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Class Notes

Posted by on Thursday, March 12, 2020 in Alumni News, Spring 2020, Vanderbilt Community .


David Johnson, MD, MS, HS’69, FE’83, was honored as one of 15 Giants of Cancer Care at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago in May 2019. The award was given by OncLive, the website for the Oncology Specialty Group.

Thomas Chesney, MD’69, HS’70, FCAP, FACP, and Carolyn Chesney, MD’68, BA’65, HS’70, both pathologists in Germantown, Tennessee, were honored with lifetime achievement awards at the Baptist Memorial Hospital annual medical staff meeting.



Ret. Rear Admiral Dixie E. Snider Jr., MD, MPH, HS’73, is one of the three newest members of the Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni. Snider is former chief science officer, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is board-certified in internal medicine and in allergy and clinical immunology.

Lyle Wadsworth, MD’75, HS’77, FACP, completed a medical mission trip to Ghana and writes that serving there was one of the most rewarding experiences of his 40-plus years of medicine.

Alan Birnbaum, MD’75, was installed as president of the Fresno-Madera Medical Society, which serves the community of Fresno, California, where he has practiced for more than four decades. In late 2019 he closed his neurology office practice, while continuing inpatient care, administration and resident teaching at St. Agnes Medical Center.

Ben Kibler, MD’72, FE’74, HS’77, BA’68, an internationally known sports medicine and shoulder specialist who lives in Lexington, Kentucky, is retiring from the Lexington Clinic. Kibler, who played baseball for the Vanderbilt Commodores, developed rehabilitation protocols for baseball players with shoulder pain.



Preston Campbell III, MD, HS’80, recently stepped down as president and CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He will continue as a strategic adviser.

Robert Means, MD’83, FE’89, FAC’88-’92, received the American College of Physicians ‘Mastership’ in the College. Means is professor of Internal Medicine at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine.

Lee Daniel, MD’84, BA’80, is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is currently serving patients at Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Eugene, Oregon.

Terri Vrtiska, MD’87, was recognized for 25 years of outstanding service as a Mayo Clinic physician where she currently practices in the Department of Radiology.

Marc Toglia, MD’89, is the system chief of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS) at Main Line Health in suburban Philadelphia, where he has practiced for 22 years. He is double board certified in FPMRS and OB/GYN.

Jeffrey Sippel, MD’89, MPH, has been appointed the associate director of Inpatient Services for the Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine Division at the University of Colorado. He has also been selected as co-chair of the Epic Pulmonary Specialty Steering Board in Verona, Wisconsin.

Dave Klock, MD’89, MPH, an occupational medicine specialist in San Antonio, Texas, celebrated the 30th anniversary of his medical school graduation by retiring from practice in May 2019.



Nicole Schlechter, MD’90, HS’95, has been appointed chief medical officer for Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, effective Oct. 1, 2019. As CMO, Schlechter will lead the hospital’s medical staff and devise the structure to best operate within the current health care environment.

Kathleen Neuzil, MD, HS’91, MPH’98, FE’92, professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and director of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), in recognition of her pivotal research that has informed and shaped global vaccine and public health policy. Her membership was announced at the annual NAM meeting in Washington, D.C.

Nancy Brown, MD, FE’92, HS’92, former chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Medicine, was named dean of the Yale School of Medicine.

Greg Martin, MD’94, MS, HS’98, FE’01, has been elected to serve as president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine in 2021 and began his service as president elect in 2020.

Rick Wright, MD, HS’94, chair of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, will serve as president of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery for a one-year term. Wright, who joined VUMC on Sept. 1, 2019, was elected to the ABOS board in 2013 and previously served as the chair of the organization’s written examination committee.

Raj Narayani, MD’95, shares that his daughter, Niki, is a freshman at Vanderbilt. She is a varsity distance runner for the cross country/track team, which makes her the first college-athlete in the family of many who have attended Vanderbilt. She is also pursuing a pre-med curriculum.

