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USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Alumni Society


The Morsani College of Medicine Alumni Society is headed by our board of exemplary physician alumni. As a graduate or resident of the Morsani College of Medicine, you are automatically a member of the alumni society.


Elizabeth Sagatys MD ’03, Chair Works on several initiatives throughout the academic year that focus on bringing students and alumni together. This includes events and programs such as the Alumni-Student Meet and Greet, shadowing, mentoring, alumni-led lecture series and alumni hosting.


Diane Duffy MD ’89, Chair Works on developing policies for Board recruitment, receives and evaluates nominations and presents the slate of new officers and directors for approval at the annual meeting.





Aman Bhullar MD ’07, Chair Honors alumni who have made significant contributions to either the college or the field of medicine. Committee members, currently comprised of previous award recipients and board members, help to identify and evaluate alumni nominations, identify appropriate opportunities to make formal awards, and assist in establishing award criteria. Dolores Lowe MD ’93, Chair Works on increasing the visibility of the Alumni Society. Committee members offer their input regarding publications, website and social media. They are also asked to help publicize and recruit alumni participation at events.

Nishit Patel MD ’10 & Corey Howard MD ’90, Co-Chairs Works to connect with current and former residents to provide increased value to both the alumni and the medical college through networking, educational and fundraising opportunities.

Made up of celebrating class year members Works on planning the fall alumni reunion for milestone anniversary classes. This committee also contacts classmates, encourages them to attend the reunion and is involved in fundraising for class scholarships. 2

Meet our Board Members




Aman Bhullar MD ’07

Nishit Patel MD ’10

Valerie Riddle MD ’89















Sion “Bill” Carter MD ’87

Corey Howard MD ’90

Jane Messina MD ’88

Kerry Thomas MD ’08

Greg Nicolosi PhD

Daniel Kapp MD ’98

Christopher Pittman MD ’88

Deborah Trehy MD ’78

Cyndi Yag-Howard MD ’93

Dolores Lowe MD ’93

Dan Riggs MD ’81

Diane Duffy MD ’89

Rahul Mehra MD

Elizabeth Sagatys MD ’03

Carolyn Nicolosi

STUDENT COUNCIL Nakul Batra c/o 2017

To get involved with the Alumni Society email or call 813-974-6850.


ALUMNI AWARDS & RECOGNITION 2017 Distinguished Physician Alumni Peter J. Embi MD '97, MS, FACP, FACMI

Dr. Embi is an internationally recognized researcher, educator, and leader in the field of clinical and translational research informatics, with numerous peer-reviewed publications and presentations describing his innovations in the field.

Dr. Embi earned his medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine in 1997. He currently serves as president and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute, and he holds related leadership roles at Indiana University and the IU Health System.

Past Recipients 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992

James E. Gern MD '81 Eric A. Elster MD '95 Julie A. Jacobson MD '94 Eduardo C. Gonzalez MD '91 Michael T. Flannery MD '88 Paul M. Wallach MD '84 James M. Sherman, Jr. MD '75 George S. Bisset III MD '75 John I. Hughes MD '75 Patricia P. Barry MD '75 Loren J. Bartels MD '74 Douglas J. Barrett MD '74

He previously served in various leadership positions at The Ohio State University, including Interim Chair of Biomedical Informatics, Informatics Director of the OSU Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and Chief Research Information Officer at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. Prior to that, he was on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, where he was the founding director of the UC Center for Health Informatics. Among his numerous awards recognitions, Dr. Embi is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics, and he is Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors of the American Medical Informatics Association.


2016 Inaugural Outstanding Service Award Margarita R. Cabrera-Cancio BS ‘79, MD ’82, FACP Dr. Cabrera-Cancio completed her undergraduate degree, medical school, residency and fellowship at the University of South Florida. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Currently, Dr. Cabrera-Cancio is Clinical Professor at the USF College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine. Hospital appointments include Chief of the Department of Internal Medicine for four years and Chief of Staff for Tampa General Hospital for two and a half years. Dr. Cabrera-Cancio has served as secretary and trustee on the Florida Health Sciences Center Board for three years. Reappointed in 1992, she currently chairs the Quality Committee of the FHSC Board.

