University of Illinois Chicago - Department of Medicine FY2020 Annual Report

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2020 ANNUAL REPORT UN I VE RS I TY O F I L L I N O I S CH I CAGO D e p ar tm e nt of Me d i c in e

CONTENTS 01 02 03 06 24 30 38 40 46 58

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Project Manager/Designer/Editor Krystle Stewart, BS Project Consultants Lisa Butler, MPA Lisa Stigger, BA Contributors/Reviewers: Patricia W. Finn, MD George T. Kondos, MD Bryan Blaha, MS Karishma Parekh, MS Special Thanks to: DOM Administration Staff, Division Administrators, Division Chiefs and Councils. This publication was produced by University of Illinois Chicago Department of Medicine 312-996-7700




MESSAGE FROM THE HEAD Dear Friends and Colleagues, I am proud to present our annual report for the Department of Medicine during our fiscal year 2020. In the last annual report, we promised to share stories from the COVID-19 pandemic. We do indeed share these stories. Importantly, we share stories of resilience, integrity and commitment to improve the lives of others. In parallel, we share remarkable achievements in clinical care, scholarly activities and training the next generation. I am honored to work with each and every one. Please read the report and share in my pride.


Patricia W. Finn, MD

Earl M. Bane Professor Head, Department of Medicine Associate Dean, Strategic Initiatives Associate Program Director, Medical Scientist Training Program College of Medicine University of Illinois Chicago




he University of Illinois Chicago Department of Medicine (DOM) has a long tradition of providing thorough and comprehensive training in medicine. Since 1882, we have been moving academic medicine forward for the people of Illinois and beyond.

The Department of Medicine is the largest of 25 academic departments in the College of Medicine (COM). We are comprised of nine divisions, with faculty engaged in teaching, scholarly activity and patient care services. CLINICAL The DOM is committed to stewardship in the communities it serves by providing high-quality and cost-effective patient care while increasing financial stability. We align with UI Health’s UI CARE (Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Excellence) values. SCHOLARLY ACTIVITY Our commitment to scholarly activity is essential to our overall mission. Germane to this concept is the naming of research and investigative activity as “scholarly activity”. In recognition of the fact that collaboration and teamwork are essential to success, the DOM does not define roles as “research” or “clinical”, but rather enhancing scholarly activity for all DOM members whether trainee, faculty or staff. EDUCATION The DOM plays a significant role in the education of medical students, internal medicine residents, and specialty fellows throughout their years of training. PHILANTHROPY & ENDOWMENTS Fundraising for the DOM has a renewed emphasis on both research grants and private philanthropy, engaging alumni, community leaders, residents and faculty. MESSAGE FROM OUR DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS Dear Colleagues and Friends, From the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted millions of lives around the world to a monumental movement against racial injustice that pervades our society and the most fervent presidential elections in living memory, 2020 was an extraordinary year—a year not only of great challenges but inescapable opportunities. During these crises, our team provided awe-inspiring services using best-practices to protect the health of our community and care teams. Faculty, staff and students have worked tirelessly in ambiguous conditions to slow the spread of COVID-19, care for those stricken with the virus, confront racial inequality, and support each other. Our faculty members with extensive expertise in publicglobal health, and diversity and inclusion, assisted State, University, UI Health, and Departmental leadership with disaster management, infectious disease policies, and implementation of effective pro-diversity interventions throughout academic medicine. 2 DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE

We learned so much in 2020, not only about the novel coronavirus that upended our lives, but also about our own altruism, compassion and excellence. This truly has been a year of unprecedented challenge, but the achievements presented in this report underscore the Department of Medicine’s strength and commitment to meet the myriad of challenges in our mission to provide exceptional care for all. We are enormously grateful for the dedication, high standards, and caring of everyone who works in the Department of Medicine. Each of you is essential to our mission — and never more so than in these intense and difficult times. Thank you for all the ways in which you look after our community — and each other. Sincerely, R. Bryan Blaha, MS Director of Administrative Operations

NEW LEADERSHIP DIRECTOR OF MEDICAL ONCOLOGY, DIVISION OF HEMATOLOGY/ONCOLOGY Vijayakrishna (V.K.) Gadi, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, was appointed director of medical oncology, Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Gadi is an outstanding individual to lead these efforts following his experience as an academic leader, clinical trialist, and esteemed member of the medical oncology community. Dr. Gadi has over 30 years of laboratory experience in cancer research, as well as expertise in clinical care, clinical oncology, and translational breast cancer research. Over nearly two decades, he has amassed more than $10 million in research funding from government, philanthropic, and commercial organizations. Dr. Gadi completed his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, internal medicine residency at the University of Washington, and oncology fellowship at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. In addition to assuming the position of director of medical oncology, Dr. Gadi was appointed associate director of translational medicine at the University of Illinois Cancer Center. Vijayakrishna Gadi, MD, PhD

CHIEF, DIVISION OF NEPHROLOGY James P. Lash, MD, professor of medicine, was appointed as chief of the Division of Nephrology. Dr. Lash completed his medical degree at University of Chicago, an internal medicine residency at Michael Reese Hospital, and a fellowship in Nephrology at Chicago Medical School. Dr. Lash is a valued and respected faculty member in the Department of Medicine. He served as the program director for the Nephrology fellowship and currently serves on the Scholarly Activities Council. His research focuses on the epidemiology of chronic kidney disease and interventional trials in the treatment of kidney disease, particularly in racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. He has had continuous NIH funding for more than 15 years. He is PI on the prestigious CRIC (Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort) Study and a K24 Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research which is focused on providing mentorship and training for new physician-scientists in the area of health disparities in chronic kidney disease. James Lash, MD

ASSOCIATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR, INTERNAL MEDICINE RESIDENCY PROGRAM Adam Mikolajczyk, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, was appointed associate program director for the internal medicine residency program. Dr. Mikolajczyk completed his medical degree and internal medicine residency at the University of Chicago, where he also served as a chief resident. He completed fellowships in gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, transplant hepatology and MERITS (medical education, research, innovation, teaching and scholarship) at the University of Chicago. In 2019, Dr. Mikolajczyk received the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Teacher of the Year Award and was the mentor for the winning team in Academic Debates sponsored by the American Liver Foundation Great Lakes Division. He spearheaded a fundraiser that raised $32,000 for internal medicine residents lunches during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Mikolajczyk has a deep passion for teaching, mentorship, and medical education research. We are thrilled to have Dr. Mikolajczyk as an associate program director for our internal medicine residency program. Adam Mikolajczyk, MD


LEADERSHIP Department Head

Patricia W. Finn, MD

Administrative Operations Director R. Bryan Blaha, MS

Finance and Accounting Director Maritza Delgado, MS

HR and Faculty Affairs Director Michael Paprzyca, MBA Information Technology Manager Robert Rios Research Operations Director Maritza Delgado, MS

Business Development and Strategy Director Karishma Parekh, MS Associate Director of Clinical Revenue and Call Center Caryn Riley, MSW

Assistant Director of Advanced Practice Providers Carolyn Dickens, PhD, APRN Division Administrators 9 Divisions 1 Institute


Advisory Committee

Institute for Minority Health Research Martha Daviglus, MD, PhD - Director Cesar Alvarado - Administrator

Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science Geri Donenberg, PhD - Director


Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics Rachel Caskey, MD - Chief Ainoa Coltri - Administrator Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Brian Layden, MD, PhD - Chief Pam Terrell - Administrator

Hematology and Oncology Damiano Rondelli, MD - Chief Onesima Martinez - Administrator

Nephrology James Lash, MD - Chief Ted Ebersold - Administrator

Sr. Associate Head of Medicine

Sr. Associate Head, Strategic Programs

George T. Kondos, MD

Jeffery Jacobson, MD

Head’s Office Administrative Staff

Cardiology Dawood Darbar, MD - Chief Daniela Nita - Administrator

Gastroenterology and Hepatology Brian Boulay, MD, MPH - Interim Chief Alejandra Mendoza - Administrator

Infectious Diseases Richard Novak, MD - Chief Ted Ebersold - Administrator

Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy Steve Dudek, MD - Chief Alejandra Martinez - Administrator

Department Councils

Clinical Affairs Amer Ardati, MD Dan Mihailescu, MD Sara Smith, MD Hira Tanwir, MD Neeta Venepalli, MD Alexandra Arges, MD - Resident Colin Goodman, MD - Resident Linda Donnell - Coordinator

Faculty Affairs Jose Arruda, MD Joan Briller, MD Michael Fischer, MD Min Joo, MD Claudia Lora, MD Robert Rosman, MD Jun Sun, PhD

Education Waddah Alrefai, MD Alex Auseon, DO Alana Biggers, MD, MPH Olga Garcia, MD Ben Gerber, MD, MPH Asra Khan, MD Fred Zar, MD Glenn Westphal, MD - Resident Linda Donnell - Coordinator

Scholarly Activities Waddah Alrefai, MD Geri Donenberg, PhD Paul Grippo, PhD Jeff Jacobson, MD James Lash, MD Irena Levitan, PhD Jun Ma, MD, PhD Owais Adbul-Kafi, MD - Resident Krystle Stewart- Coordinator

Rheumatology Nadera Sweiss, MD - Chief Jean Fitzpatrick - Administrator


REGION’S TOP DOCTORS Twenty-five of the Department of Medicine physicians were named among the region’s top physicians by Castle Connolly, the consumer healthcare guide. Physicians were nominated by peers in a nationwide survey, then chosen by a physician-led research group. Additionally, 7 of our recognized physicians were featured in Chicago magazine’s January 2020 ”Top Doctors” list.




Dr. Victor Gordeuk Professor

Dr. Mark Kushner Assistant Professor

Dr. Steven Dudek Professor

Dr. David Peace Professor

Dr. Jonathan Radosta Associate Professor

Dr. Howard Jaffe Associate Professor

Dr. Damiano Rondelli Professor

Dr. John Tulley Professor




Dr. Joan Briller Professor

Dr. George T. Kondos Professor

Dr. Min Joo Associate Professor

ENDOCRINOLOGY, DIABETES & METABOLISM Dr. Kevin Kovitz Professor Dr. Richard Novak Professor Dr. Elena Barengolts Associate Professor

Dr. Lawrence Feldman Professor

INTERNAL MEDICINE Dr. Dean Schraufnagel Professor


Dr. Reed Berger Associate Professor

Dr. Dominic Ho Assistant Professor

Dr. Russell Brown Professor Dr. Michel Gowhari Associate Professor

Dr. Asra Khan Associate Professor

Dr. Robert Molokie Professor


Dr. Nadera Sweiss Professor


Dr. Neeta Venepalli Associate Professor

Dr. Rachel Caskey Associate Professor ANNUAL REPORT 7

CLINICAL HIGHLIGHTS We are committed to stewardship in the communities we serve by providing high-quality and cost-effective patient care. We are fully engaged on all fronts with the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (UI Health) to expand clinical programs. Our commitment to addressing community needs goes well beyond the traditional service role of an academic medical center. We advocate for reducing health disparities, which requires a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to the inequities in healthcare access and quality of care. NEW ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD In September 2020 we transitioned to Epic as our electronic health record. Tremendous leadership, commitment, and time were dedicated to a successful implementation from the Department of Medicine (DOM). Jon Radosta, MD, from the Division of Academic Internal Medicine served as the co-chief medical information officer for Epic implementation. He was joined by faculty and advanced practice providers from every division in designing, testing, training, and supporting the go-live efforts. We would like to highlight a few of the benefits of this project that has already spanned over 2 years. We are now communicating with the outside world. Care Everywhere allows us to send and receive medical information about our patients with other healthcare facilities. We are sharing notes, labs, imaging results, medication lists, allergies, problem lists with other institutions. This sharing allows for a significant improvement in patient care. We are sending and receiving over 60,000 records each week. We have significantly improved our communication with our patients with MyChart. Our new patient portal allows patients to view their results, schedule appointments, communicate with their care team. More than 500 patients a week are scheduling their own appointments through MyChart. They can also then e-check in for their appointment. More than 200 patients a week are cancelling or rescheduling their appointment through MyChart. We have integrated


our video visits into MyChart so that patients can have a single uniform experience when seeking care in the DOM. We have opened many new routes to communicate with each other. Secure chat allows our faculty and APP’s to communicate with each other and staff about non-urgent patient care. We are sending over 28,000 secure chat messages a week. Haiku and Canto are the mobile apps for Epic which not only support secure chat but allow you to quickly open a patient chart and place an order from your phone or tablet. We are e-prescribing controlled substances directly to pharmacies. Thousands of prescriptions a month are no longer being printed containing our DEA and NPI number. Patients not longer need to drive to campus, park, and pick up prescriptions. Our access to data through SlicerDicer and dashboards shows the significant benefits of having a single integrated electronic health record. Our standardization of workflows should allow for significant improvement in our ability to pull data from Epic for future research studies. We can easily communicate with our outside referring providers. CareLink is a web-based portal that our referring providers can get access to (for free) that allows them to order labs, imaging, and consults at UI Health. They can also read our notes, review results, and communicate with us seamlessly. Kent Hoskins, MD, and the Division of Hematology and Oncology have transformed the care for cancer patients with the significant work they put into building chemotherapy treatment plans into Epic. The thousands of hours dedicated to this will allow for more streamlined care for our patients. Epic is only a tool, but when used appropriately it will help us continue to advance the mission of the DOM. Improved communication will allow us to improve our patient care and patient experience.

ACHIEVEMENT IN HEART FAILURE CARE The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recognized the University of Illinois Hospital (UIH) for our commitment to providing effective stroke and heart failure care using the most advanced procedures available. UIH was awarded the Get With the Guidelines® - Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll. Health systems that receive this award meet specific treatment of heart failure patients for over 24 consecutive months. These measures include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications, and aggressive risk-reduction therapies, including ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, among other appropriate therapies. This is the third consecutive year that UIH has achieved heart failure designation and the second consecutive year it has achieved the heart failure designation. Beyond this the U.S. News and World report ranked Cardiology’s Heart Failure program as high performing. RECRUITMENT, REORGANIZATION & RESULTS To maintain and enhance the clinical mission, the DOM appointed key faculty members to lead the division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Brian Boulay, was appointed interim chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Sean Koppe continued as director of hepatology and was appointed interim associate chief. Dr. Tim McGorisk was appointed interim associate chief. Division chiefs oversee the clinical activities, education and scholarly activities of their division. The DOM conducts bi-weekly outpatient meetings with clinic medical directors, clinic directors, staff, division chiefs, and DOM business administrators every Friday. These meetings have resulted in the coordination of activities among the DOM clinics, improvements in services and the formation of new clinical programs which we invite you to learn more about within our division profile pages.


TOP BOX DOC Before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, George Kondos, MD has personified the UI Health mission through his exceptional clinical care, compassion, and competence. Dr. Kondos, was awarded ”Top Box Doc” for FY 2020, Quarter 3. This quarterly recognition is awarded to the physician with the best ambulatory site patient experience scores as measured within the Press Ganey CGCAHPS database. Scoring at the 99th percentile rank in the following three CGCAHPS categories — Rate the Physician, Recommend the Physician, and Physician Communication — places him in the top 1% of his peers in the George T. Kondos, MD 29,000 ambulatory sites. The following patient comments shared within the surveys indicate why he is a “Top Box Doc”: • He is very informative — and engaging. Appreciate his candor and frankness. • I drive 140 miles round trip to see Dr. Kondos once a year for my checkup. I do that because I think so highly of him. During that year if I have any question or concerns he gets back to me the same day. You are so lucky to have him. • My current doctor is Dr. Kondos. I like him a lot and he has come through for me several times and has worked with several of my other doctors here in Hayward Wisconsin. • Dr. George Kondos has been my cardiologist for the past 20 years and without reservation is the best doctor to care for me over my 72 plus years of life. • He is always prepared, professional, knowledgeable and will spend whatever time necessary to hear your complaint and provide/explain a treatment plan. Thank you and congratulations, Dr. Kondos, for your dedication and outstanding care!


