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Class Notes

David S. Katzin, M.D. ’59, an internal medicine physician, practiced in Miami for 15 years before taking six months off to travel the U.S. and Canada in a motorhome with his family. He landed in Estes Park, Colorado, where he practiced for several years before joining the Department of Veterans Affairs in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1987. The following year, he became chief of medicine at the VA hospital in Salisbury, North Carolina, and served as chief of staff for 20 months. He retired from the VA in 2003, and his wife died in 2009. He’s been living in a retirement community in Morrisville, North Carolina, since 2019.

Linda R. Braterman, M.D. ’65, is enjoying Southern Delaware beaches after retiring from an OB-GYN private practice in Maryland.

Richard A. Smith, M.D. ’65, a neurologist, edited the book Neurotherapeutics in the Era of Translational Medicine. Published in December 2020, the book describes advancements that have revolutionized the way neurological diseases are treated.

Myles B. Abbott, M.D. ’72, was the 2020 recipient of the Bronze Bambino lifetime achievement award from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. The award is presented annually to an outstanding member of the medical staff. Dr. Abbott is a pediatric private practitioner with East Bay Pediatrics and clinical professor of pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco. He has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Board of Pediatrics.

Philip Mirmelli, M.D. ’73, practices in pediatric allergy and immunology at Florida Center for Allergy & Asthma Care in Miami Beach. He feels blessed he’s still able to enjoy the practice of medicine. He’s grateful to the “U” for a great start and has served as an admissions committee member for many years.

Marilyn Moss-Jarvis, M.D. ’73, who specializes in family medicine and addiction, continues to love what she does. She practices at Circles of Care in Melbourne, Florida.

Jeffrey Phelan, M.D. ’73, and Torre Halscott, M.D. ’09, and their fellow editors, Drs. Pacheco, Moroz, Vaught, and Saad, would like to report they will be publishing the seventh edition of their book “Critical Care Obstetrics” in early 2023. Dr. Phelan has been an editor for the previous six editions dating back to 1987. Dr. Halscott has extensive training, skill, and experience in obstetrical critical care. Among the latest edition’s topics are the use of ECMO, cardiopulmonary bypass, organ transplant patients, treatment of viral and bacterial pneumonia, ventilator support, care of patients in hypertensive crisis, and the management of obstetrical mass casualties.

Jose R. Rovira, M.D. ’74, retired from practicing rheumatology when he turned 65 in 2015, after a wonderful career. He currently lives in Pinecrest, Florida. He misses his patients but not the administrative duties.

Mark D. Sherman, M.D. ’74, J.D., a retired general and vascular surgeon, is a senior FAA medical examiner at Mark D. Sherman MD FAA Flight Physicals in Port Orange, Florida. He’s a fixed-wing and helicopter pilot.

Margaret Ravits, M.D. ’75, is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, where dermatology residents have selected her five times as “Teacher of the Year.”

Paula K. Bernstein, Ph.D., M.D. ’76, is retired from her obstetrics and gynecology practice. Before the pandemic, she’d been traveling extensively with her husband, taking both medical and nonmedical courses of interest and writing. She’s launched a third career writing medically themed mysteries, with seven published books in the series. Her main character is a Los Angeles obstetrician who solves murders with a Los Angeles Police detective.

Jose L. Gonzalez, M.D. ’76, who specializes in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology, became a quality health care consultant after he completed a master’s in population health at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. To take on his new role, he left his position as vice president of community health and medical director for the Center for Children’s Health, led by Cook Children’s, in Fort Worth, Texas. After a slow start, requests grew, including a recent six-month commitment as interim chief medical officer at Parkland Community Health Plan in Dallas. He’s currently serving as El Paso Health’s growth hormone treatment appeals reviewer. He visits his family in Miami often and will continue to do so after COVID restrictions loosen.

Paul Lafia, M.D. ’76, is a retired cardiologist who worked in private practice as part of a 10-person team in Southeast Michigan for 34 years. He was involved in both noninvasive and invasive cardiology. He’s a clinical associate professor at Michigan State University School of Human Medicine. He teaches sophomore medical students and sees cardiology patients at the Genesee County Free Medical Clinic. He has two children, and he’s a happy grandfather. His son is a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas who has a 1-year-old son. His daughter is a practicing OB-GYN physician in the metro Detroit area who has a 2-year-old daughter and a newborn son. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, skiing, and kayaking.

Thomas Rowe, M.D. ’76, was planning to retire from general surgery at the end of 2020 after 40 years in private practice. But he realized his hands, eyes, and judgment were still intact — and he decided to keep going. He’s currently at Jupiter Medical Center, where he’s able to practice at his own pace and limit surgery to cases he loves with good results.

David Shapnick, M.D. ’76, retired from practicing ophthalmology in 2017 and lives in Sanibel, Florida.

