Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

GIM News
Donna L. Bishop, Editor

Next issue:
April 2010

Submission deadline:
March 26, 2010


Faculty and Staff Updates

Welcome Aboard

Esa M. Davis, MD, MPH, was recruited as an assistant professor of medicine. Dr. Davis earned her BS in biology at the University of North Carolina and her MD at UMDNJ–New Jersey Medical School. After completing her internship, residency, and chief residency at Overlook Family Practice Residency, Overlook Hospital, in Summit, New Jersey, she completed two fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and received an MPH. She then joined the faculty at Case Western Reserve University, where she was an assistant professor of medicine and an attending staff physician at the University Hospital Medical Group.

Dario Torre, MD, MPH, PhD, was recruited as an associate professor of medicine and will be the director of the Categorical Internal Medicine Program at UPMC Shadyside. Dr. Torre received his MD from the University of Rome La Sapienza in Italy and completed his residency in internal medicine at Drexel-Hahnemann University (formerly known as Hahnemann-Allegheny University) in Philadelphia, where he served as chief medical resident. His residency was followed by a 3-year fellowship in general internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University, where he also received an MPH and completed courses related to medically oriented curriculum development and instructional and teaching skills. After his fellowship, he joined the internal medicine faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he directed the Third-Year Medical Student Clerkship and subsequently directed the Students' Teaching Programs. During his time at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Torre was awarded a PhD in adult education.

Ali Vandine, MPH, was hired as a GME department manager. Ali received her MPH in health policy and management from West Virginia University. She is currently working with Drs. Buranosky, Bulova, Kroboth, and Tulsky.

Kathryn Cunningham, PA-C, joined the palliative care team in the Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics in August 2009 and is working primarily at UPMC Shadyside. Kate earned her bachelor's degree at Penn State University and received a master's in physician assistant studies from Chatham University. Before joining the palliative care service, she worked with hematology-oncology patients.

Patty Smith joined Dr. Jim Bost's research team in June 2009 as the project manager of the Data Coordinating Center for the HALT Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Study. Patty brings a wealth of experience in project oversight and administration. At the University of Pittsburgh, she was the education coordinator for the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Continuing Education Program and served as the research administrator to establish the Office and Laboratory of the Director of the Molecular and Cellular Oncology Program at the Hillman Cancer Institute. Her responsibility with the HALT PKD Study will be to oversee the collaboration of participating centers, handle study communications, and ensure the consistent quality of testing and reporting for the study.

Brenda N. Henry, MSW, joined the Center for Research on Health Care (CRHC) in July 2009 as a project coordinator. Brenda earned a master of social work degree from Michigan State University. Her previous experience focused on improving patient care, training, and health advocacy within the community. Before she joined the CRHC, she was a teaching fellow with the Center for Instructional Design and Distance Education, a maternal child health (MCH) leadership trainee at the Graduate School of Public Health, an MCH public health consultant for the Michigan Department of Community Health, and a medical social worker for Ingham Regional Medical Center in Lansing, Michigan. At the CRHC, Brenda will work with Dr. Sunday Clark as a research assistant on quality of care and quality improvement projects.

Jie Lie, MS, joined the CRHC Data Center in September 2009 as a statistician. Jie obtained a master's degree in cartography from Beijing Normal University and a master's degree in research methodology from the University of Pittsburgh. Her experience includes 14 years as an associate professor at Ningxia University, China, and 2 years as a graduate student assistant in Pitt's Department of Psychology in Education.

Xiuyun Shen, MS, joined the CRHC Data Center in October 2009 as a systems programmer specializing in Web-based applications. Xiuyun has an MS in molecular biology and biochemistry from the Chinese Academy of Science and an MS in computer science from Georgia State University. She was most recently employed by the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Zuleikha Bjork, BFA, was hired as the research education coordinator at the Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE) and will work with the teaching faculty to implement a new program to further develop educational competencies for the ICRE's graduate curriculum in clinical research. The competencies-based education program is funded through a recently awarded Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) administrative supplement. Zuleikha previously worked at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

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Asher Tulsky, MD, moved to the UPMC Montefiore/Presbyterian campus in September 2009, after serving for 12 years at UPMC Shadyside as director of Medical Student Education and associate director of the Community Categorical Residency Training Program. At UPMC Montefiore/Presbyterian, Dr. Tulsky now serves as associate program director and works with Dr. Raquel Buranosky on evaluations as the program continues to develop competency-based assessment and outcome measures. He is also responsible for the resident advisor program to ensure that all residents have appropriate support and guidance during their training. With his experience as a program director, he will be a valuable resource for Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) related questions or concerns as faculty develop the curriculum.

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Fond Farewell

Said Ibrahim, MD, MPH, has accepted a leadership position as professor of medicine and vice chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and as associate chief of staff for medicine at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, effective February 1, 2010. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Ibrahim on his many accomplishments while in Pittsburgh and to wish him the very best in his new position.

Teresa Nolan, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at UPMC Montefiore/Presbyterian has resigned her position as of November 2009. We wish Dr. Nolan the best.

Julie Szymanski, MA, is leaving general internal medicine at Shea Medical Center to work in surgical oncology. We extend best wishes to Julie.

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