CLINICAL VOLUME We began fiscal year 2020 hopeful that we could continue the department’s upward trajectory in office visits and inpatient procedures. As a result of curtailing services when the pandemic struck, this years’ results reflect the unprecedented situation that COVID-19 presented to our department and community. Through it all, DOM did what was necessary to ensure safe, quality care for all of our patients even as we managed a healthcare crisis while safely reopening our clinics, procedure rooms and providing care for all of our patients. To be sure, there is much left for us to accomplish, but the early signs are encouraging and we remain optimistic of a near-return to historical levels by the middle of 2021 for most clinical areas. HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS

FY20 7,802 FY19 7,748 FY18 7,483 FY17 7,016

Discharges FY20






FY17 6,600

7,016 6,800








FY20 52,487 FY19 53,120 FY18 52,563 FY17 51,239

Inpatient Procedures FY20






FY17 50,000


51,239 50,500








FY20 138,308 FY19 149,923 FY18 145,701 FY17 142,293

On-site Visits FY20









FY20 7,063 FY19 8,123 FY18 5,791 FY17 8,673






Off-site Visits FY20







8,673 0







RESPONDING TO COVID "Over the last year, we have accomplished what no amount of training could prepare us for. We have taken on roles outside of our normal jobs, placed our physical and emotional wellbeing at risk, all while working tirelessly. I am in awe of what we accomplished and how we pivoted to meet the needs of our patients, community, and each other." - Patricia W. Finn, MD, Chair of Medicine INNOVATION The COVID-19 pandemic put enormous strain on the hospital, physician group, staff and ancillary groups. Our shared UI Health COVID-19 journey has taught us the importance of collaboration, dynamic surge and staffing models as well as the need to use technology to extend our specialists across a larger inpatient census. ANSWERING THE CALL The entire Infectious Diseases faculty have answered the call as pandemic Coronavirus arrived in our state. Dr. Susan Bleasdale, as director of infection control, and Chief Quality Officer for UI Health, with the assistance of Dr. Scott Borgetti, assistant director of infection control, devised a response plan for the medical center. The plan was revised constantly as the pandemic and scientific understanding of the disease evolved including PPE recommendations, COVID-19 testing strategies, contact tracing of employees and patients with COVID-19 throughout the medical center among other issues. Dr. Bleasdale continues to work on all aspects of the pandemic response for the medical center, and currently leads the vaccine administration effort. Early in the pandemic the Division of infectious Diseases (ID) created new pagers for any and all COVID -19 related issues. They took calls at all hours of the day and night from concerned colleagues and patients and provided expert guidance and reassurance. Drs. Bleasdale and Trotter served on the UIC Campus Incident Response Team to provide infectious diseases input on the evolving UIC response and Drs. Bleasdale,


Borgetti and Trotter also served on the UIC COVID-19 Campus Safety Committee which was charged with reviewing and approving safety plans for buildings and departments across the UIC campus. Several members of ID were key consultants to both the state and city health departments as they responded to the early phases of the pandemic in congregate settings ranging from prisons to shelters for undomiciled individuals. We also coordinated with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to provide guidance on how and when to open child care, school and athletics activities. In addition to guiding the hospital, medical center, city and state, several members of the division also devised the COVID-19 safety plan for the University. They created specific safety plans for every single building and activity for UIC’s campus. At the request of the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Dr. Novak chaired a committee comprised of all colleges, units, students and faculty to develop a comprehensive plan for re-opening the campus including COVID-19 saliva testing and universal influenza immunization. Several ID faculty members continued to work to implement this plan that was successful in mitigating outbreaks during the fall semester. We also participated in developing and then supervising the campus contact tracing program. Several members serve on the inpatient COVID-19 guideline committee and continuously reviewed the best available data and provided guidance for the hospital on COVID-19 clinical management. Drs. Novak and Stockton Mayer were early members of the Chicago Homelessness and Health Response Group for Equity (CHHRGE). Dr. Mayer was instrumental in developing the city’s Strike Team response to outbreaks in homeless shelters and other congregate settings. In collaboration with the College of Nursing, he leads the city’s testing initiative in congregate living facilities (jails and shelters) and long term care facilities.

Richard Novak, MD, chief, Division of Infectious Diseases

He will also lead the vaccine deployment initiative to these populations in collaboration with the Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy. Besides his service activities, Stockton serves as a State Principal Investigator for the CoVPN Blaze-2 monoclonal antibody study. He was asked to serve as the national protocol chair for another monoclonal antibody study. He is also a principal investigator for the CoVPN COMPASS study. Dr. Scott Borgetti helped develop and implement the clinical program for COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment and they have successfully treated dozens of high risk patients – none of whom have gone on to require hospitalization. In addition to providing clinical, organizational and policy leadership during this difficult time, ID faculty were instrumental in moving the coronoavirus research agenda forward. Dr. Novak was the principal investigator on the ACTT trial, the first randomized controlled trial of remdesivir as a treatment for persons hospitalized with COVID-19 at a time when there were no effective treatments for the disease. With the assistance of other faculty and fellows, the study was rapidly completed and proved remdesivir to be effective in mitigating the disease. He has subsequently participated in ACTT 2, 3 and 4 to further explore

combination treatments. Dr. Novak became an investigator for the Coronavirus Prevention Network and led the Moderna vaccine trial, and later the Janssen vaccine trial. He also was the chair of the Blaze 2 trial of a monoclonal antibody for the prevention of COVID-19 in nursing home settings, and investigator with Dr. Jesica Herrick on the Regeneron monoclonal cocktail to prevent COVID-19 in household settings. All members of the ID faculty as well as fellows contributed to the research effort, evaluating study participants and conducting study visits. Time not committed to clinical work or committees were devoted to these research efforts. Drs. Herrick, Patel and Novak worked collaboratively with the blood bank faculty to study the utility of convalescent plasma in treating persons hospitalized with COVID-19 in a randomized, blinded controlled trial. The study ended early as we recognized the lack of efficacy of this strategy in this setting. Dr. Trotter leads an interdisciplinary research group leveraging UI Health and national datasets to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning methods to develop models to predict severity of COVID-19 disease which is being supported by a UIC CCTS Pilot grant.




Left to Right: Rebecca Singer, UIC Department of Health Systems Science, Thomas Huggett, Medical Director, Hotel One Sixty-Six, and Stockton Mayer, Department of Medicine

COMBATING COVID: UIC AND THE UNSHELTERED CHICAGO COALITION As the number of COVID-19 cases grew, so did concerns for the homeless community. In an effort to help those in need, the UIC community came together to join the Unsheltered Chicago Coalition, a collaboration between the city’s top health providers, to brainstorm ways to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. Led by Dr. Stockton Mayer, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, the UIC team found camaraderie in an otherwise stressful situation. Composed of doctors, nurses, health professionals, faculty members, and students, they used Hotel 166 as a shield center to advocate for and test those who are at high-risk. Looking to make a positive impact in the community, UIC professionals and students from all over campus have been able to come together to apply their knowledge and expertise, while finding like-minded people who also want to care for and assist the underserved. Through this partnership more than 700 COVID-19 tests each week were offered to residents and staff of shelters across the city. Team of health professionals at Hotel One Sixty-SIx ANNUAL REPORT 15

RESPONDING TO COVID ACADEMIC INTERNAL MEDICINE As the number of COVID-19 positive hospitalized patients began to increase in March, 2020 the decision was made to create an inpatient COVID-19 unit. The goal of the unit was to optimize infection control and safety of patients and employees; as well as prioritize consistent medical care among patients infected with COVID. Due to the rapid demand, AIM faculty, in concert with hospital leadership, successfully developed and implemented the COVID-19 unit over a 72-hour period. A geographically separate inpatient unit was a new undertaking and all aspects of the unit had to be developed. Key components of development included: Geographic Separation - The COVID-19 unit included 72 non-ICU beds located on two wings in the hospital. The location facilitated physical separation of the COVID-19 unit from other units in the hospital. Anyone entering the unit was identified and tracked for infection control purposes. In addition, appropriate PPE was housed and allocated to employees on the unit. Physician Staffing Model - The COVID-19 unit was staffed by a consistent group of faculty physicians. Five COVID teams covered the unit (4 general medicine, 1 family medicine) and each team consisted of one faculty member and two senior residents. To protect resident physicians, the faculty physicians provided direct patient care. Resident physicians supported the unit through inpatient telehealth whereby residents communicated with patients using a phone or iPad. Residents were able to check-in on a patient throughout the day without entering the room, and assist with chart documentation and orders. Consistency of Clinical Care - The novelty of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged hospitals nationally, not only in patient volume but also in the lack of ‘best practice.’ To ensure patient care was consistent and timely, an interprofessional COVID-19 Clinical Care Guideline Committee was convened. The group was charged with developing and maintaining clinical care


guidelines for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Communication and Messaging - An Inpatient COVID-19 operations committee was created and included an interprofessional team that met daily to problem solve all COVID-19-related issues in the hospital. The committee was led by AIM faculty member, Dr. Rachel Caskey, the de facto medical director of the COVID-19 unit. The committee rapidly solved problems that arose, identified issues that needed to be escalated, and ensured consistent communication between care team members. COVID-19 and CANCER As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic developed in Italy in February 2020, based on the information from international colleagues, the Division of Hematology/ Oncology procured facial masks and scrubs to all faculty, fellows and staff. Multiple days per week updates from the Hospital and from the Department of Medicine started in March 2020 and led everyone to apply new policies on testing, mitigation and reallocation of resources to face the COVID-19 general crisis. Early mitigation strategies were adopted also in the Hematology/Oncology clinic to allow newly diagnosed cancer patients and those actively receiving infusions with chemotherapy to be taken care of and limit the risk of infection. The Outpatient clinic implemented an early screening of patients at the door and established different routes for patients presenting with symptoms to protect the other patients and staff. However, to have more social distancing in the clinic space, the total number of in-person visits was decreased by 50% and tele-health visits were started. Patients receiving infusions were spaced out and eventually delayed by a few days maximum if necessary. A no visitor policy was implemented by the Hospital in the inpatient and, similarly, people accompanying a patient to an outpatient visit were asked to wait outside the building. Cancer care did not decrease in the inpatient and doctors and staff established a close communication through weekly huddles and constant monitoring of

PULMONARY CRITICAL CARE Memories of this past year are dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which dramatically and rapidly altered the focus and priorities of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy. Seemingly overnight our medical ICUs began filling with desperately ill patients suffering from severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and multiorgan failure. Despite concerns about personal and family safety, appropriate and sufficient PPE, and uncertainties about the potential effectiveness of a myriad of therapies, the Division rapidly focused all our efforts to face this frightening and deadly new disease. At both our University Hospital and the Jesse Brown VA Hospital, Division members optimized workforce staff levels and assignments, repurposed other units for use as medical ICU beds, rapidly organized and participated in desperately needed multi-center therapeutic trials, and implemented new technologies for respiratory support and telehealth medical care. These changes allowed us to care for over twice our average MICU census (and much higher than average acuity) for an extended period of time.

Without hesitation or exception, the dedicated and resourceful individuals of our Division readily assumed new responsibilities and workloads. It is no exaggeration to state that each and every single individual in our Division deserves recognition and praise for their efforts during this time. Highlighting some but not others would be a disservice, and therefore a group example will be mentioned here. Our Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine fellows provided 24/7, in-house, overnight call for the first time in our program’s history. This new responsibility was essential for providing the round-the-clock ICU care that our COVID-19 patients required. In addition, our Division is striving to address the critical healthcare disparities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic and continue to plague the most vulnerable and underserved in our society. This is the essential core of our mission at UIC, and the dedicated professionals of our Division have committed their efforts to improving this healthcare divide.

Dr. Finn on COVID-19 wellness rounds with Psychiatry and the cardiology team


RESPONDING TO COVID NEPHROLOGY Nephrology faculty, staff, and trainees met the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the University Hospital, approximately 40% of ventilated COVID-19 patients required continuous renal replacement therapy. To meet this need, the Division created a COVID-19 service, coordinated care with the ICU teams, and worked with hospital leadership to purchase additional dialysis machines. During this time, Division faculty and staff maintained high quality inperson care for our chronic dialysis patients. Dr. Claudia Lora was a leader of the Family Communication Team (FCT). In order to streamline daily ongoing communication with families of COVID-19 patients, the Family Communication Team (FCT) was developed. This team rounded virtually with the MICU team seven days a week and performed the critical service of communicating scheduled clinical updates to family and answering their questions throughout the day. The FCT became an integral part of the MICU team and a resource of information and support for the families of COVID patients. During her time on the COVID-19 Clinical Ethics Steering Committee, Dr. Stephanie Toth-Manikowski worked as part of an interdisciplinary team made up of medical ethicists, pastoral care team members, legal counsel, as well as physicians from various specialties to discuss difficult issues surrounding ventilator allocation protocol, cardiac arrest protocols, etc. which were made relevant by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The experience was unique in many ways, not only because of the diverse group of individuals coming together from different vocations, but also because of the challenges of addressing difficult ethical issues. GASTROENTEROLOGY AND HEPATOLOGY Dr. Adam Mikolajczyk spearheaded a fundraiser for resident meals during the peak of the COVID-19 surge that raised over 33,000 dollars. Dr. Cemal Yazici prepared a proposal that leveraged


a multidisciplinary team approach for accurate quantification of dietary intake, visceral adiposity and GI symptomatology in COVID-19 patients at the UIC Hospital to identify preventive and risk assessment strategies for addressing existing disparities. The multidisciplinary team included investigators with expertise in gastroenterology, diet, metabolic diseases, epidemiology, biostatistics, radiology, disparities and community-based research. Christina Sands, MSN, APRN and Heidi Kolodziejczyk, MSN, APRN, were re-assigned to the MICU teams once a need was identified by the DOM. Although there was some ambiguity to their job responsibilities, Christina and Heidi went to the ICU and identified areas of opportunity to improve the family communication structure. They worked with other APRNs (CDU and palliative care) to put together a What’s App group so there would not be overlap of family phone calls. Their recommendations were incorporated by Dr. Claudia Lora who continued to tirelessly develop the family communication team.

Left to Right: Christina Sands, MSN, APRN, Gastroenterology and Heidi Kolodziejczyk, MSN, APRN, Hepatology

Advanced Practice Providers at Pilsen COVID Clinic

FROM OUR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF ADVANCED PRACTICE PROVIDERS (APP) At a time of unprecedented change in the world around us, the DOM APP’s have met this change with professionalism and resilience. In the face of the pandemic, I am proud of all the APP’s who have stepped up to meet the issues facing all providers, from extending your clinic practice, staffing the vaccine clinics, moving to telehealth and rounding on the Inpatient Medicine teams. The upcoming year will be another year of growth, as we continue to add APP’s to the DOM, expand clinical practice and develop new programs. Thank you for all that you do. The DOM recognizes our APP’s achievements: Miriam Correa, MSN, APRN, (Palliative Care) received the ”Preceptor Recognition Award” from the UIC College of Nursing. Mary Pasquinelli, DNP, APRN, (Pulmonary/Oncology) was first author on a publication in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. ”Risk Prediction Model Versus United States Preventive Services Task Force Lung Cancer Screening Eligibility Criteria: Reducing Race Disparities.” Jovonne Owens, MSN, APRN, (Oncology), became board certified as an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner (AOCNP). Carolyn Dickens, PhD, APRN, (Cardiology), was inducted as a Fellow into the American Association

of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Susan Corbridge, PhD APRN, (Pulmonary) was the recipient of the AANP (American Association of Nurse Practitioner) Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence from Illinois. Laura Kavoliunaite, MSN, APRN, Karen Woodard, MSN, APRN and Chika Nwachukwu, DNP, APRN, (Hematology/Oncology) were co-authors on an abstract accepted to the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting.“ Outcomes of Vasoocclusive Crisis Treatment in the Emergency Department vs. Acute Care Observation Center”.

Carolyn Dickens, PhD, APRN Assistant Director of Advanced Practice Providers


RESPONDING TO COVID COVID PREVENTION KITS Cancer care did not stop during a pandemic, often care cannot be delayed and hospitalizations may be needed. Early on in the pandemic while on inpatient oncology service, Dr. Neeta Venepalli quickly recognized that many of our patients did not have the supplies to be safe when they return home after a hospitalization. Our patients didn’t have masks, hand sanitizer, and they needed more education regarding the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if the symptoms occur. Dr. Venepalli voiced her concerns to a small group in the oncology clinic and we quickly stepped into action to develop Prevention Kits.

Left to right: Mary Pasquinelli, DNP, APRN, Neeta Venepalli, MD, Kassie Cadman, MSN, RN, Ana Gordon, LCSW, OSW-C

We reached out to our partners and within 24 hours we procured needed supplies. The American Cancer Society donated masks and nonperishable food. The Rhine Hall Distillery and UI Health’s Human Resources department donated hand sanitizer. Unilever donated bar soap. Mary Pasquinelli, DNP, APRN, made a request on social media and obtained hundreds of well-made cloth masks including kid masks for patient family members who are children and grandchildren. Kits also include education materials including COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and How Social Distancing Works - You can help slow the spread of COVID-19. These kits were provided to all cancer patients upon hospital discharge and were also available in the oncology outpatient clinic. Over a hundred kits and 700 masks have been given to our oncology patients.

