Page 1


S I D N E Y K I M M E L M E D I C A L C O L L E G E AT T H O M A S J E F F E R S O N U N I V E R S I T Y • S P R I N G 2 0 1 5

Two Epidemics, One Shot Ebola-Rabies Vaccine Developed at Jefferson Inside:

Jefferson and Wills Eye Physicians Collaborate to Save Children's Sight

‘‘I like the dreams of

the future better than the history of the past.’’ – Thomas Jefferson

As Jefferson alumni, you share a rich history spanning 191 years. Annual gifts are the backbone of this institution and help Jefferson provide students with the best medical education possible. Your contribution to the Jefferson Fund supports programs like JeffHOPE, which began in 1991 with a group of medical students who saw an opportunity to learn while providing care to Philadelphia’s homeless citizens. Today, more than 700 students volunteer annually at six local clinics, diagnosing and treating everything from the common cold to appendicitis and providing health screenings and education. JeffHOPE initiatives touch more than 2,500 patients every year. With your support, there’s no limit to what our students can do. Make your Jefferson Fund gift today at Advancement.Jefferson.edu/MakeAGift.

Contents FEATURES 6 Jefferson's Ebola-Rabies Vaccine: Case in Point for Life-Saving Investments in Basic Research 12 Saving Eyes, Saving Vision: A Neurosurgeon and an Oncologist Join Forces to Treat a Childhood Eye Cancer 17 One Call, One Visit, Three Screenings: Jefferson Makes It Easy for Women to Prioritize Cancer Prevention

DEPARTMENTS 2 DEAN’S COLUMN 4 FINDINGS Holding One's Breath During Radiation Can Protect the Heart

18 ON CAMPUS 20 FACULTY PROFILE Massimo Cristofanilli, MD

22 STUDENT PROFILE Emily Sherrard, MD ’15

24 ALUMNUS PROFILE Elliot J. Rayfield, MD ’67


Jefferson Alumni Bulletin Spring 2015 Volume 64, Number 1 Executive Vice President: Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations: Cristina A. Geso Senior Director, Communications: Mark P. Turbiville Editor: Karen L. Brooks Design: Jefferson Creative Services

CS 15-0936

Bulletin Committee William V. Harrer, MD ’62 Chair James Harrop, MD ’95 Cynthia Hill, MD ’87 Larry Kim, MD ’91 Phillip J. Marone, MD ’57, MS ’07 Joseph Sokolowski, MD ’62

Published continuously since 1922. Address correspondence to: Editor, Alumni Bulletin Office of Institutional Advancement Thomas Jefferson University 125 S. 9th Street, Suite 700 Philadelphia, PA 19107-4216 215-955-6890 alumni@jefferson.edu Fax: 215-503-5084 Advancement.Jefferson.edu Alumni Relations: 215-955-7750 The Jefferson community and supporters are welcome to receive the Alumni Bulletin on a regular basis; please contact the address above. Postmaster: send address changes to the address above. ISSN-0021-5821 Copyright© Thomas Jefferson University. All Rights Reserved.


The Dean’s Column At a “21st Century Cures” roundtable convened by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee in 2014, Michael Milken, founder of FasterCures, described the U.S. medical research process as “21st-century trains running on 19th-century tracks.” The same can be said of medical education, albeit with a twist: “21st-century trains running on 20th-century tracks.” Medical education as we know it was framed by the Flexner Report of 1910. This report unleashed a wave of reform, reshaping the 20th-century American medical school landscape. Medical schools with a near absence of admissions standards, many issuing MDs to students without high school degrees, let alone university ones: gone. Medical schools with two-year tracks, mostly relying on local doctors who lacked even a trace of academic credentials: gone. For the medical school in the Flexner mold — a call for high-quality, medical school-controlled clinical instruction, rigorous licensure standards and high-caliber faculty qualified to train students in the science of medicine. Jefferson survived the Flexner tsunami because we were out ahead of it. We had already adopted many of the report’s recommendations, such as a curriculum grounded in basic science. And Jefferson had actually pioneered a reform that Flexner insisted on: medical education that augmented lectures in an amphitheater with clinical experiences in a hospital. Many schools never saw the tidal wave coming and were swept away — from 160 MD-granting institutions in 1904, plummeting to 85 by 1920, and sinking yet further to but 66 medical schools in 1935. More than 100 years later, the modern medical school, shaped by Flexner, is of an entirely different breed, seemingly well adapted to a medical world transformed. Flexing effortlessly with the steady advances of ever more super-specialized medicine and comfortably ensconced within complex but somehow tractable healthcare delivery enterprises, medical schools seem perched on a stable ledge. This is deceptive. The ledge is in fact meta-stable, as we all brace for massive paradigm shifts, across all our missions. The disruption will be like

none seen heretofore. The Borders bookstore chain is expanding one day, shut down the next. For many, the clinical moorings will be strained, if not untethered, as hospitals and health systems realign, consolidate and sometimes disappear altogether. This will stress the very fabric of the medical schools that rely upon them. The very role of the MD will morph in the face of technologies such as telehealth and expanding roles for non-MD healthcare providers. Medical schools will have to adapt their education missions to these changing clinical realities. Here at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, my colleagues and I have been challenging ourselves: how should we educate students in the college’s third century? We are not alone in posing this fundamental question, as it is a common refrain at medical schools nationwide, but we believe the solution set we are contemplating has some unique angles. Once again, we intend to be ahead of the curve in the medical education space. We intend to be not simply one of the survivors, but one of the leaders. Our design will be uniquely Jefferson, imprinted with our commitment to superb skills and our emphasis on empathy as the essential companion of clinical excellence. Our students recognize the importance of connecting the future to Jefferson’s proud past and have named the renewal process JeffMD. Current plans call for the new curriculum to roll out as early as September 2016, for the Class of 2020. Here are some of the principles that are guiding its development: • Patient-centered: Students will learn to view the care they provide through the patient’s lens. Early clinical exposure, integration of humanities throughout the curriculum and attention to the complexities of patients’ lives will reinforce the Jefferson values of compassion and holistic care. • Fully integrated design: The curriculum will comprise three phases separated by two interphases. Each phase will encompass fundamental science, clinical exposure, professional development, the humanities and individual scholarly inquiry. The interphases will allow students to pursue electives and prepare for the USMLE.

• Competency-based: Student progress will

be measured by competency rather than “seat time” and final exam grades. Students who progress faster than others will have enriched learning opportunities. • Earlier specialty interest: We will encourage students to declare a specialty interest at the start of Phase 3 and then provide them with career-specific training opportunities. Our graduates will enter residency with advanced competencies in their chosen fields. • Range of instructional styles: While encompassing traditional lectures, instruction will emphasize small-group learning, reflection and continuous, formative assessment. Critical thinking will take precedence over memorization. The entire SKMC community is engaged in the design process. Groups of faculty, students and staff are working on every element, and students have been most active of all. In addition to our wonderful Student Advisory Group, 118 students recently attended a town hall meeting to learn about the redesign and to help us see things from their perspective. We hope that you, our alumni, will also bring your valuable perspectives to this important initiative. You, more than any other members of our community, can bring us the view of practicing physicians across the breadth of disciplines, practice settings and communities. We recently held alumni meetings in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Lititz, Pa.; and Wilmington, Del. If could not attend one of those meetings, I hope you will write me with your thoughts at mark.tykocinski@ jefferson.edu. Only a fully engaged community can give us a curriculum that fully recognizes the unique Jefferson experience. As we together embrace an undertaking of this magnitude, at a time when the medical academy at-large is facing considerable challenges, a thought from Albert Einstein seems relevant: “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”

Mark L. Tykocinski, MD Provost, Thomas Jefferson University Anthony F. and Gertrude M. DePalma Dean, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

SPRING 2015 3


Our design will be uniquely Jefferson, imprinted with our commitment to superb skills and our emphasis on empathy as the essential companion of clinical excellence.



Findings Holding One’s Breath During Radiation Can Protect the Heart Jefferson researchers have discovered a simple technique that may be most effective in preventing heart disease after radiation therapy for breast cancer. Women who have breast cancer on their left side present a particular challenge to radiation oncologists. Studies have shown that the risk of heart disease is higher in this group of women after radiation treatment because it can be difficult to ensure that a sufficient dose of radiation is delivered to the left breast while adequately shielding the heart from exposure. The new research shows a woman who holds her breath during radiation pulses can greatly reduce radiation exposure to the heart. “Radiation therapy is commonly prescribed to patients with breast cancer following surgery as a component of first-line therapy,” said first author Harriet Eldredge-Hindy, MD, chief resident and researcher in Jefferson’s Department of Radiation Oncology.

“We wanted to determine how effective breath-hold could be in shielding the heart from extraneous radiation exposure during treatment of the left breast.” A number of techniques have been developed to reduce exposure to the heart including prone positioning (lying flat on the belly on a bed that only exposes the left breast), intensitymodulated radiation therapy and accelerated partial-breast irradiation. The breath-hold technique allows doctors to monitor a patient’s breath for the position that shifts the heart out of the range of the radiation beam. In the largest prospective study to date, following women for eight years post treatment, 81 women were asked to hold their breath during radiation treatment for breast cancer — a process that was repeated until therapeutic dose was reached. The researchers found that patients capable of holding their breath over the course of treatment had a 90

percent disease-free survival and a 96 percent overall survival, with a median reduction in radiation dose to the heart of 62 percent. The findings were published in January 2015 in the online journal Practical Radiation Oncology. “Given that this technique helps to shield the heart during radiation treatment for breast cancer,” said Rani Anne, MD, associate professor of radiation oncology and senior author of the study, “we routinely offer breast cancer treatment with the breath-hold technique at Jefferson.” To support breast cancer research at Jefferson, contact Paul Gunther, Director of Development, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, at 215-955-9446 or paul.gunther@jefferson.edu.

Free-Breathing In this illustration the freebreathing method results in the heart being within the targeted radiation area.

