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Albany Medical College Alumni Association, Inc.



Largest Donor
in the History of

The Single

Albany Medical College
David Falk, M.D. '43

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Lending a Hand in Newtown
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Kelly Larkin, M.D. ’94
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Student Advocacy: Ash and Alexander
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Please join us for Reunion

HONORING THE CLASSES OF: ’53, ’58, ’63, ’68, ’73, ’78, ’83, ’88, ’93, ’98, ’03, ’08, and THE GOLD SOCIETY*
*Indicates all classes prior to 1963 Stay informed! Subscribe to reunion updates by emailing us: Reunion Weekend Highlights
Thursday Scholarship Celebration Pillars Society Planned Giving Workshop Distinguished Alumnus Lecture: delivered by Ralph A. Giannella, M.D. ’65 College Tours and Academic Sessions Friday Evening Class Parties Dean's State of the College Address Awards Luncheon Reunion Gala

Hotel Information
Hilton Garden Inn 62 New Scotland Avenue Phone: 518.396.3500 Group Name - Albany Medical College Reunion Weekend Group Code - AMCREU
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Featured Stories
4 / President’s Message 5 / Dean’s Message 6/ D  avid Falk, M.D. ’43 The Single Largest Donor in the History of Albany Medical College
David Falk, M.D. ’43 The Single Largest Donor in the History of Albany Medical College


8/ N  ew And Innovative Admissions Process Introduced at Albany Medical College 12 / 2013 Calendar of Events 14 / M  edical Students Design Advocacy Track for the M.D. with Distinction Program


Kelly Larkin, M.D. ’94 Fixing What's Broken Is Her Passion

16 / O  p-Ed Contributor 18 / M  usical Alumni Submissions 20 / News and Events 24 / Class Notes


Kimberly A. Kilby, M.D. ’03 Musical Alumni Submissions


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Winter 2013 | 3

President’s Message
Dear Fellow Alumni, It has been an interesting and adventurous experience, as well as a great privilege serving as your president.
In August, we welcomed an eager group of incoming medical and graduate students with a dinner at the New York State Museum. This was followed by visits to alumni in Los Angeles, Boston, New York City and Delray Beach. The attendees included alumni from the Class of 1948 to the Class of 2012. I am always humbled by how our alumni are such an amazingly kind, talented, loyal and dedicated group of people. We hope you will try to join us if we're in your neck of the woods. We promise a good time for all. We've included a list of upcoming events for your convenience. We also recently hosted a Student Appreciation Breakfast, and were happy to have a diverse turnout from both medical and graduate students, as well as from Albany Medical Center leadership, faculty and alumni. Our major project for 2013 will be launching an online directory. It's a valuable opportunity for you to connect with your classmates and fellow alumni, as well as update your contact information so we can keep you apprised of all that is happening at your alma mater. Your participation will help make this a success. Reunion 2013, for the classes ending in "3" and "8," will be held April 26 through 28. There are many special events planned, and we hope you will join us for some or all of them, whether or not you are in a reunion year. A major highlight is honoring the 2013 Alumni Association Award recipients, who will be awarded at the Saturday luncheon. The Nominations and Awards committee did an outstanding job in selecting some very impressive alumni recipients. Distinguished Alumnus Award – Ralph A. Giannella, M.D. ’65 Exemplary Alumni Support Award – David Falk, M.D. ’43 Honorary Members of the Alumni Association – Elizabeth A. Higgins, M.D. and Steven A. Fein, M.D. Humanitarian Alumnus Award – Naomi N. Shields, M.D. ’82 Meritorious Alumnus Award – Alan M. Sanders, M.D. ’88 I would like to take a moment to remind you that we have moved away from membership dues, and we hope that you will instead consider a gift to the Alumni Annual Fund. Your input and feedback are very important to us in keeping you connected. Let us know what you would like to see continued, added or deleted! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2013! Janet E. Gargiulo, M.D. ’79

PRESIDENT Janet E. Gargiulo, M.D. ’79 IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Alan M. Sanders, M.D. ’88 PRESIDENT-ELECT Thomas L. Snyder., M.D. ’69 SECRETARY John E. Kaplan, Ph.D. ’76 TREASURER David M. Jones, M.D. ’97 HISTORIAN Jeffrey D. Hubbard, M.D. ’68 ALUMNI ASSOCIATION DIRECTORS Albert A. Apicelli, M.D. ’65 Frank A. Blumenstock, Ph.D. ’77 Anthony C. Campagna, M.D. ’85 Christopher L. Campese, M.D. ’90 John Czajka, M.D. ’77 Jodi Della Rocca, M.S., C.R.N.A. ’02 Clifford A. Erickson, M.D. ’99 Robert J. Hedderman, M.D. ’82 Peter Manes, M.D. ’04 Kathryn T. O’Keeffe, M.D. ’78 Philip S. Paty, M.D. ’86 Donna M. Pietrocola, M.D. ’75 Mary E. Rappazzo, M.D. ’76 Kevin W. Roberts, M.D. ’77 Nancy C. Sapio, M.D. ’85 Gurvinder S. Uppal, M.D. ’86 Vincent P. Verdile, M.D. ’84 Robert O. Webster, Ph.D. ’77 Bruce White, D.O., J.D., M.S. ’09 Richard A. Wilmot, M.D. ’88 Jitka L. Zobal-Ratner, M.D. ’88 Charles L. Poskanzer, M.D. ’45, Emeritus Steven M. Frisch, M.D. ’79, Ex-officio ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STAFF Maura Mack Hisgen, Executive Director Christine Horigan, Assistant Director Alison Lester, Program Manager Jessica Watson, Archivist or (518) 262-5033

Sunday, September 22 Sunday, October 13
San Francisco Alumni Brunch Seattle Alumni Reception

Thursday, October 24
Boston Alumni Reception Southern Connecticut Reception

Wednesday, November 13

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Dean’s Message
Dear Fellow Alumni,
In 1839, thanks to Dr. Alden March’s leadership, Albany Medical College held its first commencement. Thirteen brand new medical doctors graduated that day. This May, we will graduate our 175th class, a distinguished assembly of more than 200 physicians, scientists, nurse anesthetists and physician assistants who will proudly call our College their alma mater. The 19th century model for medical education Dr. March and those thirteen pioneers created has grown each year since, but the vision has remained the same—provide a worldclass medical education and innovative research opportunities while developing excellence in the next generation of professionals. Advances occur in the medical world every day. At Albany Medical College, we not only keep pace with those advances, but often see our students, physician faculty, researchers and alumni as leaders of that change. I am so proud of that and of everyone who calls our College their educational home. In addition to those efforts, many of our alumni assist in securing the future of their alma mater. Gifts to our scholarship funds increased in 2012 ensuring our ability to continue financial assistance for deserving students, and helping them reach their goals. I also look forward to working with our newest Alumni Association president Dr. Janet Gargiulo, and the Board of Directors, as we focus on the mission of supporting the alumni annual fund, with the elimination of a separate membership solicitation. We are confident that this is the right thing for the College, and hope you continue to support this decision. As we work to stay in the forefront of medical education, we are introducing a new admissions protocol. The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) system utilizes several sharply focused brief conversations with prospective students to determine their suitability for our programs. There is much more information on this innovative new concept on page 8. The physical structure of the College is changing to meet our expanding needs as well. Nearly 30,000 square feet of National Institute of Health-funded lab space is being created adjacent to the medical education building; this in addition to the development of a Clinical Research Unit. Responding to a recommendation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the Student Lounge was renovated this summer supplying 3,600 square feet of relaxation space as well as a learning center. In conjunction with this we have redesigned the bookstore and streamlined student services into one location, The Commons on ME-7. We’ve made these changes to assist in the success of our students. Just as the medical field is always advancing, Albany Medical College is as well, working to ensure the development of medical professionals who will provide expert, compassionate care today and into the future. Vincent P. Verdile, M.D. '84

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The Single Largest Donor in the History of

By Paul Grondahl

Albany Medical College
and his wife allows the Medical College to increase staff development opportunities and to pay for identifying, educating and advancing employees from within as they become the next generation of senior-level managers. “Dr. Falk is remarkable and his connection to the Medical College runs deep,” Barba said. Dr. Falk grew up in Albany and his older brother, Abraham ’36, preceded him at the Medical College. Dr. Falk remains a plain-spoken, no-fuss fellow who, at age 98, cares less about personal recognition and more about actions that speak louder than words. He also hopes to inspire his fellow alumni to follow his lead. “I want to encourage more alumni to support the medical school,” Dr. Falk said by phone from his home in Palm Springs, California, where his daily regimen includes a one-mile walk, a good cigar and a liberal pour of premium tequila sipped neat.

