Alumni Updates

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Interested in seeing where your fellow MSIH classmates are now?

Here are a few updates, organized by graduating class. We’re always happy to hear from you, so please share with us any professional updates and accomplishments of your own.

Dr. Mark Clarfield and Lt. Col. Brian Neese (class of 2005)

Class of 2021

Jonathan Abres, M.D., is a first-year resident in Family Medicine/Urban Medicine at the University of Rochester in New York. He is having a positive experience during his intern year at Strong Memorial Hospital. Dr. Abres is also committed to giving back to the next generation of MSIH students, and he holds regular elective and residency preparatory workshops with students.

Judi Yuhjtman, M.D., is a Pediatrics Resident at Tower Health/St Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Dr. Yuhjtman reflected on how her MSIH education prepared her for a successful start to residency, “A statement that resonated with me during my time at MSIH is ‘global health is local’. This holds true during my short time here in Philadelphia working as a resident at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. I continue to use the skills I learned during medical school to connect with people of different cultures, religions, backgrounds, upbringings and social statuses. Throughout my interactions with my patients, I am reminded and thankful everyday of the unique experience and training I had in Be’er Sheva. I truly feel like I am making a difference in my patients’ lives.” Dr. Yuhjtman looks forward to the next three years of residency as she moves forward in her career as a pediatrician.

Benzion Samueli M.D., is a resident in Pathology at Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, Israel. Dr. Samueli also serves as a pathology lecturer at MSIH, as well as an advisor at MSIH for students interested in exploring medical careers in Israel.

During the pandemic and MSIH’s pivot to remote learning, Dr. Samueli taught a virtual pathology course that was a successful model for future virtual courses. Dr. Samueli published an article in the Annals of Diagnostic Pathology about the elective that provided students with much-needed exposure to diagnostic pathology in clinical practice.

In addition to his pending publications, Dr. Samueli is currently working on primary research that focuses on the diagnostic implications of a peculiar biochemical property of fluorescent molecules.

In 2023, he will begin a year-long fellowship in Urologic Pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Class of 2020

Nir Ben-Shlomo, M.D., is an Otolaryngology resident at the University of Iowa. He was awarded the T-32 Institutional National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health which allows for two years dedicated to research as part of his residency. His focus for this allotted research time is to improve hearing outcomes in patients who receive cochlear implants.

Dr. Ben-Shlomo is currently working on characterizing a zwitterionic hydrogel that can be used to prevent the immune system from launching a foreign body response after the device is implanted surgically. As he states, “This hydrogel coating shows promise for application in a wide array of implanted materials including PICC lines, foley catheters, tracheostomy tubes, and deep brain stimulators, though my focus is to coat cochlear implants with the hydrogel and assess the immune and electrophysiological responses after cochlear implantation. In addition, these two research years allow me the time and opportunity to explore other clinical questions, and I am currently working on developing a set of appropriate criteria for performing tracheostomy in intubated COVID-19 patients.”

Rose Bayer, M.D., is a resident in pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in North Philadelphia, PA. She began a research project as a part of an individualized Flex Elective that she designed exploring mental health in adolescents. There are many barriers to accessing and receiving care, especially in a low income population, and Dr. Bayer will identify the common barriers to access for both short term and long term care, and work on streamlining the process based on the available Philadelphia resources for her patients.

Class of 2019

Joseph Sofaer, M.D., chose to remain in Israel to practice medicine. He is currently a resident in Ophthalmology at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, where he also completed staj, an Israeli internship year.

Leeran Baraness, M.D., is an attending physician at HCA University Hospital in Davie, FL, HCA Westside Hospital and Plantation Emergency Department in Plantation, FL. She completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at HCA Aventura. As a resident, Dr. Baraness served as a program evaluation resident representative and participated in intrinsic evaluation and data aggregation of program logistics for persistent improvement in training capacity. Dr. Baraness was also an Education Liaison and assisted in the advancement of medical students and fellow residents by implementing educational and evidence-based practice educational lectures, oral and physical case simulations.

Class of 2018

Hailey Bossio, M.D., is a chief resident in emergency medicine at Kent Hospital in Warwick, RI. Following residency, she will remain at Kent Hospital as an academic faculty member. 