She is the founder (and serves as Medical Director) of Infectious Disease Associates of Tampa Bay and International Travelers Clinic of Tampa Bay. Additionally, she has been very active in our community as a member of the Hillsborough County AIDS coordination Council, the Suncoast AIDS Network of Florida, Shadow Program for College of Medicine Students, USF and USF-HRS AIDS Patient Care Clinics. She also served as the founding Medical Director of Tampa Care Clinic. Dr. Cabrera-Cancio has received numerous awards, is the author of several publications and lectures extensively. Her interests include epidemiology, antimicrobial stewardship, employee health, transplant medicine, and orthopedic infections.

Dr. Cabrera-Cancio has also served on the TGH Foundation Board and was a member of the USF Board of Trustees, where she served for 10 years. 5

Alumni Reunion Weekend 2016 More than 140 alumni and guests from the classes of 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 attended and had the opportunity to rekindle memories of their time at USF as they mingled with classmates and former teachers during this year's reunion weekend. For some, more than 25 years had gone by since graduating and visiting USF! On Friday, October 21, the Class of 1976 and emeriti faculty enjoyed a special reception at the USF Gibbons Alumni Center in honor or their 40th anniversary. Soon after, all classes joined them and gathered for the welcome dinner. Alumni enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and colleagues over cocktails. At the dinner, the Alumni Society presented the inaugural Outstanding Service Award to Margarita Cabrera-Cancio MD ’82. She received a standing ovation after giving an impassioned speech in acceptance of the award about the importance of giving back to her community and to her alma mater. Saturday, October 22, dawned as a picture perfect day for the MCOM tours and the barbecue picnic. Alumni gathered at the medical college for a walking tour of the campus with medical students as their tour guides. Following the tours, alumni gathered for a barbecue picnic. Guests enjoyed food and music from their era with friends and family. In the evening, alumni went to the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS). They took a tour of the state-of-the-art facility and heard from Dean Lockwood about the exciting new plans for expansion in downtown Tampa. 6

ALUMNI EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES White Coat Ceremony The White Coat sponsorship campaign for the White Coat Ceremony began in 2010. Since its inception, the campaign has raised more than $327,000 in support of student scholarships. This year, in preparation for the ceremony on August 18, donors gave more than $107,000. This included 83 MCOM alumni with 100% participation from the MCOM Alumni Society Board. Donors who gave $2,500 or more were invited to dinner at Dr. and Mrs. Lockwood's home. The Class of 2020 scholarship fund was established with funds in excess of the cost of white coats.

An Evening with the Dean At the January 12 reception in Gainesville, Dr. Lockwood spoke to alumni and guests about education, research and interactions with our hospitals and other partners in the community. He also spoke about our efforts to increase scholarship funding, especially through the support of our alumni. The event was graciously hosted by Douglas Barrett MD '74 and his wife, Macky Barrett.

Alumni-Student Meet & Greet Over 40 students attended this year's Alumni-Student Meet and Greet on February 3, which gave them a chance to meet and ask questions of our alumni panelists which included: • Elizabeth Sagatys MD ’03 – Hematopathology (Moderator) • Brett Bolhofner MD ’80 – Orthopaedic Surgery • Sion “Bill” Carter MD ’87 – Radiology • Glenn Catalano MD ’88 - Psychiatry • Wilson “Jason” Cornett MD ’98 – Pediatrics • Daniel Heinig MD ’84 – Internal Medicine • Joseph Pecoraro MD ’84 – General and Vascular Surgery • Chris Pittman MD ’88 – Interventional Radiology and Venous and Lymphatic Medicine • Dan Riggs MD ’81 – Pediatrics • Deborah Trehy MD ’78 – Obstetrician-Gynecology • Kira Zwygart MD ’98 – Family Medicine 7

