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Milestones, Class Notes and Alumni Achievements

We want to hear from you! Have you received an award, published, been elected to office, taken a new job, launched an unusual project, reached a career high point, married or had an otherwise life-defining moment? Tell us about it! Share your news and submit your own class note online! We’ll also publish milestones in the Chironian magazine.

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Jump to specific class: The 2010s  |  The 2000s  |  The 1990s  |  The 1980s  |  The 1970s  |  The 1960s  |  The 1950s  |  The 1940s  |  

The 10s

JoAnne E. Libano, M.P.H. ’17, is an adjunct professor at Goodwin College in Connecticut. "I teach public health in their amazing dental hygiene program, and I love it! I feel that my M.P.H. has really opened up new and exciting opportunities, and I am grateful for my NYMC education," she writes.

Gerald Edward Loehr II, D.P.T. '17, is pleased to announce the birth of his daughter, Georgia Grey Loehr, born October, 1, 2018. "Mom and baby are doing fantastic," he writes. Dr. Loehr was featured in the May 2018 issue of Westchester magazine in an article Avoiding Pain - Golf Injuries on the Course. He is Titleist Performance Institute certified (TPI Medical Level 2).

Randolph Earl Schilke, M.P.H. '17, was part of the Florida Department of Health's ESF9 strike team deployed to North Carolina for Hurricane Florence medical and emergency oversight. His team provided logistic and coordination support to manage the Winston-Salem shelter for more than 600 evacuees.

Lauren Kriston Grena, M.P.H. ’15, continued her education while working in the rehab setting and became a registered yoga and children’s yoga instructor. After working as an early intervention practitioner and a supervisor of graduate clinicians, she opened her own practice, Moved To Speak, in 2018, focusing on integrative speech therapy and wellness “communicating mindfulness.” She previously designed a Montessori inspired program for Cognitive Linguistic Disorders and Dementia (MEAPS) which is used in multiple subacute rehab centers in New Jersey. She is adapting her current program, SPOGA to parallel the benchmarks and standards of the common core curriculum. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Joe. 

Kinta A. Mills, Dr.P.H. ’15, was selected as the Mount Sinai Brooklyn (MSB) "Quality Improvement Champion." She was recognized for her overall work with hospital acquired infection prevention as MSB and her work treating containing and preventing C. auris in the hospital. 

Kathryn Michelle Pojer, M.P.H. ’15, M.S.W., is director of social services for Yonkers Gardens Adult Day Health Program, in Yonkers, New York. She is working towards her Doctorate of Social Work through an online program of Capella. She recently obtained social work licensure in New York, Connecticut and is working on licensure in Florida. Ms. Pojer has a small side practice working on Medicare and Medicaid referrals for seniors and in her free time she love to work out, spend time with her friends, family and dog. She attributes her education a NYMC as the foundation that has allowed her career to flourish.

Joseph Rendina, P.T., D.P.T. ’14, OCS, is the founder of Iron Health Physical Therapy and has jus opened his second facility located in Ardsley, New York. He also operates a successful physical therapy practice in Briarcliff Manor and currently has three physical therapy alumni from NYMC on staff.

Candice A. Kowalewski, M.P.H. ’13, is currently working as an EHS specialist leading the Mold, IAQ, Cooling Tower, and Right to Know Division at ALC Enviornment. She provides EHS compliance support to a diverse client base, primarily for residential and commercial facilities. She is also the director of membership services for the New Jersey American Industrial Hygiene Association

Shahbaz Salehi, M.D. (Pre-Internship Program ’13), was named director of employee health at the DHR Health System, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance. He is also the director of infection control and has experience as medical director and medical science liaison.

Kumar S. Gandhi, M.D. ‘11, accepted a new job as an outpatient internist at Lakeside Community Health in Thousand Oaks, California. He is also the young physician representative for the Ventura County Medical Association for 2019 and will be lobbying in Sacramento.

Allyson Chesebro, M.D. ‘10, and John Bigda II welcomed Grayce Alden on September 6, 2018. Dr. Chesebro began as a breast radiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School on February 1, 2019.

The 00s

Rebecca McAteer, M.D. ’08, is an advisory dean for the School of Medicine at New York Medical College. “I find it a great joy to be serving at my alma mater, and getting to know this next generation of amazing students and future doctors,” she writes. She continues to teach and practice full-time with the Phelps-Northwell Family Medicine Residency Program in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Philippe G. Douyon, M.D. ’07, a board certified neurologist, is the founder and chief executive officer of The Inle BrainFit Institute®, a health, wellness and technology company that creates exercise regimens for people based on their medical/neurological needs, and personal goals in order to minimize their risks of preventable chronic diseases and improve their quality of life. He also launched a free app, Dr. Douyon's BrainFit™, a game that teaches people about the impact that exercise and healthy eating have on their overall health and especially the health of their brains.