Dr. David Falk ’43 calls himself “a grateful man” for what Albany Medical College gave him. What better way to celebrate his 70th reunion in 2013, he figured, than by making a gift of $2.5 million to fund the Vincent P. Verdile, M.D. ’84 Endowed Chair for Emergency Medicine and the James J. and Rose A. Barba Endowed Education Fund. His most recent donation makes Dr. Falk the single largest donor in the Medical College’s history, with a lifetime total of giving that stands at more than $6.6 million. Although Dr. Falk has been a generous donor for more than four decades, his gifts became more significant after James J. Barba, a longtime Medical College trustee, became the president and chief executive officer of Albany Medical Center in 1995, and Dr. Vincent Verdile was named Dean in 2001. “Jim Barba saw the problems the hospital and medical school faced, he knew what had to be done and he set out to do it,” Dr. Falk said. “Jim Barba has a talent for picking great people. He convinced Dr. Verdile to become Dean and Dr. Verdile recruited great faculty and developed an outstanding curriculum. I established the two funds in their names to recognize them for their vision and expertise and for making these two great institutions what they are today. I have tremendous respect for those two gentlemen.” “Dr. Falk is a very warm and thoughtful man who has provided tremendous support to the Medical College over a long period. His targeted gifts are having positive impacts in several areas now and will continue to do so for many years, Barba said. “For instance, the substantial donations he made to the scholarship fund allows for higher student awards. This helps us tremendously in reducing or at least managing student debt at a time when student indebtedness has reached an almost epidemic situation,” Barba said. The endowed chair for emergency medicine fund Dr. Falk established in Dean Verdile’s name makes it possible for the recipient to engage in both academic and clinical initiatives. Also, the endowed fund he created in the name of Barba

“I’ve done my gifts through estate planning, which is a great way to do it. I would like to suggest that others think along those lines.”
He said he likes the metaphor behind The Pillars Society, a designation for donors who have created a lasting legacy to the Medical College using their wills, life income gifts or retirement plans. “A pillar supports and holds things up,” he said. “That’s the whole point behind what I’ve done. We need to continue to maintain the high stature the Medical College enjoys across the country. That stature is meaningful to graduates of the past and future.” “Dr. Falk has demonstrated through his charitable giving that he is an exemplary ‘Pillar’ and a role model for all

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alumni,” Dean Verdile said. “Despite the fact that he graduated from Albany Medical College 70 years ago, he understands the challenges facing contemporary medical education and wants to help me improve the learning environment for current and future students through his gifts.” Dr. Falk’s father was a Polish immigrant who ran a laundry cleaning and dyeing business in Albany’s South End and his mother raised five children, two boys and three girls. Dr. Falk graduated from Union College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1939 as World War II was starting. He graduated from the Medical College in a class of 32, including two women. “Most of the faculty had gone to serve in the war and the few professors who were left were very busy, so it was a hard time for us in the war years,” Dr. Falk recalled. He shipped out immediately after graduation to serve in the Army Medical Corps at a field hospital near the front lines in Germany. It was trial by fire for a young physician, an experience Dr. Falk prefers not to talk about. After his Army service, he settled in Van Nuys, California and worked in a Veterans Administration hospital, completed a urology residency and went into private practice. He became chief of section, department of urology, at Kern County General Hospital in Bakersfield for many years before retiring from private practice to become a field representative for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. In 1962, he married Elynor Rudnick, a commercial helicopter service owner and pilot who was heiress to a large cattle operation in California and her family’s extensive land holdings included a date farm. “She was a fine business woman and an excellent date farmer. I farmed the kidneys,” he said with a gravelly chuckle. She died in 1996; he made gifts in her name to the Medical College and Union College. Dr. Falk scoffs at the notion of offering advice to today’s medical college students. “They don’t want to know what happened 70 years ago. Those were Neanderthal times

David Falk, M.D. ’43

and I wouldn’t bore them with it,” he said. “They’re much better prepared today than we ever were. We didn’t have computers or even calculators in my day. We took care of patients the best we could with what we had, which was limited.” He does not miss Albany winters and loves the weather in Palm Springs, although he has no use for all of the golf courses around his home. “That’s a ridiculous game,” he said and listed his hobbies as sleeping, eating, reading and listening to music. He’s proud of the fact that he does not use a cane or walker on his daily constitutional. “I’m still upright,” he laughed.

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By Sheila Nason

Admissions Process Introduced at Albany Medical College
implementing the new admissions protocol. This year, the MMI process will enable the college to interview more than 1,000 candidates. At the College, candidates are interviewed at eight MMI stations designed to assess eight specific qualities, explained Linnie Newman, medical educator and associate professor of medical education. The stations test communication skills, conflict resolution, ethical and moral judgment, management skills, problemsolving, responsibility, self-awareness, and teamwork. These personal characteristics were chosen because they complement academic readiness, help satisfy the school’s graduation objectives, and importantly serve as the foundation for patient-centered care. Once an applicant finishes the MMI, his/her whole application is ready to be presented to the admission committee. An applicant’s entire file, which includes his/her academic performance in college, letters of recommendation, volunteer experiences, and standardized test results, is summarized by one of the committee members. The results of the MMI for the applicant are then presented to the whole committee and discussion ensues. Finally, each committee member rates the applicant. The MMI protocol was pioneered at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and has since been implemented in most medical schools in Canada, and a growing number of U.S. medical schools. Almost two years ago, a small group of faculty from the College visited the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine to learn more about the program. They next

Those seeking admission to Albany Medical College this year are being screened by a new process, Multiple Mini-Interviews (MMI). MMIs are structured like an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE), giving applicants eight minutes to discuss an issue, interact with a standardized patient, administrator, or current medical student. The goal is to identify candidates with the personal attributes that will make them the best doctors. The MMI process is increasingly being identified as more effective than traditional one-on-one interviews in providing a holistic view of medical school candidates. “Our interview process for years has excelled as a way to identify the best and most well-rounded students. What excites me about the MMI is that it will let us look at other qualities such as compassion, professionalism, and personal skills that you can’t glean from a one-on-one interview,” said Vincent P.Verdile, M.D. ’84, dean of the College. Each year, Albany Medical College accepts 35-40 students from its combined degree programs with Union, Siena, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The college receives 8,000 to 9,000 applications for the approximately 100 other spots in the 140-member first-year class. Traditionally, the 600 to 700 most promising applicants have been invited to campus for one-on-one interviews. “The MMI is providing both a more rounded understanding of the candidates and a more efficient use of interviewers,” said Henry S. Pohl, M.D., vice dean for academic administration, a leader in
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began to work with McMaster, which had developed more than 270 scenarios for the highly structured, Multiple Mini-Interviews. Faculty chose 32 to be used eight at a time on four successive interview days. Donald Pritchett, who came to Albany Medical College in late 2012 as the new director of admissions, was familiar with the MMI and excited to be part of its implementation, which began in November. He said the system was already well-organized when he arrived, and the process so far has been “exceptionally smooth.” Coupled with the MMIs, the College has redesigned the interview day to better inform candidates about the college and the support network for students during their academic pursuits. The interviewees meet with an advising and/or a curriculum dean, tour the campus, and discuss the medical education program with a panel of current students. They also meet with a member of the financial aid office to help them anticipate the costs of a medical education. After each interview day, the College surveys the candidates. Those who have done MMIs at other institutions are reporting that Albany’s process is better-organized and more precise, Dr. Pohl said. In the long-term, he said, any assessment of the MMIs will depend on how they improve Albany Medical College’s ability to identify the candidates bestsuited to bring compassionate care, professionalism, and interpersonal skills to the practice of 21st Century medicine.

Albany Medical College’s New Admissions Director Donald D. Pritchett, Jr., M.S., J.D.
By Sheila Nason Donald Pritchett has brought experience in legal and business education to his new role as director of admissions at Albany Medical College. After receiving a law degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, he served in a variety of faculty and administrative positions at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law and Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law. Most recently, he was assistant director of MBA/MS admissions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He says he took the position at Albany Medical College because of the opportunity to apply his ideas about recruitment and admissions to the medical field. He is particularly excited by the new Multiple Mini-Interview process being implemented this year at the college. “I think it’s great,” he said. “It gives candidates more than one opportunity to show who they are.” He has been impressed by the faculty’s willingness to volunteer time for the admissions process. “It’s a testament to the commitment they have for the school,” he said.

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Kelly Larkin, M.D. ’94

By Constance Skedgell As a young medical student, Dr. Kelly Larkin ’94 felt a need to “fix people in crisis situations.” What better career than a surgeon? And surgery it was – until the fall of her senior year, when she did the required emergency medicine fourth-year clerkship rotation, mentored by Dean Vincent Verdile M.D. ’84 (then chair of emergency medicine). Within a few weeks, her world shifted. “Working in the ER totally changed my perspective on what I wanted to do,” Dr. Larkin reflects. She was hooked on emergency medicine, finding it satisfied needs she didn’t even know she had. “I realized I wanted all that patient interaction that I wouldn’t necessarily have gotten in surgery. And I always want to fix things fast. In emergency medicine, I could have an impact in a brief time.” Dr. Larkin credits the College with her made-in-heaven career shift, praising the “exposure” she was given by faculty who pushed students into active engagement with each medical discipline. “We had a group of very passionate faculty. They went out of their way to make sure you did things yourself, rather than just watching.” That emphasis led to career-forging moments. “One night, a patient came in with a huge laceration – a foot and a half. I got to do the entire procedure myself. I remember sitting for hours putting stitches in. I did it – rather than someone guiding me through it. I still remember the feeling of accomplishment. Here I was a fourth-year student, and I got to do it!” Dr. Larkin next did an emergency medicine residency at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. A series

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“I realized I wanted all that patient interaction that I wouldn’t necessarily have gotten in surgery. And I always want to fix things fast. In emergency medicine, I could have an impact in a brief time.”
of faculty positions led to medical directorships at different hospitals. Along the way, she learned the business side of health care. She also saw unmet needs. And she was, at times, dissatisfied with how aspects of health care were delivered. For someone else, unmet needs and inefficient practices might be minor irritants. For Dr. Larkin, they were opportunities for action. In response, she founded her own companies; make that four companies. Today, serving as medical director and chief of emergency medicine at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital at Texas Medical Center in Houston, she is at the helm of her own Medical Center Emergency Physicians, which provides round-the-clock staffing; Endeavor Medical Systems, offering medical billing and consulting; Grace Ambulance Transport; and Altum Healthcare, a medical staffing and consulting firm. Her voice spilling over with excitement, Dr. Larkin describes her current focus: creating new emergency departments, free-standing and in hospitals. “We are growing them. We own them, staff them, sometimes we build on our own real estate – I’m learning about real estate! – we manage them. And we just went into Colorado!” You’d think Dr. Larkin has her hands full. But to understand this dynamo with a lifelong need to “fix people in crisis,” you must know about the other hat she wears – a soft-brimmed felt cowboy hat. In 2012, Dr. Larkin served as chairman of the Rodeo Houston Sports Medicine Committee at the three-week-long Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show. The mega-rodeo pulls in the nation’s top cowboys, who are viewed by over a million visitors, typically raising $180 million in four-year college scholarships for young Texans. “The animals are really rough stock. Very strong bulls, very big horses. It’s a tougher rodeo. And the potential for injuries is very high.” The problem was, the medical care was not in synch, so Dr. Larkin gathered a group of professionals to meet the needs of top riders under unique duress. “I upped the level of service and medical care. Now they’re getting what professional athletes get.” She set up a mini-ER treatment area, training all medical specialists in the special breed of rodeo-style injuries. As she gets “down there in the dirt” at Reliant Stadium, Dr. Larkin is doing what she loves best: “As an emergency physician, I can do a lot of good in a short time.”

Hometown: Tupper Lake, New York Undergraduate Education: Union College Graduate School: Bryn Mawr College Undergraduate Medical Education: Albany Medical College, Class of 1994 Residency Training: University of Texas Health Sciences Center Family: Husband, Claude Beasley; son, Greer and daughter, Grace Legacy: Sister, Karilyn T. Larkin, M.D. is a member of the Class of 2010 Hobbies: Golf, running

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Thursday, March 28 Thursday, April 11

Leslie G. Bluman Memorial Lecture, 12:00 p.m., Campus, ME - 700 Graduate Student Research and Awards Day, 1:00 p.m., Campus, ME - 700

Thursday, April 18

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of John A. Balint, M.D. Featuring Mark Siegler, M.D. Lindy Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Surgery executive director, Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, director, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics Featuring Lisa M. Lee, Ph.D., M.S. '11, executive director of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues Scholarship Celebration Hilton Garden Inn Reunion Weekend ( Commencement, 1:00 p.m. Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Friday, April 19

Thursday, April 25 Friday, April 26-28 Thursday, May 23

Sunday, September 22 Sunday, October 13 Thursday, October 24 San Francisco Alumni Brunch Seattle Alumni Reception Boston Alumni Reception Southern Connecticut Reception *specific event location details to follow

Wednesday, November 13

Boston Regional Alumni Reception

Incredible Resource

and it’s FREE!

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Row 1: Host M. Edward Keenan, M.D. ’61, Margaret M. Grogan, M.D. ’79, Janet E. Gargiulo, M.D. ’79 Row 2: Gary L. Gottlieb, M.D. ’79, Steven H. Gardner, M.D. ’79

2)  Choose from limits/filters located on the left to narrow/focus search results 3)  Limits to all free, full-text articles are located on the left under the limits/filters 4) Related citations are available for each citation 5)  Save or email citations through the Send To dropdown link PubMed is a free public database with more than 22 million citations, dating back to the late 1940s. With biomedical literature from over 5,400 journals worldwide, including MEDLINE, covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, preclinical sciences, and more, as well as selected online books

New York City Regional Alumni Reception
Robert J. Newborn, M.D. ’86, host Philip C. Bonanno, M.D. ’63, Dean Vincent P . Verdile, M.D. ’84

Suzanne Campese, Chris Campese, M.D. ’90, Alan J. Rosenbloom, M.D. ’00, Robyn Pensak

Florida Regional Alumni Brunch

Call out: Honor Your Mentor
To all alumni:
Do you have a mentor from your days as a student at Albany Medical College that had a significant impact on your life? Would you like to share the positive effect he or she has had on your medical career? Please share your story with the Alumni Association:

Row 1: Laura O’Brien, J. Peter Lawler, M.D. ’65, Ronald S. Zelnick, M.D. ’84, George Roff, M.D. ’65, Sheila E. Gewirtzman, Garry B. Gewirtzman, M.D. ’73, B.J. Wintrich, Alpert A. Apicelli, M.D. ’65, Susan R. Apicelli. Row 2: Margaret S. Lawler, Linda L. Civerchia Balent, M.D. ’76, Alvan Balent, Nancy Veeder, Mary Roff, CAPT. H.P . Wintrich, M.D. ’56, John H. Bowker, M.D. ’56, Alice Bowker.