Left to Right: Mary Pasquinelli, DNP, APRN, Neeta Venepalli,

MD, Kassie Cadman, MSN, RN, Ana Gordon, LCSW, OSW-C, Jack VanOverloop, MS (not in OF 20 DEPARTMENT DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE MEDICINE photo)

FACULTY AND STAFF WELLNESS The DOM developed and led a wellness survey and town hall to address the growing challenges related to COVID-19 and structural racism. Recognizing the significant negative impact of these co-occurring societal events, and the intersecting burdens on faculty, staff, and trainees, DOM sought to address them proactively by (1) distributing a formal survey to elucidate faculty, staff and trainee health and wellbeing, and (2) conducting a town hall to listen and identify areas for intervention. Two-hundred and twenty-four individuals responded to the survey. Of these, 58% reported being female, 0.4% indicated they were gender diverse, and 5.8% preferred not to report their gender. Most of the respondents were attending physicians (31%; n=70), followed by research staff (15.3%,n=34), residents (13.1%; n=29), others (13.1%; n=29), research faculty (8.1%, n=18), advanced practice provider (7.2%, n=16), fellow (5.9%, n=13), clinical staff member (4.9%, n=11) and graduate student or post-doc fellow (1.4%, n=3). Of those who indicated “other” (n=29) for their role in the department, 41% administrators/administrative staff (n=12), 31% general staff (n=9), and 10% research/grant coordinators (n=3). Three measures were used to evaluate clinical burnout indicating feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment (National Academy of Medicine, 2020). A concerning number of people endorsed scored in the clinical range of Emotional Exhaustion (35%; n=79), Depersonalization (21%; n=47), and low Personal Achievement (20%; n=31). Likewise, reports of resilience indicated that 70% of respondents reported medium resilience while 17% indicated low resilience. Lastly, on the Impact of Event Scale, 8.6% (n=19) reported high distress and 30.2% (n=67) reported moderate distress. Findings from the survey led to the focus of the town hall meeting where participants were encouraged to voice their concerns, elucidate overarching challenges (e.g., lack of child care), and begin to identify solutions.

IN THEIR WORDS When the Chief of Endocrinology called my team, back in March, asking for our epidemiological expertise to support new clinical research on a life-changing pandemic, we gave an unequivocal ‘Yes’. Little did we know, however, that our team’s contribution would be the creation of a comprehensive COVID-19 database at UIH, encompassing over 400 key clinical variables in just five Zoom meetings. Since its inception, the UIC COVID-19 Registry for Research (UCRR) has inspired collaborations from investigators from many of our own departments and divisions at UIC and Chicago Universities as well. At present, over twenty trained medical, dental, and undergraduate students are reviewing several hundred charts of COVID-19 positive inpatients from UIH, extracting data and entering it into the UCRR using REDCap. The breadth of data we are collecting will enable the research community both at UIH and more broadly in Chicago to identify and investigate new trends in COVID-19, both the acute disease and its sequelae that were previously limited by the power and availability of the data. The real strength of the Registry is the validity of clinical data, from comorbidities to medications to test results. We also plan to include patients who tested positive for COVID-19 but did not require hospitalization, to allow comparison of characteristics of the two disease trajectories. We also anticipate sharing the database structure with other Chicago medical centers to use in collecting their COVID-19 data, as using the same database will allow seamless merging of the data to better understand the impact of COVID-19 throughout the Chicago area. - Steering Committee: Kirstie Danielson, PI; Olga Garcia-Bedoya and Scott Borgetti, Co-Investigators

Just prior to reaching peak springtime infections in Chicago, I was redeployed to work with the inpatient COVID-19 service. Under ordinary circumstances, most would feel outside of their comfort zone to work in a foreign environment with unfamiliar faces. I feared being infected, I worried about PPE shortages and my ability to manage these complicated patients. However, during these challenging times, we are all being called upon to step-up to the frontlines. Our patients with COVID-19 deserve the best possible care and I felt compelled to volunteer for this challenge. Throughout my experience with the COVID service, the entire team provided ample support, made me feel very welcome, and appreciated. The attendings not only provided clear guidance on how to deal with new challenges but also reassured me along the way. However, the largest debt of gratitude is owed to the tireless residents, who treated me like a vital team member, were always exceedingly friendly, and had some encouraging words when things got tough. I felt part of UICs effort to combat this terrifying disease and overall, it was an exceptionally gratifying experience. Jennifer Pollandt, APRN - Jennifer Pollandt, Electrophysiology APRN


RESPONDING TO COVID EVEN DURING A PANDEMIC, ”HARVEY” CONTINUES TEACHING UIC MEDICAL STUDENTS Over the last 30 years, Dr. George Kondos, professor and vice head in the Department of Medicine, has taught thousands of first-year University of Illinois Chicago medical students how to perform the cardiovascular physical exam using a highly advanced simulator who goes by the name Harvey.

on each of the campuses. He previously conducted the sessions surrounded by the students, who would break out into small groups.

Dr. Kondos typically conducts the teaching sessions inperson. But with COVID-19, these in-person teaching sessions needed to be converted to virtual teaching sessions. This was not an easy task since heart sounds and other subtle physical exam findings need to be displayed so students would understand the difference between a normal patient and a patient with one of the various cardiac diseases.

“Obviously COVID made a little bit of a problem for us, but we converted it from an actual in-person course to an online course,” said Kondos. “I ran them through the normal physical and gave them findings of the abnormal physical exam.”

Harvey is a lifesize manikin able to simulate 50 different cardiovascular diseases through heart sounds and lifelike pulses in the neck and chest. It serves as a simulator for students to be able to hear sounds mimicking various diseases and feel the pulse that would correspond to these diseases. “You can give 20 common heart sounds and murmurs to primary care physicians and they’ll get about 10% of them correct, and that’s because they’ve never been really taught how to listen to the heart sounds,” said Kondos. Comparing Harvey to airplane simulators that have taught pilots how to react to events in the air from the safety of the ground, Dr. Kondos said Harvey is used to train young doctors how to assess and treat a patient by simulating conditions a new doctor would confront bedside with a patient. Normally, Harvey would join Dr. Kondos as he traveled to the College of Medicine’s Peoria, Rockford and UIC campuses, where he would teach more than 300 students yearly. Prior to the pandemic when he would have had to drive to each of the campuses, he would give the same lessons independently to the students


Since COVID-19 forced teaching to go virtual, Harvey, which was developed by UIC College of Medicine Class of ’61 alum Michael Gordon, also been has forced to do its teaching online.

Recently, Kondos used Harvey to simultaneously teach more than 300 students — 182 in Chicago, 55 in Rockford and 66 students in Peoria — who took part in an online cardiology plenary course introducing them to the cardiac exam. He did this by using various examples that students could see virtually; for example, he used cotton swabs to dramatize the strength of the carotid pulse by laying the stick of the swab flat across Harvey’s neck as the pulse sent the stick and swab tip moving up and down along with the sound of the pulse. “Even though you don’t have the actual patient here, you can simulate to students what they’re actually seeing and then also not only that, but you can show students various examples of disease states,” Kondos said. “We all recognize simulators are no substitute for a real patient. However, if you can’t make the diagnosis on a simulator you probably would miss the diagnosis on a real patient.” Katherine Knowles, a first-year medical student, said that while she is looking forward to in-person classes, she appreciated the attention the faculty gave to setting up cameras to give proper stethoscope placement and changes in Harvey’s jugular venous pulse.

Dr. George Kondos, vice head for the Department of Medicine, has used a simulator known as Harvey to educate medical students on how to perform a cardiology exam. Since COVID-19 made classes go online he has been using it remotely to teach more than 300 students.

She said she has been amazed at how quickly she and her peers have adapted to online learning and how it has become second nature to communicate with each other electronically. She said that since she and most of her peers had grown up with technology, adapting to virtual learning was not as much of an impediment and could actually aid them when the pandemic goes away. “If anything, understanding how to work around the screen-induced barrier of virtual patient examination in addition to in-person exams, will aid us in the future as physicians conducting telehealth appointments,” Knowles said. “These are skills that many current physicians may not have had the opportunity to fully practice prior to the necessary transition to virtual telehealth appointments in the midst of this pandemic.” The class with Harvey provided a wonderful opportunity to be familiar with the various heart sounds, areas of auscultation, and other important cardiovascular maneuvers employed in a cardiac exam. “I liked the ease and low stakes nature of starting with a simulator,” said student Louis Darkwa. “I liked certain additional maneuvers done on Harvey — like placing a Q-tip on its carotid artery to make its pulse more visible. This Q-tip on the carotid artery is a move not performed on real human patients but on Harvey, it was a great pedagogical technique.”

One of the other benefits that happened with them having to go online is that it allowed it to become more manageable. “Many times these class sizes are so big that everybody can’t really see everything and these are subtle kinds of things that you’re showing,” Kondos said. “So with Harvey, it’s actually helped because here the students can see, they can hear — probably better than they can in a large group — and you can engage them in discussion.” Another student, Kevin Cao, said that he believes he and his peers are in a unique situation, having been the first medical school class to be formally taught online. “The way Dr. Kondos taught us via Zoom integrated more descriptive, anecdotic and illustrative ways of demonstrating what a physical exam would look like with Harvey and subsequently with real patients,” Cao said. “As a result, we used our imaginations to play out scenarios with the clinical vignettes and try to become more sensitive to what I think would appear in real life.”


GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION We trained 113 residents in our preliminary and categorical Internal Medicine (IM) Residency program in addition to training 15 medicine/ pediatrics residents, 15 emergency medicine/ medicine residents and 6 neurology interns during the 2019- 2020 academic year. The program enjoys full ACGME accreditation with commendation and will have its next review and Patrick Godwin, MD, MBA site visit in 2022. During recruitment for the 2019-2020 academic year, our Internal Medicine Residency program received more than 4,000 applications of which 720 were interviewed.

Anne Polick, MD

Adam Mikolajczk, MD

PROGRAM DIRECTORS In addition to Dr. Fred Zar, as the program director, the Internal Medicine Residency program supports five associate program directors, Drs. Patrick Godwin, Anne Polick, Adam Mikolajczyk, Robert Sargis, and Alfredo Mena Lora. Dr. Patrick Godwin has been a faculty member since 2001 and became section chief of Hospital Medicine at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in 2008. His interests include clinical teaching, quality improvement, patient safety, health system reform, and telehealth. Dr. Anne Polick is an academic internist and was an internal medicine resident and chief resident at UIC. She has received the New Attending of the Year award on 3 different occasions.

Robert Sargis, MD, PhD

Alfredo Mena Lora, MD

Dr. Mikolajczyk did his internal medicine residency at the University of Chicago where he was also a Chief Resident. While there he completed fellowships in Gastroenterology, Transplant Hematology and Medicine Education. He joined the faculty in 2018. Dr. Rob Sargis is faculty in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. He is the director of the Physician Scientist Development Program that leverages the


immense and diverse resources at UIC to create future leaders in academic medicine. Dr. Mena Lora was an internal medicine resident, chief resident, infectious diseases fellow and now faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases. MATCH RESULTS Once again the House Staff Selection Committee (HSSC) scores the applicants we matched. The score represents a compilation of medical school performance, exam scores, letters of recommendation and interviews, extracurricular activities and service to the underserved. UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES (URM) IN INTERNAL MEDICINE RESIDENCY PROGRAM DOM has increased the number of URMs in the IM residency from a low of 6% in 2014 to its current level of 23% as of the Match of 2019. BOARD CERTIFICATION PASS RATE In 2020, the IM Residency achieved a pass rate of 100% (33/33). Year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

Pass/Total (%) 32/32 (100%) 30/30 (100%) 33/34 (97%) 27/28 (96%) 33/33 (100%)

FELLOWSHIP SUCCESS RATE Last year 26/27 (96%) successfully entered the subspecialty of their choice with the last 3 years having the match rates of 19/21 and 20/21 matching, resulting in a 3-year success rate of 65/69 (97%). The mean distance down their match list they went to match was 1.8, thus the average resident matches at his/her first or second choice.

Internal Medicine PGY-1 class, chief residents, and Dr. Fred Zar

The DOM is training clinicians in internal medicine to serve the people of Illinois and beyond. It is also essential to train the next generation in academic medicine, i.e., “finding our replacements”. The newly formed residency tracks, described on the next page, and diversity and inclusion initiatives are contributing toward this goal. FELLOWSHIPS DOM faculty trained 82 fellows in 14 accredited fellowship programs in FY20. All are fully accredited by the ACGME, seven of which have accreditation with commendation. MENTORSHIP Faculty within the Clinical Competency Committee (CCC) continue to provide mentorship support; in addition, highly- nominated faculty outside the CCC are being recruited to provide additional mentorship and discuss potential career options. The DOM Education Council has initiated a session to provide mentoring opportunities as well as hosted “meet and greet” sessions to increase the exposure of residents to faculty. SCHOLARLY ACTIVITIES DATABASE The DOM developed and maintains a database of scholarly activities including all divisions. Trainees at all levels can search the database to identify potential faculty mentors and available scholarly activities to participate in. The website providing an interface to search the database also includes additional information on mentoring, starting a research project, presentation, innovations, various tools and resources, and a list of frequently asked questions.

Dr. Patricia Finn on rounds in the Medical Intensive Care Unit with residents during the COVID-19 pandemic


MEET OUR CHIEF RESIDENTS Alexandra Arges, MD Chief Resident: Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

I’m Alexandra Arges, your JBVA/Scheduling chief. I plan on pursuing Academic Internal Medicine/Pediatrics with a focus on preventive care. I believe that food is medicine and enjoy running in my free time. Training at UIC has taught me more than just medicine, and I hope to inspire others to be passionate learners and leaders in medicine.

Colin Goodman, MD Chief Resident: University of Illinois Hospital

I knew I wanted to come to UIC on my residency interview day. I loved the commitment to caring for the underserved, the camaraderie and friendships among the residents, and the excellent teaching by the faculty. I had such a good experience during my residency and received such great training that I wanted to stay on as chief resident to further support the wonderful community of the residency program and the mission of UIC. After this year, I will be going into academic general internal medicine as I love caring for a diverse range of medical conditions as well as working with and educating trainees.

Owais Abdul-Kafi, MD Chief Resident: Research and Education

I was born and raised in Columbia, MO, and moved to Chicago for residency, and was very happy to match at UIC - partly because of Dr. Zar and partly because one of my best friends went to UIC for residency and highly recommended it. In my role as the Research & Education Chief Resident, I hope to help you succeed in making the most out of residency, whether it is through traditional didactic or interactive teaching from our wonderful faculty members, hands-on procedural training, helping you get involved in research projects and scholarly activities, or helping pair you with medical student mentees and faculty mentors. I plan on pursuing a Cardiology fellowship next year.


Jacob Kibrit, MD Chief Resident: Quality and Patient Safety

As an Illinois lifer, training at UIC was less of a choice and more of a foregone conclusion. I look back at my time during residency with a sense of accomplishment, proud to have worked alongside colleagues and faculty whose commitment to patient care is unsurpassed. As the inaugural Chief Resident of Quality and Patient Safety, I hope to promote a culture of patient safety amongst our residency through both resident education and hands-on quality improvement initiatives. Residents are the lifeblood of UIC, and I couldn’t be happier to continue teaching and learning alongside such an incredible group of trainees. Next year, I plan on pursuing a fellowship in gastroenterology.

Glenn Westphal, MD Chief Resident: Ambulatory Medicine

I am originally from Toledo, OH. After a brief rugby-filled stint in New Jersey for undergrad, I returned to Toledo for medical school at the University of Toledo. When it came time to choose a residency, I was drawn to UIC by the family-like atmosphere and autonomy preached by residents on my interview day. Over the last three years, I have had the privilege of caring for an underserved population of Chicago alongside extremely intelligent co-residents and attendings. The patients, family atmosphere, and passion for helping the underserved at UIC make this a wonderful place to learn the practice of medicine and are why I wanted to stay on as a chief resident. As the ambulatory chief resident, I will handle all outpatient clinic schedules and teach the outpatient medicine curriculum. In the future, I plan to continue in Academic Internal Medicine as a hospitalist and primary care physician. On days off, you can find me running along the lake, taking my bernedoodle puppy for a walk with my wife, or checking out the live music scene in Chicago!


RESIDENTS & FELLOWS CHIEFS: 2019- 2020 Arges, Alexandra (M/P) Abdul-Kafi, Owais Goodman, Colin Kibrit, Jacob Westphal, Glenn

CHIEFS: 2020- 2021 Basha, Amina Borah, Brian Darlington, Ashley Gokhale, Sanket Marrero-Rivera, Gabriel

PGY -1 Ali, Aisha (N) Ali, Mansoor Bader, Alexander (N) Baghikar, Sara Bricknell, Ryan Castillo, Brianna Chen, Tiffany Cho, Ha Young Cho, Nicole Cohen, Jeff (IM/P) Daif, Ahmad (N) Danley, Adam Dowling, Thomas Fernandez, Katia Gallagher, Colin Garfield, Erin Gartmond, Tori Giuliani, Adriana (IM/P) Hsueh, Jessica (IM/P) Isroff, Catherine Jain, Roshni Jameyfield, Evan (N) Jarman, Alan Jarsania, Dhairya Jimenez, Javier Khan, Mahir Kim, Catherine Kim, Junghyun (Marco) (N) Konold, Anthony


Kumar, Prateek (N) Langer, Tessa Lebert Vaughn, Ariel Lyubashevsky, David Manansala, Michael Montgomery, Maureen Nasrollahi, Farrah (IM/EM) Patel, Avni Patel, Brij Popatia, Sabrina Rebhun, Jeffrey Reddy, Vishwaradh Salnikova, Yekaterina Sanchez, Julienne Sandhu, Sukhindervir Shanker, Erin Shin, Claire Solans, Christine Soundararajan, Vinaya Sun, Tianlin Taylor, Jeffrey Tierney, Connor Torabi, Rana Uraizee, Aisha (IM/P) Webb, Adam (IM/EM) Wenk, Arianne Williams, James Wu, Johnny You, Tian Zhu, Hobart

Dalrymple, Nathan (M/P) Dwyer, Ryan (IM/EM) Edwards, Tyler Fang, Jiali Genco, Matthew Gildersleeve, Robert Goldenberg, Benjamin Gonzales, Janae Hudak, Meghan (M/P) Jindia, Jonathan Joseph, Augustin Kang, Ian Khorsandi, Pedram Kwak, Jina Lee, Kevin Mehta, Vivek Molinary Jimenez, Luis Olsen, Conner Pagan Pirallo, Patricia Pagani Lopez, Wilfredo Rivera Matos, Lucia Rodriguez-Rivera, Yolanda Simon, Erik Singh, Avani Stobierska, Dorota (IM/EM) Swanson, Charles (M/P) Twing, Aamir Wei, Monica Xie, Xiangyu

PGY - 2

Basha, Amina Borah, Brian Bounds, Rachel Cheng, Lily (IM/EM) Darlington, Ashley Desai, Binnie Fallen, Amy Fisher, Steven Flores, John (M/P) Freedman, Michael Gokhale, Sanket Grand, Jacob Haemer, Zoe (M/P)

Barton, Isaye Blessing, Paul (IM/EM) Caldwell, Jillian Calero, Humberto Cardona-Matos, Zulma Casalegno, Maria Laura Cheng, Renee Chow, Kevin Chung, Nakia Colamonici, Marco Collons, Danielle Cooper, Paul (M/P)

PGY - 3

Hill, Michael Hodge, David (M/P) Kaimakliotis, Paul Kang, Jennifer Kang, Sandra Kennedy, Kathleen Kreston, Rebecca (IM/EM) Kwok, Alyssa Lal, Kumar Lopes, Caitlin Marrero-Rivera, Gabriel Mathew, Alice Pan, Alexander Parikh, Amar Patel, Armani Patel, Jayleenkumar Patel, Rishi Peninger, Emily Rabinovich, Emma Ramadugu, Ajit Saleemi, Sarah Savani, Umair Srisuwananukorn, Andrew Tian, Frances Yu, Andre Zilberstein, Ashley (M/P) Zilberstein, Netanel

PGY - 4 Brook, Melissa (M/P) Khong, Hoai Trinh (M/P) Mauro, Ana (M/P) Sanyal, Shuvani (M/P) Brumley, William (IM/EM) Case, Aaron (IM/EM) Wheelis, Emily (IM/EM)

PGY -5 Calo, Sal (IM/EM) Davies, Alexander (IM/EM) Kosirog, Justin (IM/EM)

FELLOWS Cardiology Al Halabi, Shadi Arasar, Kavin Balouch, Mohammad Biso, Sylvia Brener, Alina Evans, Kaleigh Khaja, Saeed Klein, Evan Krishna, Hema Meyer, Jonathan Mohareb, Sameh Phillips, Stephen Tyler Pillarella, Jessica Reddy, Satyajit Rodriguez Ziccardi, Mary Romer, Benjamin Sanghvi, Saagar Sehgal, Vinod Shim, Ahmed Slostad, Brody Tofovic, David Trybula, Michael Endocrinology Cohen, Melissa Haider, Yasser Kothari, Vallari Kumar, Surina Zapata, Joseph Geriatrics/AIM Hannan, Mary Kringle, Emily Kosloff, Adam Maham, Nida Manst, Debra Munoz, Sean Taff, Heather Gastroenterology Agarwal, Mitali Agrawal, Rohit

Eng, Jason Ghoulam, Elie Griggs, Theodor Lakhoo, Krutika Melitas, Constantine Nassani, Najib Pajot, Gregory Pan, Alexander Thaker, Sarang Hematology/Oncology Arain, Saad Chaudhry, Amina Khaddour, Karam Khan, Meshaal Kodali, Abhigna Kennedy, Kathleen Ng, Ronald Nguyen, Ryan Schwartz, Candice Seifter, Ari Shah, Eshana Simons, Yael Weiss, Jennifer Infectious Diseases Cable, Tracy Clapham, Philip Jhaveri, Naman Kaplar, Katherine Krukowski, Marla Ladner, Benjamin

Pulmonary and Critical Care Anis, Mariam Htwe, Yu Maw Hussain, Jawad Imayama, Ikuyo Kalra, Salil Kaul, Malvika Krow, Solomon LaBedz, Stephanie Pham, Trinh Reddy, Manasa Tan, Ai-Yui Vagts, Christen Lee Yaqoob, Maidah Sleep Al Ikhwan, Mahdi Adel Aljarod, Tarake Tran, Lien-Khuong Interventional Fellow Djondo, Daniel Rheumatology Goico, Ana Kannan, Jacqueline Patel, Pooja Sosenko, Teresa

Nephrology Abdou, Ahmed Alyamani, Tariq Ansari, Sajid Bajwa, Rizma Dabbas, Walaa Iskander, Kirolos Kircheva, Diana Kizawi, Anas Rodriguez Rivera, Claudia Suh, Edward




he Department of Medicine (DOM) commitment to scholarly activity is essential to ensure exceptional care and training/education, and the generation of new knowledge. Germane to this concept is the naming of research and investigative activity as “scholarly activity”. The long-standing expectation is that all members of the DOM contribute to scholarly activity. The DOM actively fosters scholarly activity by providing well-developed programs and capacity initiatives for faculty, staff and students, spearheaded by the Scholarly Activities Council (SAC). The SAC focuses on the following areas. RESEARCH FUNDING In the past year, the DOM’s funding came from multiple sources resulting in a 15% increase in awards, despite recent trends in reduced funding. The DOM’s NIH and non-NIH funding increased to $45.4 million from $38.4 million.


RESEARCH CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT Peer Review: The DOM provides an internal grant peer review service for all sections of grant applications, including specific aims and full proposals. The purpose of the review is to provide useful feedback that increases the probability of success. Grants are reviewed by at least one senior faculty with extensive grant review experience; many are members of NIH study sections. Reviewers offer advice and guidance about content and grantsmanship, but comments are advisory and there is no obligation to adopt the recommendations. Importantly, in 2020, over 9 faculty representing DOM divisions and all ranks in the Department utilized this service. Grant Writing Boot Camp: The DOM led its fourth annual grant writing boot camp in the spring of 2020. Four junior faculty were selected from a competitive pool to participate. Eight sessions were co-facilitated over 4 weeks by 8 experienced NIH-funded investigators and 3 junior funded investigators. Each session included mini-presentations by facilitators, cohort/peer mentoring, and individualized feedback on each grant section/component (e.g., aims, strategy, letters of support). At the conclusion of the boot camp, participants attended a mock study section where their proposals were reviewed by experienced investigators. To date, 25 faculty have participated representing divisions and other departments across ranks. In the past 4 years, 63% of boot camp participants have received grant funding. Research Training: The DOM’s Division of Academic Internal Medicine in conjunction with the chief residents developed and oversee a Project And Investigative Research (PAIR) database of scholarly activity opportunities to facilitate resident and medical student involvement in research. PAIR includes over 35 active scholarly opportunities for residents and students along with a variety of tools and resources to enhance research productivity. PAIR has led to a significant increase in resident and medical student research activities and faculty to resident mentorship. The DOM also offers reviews of resident abstract

submissions to the annual American College of Physicians Illinois Chapter conference. Moreover, DOM is actively engaged in broader NIH-funded training initiatives, with four funded T32 grants supporting trainees and several junior faculty having their individual NIH-funded career development awards (i.e., K99/R00, K23, K01). ENHANCING DOM’S CULTURE OF SCHOLARLY ACTIVITIES Ideas on Tap: The DOM sponsors a quarterly series of “Ideas on Tap” (IOT) to strengthen scholarly collaborations and awareness of departmental research. The IOT offers an informal social experience where participants learn about multi-disciplinary research projects. Typically offered in poster form combined with presentations under five minutes, DOM faculty, staff and students hear about ongoing scholarly activity while enjoying refreshments. The IOTs focus on broad themes (i.e., obesity, health disparities, cancer, and the microbiome) and attract investigators with common interests to exchange ideas and explore collaborations. On average, each IOT draws approximately > 50 attendees and > 6 posters. In 2020, the informal forums successfully engaged individuals across the COM campuses including those from Rockford and Peoria. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to host these events virtually.



CENTER FOR DISSEMINATION AND IMPLEMENTATION In spite of the unique challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic during fiscal year 2020, The Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science (CDIS) was able to expand its robust program of extramural research funding, scholarship, and mentorship. NEW CENTER FACULTY The Center welcomed Molly Martin, MD, MAPP as associate director for community engagement to lead the CDIS Development Core and reinforces CDIS commitment to community-based participatory research. Julie Bobitt, PhD joined CDIS as an assistant professor. Her research interests focus on the dissemination and implementation of programs and policies that impact the well-being of older adults. CDIS’ faculty affiliates represent four UIC health colleges and are central to the Center’s interdisciplinary research. SCHOLARSHIP In the past year, CDIS faculty and staff produced 27 peer reviewed publications, 18 presentations at national and international conferences, 20 invited talks, and participated in 4 NIH study sections. A recent publication in Implementation Research and Practice (Watson D, Snow-Hill NL, Saldana L, Walden A, Staton M, Kong A, & Donenberg G, 2020) detailed a mixed method procedure for assessing factors related to the intersection of implementation context and process, developed as part of a pilot study of the Housing First Technical Assistance and Training program. Another publication in PLOS One (Donenberg GR, Kendall AD, Emerson E, Fletcher FE, Bray BC, McCabe K) reported on the efficacy of a mother-daughter psychosocial STI/ HIV prevention program on Black/African-American girls’ incident STIs in a 2-arm group randomized controlled trial. A third publication in Evaluation and the Health Professions (Bray BC, Berglund PA, EvansPolce RJ, Patrick ME) examined the co-occurrence of reasons for marijuana within individuals and how patterns of reasons change across young adulthood among a US national sample.


RESEACH FUNDING MENTORSHIP Center investigators submitted 20 proposals for new sponsored projects and managed 15 active research grants with awards totaling over $12 million in extramural research funding. Two notable projects include Project AIM (PI Ashley Kendall, PhD), a $1.1 million K99/R00 career development award to reduce HIV/STI risk behaviors among juvenile offenders on probation through a mobile mindfulness-based intervention, and PHAT Life Plus (PI Geri Donenberg, PhD) to develop and test a technology-based training tool for an empirically-supported group-based HIV and STI prevention intervention for juvenile offenders. This project is funded by a Small Business Innovation Research grant. MENTORSHIP CDIS faculty trained two clinical psychology interns, welcomed two post-doctoral fellows, and advised more than 10 undergraduate and graduate mentees. Highlights include a manuscript in Social Science & Medicine (Hsueh L, Layland EK, Kipke MD, Bray BC) focused on the effects of racism and homonegativism on healthcare system distrust among young men of color who have sex with men. UIC graduate student, Jennifer Glayzer, received an F31 to study generalized and vulva-specific pain phenotypes in women with vulvodynia and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Two CDIS post-doctoral fellows, Drs. Nyssa Snow-Hill and Katherine Merrill each submitted a F32 and K99/ R00 application respectively. Junior faculty from public health, nursing, pharmacy, pediatrics, internal medicine, and psychiatry, received formal and informal mentorship by CDIS faculty and staff. CENTER INITIATIVES • Methods workshop series, presented by Bethany Bray, PhD, focused on latent class and latent profile analysis. • Monthly Works-in-Progress seminars for scholars to share work, receive feedback, and explore potential partnerships. • One-on-one and small-group consulting for researchers seeking guidance with grant reviews,

implementation framework/theory, methods, or measure selection. • An annual one-day workshop presenting the foundations of dissemination and implementation science.

• The CDIS Colloquium Series, co-sponsored by the CCTS and the Richard Weber Lecture series, which hosted renowned implementation science scholars, including Nancy Rumbaugh Whitesell, PhD and Linda Collins, PhD.

BIAS REDUCTION IN INTERNAL MEDICINE The Bias Reduction in Internal Medicine initiative was developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to “break the bias habit” and challenge cultural stereotypes that impact interactions with others even unconsciously. “Nobody thinks that their thoughts or actions are based on internalized stereotypes or biases, but the truth is that these ideas can be so ingrained that even the most sensitive person can be influenced by them in their behavior at work, towards colleagues, patients, or towards students,” said Dr. Patricia Finn. “BRIM has been shown in early trials to help faculty recognize and reduce biased thoughts and behavior. ” The UIC Department of Medicine (DOM) was the first to enroll in the nationwide NIH-funded study of BRIM developed by Dr. Molly Carnes, professor of medicine, psychiatry and industrial and systems engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her colleagues. The DOM selected four local leads for the study: Drs. Waddah Alrefai, Alana Biggers, Geri Donenberg, and Andrew Trotter. “Research indicates that professional interactions, performance evaluations and hiring decisions are often inadvertently influenced by opinions people hold about others, like where they’re from or the language they speak, without getting to know the individual,” Dr. Carnes explained. Race/ethnicity, gender, age, sexual preference and even weight can drive biases. At the heart of BRIM is a three-hour workshop designed to “break the bias habit” in Internal Medicine. Participants are taught to recognize their implicit biases and identify strategies to reduce them. At the end of the workshop, participants indicate “commitments to action” the most common ones were challenging microaggressions, practicing perspective-taking, and recognizing and challenging stereotypes. Ten DOM faculty (Drs.

Waddah Alrefai, Arivarasu V. Anbazhagan, Alana Biggers, Min Joo, Claudia Lora, Pooja Malhotra, Shubha Priyamvada Lnu, Seema Saksena, Andrew Trotter, and Suncica Volkov) were trained by Dr. Carnes’ team to deliver the workshops and are now certified BRIM implementers. As part of the research study, half of the DOM divisions received the workshops led by the team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and half of the divisions received the workshop delivered by UIC trained implementers. Prior to workshop delivery, DOM faculty completed a baseline survey on the departmental climate. Three months after the workshops, participants completed a follow-up survey about the department climate, the BRIM workshop, and changes in their behavior. A final survey was completed by participants at the conclusion of the study. According to Dr. Finn, the initial focus on faculty was only the beginning. “While this BRIM study initially focused on faculty, we look forward to using these skills and tools in training the next generation of physicians.” The UIC DOM BRIM team modified the original workshop to make a two-hour version. The BRIM team has delivered several training sessions of this modified version to all members of DOM and to faculty and staff from other Departments, Colleges, and Programs at UIC. The DOM BRIM team delivered training sessions to MSTP medical students in the spring semester of 2019-2020 and to M1 medical students as part of their curriculum in the fall semester of 2020-2021. The DOM BRIM team will continue to provide the Breaking the Bias Habit workshop to all members of DOM and will collaborate with other departments and programs at UIC to expand the program and explore options for scholarly activities centered around best practices to promote equity.



A Qualitative Study.” Cureus 12, no. 6 (Jun 26, 2020): e8844.

1. Gartland MG, ”Forensic Medical Evaluation of Children Seeking Asylum: A Guide for Pediatricians.” Pediatr Ann 49, no. 5 (May 1 2020): e215-e21.

9. Park YS, ”Synthesizing and Reporting Milestones-Based Learner Analytics: Validity Evidence from a Longitudinal Cohort of Internal Medicine Residents.” Acad Med 95, no. 4 (Apr 2020): 599-608.

2. Gor D, ”Adherence and Persistence with Dpp-4 Inhibitors Versus Pioglitazone in Type 2 Diabetes Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: A Retrospective Claims Database Analysis.” J Manag Care Spec Pharm 26, no. 1 (Jan 2020): 67-75.

10. Wang Y, ”Effects of Task-Specific Obstacle-Induced Trip-Perturbation Training: Proactive and Reactive Adaptation to Reduce Fall-Risk in Community-Dwelling Older Adults.” Aging Clin Exp Res 32, no. 5 (May 2020): 893-905.

3. Haider S, ”A Novel Approach to Postpartum Contraception Provision Combined with Infant Care: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.” Womens Health Issues 30, no. 2 (Mar-Apr 2020): 83-92. 4. Hamlish T, ”Care Coordination for Breast Cancer Survivors in Urban Underserved Communities: Will Treatment Summaries and Survivorship Care Plans Be Enough?” J Racial Ethn Health Disparities 7, no. 3 (Jun 2020): 577-83. 5. Kannampallil T, ”Digital Translucence: Adapting Telemedicine Delivery PostCovid-19.” Telemed J E Health (May 18 2020). 6. Koenig MD, ”Prepregnancy Obesity Is Not Associated with Iron Utilization During the Third Trimester.” J Nutr 150, no. 6 (Jun 1 2020): 1397-404. 7. Lambert BL, ”Automated Detection of Wrong-Drug Prescribing Errors.” BMJ Qual Saf 28, no. 11 (2019/08/09): 908-15. 8. Maw A, ”Hospitalist Perspectives of Available Tests to Monitor Volume Status in Patients with Heart Failure: 34 DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE

11. Yudkowsky R, ”Can Nonclinician Raters Be Trained to Assess Clinical Reasoning in Postencounter Patient Notes?” Acad Med 94, no. 11S Association of American Medical Colleges Learn Serve Lead: Proceedings of the 58th Annual Research in Medical Education Sessions (2019/10/31) 2019: S21-s27.

CARDIOLOGY 1. McCauley MD, In Vivo Restoration of Myocardial Conduction With Carbon Nanotube Fibers. Circulation Arrhythmia Electrophysiology. 2019 Aug;12(8):e007256. 2. Ryba D, Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptor Modulator, FTY720, Improves Diastolic Dysfunction and Partially Reverses Atrial Remodeling in a Tm-E180G Mouse Model Linked to Hypertrophic. Cardiomyopathy. Circulation Heart Failure. 2019 Nov;12(11):e005835. 3. Romano S, Feature-Tracking Global Longitudinal Strain Predicts Mortality in Patients With Preserved Ejection Fraction: A Multicenter Study. JJACC Cardiovascular Imaging. 2020 Apr;13(4):940-947. 4. Ornelas-Loredo A, Association

Between Obesity-Mediated Atrial Fibrillation and Therapy With Sodium Channel Blocker Antiarrhythmic Drugs. JAMA Cardiology. 2020 Jan 1;5(1):57-64. 5. Jambusaria A, Endothelial heterogeneity across distinct vascular beds during homeostasis and inflammation. eLife. 2020 Jan 16;9:e51413.

ENDOCRINOLOGY, DIABETES & METABOLISM 1. Cordoba-Chacon J, Loss of Hepatocyte-Specific PPARy Expression Ameliorates Early Events of Steatohepatitis in Mice Fed the Methionine and CholineDeficient Diet. PPAR Res. 2020 May 1;2020:9735083. 2. Reutrakul S, Relationship between Intrinsically Photosensitive Ganglion Cell Function and Circadian Regulation in Diabetic Retinopathy. Sci Rep. 2020 Jan 31;10(1):1560. 3. Havrylyan A, SAT-205 POEMS: A Medical Odyssey, Journal of the Endocrine Society, Volume 4, Issue Supplement_1, April-May 2020. 4. Sargis RM, Environmental neglect: endocrine disruptors as underappreciated but potentially modifiable diabetes risk factors. Diabetologia. 2019 Oct;62(10):1811-1822. 5. He Y, Estrogen receptor-α expressing neurons in the ventrolateral VMH regulate glucose balance. Nat Commun. 2020 May 1;11(1):2165. 6. Haloul M, Hyperhomocysteinemia and Low Folate and Vitamin B12 Are Associated with Vascular Dysfunction and Impaired Nitric Oxide Sensitivity in Morbidly Obese Patients. Nutrients. 2020 Jul 7;12(7):2014.

8. Hoa O, Imaging and Manipulating Pituitary Function in the Awake Mouse. Endocrinology. 2019 Oct 1;160(10):2271-2281.

GASTROENTEROLOGY & HEPATOLOGY 1. Ticho A, Intestinal absorption of bile Acids in health and diseases. Compr. Physiol. 2019 Dec 18;10(1):21-56. 2. Ticho A, A novel role of S-acylation in the modulation of ileal apical dependent bile acid transporter function. J. Biol. Chem. 2020 Apr 3;295(14):4488-4497. 3. Bajaj J, Targeting Gut Microbiome Interactions in Service-related Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases of Veterans: Meeting Summary. Gastroenterology. 2019 Aug 9. pii: S0016-5085(19)41210-9. j.gastro.2019.07.060. 4. Jayawardena D, Micronutrient Deficiency in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Cause or Effect? Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020;9(4):707-708. j.jcmgh.2019.12.009. 5. Zhang J, Deletion of sorting nexin 27 suppresses cell proliferation and migration in highly aggressive breast cancer cells. BMC Cancer. 2019, 19:555. 6. Kotlo K,The olfactory G proteincoupled receptor (Olfr-78/ OR51E2) modulates the intestinal response to colitis. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2020 Mar 1;318(3):C502-C513. 7. Mikolajczyk AE, Diagnostic

Testing for Acute Hepatitis. JAMA. 2020;323(10):992–993. 8. Holton N, Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2020 Jun 1;318(6):C1294-C1304. 9. Olivas A, Histologic Changes Caused Injection of a Novel Submucosal Lifting Agent for Endoscopic Resection in Gastrointestinal Specimens. Accepted for publication in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 2020. 10. Priyamvada S, All-trans Retinoic Acid Counteracts Diarrhea and Inhibition of Downregulated in Adenoma Expression in Gut Inflammation. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2019 Oct 21. 11. Rong Lu, Lactic acid bacteria isolated from Korean kimchi modulate the vitamin D receptorautophagy signaling pathways. IBD Journal. 2020 Mar 14. 12. Thomas AL, Activin A modulates inflammation in acute pancreatitis and strongly predicts severe disease in patients with high BMI. Clinical and Tanslational Gastroenterology:2020 May 11;5. 13. Trivedi I, Patient Understanding of “Flare” and “Remission” of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Gastroenterology Nursing. July August 2019, 42(4):375-385. 14. Tsen A, Collaborative Alliance for Pancreatic Education and Research. The State of Mentorship and Pancreatic Research Among Trainees in Pancreatology: A Multinational Survey Study. Pancreas. 2020 Mar;49(3):336340. 15. Zhang Y, Intestinal epithelial HMGB1 inhibits bacterial infection via STAT3 regulation of autophagy. Autophagy. 15(11): 1935-53, 2019.

HEMATOLOGY/ONCOLOGY 1. Gordeuk, VR. Sickle cell vasoocclusion: the clot thickens. Blood. 2020 May 14;135(20):1726-1727. 2. Vichinsky, E, HOPE Trial Investigators. A Phase 3 Randomized Trial of Voxelotor in Sickle Cell Disease. N Engl J Med. 2019 Aug 8;381(6):509-519. 3. Kessler, MD, De novo mutations across 1,465 diverse genomes reveal mutational insights and reductions in the Amish founder population. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Feb 4;117(5):2560-2569. 4. Srisuwananukorn, A, Clinical, laboratory, and genetic risk factors for thrombosis in sickle cell disease. Blood Adv. 2020 May 12;4(9):1978-1986. 5. Saraf, SL, Heme A1M’ed at the kidney in sickle cell disease. Blood 2020; 135 (13): 979–981. 6. Kumar, S, Mixed lineage kinase 3 inhibition induces T cell activation and cytotoxicity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Apr 7;117(14):79617970. 7. Kuderer, NM, COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium. Clinical impact of COVID-19 on patients with cancer (CCC19): a cohort study. Lancet. 2020 Jun 20;395(10241):1907-1918. 8. Mascarenhas, J, A prospective evaluation of pegylated interferon alfa-2a therapy in patients with polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia with a prior splanchnic vein thrombosis. Leukemia. 2019 Jul 30. doi: 10.1038/s41375-019-0524-7. 9. Yacoub, A, Pegylated interferon alfa-2a for polycythemia vera ANNUAL REPORT 35


7. Barengolts E, Persevere or Peril: Diabetes Care In Times Of COVID-19. Endocr Pract. 2020 Jun;26(6):688-690.

or essential thrombocythemia resistant or intolerant to hydroxyurea. Blood. 2019 Oct 31;134(18):1498-1509. 10. Kanaan SB, Immunogenicity of a rheumatoid arthritis protective sequence when acquired through microchimerism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Sep 24;116(39):19600-19608. 11. Eapen M, Impact of donor type and conditioning regimen intensity on allogeneic transplantation outcomes in patients with Sickle Cell Disease: a retrospective, cohort study. Lancet Haematol. 2019 Sep 5. 12. Khera N, Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and Other Expensive Cellular Therapies: A Miracle for the Few but Off Limits to Many? J Clin Oncol. 2019 Nov 15. 13. Palassery R, Development of a clinical hematology and stem cell transplantation program to provide state-of-the-art and cost-effective treatment to patients: a successful collaboration between a medical college in India and a leading medical university in the United States. Blood Adv. 2019 Dec 6;3(Suppl 1):23-26. 9 May;25(5):855-860.

INFECTIOUS DISEASES 1. Patel MC, Asymptomatic SARSCoV-2 infection and COVID-19 mortality during an outbreak investigation in a skilled nursing facility. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jun 16. 2. Brizzi MB, Real-world evaluation of the safety and tolerability of abacavir/dolutegravir/lamivudine in an incarcerated population. Int J STD AIDS. 2019 Oct;30(12):11631168. 3. Brito M, A Community Based Model of HIV Care for Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women 36 DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE

in Chicago. Int J STD AIDS. 2020 Feb;31(2):150-157.

Immunol. Cell Biol. Oct 2019; 97:799-814.

4. Beigel JH, Remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19 — preliminary report. N Engl J Med. 2020 Nov 5; 383;(19): 1813-1826.

6. Lieberthal W, AMPK-mediated activation of Akt protects renal tubular cells from stress-induced apoptosis in vitro and ameliorates ischemic AKI in vivo. Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol. 2019 Jul;317: F1F11.

5. Allen-Meares P, Health literacy barriers in the health care system: Barriers and opportunities for the profession. Health & Social Work, 45(1), 62-64. 6. Jarrett OD, Specific Vaginal Bacteria Are Associated With an Increased Risk of Trichomonas vaginalis Acquisition in Women. J Infect Dis. 2019;220(9):1503-1510. 7. Herrick JA, Infection-associated Immune Perturbations Resolve One Year Following Treatment for Loa loa. Clin Infect Dis. 2020.

NEPHROLOGY 1. Gudehithlu KP, Urine exosomal ceruloplasmin: a potential early biomarker of underlying kidney disease. Clin Exp Nephrol. 2019 Aug;23:1013-1021. 2. Hynes DM, Integrating a medical home in an outpatient dialysis setting: Effects on health-related quality of life. J Gen Int Med. 2019 Oct; 34 (10): 2130-40.

7. Levine JS, Voices from the dead: the complex vocabulary and intricate grammar of dead cells. Adv. Protein Chem. Struct. Biol. 116: 1-90, 2019. 8. Lora CM, Prevalence, Awareness, and Treatment of Hypertension in Hispanics/Latinos with CKD in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Kidney Med. Kidney Med. 2020 Apr 21;2(3):332340. 9. Schott CA, ACCESS Research Group. Declining Pulmonary Function in Interstitial Lung Disease Linked to Lymphocyte Dysfunction. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2020 Mar 1;201(5):610-613. 10. Rani A, Abundance of Multidrug Resistance Efflux Pumps in the Urinary Metagenome of Kidney Transplant Patients. BioMed Res Int. Biomed Res Int. 2020 Mar 12;2020:542126.

3. Fischer MJ, Development, Implementation and User Experience of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Dialysis Dashboard. BMC Nephrol. 2020 Apr 16;21(1):136.

11. Ricardo AC, Incident Chronic Kidney Disease Risk among Hispanics/ Latinos in the United States: The Hispanic Community Health Study/ Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Jun;31(6):13151324.

4. Liem RI, American Society of Hematology 2019 guidelines for sickle cell disease: cardiopulmonary and kidney disease. Blood Adv. 2019 Dec 10;3(23):3867-3897.

12. Toth-Manikowski SM, Race, pregnancy, and ESKD. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019 Dec;30(12):22802282.

5. Bansal N, Necroptotic cell binding of β2-glycoprotein I provides a potential autoantigenic stimulus in systemic lupus erythematosus.


Function in Interstitial Lung Disease Linked to Lymphocyte Dysfunction. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2020 Mar 1;201(5):610-613. 2. Krishnan J, Step-Up Therapy in Black Children and Adults with Poorly Controlled Asthma. N Engl J Med. 2019 Sep 26;381(13):12271239. 3. Khalyfa A, Circulating plasma exosomes in obstructive sleep apnoea and reverse dipping blood pressure. Eur Respir J. 2020 Jan 30;55(1):1901072. 4. Moon HG, Colony-stimulating factor 1 and its receptor are new potential therapeutic targets for allergic asthma. Allergy. 2020 Feb;75(2):357-369. 5. Schraufnagel D, Air Pollution and Noncommunicable Diseases: A Review by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies’ Environmental Committee, Part 1: The Damaging Effects of Air Pollution; and Part 2: Air Pollution and Organ Systems. Chest. 2019 Feb;155(2):409-426.

RHEUMATOLOGY 1. Kim SJ, Macrophages are the primary effector cells in IL-7induced arthritis. Cell Mol Immunol. 2020 Jul;17(7):728-740. 2. Rahaghi FF, Delphi consensus recommendations for a treatment algorithm in pulmonary sarcoidosis. Eur Respir Rev. 2020 Mar 20; 29(155):190146.

J. 2019 Aug 19;20(4):236-240. 5. Baughman RP, A composite score to assess treatment response in pulmonary sarcoidosis: the Sarcoidosis Treatment Score (STS). Sarcoidosis Vasc Diffuse Lung Dis. 2019;36(1):86-88. 6. Lu Y, Prognostic Impact of FDGPET/CT Images in Patients With Suspected Cardiac Sarcoidosis: Optimal Patient Preparation, Not Complex Unconventional Analytics, Is Key to Meaningful Data. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2019 Jan;12(1):217-219. 7. Umar S, IRAK4 inhibition: a promising strategy for treating RA joint inflammation and bone erosion. Cell Mol Immunol. 2020 May 15. 8. Rahaghi FF, Management of repository corticotrophin injection therapy for pulmonary sarcoidosis: a Delphi study. Eur Respir Rev. 2020 Mar 20;29(155):190147. 9. Patel DC, FDG PET-CT findings of extra-thoracic sarcoid are associated with cardiac sarcoid: A rationale for using FGD PET-CT for cardiac sarcoid evaluation. J Nucl Cardiol. 2019 Apr;26(2):486-492. 10. Van Raemdonck K, CCL21/CCR7 signaling in macrophages promotes joint inflammation and Th17mediated osteoclast formation in rheumatoid arthritis. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2020 Apr;77(7):1387-1399.

