Spring/Summer 2023 Alumni News
By Julia Hickey González and Bonita Eaton Enochs
See Alumni in Print to read about a book written by Willard E. Andrews. Raised and educated on the East Coast, Willard completed his specialty training at the Medical Center Hospitals of Vermont. Following a career in general surgery spent mostly in Alaska, he retired to the life of a ski bum in the Central Idaho Rockies, where he lives with wife, Linda. In retirement, he became a builder of fine-art models of New England fishing schooners, several of which are on display at a well-known East Coast museum.
Duke University, the longtime academic home of Nobelist Robert Lefkowitz, named him the first recipient of a new chancellor’s professorship created to recognize Duke School of Medicine faculty members who have achieved the highest level of excellence and impact in scientific discovery and its translation. Before becoming the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor, Bob was the James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Medicine. He also is professor of biochemistry, pathology, and chemistry at Duke.
Roger C. Mixter Jr. has retired from his Milwaukee area plastic surgery practice after a 45-year career that focused on craniofacial and cosmetic surgery. A native of Milwaukee, Roger is emeritus associate professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin and assistant professor at Marquette University. He served as an examiner for the American Board of Plastic Surgery and advisory board member and plastic surgery consultant for Pinnacle Healthcare. In his academic medical practice, he authored more than 50 medical articles and book chapters and gave more than 50 major presentations around the world in locations that include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, France, India, and Italy. His charitable work includes serving as director of F.A.C.E Foundation, mentor at the Boys and Girls Clubs to promote healthy eating to reduce childhood obesity in Milwaukee and founding member of the Wisconsin Gang Tattoo Removal Foundation. Roger is particularly proud of a program, Lose the Tattoos, that he held four times a year at the Boys & Girls Clubs to remove tattoos from former gang members. He repaired cleft palates for 25 years in Mexico, performed craniofacial surgery in Russia, and in 2018 trained Haiti’s next generation of plastic surgeons.
Ellen W. Seely received a 2022 William Silen Lifetime Achievement Award from Harvard Medical School. The award recognizes faculty achievements in the mentoring of students, residents, and/or faculty. Ellen is professor of medicine at Harvard and director of clinical research for the Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension Division and vice chair for faculty development in the Department of Medicine. Her research focuses on the pregnancy complications of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia and their implications for future cardiometabolic health. She has devised web and app-delivered programs to support lifestyle behavior change in recently pregnant women with adverse pregnancy outcomes. She has had a long-term commitment to mentoring early-career faculty and developing programs to educate faculty how to become efficient and effective mentors. Ellen completed her internal medicine residency and fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
See Alumni in Print to read about a book written by John Scott Baird. John, associate professor of pediatrics at VP&S, specializes in critical care medicine, internal medicine, and pediatric critical care medicine. His current research interests include clinical aspects of critical care medicine. He focuses on understanding and improving outcomes from childhood diseases, particularly pulmonary and renal diseases, that require care in the pediatric intensive care unit.
George Hripcsak received the 2022 Morris F. Collen Award of Excellence from the American College of Medical Informatics in November. The award is named for a thought leader in the field of medical informatics and is presented to an individual whose personal commitment and dedication to medical informatics has made a lasting impression on the field.
See Alumni in Print to read about “The Curious History of the Heart,” a book by Vincent M. Figueredo. Vince has been a practicing cardiologist and physician-scientist for 30 years with roles in academic medicine, medical research, teaching, private practice, and senior hospital administration.
Mignon Loh has joined Seattle Children’s Hospital to lead cancer care and research. Before joining Seattle Children’s, Mignon was chief of pediatric oncology at the University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospitals. In addition to leading the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Seattle Children’s, she directs the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and is chief of the division of pediatric hematology, oncology, bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She also is one of the two deputy directors at the Fred Hutch Cancer Center.
Eugene Kim, a pediatric surgeon who has an interest in neuroblastoma research, has been named director of the Division of Pediatric General Surgery and vice chair of the Department of Pediatric Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s in Los Angeles. Cedars- Sinai Guerin Children’s was established in 2021 to provide pediatric primary and specialty care across a regional network of health care providers and hospitals.
Tara Friedman has joined Chapters Health System in Florida as chief medical officer. Before joining Chapters Health, Tara was vice president and national medical officer for Aspire Health, a subsidiary of Anthem. She began her career at Aspire as the senior medical director and received multiple promotions during her tenure there. After completing an internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, she completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She is an active member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She has served on its board for 10 years, including four years on the executive committee. She is currently president of the board.