SPRING 2015 5

Breath-Hold at Inhale However, in the breath-hold technique the lungs expand and the heart is pulled into the rib cage and flattened, which moves it out of the targeted radiation area.


JEFFERSON’S EBOLA-RABIES VACCINE: Case in Point for Life-Saving Investments in Basic Research By Jessica Stein Diamond

The Ebola virus. Photo by Karen Kirchhoff

SPRING 2015 7

As the Ebola virus outbreak devastated West Africa in 2014, decades of infectious disease research to develop an Ebola vaccine became an urgent race against time.

By mid-January 2015, expedited Phase I clinical trials were underway for three Ebola vaccine candidates. A fourth vaccine candidate developed at Jefferson, slated to begin a Phase I clinical trial later this year, is designed to confer dual immunity to Ebola and rabies, an even Story Summary • A dual Ebola-rabies vaccine developed at Jefferson begins Phase I clinical trials in mid-2015. • At least four Ebola vaccine candidates are now in clinical trials. Long odds against successful commercialization for any one vaccine mean that multiple vaccines are critically needed. • Today’s constrained public funding for basic research may limit preventive and therapeutic options for future epidemics. • Jefferson is exploring ways to improve public health in West Africa, building upon a 2014 Ebola conference and technical assistance provided to improve diagnostic capabilities at an Ivory Coast lab and university.

more prevalent and lethal disease in Africa. Still more candidates may emerge in the near future from global initiatives to discover and test new Ebola vaccines.


“None of the other vaccines has the rabies complement, which is one of the top neglected diseases in the world.” –Matthias Schnell, PhD “It’s great to finally have something that can actually help people,” says Matthias Schnell, PhD, director of the Jefferson Vaccine Center. His lab developed the dual vaccine in collaboration with a National Institutes of Health (NIH) lab over the past five years, building on his career-long focus on rabies and other infectious diseases. “As a scientist, you don’t discover that direct impact too much. What’s important now is that we move this discovery forward. There are many other viruses out there that we have to work on.” If Schnell’s dual Ebola-rabies vaccine makes its way through a series of complex scientific, regulatory, funding and commercialization hoops without impediment (a long ‘shot’ for any vaccine), it could be commercially available at the earliest in 2017. “Let’s see what our data show and whether there is still funding available for these studies when this crisis is over,” Schnell says. “There’s always a lot of uncertainty in the pipeline. Vaccines can fail even in Phase III, and when they do succeed, you still have to make a commercial product for use in millions of doses.”

Herculean Effort Kathleen Squires, MD, the W. Paul and Ida H. Havens Professor and director of infectious diseases at Jefferson, expresses similar caution. “There are huge logistical issues above and beyond simply identifying a vaccine that confers sterilizing immunity. While the preliminary data look promising, it takes a lot of money to get this into human trials,” she says. “Even if we had something that

looked really terrific today, getting it into the field would take a Herculean effort.” Three other vaccine candidates — likewise developed collaboratively with the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — are further along in the clinical trials pipeline and so have received more extensive news coverage. An Ebola vaccine candidate by GlaxoSmithKline harnesses a chimpanzee adenovirus and was acquired from a biotech company in 2013. Another vaccine, licensed by Merck in November 2014 from NewLink Genetics, uses an Ebola virus protein spliced into a vesicular stomatitis virus. A third vaccine candidate began clinical trials in January: this two-shot regimen uses a human adenovirus vector and was developed by Bavarian Nordic and licensed in October 2014 by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. “We’ll be as far along as the other vaccines soon,” says Schnell. His lab added Ebola glycoproteins to the existing rabies vaccine to generate antibodies that protect against both diseases. In December 2014, Exxell Bio of Shoreview, Minn., filed for an exclusive commercial license to that dual Ebolarabies vaccine (developed for all three known strains of Ebola) and to the serum derived from it. In January, production began for a clinical lot of 2,000 doses for Phase I clinical trials and concurrent studies began to show the vaccine’s efficacy against the newest strains of Ebola. Future progress will require sub-licensing to a large pharmaceutical company that

would invest in further clinical trials and production.

Leverage for Rabies Protection “None of the other vaccines has the benefit of the rabies complement, which is one of the top neglected diseases in the world,” says Schnell. Compared to Ebola, rabies is a far greater global scourge with an estimated 55,000 to 69,000 deaths annually, primarily in Africa and Asia. The disease is 100 percent fatal if not treated. Despite the rabies vaccine’s proven efficacy and safety profile, it is not currently administered universally throughout Africa due to limited funding and public health infrastructure. As a lever to improve public health in Africa, Schnell’s approach is strategic: the vaccine to establish widespread immunity to the documented peril of rabies also offers protection from the less predictable risk of contracting Ebola. That dual protection is critical because rare, once-isolated diseases such as Ebola can diverge genetically to become more contagious. This is a particular concern for Ebola, which has a likely reservoir host in the wild in bats, which account for one-fourth of the world’s mammals. Future mutations could increase the odds of transmission, posing an even greater threat to global health than the Ebola outbreak of 2014, a year during which 21,000 people in West Africa contracted the disease, of whom 8,000 died — nearly five times the sum of all known Ebola fatalities between 1976 and 2012.

Matthias Schnell, PhD, prepares samples for centrifugation. The heaviest components of the sample, usually the cells and proteins, are spun down to a pellet at the bottom of the tube and can be separated away from the fluid.

SPRING 2015 9

“The other advantage of our vaccine is that it’s a killed and safe vaccine that we can easily produce and transport, and that we can use on anybody, even individuals who are immuno-suppressed, all of which makes sense for Africa,” says Schnell. He expanded his careerlong focus on rabies to Ebola with a five-year, $5 million NIH grant that began in 2010. That funding was difficult to come by, he says. “It was hard to justify Ebola vaccination because you don’t know where the next outbreak will be.” Gene Olinger, Jr., PhD, MBA, a contract high-containment coordinator with NIAID who collaborated with Schnell’s lab to develop the dual Ebola-rabies vaccine, likewise sees value in the combined vaccine: “This is a two-for-oneshot deal that could be very beneficial economically and logistically, and could impact public health in regions where both viruses are a threat to mankind.”

Grim Harbinger In this era of global travel and permeable borders, the recent Ebola outbreak is a grim harbinger of future risks posed by funding scarcity for basic research. “This is a wake-up call for everybody that we must be prepared to predict, prevent and respond to infectious disease outbreaks of the future. There are a lot of vaccines in the pipeline today because of the funding for basic research that has been distributed to this topic and to this problem over the past few decades. These investments give us options and candidates we can now consider,” says Olinger.


“It is clearly in the world's interests to support research on Ebola and the many other kinds of infectious agents. In today's global society, infections can get anywhere now that we are just a plane ride away from people on the other side of the world.“ –Kathleen Squires, MD

E. Solange Ngazoa Kakou, PhD, a microbiologist at the Pasteur Institute in Ivory Coast, received training in Schnell's lab in early 2015. Photo by Edyta Zielinska

“Basic science is the insurance policy you hope you never have to invoke. It’s there so that when something like this happens you have the technology, skills and knowledge to deal with it,” says Olinger. “However, public funding has not been steady and adequate to continue the investments made in the past 50 years of research. I meet a lot of people of Dr. Schnell’s stature who are dropping out of research — changing careers or retiring early — due to lack of funding. “We’re losing a generation of scientists who will provide the next generation of vaccines, drugs and small molecules,” says Olinger. “They’re being lost because they aren’t being funded at the most basic level needed to keep one or two technicians in the lab and a graduate student. The consequences of people dropping out of the research pipeline, if not corrected, are that we could end up in a knowledge gap, an inability to respond to future outbreaks like this and to other neglected diseases. “Scientists have to do better at explaining why we do what we do, how we do it, and how those investments pay out,” says Olinger, noting that small labs typically feed ideas toward the more applied work of biotech firms and large pharmaceutical companies. He calls for more philanthropy and public funding for

basic science as well as a renewal of the types of public, academic and industry partnerships that worked well in the World War II era.

Fear Factor As perilous pathogens go, Ebola has been a headline-grabber with a 60 percent mortality rate in West Africa and symptoms that make it especially dangerous to healthcare workers. Yet there are far greater threats to public health. Measles is actually more contagious due to its airborne transmission and its reproduction rate: one patient can spread it to 13 to 18 others. Ebola and AIDS both have an estimated reproduction rate of one person spreading to one to two others. “The fear factor in terms of the response to Ebola is not unlike what we saw in the early days of HIV and AIDS,” says Squires, whose medical residency and fellowship coincided with the onset of that epidemic in 1981. “For younger generations of medical students and residents who have not worked in an environment where there has been an epidemic, there are lessons that can be learned. We’re here to take care of individuals who have the virus. You have to modulate your response based on actual knowledge of the infectious agents, how it’s transmitted and what it can do. You react by taking proactive

SPRING 2015 11

Photo by David Lunt

Rapid Response to Ebola Crisis: Conference and Capacity-Building Inspired to help with the biggest public health hazard seen in a generation, a diverse group of employees at Jefferson rallied over six weeks last summer to plan and host the Sept. 22 conference, “Looking ahead: Perspectives on Ebola.” The conference fostered dialogue about Ebola-related initiatives at Jefferson and spurred far-reaching exploration of ways Jefferson can support improved public health in Africa. Mohamed Cisse, a former Jefferson health information management technician who helped create and organize the event, says, “As someone who grew up in Africa, I am pushing solutions to strengthen the region’s autonomy and capability.” Sierra Leone’s ambassador, Bockari Kortu Stevens, discussed his nation’s struggles to control the Ebola outbreak with the conference audience, which included 250 Jefferson students, staff and faculty, 100 nursing students via telecast and countless West Africans online. Ambassadors from Guinea and Liberia also attended and shared insights. Matthias Schnell, PhD, discussed development prospects for his dual rabiesEbola vaccine. He shared how donations his lab obtained from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. — two new real-time polymerase chain reaction machines plus computers and reagents — will be used to reduce costs and turnaround time for diagnoses of Ebola and other infectious diseases in the Ivory Coast. Microbiologist E. Solange Ngazoa Kakou, PhD, who also spoke at the conference, received training at Schnell’s lab in early 2015 and will share her expertise at the Pasteur Institute’s genomic diagnostic laboratory and as a professor at the University Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Janice Bogen, Jefferson’s assistant vice president of international affairs, credits the conference and initiatives to improve Ebola diagnostics in the Ivory Coast to Cisse, president of the Organization of International Visitors of the U.S. “He identifies pivot points for improving public health that get lost in the crisis reporting. He has a great focus on helping West Africa emerge from the Ebola crisis not as a supplicant but as a peer and partner responsible for building its own capacity.” She adds, “We’re just at the beginning as Jefferson builds relationships with West African nations and explores mutually beneficial exchanges of information, expertise and training.”

steps to care for others and protect yourself — while still respecting individuals who are unlucky enough to actually become infected. “It is clearly in the world’s interests to support research on Ebola and on the many other kinds of infectious agents out there that might cause epidemics,” says Squires. “We are truly a global society. Infectious agents can get anywhere now that we are 24 hours away, just a plane ride away, from people on the other side of the globe.”