Amy Boyd, MD’95, earned her private pilot license in 2019. Her children, Alex and Mary Peyton, are students at Vanderbilt University and the School of Medicine respectively.

Adele Lewis, MD, HS’05, has been appointed state chief medical examiner (ME) for Tennessee. Lewis previously served as deputy state chief medical examiner and had been acting chief ME.

Jim Jirjis, MD, FE’98, HS’98, EMBA’06, the chief health information officer at HCA Healthcare, has been appointed to the federal government’s Health Information Technology Advisory Committee.

Gregory Esper, MD’99, MBA, is professor and vice chair of Clinical Affairs for the Department of Neurology at Emory University. He was promoted to associate chief medical officer, Emory Healthcare and vice president, Lean Promotion Office, Emory Healthcare in March 2018. He also serves as the medical director of Emory Telehealth. He was selected in September 2019 to serve on Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s (R-GA) Task Force on Healthcare Access and Cost. He is serving his second two-year term as chair of the Health Services Research Subcommittee at the American Academy of Neurology.



Behrooz Torkian, MD’00, a dual board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon representing the Los Angeles market, has joined the Haute Beauty network, an exclusive, membership circle featuring select plastic surgeons from each of the top markets in the U.S. Torkian is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Irvine in the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery, and adjunct faculty at Lasky Clinic fellowship in facial plastic surgery.

Drew Moghanaki, MD’02, HS’03, MPH, moved to Atlanta to become chief of the department at the VA, with a joint appointment at Emory.

Benjamin Heavrin, MD’03, HS’08, MBA’04, has been appointed chief medical officer (CMO) for Qsource, a Tennessee-based not-for-profit consultancy that oversees federal, state and commercial health care quality improvement programs in a 12-state region.

Jonathan Kim, MD’04, is the chief of Sports Cardiology at Emory University, the only dedicated clinical and research- oriented sports cardiology center in Georgia. He is the head team cardiologist for the Atlanta Falcons, Braves, Hawks, Dream and for Sports Medicine at Emory and Georgia Tech. He is a member of the National Basketball Association’s Cardiac Advisory Committee and the American College of Cardiology’s Sports and Exercise Council.

Natalie Curcio MD’04, FE’07, HS’10, BA’00, MPH’07, was awarded three 2019 Aesthetic Everything® Awards including “Top Aesthetic Doctor,” “No. 1 Top Dermatologist Middle America” and “Top Cosmetic Center.” Aesthetic Everything® is the largest network of aesthetic professionals in the world and is the No. 1 promotion source for all information in the aesthetics industry.

Elise Fallucco, MD’04, was recently promoted to chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Florida-Jacksonville.

Kent Handfield, MD’05, is the program director for the National Capital Consortium/Walter Reed National Military Medical Center dermatology residency.

Vikas O’Reilly-Shah, MD’07, PhD’05, is associate professor of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, associate chief for Perioperative Informatics and Outcomes, Seattle Children’s Hospital and director, Center for Pain and Perioperative initiatives in Quality Safety and Outcomes.

Smitha Arekapudi, MD’07, MS, an alternate delegate for the Illinois State Medical Association, presented at the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegate meeting in June 2019 to advocate for the establishment of best practices that remove gender bias in the grant proposal process. The resolution passed undisputed by any further debate on the House floor.

Philip Budge, MD’07, HS’14, PhD’03, received a 2019 Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Budge is an assistant professor of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.



James Wantuck, MD’10, co-founded PlushCare to bring affordable health care access to patients across the U.S. via telemedicine. PlushCare is now nationwide and employing more than 100 people, many physicians, and caring for thousands of patients per week for a range of primary care conditions.

Chris Scally, MD’10, joined the faculty at MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Department of Surgical Oncology. His practice will focus on treatment of sarcoma and peritoneal surface malignancies.

Sarah Deery, MD’12, BS’08, started a two-year vascular surgery fellowship at Johns Hopkins.