Brian Kohen, M.D., is Director of Ultrasound at Memorial Regional Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma center in Hollywood, Florida. Previously, Dr. Kohen was an attending physician/emergency ultrasound fellow at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. Dr. Kohen completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Alon Slutzky, M.D., is in his final year of his Diagnostic Radiology residency at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai West. He currently serves as one of the chief residents and will begin an Abdominal Imaging Fellowship at Weill Cornell next year. As a resident, Dr. Slutzky has been actively involved in research and projects, including the following projects: Case Based Review: MRI Assessment Of Rectal Carcinoma After Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation Therapy and The Radiologist’s Guide to High Attenuating Pulmonary Lesions on CT. In recognition of his research, Dr. Slutzky received two Certificates of Merit from the Radiological Society of North American. Dr. Slutzky also published an article in the journal of Tomography, titled ‘Semi-Automated 3D Volumetric Renal Measurements in Polycystic Kidney Disease Using b0-Images-A Feasibility Study’.

Class of 2017

Reva Frankel, M.D., is a fellow in Medical Genetics and Genomics at Stanford University in California. Dr. Frankel completed her residency in pediatrics at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, where she was chief resident. Dr. Frankel recently presented at the Western Society Pediatric Research conference on a newly described phenotype associated with a well known gene.

Asaf Harris, M.D., is an internal medicine specialist and hospitalist at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI. Dr. Harris completed an internal medicine residency and was chief resident with the Spectrum Health/Michigan State University Internal Medicine Residency Program where he is now core faculty. He also serves as clinical assistant professor with the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. 

Class of 2016

Nathan Douthit, M.D., is a member of the core internal medicine faculty at East Alabama Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Residency in Opelika, Alabama. He also works as a global health associate editor for BMJ Case Reports. Dr. Douthit has a special interest in medical education and health disparities. He has written articles on access to renal replacement for undocumented immigrants as well as editorials against work requirements for Medicaid. When not working, he enjoys working on his land with his five children and wife of ten years.

Sara Teichholz, M.D., is an intern in psychiatry at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Dr. Teichholtz chose her residency program because of its unique emphasis on global mental health and policy. She became interested in working with refugee populations while at MSIH, and was drawn to George Washington University’s opportunities that encourage residents to perform asylum evaluations and work with refugee populations. The program also has numerous international connections, including many in the Middle East. Dr. Teichholtz plans to join the Global Mental Health track of her residency program as a PGY-II.

Class of 2015

Amanda Norwich, M.D., is a general surgeon in Farmington, Connecticut and is affiliated with UConn John Dempsey Hospital. She completed her residency at the University of Connecticut in Hartford. As a resident, Dr. Norwich started a research project with a bariatric surgeon at one of the University of Connecticut’s affiliate hospitals that examined the effect of eating habits on outcomes in bariatric surgery. At the same time, she joined a two-year research project with a plastic surgeon at Yale University, who analyzed gene therapy to prevent conversion of giant congenital nevi to melanoma.

Julia Rubin-Smith, M.D., M.S.P.H., is a member of the Global Health Faculty at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts. In her role, she collaborates with local and international colleagues to improve child health globally through partnerships for clinical quality improvement, education, research, and advocacy. She also provides acute and emergency care to children in the Pediatric Emergency Department at South Shore Hospital, a community network ED of Boston Children’s.

Dr. Rubin-Smith completed her pediatric residency at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She was part of the residency program’s Global Health Pathway and served as one of two global health class representatives for the class of 2018.
As a resident, Dr. Rubin-Smith spent a month in Washington, DC completing a legislative advocacy internship at the AAP’s Department of Federal Affairs where she learned a lot about the legislative process and was able to spend time on Capitol Hill with other dedicated pediatricians advocating for children.

Shimon (Gabriel) Farkas, M.D., is an anesthesiology resident at New York Medical College in Westchester, New York. In December 2016 he exhibited a poster at the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists Postgraduate Assembly. He presented a case report describing the use of a novel type of nerve block called the PEC I and II block that anesthetizes the nerves that innervate the chest wall, which helps with post-operative pain control.

Kady Goldlist, M.D., is a staff geriatrician at Mount Auburn Hospital and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, MA. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, followed by a fellowship in Geriatrics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. Dr. Goldlist has a special interest in healthy aging and medical education.

Class of 2014

Martin Gibbs, M.D., is currently a Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellow at Tulane University. As a fellow, he has conducted research into the effects of biomass combustion (e.g. indoor stoves) on lung function in Kisumu, Kenya. This has been presented at multiple forums of the American Thoracic Society (ATS). Additionally, Dr. Gibbs presented a case of histoplasmosis diagnosed by endobronchial ultrasound-guided biopsy at ATS.

Previously, Dr. Gibbs completed a Global Health/Hospital Medicine Fellowship with the University of Florida. This year-long program allowed him to provide healthcare to under-served communities in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Gainesville, FL.

Evan Cantor, M.D., is a Fellow in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. His research integrates the techniques of cancer pharmacology, neuro-development and cancer genomics/bioinformatics to improve our understanding and treatment of pediatric brain tumors through a precision medicine approach. Previously, Dr. Cantor was a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellow at the University of Michigan.

His interests include evaluating and treating patients with pediatric neuro-oncology diagnoses using an integrated, team-based approach. His research lab primarily pursues the molecular mechanisms by which recurrent mutations in pediatric high-grade glioma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma promote tumor formation and affect treatment response.

Renata Mazurek, M.D., is a Postdoctoral Cardiology Research Fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Her current work focuses on developing therapeutic strategies for heart failure through translational research. As part of the Ishikawa laboratory at Mount Sinai, Dr. Mazurek is engaged in studies aimed at preventing and overcoming multiple forms of heart failure resulting from myocardial infarction and pulmonary hypertension. Her research expands existing modes of therapy and aims to improve precision medicine within the scope of mechanical circulatory support and gene therapy. Recently, Dr. Mazurek presented on her team’s novel studies examining exit strategy for mechanical left ventricular support at the Annual A-CURE Symposium as the recipient of the Young Investigator Award.

Her ongoing personal efforts also concentrate on better bridging communication between providers and researchers in the field of cardiology, addressing transitions from pediatric to adult care, increasing community engagement in health and access to appropriate information, as well as mentoring students interested in medical and research careers.

Class of 2013

Deborah Bloch, M.D., completed her Pediatrics residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, PA. While a resident, Dr. Bloch organized two “Helping Babies Breathe” training courses, which teaches neonatal resuscitation in the first golden minute of life. The courses were to certify residents and attendings to be able to train health care providers in low-resource settings, who could then not only utilize the training in daily practice but also train other providers.

Dr. Bloch has started a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Though she is still developing her fellowship project, she is confident it will involve a cohort of mother-baby pairs in Kenya and examine transplacental transfer of antibodies towards vaccine-preventable diseases and infant response to BCG vaccine in the setting of maternal parasitemia, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control.

Paul Kim, M.D., is a palliative medicine fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). In his current role, he is exploring an interest in utilizing technology to support positive patient outcomes. MSKCC has started an innovative telemedicine program that allows outpatient follow-up for patients who live outside of Manhattan. The commute from to New York City entails a long ride for some, which would not be conducive for people who have intractable pain from metastatic disease.
Dr. Kim is involved in the initial pilot of this program, and is planning to measure patient satisfaction and report ideas to determine if telemedicine visits can be as successful – if not more – at managing patient’s systems as seeing physicians face-to-face. Dr. Kim is excited to see how the use of new technology will further palliative care.

Benjamin Courchia, M.D., is a neonatal intensive care physician in Miami, Florida. He is also director of neonatal innovation at Envision Health and HCA University Hospital, where he is actively involved in the development and implementation of new technologies to improve the care of critically ill neonates.

Dr. Courchia co-hosts, along with Dr. Daphna Yasova Barbeau, a weekly podcast focusing on neonatal care called The Incubator. As a thought leader in the field of neonatal care, Dr. Courchia’s research has been published in multiple esteemed journals. His most recent article, “Association between Neonatal Seizures and Social-Emotional Development and Adaptive Behavior in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants” was published in the Journal of Child Neurology.

After graduating from MSIH, Dr. Courchia pursued a residency in Pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He completed his neonatal intensive care fellowship training at the University of Miami.

Class of 2012

Katherine (Kate) Horan, M.D., fulfilled her lifelong dream and joined Doctors Without Borders after completing her residency. During that time, she has served as the managing physician in a malaria and malnutrition ward in rural Chad, the director of a refugee camp hospital in South Sudan, and a technical adviser for a 300-bed pediatric hospital in Mali. Dr. Horan is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.

Jonathan (JD) Drew, M.D., joined Doctors Without Borders after completing a fellowship in wilderness medicine and disaster medicine. He served on his first mission in war-torn Central African Republic, considered to be one of the most dangerous and challenging environments for humanitarian missions. “I’ve never been happier; this is the kind of medicine you dream about practicing as a kid,” he says. “It’s challenging, yes, but I really believe my training at MSIH was the perfect way to prepare for this.”

Megan Straughan, M.D., is a general surgeon at UNC Rockingham in Eden, NC. Dr. Straughan completed her residency in general surgery at Prisma Health in Greenville, SC. She then completed a global surgery fellowship with Creighton University during which she worked at Butaro District Hospital and lived at the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) in Butaro, Rwanda. She continues to return to Butaro and UGHE (COVID permitting).