3. Sweiss NJ, When the Game Changes: Guidance to Adjust Sarcoidosis Management During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic. Chest. 2020 Sep;158(3):892-895. 4. Isma SJ, Serum Albumin as a Biomarker of Pulmonary Sarcoidosis Chronicity. Turk Thorac ANNUAL REPORT 37

UPLIFTING OUR CULTURE OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force (DITF) transitioned in September 2019 to become the Department of Medicine Inclusion Council (DOMIC). Dr. Olga Garcia-Bedoya stepped down as co-chair of DITF and Dr. Alana Biggers remained as co-chair of DOMIC and was joined by Dr. Min Joo, previous chair of the Women in Medicine Task Force. Combining the resources of these two groups, our mission is to advance the diversity and inclusion of faculty and trainees through education, advocacy, scholarly activities, mentorship, and networking. FY 20 ACCOMPLISHMENTS Internal Medicine Summer Immersion Program Our annual summer externship in IM welcomed its largest class since its inception in 2016. Our July 2019 cohort had 7 students including 2 from Peoria and 1 from our Rockford campus. This externship is offered to UIC underrepresented minority (URM) medical students in the summer between their first and second year. During a 2-week rotation, students receive clinical exposure to outpatient and inpatient IM. In addition, students actively participate in community experiences working with faculty at community clinics and nursing homes. The aim of the program encourages and supports students considering careers in IM by providing first-hand exposure to the breadth of opportunities available in general internal medicine and its subspecialties. At the conclusion of the two weeks, each student presented a case report as a scholarly project to submit as an abstract at the American College of Physicians (ACP) regional student competition. Urban Health Program (UHP) Mentorship Program In collaboration with the Urban Health Program of the College of Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics, first and second year medical students are paired with a faculty and a resident mentor. We had 5 students, 5 faculty mentors and 5 resident mentors participate. Students join their faculty and resident mentor 8 times a year in clinic, hospital rounds and/or procedure rooms to expose them to the daily practice of internal medicine and subspecialties. Drs. Claudia


Lora and Sharmilee Nyenhuis led the UHP mentorship program along with Dr. Kristen Kenan and Dr. Felicia Wellington from pediatrics. The students received formal and informal sessions on the patient experience, importance of mentorship, career advancement, test taking, and residency application topics. Women Physicians in Training (WPIT) With Drs. Cheryl Conner and Anne Polick as their faculty leads, this group developed a formal structure. Young trainees started a relationship with the community and developed health programming for immigrant and refugee women at Apna Ghar. Apna Ghar provides critical, comprehensive, culturally competent services, and conducts outreach and advocacy across communities to end gender violence. Medical Student Conferences Recruitment “On The Shoulders of Giants: Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future”, the Region II Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Regional Medical Education Conference (RMEC) was held locally at Rush on November 9th, 2019 where Dr. Biggers participated in the recruitment fair. In March 2020, “Unidos por Medicina y Más: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Latinx Health” was the theme for the Latino Medical Student Association’s (LMSA) national conference attended by Dr. Olga Garcia-Bedoya along with pediatric chief resident Dr. Ana Mauro. Our involvement at the national SNMA Annual Medical Education Conference “The 20/20 Vision: Dynamic Leaders for a Health Revolution” was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. DOMIC Diversity and Inclusion COVID Health Disparities Series - June 2020 DOMIC planned the Diversity and Inclusion COVID Health Disparities session in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The timing of these sessions collided with the murder of George Floyd and became a catalyst for ongoing dialogue and action as a response to racism. Some of the work of DOMIC included, meetings with URM residents, curriculum changes to include more presentations and curricular infusion of

Internal Medicine Summer Immersion Program participants with Dr. Alana Biggers

health disparities and other relevant topics, continuing work to make the Match process equitable and strengthening our recruitment of URM’s, and inviting more Grand Rounds speakers that are Black/African American specialists in their field. DOMIC continues its work in developing ways to receive feedback and implement solutions. Our initial series included three speakers. Below are reflections from each presentation. All three sessions were well attended with our largest sessions to date collectively reaching over 500 people. COVID-19 Racial and Health Inequities: Unmasking Existing Structural Violence, presentation by Dr. Karriem Watson. The Department of Medicine is devastated by the events of the last several days. We condemn the recent murder of George Floyd and the other heinous actions taken against African Americans and other people of color in our country. As healthcare providers, we must speak out against racism and for social justice. We know that this is a difficult time to work through and you may feel emotionally traumatized by the events occurring around you. We are here for your support. We have many resources available to our trainees, faculty, and staff. In this pandemic, the most vulnerable are people of color. With fervor, we affirm our commitment to provide exceptional care for all. We also commend you for your service to our underserved communities in Chicago in all parts of the Department’s daily functions. Our position within the University’s health sciences campus provides us with the opportunity to live these values alongside the next generation of physicians and

researchers. We will continue the conversation on the impact of structural violence on COVID-19 health outcomes. Navigating an Inaccessible Health Care System, a perspective on working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing patients, presentation by Mr. Corey Axelrod. The COVID pandemic has changed our world and the way we practice medicine. As dutiful citizens, we are asked to social distance and wear masks on a daily basis. As physicians we have become experts at televideo/ audio visits. The impact of these changes in practice are a nuisance to many but have particularly negatively impacted the Deaf and hard of hearing, as the ability to see facial expressions, mouth movements, and lip reading is restricted by the coverage of the mask. We affirm our commitment to create a more inclusive environment for all. Reflections on Race and Medicine in the era of COVID-19, presentation by Dr. Damon Tweedy. As physicians, nurses, researchers, and other healthcare providers and professionals, we must speak out against racism and for social justice. We also need to reflect on our own institution and interactions with colleagues, trainees, and students to reduce systemic racism. Our Black/African American colleagues experience explicit and implicit bias in the workplace on a daily basis. We affirm our commitment to not only recognize but call out these incidents to create a more inclusive environment for all.





DIVISIONAL ROCKSTARS KELSIE AVANTS, DO Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Academic Internal Medicine Kelsie Avants, DO, joined the DOM in August of 2018 after completing a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at UIC. Early on in her career at UIC, Dr. Avants’ strong leadership and educational skills became apparent. In April 2020, she was asked to be medical director for a new clinic designated to exclusively care for patients suspected of having COVID-19 infection. Dr. Avants helped build the clinic infrastructure. She managed a team of healthcare providers and oversaw day to day operations. Her experience in community public health and advocacy has been invaluable in serving those most vulnerable during the pandemic. Since her appointment as medical director, she has been working tirelessly to ensure a safe clinical environment to provide care and COVID-19 testing for those in need. ZAHRAA HAJJIRI, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Nephrology Zahraa Hajjiri, MD, received her MBBS at the University of Jordan in 2007. She subsequently completed her internal medicine residency training in 2012 at the Henry Ford Health System and completed a fellowship in nephrology in 2014 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. She then moved to Chicago to complete a fellowship in clinical and research transplant nephrology at UIC from 2014-2016. Dr. Hajjiri joined our faculty in June 2016. She is the program director for the Renal Transplant Fellowship and served as the medical director for the Renal Transplant 42 DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE

Clinic from 2017-2020. Dr. Hajjiri is a superb clinician and is dedicated to provide the highest level of care for her kidney transplant patients. During a period of short-staffing, Dr. Hajjiri continued to provide superb care. On top of her outstanding clinical work, Dr. Hajjiri is a passionate educator and is working to develop a curriculum for internal medicine residents to engage them in transplant nephrology. STOCKTON MAYER, DO Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Infectious Diseases Stockton Mayer, DO, became very active with a city-wide group addressing the COVID-19 pandemic among the homeless in early 2020, and organized a group of clinicians to provide screening for COVID-19 in homeless shelters and encampments. He collaborated with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to develop a plan for housing and treating the homeless with COVID-19 which became a model for other cities. His collaboration with CDPH led to contracts for testing and now for vaccine administration in homeless shelters and nursing homes. Dr. Mayer is the state prinicipal investigator (PI) for the Blaze 2 study of a monoclonal antibody for prevention of COVID-19 in nursing home settings. He was the largest enrolling investigator. The study demonstrated 80% efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in nursing home residents and 100% efficacy in preventing mortality. He is the PI for the Community Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Study (COVPN 5002). His success in the COVPN 5002 resulted in him being invited to chair another protocol. Dr. Mayer has been working tirelessly during the pandemic, always with a positive attitude. He has been very collaborative

and has built relationships with numerous colleagues within and outside UIC. His work with CDPH has made UIC the city’s go-to partner for public health. NOREEN NAZIR, MD Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Cardiology Noreen Nazir, MD, directed the Drive Through Testing Center at UI Health beginning in March 2020. The Testing Center was one of the first COVID-19 testing locations in the City of Chicago. It served as a model for affiliate UI campuses setting-up testing facilities. Since onset, the center continued to increase daily testing capacity and provided a valuable service to thousands of individuals. Along with testing individuals affiliated with UI Health and UIC, the center was open to the community and accessible to anyone regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. incorporation of a walk-up station ensured that the testing center was accessible to those with disabilities. As a leader, Dr. Nazir was able to bring together physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians and providers and rapidly establish COVID-19 testing at the height of the pandemic. Her outstanding contributions as director of the UI Health Drive Through Testing Center, leadership and teamwork during the pandemic embodies the attributes that truly make her a rockstar. DEAN E. SCHRAUFNAGEL, MD Professor of Medicine and Pathology Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy During his incredible 40-year career at UIC, Dean E. Schraufnagel, MD, has contributed to all aspects of our academic mission in immeasurable and impactful ways. After completing his

medical residency at the University of Illinois and fellowship training at McGill University, Dr. Schraufnagel joined our faculty in 1981 and has been a dedicated and productive member of the Division ever since. Clinically, Dr. Schraufnagel is an internationally acclaimed expert in mycobacterial disease and bronchiectasis whose practice includes patients from around the country and the world. His scholarly activities have resulted in the publication of 200 peer-reviewed papers and he has edited 4 books. As a global leader in respiratory health, he has served as President of the American Thoracic Society, the leading professional organization in the field, as well as President of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies. In these and other leadership positions, he has led national and international organizations working to promote lung health throughout the world. Of Dr. Schraufnagel’s many impressive accomplishments, his legacy of teaching and dedication to education may be his most impactful and long-lasting contribution. He directed the pulmonary/ critical care medicine fellowship from 2000 to 2017 and has helped educate countless UIC fellows and faculty through the years. Many generations of UIC physicians will forever be thankful for the honor of having worked with him. Dr. Schraufnagel’s illustrious career has resulted in tremendous contributions to UIC, the pulmonary field, and society, as well as a well-deserved national and global recognition as a leader in the advancement of lung health.

JUN SUN, PHD Professor of Medicine Gastroenterology and Hepatology Jun Sun, PhD, has been a valued researcher since joining UIC in 2015. Her work focuses on the function of the gut microbiome as well as the intestinal barrier and its defenses against disease states. Her achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and she currently serves as the chair for the Microbiome and Microbial Therapy (MMT) Section of the American Gastroenterology Association. In addition to her ongoing NIH R01s, Dr. Sun has received several important new research grants for her work. She is the recent recipient of a VA Merit Award for study of the microbiome and intestinal barrier in ALS therapy, as well as a DOD grant for the novel roles of gut microbiome in breast cancer. Dr. Sun is the program director (and founder) of the UIC Gnotobiotic Facility, which is a promising facility providing specialized

animal models for research projects. Dr. Sun also serves as the associate head of the Faculty Affairs Council within the DOM and provides mentorship for young investigators and students. NEETA VENEPALLI, MD Associate Professor of Medicine Hematology/Oncology Neeta Venepalli, MD, is a rockstar for her leadership role in GI Oncology . She served tirelessly on the frontline and to support patients and staff during the pandemic. Dr. Venepalli always advocates for the implementation of safe policies in the hospital and has kept a continuous communication with faculty, fellows and staff during the COVID crisis. Dr. Venepalli is truly a division rockstar. PINGWEN XU, PHD Assistant Professor of Medicine Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Pingwen Xu, PhD, joined the DOM in 2018. Since joining the DOM, Dr. Xu received his first NIH R01, a DOD Innovation Grant, a DRTC Pilot and Feasibility Award, and a UIC Research Philanthropic Fund. Dr. Xu’s achievements are also reflected by publications in high-profile journals including the Journal of Neuroscience (2020), Nature Communications (2018-2020), EMBO Journal (2020), Molecular Psychiatry (2019), Journal of Clinical Investigation (2019), and EMBO Reports (2019). Dr. Xu’s recent Nature Communications (2020) paper identified a group of glucose-sensing neurons in the ventrolateral area of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus and discovered how they work in concert to prevent hypoglycemia in mice. We congratulate him on his successes and thank him for being a great part of our team.



SHIVA SHAHRARA, PHD Professor of Medicine Rheumatology Shiva Shahrara, PhD, is a perfect example of a woman in medicine who deserves recognition. She has shown a strong commitment to conducting translational research in

rheumatoid arthritis (RA) especially in finding biomarkers and novel treatment strategies for RA. Her laboratory has made a great contribution to understanding the mechanisms that lead to joint inflammation and bone erosion particularly in the field of angiogenesis, monocyte migration, M1 macrophage and Th17 cell differentiation, obesity and most recently understanding the mode of action of COVID-19 pathology and therapy. Dr. Shahrara’s work is truly translational and she and her colleagues have been very successful in translating their discoveries from RA patients to preclinical models and back to finding novel strategies for patient treatment. Most importantly, she shares her positive energy and enthusiasm about learning and research with others, and we believe that this is just the beginning of what will be a highly productive and successful career.


Pioneer in Medicine Award—Richard Novak, MD Dr. Novak is the Harry F. Dowling Professor of Medicine in infectious diseases, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, and director of the University Community Care Network at UIC. He has been a leader in HIV research and treatment for over 30 years. He was involved in the initial drug trials using AZT to treat patients with AIDS. He has been at the forefront of HIV vaccine and prevention trials, establishing a UIC clinical research site that has conducted many federal research studies.

2019 UIC Team Research and Scholar of the Year Drs. Irena Levitan (DOM) and Shane Phillips (Department of Physical Therapy) were awarded the "2019 UIC Team Research and Scholar of the Year" inaugural award. This new award honors a team of at least two UIC faculty from different colleges who have made a significant contribution that could not have been accomplished by any one individual.

2019 UIC Clinical Sciences Rising Star Research and Scholar of the Year Dr. Alana Biggers was awarded the “2019 UIC Clinical Sciences Rising Star Researcher and Scholar of the Year” award. The Rising Star Researcher and Scholar of the Year award is given to UIC early career researchers who have shown outstanding promise to become future leaders in their field.

2019 UIC Clinical Sciences Distinguished Researcher and Scholar of the Year Dr. Rachel Caskey was awarded the “2019 UIC Clinical Sciences Distinguished Researcher and Scholar of the Year”. The Distinguished Researcher and Distinguished Scholar award is given to UIC faculty who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their respective fields of expertise.

Beth Fowler Vitoux and George Vitoux Distinguished Professorship Dr. Jun Ma was appointed and awarded the Beth Fowler Vitoux and George Vitoux Distinguished Professorship in Geriatric Medicine. This endowed professorship will facilitate the success of Dr. Ma, and the Division of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, in developing a comprehensive program focused on research, education and training on disease prevention among aging populations.


2019 UIC Researcher and Scholar of the Year Awards Ceremony and Reception was held on March 4th, 2020. Left to right: Drs. Rachel Caskey, Patricia Finn, Alana Biggers.

2020 C. Thomas Bombeck Award for Excellence in Medical Education Recipient Dr. Anne Poilick Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Medical Education Recipients Drs. Anne Polick and Cheryl Conner Dean's Award for Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Dr. Susan Bleasdale

Top Box Doc Drs. George T. Kondos and Shane Borkowsky

UI Health Care Award Drs. Jonathan Rodosta and Min Joo

FACULTY PROMOTIONS Amar R. Chadaga, MD Associate Professor

Jesica Herrick, MD Associate Professor

Rhonda Kineman, PhD Professor

Shahriar Dadkhah, MD Professor

Melanie Jaynee Gordon, MD Associate Professor

Jerrold Levine, MD Professor

Kirstie Danielson, PhD Associate Professor

Min Joo, MD Professor

Bernice Man, MD Associate Professor

Jennifer Ennis, MD Associate Professor

Irum Khan, MD Associate Professor

Adhir Shroff, MD Professor


DIVISION HIGHLIGHTS ACADEMIC INTERNAL MEDICINE AND GERIATRICS (AIM) The Division of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics (AIM) has had a successful and productive year. AIM has been actively growing and developing our clinical footprint, educational efforts and scholarship. Our physicians provide general medicine and geriatric medicine in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Outpatient care is provided in four on-campus clinics and one off-campus clinic at the South Loop Physicians Group. We provide geriatric care at three Chicago nursing facilities: Warren Barr South Loop, Center Home for Hispanic Elderly, and Barton Senior Residences of Chicago. We now have five robust general medicine inpatient services at the University of Illinois hospital and we co-manage the hospital observation unit in collaboration with the Emergency Department. CLINICAL AIM welcomed three new faculty members: Drs. Heather Heiman, Isabel Angulo and Vania Leung (geriatrics) and our division spearheaded clinical projects with the goal of improving patient care and patient care experience. • The census on the general medicine inpatient wards has increased steadily since FY17 and continues to increase. To reduce physician burnout and maintain high quality care, a 5th medicine team was added in February 2020. • We expanded interprofessional services at South Loop Physicians Group Clinic to include Geriatrics. • During the COVID-19 pandemic, AIM spearheaded the development and implementation of a COVID-19 inpatient unit in the hospital. The unit was created to optimize infection control and the safety of patients and staff; as well as prioritize consistent medical care.

Dr. Radosta awarded UI Health Care Award Left to Right: Drs. Patricia Finn (Chair of Medicine), Jonathan Radosta, Rachel Caskey (Chief of Academic Internal Medicine)


In the education realm, faculty hold numerous leadership roles in both the internal medicine residency program and in the medical school. Over the past year, AIM faculty have contributed more effort to medical school education than any other clinical unit in the College of Medicine. EDUCATION • The Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program at UIC is a one year highly collaborative ACGME-accredited program. Our geriatric fellowship program is one of the largest programs in the country that provides medical and inter-disciplinary education on normal aging, geriatric chronic diseases, palliative care and evidencebased senior healthcare. The goal of the program is not only to create future leaders in Geriatric Medicine, but also to prepare the fellows to succeed in both clinical and academic settings by providing them exceptional clinical training with opportunities for participation in research.

