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Alumni News

Posted by on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 in Alumni News, Summer 2016, Vanderbilt Community .


Richard Lester, M.D., ‘53, HS ‘54, BA ‘50, was awarded the Samuel Buford Word Award at the Alabama Medical Association meeting. The award is presented in recognition of service to humanity beyond the scope of medical practice, with such service having been rendered at some personal sacrifice.

Paul Huchton, M.D., ‘58, HS ‘59, has established a free clinic in a low-income section of El Paso, Texas. For the past 10 years, he has been teaching a course on China at the University of Texas El Paso.


Barry Silverman, M.D., HS ‘69, and Saul Adler, M.D., have authored the book “Your Doctor’s Manners Matter,” which addresses what a patient should expect when in the doctor’s office or in a hospital and draws on their combined 80 years’ experience in patient care and medical education.

Gillis Payne, M.D., HS ‘69, lives on a farm in Ramer, Alabama, where he has raised beef cattle for 30 years. He has been in private general pediatrics practice since 1973, solo since 1981. His three grandchildren live in Brentwood, Tennessee.

Mary Michal, M.D., ‘60, HS ‘61, who joined the Quillen College of Medicine in East Tennessee in 1978, retired from pediatric practice in May. The College hosted a reception to honor her career, which included serving as faculty from 1978-1999 and then operating the Michal Childhood Development Center in Johnson City.

William M. Mitchell, M.D., ‘60, HS ‘74, BA ‘57, FAC, professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, has been named chairman of Hemispherx’s board. Hemispherx is a specialty pharmaceutical company.

Alan Graber, M.D., HS ‘63, FE ‘64, is writing a biography about Thomas Brittingham, M.D., who served as the Department of Medicine’s first director of the residency program from 1964 to 1980. A summary of Graber’s book can be found here.


Samuel Strada, Ph.D., ‘70, dean of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, received the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl Champion of Life Award, which honors individuals who have achieved great success through dedication and hard work, have overcome many obstacles and have given a great deal back to the community and country.

David Moroney, M.D., HS ‘77, FE ‘79, has been appointed medical director of provider network innovations for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.

James Connolly, M.D., ‘74, is the chair of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, which monitors compliance to standards at each accredited breast center.

Clyde Heflin, M.D. ‘73, FE ‘80, HS ‘81, has been named corporate medical director for Breathe Easy Respiratory Solutions, Inc.

John Hainsworth, M.D., ‘76, HS ‘79, FE ‘81, serves as principal investigator at Sarah Cannon Research Institute LLC.

William Schaffner, M.D., FE ‘66, HS ‘70, FAC, has been presented with the John P. McGovern Compleat Physician Award by the Harris County Medical Society, the professional association for Harris County physicians and the Houston Academy of Medicine.

John Tarpley, M.D., ‘70, BA ‘66, FAC, longtime director of the general surgery residency program, was conferred as professor of surgery and anesthesiology, emeritus, at Commencement in May. His last day of work was June 30, and on July 2, he and his wife Maggie (BA ‘65, MLS ‘66) left for Nairobi, Kenya. They will be at the Kijabe Hospital through December, except when they will be back in the states for the Vanderbilt undergraduate and medical reunions and the American College of Surgeons meeting in Washington, D.C. In January 2017, they will head to Kigali, Rwanda, for six months where they will be doing surgery education.


Wayne Poll, M.D., ‘81, a laparoscopic surgeon, is the founder and CEO of Minimally Invasive Devices Inc.

Robert Means Jr., M.D., ‘83, FE ‘89, dean of East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine, has been awarded the Founders Medal by the Southern Society of Clinical Investigation for providing leadership for growth of the society.

Arthur Fleischer, M.D., HS ‘80, FE ‘81, has joined the Expert Network, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals based on peer reviews and ratings, recognition and accomplishments through his career.

Charles “Chipper” Griffith, M.D., ‘88, BA ‘84, has accepted the position of vice dean for education at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

Ashley Wackym, M.D., ‘85, was elected president of the Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum, a society founded to bring thought leaders in otolaryngology together to share research findings and develop relationships across cultures and national boundaries. In addition, he was recently appointed professor and chair of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and as a Chancellor’s Scholar, Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences.

Ken DeVault, M.D., HS ‘89, was elected president of the American College of Gastroenterology. He is chair of the Department of Medicine at Mayo Clinic Florida.

John Marymont, M.D., ‘86, has been named vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama. Marymont, former chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport, was selected following a nationwide search.

Jeffrey Prinsell, M.D., ‘86, HS ‘88, was re-elected president of the Georgia Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons for a second term.

John Brock III, M.D., HS ‘83, BA ‘74, FAC, Surgeon-in-Chief for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vice Chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences, Director of Pediatric Urology and Monroe Carell Jr. Professor, has been named Senior Vice President of Pediatric Surgical Services.


Judd Brandeis, M.D., ‘95, has been selected by Castle Connolly as one of America’s Top Doctors. He is the chief of urology at John Muir Medical Center.

David Gordon, M.D., ‘97, has joined NYU Lutheran Medical Center as a senior member of the neurosurgery team at the hospital’s main campus in Sunset Park. Prior to joining NYU Lutheran, Gordon served as the director of vascular neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center.

Thomas Montine, M.D., Ph.D., HS ‘97, has been appointed the new chair of the Department of Pathology at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Gregory Henderson, M.D., ‘93, Ph.D., ‘92, has been appointed president of Bio-Reference Laboratories.

Stephanie Bankson Martin, M.D., ‘94, HS ‘99, FE ‘01, started her own performance orthopaedics and sports medicine practice in Atlanta. She is married to Greg Martin, M.D., ‘94, HS ‘98, FE ‘01, who was promoted to professor of Medicine at Emory University. They live in Atlanta with their two children, Forrest and Sydney.

Jonathan Yingling, Ph.D., FE ‘99, has been appointed chief scientific officer of BIND Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage nanomedicine company developing targeted and programmable therapeutics.

Navin Gupta, M.D., FACC, HS ‘95, has joined St. Luke’s Cardiology Services and Cardiovascular Associates in Sioux City, Iowa.

John Jay Warner, M.D., ‘92, an interventional cardiologist, has been named senior executive officer of Southwestern Health Resources. He was also recently named president-elect of the American Heart Association.

John van Aalst, M.D., ‘93, has been named director of research for Shriners Hospital for Children-Cincinnati. He is also the director of the Division of Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Jasminka Criley, M.D., HS ‘99, associate professor at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, leads a software-based company that promotes science education through a software-based learning tool.

David Kerins, M.D., FE ‘93, a former clinical pharmacology and cardiology fellow, is the clinical director at Mercy University Hospital in Ireland. He previously served as dean of the Medical School at University College Cork.

Todd Gary, Ph.D., ‘92, FE ‘94, director of the Data Science Institute at Middle Tennessee State University, is the WPC Healthcare program’s first visiting scholar. WPC is a leader in developing, implementing and supporting data standards.

Daniel B. Murrey, M.D., HS ‘98, has joined Surgical Care Affiliates’ inaugural physician advisory board. Murrey is the CEO at OrthoCarolina and Transformant Healthcare Solutions.

Trent Rosenbloom, M.D., ‘96, MPH ‘01, HS ‘00, FE ‘01, is the vice chair for Faculty Affairs and associate professor of Biomedical Informatics with secondary appointments in Medicine, Pediatrics and the School of Nursing. An avid runner who has competed in multiple marathons, he dreamed of organizing one himself, and out of this vision came the Flying Monkey Marathon, a unique race that takes place in hills of Percy Warner Park in Nashville. The race recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.


C. Leon Partain, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, emeritus, received the 2016 Washington University Medical Alumni Achievement Award.

John Jasko, M.D., HS ‘00, has been named to Castle Connolly’s list of America’s Top Doctors. Jasko is an orthopaedic surgeon and assistant professor at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

David Leiman, M.D., ‘09, and Erin Leiman, M.D., ‘08, moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, after David completed his clinical fellowship in gastroenterology and obtained a master’s degree in health policy at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Erin is assistant professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine, and David is assistant professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, both at Duke University Medical Center. They recently celebrated the birth of their son, Zev Mayer.

Robert J. Wilson II, M.D., ‘11, HS ‘16, FE, and Jessica Wilson, M.D., ‘11, MSCI ‘16, BS ‘07, FE, announce the birth of their son, Robert Jewell Wilson III, born on Jan. 26. Robert is completing his orthopaedic oncology fellowship at Vanderbilt and Jessica is completing her Harrison Society/ABIM Research Pathway fellowship in Endocrinology.