Winter 2013 | 13

Medical Students Design Advocacy Track for the M.D. with Distinction Program
For students in the Albany Medical College Class of 2016, there is a new track in the M.D. with Distinction program that was designed entirely by two medical students. The new program entitled, the Distinction in Advocacy or M.D./D.A. track, joins the other distinction programs in research, service, health systems analysis and bioethics. The program, in its first official year, is the brainchild of Megan Ash and Danielle Alexander, current fourth-year medical students. Upon matriculating at Albany Medical College, Ash and Alexander immediately became involved in many student clubs, including the American Medical Student Association and Physicians for a National Health Program. They also pursued several of the distinction tracks, but did not find the niche that they were looking for. “We liked the missions and ideas of the distinction tracks,” said Alexander, “but we didn’t feel that what we wanted to be doing was encompassed by any one of the tracks.” Ash and Alexander met through Physicians for a National Health Program and, after discovering their mutual interest in advocacy, embarked on forming their own distinction track. After consulting with Dr. Ingrid Allard, associate dean for community outreach and medical education, and Dr. Andy Coates, a prominent member of the Capital District chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, Ash and Alexander drafted their first proposal for the Distinction in Advocacy track in early spring 2011. Fourth-year students Megan Ash and Danielle Alexander “The M.D./D.A. track lets students do advocacy in a meaningful and impactful way,” said Ash. “It is a concrete way for students to get training in becoming physician-advocates and what it means to advocate on a community and population level.” Dr. Sara Horstmann, assistant professor of pediatrics and the new director of the M.D./D.A. program, is looking forward to educating future physician-advocates. “Being a true advocate as a physician is being able to look at disease on a much broader spectrum than just an individual person and their health concerns,” explained Horstmann. “The advocacy program is about giving students a very strong skill set in evidence-based public health and epidemiology to become an effective advocate for patients.” “The whole premise of the distinction is that the responsibility to the patient extends beyond the exam room,” explained Alexander. “Physicians are certainly practitioners of medicine, but we have more of an ethical duty to improve our community, our society, raise the standard of living, wellness and access to care, and that’s multifactorial.”

By Ajay Major, Class of 2016 Founder and co-editorin-chief of in-Training, an online newspaper for medical students

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“Physicians have prominence in society, for better or worse, and people listen to us,” said Alexander. “We can use that position to help our patients who don’t have a voice.” The M.D./D.A. track includes several workshops for medical students to develop important skills in advocating for their patients at the local and national level. It also includes a servicelearning component to enrich a student’s advocacy project with real-world experiences in the community. “M.D./D.A. is different from the other distinctions because it teaches how to become a physician-advocate and how to look above and beyond to the big picture approach to advocacy,” explained Ash. “The M.D./D.A. program teaches students how to talk to the media, how to establish relationships with someone in government, basic organizing skills for working with legislation, and the vocabulary of advocacy,” said Alexander. In its first official year, several students have already started on their advocacy projects. Amanda Wingle, a medical student in the class of 2015, is currently taking a year off to pursue her advocacy project in educating medical professionals on how to work with patients who have been victims of sexual violence.

• Get in touch with fellow alumni through our new online directory • Keep up to date with College, alumni and student news • Learn about the Alumni Association's many regional events, Reunion Weekend and other College activities • Cut down on paper correspondence
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“I think being a student at Albany Medical College, where from day one I was encouraged to follow my own interests and dreams in medicine, made me feel that this was possible,” said Alexander. “I never felt anything but supported by the administration, and I felt they genuinely wanted to make this dream succeed.”
As part of her project, Wingle designed a panel discussion for medical students as part of the Health, Care & Society course that included an emergency physician, a rape counselor, and a survivor of sexual assault. “The advocacy program afforded me an outlet for a project I had been wanting to do for so long,” Wingle explained. Ash and Alexander cite the support of faculty and administrators as pivotal to the success of the M.D./D.A. program and a concerted move in the right direction for medical education. “I think being a student at Albany Medical College, where from day one I was encouraged to follow my own interests and dreams in medicine, made me feel that this was possible,” said Alexander. “I never felt anything but supported by the administration, and I felt they genuinely wanted to make this dream succeed.” “There is a new wave of medical education with a growing emphasis on advocacy, and we’re at the forefront,” said Ash.

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At the ER, Bearing Witness to Gun Violence
By DAVID H. NEWMAN, M.D. (Albany Medical College Class of 1998) From the New York Times, January 1, © 2013 The New York Times. All right reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the Unites States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written consent is prohibited.
As an emergency room physician, an Army veteran who was deployed to a combat support hospital in Baghdad in 2005, and a biomedical researcher in the field of cardiac-arrest resuscitation, I have been and am, on a daily basis, a witness to grave misfortune. Ordinarily, though, except for medical purposes, I will not discuss what I have seen. Last week a colleague asked me to make an exception. The father of two young children, he was moved by the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, to ask his professional circle to reconsider our silence. I am an expectant father, and his words resonated with me. They reminded me that we doctors are at the front lines of the scourge of gun violence, and that to remain silent as this threat to public health continues unabated would be no different than for an oncologist or a cardiologist to stay mum on the dangers of smoking. The doctor’s balance between discretion and education is complex. But the news from Newtown, and my colleague’s request, convinced me that we have reached the threshold. I can no longer stay silent. Here is just some of what I have seen over the years. In Baghdad, I saw a 5-year-old girl who was shot in the head while in her car seat. Her father, who knew she was dying before I said it, wept in my arms, as bits of her body clung to his shirt. Much of the gun violence I have seen, though, I have seen on home soil, here in the United States. There was a 9-year-old girl, shot in the chest by an assault rifle during a “drive-by” gang shooting, in a botched retaliation for a shooting earlier that day. She was baffled, and in pain, with a gaping hole under her collarbone. I have also seen an 8-year-old who found a shotgun in the closet while playing with a friend. The two boys pointed the weapon at each other a number of times before the gun accidentally discharged. The 8-year-old arrived in my emergency department with most of his face blown off. Miraculously, he survived. 16 | 16 | Another child I will never forget was a 13-year-old who was shot twice in the abdomen by an older boy who mistook him for one of a group that had bullied and berated him a week earlier. Slick with sweat and barely conscious, he groaned and turned to look at me. Soon after, he died in the operating room. His mother arrived minutes later, wide-eyed and breathless. I do not know exactly what measures should be taken to reduce gun violence like this. But I know that most homicides and suicides in America are carried out with guns. Research suggests that homes with a gun are two to three times more likely to experience a firearm death than homes without guns, and that members of the household are 18 times more likely to be the victim than intruders. I know that in 2009, the most recent year for which data is available, nearly 400 American children (age 14 and under) were killed with a firearm and nearly 1,000 were injured. That means that this week we can expect 26 more children to be injured or killed with a firearm. Emergency rooms are themselves volatile environments, not immune to violence. Over the last decade, a quarter of gun crimes in American ER’s were committed with guns wrested from armed guards. I have sworn an oath to heal and to protect humans. Guns, invented to maim and destroy, are my natural enemy. Sally Cox, a school nurse in Newtown, told Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes” that when state troopers led her out of the school after the mass shooting they instructed her to cover her eyes. This was humane, and right. But some of us see every day what no one should, ever. If the carnage remains undiscussed, we risk complacency about an American epidemic — one that is profoundly difficult, but necessary, to watch, and to confront. That is why I bear witness. David H. Newman is the director of clinical research in the department of emergency medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

The Albany Medical College Alumni Association Archives “Giving the Past a Future”


What do an Albany Medical College graduate and the daughter of a United States Senator have in common?
They both witnessed the assassination of President Lincoln.