• The Clinical Leaders and Academic Scholars fellowship is housed in AIM and run by Dr. Saul Weiner. The CLASS fellowship has three tracks: Clinical Services Leadership (one year), Educational Leadership (one year), or Research (two years). In FY20, three fellows participated including the first jointly sponsored fellow with the Cancer Center (an oncogeneralist fellow) focused on cancer survivorship. • Point of Care Ultra Sounds fellowship was launched in FY20 by Dr. Stefan Tchernodrinski. Our first fellow, Adam Kosloff, completed the fellowship and has since joined AIM as faculty. In FY21, the fellowship will be expanding services to include a procedure service, which will be available for both patients in the hospital and in the general medicine clinic.

program (MPI: R. Caskey, A. Handler and S. Geller) and Justine Kessler, MPH (coordinator) for the Beth and George Vitoux Geriatrics Medicine program and the PREMIER T32 Post-Doctoral Fellowship program. RESEARCH Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our faculty continued scholarly activities such as mentoring, advising and publishing. AIM faculty published over 70 peer-reviewed publications in FY20. Our faculty and fellows presented their research in local and national conferences. In addition, AIM continues to receive sponsored awards, which included federally funded (non-VA) grants, VA funded grants, and non-federally sponsored funded grants.

CARDIOLOGY • AIM established the Vitoux Program on Aging and Prevention, led by Dr. Jun Ma. The Vitoux program was the result of a generous endowment by Beth and George Vitoux. In February 2020, a formal reception was held and included members of the Vitoux family. The Vitoux Program is committed to the development, evaluation, and implementation of innovative lifestyle interventions, as well as providing training in and dissemination of high-quality research, to promote healthy aging and disease prevention. In addition to the Vitoux Program, Dr. Ma was named the Beth and George Vitoux Professor of Medicine. Dr. Ma is establishing a program that will advance aging and prevention research, geriatric education, and geriatric practice. AIM welcomed two first post-doctoral fellows, Mary Hannan, PhD, APRN, AGACNP-BC and Emily Kringle, PhD, OTR/L, for the T32 Precision Lifestyle Medicine and Translation Research (PREMIER) Postdoctoral Training Program (MPI: B. Gerber and J. Ma). We hired new research staff members, Anne Elizabeth Glassgow, PhD (program director), Shirley Scott (educator and research nurse), Abigail Holicky (data coordinator) and three summer students, Nicky Meyyazhagan, Megan Gordon and Alice Kreher for the “I Promote-IL” Health Resources and Services Administration research

Over the last 12 months, we have experienced robust growth in the clinical, research and educational missions. Despite an ever-increasing competitive clinical cardiology market in Chicago, we have grown the clinical enterprise particularly focusing on building programs in Structural Heart Disease (SHD), Cardio-Oncology, and Inherited Heart Disease (IHD), expanding our clinical outreach program, developing a new T32 research-training program, and enhancing faculty development and recruitment. CLINICAL Growth in Faculty: Over the last 12 months, we have recruited a structural interventional cardiologist (Dr. Khalil Abraham) and are in the final stages of recruiting our Co-Chief Fellow (Dr. Mary Rodriguez) for the vacant non-invasive/heart failure (HF) position. Growth in Clinical Practice: Our clinical practice experienced annualized growth of 20.4% with progressive increases in case volumes in invasive, non-invasive and imaging laboratories. The cardiac catheterization lab experienced 9% increase in charges and 3% increase in patient volumes. The Clinical Electrophysiology (EP) Lab continues to grow with 16% annualized growth rate helped in part by opening of a 2nd dedicated lab. We also continue



to experience steady growth in the non-invasive laboratories with 15% increase in professional charges. Our Heart Center experienced an overall 8.7% increase in patients seen with over 10,000 patient visits in 2019.

in cardiomyocyte contractility, angiogenesis, redox signaling, cardiovascular regeneration and stem cell biology, HF across racial and ethnic groups and cutting-edge cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research.

Innovations in Patient Care: We have developed programs that have enabled us to expand clinical services including programs in: Community Outreach; SHD; Cardio-Oncology; IHD; Advanced HF; Atrial Fibrillation (AF); and Heart Disease in Women.

EDUCATION We graduate five cardiology fellows each year with 24% appointed as faculty in academic medical centers since 2010. A requirement of graduation is completion of a scholarly project with first author publications rising from 48% to 75% since 2015. At the Annual IL/WI American College of Cardiology Chapter meeting, UIC fellows’ abstracts have placed in the top 3 for 4 of the past 6 years. Our ABIM Cardiovascular Disease board examination pass rates exceed 90% since 2015.

ENDOCRINOLOGY, DIABETES AND METABOLISM The Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Illinois Chicago made substantial strides in our goal to become a leading division in the coming years in clinical and research activities.

Director of Research for the Division of Cardiology, Jalees Rehman, MD

EXCELLENCE IN BASIC, CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE In addition to the growth of clinical programs, we have been able to nurture and grow the academic portfolio of the Division. Since 2015, we have developed new research programs in Cardiovascular Genomics, Obesity-mediated Cardiovascular Disease in Ethnic Minorities as well as a program in basic and translational research in arrhythmias. These new programs complement the existing research programs


CLINICAL While this year has brought new challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, our group of physicians and scientists adapted and met the unique challenge it presented to us. Important new projects have emerged to investigate the relationships between COVID-19 and diabetes, through which we are aiming to define risk factors in these patients. We also developed an inpatient continuous glucose monitoring approach for our COVID patients to minimize exposure risk to caregivers, minimize use of scarce PPE, and improve diabetes control for our patients.

Endocrinology faculty joining UI Health and College of Medicine colleagues knealing for 10 minutes in remembrance of all Black lives lost due to intolerance and racism

Understanding the needs of urgent patient access we expanded urgent appointment slots to all provider schedules in an effort to accommodate. Additionally, we successfully recruited Dr. Uzma Syed. Dr. Syed specializes in treating patients with general endocrine issues, patients with uncontrolled diabetes, and in utilization of new technologies for management of diabetes. We continue to have success in our Diabetes Management Education program and Inpatient Diabetes Management program. We hope to carry the momentum with new replacements for two positions. About 20 percent of referrals for bone density studies come from community providers. Our goal is to reach out to these providers in order to better serve their patients’ needs. In addition, we are reaching out to our internal customers within the UIH community. We have expanded into Mile Square clinic and have coordinated with the weight management and islet transplant programs. OUTREACH We actively attend multiple health fairs and events as a diabetes team and with Church-based Health Outreach Program, run by Dr. Olga Garcia. We attend events at the Mexican Consulate, the American Diabetes Association and other church-driven events. Our Division has a variety of grants pending to support

activities, including a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institue grant with Dr. Suarez-Balcazar. RESEARCH The Division’s research program continues to grow. We have increased our federal funding from $700,000 in 2016 to over $4 million annually. Our research spans islet biology and transplant programs, adipose functional studies, hepatic metabolism, environmental impact on metabolism, and central nervous systems (CNS) driven mechanism of obesity and diabetes. The Divisions’ researchers are involved in numerous clinical trials, working with clinical researchers and using technology to address diabetes and metabolism questions that impact patient care and outcomes. We hope to take a lead role in College strategic research initative in diabetes, obesity and metabolism. EDUCATION AND TRAINING All our faculty participate in the educational efforts of our fellowship program. Our program is a two-year training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Our Fellows receive educational and clinical instructions from faculty using our inpatient and ambulatory facilities at the clinics and hospital. In addition, they attend weekly, monthly and annual conferences, as well as participate in national conferences. Our fellows have presented posters at the AACE Illinois Chapter Meeting as well as won the National AACE Award.



GASTROENTEROLOGY AND HEPATOLOGY CLINICAL The Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology is staffed by physicians and scientists who specialize in the diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including diseases of the esophagus, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, small and large intestine and rectum. The Coronavirus pandemic affected the division profoundly, as we shifted most clinic visits to telehealth format and postponed non-urgent procedures throughout late winter and spring. UIC gastroenterologists performed 5413 endoscopic procedures in FY 2020, which was a significant decline from FY 2019, when we performed 6519 procedures. Endoscopic procedures did resume with preprocedural testing for the safety of staff and patients. In FY 2019 our endoscopic team continued to explore the leading edge of endoscopic therapies, including the first endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) performed at UIC to treat an early gastric cancer without surgery. We are also expanding the use of novel lumen-apposing metallic stents to treat acute cholecystitis in patients which surgery is not a good option. Our division has assembled a multidisciplinary team to obtain designation as a National Pancreas Foundation center, which is a prestigious honor only bestowed to institutions with comprehensive expert care of pancreatic disease. Over the past year we have assembled the equipment and expertise to begin offering bariatric endoscopic therapies for nonsurgical weight loss. We provide care for the treatment and management of all liver disorders, includes viral hepatitis (hepatitis B and C), autoimmune liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, hepatocellular carcinoma, liver lesions, alcohol liver disease, cirrhosis, and patients in need of liver transplantation. The director of Hepatology, Dr. Sean Koppe leads our multidisciplinary approach to treating liver disease with comprehensive


care. The teams of expert physicians at the Bobbie and Marvin Fink Liver Clinic and the Walter Payton Liver Center bring innovative care, scientific collaboration and patient-focused methods to combat liver diseases. We provide dedicated inpatient and outpatient care to GI and Liver patients of Illinois and beyond. We also provide hepatology services at four clinics outside Chicago. Liver Transplantation The UI Health Liver Transplant team is one of the most experienced and innovative programs in transplant and research in Chicago and the region. Our center is a pioneer in living-donor liver transplantation. Our hepatologists work closely with a team of pharmacists and mid-level providers to take advantage of new treatments for liver disease and develop the best treatment plans for patients. Unlike other transplant programs, we closely monitor-and provide one-on-one care throughout the entire transplant process, from the pre-transplant workup to postoperative care. Our team strives to provide culturally sensitive care to all ethnicities, races and religions, providing the best experience possible for the patient and their family. For the second straight year, UIC has performed over 50 liver transplants and we seek to grow the program further. RESEARCH Our research encompasses a broad array of investigations with particular focus on epithelial transport & diarrheal disorders, GI cancer research, host-pathogen Interactions & gut microbiota, inflammation and nutrition & metabolism. We are fortunate to have garnered substantial extramural funding, including government and private foundations sources as well as philanthropy. FELLOWSHIP Our fellowship program provides the highest quality training in all aspects of gastroenterology and hepatology. The program is distinctive because of its commitment to provide the fellows with the opportunity to learn all diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, an

intensive exposure to all aspects of clinical hepatology, including transplantation, the ability to obtain additional formal education, including a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree and exposure to clinical, bench and translational research opportunities. Fellowship training is provided by full-time faculty who are clinical, translational and basic science investigators who are experts in their particular subspecialties. Fellowship graduates are skilled in endoscopic procedures, as well as the art of providing consultation and expert care for complex patients. Our program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We also offer advanced fellowship training in areas including transplant hepatology and advanced endoscopy. Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship The Advanced Endoscopy training program is a oneyear curriculum of intense immersion in therapeutic endoscopy. The trainee maintains a junior faculty position and gains exposure to specialized procedures treating patients with pancreaticobiliary disorders and GI cancer, as well as managing the consult service for pancreaticobiliary disorders. Trainees complete the program with a skillset that includes endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound, luminal stent placement, resection techniques to large polyps and masses, and deep enteroscopy. Past graduates have gone on to practice in academic settings across the country. Transplant Hepatology Fellowship The Transplant Hepatology Fellowship program exposes fellows to ambulatory pre and post-transplant clinics, inpatient transplant hepatology, inpatient transplant surgery, interventional radiology, and clinical hepatology.

HEMATOLOGY/ONCOLOGY In FY2020, faculty in the Division of Hematology/ Oncology obtained excellent results in each of the areas that define its mission: education, research and clinical service. In addition, the Division played a

primary role in the efforts of the Cancer Center to grow its activities and work towards a future National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation. Again in 2020 the excellent clinical work of cancer care providers at UI Health, in the Division of Hematology/Oncology faculty, as well as in other Departments and the Cancer Center was acknowledged by US News by ranking UI Health as a High Performance Cancer Program. NEW SECTION OF MEDICAL ONCOLOGY Our Dvision created a new Section of Medical Oncology. With the support of the College of Medicine, the Department of Medicine and UI Cancer Center, the Division recruited Dr. Vijayakrishna K. (V.K.) Gadi, MD, PhD as the first director of Medical Oncology in the Division and the associate director of Translational Medicine within the UI Cancer Center. Dr. Gadi, who has extensive research experience in breast cancer, will lead the Division to new relevant translational research projects across all the solid tumors and will be able to mentor trainees, junior faculty, as well as to recruit key oncologists that will focus on innovative precision medicine or immunotherapy treatments in Medical Oncology. CLINICAL Despite the COVID19 outbreak in March 2019, the inpatient censes for both hematology and oncology did not decrease, and the number of patients receiving chemotherapy in the outpatient setting had only a 15% decrease due to COVID19. Enrollment in therapeutic clinical trials in oncology continued to increase under the leadership of Dr. Oana Danciu, medical director of the Clinical Trial Office in the Cancer Center, until March 2019 when they had to be on hold due to COVID19. Dr. Feldman led the clinical research in lung and head & Neck cancer; Dr. Hoskins led a multidisciplinary team in breast cancer, Dr. Venepalli in GI cancer assisted by Dr. Chen; Dr. Ho in sarcomas; Drs. Quigley and Khan developed new studies in leukemia and myeloid neoplasms; Dr. Peace in lymphoma and GU cancer; and Dr. Patel in multiple myeloma and BMT (with Dr. Rondelli).



The Sickle Cell Team, led by Dr. Gordeuk and with Drs. Saraf, Molokie, Gowhari, Franklin and Hussein were instrumental in increasing the clinical research activity in SCD, the number of patients seen in the Acute Care Unit in the Hospital, as well as in the BMT Program.

Hematology/Oncology fellows and Dr. Shika Jain. Left to Right: Candice Schwartz, MD, Yael Simons, MD, Shika Jain, MD, and Eshana Shah, MD

The BMT program slightly increased the number of transplants from the previous year and, importantly, expanded its activity to Chimeric-Antigen-Receptor T cell (CAR-T) protocols for patients with B cell lymphomas and with a gene editing trials in patients with sickle cell disease. These therapies are now available at UIC. Global BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) The GlobalBMT was very active with Drs. Pritesh Patel and Rondelli leading a CME event in Cuba in October 2019, together with our local partner Dr. Calixto Hernandez Cruz, director of Hematology and BMT at the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital in Havana. Dr. Rondelli also visited partner BMT centers at Ramaiah Hospital in Bangalore (India) and Civil Service Hospital in Kathmandu (Nepal). In addition, the Division hosted the 2nd GlobalBMT Training Program in Chicago, where 4 physicians from Kyiv (Ukraine), Ioannina (Greece), Ibadan (Nigeria) and Lagos (Nigeria) spent 6 weeks at UIC with a fulltime curriculum of clinical


observation of every activity in BMT, as well as receiving 12 lectures from UIC faculty. RESEARCH A robust scientific productivity continued in 2020. faculty in the Division of Hematology/Oncology co-authored 65 peer reviewed articles in sickle cell anemia, hematologic or solid malignancies and stem cell transplantation, including GlobalBMT. In particular, the extensive list of publications (29 in total) related to sickle cell disease demonstrates how the UIC Sickle Cell Center has a national and international leadership role. Among the 65 publications in the Division, it is remarkable that 11 were published in prestigious very high impact journals, such as The New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, Lancet Haematology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood and Pro. Natl. Acad. Sci. (PNAS). Two new NIH research grants were obtained by Dr. Wen-Shu Wu (R21) and Dr. Santosh Saraf (R03). Other research grants were also obtained from the Coleman Foundation (Dr. Lawrence Feldman); Leukemia Research Foundation (Dr. Irum Khan); Thorek Hospital Foundation (Dr. Damiano Rondelli).