Kevin Yao has been chief of neurosurgery at Englewood Health in New Jersey since 2021. In 2022, Englewood Health became the first hospital in New Jersey and one of only 20 hospitals in the country to introduce new advanced technology for robot-assisted spine surgery. The robotic imaging and navigation platform uses GPS-like precision to enhance patient safety, improve accuracy and efficiency, and enable minimally invasive surgery. Kevin’s expertise includes complex brain and spine surgery to remove tumors; spinal surgery for herniated discs and stenosis; endoscopic pituitary surgery; and radiosurgery. He completed a neurosurgery residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center and a neurosurgical oncology fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Megan L. Ranney has been appointed dean of the Yale School of Public Health, effective July 1. She currently is deputy dean of the Brown University School of Public Health and has been on the Brown public health faculty since 2008. She is also professor of behavioral and social science, the Warren Alpert Endowed Professor of Emergency Medicine at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, and founding director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health. She has built a career on creating and implementing community-driven approaches to solve longstanding and emerging public health problems, working with diverse groups to address firearm injury and COVID-19 and to promote population-level health. Her funded research, which focuses primarily on developing, testing, and disseminating technology-augmented interventions to prevent violence and related behavioral health problems, has been supported by the NIH, the National Science Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and other organizations. She co-founded the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine at the Aspen Institute and GetUsPPE.org, a startup nonprofit that delivered donated personal protective equipment to those who needed it most at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and serves on the board of trustees for the National Opioid Abatement Trust and on the board of directors for the Nonviolence Institute in Providence, Rhode Island. After completing her residency and chief residency in emergency medicine at Brown, she obtained her MPH degree and completed an injury prevention research fellowship at Brown.
Gina Badalato, assistant professor of urology at VP&S, has been appointed a VP&S Advisory Dean, succeeding Don Quest’70. She has worked with Don throughout the spring term and will assume the role in full after June 30. She completed her residency training in urology at Columbia in 2013 and completed a fellowship in voiding dysfunction and kidney stones, which is the current focus of her practice. Since joining the faculty at VP&S in 2014, Gina has served as the clerkship director for all medical student rotations in urology. She is vice chair of education and faculty affairs in the Department of Urology, involving her in all aspects of educational programming for students, residents, and faculty. In 2022, she was recognized nationally with the American Urological Association Residents and Fellows Teaching Award.
Daniela Lamas was keynote speaker at the 2022 Steve Miller Day hosted by the VP&S Department of Pediatrics. The annual event honors Dr. Miller, a 1984 graduate and VP&S faculty member who was known for delivering high-quality care with empathy, compassion, and humanism. Daniela spoke about the relationship among medicine, humanism, and technology and her work as a faculty member at the Harvard Medical School, critical care doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and writer.
See Alumni in Print to read about a book written by Kelly Fradin. A pediatrician in New York City, she focuses on school health and treating children with chronic medical conditions. As director of pediatrics at the Atria Institute, she runs a primary and preventive care practice in NYC with a broader mission to promote health innovations and help underserved communities. She consults for and speaks to corporations, schools, and organizations interested in children’s health and well-being. She also provides practical advice and support via Instagram, @adviceigivemyfriends. Kelly is also the author of “Parenting in a Pandemic: How to Help Your Family Through COVID-19.”
Ramapo for Children, a 100-year-old organization dedicated to creating inclusive communities that provide opportunities for success for children and young people with a range of social, emotional, developmental, and neurological differences, named Daniel H. Stephens executive director of its Rhinebeck, New York, campus, as of Oct. 11, 2022. Previous roles include serving as interim national director of the Wellness & Equity Alliance, deputy commissioner for children and families at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene during COVID, leader of the Health and Wellness Division at Children’s Aid, and director of adolescent medicine at the Union Community Health Center in the Bronx. He started his career as a pediatrician at Harlem Hospital Center.
Kara Marshall has been named a McNair Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine. She is an assistant professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and a faculty member at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. The McNair Scholars program identifies and recruits the best and brightest scientists in neuroscience, with a focus on neuromodulation. Kara joined BCM in 2022 to establish a lab that focuses on understanding how the brain and nervous system detect mechanical forces in the body. She and her team aim to uncover how the urinary and gastrointestinal tract communicates fullness to the brain, what causes internal organ pain, and how these internal cues affect behavior and physiology. After college, Kara started a PhD program at BCM, where she earned an MS degree in neuroscience, but later followed her mentor to Columbia, where she earned her PhD in cellular, molecular, and biomedical science. She completed her postdoctoral work with Ardem Patapoutian at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Scripps Research. She has received several awards, including being named a Kavli Fellow in 2021 and earning the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research at Columbia.
Julia Shirvan, who graduated from the combined internal medicine and neurology residency program in 2017, has had a board book, “Baby, MD: Neurology in the Park,” published by Mascot Books. The book, Julia writes, tells a story about Joe, who like so many children enjoys going to the playground and park with his family. Julia uses popular activities, such as chasing bubbles and playing catch, to demonstrate brain functions. “I simplify medical topics for older readers and highlight fundamental topics, such as numbers, laterality, and friendship, for the youngest readers.” Julia is a medical director at Biogen in the neurodegeneration development unit working on clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease.