Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

GIM News
Donna L. Bishop, Editor

Next issue:
August 2011

Submission deadline:
June 17, 2011


Faculty and Staff Updates

Welcome Aboard

Andreas N. Achilleos, MD, was recently recruited as a clinician-educator and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Achilleos received his MD in 1996 from Athens Medical School in Athens, Greece, and completed a residency in 1998 at Sotiria General Hospital in Athens. He then came to Pennsylvania, where he completed an internal medicine residency at Western Pennsylvania Hospital in 2001 and served as a chief resident until 2002. After working for 2 years as a primary care physician in Nicosia, Cyprus, he returned to the United States, where he held positions as a faculty member at Temple University and West Penn Hospital (2004-2008), as an associate program director for the Department of Internal Medicine at West Penn Hospital (2006-2008), and as an associate staff member in the Cleveland Clinic Department of Internal Medicine (2008-2010).

Georgeanna Robinson, EdD, became the assistant director of the Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE) in November 2010. Georgeanna has an MA in Japanese studies from the University of Cambridge in England, and she earned her EdD in higher education management from the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, where she focused on junior faculty careers and professional identity development. Before joining the ICRE, she was the administrator of Pitt's Vascular Medicine Institute.

Samantha Comarnitsky, MPA, joined the Department of Medicine's Office of Education in March 2011 as the coordinator of the Internal Medicine/Pediatric Residency Training Program. Samantha received her MPA in 2009 from the University of Pittsburgh. She previously worked as an academic counselor of students in Argosy University Online Programs, and she also worked in the Office of Residence Life both at McDaniel College and at the University of Pittsburgh.

Lynn Denunzio became the administrative assistant for the ICRE's Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP) in November 2010. Her responsibilities include providing key support to program leadership and to the CRSP's 25 junior faculty research scholars. She brings a wealth of University experience to the position, having transferred to the ICRE from the Biostatistics Facility of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), where she worked for 10 years.

Pamela Dittoe, RN, BSN, MBA, is the administrative clinic manager at Shea Medical Center, where she oversees all aspects of operation of the internal medicine clinic at UPMC Shadyside Hospital. Pamela received a BSN from the University of Akron and an MBA from Lake Erie College. She most recently worked at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Kyle Holleran, MS, joined the Center for Research on Health Care (CRHC) Data Center as a systems programmer in January 2011. Kyle was already familiar with the Division of General Internal Medicine, as he was most recently employed as a graduate student researcher on a comparative effectiveness research study headed by Dr. Doug Landsittel and also worked previously as a research assistant for Dr. Bruce Rollman. Kyle holds an MS in information sciences from Pitt.

Sharon Hudak, RN, BSN, BC, is the supportive services nurse liaison for the newly established UPMC Supportive Services Program at UPMC Presbyterian/Montefiore Hospitals. As the nurse liaison, she completes assessments of UPMC Health Plan patients who are at risk for hospital readmissions and decreased quality of life. She also works in collaboration with the on-site case manager, the attending physician, the patient's primary care physician, and the UPMC Health Plan case manager to facilitate the coordination of care for patients throughout their hospital stay and up to 30 days after their discharge. Sharon received her BSN from the University of Pittsburgh, is certified in cardiac vascular nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and is currently enrolled in a master's program in nursing administration. She previously served as the director of nursing at a long-term care facility and as the quality assurance coordinator at a free-standing outpatient surgery center.

Khushnuma Kadwa, BA, is the new operations manager in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She has two BA degrees, one in business and the other in human resources. She has worked for UPMC since 2007, and her previous experience included working as a manager of academics in the Cardiovascular Institute.

Jennifer Lees, MS, was hired in December 2010 as the program coordinator of the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Education Core Supplement. The supplement was awarded to the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) to develop CER courses within the ICRE degree programs. Jennifer earned her MS in health care policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009, and she most recently worked as a clinic coordinator at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Heather Marrin, BS, joined the Department of Medicine's Office of Education, Oakland Campus, as the coordinator of the Transitional Year Residency Program in February 2011. Heather came here from Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked as the student coordinator for the University of Phoenix. She previously worked for Great American Country Television after attending Belmont University, where she majored in journalism and music business.

Roberta Melick recently joined the Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics as the academic support coordinator. In this role, she coordinates the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program and oversees all aspects of educational credit unit (ECU) reporting for the Division of General Internal Medicine. Roberta attended the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in elementary education. She retired from teaching after 22 years. Most recently, she worked in the laboratory of Dr. David A. Vorp, supporting his vascular research for 4 years here at the University of Pittsburgh.

Debra Oklota, BA, was hired in January 2011 as the new administrator for the Section of Decision Sciences and Clinical Systems Modeling. Debra came to us from West Penn Hospital, where she worked in a similar position, providing support to faculty members and chairs in the Department of Pathology. Debra has over 20 years of professional experience in hospital and academic settings and in the private sector.

Ashley Scolieri, BA, joined the Division of General Internal Medicine in December 2010 as an administrative assistant for the CRHC Data Center. Ashley is providing support to the Data Center faculty and helping out with general ICRE and Data Center operations. She has experience working in the Department of Epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health, and she recently earned a BA in communication sciences and disorders from Pitt.

Annamarie Turner joined the Division of General Internal Medicine in March 2011 as an administrative assistant for the CRHC. Her responsibilities include providing support to the CRHC faculty and helping out with general operations. Annamarie has experience working in the Sleep Study Program of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine at Pitt.

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Personnel Changes

Joanna Cure, RN, BSN, has moved into the position of clinic practice manager for the 9 South General Internal Medicine Clinic. Joanna previously worked as the nurse coordinator in the clinic and managed the day-to-day operations in the clinic for almost 5 years. The clinic is now searching for a nurse coordinator to fill her former position.

Diana Edwards, MSIS, is leaving her position as administrative assistant to Joanne Riley to take a job with our research team at McKee Place. Diana received her master's degree in information sciences last year and will be a research coordinator for Dr. Smita Nayak.

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Fond Farewell

Ali Vandine, MPH, has been with the Division of General Internal Medicine since August 2009, shortly after she received her MPH from the University of West Virginia. She will be leaving her position here to participate in the Physician Services Division Fellowship Program at UPMC, a 2-year program that is designed to provide exposure to all aspects of physician practice management.

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