Donors and Scholars More than 200 guests attended the 9th annual Morsani College of Medicine Donors and Scholars dinner at the Marshall Student Center Ballroom on March 22. This event allowed students and donors to personally connect and learn first-hand about the impact that scholarships have on the lives of current students. Alumni and current residents, John Miller BS '09, MS '10, MD'15 and Wai Wai Miller BS '11, MD '15 (right) are two of this year's scholarship donors. The Drs. Miller and one of their recipients, Nakul Batra, Class of 2017, shared their story of philanthropy in a video that was presented during dinner. To view the video, visit: Health leadership spoke about scholarship being a top priority for the university as applications from top tier students continue to rise. Thank you to all of our scholarship supporters who help ensure that our bright and talented students get to pursue their dreams of a future in medicine. 8

ALUMNI EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES Match Day The Class of 2017 includes 162 students who matched with residency programs at this year's Match Day at Ulele in downtown Tampa on March 17. Of those students, 37 are staying at USF and 70 are stating in Florida for their residencies. As part of the celebration, students wore green shirts that helped raise $2,500 towards medicine scholarships. Alumni from across the country volunteered to "match" with the new graduates by agreeing to extend a warm welcome and be a resource for them as they embark on this next chapter of their careers in medicine.

Student Ambassadors and Alumni Shadowing Every year, the USF Health Development and Alumni Relations office selects two incoming medical students to serve as ambassadors to assist with alumni engagement. On top of their responsibilities in the office, they spend four or more hours a week shadowing alumni in different specialties. This year, Jose Jesurajan and Ahmed Mohamed joined the team. When asked about their experience, Jesurajan said,

"This opportunity, along with all of the staff members that have been present to help and aid me through my journey, have been a true blessing. I had the chance to do things I had never dreamed of doing as a kid, and now, I have an opportunity to reach for the stars and continue to achieve limitless goals in my life." Thank you to all of our alumni who participated this year: • Brad Bjornstad MD ’77 - Chief Medical Officer • Lowella Esperanza MD ’91 - Dermatology • Michael Esposito MD – Neuroradiology • Richard Lichtenstein MD ’87 - Radiology • Nishit Patel MD ’10 - Dermatology • Scott Perrin MD ’04 - Radiology • Christopher Pittman MD ’88 - Vascular and Interventional Radiology • Thomas Pusateri MD ’84 - Ophthalmology • Rachel Ray MD ’92 - Pediatrics • Jonathan Stewart MD ’79 - Psychiatry • David Sugar MD ’92 - Orthopedic Surgery • Michael Swor MD ’81 - Gynecology • Leigh Tanner MD ’07 - Anesthesiology If you would like to allow a medical student to shadow you for a day, email






April 20, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Straz Center Contact: Catherine Warner |

May 9, 2017 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Bryan Glazer Family JCC Contact: Ashley Messer | See medicine alumni, Dr. Sylvia Campbell, ’77, and featured speaker, Dr. Susan MacManus receive the Remark-a-Bull award.

June 14, 2017 | 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. | 23 East Contact: Steven Spetcer PhD |

September 1, 2017 | 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. | Armature Works Contact: Bari B. Ciocia |


September 8-9, 2017 Contact: Catherine Warner |


June 15, 2017 Contact: Catherine Warner | Visit to submit your nomination


January 18, 2018 Contact: Catherine Warner | Visit to submit your nomination


November 30, 2017 Contact: Catherine Warner | Visit to submit your nomination


Downtown Tampa: Our future home The future location of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and the USF Health Heart Institute is located at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive in downtown Tampa. The $152.6-million building will feature learning and conference spaces, laboratories, faculty office space, an auditorium and a clinical research and care unit. Skanska/HOK is the design/build team constructing the facility. The USF Health Heart Institute will be led by Dr. Samuel Wickline, who plans on integrating biomedical research with advanced clinical care to help impove the detection, treatment and prevention of heart disease in the community.

Stay up to date Stay up to date through our newsletter: 11

BECAUSE OF YOU... Donors funded scholarships for 158 MCOM students in 2015-16. Medical student tuition and fees for instate students are approximately $35,000 annually and with living expenses, the annual cost of medical school quickly escalates. The average debt for a medical student is over $158,000 by the time they graduate. For many medical students, it can end up being a choice between the specialty they love or ensuring that they are able to pay their bills. You can be an advocate for medical students by supporting scholarships, and spreading the word to colleagues, classmates, and others to do the same. With the support of alumni like you, who see the importance of investing in the healthcare of tomorrow, we can work toward making a quality medical education more accessible to talented students. Whether it is the creation of a new scholarship, or increasing the size of the endowment of existing scholarships, you can help open doors to medical school for students who might not otherwise be able to afford the opportunity.