Bala Thatigotla, M.D., FAC ‘11, has been appointed head of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

Michael Pitman, M.D., HS ‘04, was appointed chief of the Division of Laryngology at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

Michael Harl, M.D., HS ‘00, has joined the Expert Network, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals based on peer reviews and ratings, recognition and accomplishments. Harl practices with the Northwest Plastic Surgery Associates in Missoula, Montana.

PJ O’Neill, M.D., HS ‘03, FAC ‘04, helped start a new ACS Level 2, State Level 1 trauma center in the Western part of Phoenix. He volunteers with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and is a qualified armed posseman, ready to assist injured victims, officers or suspects.

Christine Kirlew, M.D., ‘12, is working as an outpatient primary care physician at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.

Alexandra Mieczkowski, M.D., ‘09, is the associate program director for the Med-Peds program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Fen Xia, M.D., HS ‘06, has joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology in the College of Medicine.

Elizabeth Dale, M.D., ‘06, FE ‘10, has been named medical director of the Adult Burn Center at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Lesly Dossett, M.D., ‘03, MPH ‘08, HS ‘10, has joined the surgical faculty at the University of Michigan as assistant professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology.

Michael Warren, M.D., MPH ‘09, FAAP, has been appointed deputy commissioner for population health for the Tennessee Department of Health.

Supriya Kohli, M.D., FE ‘15, joined Cookeville Regional Medical Group, specializing in neurology.

Amit Rakhit, M.D., MSCI ‘02, MBA, has been appointed chief medical and portfolio management officer for Ovid Therapeutics.

James Fleming, M.D., HS ‘13, has joined Erlanger Health System as a board-certified neurologist in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Andrew Pittard, M.D., HS ‘09, joined SouthernMED Pediatrics in Columbia, South Carolina, in 2015 and is part of opening and starting the new Northeast Columbia location.

Aaron Dawes, M.D., ‘11, former VUSM class president, passed his dissertation defense for his Ph.D., in health policy and management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Dawes is a general surgery resident at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar.

Ashley Blaske, M.D., HS, accepted a dual fellowship at Vanderbilt in pediatric and adult rheumatology, the first resident at Vanderbilt to do so. Her fellowship training is a four-year program.

Rachel Gordon, M.D., ‘00, recently won the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award from the Columbia University Physicians and Surgeons class of 2016. This is the second time she has won the award. She serves as assistant professor of clinical medicine and epidemiology at New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

Tiffany Ballard, M.D., ‘10, recently married Rajesh Rao, M.D., in September 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Tiffany will complete her plastic surgery residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in June 2017. Following residency, she will complete an aesthetic and oculoplastic surgery fellowship in Chicago. Rajesh is a physician-scientist at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.

Neil Segal, M.D., ‘00, MS, joined the faculty of the University of Kansas in December 2014 as director of Clinical Research in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, where his research program focuses on osteoarthritis as well as the musculoskeletal effects of pregnancy. He also directs the Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation service at Kansas University. He was recently named the recipient of the Dr. George Varghese Professorship in Rehabilitation Medicine.

Sovana Moore, M.D., ‘00, HS ‘01, BS ‘96, is a partner and practices Ob/Gyn in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She and her husband, Steve Moore (BS ‘96) welcomed their third child, Sloan Thomas, in July 2015. He joins big sister Shelby and big brother Austin.

Daniel Sacks, M.D., ‘11, completed his otolaryngology residency at the University of Connecticut in July and joined the Otolaryngology Associates of Tennessee with offices at Centennial Hospital, Saint Thomas Midtown and Williamson Medical Center.

Chris Scally, M.D., ‘10, matched at MD Anderson Cancer Center for a complex general surgical oncology fellowship beginning in August 2017.

Kevin Kumar, M.D., ‘16, Ph.D., ‘14, and Jyoti Duggal, M.D., were married on April 23 in New Delhi. Duggal is a pathology resident at Baylor College of Medicine. Kumar is a neurosurgery resident at Stanford University.

Robert Riviello, M.D., MPH, HS ‘06, and John Scott, M.D., ‘10, were awarded Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Joseph E. Murray and Simon J. Simonian Award in recognition of Scott’s outstanding achievement and the dedication of his mentor, Riviello.