To support research at the Jefferson Vaccine Center, contact Greg Schmidt, Director of Development, Jefferson Schools, at 215-955-0435 or gregory.schmidt@jefferson.edu.

Pascal Jabbour, MD, and Carol Shields, MD. Photo by Roger Barone

SPRING 2015 13

Saving Eyes, Saving Vision A Neurosurgeon and an Oncologist Join Forces to Treat a Childhood Eye Cancer By Sari Harrar STORY SUMMARY • Physicians from Jefferson’s Department of Neurological Surgery and Wills Eye Hospital’s Ocular Oncology Service are collaborating to treat retinoblastoma, the most common childhood cancer of the eye, with chemotherapy delivered directly to the retina through the ophthalmic artery. • Intra-arterial chemotherapy (IAC) sidesteps the systemic side effects of traditional chemotherapy, allowing targeted delivery of higher-dose anti-cancer drugs. It reduces the need for enucleation (removal of the eye) in 36-100 percent of cases with moderate to advanced retinoblastoma. Many children also find that some vision is restored. • Jefferson and Wills physicians are at the forefront of international research on the outcomes and side effects of IAC and are leading proponents of IAC as a first-line (primary) treatment for moderate and advanced retinoblastoma.

“Would you look at my baby’s eyes, too?” New mom Leanne Davis, a highschool English teacher from Warren, Mich., made the off-hand request at her eye exam in 2011. “I had retinoblastoma as a child, and maybe it was on my mind,” she explains. “I’m glad I asked.” At 4 months, her son Cole had early signs of this rare and potentially lethal childhood cancer, too.

Cole’s cancer was stubborn. It re-appeared despite 21 rounds of chemotherapy, laser photocoagulation, radiation and cryotherapy in various combinations. But the Davis family and their doctors in Detroit and Philadelphia were even more persistent. When a new tumor the size of a blueberry was discovered in the boy’s right eye in October 2014, a breakthrough therapy called intra-arterial chemotherapy — delivered by Jefferson neurosurgeon Pascal Jabbour, MD, working in collaboration with Wills Eye Hospital ocular oncologist Carol Shields, MD — saved not only Cole’s life, but also his eye and returned his vision as well. “Cole’s playing with his trucks, watching his favorite Mighty Machines TV show and doesn’t have to lean forward to see the pictures when I read to him anymore,” says dad Clint Davis, a high-school chemistry teacher, on the morning of Cole’s final round of intra-arterial chemotherapy at the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in January 2015. “The yellowish glint we saw in his eyes sometimes is gone, too.” Intra-arterial chemotherapy — IAC for short — relies on a unique partnership between physicians with finely honed, yet very different skill sets. An oncologist must carefully assess the cancer’s progress in each tiny patient to identify the right candidates. A neurosurgeon must thread a microcatheter through fragile, whisper-thin arteries from a child’s groin to eye, then deliver

a high-dose chemotherapeutic agent in carefully timed puffs. At Jefferson, the second U.S. medical center (and one of few in the world) to offer IAC, the collaboration is making history. “In the recent past, many children lost their eyes to this disease,” says Jabbour, associate professor of neurological surgery and chief of the Division of Neurovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery. “We are saving 62-72 percent of eyes with advanced retinoblastoma thanks to IAC at Jefferson — and 100 percent in earlier stages of the cancer.” It’s also saving eyesight — a benefit that surprised and delighted the team. “IAC is probably one of the biggest breakthroughs in eye cancer of the past two decades,” notes Shields, co-director of the Ocular Oncology Service at Wills and professor of ophthalmology at SKMC. “We’ve doubled the number of eyes we can save, compared to other treatments. And we’re seeing early evidence that it can restore peripheral and even central vision in some patients. I hear from happy parents all the time. Their kids were on the brink of blindness. Now they’re stacking blocks, doing puzzles, playing T-ball. It’s so exciting.”

Where Oncology and Neurosurgery Intersect Retinoblastoma grows in the eye’s lightsensing retina. In the United States, just 300 children develop this malignancy annually; more than half are treated at


A Tradition of Collaboration In 1972, Wills Eye Hospital affiliated with Jefferson Medical College (now Sidney Kimmel Medical College). As Jefferson's Department of Ophthalmology, it’s the place where all SKMC students receive basic eye instruction and training. And it’s just one example of a close collaboration that’s advancing eye care, disease prevention and research. Others include: • The Wills Vision Research Center at Jefferson. Established in 2011, the Center draws on more than 15 scientific disciplines to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of visual diseases. Recent collaborative studies have examined connections between low vision and depression; the power of community education to increase yearly eye screenings among people with diabetes; and the genetics of glaucoma, says Center co-director Julia Haller, MD, ophthalmologist-in-chief at Wills. • The Wills Eye Emergency Department at Jefferson. Close collaboration between Wills and Jefferson's Comprehensive Traumatic Injury Program gives patients access to one of only three emergency rooms in the nation specializing in eye care. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. • The Jefferson Comprehensive Concussion Center. A partnership between Jefferson, the Rothman Institute and Wills Eye, the JCCC opened at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 2013. It provides clinical care in areas such as neuro-ophthalmology, neuroradiology, psychiatry and complex rehabilitation at one facility.

Wills. Early detection and better treatments have boosted the survival rate to 97 percent — but at a steep price. Until recently, about 40-50 percent of kids with advanced retinoblastoma lost one eye, and around 10 percent lost both eyes despite aggressive therapies; the rate was higher for those with the most severe disease. Among them is Cole’s mom, Leanne, whose cancer was cured in the early 1980s with laser photocoagulation and enucleation — the removal of her right eye — when she was 9 months old. She wears a nearly impossible-todetect prosthesis in her right eye and has good vision in the left. “Retinoblastoma is rarely fatal in the United States, but the therapies left something to be desired,” Shields explains. “Enucleation prevents recurrence and spread. But when a child loses one or both eyes, it obviously changes their life forever. We were also concerned about the side effects of conventional treatments such as systemic chemotherapy and externalbeam radiation. When we heard about IAC for retinoblastoma from a visiting Japanese researcher in 2008, I was intrigued but also cautious. Injuring the ophthalmic artery, which feeds the retina, could cause blindness.” Shields contacted Robert H. Rosenwasser, MD, the Jewell L. Osterholm Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Jefferson. “I was enthusiastic,” he says. “At Jefferson, we were already performing vascular neurosurgery on newborns, placing catheters in very small arteries in the brain similar in

size or smaller than those involved with IAC. So I knew it was possible. This has been a game-changer internationally for the treatment of retinoblastoma. And historically, it’s huge for neurosurgeons. It’s a whole new concept for us.” Rosenwasser performed the first IAC procedures at Jefferson in 2008, then taught the procedure to Jabbour, who was finishing his fellowship in interventional neurosurgery. Both surgeons contributed to refinements that protect the ophthalmic artery by stopping the catheter just short of this high-stakes blood vessel. But reaching this destination requires careful navigation of a network of twisting arteries, done while consulting fluoroscopic X-ray images on two large screens hung above the operating-room table and “listening to your fingers,” as Jabbour describes it. “The femoral artery at the groin, where we insert the sheath, is just two millimeters wide — one-fourth the size of an adult’s. The ophthalmic artery is less than a halfmillimeter in diameter,” he says. “Too much force could rupture a blood vessel, too little means you’re moving too slowly.” With the catheter “parked” at the right spot, the chemotherapy drug melphalan (and sometimes a second agent) is pulsed through the catheter in rhythm with the child’s heartbeat. “It’s like a puff of smoke that gets carried into the retina,” he says. Jabbour delivers 1 cc of the drug per minute during the halfhour procedure. Afterward, instead of asking a resident or surgery fellow to take out the groin sheath — the plastic tube used

Retinoblastoma can sometimes be detected via flash-enhanced photographs; a white haze or glare in a child’s pupil can be an early sign of the cancer. Credit: National Cancer Institute/Getty Images

SPRING 2015 15

“In the recent past, many children lost their eyes to advanced retinoblastoma. We are saving 62-72 percent of eyes with this disease thanks to IAC at Jefferson — and 100 percent in the early stages of the cancer.” –Pascal Jabbour, MD

to guide insertion of the catheter during the procedure — Jabbour removes it himself. He then applies gentle pressure — “just a little more than you’d use to take your pulse” — to the site with two fingers for the next 30 minutes. “There are no child-sized plugs to close the wound,” he says. “A baby has just one-tenth the blood volume of an adult. Even a little bleeding could be disastrous. Too little pressure can allow bleeding, but too much pressure on the femoral artery could cut off blood to a leg. From the beginning, I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing any part of the procedure. It’s me, from beginning to end, from skin to skin.” Most children who receive IAC for retinoblastoma are between 3 months and 5 years old, but the team has treated a 30-year-old with late-onset disease. Most receive three to four sessions, with four to 10 weeks in between. IAC is most often used in intermediate to advanced cancers, grades B through E — though Shields adds that more advanced cases with cancer in eye tissue beyond the

Jabbour spends time with patient Cole Davis and his stuffed otter, Sparky, just before Davis’ final intra-arterial chemotherapy treatment. Photo by Roger Barone


retina may need more than one type of treatment. “IAC can help about 80 percent of American kids with retinoblastoma, because their disease hasn’t moved beyond the retina yet. If it moves into other tissues in the eye that aren’t fed by the ophthalmic artery, we add other approaches. If the tumor has grown outside the eye, we enucleate because the child is at high risk for metastasis and death. Saving life is

always the first priority, followed by saving the eye and then saving vision.”