The Morsani College of Medicine already provides an excellent education, and we are becoming one of the most sought after programs in the nation. Alumni participation and scholarship support are evaluated regularly to determine the top quartile of medical schools in the country, and our goal is to be in the top 25 programs nation-wide.

As of January 2017, the alumni giving total for medicine class scholarships has reached over $300,000, bringing the class scholarship total to nearly $1.4 million. You can continue to help us give the nation’s best and brightest future doctors just one more reason to choose the Morsani College of Medicine through giving to class scholarships. For more information, contact Bari B. Ciocia by calling 813-974-9516 or email 12

Medicine Scholarship Giving Totals CLASS




Donn L. Smith Charter Class Endowed Scholarship '74 (256030)



College of Medicine Class of 1975 Scholarship Fund (256112)



MD Class of 1976 Endowed Scholarship (256118)



College of Medicine Class of 1977 Scholarship Fund (250217)



MD Class of 1978 Scholarship (250299)



College of Medicine Class of 1979 Endowed Scholarship (256045)



College of Medicine Class of 1980 Scholarship Fund (256113 )



MD Class of 1981 Scholarship (256125)



College of Medicine Class of 1982 Scholarship Fund (250219)



Class of 1984 Scholarship Fund (250267)



MD Class of 1985 Scholarship Fund (250277)



COM Class of 1986 Scholarship Fund (250193/256124)



Joseph J. Covello '87 Memorial Scholarship Fund (256097)



College of Medicine Class of 1988 Scholarship Fund (250237)



MCOM Class of 1989 Roy H. Behnke Memorial Scholarship Fund (250207)



M.D. Class of 1990 Scholarship (250271)



MD Class of 1991 Scholarship Fund (250304)



COM Class of 1992 Scholarship Fund (256114)



N. Donald Diebel, Jr. MD Memorial Medical Scholarship (256071)



Class of 1993 College of Medicine Scholarship (256121)



MD Class of 1994 Scholarship Fund

In Process


MD Class of 1995 Renee Schwandt Memorial Scholarship Fund (250286)



MD Class of 1996 Scholarship Fund (250276)



Morsani College of Medicine Class of 1997 Scholarship (256107)



Bryan Marc Dumais Endowed Memorial Scholarship (256620)



MD Class of 1999 Scholarship Fund (#250312 )



College of Medicine Class of 2000 Endowed Scholarship Fund (256092)



MD Class of 2001 Scholarship Fund (250284)



MD Class of 2002 Scholarship Fund

In Process


MD Class of 2003 Scholarship Fund (250307)



Class of 2004 Scholarship Fund (256101)



MD Class of 2005 Scholarship Fund (250275)



MD Class of 2006 Scholarship Fund (250305)



Class of 2007 Greg and Carolyn Nicolosi Scholarship Fund (256079)



MD Class of 2008 Scholarship Fund

In Process


USF College of Medicine Student-Teacher Award-Class of 2011 (250191)



Dr. Michael T. Flannery Scholarship Fund (256096)



Dr. Orhan E. Arslan Scholarship (250243)



Class of 2016 Scholarship Fund (250301)



Class of 2017 Scholarship Fund (256104)



Class of 2018 Scholarship Fund (256103)



Class of 2019 Scholarship Fund (256119)



Class of 2020 Scholarship Fund

In Process

TOTAL $1,389,147.09 13

Contact us JO-ANN ALESSANDRINI Associate Vice President USF Health Development (813) 974-0356


Assistant Director Annual Giving (813) 974-9516


Development Coordinator Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement (813) 974-3075


Senior Director of Development Morsani College of Medicine (813) 396-9182

LESLIE SCHIPANI-ANDERSON Director of Development Morsani College of Medicine (813) 974-4803


Associate Dean Alumni Relations and Advancement (813) 974-5193

CATHERINE WARNER Assistant Director Alumni Relations (813) 974-6850


Annual Report: MCOM Alumni Society 2017  
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