Alan Matarasso, M.D. ’79, is a clinical professor of surgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health and a plastic surgeon in private practice in New York. He’s chair of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Virtual Spring Meeting and received the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jacob Plotkin, M.D. ’79, retired from ophthalmology in 2011 after 30 years of practice in Brownsville, Texas. He’s married to fellow medical school classmate Ruth Ann Plotkin, M.D. ’79 (nee Flowers), with two children and two grandchildren. He lives in Austin and is an active investor and a private pilot.

Abram Berens, M.D. ’82, is a dermatologic surgeon in the Fort Lauderdale area and was president of the Broward County Medical Association from 2020 to 2021.

Susan Snodgrass, M.D. ’84, is vice president of medical affairs at Incyte Corporation in Wilmington, Delaware, focusing on hematology/oncology.

Orlando Santana, M.D. ’87, served as director of the echocardiography lab at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach for 20 years, where he was involved in research and publications in medical journals.

Monica Harris-Broome, M.D. ’89, received the AMA Women Physicians Section (WPS) Inspiration Award, which honors physicians who’ve offered their time, wisdom, and support throughout the careers of fellow physicians, residents, and students.

Brett Schlifstein, M.D. ’90, is anesthesia director at Bardmoor Surgery Center in Largo, Florida.

Sheela L. Lahoti, M.D. ’91, was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the Texas Medical Board District One Review Committee for a one-year term. She’s the associate dean of admissions and student affairs at the McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where she also serves as a pediatrics professor. She’s a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

M. Shawn Morehead, M.D. ’91, M.P.H., is the founding program director of the family medicine residency program at Gadsden Regional Medical Center in Alabama, after serving as an associate family medicine program director in Birmingham for 25 years. She continues her interest and travels in public health and medical/residency education around the world.

Harlan Bieley, M.D. ’92, M.S., is an anti-aging, regenerative, and functional medicine specialist at Healthy Living and Longevity Medical Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He developed a patent that offers a partial, proactive solution for tobacco smoking and secondhand smoke exposure.

William Trattler, M.D. ’92, is the president of the American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery and recently founded the Rising Stars in Ophthalmology organization, an educational initiative that helps ophthalmologists early in their career. He continues to practice at the Center For Excellence In Eye Care with his father, Henry, and 12 other ophthalmologists. This year he’s celebrating his third anniversary with his wife, Jennifer Loh, M.D., who’s also an ophthalmologist. Their son, Daniel, just turned 2. His daughter, Ali, is a junior at Northeastern University; his son, Jeremy, will be attending Wake Forest University this fall; and his younger son, Josh, is a high school sophomore.

Joelle Vlahakis, M.D. ’95, is program director of the Florida State University Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program at Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) — the first American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) fellowship offered in the FSU family of training programs. Dr. Vlahakis is also the medical director of the inpatient palliative care consult service at SMH and leads a small team to provide expert palliation to record numbers of patients.

Christopher Ward, M.D. ’95, is vice chair of emergency medicine at Steward Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Massachusetts. He received a Certified Physician Executive (C.P.E.) designation and will earn an M.B.A. at the London School of Economics this year, moving his 23-year career in medicine toward executive leadership roles as a hospital system CEO.

Edward H. Chin, M.D. ’96, is an occupational and environmental medicine medical officer for the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, Maryland. As part of the Human Factors Pre-Market Evaluation team, he helps ensure new medical devices are safe.

Nelson Garcia, M.D. ’96, received the 2021 Alpha Omega Alpha Voluntary Clinical Faculty Award from the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. This award is given to a community physician in recognition of his/her clinical teaching.

Sumi Makkar Sexton, M.D. ’96, is editor in chief of American Family Physician, president of Premier Primary Care Physicians in Arlington, Virginia, and part of Privia Medical Group’s board of governors. She’s also an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Enio Luis Prieto, M.D. ’97, is an internal medicine physician in private practice at Indian River Internal Medicine in Sebastian, Florida. He’s vice chairman of the board of trustees at Steward Sebastian River Medical Center, where he’s also medical director of the transitional care unit, and a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Cambize Shahrdar, M.D. ’97, specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery for Willis-Knighton Health System in Shreveport, Louisiana. He’s performed more than 6,500 hip and knee replacement surgeries and incorporates robotic surgery for these procedures.

Jason A. Campagna, M.D. ’98, Ph.D. ’97, was recently named chief medical officer of Q32 Bio, a biotechnology company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that develops therapeutics for healthy immune regulation. He brings more than 15 years of biotech and pharmaceutical experience to his new role.

Shelley Wells Collins, M.D. ’99, was recently named the associate dean of student affairs at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. She’s married to William Collins, M.D. ’95, the chief of pediatric otolaryngology at UF Health. They have three sons — the oldest is a freshman at Duke University.