“Time Will Tell” In one of her first papers on IAC, published in the May 2010 issue of Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, Shields and her husband, Jerry A. Shields, MD (the couple co-direct Wills’ Ocular Oncology Service), wrote: “Despite its allure,

intra-arterial chemotherapy should be used with caution…Time will tell.” Four years later, a July 2014 report in the journal Ophthalmology co-authored by Shields, Jabbour, Rosenwasser and others outlined the outcomes of Jefferson’s first 70 eyes treated with IAC. The results were worth celebrating: 100 percent of eyes with intermediatestage retinoblastoma (grades B and C) were saved, as were 94 percent of those with more advanced grade D cancer and 36 percent with grade E, the most advanced. Up to 95 percent of microscopic cancers, called seeds, were obliterated. The most common complications — eyelid swelling and drooping (5 percent rates for each) and increased blood flow (hyperemia) to the forehead (2 percent) — were temporary. Another 2 percent had some traces of blood within the eye. “There was no patient with stroke, seizure, neurologic impairment…or death,” the team noted. The group took a new step, suggesting IAC will become a safe, effective primary treatment for many stages of retinoblastoma — instead of the back-up plan when all else fails. “This is controversial, and some other centers don’t agree with it,” Jabbour notes. “We think it’s the future.” By January 2015, Jabbour and Shields had used IAC to treat more than 150 cases of retinoblastoma from across the nation and around the world. And they host a steady stream of visitors from medical centers around the world who’d like to offer IAC closer to home. “We get sent a lot of big tumors,” Shields says. “We’ve had kids come with one eye gone and cancer in the other. I want to have a victory for every child and Pascal feels the same way. Is it because we’re both parents? [Shields has seven children, Jabbour has two.] That might be part of it.”

To learn more about retinoblastoma or to support this program at Jefferson, contact Joseph Lynch, Associate Director of Development, Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, at 215-955-8342 or joseph.w.lynch@jefferson.edu. Cole Davis with his parents, Leanne and Clint, and their dogs at the family’s home in Michigan. Photo by Aaron Fortin

SPRING 2015 17

One Call, One Visit, Three Screenings Jefferson Makes It Easy for Women to Prioritize Cancer Prevention Fifty-four-year-old Joyce scheduled three colonoscopies last year. She canceled all of them. “To this day, I still haven’t had one,” she says, explaining that the procedure seems much more complicated and invasive than her regular Pap tests and mammograms. “It’s just not something I’ve found time for. And I feel fine.” Marianne Ritchie, MD ’80, hears stories like Joyce’s every day. Women tell her they can’t take time off work, especially if they’ve already done so for routine breast and gynecological exams; they view colon cancer as a men’s disease; or they don’t have a family history so they don’t feel at risk. Ritchie, an assistant professor in Jefferson’s Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, is discouraged by the figures: Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, whose risk of developing the disease is fairly even — but while 70 percent of men undergo colonoscopies, only about 45 percent of women do. To encourage women to pursue all of the cancer screenings they need, she has created a program that bundles the procedures and makes them more convenient and accessible. Introduced in fall 2012, Ritchie’s program offers multiple screenings in one visit to Jefferson. Every Thursday evening, patients coming in for a mammogram can also meet with her for a “colonoscopy pre-screening.” The third Thursday of each month, a gynecologist is also on hand to perform Pap tests in the same office. “I don’t actually do colonoscopies at night, but building a relationship with women is key to getting them to follow through with the procedure. I take the time to fully explain colonoscopy benefits, risks and prep, whereas if they scheduled over the phone these things might not get explained very well, and they’re more likely to prep poorly or to get nervous and cancel,” Ritchie says. The visit also allows her to assess family history, potential existing symptoms and whether a patient is healthy enough for anesthesia. The program is now offered Thursday mornings at Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia, too. “The beauty of bundling these screenings together is convenience — only one trip through traffic, one parking payment and less time visiting different offices. Nobody else does these screenings all in one place.” Ritchie says. “But this goes beyond convenience. It’s about information. For example, we inform women that if they have had uterine or ovarian cancer, it bumps their risk for colon cancer. Gynecological cancers and colon cancers are related risks, which many people do not realize.” Ritchie is also actively promoting cancer prevention and early detection throughout the community. She travels to give a presentation called “Decades of Do’s and Don’ts: A Diva’s Guide to Cancer Prevention” at area corporations and colleges.

Her talk outlines ways women can decrease their risks for all cancers during every decade of life. “From wearing sunscreen as a child to getting colonoscopies in your fifties and beyond, women need to know everything they can do for prevention,” she says. “Mammograms pick up early breast cancer. Pap tests detect pre-cancerous cells on the cervix, and colonoscopies pick up polyps that are pre-cancer. Isn’t it easier to get these screenings than to end up facing cancer, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hospital stays?” — Karen L. Brooks

Women’s Cancer Screening Program • Care provided by women clinicians • Test results provided promptly • Summary letter sent to primary-care physician • Patients can call 215-952-1234 to schedule an appointment Jefferson Breast Care Center Medical Office Building, 1100 Walnut Street, 3rd Floor Thursdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Methodist Hospital Women’s Diagnostic Center 2301 S. Broad Street, 2nd Floor Thursdays from 8 a.m. to noon For more information or to invite Dr. Ritchie to present at your institution, email marianne.ritchie@jefferson.edu.


OnCampus Brainard Wins NASA Innovation Award

Mitchell to Become NMA President

Ho Featured in ESPN Short

George Brainard, PhD, director of the Light Research Program at Jefferson and a key member of NASA’s flexible lighting team, received NASA’s prestigious Johnson Space Center Director’s Innovation Award in January 2015 at the Principal Investigator Workshop/Behavioral Health and Performance Working Group meeting in Galveston, Texas. Brainard’s team at Jefferson worked on the design and testing of new lights for the crew of the International Space Station that will allow astronauts to sleep — and perform — better in space. The new, adjustable L.E.D. lights have three settings, including one that helps astronauts prepare for sleep.

On Aug. 5, Edith P. Mitchell, MD, clinical professor of internal medicine and oncology, will be installed as president of the National Medical Association (NMA) — the largest and oldest organization representing African-American physicians and patients in the United States. The NMA represents the interests of more than 30,000 physicians and the patients they serve, with nearly 112 affiliated societies. Mitchell is a leader in improving the quality of health among minorities; she serves as director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, where physicians and researchers focus on underserved populations facing cancer.

Reginald “Reggie” Ho, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Cardiology who specializes in electrophysiology, is the subject of an ESPN “30 for 30” short film called “Student/Athlete.” Directed by actor Ken Jeong, the 13-minute short highlights Ho’s role as the star kicker on the 1988 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team during the team’s only undefeated season. At 5-foot-5 and 135 pounds, Ho was one of the smallest players in a major college football program. He walked on at the beginning of the season, then walked off at the end to continue his studies. To learn more about Ho and to watch “Student/Athlete,” visit grantland.com/ features/30-for-30-shorts-studentathlete.

In recognition of Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Marianne Ritchie, MD ’80, coordinated a blue light show across the Philadelphia skyline March 18–20. In addition to Boathouse Row along the banks of the Schuylkill River, Two Liberty Place also used its blue crown lights, and the message “Colonoscopy Saves Lives” and the Jefferson logo were displayed on the PECO, Lit Brothers and Cira Center buildings. Photo by J. Montgomery Taylor

SPRING 2015 19

Part of Our Future A message from Elizabeth Dale Dear Jefferson Alumni: At Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College, we are all about the students — present and past: current medical and graduate students and alumni. And just as you’ve kept growing and changing since your graduation, so has your alma mater. When he first arrived at Jefferson, Dr. Klasko told us that no one could say what the future of health care would look like, but he promised that in five years, Jefferson would not look like it did then. He has been making good on that promise. Jefferson has a brilliant 191-year history. Medical firsts are part of our DNA. But as great as we are — as great as we’ve been — what we know is that if we keep doing everything the same way, our future isn’t going to be as bright as our past.

“We are the kind of place that people want to invest in, because we couple our distinguished history with vision, optimism and energy that enable us to continue making history.“

Dr. Klasko never tires of pointing out that the “old math” that once supported academic medical centers — NIH funding, clinical reimbursements and tuition — no longer adds up. To the traditional pillars that have long upheld these enterprises — the Academic Pillar of teaching and research and the Clinical Pillar of patient care — Jefferson has added two more pillars: Innovation and Philanthropy. Going forward, the “new math” will be computed using this unique four-pillar model. Jefferson will seize opportunities, create new ideas and invest in directions that fundamentally transform health care. We are the kind of place that people want to invest in, because we couple our distinguished history with vision, optimism and energy that enable us to continue making history. Our alumni are an indispensable part of that equation, and we want to get to know you better and help you to know us. Jefferson’s Office of Institutional Advancement has recruited a new Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations,

Cristina Geso, who has more than 27 years of experience creating and leading alumni programs. She is building on Jefferson’s existing programs to strengthen alumni ties, create new pathways for engagement and cultivate strong, lifelong relationships between Jefferson and alumni from our medical college and all of our schools. Cristina is working this year to increase by 75 percent the number of alumni events, here on campus and across the country. Expanded offerings will include lifelonglearning and career-development events as well as cultural and social events. Her team is also creating new opportunities for alumni to serve as Jefferson speakers, panelists and mentors as well as leaders on alumni association boards and committees. Our alumni have many gifts to give; we see it every day in the successful careers you build, in your deep commitment to compassionate care and above all, in the passion and gratitude you show in countless ways for your alma mater. I invite you to send me an email (elizabeth.dale@jefferson. edu) or give me a call (215-503-5138). Tell me how Jefferson can reach out to more alumni or how you’d like to be involved. Get in touch with Cristina (cristina.geso@ jefferson.edu or 215-955-8164) and let her know if you’d like to host an alumni event, what alumni relations programs and services you’d like to see or how you might serve Jefferson. Or come visit our campus in Philly for an alumni event or anytime. We would love to hear from you. You are not just a part of Jefferson’s past; you are a part of our future.