Daniel A. Barone, M.D. ’06, was promoted to associate medical director of the Weill Cornell Medical College Center for Sleep Medicine. His article, Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder and the Link to Alpha-synucleinopathies, was published in the August 2018 issue of Clinical Neurophysiology.

Marco J. Tomassi, M.D. ’03, was selected as the 2017 American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Traveling Fellow.

Norma Arciniegas-Medina, M.D. (GME ’02), is the director of the Department of Pediatrics at Mayaguez Medical Center in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. She co-authored Vitamin D Levels and Fracture Risk Among Hispanic Children, published in PubMed, October 13, 2018.

The 90s

Col. Rodney S. Gonzalez. M.D. ’98, is serving as chief of staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He was also selected to serve as interim director of Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

Randy A. Goldberg M.D. ’97, M.P.H. ’13, was named chair of the Ethics Committee at Westchester Medical Center.

James P. Bartley, M.S. ’95, M.Ed., is currently on the adjunct faculty at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, teaching courses in healthcare leadership and health information management.

Tess Kryspin Lombard, M.D ’94, M.B.A., FACP, chief medical officer of StayWell Health Center in Waterbury, Connecticut, was the recipient of the 2019 CHCQM Diplomate Achievement Award from the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, for demonstrating outstanding examples of effective population health management through risk stratification and a data-driven paradigm that improved outcomes for underserved patients and their providers.

Lance R. Bruck, M.D. ’93, assumed the role of vice president and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at RWJBarnabas Health - Jersey City Medical Center and the role of residency program director. He was inducted into AΩA Honor Society in 2018.

Brian Murphy, M.D. ’90, M.P.H. ’90, M.S. ’86, was appointed chief executive officer and chief medical officer of Nemus Bioscience, Inc., a publicly traded biotech company.

The 80s

Thomas A. Sharon, M.P.H. ’88, D.N.P., presented a new nursing theory to improve outcomes in patient-centered chronic disease management at the Second Advanced Nursing Science and Practice Symposium, in April, 2018 in Las Vegas. He presented “Behavioral Transformation Through Inner Conflict Resolution: A New Nursing Theory.”

Robert M. Yacynych, M.D. ’88, writes, “My wife, Marianne, and I had a great time at our 30th reunion! We are now looking forward to the graduation of our oldest son, Eddie, from the University of Southern California Physical Therapy Program and the graduation of our daughter, Janette, from the University of Maryland College Park in May. She will be receiving a B.S. degree in biomedical engineering. We can’t wait for our 35th reunion!”

Elizabeth M. Jaffee, M.D. ’85, was inaugurated as president of the American Association for Cancer Research for 2018-2019.

Richard O. Nelson, M.D. ’85, received the 2018 Jefferson Award BD Health Care Professional Medallion at the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards presentation in June, 2018. The award recognizes individuals who volunteer their time and talents to address the physical and/or psychological health care needs of those who are uninsured, unrepresented, or unable to obtain basic or specialized care on their own. Dr. Nelson worked with colleagues to co-found the Enright Melanoma Foundation after the loss of their friend, Dr. Joseph Enright, to malignant melanoma at the age of 37. Since 1999, they have passionately pursued a mission to raise sun safety awareness and prevent melanoma through preventive education and early detection. Dr. Nelson has led the organization for the past 15 years and helped launch the Enright Sun Safety Certification™ programs that have been used to educate youth, teachers, nurses, coaches and parents.

Joseph S. Cervia, M.D. ’84, M.B.A., FACP, FAAP, FIDSA, wrote A Remarkable Birthday Gift, published online ahead of print in Pediatrics. “I reflected on our experiences in caring for children and families battling HIV/AIDS and on how profoundly privileged I am to work with so many exceptional people in bringing the finest fruits of science to bear on so many young lives,” he says.

Philip R. Cohen, M.D. ’83, added a new term to the lexicon recently: eponychogryphosis.

Adelaide Nardone, M.D. ’83, reports she is thrilled to have a beautiful granddaughter, Winnie Golden Gleason.

Nandakumar C. Menon, M.D. (GME ’80), received the 2018 American College of Surgeons/Pfizer Humanitarian Award given in recognition of surgeons who have dedicated a substantial portion of their career to ensuring the provision of surgical care to underserved populations without expectation of commensurate reimbursement.