Miriam Jacobs, M.D., is a senior fellow in oncology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She became interested in cancer immunotherapy during her first year at MSIH while taking Immunology with professor Dr. Ron Apte. Dr. Jacobs’ fellowship research focuses on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T Cells and CAR NK cells for solid tumors. Her published work includes research on outcomes of patients with lymphoma after CD19 CAR T cell therapy. Dr. Jacobs recently received an ASCO Young Investigator Award to support my research on memory-like NK cells and solid tumors. Previously, Dr. Jacobs completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of California San Diego.

Prakash Ganesh, M.D., M.P.H., is a currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and in the Center for Community Health Integration at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is also the Preventive Medicine Residency Associate Program Director at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center for the categorical and combined Family Medicine/Preventive Medicine residencies. Dr. Ganesh is currently practicing at Neighborhood Family Practice, a Federally Health Qualified Center.

Following graduation, he completed a combined residency in Family Medicine and Public Health and General Preventive Medicine at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. From 2015-2019, Dr. Ganesh practiced global health in Malawi, where he worked in a large refugee camp, provided inpatient care at a tertiary hospital and worked for the Lighthouse Trust through the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) at the University of Washington. Additionally, he worked as a clinical instructor and lecturer at the Malawi College of Medicine.

His focus areas include HIV, Hepatitis C, refugee health and global health. 

Jonah Mink, M.D., is a family medicine physician in Tel Aviv, Israel. He is also the Medical Director for, an Israeli start-up company. He started Migrant Health:IL with a fellow MSIH Alumnus to improve medical care for refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers in Tel Aviv. Dr. Mink serves as a clinical advisor/medical director for numerous companies ranging from telemedicine to remote patient monitoring to mobile phone enabled artificial intelligence diagnostics. Following graduation, he completed his residency at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.

Dr. Mink has also co-taught a first-year course at MSIH, “Introduction to Global Health.”


Class of 2011

Scottie Bussell, M.D., M.P.H., has returned to the Indian Health Service as the clinical director at the Western Oregon Service Unit. His focus is on providing service to students at the Chemawa Indian Boarding School.

Previously, he was the medical director of a correctional facility in Seattle, WA, where he provided general medical care to male and female prisoners. He conducted health care screenings and provided evaluations as needed. In this role managing a healthcare team, Dr. Bussell oversaw department meetings, managed physician schedules and created goals for improving overall patient health, such as providing A1C tests to all diabetics every three months. As a family medicine-trained physician, Dr. Bussell has strengthened his mental health expertise in his previous role, as ~75% of inmates have a mental health diagnosis.

Before this, Dr. Bussell was a medical officer of family practice in the Indian Health Service. Dr. Bussell completed a Fogarty Global Health Fellowship, National Institutes of Health, and was placed at the National Center for HIV/AIDS in Beijing, China. During his fellowship, Dr. Bussell explored Hepatitis C and HIV co-infection and screening for fibrosis and Hepatitis C treatment eligibility, as well as liver disease.

Rachel Pope, M.D., M.P.H., is an obstetrician/gynecologist and division chief of Female Sexual Health in the Urology Institute at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. She also has an appointment in the Department of Urology at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

Dr. Pope completed residency in obstetrics/gynecology at University Hospitals and fellowship in global women’s health at Baylor College of Medicine. After her fellowship, she served as the medical director and head surgeon at Freedom from Fistula’s Obstetric Fistula Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi while faculty and fellowship director for Baylor’s global women’s health program, where she specialized in childbirth injuries, including obstetric fistula in sub-Saharan Africa. She has additional training in vulvar and vaginal disorders and sexual dysfunction.

She has an interest in vaginal reconstruction and provides surgical care for women with vesico-vaginal and recto-vaginal fistulas, postpartum birth injuries, cancer survivors, women with sexual dysfunction, and individuals undergoing gender affirmation surgery.

Lily Gutnik, M.D., M.P.H., is a breast surgeon at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also serves as the inaugural Vice Chair of Global Surgery for the Department of Surgery and Assistant Program Director for the General Surgery Residency-Global Surgery.

Dr. Gutnik is a former Fulbright scholar and Fogary Fellow to Malawi, where Dr. Gutnik piloted the country’s first breast cancer screening and awareness program in which she trained laywomen to conduct clinical breast exams. She is scaling up the work she has done in Malawi, and is collaborating to implement similar models with success in other countries. Additionally, Dr. Gutnik is consulting for Discovering Hands, a German-based social enterprise in which blind women are being trained to conduct breast exams. She is also an advisory board member to Know Your Lemons, an organization that provides innovative breast cancer education materials in various forms and languages.

Dr. Gutnik completed her residency in Surgery at the University of Utah, along with a Master’s of Public Health at Harvard University, where she was also a Research Fellow in the Center for Surgery and Public Health. Her research interests include studying health disparities and implementation science, including measuring the effectiveness of programs.

Class of 2010

Olga Charnaya, M.D., is a pediatric nephrologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Dr. Charnaya, along with her colleagues, staffs the only pediatric hemodialysis unit in the state of Maryland.  The unit is unique because, in addition to providing expert dialysis care from nephrologists and dialysis nurses, the focus is on comprehensive care of the patient and family with a dietician, social worker and behavioral psychologist who are all actively engaged with each patient.

At Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Dr. Charnaya explores her professional research interests. Her research focuses on optimizing immunological matching to improve long-term allograft survival in pediatric kidney transplant recipients especially focusing on the racial disparities in graft outcomes.

Dr. Charnaya wrote an ethics piece on access to transplant for undocumented minors in the US – Ethics Rounds: Access to Transplantation for Undocumented Pediatric Patients – that will be published in Pediatrics. She was also awarded a KL2 Clinical Research Scholars Award from Johns Hopkins, which is a three-year grant that will help her obtain a PhD in Clinical Investigation.

Ariela Orkaby, M.D., M.P.H., is an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. She completed an advanced geriatric research fellow at VA Boston Healthcare system.

In July 2017, Dr. Orkaby received a Career Development Award from the National Institute on Aging’s Boston Older Americans Independence Center. The award amount of $100,000 will further Dr. Orkaby’s research on frailty to examine the hypothesis that aspirin use is associated with lower risk of frailty and functional limitation in older adults.

Jordann Loehr, M.D., M.P.H., is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic in Toppenish, WA, a healthcare center on the Yakama Indian Reservation. She provides trauma informed care to this underserved community and translational medicine at this critical access site.
Dr. Loehr is also the Women’s Health Medical Director for Remote Area Medical Guyana, managing a wide-reaching cervical cancer screening and prevention program. She brought self-swab HPV testing into Guyana and provides access to care for the Amerindian women of the Rupununi.

Dr. Loehr was also a Fulbright Scholar (2017-2018) at the University of Gondar in Ethiopia where she worked as an implementation scientist navigating the barriers to cervical cancer screening and prevention in Gondar and the Simien mountain region.

Class of 2009

Connie Keung, M.D., is a surgeon at Indiana University Health-Riley Children’s Health Hospital.Previously, she was a physician at the Indiana University at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), a national referral hospital in Kenya. She represented the surgical program of the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare. Dr. Keung completed her residency in surgery at Columbia University Medical Center. She spends her time operating, teaching surgery to medical students and residents, and assisting with the development and evaluation of the surgical curriculum.

Shaun Gruenbaum, M.D., is a board-certified anesthesiologist at the Yale School of Medicine, where is both a practicing physician and neuroscientist. He serves on the Education Committee for the Society of Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care (SNACC), and was recently appointed the Assistant Director of Neuroanesthesia Research in the Department of Anesthesiology at Yale.

Since graduating from MSIH in 2009, Dr. Gruenbaum completed his residency in Anesthesiology at the Yale School of Medicine. After completing his residency, Dr. Gruenbaum completed a fellowship in clinical neuroanesthesia, as well as an NIH-funded, T32 research fellowship. During this time, he also worked towards earning a PhD in Investigative Medicine at Yale, which he will complete in September 2017.

Dr. Gruenbaum has research interests in understanding the biological mechanisms of cerebral metabolism and neuroprotection after an acute brain insult, and he collaborates with a multidisciplinary team that includes biomedical engineers, pathologists, neurosurgeons, and anesthesiologists.

Maria Sobolev, M.D., is a non-invasive cardiologist at Crystal Run Healthcare, a multispecialty practice in Rockland and Orange County, New York. Dr. Sobolev is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, Echocardiography, Nuclear Medicine and Vascular Imaging. Her specific interests are in women’s health, cardiovascular imaging and cardiac rehabilitation.

Dr. Sobolev has been an active speaker for the local American Heart Association, and she has worked to educate the community on heart disease in general and specifically heart disease in women. Dr. Sobolev has published multiple papers on cardiac rehabilitation, as well as vascular imaging, and has presented multiple abstracts in the American College of Cardiology meetings.

Class of 2008

Gupreet Kaur, M.D., is a family medicine physician who has completed field assignments with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders in Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Tanzania.
Dr. Kaur arranged independent public health electives during her family medicine residency (The Christ Hospital/University of Cincinnati Family Medicine Residency Program), which took her to Pakistan and Bangladesh. This path later led to her application to work with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
To date, Dr. Kaur has completed four assignments with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders and has just started her fifth in Nigeria.

Miriam Rahav, M.D., is founder and medical director of Rahav Wellness, the Center for Collaborative Healing, an integrative health center she opened in March 2017. Dr. Rahav is a triple-boarded physician in the fields of internal medicine, hospice and palliative medicine and functional medicine. Dr. Rahav is also certified in acupuncture through The Tristate School of Acupuncture, and in a diagnostic and treatment modality called autonomic response testing (ART) through the Klinghardt Academy.

She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, and a fellowship training in Hospice and Palliative Care at New York University Medical Center (NYU).

Class of 2007

Bathany Sweet, M.D., is a family medicine physician at Yelm Family Medicine in Yelm, Washington. She completed her Family Medicine training at Providence St. Peter Family Medicine in Olympia. She has served as a medical volunteer with “Friends of Haiti”, a nonprofit whose mission is to serve the people of Haiti by providing medical, dental, development and educational services. Dr. Sweet’s medical interests are women’s health, obstetrics, pediatrics, and international health.

Dr. Sweet has hosted MSIH fourth-year students for visiting clinical electives at her family medicine practice, and she enjoys mentoring the next generation of MSIH physicians.

Javeed Sukhera, M.D., Ph.D., is the Chair of Psychiatry at the Institute of Living (IOL), and Chief of Psychiatry at Hartford Hospital under the Hartford Healthcare Behavioral Health Network in Connecticut.

In his role as Chair/Chief, Dr. Sukhera advances the IOL’s clinical, research, and educational mission including training programs in psychiatry, psychology, social work, and nursing, as well as three endowed research centers. Dr. Sukhera is looking forward to developing a new research center focused on racial trauma.

Previously, Dr. Sukhera served as Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Paediatrics at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University, and provided clinical consultation to the Child and Adolescent Mental Healthcare Program and Paediatric Chronic Pain Program at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). He was also a Scientist at the Centre for Education Research and Innovation, and an Associate Scientist at Children’s Health Research Institute/Lawson Health Research Institute and served on the Executive Committee of Western’s Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion.

Deena Altman, M.D., is Associate Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Genetics and Genomic Sciences at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. She is also the initiator of the collaborative Pathogen Surveillance Program. Her research focuses on Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) – specifically on S. aureus pathogenesis, epidemiology, and genomics.

In addition to her research, Dr. Altman provides inpatient care serving the local and global community that populates New York City. By performing direct patient care, she is able to witness the complications and management issues related to S. aureus first-hand, which in turns allows her to identify knowledge gaps and generate research hypotheses.


Class of 2006

Sigalit Hoffman, M.D., completed her fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Hoffman participated in a relief mission in Haiti, where she treated patients in the Sacré Coeur tent hospital in Milot, which is 150 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince. Currently, Dr. Hoffman works as a clinician in the Child Trauma Clinic at Floating Hospital for Children in Boston, Massachusetts.

Jeremy Fowler, M.D., is a Family Physician at the Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group in California. Previously, he was a Staff Physician and Medical Director of Annoor Sanatorium for Chest Diseases in Al-Mafraq, Jordan. In this role, he provided oversight to physicians; established policy, systems and direction for the sanatorium; made decisions regarding hiring and management of employees; and liaised with governmental and NGO officials regarding care of TB in Jordan. He directed a multicultural medical team, treating medically and socially complicated drug sensitive and drug resistant TB patients, and coordinating care through partnership with local and regional governmental and non-governmental colleagues in Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

Class of 2005

Lt. Col. Brian H. Neese, M.D., M.P.H., is a Global Health Liaison within the United States Air Force International Affairs Division at the Pentagon. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of the Keesler Air Force Base Medical Center in Biloxi, MS, a role in which he oversees day-to-day clinical operations at the base hospital. Previously, Lt. Col. Neese served as Global Health Liaison within the United States Air Force International Affairs Division at the Pentagon. During that time, he was deployed in Panama, where he led his medical team in their New Horizons Training Exercise. New Horizons is a deployed, joint training exercise that focuses on civil engineer projects, medical assistance, and support services.

In his distinguished career, Lt. Col. Neese also oversaw clinical and administrative operations at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina as commander of the 628th Medical Operations Squadron. Lt. Col. Neese supervised more than 70 medical personnel who delivered comprehensive health care to more than 24,000 people, including thousands of active duty personnel.

Dr. Neese has published a book, “Living and Dying in the Fourth Year,” describing his experiences during medical school.

Melissa Dawalt Klein, M.D., M.P.H., is medical director for the Cleveland VA Patient Aligned Care Team for Homeless Veterans (H-PACT) in Ohio. In her current role, she oversees a primary care clinic designed to meet the medical and complex psychosocial needs of homeless veterans. The H-PACT clinic model of care includes walk-in access, case management, on-site social services, and outreach. It has grown to be a trusted medical home for veterans experiencing homelessness.

Previously, she worked for Unity Health Care in Washington D.C. In Unity’s Re-Entry program she provided primary care to patients in D.C. correctional facilities and to men and women returning home from jail and prison.

Henry Welch, M.D., is a clinical associate in pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He also serves as a Consultant in Pediatrics & Internal Medicine with the National Department of Health in Papua New Guinea, where he is a faculty member at The University of Papua New Guinea, and a Pediatrician at the Port Moresby General Hospital.
Dr. Welch is working to implement a new child-friendly tuberculosis medication at Port Moresby General Hospital. The twelve-month project will support the distribution of the new TB treatment that is dissolvable, better tasting and requires children to take fewer pills each day. The ultimate goal of this project is to fight the spread of TB by simplifying treatment options.

Stella Blosser, M.D., M.P.H., is an Obstetrician Gynecologist at Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group in Burke, VA, where she specializes in management of fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, and complex gynecologic surgery.

Dr. Blosser completed her residency in OB/GYN at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC, followed by a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery. She has been a designated Surgeon of Excellence by the AAGL Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery since 2012.

Joseph Sakran, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.A., is the Director of Emergency General Surgery and Associate Chief, Division of Acute Care Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Sakran is nationally recognized for his advocacy work in making communities safer and ending gun violence. He was honored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Academy Health, and he is a 2020 recipient of Johns Hopkins’ Catalyst Award for pioneering research on physicians’ role in educating patients on safe gun storage. He was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar (2019) in which he furthered his research on safe gun storage. Dr. Sakran was selected by the National Academy of Medicine to be a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, he was honored to serve in the U.S. Senate in the office of New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan, where he worked on health policy and regulatory issues from 2019-2020.

His research interests include gun violence, injury prevention, outcomes research, trauma system development, and public policy and advancement of surgery in poor resource settings.

He completed a general surgery residency at Inova Fairfax Hospital, and a fellowship in Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also earned an M.P.A. at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


Class of 2004

Daniel Urbine, M.D., is currently a pulmonary and critical care physician at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Florida. Previously, he completed a three-year fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Urbine has also completed four medical missions, most recently to Zambia, where he worked primarily in rural villages to treat malaria and other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. He led a medical team from Detroit’s Oak Pointe Church, which has sponsored international medical missions for the past 13 years. “You can save a child’s life for three dollars, the cost of malaria medication,” he says. Dr. Urbine is also involved in the construction of a medical clinic in rural Zambia through Living Hope International.

LaShawn Worsley-McIver, M.D., M.P.H., serves as the Director of the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which provides healthcare to over 130 million Americans every year. Previously, Dr. McIver led Government Affairs & Advocacy (GA&A) efforts at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as its Vice President of Public Policy & Strategic Alliances and later as its Senior Vice President of all GA&A.

After graduating from MSIH, Dr. McIver went on to earn a Master’s Degree in public health at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her community-based coursework and experiences as a program director for the Baltimore City Health Department inspired her to advocate for health equity among diverse patient populations, and she later completed a health policy fellowship focusing on the impact of HIV and AIDS on African-Americans at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Center for Policy Analysis and Research.

Dr. McIver is a recognized spokesperson and thought leader on health disparities, healthcare reform, and diabetes advocacy issues. She is also a frequent presenter before Members of Congress, public health and health care leaders, advocates and students.

Eric Barna, M.D., M.P.H., completed his master’s degree in public health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and was named chief resident at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Jacobi Medical Center. He is currently the associate program director and sub-internship clerkship director at Mount Sinai Medical Center in the internal medicine division. Dr. Barna has also served as resource for fourth-year students who are preparing for sub-internships.

Matthew Benson, M.D., is an endocrinologist at Nemours Children’s Health and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Jacksonville, FL. Dr. Benson has conducted extensive diabetes research, receiving multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards and external funding. As a co-investigator on a $1.8 million grant, Dr. Benson analyzed the use of transdisciplinary care to treat children with Type 1 diabetes. The major goal of this project was to engage multiple stakeholders in designing a feasible, safe and reproducible transdisciplinary care model and testing it in a rigorous preliminary clinical trial. Given the shortages of providers in the endocrinology field, Dr. Benson sought to develop a care model using multiple fields to simultaneously provide care and assess if this care is best provided face to face or via telehealth. He is currently co-investigator on another NIH award ($3.2 million) that aims to develop a novel clinic-based screening and treatment program for diabetes distress targeting school-age families.