Elizabeth Dale, EdD Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement


Jefferson Faculty Massimo Cristofanilli, MD A Champion for Breast Health Inflammatory breast cancer, or IBC, not only looks and acts differently than other forms of breast cancer — it also is the most aggressive form of the disease. Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, is working toward a better understanding of this rare and distressing diagnosis. As director of the Jefferson Breast Care Center at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson — where he also serves as deputy director of translational research — Cristofanilli is a widely recognized leader in the treatment of IBC, a disease in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. He is exploring ways to improve personalized medicine for breast cancer patients, focusing on molecularly targeted agents, biomarkers and gene therapies and bridging the gap between the bench and bedside in a more practical and smarter way. Also an expert in the development of novel diagnostic and prognostic markers in primary and metastatic breast cancer, Cristofanilli is known for his team-based and multidisciplinary approach to medicine. Cristofanilli joined Jefferson in February 2013 after serving as chairman of medical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, where he was head of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Clinic. He received his medical degree from the University of La Sapienza in Rome, Italy, where he also served a fellowship in medical oncology. He completed an internship as well as a residency in internal medicine at the Cabrini Medical Center in New York before pursuing a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Why oncology? I decided to become an oncologist after the death of my father to bladder cancer when I was 22 years old. I was with him during the four years of his journey and witnessed the many deficiencies of the Italian system. Surgeons and oncologists will not work in a multidisciplinary fashion and we were never educated about choices and informed about prognosis. I remember listening to a conversation between a radiation therapist and a medical oncologist about the possibility of using an additional palliative treatment for my father, and the risks and costs of the treatment and inpatient stay. This was just one month before his death. He was never given a choice. I did not know if and what to ask.

What drew you to the United States? During my initial oncology training in Italy, I was fortunate to have Dr. Alberto Pellegrini as my mentor. He was director of the medical oncology program at the university and a prominent expert in breast cancer. I worked with him for three years and became responsible for some dedicated clinical trials. That experience motivated me to leave my country and pursue a career in academic oncology. I had to repeat oncology training in spite of being a certified oncologist but did not mind because it was in a prestigious cancer institution, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and I would later have the chance to work in the largest breast medical oncology department. What is the best part of your job? The most pleasant part of my job is interacting with patients and helping them. I always try to understand their problems and listen to their concerns. I imagine myself as the young man standing by his father in the exam room, unable to ask but willing to listen. Every case is very personal to me. My least favorite part is dealing with the inefficiency of a health system that is not as “patient-friendly” as we would like. Discussing with managed-care physicians to clear payment for complex treatment is frustrating and an inappropriate use of our time, besides being stressful for patients. There must be a better way. What inspired your research interests? I did not know when I started that I was going to be so involved in and even leading a specific area of research. When you start a project, you may not know the implications and results. Focusing my research on understanding and finding therapies for inflammatory breast cancer, one of the most aggressive forms of the disease, is now a considerable part of my clinical practice — but it has also become something more. It is like a mission to accomplish, a mystery to solve. Who else will take on this task?

SPRING 2015 21

Photo by Nell Hoving


Student ProямБle Emily Sherrard Shines at Ironman World Championships

Photo by David Eisenberg

SPRING 2015 23


hen you love something, you make time for it. So as busy as medical school has kept Emily Sherrard over the past four years, she has still made time to pursue one of her other passions: participating in triathlons. An athlete since childhood, Sherrard particularly excelled in running, leading her high-school track team to six state championships and competing at the collegiate level at Duke University. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she decided her racing days were over. Then, she changed her mind.

"Medicine is not a job to me, but a calling, and in the future my finish line is with my patients."

“When I began medical school at Jefferson in fall 2011, I felt aimless and lost without the structure of training and athletic goals, so I bought a bike, swam in an 18.3-yard pool and signed up for my first triathlon,” says Sherrard, who surprised herself by winning her age group — and falling in love with the sport. Since that first event, she has balanced the responsibilities of medical school and rotations with countless hours of rigorous training, achieving great success in both endeavors. This past fall, she proudly wore a Jefferson visor as she crossed the finish line at the 2014 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. She had completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run in 10 hours, 20 minutes and 6 seconds, placing fourth in the women’s 25-29 age group and earning a coveted spot on the winners’ podium. “I have never been so sore in my whole life,” she remembers. As her enthusiasm for competing has grown, Sherrard decided to put residency on hold after her SKMC graduation in May to become a professional triathlete.

Photo by Suzanne Holdcraft, MD '83

She initially considered taking the spring semester off to race full time but chose to finish her medical degree on time, which thrilled her family, including her grandfather, John Holdcraft, MD ’56, and her mother, Suzanne Holdcraft, MD ’83. “I gave my grandparents an invitation to my commencement ceremony for Christmas, and I saw tears in my grandad’s eyes when he came to the realization that I would be finishing in May. He has been looking forward to my graduation from his alma mater ever since I was a first-year student at Jefferson, and I am happy to make him feel proud,” she says. Sherrard does not know how long she will remain pro, but she is certain she will return to medicine in the coming years and hopes to establish a career in sports medicine. “Medicine is not a job to me, but a calling, and in the future my finish line is with my patients,” she says. “But for now I am choosing to pursue my passion for competing at the highest level in triathlon.” — Karen L. Brooks


Alumnus Profile Elliot J. Rayfield, MD ’67 No Patient Too Difficult Elliot Rayfield, MD ’67, was just a small child when he met the physicians who inspired his interest in medicine and in Jefferson. Residents of West Philadelphia, Rayfield’s parents both struggled with chronic health conditions and came to Jefferson for care. Their list of specialists reads like a “who’s who” of institutional legends: Kenneth Fry, MD ’31; John Templeton, MD ’41; J. Wallace Davis, MD ’42; Frank Sweeney, MD ’51; and more. “By virtue of my connection to Jefferson through my parents’ doctors, it seemed destined that Jefferson would be the place I would wind up going to medical school,” says Rayfield, who was particularly affected by his mother’s experience with hyperthyroidism, which she developed when he was 10 years old. “Her entire personality changed … what has always fascinated me is how closely linked behavioral changes are with the physiology of disease. I could actually see her disease come to life.” His mother’s condition cast an early lure toward endocrinology, and pursuing his internship and residency at the University of Michigan — known for its strong endocrinology programs — convinced him to build a career in the specialty. He went on to serve fellowships at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and completed his training at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Army Medical Laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md. When Rayfield was exploring opportunities for academic endocrinology appointments in 1974, a position at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine stood out. The new chief of endocrinology sought a faculty member to create a diabetes program from scratch — and that’s what Rayfield did.

“At the time, Mount Sinai was an old hospital but a young medical school, and this was the most challenging of any position I was offered,” he says. Over the next 14 years, he climbed the ranks all the way to professor of medicine. Today, he maintains a faculty appointment while managing a large private practice in Manhattan. Throughout his career, he has been able to “do it all” — conducting basic and clinical research, teaching and mentoring at all levels, publishing in top medical journals and caring for patients in his office. He has received many accolades for his contributions to his field, including the Endocrine Society’s 2014 Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Service Award. Endocrinology continues to captivate him. “I am still intrigued by how glands can secrete a chemical and have it work in a part of the body that’s very far removed from where it was secreted — and by how the combination of these glands works like an orchestra to organize your bodily function,” he says. Rayfield enjoys the challenges that practicing medicine presents but says deciphering the science of endocrinology is far from the hardest aspect of his work. He cites interference from the government and insurance companies into healthcare decisions; the excessive cost of drugs to patients; and difficulty enforcing patient compliance among his most significant professional hurdles. But the single greatest threat to every physician’s success, he says, involves technology — specifically the need to enter data quickly into a patient’s electronic medical record. “People don’t want you to be a robot. Especially during their first visit, you really have to connect with them … if you don’t, maybe they won’t come see you again. The challenge is to match patients

with the best treatment for their psychological makeup,” he says. “You have to figure out, what makes them tick? What things matter to them? And then use that information to then decide on a course of therapy… which you can’t do if you’re hidden behind a computer.” Maintaining quality face time with every patient remains a top priority for Rayfield, whose satisfaction comes from treating the most complicated cases: “My patients are never too difficult and never not worth it. I never give up until we succeed,” he says. Another top priority: philanthropy. As a professor at Mount Sinai, Rayfield learned that financial aid is essential to attracting the best and brightest students to a medical school. During his final year at Jefferson, he received a full scholarship and has felt compelled to repay it ever since. This led to his recent establishment of the Elliot J. Rayfield, MD ’67, Scholarship at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. The fund will support medical students based on academic achievement. “I believe if someone is gifted in a certain area, such as medicine, and feels that an institution such as Jefferson made this possible, there is a moral obligation to help the next generation of students to benefit from one’s own success,” Rayfield says. “The cost of a medical education has skyrocketed and the remuneration in practicing medicine is much less robust than previously. “Jefferson provided me with an amazingly thorough education that has allowed me unlimited access to everything I have wanted to pursue. What more could anyone want?”