Robert Fuller, M.D., Class of 1865 While a student at Albany Medical College, Robert Fuller was sent to Virginia by Dr. Armsby to retrieve a badly wounded Union soldier. Fuller was tasked with bringing the soldier to Albany to receive care at the Ira M. Harris Hospital. On his way to Virginia, Fuller stopped in Washington and decided to attend a play at Ford’s Theater, where he witnessed the assassination of President Lincoln. After this experience he continued his task of retrieving the Union soldier in Virginia only to learn the soldier was too injured to be moved. Also at the theater was Major Henry Rathbone (son of Jared L. Rathbone, Mayor of Albany, New York from 1838-1841) and his fiancée, Clara Harris, daughter of United States Senator from New York, Ira M. Harris. Major Rathbone and Clara were seated in the Presidential Box at Ford’s Theatre as Lincoln’s guests. Following the assassination, Major Rathbone was severely injured trying unsuccessfully to apprehend the shooter, John Wilkes Booth. Rathbone survived and he and Clara married, had three children, and moved to Germany, where Rathbone served as U.S. Consul to the Province of Hanover. While in Germany, tragedy occurred when Major Rathbone, having suffered from a decline in his mental condition for years after the assassination of the President, murdered his wife, attempted to harm his children, and tried to commit suicide. The children survived and were sent to live with their uncle in the United States. Rathbone also survived, only to spend the rest of his life in an insane asylum in Germany.

Interested in learning about Albany Medical College history? Subscribe to “Facts from the Past” – weekly emails dedicated to sharing the historical knowledge of Albany Medical College. To subscribe email Jessica Watson, MSIS, Archivist, at

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Dr. Eskin writes, “I was excited and delighted to see the interest of the medical college alumni office in the musical interests of its graduates. During my medical college days in Albany, I played professionally in a small band at the old DeWitt Clinton Hotel a few nights a month. Additionally, I had the opportunity to also practice quartets in Albany. As the years passed, I have been practicing and teaching in Philadelphia. Here I enjoy opportunities to play with jazz bands and classical quartets and orchestras while still professionally involved in medicine.” Special Note: Along with his submission, Dr. Eskin enclosed an article from the Philadelphia Medical Society newsletter highlighting his award-winning career as a physician and “parallel life as an accomplished musician.” Dr. Eskin played with legendary band leader Stan Kenton and years later in a quartet with Albert Einstein.


We asked and you responded! We hope you enjoy learning how your fellow alumni incorporate the joy of music in their lives!

Dr. Balsam, an Albany internist and cardiologist, reflected on his passion for classical music and his more than 40 years of involvement in the regional classical music scene with the Alumni Association: "In addition to practicing medicine, I am also a trained pianist and patron of many local music organizations, having served on the board of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Empire State Youth Orchestra and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. In the mid 1980’s, I established my own concert series, Renaissance Musical Arts, which brings many world-renowned soloists and ensembles to the Capital Region. I also enjoyed playing the piano at private house parties for former Governor Mario Cuomo. I helped introduce ‘the music of the Holocaust’ in the area. The first performance of such music was at my home in 1991, subsequently a major recital took place in 1996 at Temple Beth Emeth in Albany with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The temple also featured an art exhibition of Holocaust artifacts at the time of the recital. This year marks my 53rd year participating in Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.” 18 |

Dr. Sinchak writes, “Greetings - I started playing folk guitar in medical school and played for fun, relaxation - on and off - for the next several years. Twenty-some years ago, I took up mandolin, studied with the bluegrass legend Frank Wakefield and cofounded a local folk band called Stone Soup. We play regularly in the Mohawk Valley area around Canajoharie. Approximately 10 years ago, I took up Cajun fiddle and studied in Lafayette, Louisiana with several of the world class Cajun fiddlers. I also play in Panther Creek, a band that performs Cajun Zydeco and Old Time music as well as Monkey and the Crowbar, a band that plays well-liked Roadhouse dance music. Of note - I had trouble learning music ‘off of the page’ and it was not until I started learning by ear that I really was able to focus and progress as a musician. This, of course, was the ever-present lesson of our pathology professor, Robert F. Scott, M.D. - we need to find the way we learn ie. audio visual - written. Well, it really worked for me!”

Dr. Durlacher writes, “As a jazz guitarist, I had previously performed in the San Francisco Bay area with a 10-piece band named ‘Dr. Z and Intensive Care,’ as well as duo settings on guitar. I have subsequently performed in jazz quintet performances on both guitar and fretless electric bass. Currently, I am pursuing advanced guitar studies in a fourpiece jazz combo at CMCSA (Community School of Music & Arts) in Mountain View, California. Music remains an integral part of my life, and an ideal counterbalance to the practice of medicine, both intellectually and spiritually.”

Dr. McDade writes, “I am a general surgeon practicing with the Dean Clinic in Janesville, Wisconsin and moved here after finishing my surgery residency at UMASS in 1995. For the last five years, I have been a member of a band of local physicians who play primarily for charity benefits. We were originally called the Southern Value Equation, but changed our name to the GoDeans in deference to Dean Clinic and the well-known local band the BoDeans when we had a slight change in members. We play wide-ranging styles of music from 50’s and 60’s and 70’s rock and roll, blues, reggae, new wave to contemporary. We have played benefits for the Dean Foundation (called DocStar), The United Way of Rock County (called Docs Who Rock), The Wisconsin Chapter of the National MS Society and a special concert for the victims of the Haiti Earthquake. We play approximately three times each year and practice for one to two months before each ‘gig.’ It’s a great amount of fun for us and a welcome change from our ‘day jobs.’ There are a few YouTube videos of us from some older shows online if you want to see us in action; in true bass player fashion, I am in the background and rarely seen.”

Dr. Kilby writes, “I am the assistant dean for undergraduate medical education at Albany Medical College and a practicing family physician. My ‘other life’ is as a singer/songwriter. From 2009 to 2011, I was the lead singer and songwriter for an Americana band, Tern Rounders, and we became quite popular in the Capital District area; our self-titled second album was named on six ‘Best of 2010’ lists in the Capital Region, including the #1 spot for ‘Best Local CD’ from the Times Union. Since 2011, I have continued to stay involved in the local music scene, working on smaller solo and duo projects, including many guest performances with other Capital Region groups. ( I see performing and songwriting as a wonderful way to process through the challenges that life throws us all. But mostly, it is a way to simply have a little fun! "

Dr. Amory writes, “Music remains an important part of my life, even if I haven’t had the opportunity to devote as much time to it as I would like. I play piano regularly, mostly on my own, but I really enjoyed getting together with a few friends to play chamber music two summers ago. I am always looking for people to create music with. I’m also considering joining a local chorus to exercise my singing, which has been sadly neglected for some years. Happily, both of my daughters play piano (although getting them to practice can be a challenge!), and my younger daughter has taken up the French horn.”

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College News and Events

Symposium on Life in the Military
Alumni Association President-elect, Captain Thomas L. Snyder, M.D. ’69, and founder of the Albany Medical College Military Affinity Group (AMC-MAG) organized a symposium on “Life in the Military” at Albany Medical College on September 22, 2012. The symposium, consisting of two panels - Medicine and the Military and Family Life in the Military - brought together alumni, faculty, medical students and combined degree students and faculty from Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Panel participants included: Rear Admiral James T. Sears, M.D. ’63, AMC-MAG honorary president; Major General Kevin C. Kiley, M.D. AMC-MAG faculty advisor; and his wife, Babbs Kiley; Colonel David L. Siegal, M.D. ’57 and Bonnie Siegal, Ph.D.; Commander Kenneth Ortiz, M.D.; Colonel Michael J. Zapor, M.D., Ph.D. ’98; and Major Anthony Plunkett, M.D. ’04 (via Skype). Following the symposium, panelists and attendees enjoyed a lively lunch, sponsored by the Alumni Association, at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn. The mission of AMC-MAG is to promote camaraderie among alumni who have served in the military, support students currently enrolled in or contemplating uniformed service and to promote a culture of philanthropy at the College. For more information, contact

Student Breakfast – Connections and Coffee
The Alumni Association sponsored a Student Appreciation Breakfast on January 17 in the Alumni Lounge. The gathering provided a great opportunity for students to network, in a relaxed setting, with alumni affiliated with Albany Medical Center and Alumni Association board members.