Dr. Benson considers his work a great privilege as a type I diabetic himself for 28 years. Dr. Benson brings awareness to the great strides being made with new technology and research aiming to improve control and prevent the life-threatening complications diabetics are at risk for. Dr. Benson is driven to enhance medical treatments for all types of diabetes and inform people of the grave risks associated with developing diabetes.


Class of 2003

Erica Spatz, M.D., M.H.S., is a general cardiologist and clinical investigator at the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation in New Haven, Connecticut. Previously, Dr. Spatz was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale University School of Medicine. Her work to expand the safety net for the uninsured in New Haven includes a study of the difficulties underserved populations face in receiving care and continuing care and the options to improve timely and coordinated care. In August 2016, Dr. Spatz presented a lecture at Columbia University Medical Center entitled “Misdiagnosing Patient Preference,” which centered on patient engagement and shared decision-making, as well as new government policies and laws that are helping patients collaborate with their physicians. Read more about Dr. Spatz’s lecture.

Gary Asher, M.D., M.P.H., is a clinician-investigator at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he is the director of integrative medicine services at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and assistant director of the UNC Chatham Hospital Emergency Department in Siler City, North Carolina. His research in health services includes systematic reviews to support guideline recommendations on behalf of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and other national organizations such as the American College of Physicians and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. His clinical-translational research focuses on the use of dietary supplements in chronic diseases such as hypertension and cancer. He teaches clinical epidemiology at the UNC School of Medicine, Gillings School of Global Public Health, and national family medicine Faculty Development Fellowship program. Dr. Asher has been a practitioner, teacher and researcher in the field of integrative medicine for over 20 years.

Patrick O’Connor, M.D., M.P.H., served as clinic manager for the International Rescue Committee in Darfur, Sudan, before starting a residency in family practice at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. O’Connor was a regional advisor for polio and vaccine preventable disease surveillance with the World Health Organization in their Southeast Asia regional office in New Delhi, India. Prior to joining the WHO, Dr. O’Connor worked for the International Rescue Committee in refugee camps and health clinics in Darfur and southern Sudan. Currently, he specializes in preventive medicine in Gap, Pennsylvania.

Aviva Fohrer, M.D., is an Addiction Medicine Physician at Thalia Medical Center in Narberth, PA. Dr. Fohrer strives to bring her vulnerable patients compassionate and quality care for substance use disorder, anxiety and co-occurring disorders. She supports her patients as they take measures to regain control over their lives.

Dr. Fohrer is the recipient of the prestigious 2022 Philadelphia Magazine Top Doctor Award for Addiction Medicine, a new category created to highlight her practice’s unique approach to holistic Substance Use Disorder and mental health therapy and treatment. The honor of Top Doctors is awarded to doctors that have been peer nominated and recognized for excellence in their area of specialty and expertise.


Class of 2002

Ryan Carroll, M.D., M.P.H., is a Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) physician and member of the faculty of the Pediatric Critical Care Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, MA. He is also an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.

Previously, Dr. Carroll served as the Uganda program director for the Global Health Collaborative during which he spent 25% of his year in the United States and the rest abroad, where he oversaw 100 staff and researchers, 15 research projects, 14 departmental partnership development programs, and more than 150 research and development visitors each year. He also served as a medical consultant for MGH’s Consortium for Affordable Medical Technology (CAMTech), assisting in the design of medical devices for low- and middle-income countries, primarily India and Uganda.

Craig Blinderman, M.D., M.A., is the Director of the Adult Palliative Medicine Service at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, since 2010, and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons.

Previously, Dr. Blinderman was an attending physician on the Palliative Care Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital and co-directed the MGH Cancer Pain Clinic from 2007-2010.
He completed both a residency in Family Medicine and a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in NY. He then went on to complete a Medical Ethics fellowship at Harvard Medical School (2007), and is currently completing a Writing Fellowship at the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School (2020-present).

Dr. Blinderman has published numerous original articles, reviews and chapters in the following areas: comfort care for the dying patient, early palliative care in lung cancer patients, palliative care response to Covid19, the role of palliative care in LVAD patients, medical ethics, and a range of other topics in palliative and end of life care. His academic interests include decision-making at the end of life, the role of palliative care in public and global health, medical ethics, narrative medicine, and the integration of contemplative care and meditation in clinical practice. He also has a strong interest in teaching and developing programs to improve medical trainees’ skills in communication and care for the dying.