Justin Gregg, MD’12, HS’13,’17, BS’07, and his wife, Becky, welcomed their second daughter, Madeleine Patricia, May 17, 2019. Becky and Justin live in Houston where Justin recently started at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center as an assistant professor of Urology after completing his fellowship in urologic oncology at MD Anderson.

Zurabi Lominadze, MD’12, BA’08, is an assistant professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at the University of Maryland.

Joe Real, MD’12, and Matt Zackoff, MD’12, were married in June 2016. Matt completed a chief year and then a fellowship in pediatric intensive care and is currently on faculty at Cincinnati Children’s. Joe completed a fellowship in medical education research and is on faculty at Cincinnati Children’s in the Division of General Pediatrics.

Leslie Meenderink, MD’12, PhD’10, received a five-year CDA-2 Career Development Award from the VA. The VA’s Career Development Program was established to provide mentoring for junior researchers so they can learn from renowned, experienced VA researchers.

Neil Bansal, MD’13, joined the Department of Radiology at Mercy Medical Center. Bansal specializes in a full range of neuroradiology and general radiology modalities, including CT, MRI, PET/CT, PET/MRI, nuclear medicine and SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography).

Jennifer Rahn, MD’14, and her husband welcomed their first daughter, Grayland Cope Link, on March 30, 2019. Rahn is practicing as a family physician in rural Barnwell, South Carolina.

Michael Reyes, MD’14, an anesthesiologist, has joined Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd, Minnesota. He completed a residency in anesthesiology at Mayo School of Health Sciences in Rochester, Minnesota, and a fellowship in pain medicine at the University of Iowa.

Irene Mathieu, MD’14, finished residency in general pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and is an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of Virginia, where she is also an affiliate faculty member at UVA’s Center for Health Humanities and Ethics.

Jon Andereck, MD’14, BA’10, MBA’15, is assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt.

Mary DeAgostino-Kelly, MD’14, MPH’15, completed her OB/GYN residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in June 2019 and remained in Philadelphia to begin practice as an attending physician with Penn OB/GYN Associates. She, her husband, Kevin, and daughter, Sydney, welcomed the newest addition to their family — Nash Joseph Kelly — Sept. 7, 2019.

Fayrisa Greenwald, MD’15, BA’11, married Derek Ginsberg on May 4, 2019, with maid of honor Lulu Wang, MD’15, and bridesmaids Margot Lazow, MD’15, and Mythri Reddy, MD’15, in attendance. Greenwald was selected for the Child PRITE Fellowship, which takes two child psychiatry fellows annually, and is a member of the editorial board to write and review questions for the Child PRITE (Child psychiatry residency in-training examination). She was selected to be a chief fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year for the NYU Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

John Erickson, MD’15, PhD, and his wife, Lauren, welcomed son, Elijah, in August 2019.

Caroline Ming-Hwei Lai, MD’11, HS’15, PhD’13, and her husband, Barry Kang, MD’14, welcomed their son, Elliot, on June 23, 2019.

Kalpana Manthiram, MD, MSCI’15, FE’15, was selected for the 2019 National Human Genome Research Institute Intramural Research Award in recognition of her research contributions and accomplishments as a postdoctoral fellow in the NHGRI Division of Intramural Research.

Benjamin Hooe, MD’16, is an attending in pediatric hospital medicine and assistant professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University/New York- Presbyterian Hospital.

Mary Masterman, MD’16, has graduated from residency at the University of Kansas School of Medicine – Wichita Family Medicine Residency Program at Ascension Via Christi Hospitals.

Lauren Slesur, MD’19, MEd’18, and Joseph Starnes, MD’19, BA’14, MPH’18 were married May 18, 2019, in Lemont, Illinois. Both are training in the pediatrics residency program at Vanderbilt.

Claude Pirtle, MD, MS’19, joined West Tennessee Medical Group as an internal medicine physician and associate chief medical information officer. Pirtle completed a clinical informatics fellowship at Vanderbilt.