She has been working as a hospitalist since 2005, and spent several years as a teaching hospitalist at the University Hospitals in Cleveland, OH. Since 2015 she has been as an attending hospitalist in the Departments of Critical Care Medicine at both UPMC Passavant and UPMC St. Margaret, simultaneously holding an appointment as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her education and training in India, including residencies in cardiology, psychiatry, and anesthesia, before completing a residency in internal medicine at Western Reserve Care System in Youngstown, OH. She also completed as research fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in 2001. She will be working days on our Hospitalist service.

Zohaib Aftab, MD, began on July 1. Dr. Aftab recently completed his residency in internal medicine at New York Medical College at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, NJ. Dr. Aftab received his medical degree at King Edward Medical University in Lahore, Pakistan. He completed subsequent internships in ENT and Surgery in Pakistan before undergoing externships at Detroit Medical Center in nephrology and interventional cardiology. He also recently completed the Essentials in Critical Care Ultrasound Course offered by the American Society of Chest Physicians. He will be working days and nights on our Hospitalist service.

Ricardo Cabello, MD, earned his medical degree from Pitt’s School of Medicine in 2014 and recently completed his residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. While an undergraduate student in biochemistry at the University of Virginia he gained research experience working as an assistant in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics on a project related to protein crystallography. He pursued further research with a retrospective study conducted during medical school in the Department of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and a project during residency on advanced liver disease. He also spent a summer during medical school as a teaching intern at the Hillman Cancer Center. He has presented abstracts at annual meetings of SGIM and the Society of Hospital Medicine, and given a grand rounds presentation while at Mt. Sinai. He’ll be working both days and nights on our hospitalist service.

Aman Gupta, MD, earned his medical degree in India before completing an internship and residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. He then began as a hospitalist at UPMC East, where he has worked since 2014. While in medical school he completed a clinical clerkship in nephrology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He has coauthored publications that have appeared in AJRCCM and in PLOS ONE, and given presentations—including on research associated with the Pittsburgh COPD SCCOR Study—at meetings of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Thoracic Society. He’ll be working days on our hospitalist service.

Arun Janakiraman, MD, MHMS, earned his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in 2010. Before that he had completed a Master of Health Management Systems program at Duquesne University in 2006 after having earning a BA in Economics from George Washington University. He completed his internship and residency at Cooper University Hospital (Camden, NJ), followed by a year as chief resident. He was active during residency, gaining teaching experience precepting residents and medical residents, and was the resident member of a hospital committee devoted to patient/family health care education. He has coauthored publications appearing in the Journal of Community Health, among others, and given presentations at the European Society of Cardiology, the Infectious Disease Society of America, the American College of Cardiology, and Academic Internal Medicine Week. He’ll be working days on our hospitalist service.

Kristen Livesey, MD, earned a double major with honors in biological sciences and public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University, and subsequently attended medical school at Pitt, graduating in 2012. During med school she won the Dean’s Summer Research Award, completed the Physician Scientist Training Program, and co-directed the Cancer Institute Summer Academy at Hillman Cancer Center in 2009. After completing her internal medicine residency in the women’s health track at UPMC in 2015, she began working as an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an assistant in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been an active citizen wherever she’s gone, serving as the class representative for the housestaff council during residency and more recently on a health failure readmission reduction working group at Mass General. She has taught medical students and residents, and is currently active on two research projects funded by PCORI, one as co-investigator and the other as internal consultant. She is a co-author of nearly two dozen publications, many related to autophagy and cancer. She’ll be working both days and nights on our hospitalist service.

Mohana Loya, MD, MPH, began in the Division on June 13. Dr. Loya completed his education in 2006 at J.S.S. Medical College in Mysore, India, followed by two years of family medicine residency and three years of internal medicine residency at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA, where he received multiple recognitions for promoting excellence and professionalism. Dr. Loya also earned an MPH from Missouri State University in 2010. Since August 2016 he has been working as a hospitalist at CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center Bergan Mercy in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Loya has given presentations at annual meetings of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Thoracic Society. He conducted research in Pittsburgh in 2009 with the Allegheny County Health Department related to risk factors for H1N1 influenza. He will be working both days and nights on our Hospitalist service.

Emanuel Petroulakis, MD, had been working since last year as a hospitalist at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, CO, before starting as a hospitalist in the Division on July 1. He completed both his undergraduate education (with high honors) and medical school at Rutgers, followed by an internal medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. While in residency he helped design a neurology curriculum, and he has since then gained teaching experience as a member of the active staff at Jefferson and at Cooper University Hospital. He has also worked on the active staff responsible for an inpatient medical service at South Jersey Healthcare – Regional Medical Center. He has held an appointment as a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of New Mexico Medical School since 2013, and before that at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Jefferson Medical College.

Maria Tsangaridou Petroulakis, MD, FACP, attended medical school in Greece before completing residency training at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. She earned a Fellowship in the ACP in 2010. During residency she was a member of the critical care chapter of the curriculum review committee, and has since then gained teaching experience as a member of the active staff at Cooper, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and Inspira Medical Center (Vineland, NJ). She has worked as a locum tenens hospitalist at several hospitals from Billings, MT, to St. George, UT, most recently at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, CO. She will be working days on our hospitalist service.

Raghunandan Purushothaman, MD, went to medical school in India before doing his residency at the University of Arkansas, which he recently completed. In his final year of residency he served as the program’s representative for the hospital’s infection control team. He co-founded the Society for Enhanced Health and Access to Treatments (SEHAT) in 2013, which promotes the control of non-communicable diseases in India. He conducts research related to this area, with a co-authored publication on the effectiveness of community health in controlling cardiovascular disease in LMIC that appeared recently in Global Heart, and a design of a cluster randomized controlled trial to study the same issue in India, which was published in the American Heart Journal in March of this year. He will be working days and nights on our hospitalist service.