The 70s

John Matthew Garofalo, M.D. ’79, was recently appointed assistant clinical professor, University of Vermont, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and served as director of minimally invasive gynecology at Norwalk Hospital, Western Connecticut Health Network. He had the honor of “hooding” his son, Matthew Garofalo, M.D. ’17, at NYMC’s graduation in Carnegie Hall. His son is now a second-year resident in psychiatry at Westchester Medical Center.

Myles L. Pensak, M.D. ’78, FACS
, is the H.B. Broidy Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, specializing in diseases of the ear and skull base, with a particular interest in acoustic neuroma, petroclival meningioma, tumors of the jugular foramen and malignancies of the temporal bone.

Steven M. Fruchtman, M.D. ’77
, was named president and chief executive officer of Onconova Therapeutics, a biotech company focused on small molecule discovery for patients with cancer, currently focused on myelodysplastic syndrome.

Neil T. Choplin, M.D. ’76
, writes “It’s been almost 19 years since I retired from the United States Navy. I'm still working in private practice, although looking to slow down a little. On August 1, I will begin a two- year term as president of the Board of Directors of the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology. My wife, Lynn, and I are enjoying our three-year-old granddaughter.”

Catherine Dunn, M.D. ’75
, is happy to announce the arrival of their first grandchild, Cotter Simon, and the marriage of their younger daughter. “After all that excitement, Ted and I finally became snowbirds, in Tucson for the winter and Mazama in eastern Washington for the summer,” she writes.

Daniel Morhaim, M.D. ’75
, writes “After 24 years in elected office, I decided not to run for re-election to the Maryland General Assembly. It was a great experience and I accomplished many things, but it was time for another life chapter. I am a board member of the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons and I continue to do some ER shifts and other medical work. Shelley and I recently traveled to Spain, where we walked The Camino (12-14 miles/day for 11 days), and also took a trip to Iceland. But like many of you in our age group, we are increasingly enchanted by and devote time and attention to our grandkids.”

Thomas Okner M.D. ’75A
, retired from full-time practice in St. Paul, Minnesota in the summer of 2015. “My wife, Mary Ann, and I relocated to Naples, where I continue to serve my community as a volunteer physician treating the uninsured working poor. In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, I volunteered at a clinic for the underserved in Panama City and spent several days on the local Catholic church’s food line. Several decades ago, Naples developed a comprehensive charitable program for the homeless and addicted and I commit one day a week to work there doing non-medical general maintenance and repairs in the warehouse. I continue my 25-year hobby of jewelry fabrication and recently became a member of the Florida Society of Goldsmiths. Finally, while our health is good, MaryAnn and I travel as often as we can, frequently with our grandchildren. We also look forward to returning to the Philippines in 2020 for our fifth medical mission.”

Robert A. Schwartz, M.D. ’74
, was appointed to serve as a member of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS for a two-year term. Dr. Schwartz is in his third decade as the professor and head of dermatology at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and sits on the Rutgers University Board of Trustees as faculty representative.

Jeffrey A. Kraut, M.D. ’72
, co-authored an invited review on toxic alcohols published in the January 15, 2018 New England Journal of Medicine.

David Harris Young, M.D. ’72
, writes “I am currently in my fourth retirement and would like to get back to work.”

Ian A. Gale, M.D. ’70
, retired after 37 years of urology practice in Los Angeles and moved to Phoenix. He fills his time volunteering, cooking for and feeding the homeless veterans of Phoenix, playing golf and traveling. “My wife and I just returned from a three week trip to Antarctica. That was our seventh continent and 100th country in the last five years. We enjoy our seven children and five grandchildren between trips,” he writes.

Bryan R. Updegraff, M.D. ’70
, is still practicing with his daughter and son-in-law. His wife, Alyca, is an aesthetician.

The 60s

Richard N. Hirsh, M.D. '69, is still organizing breast cancer medical mission projects to underserved regions in developing countries.

Glen Joshpe, M.D. ’69
, has published a new book, Joshpe’s Journey Unabridged, a collection of vignettes including tales of NYMC, Metropolitan Hospital and memorable medical cases including providing care at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969.

Kenneth Blum, Ph.D. ’68
, was in Marquis Who’s Who and selected for Lifetime Achievement Award for Life inclusion.

Paul B. Heller, M.D. ’68
, practiced gynecologic oncology until January of 2019. His former associations include Walter Reed Army Medical Center (retired colonel), University of Pennsylvania, Medical College of Pennsylvania (full professor), Abington Memorial Hospital, and Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey.

Stephen Berger, M.D. ’67
, writes “After many long stories (and five gorgeous grandchildren) I find myself chief of tropical medicine at Tel-Aviv Medical Center, directing a project which follows the status of every infectious disease in every country... in real time. A few years ago, our massive source database was reverse-engineered to “write” 430 e-books (120,000 single-space pages). The tenth edition for all titles was released on February 1. The bottom line: I’ve authored 4,000+ books (1,200,000 pages) I owe this all to that amazing work ethic we all absorbed at NYMC!”