INFECTIOUS DISEASES (ID) The Division of Infectious Diseases at UIC has been on the front lines this year in facing the COVID 19 pandemic, which continues to dominate our lives. We have served in leadership roles for the hospital, college, as well as University-wide response, and have contract agreements with both CDPH and IDPH to provide consultative support and direct services. We have provided leadership in conducting national and international, federally funded clinical research to treat and prevent COVID-19, which has brought local and national recognition to UIC. We continue to maintain our other research, educational, clinical and service missions with both local community and global activities in the face of this pandemic. URBAN AND GLOBAL HEALTH Max Brito, MD, MPH, is the chief of ID at the Jesse

Brown VA Medical Center, and serves as the director of the Urban-Global Health program which also includes an Urban-Global Health track for internal medicine residents. His scholarly work focuses on HIV prevention in vulnerable communities and he has conducted some studies of arboviral diseases. He currently leads the Chicago Latinx Task Force, a partnership of international consulates, academia and community organizations that aimed to help deliver the prevention message on the COVID-19 epidemic to Latinx communities in Chicago. He developed and leads an extramural Global Medicine elective, based in the Dominican Republic, to educate trainees on tropical infectious diseases, social determinants of health and the practice of medicine in resource-constrained settings. More than 130 trainees have participated in the Department of Medicine’s Global Medicine elective over the past 17 years. This educational activity has become one of the most popular and requested elective in the department. Geri Donenberg, PhD, directs the Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science and the Healthy Youths Program, and is Co-Vice Chair of the Scholarly Activities Council. In 2020, she was the principal investigator and co-investigator on 10

NIH-funded grants and the co-director of a Fogarty International Training grant. Her work spans 4 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Indonesia, and the United States. In response to the COVID pandemic, Donenberg helped organize two large research database efforts involving UI Health patients with COVID, organized a departmental town hall on physician and staff wellness, led a survey for DOM faculty and staff related to burnout, and presented survey findings at the town hall to facilitate problem solving strategies to address their most pressing needs. Vijay Yeldandi, MD, is a member of the urban global health team, and spends most of the year in India, where he is involved in numerous activities. He is working with three hospitals (Hyderabad, India) on design and implementation of Patient Safety and Infection Control programs. He also provides technical support to the National AIDS Control program, ministry of health and family welfare, Government of India for improving care of HIV and tuberculosis. Under a cooperative agreement with the CDC, he is developing implementation strategies for “Prevention of airborne transmission of tuberculosis” in the government hospitals in Mumbai as well as HIV treatment centers in India. He directs the “Global Health Education” program at SHARE MediCiti in Hyderabad India, which was the site for a project on “Hands only CPR” executed by UIC residents as part of the urban global health program. He received a certificate in Implementing Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University this year. During the COVID pandemic, Dr. Yeldandi spent time in Hyderabad, India supporting the fight against COVID. Stockton Mayer, DO, co-director of the Urban Global Medicine program, has partnered with the School of Public Health and the School of Nursing to deliver care to People Who Inject Drugs, particularly related to skin and soft tissue infections in our community clinic sites and by mobile van. Dr. Mayer continues to lead the Primary Care Program for People Who Inject Drugs at the COIP west side field station in the Austin neighborhood. He is the director of the residency’s

Dr. Max Brito and ID fellows ANNUAL REPORT 53


Urban Global Health track and he serves as a coinvestigator in Project Wish. In collaboration with the Jalapa Department of Public Health in Guatemala, he established HIV services in the Jalapa community - the first HIV clinic in this region of the country. INFECTION CONTROL AND ANTIBIOTIC STEWARDSHIP Susan Bleasdale, MD is the physician lead for infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System and is a leader in related research. She is a lead investigator for a study to reduce surgical site infections as part of the CDC Epicenters for Prevention of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs). Her previous Epicenter work includes studies of the transmission of HAIs via healthcare workers and the effective use of personal protective equipment to prevent transmission. Alfredo Mena Lora, MD, focuses on infection prevention, antimicrobial stewardship and antimicrobial resistance in the US and abroad. As the medical director of Infection Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship at Saint Anthony Hospital (SAH), he works with Dr. Bleasdale on implementation research. Dr. Mena Lora also works on defining antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use in his native Dominican Republic, where he has reported on multidrug resistant organisms in the community and in various local hospitals. Gus Alonto, MD is the director of Infection Prevention and Control Department at Jesse Brown VA (JBVA), as well as the Antibiotic Stewardship program physician champion at JBVA. He led the COVID-19 response and implemented the COVID-19 protocols and procedures for JBVA Medical Center and its Community-Based Outpatient Clinics. Dr. Alonto established the JBVA Clinical Trials Unit, and is the site principal investigator and co-investigator for clinical trials related to COVID-19. He was awarded the JBVA 4-Star Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership at the VA.


OFFICE OF HEALTH LITERACY Paula Allen-Meares, PhD is the director of the Center for Health Literacy which provides education and training to the College of Medicine and the UIC health system. One of the charges of the Office of Health Literacy is to address workforce and pipeline issues. The UIC Bridges to the Baccalaureate program is a NIH funded initiative (R-25) to recruit underrepresented students from the City Colleges of Chicago and enhance their basic research skills. The overarching objective of this Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training program is to develop a diverse pool of research-oriented undergraduates who bridge from a community college or two-year institution and complete bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields. TELEHEALTH The HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C (HCV) telemedicine program, a partnership with Illinois Department of Corrections: Mahesh Patel, MD directs the UIC telemedicine effort, providing telehealth to the 26 state correctional facilities in Illinois, serving 500700 patients. This program facilitates continuity of care when our patients are released back to their communities. During the pandemic, Dr. Patel worked on early evaluation of nursing home and correctional center outbreaks of COVID-19 under the IDPH contract.

NEPHROLOGY CLINICAL The Division of Nephrology provides clinical services for the evaluation and treatment of the full spectrum of kidney diseases, hypertension and fluid-electrolyte disorders, with a strong commitment to serving minority populations. At the University of Illinois Hospital, the Division provides over 4,000 dialysis treatments per year. Faculty and fellow-staffed outpatient clinics accommodate up to 100 patients per week. The Division has a robust program for outpatient in-center and home dialysis which is based at the University and at a nearby Fresenius Medical Care unit. In 2019, the Division launched a new bilingual program focused on chronic kidney disease education for

First place winners at the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Controversies in Nephrology annual debates. Pictured left to right: Drs. Rishi Kora and Sajid Ansari (Nephrology fellows)

patients led by nurse practitioner Jocelyn Ko. The Division also excels in providing care to transplant patients. Led by Dr. David Perkins and four full-time faculty members, the transplant nephrology service provides comprehensive care, staffing both outpatient and inpatient services. In 2019-2020, the transplant program performed over 200 kidney transplants per year and 21 simultaneous kidney pancreas transplants. The program ranked second in the city for number of kidney transplants and first for kidney pancreas transplants. The program is known for its expertise in obese and high immunological risk patients. EDUCATION AND TRAINING The Division has a strong commitment to training the next generation of clinicians and researchers in nephrology. The Nephrology Fellowship program is one of the largest in Chicago. The fellowship provides a rich exposure to the full spectrum of clinical nephrology with training at three large public hospitals. Rotations take place at the University of Illinois Hospital and Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. In addition, trainees rotate at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, which has had a long-standing academic affiliation with the Division. Nephrology fellows have consistently been first place winners at the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Controversies in Nephrology annual debates. Nephrology fellows Drs. Sajid Ansari and Rishi Kora were first place winners in the 2019 debates which was focused on treatment with rituximab for antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated glomerulonephritis. An optional third year of research

training is available. Research fellows have access to a T32 training program in health disparities as well as enrollment in the School of Public Health Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Science program. The Division has had significant success in transitioning trainees to academic positions. RESEARCH We operate the largest clinical research program in kidney disease in the Chicago area with a prominent focus on health disparities. Ongoing research studies include the NIH sponsored Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study, Hispanic CRIC, Mexican CRIC, and the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. We also have active basic and translational research programs focused on cell biology, autoimmunity, acute kidney injury, integrative systems biology and bioinformatics. In the past year, our Division was awarded two major NIH grants. Dr. Ana Ricardo received a $2.9 million R01 award to study the impact sleep-disordered breathing on the progression of chronic kidney disease. Dr. Michael Fischer received a $2.8 million U01 to investigate non-opioid pain management strategies for people with kidney disease on hemodialysis. Dr. Stephanie Toth-Manikowski received an NIH Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research to study the impact of access to health care in Hispanics with chronic kidney disease, and she received a National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Young Investigator Award to conduct a pilot study evaluating the impact of cognitive behavioral therapy on insomnia in patients in chronic kidney disease.


Medical Intensive Care Unit team

PULMONARY, CRITICAL CARE, SLEEP & ALLERGY Despite the pandemic-related challenges that occurred during 2020, the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy substantially advanced the mission of the Department of Medicine along multiple other fronts, including clinical care, scholarly activities, educational endeavors, and service. The Division continues to evolve and grow and is currently very strong. We have become one of the largest divisions in the Department of Medicine and are composed of 27 faculty and 20 fellows. CLINICAL The Division provides many valuable and essential clinical services to our institution’s patients and is honored to participate in the care of the underserved patient population that comprises the majority of those receiving healthcare at UI Health and the Jesse Brown VA (JBVA) Hospital. An important priority is expanding access to the medical services we provide for these patients. Our clinical operations at UIC and the JBVA continue to provide the highest quality care to hundreds of patients each week. Our sleep medicine, allergy, and interventional pulmonary programs, in particular, have seen significant clinical growth in recent years, and prior to pandemic-related shutdowns, patient volumes were increasing in all major aspects of our clinical operations. Vibrant subspecialty clinics are devoted to sleep medicine, allergy,


pulmonary hypertension, lung nodules, bronchiectasis, sarcoidosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and others. The Lung Cancer Screening program continues to grow and provides an invaluable service, particularly for our most underserved patients. Telehealth interactions have been greatly expanded to increase access for all our patients. Moreover, all of this important clinical progress has been achieved while transitioning to a new electronic medical record system during this past year. EDUCATION The educational mission of the Division is to train and develop leaders in the fields of pulmonary medicine, critical care, sleep medicine, and allergy. The Division houses three high quality fellowship programs that are fully accredited by the ACGME—Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Interventional Pulmonology, our newest fellowship program that began in FY 2019. These training programs are thriving in terms of demand, curriculum growth, and graduate success. Our Division has a highly successful NIH T32 training program for developing future leaders in pulmonary-related research. Fellows trained in this program earned multiple NIH K awards in the recent past and constitute the physician-scientist leaders for the next generation. The educational success of our Division is also reflected in the multiple teaching awards earned by our faculty over the past several years, including several more in FY 2020.

SCHOLARLY ACTIVITIES The Division participates extensively in scholarly pursuits and has excelled in advancing research along multiple fronts. Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized as leaders in their respective fields. Division members are highly engaged in advancing the science of practice of medicine with diverse areas of expertise including vascular biology, immunology, clinical outcomes and implementation research spread across pulmonary, critical care, sleep and allergy specialties. We have a very active portfolio of research projects, funded by the National Institutes of Health, VA system, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institue, American Heart Association, Respiratory Health Association, and various other private foundations or pharmaceutical companies. In FY 2020, the total number of active external grants increased to 56 (from 48 the previous year). Our entire grant profile totals more than $13 million annually (direct and indirect funding). The highly productive members of the Division published 94 original scholarly works in FY 2020, including multiple publications in high impact journals. This active scholarship produces many collaborative pursuits within the Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology the School of Public Health, and others here at UIC which have generated national and international recognition. We are proud of our success in training and nurturing the next generation of pulmonary-focused scientists, with our Division earning multiple NIH K level Career Development awards in the past several years, which pursued important research questions relevant to a diverse array of clinical problems—asthma, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), pulmonary hypertension, and COPD. SERVICE Our faculty serve on numerous committees and other service and leadership positions that positively impact the Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University, and the community at large. These include multiple clinical directorships (MICU, PFT laboratories, Sleep Center, etc.), educational leadership (program director, competency committees, etc.), Departmental and Hospital administrative roles, campus-wide

committees, community education and volunteer service, and national and international professional organization leadership. Through these efforts the members of our Division positively affect change throughout the University and the communities we serve, while at the same time raising the profile and reputational status of our institution.

RHEUMATOLOGY FY 2020 was a year of transition for the Division of Rheumatology. Dr. Nadera Sweiss assumed the role of the division chief following a nation-wide search. The Division is dedicated to promoting excellence in clinical care, research, and education. We are fully committed to our mission of service to minority patients and educating future rheumatologists while pursuing scholarly activities. The Division is well known internationally for expertise in sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis. CLINICAL Our Division is staffed by physicians who focus on clinical care of patients with complex rheumatologic disorders. We provide patient care and management for all rheumatologic disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, system lupus, inflammatory eye disease, vasculitis, myositis, systemic sclerosis, osteoarthritis, crystal arthropathies, behcet’s syndrome, antiphospholipid syndrome, interstitial lung disease and sarcoidosis. Dr. Sweiss, founder and director of the Bernie Mac Sarcoidosis Translational Advanced Research (STAR) Center, leads the multidisciplinary approach to treating systemic sarcoidosis, providing a system of comprehensive approaches. A team of experts work together to care for patients with sarcoidosis from various sub-specialty clinics at UI Health. Our team is motivated through innovative care and collaboration to provide the best experience for a patient. The STAR Center has been designated as a center of excellence by the World Association of Sarcoidosis and other Granulomatous Disorders (WASOG).



In FY 20, our clinical volume rose by 18% as compared to FY19. We recruited a part-time clinician (Olga Vila) and an APRN (Nila Safaeian). RESEARCH We are involved in basic, clinical, and translational research, funded through the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Foundation of Sarcoidosis Research (FSR), Bernie Mac STAR Center, national research organizations, industry, and endowments. Dr. Shiva Shahrara leads efforts of translational research in the field of rheumatoid arthritis. These studies determine novel targets that inhibit neovascularization, leukocyte migration and bone erosion in the RA joint and identify biomarkers that reflect RA disease severity and/or response to effective treatments. Dr. Shahrara leads several landmark studies in rheumatoid arthritis and sarcoidosis. EDUCATION Our Division has a strong education program for fellows, residents and medical students. The Division offers two fellowship positions each year. Fellows are exposed to aspects of clinical rheumatology as well as clinical and translational research.

PHILANTHROPY The Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism received a philanthropic gift from one of the University of Illinois College of Medicine’s medical school alumni, Lester B. Salans, MD. Salans is internationally Lester Salans, MD 58 DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE

recognized in the fields of diabetes mellitus, obesity and endocrinology. He has held faculty, executive and administrative leadership roles in academic health centers, government and the pharmaceutical industry. In 2016, the University of Illinois College of Medicine honored Salans with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his influential career. We are thankful to Salans for his kind gift which will be used as research support in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. The Cronk Foundation, founded by Estella and Mike Cronk, has a philanthropic interest in supporting cutting edge research in the field of cancer. Mike and Estella became interested in the scientific developments achieved in Dr. Gentile’s lab in which he is testing the effects of pharmacological manipulation of potassium channels in cancer cells. Over the years, the support of the Cronk Foundation has contributed to the discovery of important mechanisms linking specific members of the potassium channel family to cancer biology and to the development of a new anticancer strategy against breast and ovarian cancer. The Vitoux Program on Aging and Prevention was made possible with generous support from the Vitoux family. Beth and George Vitoux, both 1937 graduates of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believed in education and research as a means to make the world a better place. They greatly valued the education they received at the University of Illinois and their gratitude extended to the University of Illinois at Chicago. Their $1 million gift to UIC has led to the creation of the Beth Fowler Vitoux and George E. Vitoux Distinguished Professorship in Geriatric Medicine in the College of Medicine. Dr. Jun Ma, MD, PhD, FAHA, FABMR serves as the inaugural Vitoux Distinguished Professor of Medicine. This professorship will support advancements in the medical and social aspects of aging and prevention.

The high prevalence and burden of lifestyle-related chronic diseases in the U.S. call for proven behavioral treatments and prevention programs that can help individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles across the lifespan. The Vitoux Program is committed to the development, evaluation, and implementation of innovative lifestyle interventions and disseminating and training in high-quality research to promote healthy aging and disease prevention. Richard Weber, MD, a 1976 College of Medicine alum and gastroenterologist, shared his story on the reason he chose gastroenterology as his specialty. A guest speaker in gastroenterology had such an impact on him while he was a resident that this Richard Weber, MD speaker became his mentor. This experience is at the core of why he generously established a gift for education and learning in the Department of Medicine over a 5 year period. Weber believes this will add value and impact to our institution, specifically the Department of Medicine. Thanks to the generous gift to the DOM donated by Richard Weber, MD, we formed the Life Long Learning committee which has been instrumental in developing the Richard Weber Lecture series. The mission of the Richard Weber Lecture Series is to elevate the DOM as a leader in training our replacements and enhance the experience of our students, faculty and trainees. The lecture series provides ongoing access to world class speakers as a way to stay attuned to the latest information, cutting edge advancements in medicine, and provide the best care for all.

• Linda M. Collins, PhD, February 2020 “Intervention Optimization in Dissemination and Implementation Science” • Alan Go, MD, April 2020 “System-Level Approach to Improving Population Hypertension Care” • Corey Axelrod, MBA, June 2020 “Navigating an Inaccessible Health Care System” • Damon Tweedy, MD, June 2020 “Reflections on Race and Medicine in the Era of Covid-19”

Thank you to all of our donors for your continuing support.

GIVING The University of Illinois Chicago Department of Medicine is committed to high-quality care for all, scholarly activity, and education. The Department of Medicine is dedicated to increasing the diversity of the clinical, research and educational workforce. We invite you to visit our giving website. Your gift to the UIC Department of Medicine brings us closer to our goal of providing state of the art medical care to all, excellent training to the next generation of physicians, develop innovative programs and conduct groundbreaking research. Please consider making a gift today. To give please visit our website at givedom.

FY 2020 Lectures • Nancy Rumbaugh Whitesell, PhD, October 2019, “Building a Substance Use Prevention Program for American Indian Youth: Stepping Our Way Through Development, Implementation, Evaluation and Dissemination” • Genovefa Papanicolaou, MD, January 2020 “CMV 2020 in HCT: Are we there yet?”