Saro Sarkisian, MD, MHA, began on June 12. Dr. Sarkisian received his medical degree in 2009 from Aleppo University School of Medicine in Aleppo, Syria. During his education he undertook a research internship at the Neurovascular Laboratory at Columbia University, and completed clinical elective rotations in pulmonary medicine and cardiology at the University of Illinois, Chicago, as well as an additional rotation in cardiology at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas. He completed an internal medicine residency at UPMC from 2010 to 2013, after which he began working as a hospitalist physician at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, PA. He quickly began to take on leadership roles in the health system: he was appointed lead hospitalist physician in 2014, and served as chair of the Case Resource Management Committee and a member of advisory boards for Excela Health Medical Group. In 2015 he became the assistant medical director of the hospital’s Palliative Care Program. As a nocturnist, Dr. Sarkisian will be working on the Bone Marrow Transplant service and the Leukemia service at UPMC Shadyside.

Benjamin Sprague, MD, MS, before starting in the Division on July 1, had been serving as the chief medical resident of quality & safety at the VA Pittsburgh and UPMC. He completed both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He earned his medical degree in 2013 from Pitt, during which he was a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellow and earned a Certificate of Clinical Research in the Clinical Trials Research Track from the ICRE. During his residency, which he completed at UPMC in 2016, he volunteered at the Birmingham Free Clinic, and was active during both residency and medical school as the vice president of academics for the medical school’s Student Executive Council, and on a national level as the American Medical Student Association National Office’s Academy Officer and Director, and the student representative to the NBME’s Advisory Committee for Medical School Programs. He has experience teaching medical students as a small group instructor and facilitator, and has delivered presentations at the American Heart Association and the Biomedical Engineering Society. He will be working days and nights on our hospitalist service.

John Szymusiak, MD, MS, FAAP, is a recent graduate of our Academic Clinician-Educator Scholar (ACES) Fellowship, in the Medicine–Pediatrics track. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 2011, and did his residency in the internal medicine–pediatrics program here at UPMC, serving in his fourth year as chief resident. He has developed several curricula including a patient safety curriculum for senior residents at CHP. He was recently a co-coordinator of the evidence-based medicine curriculum for UPMC Shadyside, and has taught medical students and residents in a variety of settings. His research has been supported by DGIM and the Shadyside Hospital Foundation, and has been presented at national meetings of the American Academy of Pediatrics and SGIM, among others. He is active in service, having served as president of his medical student association, as a member of several committees for the residency and CHP, as well as a reviewer of oral abstract presentations that were finalists for the Hamolsky Award at SGIM. He was elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2015. He will have a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, working 50% of his time with the Diagnostic Referral Service, hospitalist service at Children’s Hospital.

Priyanka Vallabhaneni, MD, received her medical degree and served as an intern and house surgeon superintendent in India, before doing an internal medicine residency at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem, PA. Since 2014 she has been working as a hospitalist at UPMC East. She completed a number of clinical observerships at UPMC before her residency, including in critical care medicine and general internal medicine. She has been a coauthor on research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. She will be working days on our hospitalist service.

Lydia Winnicka, MD, earned her medical degree with high honors from Ross University in 2014. She then did her residency and a year as chief resident, which she recently completed, at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA. She has been a co-investigator on two recent projects, one a randomized trial of an intervention to reduce readmission of patients with COPD exacerbation, and the other a lung cancer screening protocol. She has presented original research and case reports at meetings of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Thoracic Society. She began on August 6 and will be working days on our hospitalist service.

John Wuchenich, MD, MPH, has been working since 2015 as a medical hospitalist at the Providence Regional Medical Center and The Everett Clinic in Everett, Washington. After earning his medical degree from Loma Linda University, he completed residencies in internal medicine and preventive medicine at the Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, at the same time earning an MPH from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. While in residency he led a multidimensional initiative to improve the quality of smoking cessation interventions and nicotine withdrawal treatment for hospitalized patients. He has consistently been active in service, including as his residency program’s representative to an information systems committee at DHMC, and more recently as a clinical analytics team member at his current hospital. He has experience teaching medical students on their internal medicine clerkship, and while in residency was invited back to his med school alma mater to give a guest lecture on health care financing for a law and medicine elective. He begins on August 1 and will be working days and nights on our hospitalist service.

Division Staff

Leslie Bullock is a Project Specialist with the Department of Medicine’s Office of Education. Leslie is originally from Roanoke, VA, and has called Pittsburgh home for the past year. Before joining the team at UPMC, she spent six years with Planned Parenthood in both direct patient care and clinic management roles. Leslie is a proud alumna of Virginia Tech and spends most of her free time watching Hokie sports, studying and performing opera, and snuggling with her cat.

Julia Holber, a recent graduate from Washington University in St. Louis, is the new Associate Director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Smart Technology. Having graduated with a BA in Educational Studies, a minor in Children Studies, and a concentration in Premedical Studies, she is thrilled to be back in Pittsburgh as part of the HealthTechPitt team.

Tyler Marchinetti is our new Project Coordinator in the Division. Tyler completed his undergraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a dual degree (BS/BA) majoring in Marketing and Human Resource Management. He comes to us from a marketing firm where he was the Lead Project Coordinator. For the next few weeks Tyler will be learning about our Division and programs. His first project will be assisting with the centralization of recruitment for the DOM Academic Hospitalist programs.

Fond Farewell

Dr. Susan Hunt
Julie Mastro
Brenda Sperski
Dr. Anoo Tamber