Nurse Anesthesiology Graduation November 2012
From left to right: Nurse anesthetist faculty members Kristie L. Wade, M.S., C.R.N.A.; Deborah A. Higgins, M.S., C.R.N.A., ’90; Eileen A. Falcone, M.S., C.R.N.A.; Lynne M. Van Wormer, M.S., C.R.N.A.; and Jodi M. Della Rocca, M.S., C.R.N.A., ’02.

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2012 Theobald Smith Annual Lecture
Jean-Laurent Casanova, M.D., Ph.D., pictured on right, with Dennis W. Metzger, Ph.D., Theobald Smith Alumni Chair of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at Albany Medical College.

Dr. Casanova delivered the 2012 Theobald Smith Annual Lecture “Toward a Genetic Theory of Infectious Diseases,” on December 7, 2012 at Albany Medical College. Dr. Casanova is a professor at The Rockefeller University, head of the St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, and a physician at the Rockefeller University Hospital.

Welcomed Improvements in the Alumni Lounge
Thanks to the thoughtful generosity of Chris Campese, M.D. ’90, Alumni Association past president and current board of director, the Alumni Lounge has received a much-needed renovation. Dr. Campese’s gift was made in honor of his mother, Jane, and other parents of Albany Medical College students for their unwavering support during their children’s medical school training.

Lending a Hand in Newtown
Reynold Henry, Albany Medical College Class of 2015, and his twoand-a-half-year-old therapy dog Eli volunteered on December 21, 2012, at the memorial center in Newtown, Connecticut following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Reynold also brought a poster to display at the memorial that was signed by fellow medical students that read, “Albany Med Loves Newtown.”

The plaque, honoring the gift of Christopher L. Campese M.D. '90, adorns the wall of the newly renovated Alumni Lounge.

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Residents Share Wisdom and Experience with Medical Students
By Maya Furman, Albany Medical College, Class of 2014

From left to right: Second-year medical students and AMSA officers Maya Furman, Ewen Chao, Nani Phillips, Haritha Sishtla

The American Medical Student Association and the Albany Medical College Alumni Association hosted the third annual Medical Student/Resident Mixer at the Hilton Garden Inn last November. The formal dinner event provided medical students with a glimpse into life as a resident. Throughout the evening, students had the opportunity to move to various tables, spending 20-minute sessions with different residents who spoke

about the application process, clinical responsibilities and life style choices. Students were introduced to specialties including, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, med/peds, neurology, psychiatry, pathology, obstetrics and gynecology, plastic surgery, neurosurgery and otolaryngology. The event was a great success, with students and residents excited to attend again next year.

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From left to right: First-year medical students David Gottlieb, Ajay Major, Kelly Patterson and Tara Kelly enjoying the renovated student lounge.


Improving the Learning Environment

The Medical Education building's seventh floor now serves as the centralized location for student services. A new student lounge has been created in the J Building. It provides students with 3,600 square feet of "relaxation space" that offers comfortable couches and chairs, as well as tables, a kitchen area, computer work stations and even a pool table and foosball table. This renovation was done to improve the relaxation and study space for students, consistent with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education standards for medical schools. Another noteworthy enhancement is the consolidation of the assistant/ associate deans’ offices, including student services, career counseling and financial aid, which have moved from the R-2 Building to ME-7. The improved area is now referred to as "The Commons." "The new spaces in the College have truly enhanced student life at Albany Medical College. The new lounge is a welcoming place where many students go to spend down-time, study, eat lunch and socialize, which rarely happened in the old space," commented medical student and 2013 class president Justin Rice. "The Commons has now made it much easier for students to go to one centralized location to find almost any administrator they might need."

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Dominick Mele, M.D. ’41


Charles T. “Tom” McHugh, M.D. ’64
Dr. McHugh received the 2012 Distinguished Service Award of the Maine Medical Association in Bar Harbor, Maine in September. A dedicated family practitioner, Dr. McHugh has been described as an unsung hero for his decades of service in rural Maine. “He’s a fighter with a real regard for his patients down east,” said Gordon Smith, an executive of the Maine Medical Association. Dr. McHugh has served as governor from Maine of the American College of Surgeons. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Acadia Hospital and sits on the General Surgery Coding and Reimbursement Committee of the National American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Mele writes, “I turned 98 in December. I was born in Schenectady and moved to Italy for early schooling. Came back to attend Union and Albany Medical College – served in the Army for four years, married a Montana girl and practiced pediatrics in Schenectady for 50 years and I am in good shape.”

Edward A. Iannuccilli, M.D. ’65
Dr. Iannuccilli’s second book, “What Ever Happened to Sunday Dinner and Other Stories” was published in June 2012. His first book, “Growing up Italian” was released in 2008.

Alumni in the Clouds - Tiger's Nest Bhutan

Herbert Kaplan, M.D. ’55
Dr. Kaplan received the 2012 Presidential Gold Medal from the American College of Rheumatology (ARC). The Presidential Gold Medal is the highest award bestowed by the ARC. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in rheumatology over an entire career in multiple areas including clinical medicine, research and education.

James S. Breivis, M.D. ’66
Third from left: Steven J. Walerstein, M.D. ’79, Donna M. Venezia, M.D. ’79, Diane Breivis, R.N., Albany Medical Center School of Nursing, B.S. ’65, James S. Breivis, M.D. ’66. Dr. Breivis writes, “In October, my wife, Diane, and I are climbing in the Himalayas, with four other people and a guide, to get to Tigers Nest in Bhutan, 11,000 feet about sea level. Six of us are volunteers with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) and we discovered that three of us are Albany Medical College grads. Small world.” Special Note - Dr. Breivis shared his Bhutan experiences with the Alumni Association and the harrowing account of one of his patients who survived a bear attack. We would be pleased to forward a copy of the story to our readers - send a request to:

Peter C. Lombardo, M.D. ’59
Dr. Lombardo was elected the 174th president of the New York County Medical Society at its annual meeting on June 11, 2012. Dr. Lombardo is associate clinical professor of dermatology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York; an associate attending in dermatology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center; and an attending in dermatology at St. Luke’s–Roosevelt Medical Center. He is Consultant Emeritus at the Sharon Hospital in Sharon, Connecticut, and is a case reviewer at the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct.

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Dr. Tim is the founding editor of the Harvard Medical School Health Letter and co-editor of the Harvard Medical School Health Letter Book, and has received numerous awards for his reporting. In recent years, he has become a passionate advocate for improving the nation’s health care system. In 2010, Dr. Tim authored a book titled, “The Truth About Getting Sick In America."

Antoine M. Hakim, M.D. ’75
Dr. Hakim was named to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in October 2012. The Hall of Fame recognizes innovation and discovery in medicine. Dr. Hakim heads the neuroscience program at The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and is a professor of neurology at the University of Ottawa. In 2000, he founded the Canadian Stroke Network, which brings together researchers, government and industry to help reduce the burden of stroke on people and health care budgets.

Jeffrey M. Friedman, M.D. ’77, Ph.D.
Photo: Zach Villeaux/The Rockefeller University On September 12, 2012, Dr. Friedman was awarded the 11th Endocrine Regulation Prize of the Foundation Ipsen at the 15th Congress of the European NeuroEndocrine Association in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Friedman was recognized for his discovery of the hormone leptin and its role in regulating body weight. He is the Marilyn M. Simpson Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at The Rockefeller University, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and director of the Starr Center for Human Genetics. Dr. Friedman will also receive two more international scientific awards this spring for his groundbreaking work: King Faisal International Prize in Medicine from the Saudi Arabian King Faisal Foundation and the BBVA Frontier of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine from the BBVA Foundation based in Bilbao, Spain. Dr. Friedman was elected to the National Academy of Science in 2001 and has received other prestigious awards, among them the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 2010.

Robert L. Phyliky, M.D. ’65
Dr. Phyliky writes with news, “I am finishing my 37th year as a hematologist at the Mayo Clinic. I am also a member of the admission committee for Mayo Medical School.”