— Karen L. Brooks

Photo by Karen Kirchhoff


ClassNotes ’52 Joseph H. Sloss writes that he feels fortunate to be in good health as one of the only living members of the Class of 1952. He lives in Bradenton, Fla., and enjoys traveling with his wife, Nan.

’56 John W. Holdcraft reports that he is proud of his granddaughter, Emily Sherrard, a fourth-year SKMC student who finished fourth in her age group at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in October 2014 (see feature on page 22). Holdcraft lives in Mickleton, N.J.

’60 Herbert D. Kleber continues to work full time running Columbia University’s Division on Substance Abuse, which researches better treatments for addiction to opioids, marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and nicotine. Kleber lives in New York City. Vince McDermott, Jr., and his wife, Peg, a nurse, recently completed their 13th year of weekly volunteer work helping patients without insurance. They live in Haddonfield, N.J.

pediatric cardiology, research and teaching. Gelband lives in Key Biscayne, Fla.

’64 Lawrence Green lives in Swarthmore, Pa., and is medical director of the School of Clinical Neurophysiology at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pa.

’67 Michael B. Kodroff has retired to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and writes that he spends most of his time fishing.

’72 James W. Redka reports that he and his wife, Peg, recently enjoyed their first visit to Alaska. They live in Williamsport, Pa. Robert E. Rinaldi lives in Naples, Fla., and writes that he enjoys working at the Medi-Weightloss Center there.

’73 Paul A. Bialas lives in Warren, Pa., and teaches part time at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Maurice J. Lewis retired at the end of 2014 after 47 years practicing internal medicine. Lewis lives in New Cumberland, Pa.

Steven R. Peikin has been head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases at Cooper University Health Care for 22 years and is a professor of medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center. He lives in Philadelphia and was previously on the faculty at Jefferson for 12 years.



Henry Gelband writes that he is “finally retiring” as professor emeritus at the University of Miami after 40 years doing

Joseph J. Korey is still practicing obstetrics and gynecology full time and writes that he is looking forward to

’61 Allen E. Chandler is retired but consults with the National Cancer Institute Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. He spends winters in central Florida and summers in northern Virginia.

his 40th reunion in October. Korey lives in Reading, Pa. David L. Weiss reports that he and his wife, Janet, are enjoying retirement at Smith Mountain Lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western Virginia. They have a new grandson in Berkeley, Calif., and visit frequently. Geoffrey G. Hallock recently received the Fu-Chan Wei Award for excellence in reconstructive surgery at the annual Chang Gung-Mayo Clinic Symposium in Taipei, Taiwan. The award, named after one of the world’s premier microvascular surgeons, has only been presented to one other American and recognizes Hallock’s lifelong contribution to the field of reconstructive plastic surgery through his mentorship of many young surgeons and his numerous articles, lectures, books and book chapters. Hallock remains active in the private practice of reconstructive microsurgery and plastic surgery in Lehigh Valley, Pa., and “admits reluctantly” that his basketball at the local YMCA has slowed down a bit from his days at Jefferson.

’77 Robert J. Woodhouse continues to practice full time and specializes in radiation oncology. He lives in Corona Del Mar, Calif.

’78 Joyce King continues to practice pathology in Long Beach, Calif. She plays tennis as often as possible and enjoys gardening and cooking on the weekends. Her husband, Joe Lombardo (’78) is still a “surfing maniac,” and their daughter, Sarah Lombardo (’12), is a surgery resident at the University of Utah.

’80 David R. Gastfriend has been appointed CEO of the Treatment Research Institute, an addiction research and policy think tank in Philadelphia. Gastfriend previously spent a decade at the pharmaceutical company Alkermes, where he served as vice president in developing the clinical and health economics validation of the extended-release naltrexone preparation Vivitrol.

’83 Richard J. Greco was elected vice president of finance/treasurer for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for 2015. Greco lives in Savannah, Ga.

’84 J. Christopher Daniel retired from active duty as a Captain in the U.S. Navy in 2012. After two and a half years as a consultant in global health and military medicine and a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., in January 2015 he began working as director of international health for the U.S. Department of Defense. He lives in Hyattsville, Md. Andrew J. Escoll is chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Winchester Hospital in Winchester, Mass. He has two daughters in college — one at the University of Colorado and one at the University of Pennsylvania — and one son, a senior in high school. Irwin H. Wolfert lives in Blue Bell, Pa., and reports that his first grandchild, Nathan, was born in October 2014.

’87 Richard M. Rayner recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of the formation of Aspire Health

SPRING 2015 27

Concepts, Inc., also known as AspireCARE. After 13 years teaching family medicine residents in both Delaware and Pennsylvania followed by five years of clinical medicine with part-time teaching responsibilities at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, Rayner and a partner opened Aspire Urgent Care & Family Medicine in Harrisburg, Pa. The practice sponsors the Harrisburg Marathon put on by the YMCA. In October 2014, they also launched AspireFIT, offering medical fitness with onsite fitness testing and personal training as well as physical therapy. Rayner lives in Middletown, Pa.

Kenneth Remy, MD ’04, Wins ACGME Award Eleven years after then-dean Thomas J. Nasca, MD ’75, presented Kenneth E. Remy, MD ’04, with his Jefferson diploma, he recently found himself shaking hands with his former student once again. In February 2015, Nasca, chief executive officer of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, presented Remy with the prestigious ACGME David Leach Award in recognition of his work with the National Institutes of Health. Remy — who is quadruple boarded in internal medicine, pediatrics, pediatric critical care medicine and adult critical care medicine — is an adult and pediatric critical care physician and researcher at the NIH. He recently completed his critical care medicine fellowship and is continuing his primary research, which focuses on sepsis and blood transfusion. He came to the NIH in 2011 after a pediatric critical care fellowship at Columbia University. In January, Remy also became an assistant professor and physician-scientist in the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis, and he continues to hold an academic appointment at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, as well. This year, he will complete a Master of Health Science in Clinical Research at the Duke University School of Medicine. Outside of his academic work, Remy volunteers as the medical director for Heart Care International, which provides pro bono care to children and young adults with heart disease in developing countries. He has traveled on medical missions to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Peru. The ACGME David Leach Award is named for former ACGME executive director David C. Leach, MD, and honors residents and fellows for their contributions to graduate medical education. The award is presented annually to a resident or fellow who has fostered innovation and improvement in training programs; improved efficiency or educational outcomes in these programs; advanced humanism in patient care; or improved communication and collaboration in patient care. Pictured with Nasca and Remy is Remy’s wife, Allison.

’91 Karl W. Holtzer practices pediatrics in Fox Chapel, Pa., and recently completed his master’s degree in functional nutrition. His daughter, Katie, just finished her third year of college.

’97 Rahul Bhalla started the first robotic surgery programs at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and at Stony Brook University Medical Center, where he completed his fellowship in urology. He also served a fellowship in invasive urologic cancers at the Virginia Mason Clinic in Seattle. Bhalla lives in Basking Ridge, N.J., and works in minimally invasive oncologic surgery with the Urology Group of New Jersey.

’98 Christina McAdams has joined the medical staff of St. Mary Medical Center as a primary care physician with Langhorne Physician Services. McAdams previously served as a medical officer in the U.S. Navy for seven and a half years and received an honorable discharge in 2006. She continued to work with the Navy for seven more years until taking this new position. She lives with her husband and two children in Bucks County, Pa.


’01 Kevin Hill is an addiction psychiatrist at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School’s psychiatric hospital. His book, “Marijuana: The Unbiased Truth about the World’s Most Popular Weed,” was published in March 2015. Hill lives in Newtown, Mass., with his wife, Debbie, and daughters, Hannah and Sophie.

Handing H an letters out to students, I watched their faces as they opened the envelopes.

’04 Andrew S. Bilinski continues to serve on active duty in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, taking care of soldiers. His permanent residence is in Philadelphia.

Post-Graduate ’07 Karl Kwok recently was appointed associate fellowship program director for the gastroenterology fellowship at Kaiser Permanente-Los Angeles Medical Center. Kwok lives in Baldwin Park, Calif.


New? To submit a class note or obituary for the Bulletin, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement: • By phone at 215-955-7751; • By email at alumni@jefferson.edu; or • By mail at 125 S. 9th St., Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Alumni Association President’s Message It is again a bittersweet time for me as a teacher as another commencement season begins, this time for the Class of 2015. Looking out from the stage into our graduating students’ faces as they sit waiting to be hooded and receive their diplomas, I will think back to a hot, sticky day in during orientation week August 2011, when on their second day I first met them and demonstrated interviewing a patient. Since looking out on them then — so young, so eager — I have watched the wonderful metamorphosis of each student into a tradition: the caring, empathetic Jefferson physician. During their first two years, I watched as they attempted to take their first blood pressure, directing then-awkward hands in their attempt to percuss the lungs — and saw frustration, then joy, when trying to handle the ophthalmoscope and gazing upon the beauty of the optic nerve. They have sat with me trying — then succeeding — in understanding the Starling curve in health and disease. As the first two years went by and they appeared before me in the Dr. Robert and Dorothy Rector Clinical Skills & Simulation Center, I could see them change, be part of their development and share their joy as they began their clerkship years. On physical diagnosis rounds during these students’ third and fourth years, I have seen the twinkle in their eye, the look of wonderment when, listening along with me through stethophones, they heard egophony or Carvallo’s sign in a patient with tricuspid regurgitation. They have also stopped by my office, some just to talk, ask a question or

two, show me a picture of their newborn, discuss a sick relative or introduce me to their fiancé. They have also sat there and poured out their hearts when they have faltered academically or had doubts about where they were headed professionally. I have had the honor and the privilege of sharing their triumphs and equally of sharing their sorrows. On Match Day I watched as the entire class gathered in the Connelly Auditorium to receive letters declaring where they would spend their next several years as residents in their chosen fields. Handing letters out to the students, I watched their faces as they opened the envelopes. One young woman hugged me with tears in her eyes as she realized she had gotten her first choice in ob/gyn at Jefferson. All these memories will flood my thoughts and emotions as I sit onstage during commencement and watch each member of the Class of 2015 walk by. I will miss each of them but know it is their time to move on. They are each a reaffirmation of the tradition, the spirit, the validation of what has been, is and must always be our medical school. The circle is once again complete. The Jefferson legacy continues.