Michael R. Tesoro, M.D. ’67
, is presently involved with giving free general medical care through the Knights of Malta in Waterbury, Connecticut, two days per week with six physicians. “We utilize an RV for examining patients and the St. Francis RC gymnasium to register individuals who do not have access to care. They are from Eastern Europe, South America and Central America. All laboratory work is done at Saint Mary’s Hospital and specialty care and necessary procedures are referred for further care to staff physicians. Approximately 4,000 individuals have been cared for since 2012,” he writes.

Morton Meltzer, M.D. ’65
, is working full time supporting six small mental health clinics, the sheriff's Department of Mental Health program and working with North Carolina Social Security Disability for psychiatric consultations. He lives on a 140+ acre farm, taking care of six dogs, two horses, ducks and whomever drops by. He recently took a family trip to Disney World with his wife, children and grandchildren. “Life is good and I am looking forward to more of it,” he writes.

Joel Kupersmith, M.D. ’64
, is the director of Veterans Initiatives at Georgetown University where he launches educational and research programs. One of his initiatives, the Veteran’s Creed, is a statement of principles for veterans which he and former Army COS George Casey developed with the leadership of 12 major veterans organizations including the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. The rollout for the Creed was on Flag Day on Capitol Hill. The Creed has been officially adopted by veterans organizations and recited at venues all around the country including sporting events. “We believe that the Veteran’s Creed will be an integral part of the veterans’ experience for some time to come,” he writes.

Ira Raff, M.D. ’64
, is still working as a urologist in Delray, Florida, and is active in sports including pickle ball, tennis, stick ball, kayaking and biking, his mode of transportation to work. He also volunteers at a free clinic, Caridad, along with his wife.

William J. Walsh, M.D. ’64
, had two short stories published in Afterwords, Who Can Forget, the annual publication of the Veterans Writing Workshop.

Ira Glick, M.D. ’61
, medical director for a clinical research organization trying to find new meds for medical and psychiatric diseases, shares, “Strange how life goes, studying and occasionally playing basketball at night during the four years of medical school – has indirectly lead to: A) editing the first book on the field of sports psychiatry, The ISSP Manual of Sports Psychiatry B) being invited as a psychiatric consultant to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, for their first conference and publication focused on “Mental Health of Elite Athletes” and C) being a “talking head” and the only non-Hall-of-Fame player on the ESPN series, “Basketball: A Love Story.” [November, 2018].” He also performed a 20-49-year follow-up of his antipsychotic-treated patients with schizophrenia and found “the better the treatment the better the outcome.” For his work he was awarded the 2018 American College of Psychiatrists Dean Award for Schizophrenia.

James M. Rubin, M.D. ’60
, has been appointed director of the Foundation of Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, NY.

The 50s

David Miller, M.D. ’59, writes, “My 50-year career in medicine could also be called my 50-year ride on a magic carpet launched by New York Medical College. Although there were many ‘highs’ along the way, the highest high was my work in developing a viscoelastic lubricant (hyaluronic acid, Healon) with Robert Stegmann for eye surgery. Simply put, its usage allows the eye surgeon to safely implant the intra ocular lens after cataract removal. It also allows greater safety and precision in repairing serious eye trauma and in performing corneal transplantation. This discovery led to the Innovator of the Year Award given by the Association of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. Other highs on my personal magic carpet have been the teaching excellence award at Harvard Medical School and being named as one of Boston’s Best Doctors.”

Martin H. Floch, M.D. ’56
, was the senior editor for a 420-page, 43-chapter book, The Microbiota in Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology, published by Elsevier. “We are very proud of this text and hope our colleagues get to see it,” he says.

Richard J. Golinko, M.D. ’56
, writes, “After 30 years at Mount Sinai, I retired and I am enjoying retirement with my beautiful wife, Joan. Would love to hear from any of my classmates or alumni at”

Edwin Jayvpesr Pear, M.D. ’53
, is retired in Florida and he summers in the Berkshires.

Paul D. Fuchs, M.D. ’51
, shares, “In March, I will celebrate my 91st birthday and the bar mitzva of my seventh great grandchild. My wife and I continue to travel. We were in Portugal when I developed a diverticula rupture and abdominal infection. When we returned to New York City, I had part of my colon removed and I am fully recovered. We winter in Arizona and summer in New York City. Classmates can reach me”

The 40s

Felix Wimpfheimer, M.D. ’45, received the Alfred B. DelBello Distinguished Service Award, at the NYMC Founder’s Dinner on October 14, 2018.