G. Timothy “Dr. Tim” Johnson, M.D. ’69
In December 2012, WCVB-TV in Boston announced that Dr. Tim was retiring as its medical editor, a position he has held since the early 1970’s. Dr. Tim’s early work gained the attention of ABC news where he also served as the network’s long-time senior medical editor, providing on-air analysis and reporting for "World News Tonight," "Nightline," "20/20" and "Good Morning America." WCVB-TV President and General Manager Bill Fine stated in a press release, “Doctor Tim’s calming presence, deep medical knowledge and ability to explain complicated concepts to our audience have been an extraordinary gift for four decades. He has earned the respect of viewers and his colleagues at WCVB-TV, and we will miss his regular presence in our newsroom.” “I never felt like a television personality,” said Dr. Tim. “I always felt like a physician who was talking to his patients. I thought of what we were doing as trying to teach.”

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Edward L. Bove, M.D. ’72


Richard T. MacDowell, M.D. ’72
In October 2012, Dr. MacDowell joined the Albany Medical Center department of surgery as chief of surgery at the south clinical campus. Dr. MacDowell has been practicing in the Capital Region for more than 35 years.

E. Robert Wassman, M.D. ’77
In October 2012, Dr. Wasserman was named Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Rosetta Genomics Ltd. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Rehovot, Israel.

Dr. Bove was featured in a September 6, 2012 Associated Press (AP) article highlighting his career as a pediatric surgeon at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. According to the piece, Dr. Bove hit a career milestone of 10,000 surgeries at the hospital, and while his achievement was “quietly completed” at the end of March, administrators threw him a surprise party to celebrate. Dr. Bove said he “fell in love with cardiac pediatric surgery during his time as a student at Albany Medical College.”

D. Rob Mackenzie, M.D. ’79
Dr. Mackenzie received the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Special CEO Regent’s Award at the Healthcare Association of New York State Annual Meeting in June 2012. The award recognizes a health care executive who has significantly contributed toward the advancement of health care management excellence. Dr. Mackenzie has served as president and CEO of Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, New York since 2003. He stepped down in December 2012 to embark on a planned months-long cross-country trip with his wife, Margaret.

Bruce R. Blazer, M.D. ’78
Dr. Blazer was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in October 2012. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is unique in its structure as both an honorific membership organization and an advisory organization. Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, IOM has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine; it recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Dr. Blazer is the Regents Professor and Andersen Chair in Transplantation Immunology, chief of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, associate vice president for Clinical and Translational Science Programs and director of the Center for Translational Medicine at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Steve Z. Mitchell, M.D. ’79
Dr. Mitchell has been on several humanitarian missions with the international relief organization, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF - Doctors Without Borders) and wrote with an update in December 2012, “I was in Northern Sri Lanka for three months working in a hospital serving the defeated Tamil population as the country recovered from a 26-year civil war. I was also in Northern Nigeria twice for a month or so at a time at a high risk OB and fistula repair project that served an extremely isolated traditional Muslim population. I was last in the Southern Nigerian City of Port Harcourt for about six weeks at a trauma project. This month I leave for

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Syria. I’m happy to have a skill (anesthesiologist) that turns out to be useful for MSF.”

Douglas B. Coursin, M.D. ’76
Dr. Coursin delivered the Anesthesiology Grand Rounds, "Sweet and Stress-less Approaches to Perioperative Endocrinopathies," at Albany Medical College on November 8, 2012. He is a professor of medicine and anesthesiology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health.

Richard Boehler, M.D. ’80
Dr. Boehler has been named president and chief operating officer of St. Joseph Healthcare in Nashua, New Hampshire effective April 1, 2013.

Cynthia DiLaura Devore, M.D. ’80
Dr. DiLaura Devore was the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Service Award for the New York State Athletic Administrators Association for her contributions to athletic safety.

Alpha Omega Alpha Annual (AOA) Dinner

Robert A. Kaslovsky, M.D. ’81
Dr. Kaslovsky returned to Albany Medical Center in December 2012 to serve as professor of pediatrics and head the Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine. Dr. Kaslovsky was previously at Albany Medical Center from 1981 to 2005 as a pediatric resident; later serving as director of the Pediatric Pulmonary Division and head of the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Center. Most recently, Dr. Kaslovsky was the chief of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine and director of the CF Center at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Michael B. Cohen, M.D. ’82
Dr. Cohen holds the Richard G. Lynch Chair in Experimental Pathology and heads the department of pathology at the University of Iowa (UI) Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. He was selected as the 2012 faculty recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. Dr. Cohen is an internationally renowned diagnostic cytopathologist, urologic pathologist and prostate cancer researcher. Dr. Cohen was recognized for his personal approach to mentoring UI students and his demonstrated excellence in humanism and leadership.

From left to right: Neil Lempert, M.D. '58, AOA Chair, Anthony L. Ritaccio, M.D. '84, AOA alumni inductee,Vincent P .Verdile, M.D. '84, Catherine R. Bartholomew, M.D. '84, Kimberly A. Davis, M.D. '91, AOA visiting professor and Jessica L.Winkler, M.D. '12, Master of Ceremonies.

Kimberly A. Davis, M.D. ’91
Dr. Davis, professor of surgery and vice chairman of clinical affairs at the Yale School of Medicine, delivered the 2013 Alpha Omega Alpha Visiting Professor lectures at the College. Dr. Davis made her key-note presentation, “Managing the Changing Healthcare Landscape” on January 20, 2013.The following day, she lectured on trauma resuscitation at surgical grand rounds, participated in an open forum for medical students on the future of medicine and attended the annual Alpha Omega Alpha dinner.

Mark N. Hadley, M.D. ’82
Dr. Hadley was appointed in 2012 to a seven-year term as director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Dr. Hadley is the Charles A. and Patsy W. Collat Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Mary Ellen “Mellie” Gilder, M.D. ’08
Dr. Gilder delivered the first Frontiers of Family Medicine discussion, “Family Medicine Abroad: My Journey to Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand” at the College on August 6, 2012. She shared her experiences, passion and commitment to caring for refugee populations with alumni, faculty, students and staff in attendance. Dr. Gilder is currently a Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellow with the National Institutes of Health and is working at the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit in Mae Sot, Thailand.

Debra A. Tristram, M.D. ’82
In August 2012 Dr. Tristram was named chief of the division of pediatric infectious disease in the department of pediatrics at Albany Medical Center. Dr. Tristram served most recently as the head of pediatric infectious diseases and director of the pediatric HIV program at Eastern Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

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Dennis P. McKenna, M.D. ’92
Dr. McKenna, Albany Medical Center medical director, was quoted in the January 2013 New York Times article, “Hospitals Turn Away Visitors with Flu Symptoms,” about the Center’s temporary visitor restrictions due to the severity of flu cases in the region.

Deborah L. Toppmeyer, M.D. ’85
Dr. Toppmeyer, chief medical officer at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, was named one of 2012’s 30 “Outstanding Women” by the National Council for Research on Women. She was selected for her commitment to issues critical to advancing women and women’s health. Dr. Toppmeyer is also an associate professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Ann Marie Kupinski, Ph.D. ’96
Dr. Kupinski has authored a textbook called, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: The Vascular System. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins is the publisher.

Gregory N. Boger, M.D. ’96
Dr. Boger writes, “Our baby girl, Madison, was born September 28, 2010, and son Max is now eight years old. Doing well at the Jacob Neil Bozer Foundation with SIDS research and pediatric health care.”

Richard C. Fleming, M.D. ’87
In October 2012 Dr. Fleming was named medical director of the Lower Cape Fear Hospice & Life Care Center in Whiteville, North Carolina.

Gennady Bratslavsky, M.D. ’00
Dr. Bratslavsky celebrated his one-year anniversary in April 2012 as professor and chair of the department of urology at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Dr. Bratslavsky holds the distinction of being the youngest serving chair of a urology department in the United States.

Jay V. Dewell, M.D. ’89
Dr. Dewell, a general surgeon, opened a new practice in Potsdam, New York in October 2012.