Joseph F. Majdan, MD, CV '81 Associate Professor of Medicine Director of Professional Development President, Sidney Kimmel Medical College Alumni Association joseph.majdan@jefferson.edu 215-503-4226

SPRING 2015 29

In Memoriam ’39 Donald W. Bortz, Sr., 100, of Greensburg, Pa., died Feb. 1, 2015. Bortz interned at Lankenau Hospital and completed a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic before serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He then returned to the staff of the Cleveland Clinic. In 1951, he went home to Greensburg to practice medicine with his father. In 1960, he co-founded Bortz Lewis Associates in Medicine. During his medical career, Bortz served on the staffs of Westmoreland and Jeannette Hospitals and as governor of the American College of Physicians for Western Pennsylvania. Bortz is survived by three sons, Donald Jr., Walter and Peter; six grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia; his brother, Adam; and his sister, Helen.

’42 Joseph N. Marino, 98, of Scranton, Pa., died June 25, 2014. A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, Marino served as a battalion surgeon with Patton's Third Army as it moved through France, Belgium, Germany and Czechoslovakia. After leaving the European Theater, he served with the Army of Occupation in Japan until his discharge as a Captain in 1946. He then began his medical practice, first in a small office and then, in 1947, from his home. He treated patients there for more than 50 years, charging only what the patient could afford (often nothing). He also made house calls and did hospital rounds. He was a member of the American

Medical Association, the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Lackawanna County Medical Association. He is survived by six children, Joseph, Sandra, Robert, Marilyn, Ralph (’82) and Jeanne; eight grandchildren, Jennifer, Elizabeth, Amy, Michael (’05), Sam, Francesca, Alexander and Dante; four great-grandchildren, Brandon, Ryan, Nathan and Molly; and a brother, Emil. He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Jeanne; his brothers, Angelo, Thomas, Ralph Jr. and John; and a sister, Vincentina.

’45 John Joseph McKeown, Jr., 95, of Berwyn, Pa., died Jan. 24, 2015. McKeown did his internship and residency at Jefferson, also serving in the U.S. Air Force for two years during which he attained the rank of Captain. When he returned to Jefferson, he was part of the surgical team led by John Gibbon (’27) that performed the first open heart bypass surgery via the heart-lung machine. He was appointed chief of thoracic surgery at Philadelphia General Hospital in 1959, director of surgical education at Jefferson in 1968 and chair of the Department of Surgery at Fitzgerald Mercy in 1976. He served as assistant secretary of the American Board of Surgery from 1955– 1966. One particularly memorable moment from his career occurred in 1970, when he operated on Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Captain Nate Ramsey, who had been shot in the chest. McKeown retired from surgery in 1987 and remained

on Jefferson’s board until 1996, when he was named honorary clinical professor of surgery. He is survived by four children, Kathy, Carolyn, John and Paul; three grandchildren, Carter, Sienna and John; his sister, Kathryne; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Kathleen.

’47 Robert Yannaccone, 91, of Watsontown, Pa., died May 1, 2014. Yannaccone began his medical career at Maybury Sanatorium in Northville, Mich. He then served two years as an aviation medicine officer in the U.S. Air Force at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Ill. In 1960, the Federal Aviation Administration designated him an aviation medical examiner. He later established his own practice in Watsontown. After retiring from private practice, he served as a physician at clinics run by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. He also served two summers on the medical staff of the health clinic at the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in Eagle Butte, SD. Yannaccone was a lifelong musician and played the euphonium in the Williamsport Imperial Teteque Band and the community band in Watsontown. He played with the Windjammers Unlimited, a society dedicated to preserving traditional circus music. He was a licensed private pilot for 55 years and logged more than 4,000 hours of accident-free flying time. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Dorothy; five sons, Rob, Jim, Tom, Phil and John; two brothers, Bill and Frank; one sister, Elizabeth;

and six grandchildren, Alexander, Drew, Adria, Kara, Brian and Larissa.

’48 Valerio J. Federici, 92, of Langhorne, Pa., died Jan. 5, 2015. Federici was a general surgeon and practiced predominately at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne. He is survived by his wife, Florence; three children, Christina, Benigno (’91) and David; and eight grandchildren. Ernest G. Shander, 94, of Scottsdale, Ariz., died Nov. 25, 2014. Shander served with the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1942-1944. He practiced family medicine for three years after medical school and then completed a residency in anesthesiology in Wilmington, Del., in 1954. He practiced at multiple hospitals in the Scranton, Pa., area, including Mercy Hospital. He then became chief of anesthesiology at Moses Taylor Hospital, where he served from 19621986 and ran a school for certified registered nurse anesthetists. He retired in 1986 and moved to Del Ray Beach, Fla., followed by Boca Raton, Fla., and then Scottsdale, Ariz. Shander is survived by his daughter, Kathleen (’84); his son, Ernest Jr.; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene; and three sisters, Madelyn, Charlotte and Agnes.

’50 Olin Kenneth Wiland, 88, of Richmond, Ind., died Dec. 6, 2014. Wiland interned at the U.S. Naval Hospital at St. Albans, NY. He was a member of the Navy Reserve for 11 years and served on


active duty in World War II. During the Korean War, he was the medical officer on the U.S.S. Libra AKA-12. He completed his pathology training at Indiana University Medical Center and was a diplomate of the American Board of Pathology. He moved to Richmond in 1957 and was a pathologist at Reid Hospital for 30 years, serving as chief of the medical staff from 1967–1968 and 1979–1980. He also was a consultant pathologist at Fayette Memorial and Randolph County Hospitals. In 1987, he received the Rhoads Humanity in Medicine Award. After retirement, he served on the Board of Directors of Reid Hospital for nine years. A member of numerous professional societies, Wiland was a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists. His interests included sailing, golf, woodworking, photography, genealogy, lapidary, computers and travel. Wiland is survived by his wife, Dorothy; three children, Linda, Olin and Bruce; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jeannette.

’51 Charles R. Huffman, 91, of Waynesburg, Pa., died March 2, 2015. Huffman interned at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh and later treated patients of all ages — including delivering more than 5,000 babies — through his medical practice in Waynesburg. He was a veteran of World War II, serving as a U.S. Army infantry sergeant in the Western Pacific. Following the war, he co-founded Waynesburg Veterans of Foreign Wars. Huffman served as a trustee of Waynesburg College, where he founded the nursing program. He also served on Central Greene

School Board. An avid golfer, he was the first club champion of Lone Pine Golf Club and a longtime member of Greene County Country Club. He enjoyed basketball and loved animals. Huffman is survived by his wife, Joan; four daughters, Kathryn, Charlotte, Carolyn and Elizabeth; a son, Charles; 13 grandchildren; 10 greatgrandchildren; a brother, G. Conrad; two nephews, Aaron and Garrett; and several cousins.

’54 Howard L. Field, of Philadelphia, died March 4, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Maxine; a son, Daniel; two daughters, Emily and Deborah; six grandchildren; and a sister, Barbara. Richard B. Peoples, 86, of Fort Worth, Texas, died Dec. 11, 2014. Peoples served an internship in the U.S. Navy in California. He then did his residency in orthopaedic surgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio, where he was chief resident. He joined James Pollex, MD, in a practice known as Peoples, Pollex and Herkimer. He returned to California in 1977 and stayed for 18 years before going back to Toledo. He and his wife, Sharon, moved to Fort Worth in 2012 when she retired from nursing. Peoples loved theater, singing, classical and jazz music, fine dining, good wine, golf, telling jokes and traveling in his motor home. In addition to Sharon, his wife of 26 years, he is survived by two daughters, Susan and Beth; two sons, Greg and Jeff; three stepchildren, Sherri, Kelly and Michael; 17 grandchildren; nine greatgrandchildren; and a sister, Helen. He was predeceased by his first wife, Dorothy; and two sisters, and siblings, Betty and Dorothy.

’55 Arthur C. Huntley, 83, of Villanova, Pa., died Feb. 23, 2014. Huntley served in the U.S. Air Force as a general medical officer in Etain, France. He completed a residency at Eastern PA Psychiatric Institute, where he became director of one of the first adult psychiatric day hospital programs in the United States and Canada. He later served as director of group and family therapy, vicechair of the Department of Psychiatry and director of adult psychiatric services at the Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP), followed by director of quality assurance and medical director and vice president for medical affairs for MCP Hospital. He also was on staff at Germantown Hospital, Chestnut Hill Hospital and Sacred Heart Hospital in Norristown, Pa. More recently, he served as chief of psychiatry, director of continuing medical practice and director of training and clinical research at Norristown State Hospital. Throughout his career he enjoyed maintaining a private practice in Gwynedd Valley and later Radnor, Pa. Huntley also completed psychoanalytic training and served as president of the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society. He taught courses for the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Society and the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute, was an adjunct professor of psychiatry at Temple University and taught family therapy at Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. Huntley is survived by his wife, Ann Abbott, PhD; two sons, Doug and Mark; and four grandchildren, Mark Jr., Charlie, Will and Ava. Charles T.H. Storm, 83, of Media, Pa., died Aug. 13, 2014. Storm served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and

completed his residency in anesthesiology at Philadelphia General Hospital in 1960. He was a member of Associates in Anesthesia and practiced in Delaware County, Pa., until his retirement in 1990. Storm is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nancy; three sons, Theodore, Randle (’84) and William; eight grandchildren, Andrew (’11), Sarah, Timothy, Anna (’15), Katelynn, Margaret, Jennifer and William; and one great-grandson, Paxton.

’56 Haviland “Flick” Flickinger, of Elkins Park, Pa., died Sept. 1, 2014. Flickinger was an anesthesiologist. He is survived by his wife, Beverly; three children, Dianne, Caroline and John Mark; five grandchildren, Linsey, Scott, Gregg, Lara and Andrew; one great-grandchild, Stevie May; and his siblings, Martha and Evans.