Perri Young, M.D. ’99, has been staying busy in her internal medicine private practice. She’s been using telemedicine and has been able to manage many of her patients at home. Her husband, Sean Simon, M.D. ’99, continues to practice as a plastic surgeon, meeting the increased surgery demand now that more people are working remotely. Their family recently moved to Pinecrest, Florida. Their 18-year-old daughter, Riley, was accepted into UM. Their 15-year-old daughter, Avery, is a stellar student demonstrating a real interest in medicine. Dr. Young gives a shout-out to fellow Miller School classmates, including Jason James, M.D. ’99, her obstetrician-gynecologist and go-to for referrals; Joshua Harris, M.D. ’99, her go-to cardiologist, and his wife, Ana Vidal, M.D. ’99, her go-to maternal-fetal specialist.

Zaiba Malik, M.D. ’01, was featured in the Top 100 international women ophthalmologists on The Ophthalmologist’s “The Power List 2021”. She is the medical director at Medpace; Ophthalmologist/CEO at EyeMD; and clinical assistant professor at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio.

Victoria Arsenis-Dimitriades, M.D. ’02, is a clinical professor of pediatrics at UC Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, California, and chief of the Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at UC Davis Health.

Katheryn Elizabeth Nathe, M.D. ’02, recently became the medical director of neonatology at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Massachusetts. She completed a master’s of medical science at Harvard Medical School in 2008.

Kara Jehle Pepper, M.D. ’05, a practicing primary care internist and certified life coach, was recognized as one of Atlanta’s Top Doctors 2020-2021. Dr. Pepper rebuilt her life and career after burnout and now helps physicians love what they do. She provides individual and group coaching, leads retreats, and speaks on topics surrounding burnout, perfectionism, impostor syndrome, second victim syndrome, and career transition.

Kathleen Brookfield, M.D. ’08, Ph.D. ’06, was named program director of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University in October. She also serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization Department of Reproductive Health and Research on magnesium sulfate use in pregnancy.

Minal Ahson, M.D. ’10, is an assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of South Florida, working as a med-peds hospitalist. Since the pandemic began, her group has been exclusively on the front lines. Before COVID, she was traveling to provide health care and training to health workers around the world. She’s also been directing/teaching courses on refugee and humanitarian health at universities across the country.

Shacara Wilson, M.D. ’10, recently transitioned from private practice to academic medicine as assistant director of the family medicine residency program at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

Peter Michael, M.D. ’11, M.B.A. ’15, helped develop and was part of the first M.D./M.B.A. class at UM. After graduation, he completed a fellowship in interventional pain and a second fellowship in regenerative sports and spine in Napa Valley, California. He returned home to Miami, where he joined his close friend, Miguel Telleria, M.D. ’08, M.B.A., a fellow graduate of UM undergrad, medical school, and residency in anesthesia. Together, they’ve created the fastest growing interventional spine and sports practice in South Miami.

Thomas Mitchell, M.D. ’11, is a general and burn surgeon at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research in San Antonio, Texas. He’s currently serving as part of the Joint Special Operations Task Force – Juniper Shield (JSOTF-JS) in Niger. Previously, he served in Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria.

Joseph Greene, M.D. ’12, M.B.A. ’11, is in private practice in Rockville, Maryland, practicing bariatric, robotic, and advanced laparoscopic surgery. After completing a residency and fellowship, he was appointed chairman of the bariatric surgery subsection at his hospital. In October, he was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

William Cutting, M.D. ’12, is in his second year of practice as an invasive cardiologist at Lee Health in Fort Myers, Florida. He’s married with three sons.

Jonathan P. Meizoso, M.D. ’12, M.S.P.H. ’16, will complete a fellowship in trauma and acute care surgery at the Ernest E. Moore Shock Trauma Center at Denver Health and the University of Colorado in July. He will be joining the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery faculty at the Miller School as an assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Trauma, Burns and Surgical Critical Care in September.

Joshua Weiss, M.D. ’12, who specializes in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery, was named vice chief of surgery at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. He helped establish an endoscopic skull base program with Marcus Neuroscience Institute neurosurgeons and completed his third year as a clinical affiliate instructor of surgery at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.

Ilan Epstein, M.D. ’13, joined his father’s practice, Fort Lauderdale Eye Institute, after completing his ophthalmology residency and fellowship training in New York. The practice specializes in general ophthalmology, cornea and external disease, cataract surgery, LASIK refractive surgery, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery.

Taylor Schreiber, M.D. ’14, Ph.D. ’10, was recently named chief executive officer of Shattuck Labs, a biotechnology company he co-founded that creates novel therapeutics for cancer and autoimmune disease treatment, with offices in Austin, Texas and Durham, North Carolina.

Jenna Bordelon, M.D. ’16, graduated residency last year and stayed on as faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She will begin a private practice in dermatology this spring in Melbourne, Florida.

Nisha Garg, M.D. ’16, M.S. ’16, completed an OB-GYN residency at UC Irvine and is now completing a fellowship in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois.

Anthony John Kanelidis, M.D. ’17, is a cardiology fellow at the University of Chicago.

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