Jane Scribner, M.D. ’05
Dr. Scribner writes, “Finishing up last year of dermatology residency with Navy.”

John A. Foley, M.D. ’92
Dr. Foley was named president of the Connecticut State Medical Society in September 2012. He is medical director of the Congestive Heart Failure and Wellness Program at the William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Connecticut.

Jeffrey M. Klauser, M.D. ‘06
In August 2012, Dr. Klauser joined Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists in New Haven, Connecticut.

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In Memoriam
Sameer A. Sayeed, M.D. ’03
Dr. Sayeed wrote in fall 2012 with news: “Caroline and I are pleased to announce the birth of our twin sons, Carl Eric and Philip Adam, born on October 30, 2012, at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Big brother Oscar Daniel, now 21 months old, is very protective and loving already.”

We mourn the passing of the following classmates:
John "Jack" E. Davis, M.D. '44 Erich A. Quer, M.D. '46 George A. Chalfant, M.D. '48 James A. Robertson, M.D. '49 Albert A. Spritzer, M.D. '52 Charles L. Palmer, M.D. '53 Hugh S. Wisoff, M.D. '53 Thomas V. Casey, M.D. '55 James F. Early, M.D. '55 Michael G. Melas, M.D. '55 Lawrence B. Tilis, M.D. '56 James R. Kennedy, M.D. '57 Russell C. Briggs, M.D. '58 Howard J. Dworkin, M.D. '59 Stephen Sell, M.D. '60 Martin L. Gerstenzang, M.D. '65 Richard L. Cooley, M.D. '66 Nicholas D. Procino, DM.D., M.D. '69 Maria T. Cotch, M.D. '70 Thomas F. Celello, M.D. '73 Richard C. Cimma, M.D. '77 Jeffrey A. Altman, M.D. '83 Steven M. Greenberg, M.D. '83

Tabitha F. Perry, M.D. ’08
Dr. Perry joined Bayside Health Association in Lewes, Delaware in August 2012 as a member of the obstetrical and gynecological staff.

Alumni Mentors Wanted
Would you like to work with an Albany Medical College student as a mentor?
Common requests from mentees seeking an alumni mentor include: • Shadowing opportunities in various regions • Case study research for specific medical specialties • Advice regarding career choices • Guidance during residency interviews If the opportunity to become a mentor for an Albany Medical College student interests you, please contact the Albany Medical College Alumni Association:

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Reunion Giving Program
The Reunion Giving Program inspires alumni to support the College in celebration of important milestones. The classes celebrating reunions in 2013 (all with graduating years ending in 3 or 8) already are working with great enthusiasm. Our reunion classes are making gifts to the top priorities of the College such as the Alumni Annual Fund and endowed scholarships. This year, we have several highlights we’d like to share with you.

Class Reunion Milestones
The Class of 1963 is celebrating its 50th class reunion. Led by class agent John Cohen, M.D. ’63, the class has set a $200,000 goal for the Class of 1963 Scholarship Fund. The class scholarship has awarded over 20 scholarships since the establishment of the fund which currently stands at $166,000. The Class of 1988 is celebrating its 25th reunion. Led by class agents Drs. Alan Sanders, Stephen Schutz and Lee Schulman, the class has established a new endowed scholarship fundraising goal of $50,000 to be reached by April 2013. The establishment of this scholarship pays tribute to four departed classmates: Thomas Brassell, D. Eric Livingston, Peter S. Richards and John G. Sirois.

Pl a nning


Pillars Society Luncheon & Workshop
Friday April 26, 2013, 12:00–1:30 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn at Albany Medical Center
Come to the Pillars Society Tax and Estate Planning Luncheon and Workshop featuring speaker Louis W. Pierro, Esq. leading authority on tax and estate strategies. Learn more about gifts of: Securities Bequests Trusts Life Income Retirement Assets

To register contact:
Laura O’Brien Director, Gift Planning 518.262.6835

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Class Reunion Gift Highlights
David Falk, M.D. ’43
In honor of his 70th reunion, Dr. Falk, with a gift of $2.5 million, established The Vincent P. Verdile, M.D. '84 Endowed Chair for Emergency Medicine and The James J. and Rose A. Barba Endowed Education Fund. Dr. Falk is the largest donor in the history of Albany Medical College.

Harry L. Haroutunian, M.D. ’73 pledged his reunion
gift toward the Alumni Spirit of ’73 Brian Young Memorial Endowed Scholarship. Dr. Harry is helping as a class agent and encouraging his classmates to make a significant commitment to the class scholarship and the Alumni Annual Fund.

Nathaniel Silon, M.D. ’58
Celebrating his 55th reunion, Dr. Silon and his wife, Barbara, made a significant gift to the College and established The Nathaniel Silon Endowed Scholarship Fund. The Silons have supported the College generously with over $1.5 million in lifetime giving.

The Class of 2003, led by class agent Michael Mulligan,
M.D. ’03 is celebrating its 10th reunion. Dr. Mulligan’s efforts have shown a significant increase in giving for 2013 and we encourage more classmates to participate in this reunion gift.

The Class of 2008, led by class agent Kristine Carpenter
Ross, M.D. ’08, is asking all of her classmates to help through their participation in honor of their 5th reunion. Participation is the key to any successful fundraising effort and she is hopeful that at least 50% of the class would give any amount toward the class gift. To make a gift to your class project now, simply visit: alumni. and click on your class year. If you prefer to make your gift by check, please make your check payable to Albany Medical College (memo: Reunion Class Gift) and mail to: Julie Ruttan Albany Medical College 43 New Scotland Avenue MC119 Albany, NY 12208 We look forward to seeing you at Reunion on April 26-28, 2013. For questions about reunion giving or if you would like to become a class agent, please contact Julie Ruttan, associate director of annual programs at (518) 262-6806 or email

Col. Frank Mroz, M.D. ‘73
Frank Mroz, M.D. ’73 is celebrating his 40th reunion. Dr. Mroz established a charitable gift annuity, one of the creative ways available to make a gift to the College. Dr. Mroz has been a generous supporter of the Alumni Annual Fund and scholarship over the years.

Nancy Worsham, M.D. ’63 and Jerry Worsham, M.D. ‘62 have made a bequest gift
to the Worsham Endowed Scholarship Fund. Dr. Nancy Worsham is celebrating her 50th class reunion in 2013. The Worshams have been significant donors over the years to various priorities of the College.

John Cohen, M.D. ’63 pledged his gift toward the Class
of 1963 Scholarship Fund. Dr. Cohen, also serving as class agent this reunion, is encouraging all of his classmates to make a significant gift in honor of their 50th class reunion.

I. Arnold Slowe, M.D. ’58 pledged his reunion gift
toward the Slowe Zuckerman Scholarship Fund. Dr. Slowe and his family will to continue giving to their family-named scholarship for generations to come. Dr. Slowe is also serving as class agent in 2013 with Neil Lempert, M.D. ’58. Together they have served as class agents over the last 55 years!

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Alumni Association Albany Medical College (MC-5) 47 New Scotland Ave. Albany, NY 12208 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Nonprofit Organization US POSTAGE Albany, NY PERMIT NO 187


Why Support the Alumni Annual Fund?
The Alumni Annual Fund provides immediate support for the intense personal instruction for which an Albany Med education is known. The Fund enables us to recognize teaching excellence and to renew our curriculum. As the practice of medicine and the field of research have changed with technology advances, so have the teaching tools of these professions. The Fund provides for these changes and enhancements. An academic medical center is amazingly complex and ever-changing. The Alumni Annual Fund allows us to respond to emerging opportunities and challenges. A robust Fund benefits the College enterprise across all areas: student life and financial aid, The Schaffer Library, the Sosa Academy, the new Patient Safety and Clinical Competency Center, faculty support and alumni outreach. Second-year medical students Dominique Semeraro, Charles Carrier and Joyce Lu. Please support the Alumni Annual Fund today! Visit:, or simply use the enclosed envelope for your convenience.