’58 William W. Clements, Jr., 83, of Devon, Pa., died Jan. 16, 2015. Clements was a longtime class agent for the Class of 1958 and member of the SKMC Alumni Association Executive Committee. He practiced family medicine in Devon for many years and also worked on the faculty at Jefferson and with Bryn Mawr Hospital’s family practice residency program. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; two daughters, Lucy and Laura; three grandchildren, Kirk, James and Reed; a sister, Laura; and several nieces and nephews.

’59 Thomas Sevier Shilen, of Hamlet, N.C., died Jan. 29, 2015. Shilen completed his internship and residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He served as a U.S. Army Captain and was honorably discharged in 1965. From 1965-1994 he

SPRING 2015 31

was on the medical staff at HealthSouth Doctors’ Hospital. He then practiced pulmonary and internal medicine in Richmond County, N.C., and the surrounding communities until 2011. He was an accomplished pianist, tennis and golf player and loved the Miami Hurricanes, Dolphins and Heat. Shilen is survived by his wife, Catherine; two sons, Patrick and Zachary; a daughter, Rachael; a grandson, Preston; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Mary and Thelma; and a brother, Joseph.

’60 Francis “Frank” H. Sterling, 80, of Havertown, Pa., died Jan. 18, 2015. Sterling completed his internship at Misericordia Hospital, his residency at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and his fellowship at Jefferson. He was board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. He retired as professor emeritus after serving on the medical school faculty of the University of Pennsylvania for more than 40 years. He worked at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, where he taught and did clinical research, and was honored numerous times for outstanding teaching throughout his career. Sterling was passionate about opera, ballet and classical music and enjoyed sharing his knowledge and love of music with his students, colleagues and friends. He also volunteered many hours doing community service. Sterling spent many events and holidays with his “adopted family” of more than 50 years — the extended Rosenberg-SchwartzDaitch family, which includes Jonathan Daitch (’84). Last year, Sterling was proudto attend the graduation of Danielle Daitch (’14) from Jefferson. Sterling is survived by his nieces, Katherine, Margaret and Maria.

’61 Richard M. “Doc” Marasco, 80, of Fairview, Pa., died Feb. 6, 2015. Marasco began his career as a family practitioner in Erie, Pa. He continued his education at the University of Texas Medical School for his residency in ophthalmology, then returned to Erie and started his ophthalmology practice. He served the Erie community for 50 years. He was an avid golfer and was well known within the local golf community, holding the course record of 63 at the Kahkwa Club. He won various city tournaments, including being named city champion, and was inducted into the Erie District Golf Association Hall of Fame. Marasco is survived by his children, Michael, Matthew, Mark and Leslie; and several grandchildren.

’62 Eugene W. “Duke” Pelczar, 84, of Shickshinny, Pa., died Nov. 20, 2014. Pelczar served in the U.S. Air Force from 19531957, achieving the position of Squadron Commander. After graduating from Jefferson, he completed an internship at Mercy Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., then set up a solo practice in Nanticoke, Pa. He was active in various medical societies including the Luzerne County Medical Society, Pennsylvania Medical Association and American Medical Association, as well as being a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He retired in 2004. Pelczar had many passions, particularly hunting and fishing with his sons; wildlife; Western art; and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; two daughters, Diane and Mary Ann, a 1985 graduate of the Jefferson School of Health Professions; two sons, John and Brian (’88); six grandchildren, Jenna,

Anna, Waylon, Jake, Josh and Karlie; two great-grandchildren, Cadence and Damien; two sisters, Pauline and Irene; and 13 nieces and nephews.

’64 Ignatius S. Hneleski, Jr., 77, of Drexel Hill, Pa., died Sept. 30, 2014. Hneleski did his internship at Misericordia Hospital and his residency in ophthalmology at Jefferson. He was a fellow in oculoplastic surgery at Wills Eye Hospital before serving as a flight surgeon with the U.S. Air Force and chief of aeromedical services, 5010th U.S.A.F. Hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska. Hneleski was on the teaching faculty with the Department of Oculoplastics at Wills Eye, chief of ophthalmology at Chester County Hospital and chief of ophthalmology at Paoli Memorial Hospital. He also had a private practice with Vistarr Laser and Vision Centers. His specialty was ophthalmic plastic surgery and cataract surgery. He loved to golf and to relax in Avalon, N.J., where he spent summers with his children and grandchildren on 26th Street. Hneleski is survived by his wife of 53 years Edna; two daughters, Janice and Theresa; two sons, Ignatius III (’92) and Robert; a sister, Diane; and his grandchildren, Andrew, Grace, Corinne, Ignatius IV, Victoria, Julia, Gabriella, Harrison, Lauren, Caroline, Paul Luke, Robert, Ava and Chloe. Robert E. McBride, 75, of Valparaiso, Ind., died. Nov. 17, 2014. After completing his residency with the South Bend Medical Foundation, McBride served as a major in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. He joined the medical staff at St. Anthony Hospital in Michigan City, Ind., in 1971. He was a founding physician in Pathology Consultants, Inc., and Consultants in Pathology

and created Northern Indiana Medical Laboratory Services, which became the foundation for Alverno Clinical Laboratories. He served as president of the medical staff at St. Anthony, Memorial and Walters Hospitals and was CEO of Walters Hospital from 1981-1985 and of Kingwood Hospital from 1985-1989. McBride was instrumental in creating the Northern Indiana Education Foundation, an educational resource for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. He served on and was chair of the Board of Directors of St. Anthony Memorial Hospital and the Northern Indiana Regional Board. He also served on the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Board of Trustees. In 2010, in recognition of nearly 40 years of service to SSFHS ministry, he received the Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel Award. McBride loved his family, his dog and decorating for Christmas. Design and construction projects were his passion. McBride is survived by his wife, Sara; three children: Julie, Rob and Greg; and seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother and best friend, John.

’66 Andrew Lee Bender, 76, of Philadelphia and Woodcliff Lake, N.J., died Sept. 5, 2013. Bender did his residency at Mount Sinai Hospital, and after practicing medicine in Westwood, N.J., for 30 years, he completed a fellowship in neuro-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He loved computers and computer programming, classical music and playing the organ and took master classes at Julliard. He is survived by his wife, Janet; two daughters, Rachel and Deborah; and four grandchildren, Emily, Nathan, Elena and Nicholas. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elaine.

A single scholarship gift changes a life forever. Christine Chang, MD ’15, knows firsthand what scholarship support means to a medical student. The beneficiary of a scholarship fund created by Judy and Nathan Wei, MD ’75, Christine says the couple “tore my selfreliant, goal-oriented walls down and taught me how to trust. They taught me the importance not only of achieving, but also giving back.” With a particular interest in caring for underserved urban populations, Christine begins a family medicine residency at a health center in Harlem, N.Y., this summer. At Jefferson, she has volunteered with the Jefferson Psychiatry Society and worked on a project with JeffYES (Youth Emergency Services) to help better serve the children who visit the shelter. As she looks forward to continuing her training, Christine is also looking back at the opportunities scholarship support has afforded her. “The positive influence of this contribution will not stop when I leave campus, and I look forward to showing Nathan and Judy exactly how their generosity has affected me in the coming years,” she says. “Their gift has challenged me to be a better clinician and person. It has given me the confidence to press on.” Create a life-changing legacy with a scholarship contribution today.

To learn more about scholarship giving, contact:

Stephen Smith Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement 215-955-6456 or stephen.smith@jefferson.edu

Double your impact. A matching opportunity made possible by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation makes now the right time to give. Donors who pledge at least $100,000 to establish a new endowed scholarship fund will have their gift matched dollar for dollar. This special match is available until June 30, 2016, or until a matching pool of $3 million is exhausted.


FALL 2014 33

By Numbers Match Day 2015 A nervous excitement was palpable on March 20 as members of the SKMC Class of 2015 participated in the rite of passage known as Match Day, lining up to receive the envelopes that contained the names of the institutions where they will train as resident physicians. The specialties with the highest number of matches for this year’s graduating students were internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine. Including those who matched in obstetrics/gynecology, 47 percent of the class chose a residency in primary care. One-third of the class will be spending their PGY-1 year at a hospital in Pennsylvania, and one-quarter are staying at Jefferson or training at a Jefferson affiliate.

Congratulations to all of our newly minted MDs!





Internal Medicine (Categorical)


Medicine (Preliminary)






Family Medicine


Surgery (Preliminary)


Emergency Medicine




Orthopaedic Surgery








Surgery (Categorical)






Radiation Oncology




Medicine/Pediatrics Combined












Pediatric Neurology


Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Permit #276 Philadelphia, PA 125 S. 9th Street, Suite 700 Philadelphia, PA 19107 Change Service Requested

Printed on FSC ® (Forest Stewardship Council ®) certified paper, which supports the growth of responsible forest management worldwide through its international standards.

Save the Dates! Mark your calendars for the following upcoming events. National Medical Association 113th Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly August 1–5, 2015 Detroit, Michigan Join us for the inauguration of Jefferson’s Edith Mitchell, MD, as the new NMA president.

Alumni Weekend 2015 October 16–17, 2015 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Celebrating class years ending in ’0s and ’5s

Annual SKMC Alumni and Faculty Winter CME and Ski Trip January 31–February 4, 2016 Telluride, Colorado Details on registration, room rates and the CME program will be announced soon.

For more information about these events, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 215-955-7750 or alumni@jefferson.edu. Don’t forget to call or write us if you’ve had a change of home address, email address or phone number so we can keep your information up to date!

Profile for Jefferson Office of Institutional Advancement

Sidney Kimmel Medical College - Alumni Bulletin Spring 2015  

Sidney Kimmel Medical College Alumni Bulletin

Sidney Kimmel Medical College - Alumni Bulletin Spring 2015  

Sidney Kimmel Medical College Alumni Bulletin