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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), formerly known as the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM), is a community-based, public medical university with a mission to improve the quality of health care in Northeast Ohio working in collaboration with its educational and clinical partners. NEOMED is a member of the University System of Ohio, and its partners include teaching hospitals, community sites and boards of health. Ignite magazine is published twice per year by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing. NEOMED Board of Trustees Eric Kodish, M.D. (‘86), Chair Chander M. Kohli, M.D., Vice Chair Daisy L. Alford-Smith, Ph.D. Dianne Bitonte Miladore, M.D. (‘81) Paul R. Bishop, J.D. Nida F. Degesys – Student Trustee J. David Heller, CPA Philip K. King – Student Trustee Anil M. Parikh, M.D., DFAPA Steven P. Schmidt, Ph.D. Gary S. Shamis, CPA, M.Acc. Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D. President Laura Mariano – Editor Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Cristine D. Boyd – Associate Editor Director of Public Relations and Marketing Contributing Writers: Heather Bing, Public Relations and Marketing Specialist; Cristine Boyd, Director of Public Relations and Marketing; Laura Mariano, Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Publication Design: Scott J. Rutan, Graphic Designer Photography: Ken Love Photography Office of Public Relations and Marketing 4209 State Route 44, PO Box 95 Rootstown, Ohio 44272-0095 email: No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission of the editors. Copyright 2011 by Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio 44272

A new day has dawned with the launch of our new name… Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)! We hope that you are as excited as we are about the promise the new name and brand brings and how it will help augment the incredible work that is taking place on this campus and beyond. The new name is more than just words. It signifies our status as one of the 14 independent state universities in Ohio, our dedication to providing exemplary health Photo Credit: Bruce S. Ford, Photographer professions education to Northeast Ohio, and our movement to add related educational offerings such as those in the College of Graduate Studies (Master of Public Health, M.S. and Ph.D. in integrated pharmaceutical medicine, and the combined M.D./Ph.D. and Pharm.D./Ph.D.). As our new T-shirts say, “New Name, New Logo, Same Mission.” We continue to stay true to our mission of improving the health, economy and quality of life in Northeast Ohio through the medical, pharmacy and health sciences education of students and practitioners at all levels: the development of new knowledge through research in biomedical, community health and behavioral sciences; and the provision of community service and health education through the Northeast Ohio region. We also celebrate the state’s approval to increase our medicine school class size in order to bring Cleveland State University (CSU) into the medical school partnership. We are excited about the development of the Urban Primary Care track working with CSU as well as the creation of a NEOMED Academic Campus at CSU. We thank the governor and the legislature for making the necessary changes in this year’s budget so that we can move forward with this partnership. While the budget presented some challenges related to clinical teaching funding, we are grateful to our hospital partners for their ongoing leadership and dedication to ensuring a well-educated physician and pharmacist workforce. We are excited about developing our Education for Service initiative with them as well as developing strong programs in clinical and translational research. A great example is the successful recruitment of the Ohio Research Scholar, Dr. Fayez Safadi; Dr. Safadi will conduct cutting-edge research working collaboratively with our clinical faculty in orthopedics as well as our basic science researchers in skeletal biology. We look forward to continuing to enhance our relationships with each of our clinical partners and developing projects and programs that will benefit our collective communities. As you read this edition of Ignite (the new name of our publication), we hope that you will continue to build pride in this institution and find new ways to get involved with us. The University is filled with people who are passionate about the work they are doing, and we are pleased with the progress that is being made in every area. Sincerely,

Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D. President, Northeast Ohio Medical University

VOL 14.1




04 07 10


IGNITING CHANGE: Key Leaders Discuss Medical Research and Its Impact on the Ohio Economy IGNITING ACHIEVEMENT: College of Pharmacy Graduates Inaugural Class


16 18


A NEW PAGE IN OUR HISTORY: NEOUCOM Becomes Northeast Ohio Medical University








38 39



omes c e ity b s r M e v O i n C U U NEO edical M o i h O t or ’s Northeas

govern 11, in the 0 2 , 9 2 l Kasich held Apri ov. John g G n , ri e e s u th o a H lg ral hio State hio Gene O t a specia O e e th th t y a b l office hio pproved astern O ceremonia l 139 as a e il h B rt e o s N u o of the igned H rsity publicly s the name ical Unive e d e g n M a h io c h lly east O to officia e to North in ic d e Assembly M f o s College Universitie ershen, ). nt Jay A. G e (NEOMED id s re P e aid brates th le iversity,” s e n c U e e g th n r me fo e cha its exciting ti f the nam rienced in o e l p a x v e o r s “This is an p a e ap ublic iversity h h.D. “Th f the 14 p s the Un o s e e n c o c D.D.S., P s u s a and as a our place t growth our brand e affirms p m lo a e n significan v e w d e is n ioned to izens in istory. Th eds of cit now posit e n re 38-year h a e e th W s . at serve s in Ohio iversity th n u universitie tion.” s e c n scie te and na h ta lt s a e e h th r t premie ughou io and thro h O t s a e North e Boyd

by Cristin



As the University celebrated the new name, graduates from the class of 2011, which include the inaugural class from the College of Pharmacy, received one of the first “official” documents with the NEOMED name – a diploma. Although the name change was official on April 29, the University waited to complete a hard launch of the new name and brand until Aug.15 to provide adequate time to convert internal operations such as email, business cards and signage. The Aug. 15 brand launch was welcomed by a crowd of more than 400 people wearing T-shirts bearing the new University logo. President Gershen, members of the Board of Trustees and elected officials from the surrounding area greeted faculty, staff and students before unveiling the large campus sign next to State Route 44, revealing the University’s new name. Following the unveiling, attendees gathered in the University’s main atrium where they had the opportunity to view the new University website, social media pages, augmented reality display and more. To learn more about the rebranding, visit

TOP LEFT: Faculty, staff, students and special guests helped to kick off the new University name and brand at the signage unveiling on Aug. 15. TOP RIGHT: New signage at campus entrance to State Route 44. RIGHT: Dr. Gershen greets state Sen. Tom Sawyer while other elected officials (state Sen. Frank LaRose, County Commissioner Maureen Frederick, state Rep. Todd McKenney, state Rep. Kathleen Clyde and state Rep. Lynn Slaby) and NEOMED representatives look on. LEFT: First-year College of Medicine students arrive to see the new signage.

(Left to right): Richard Lewis, director of governmental relations; Kathleen Clyde, Ohio House of Representatives, 68th district; Todd McKenney, Ohio House of Representatives, 43rd district; Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president of the University; Eric Kodish, M.D. (‘86), chair of the University Board of Trustees; Dianne Bitonte Miladore, M.D. (‘81), member of the University Board of Trustees and John Stilliana, associate director of governmental relations at the University. Seated is Gov. John Kasich.

Introduced as House Bill 139, state Rep. Todd McKenney carried the bill in the House of Representatives where it passed 94 to 1. State Sen.Tom Sawyer carried the bill on the Senate floor where it passed 32 to 0 before being presented to Gov. Kasich. This was the first bill passed in the General Assembly for new Congressman Todd McKenney and was only the 18th bill signed by the new governor since his election.







With the new name comes an entirely new brand identity – the

After more than a year of planning and work, the

look that defines the University. The campus worked dili-

Northeast Ohio Medical University website has

gently all summer to update items such as letterhead, business

launched at! The site will allow

cards and signage to reflect the new name of Northeast Ohio

a more educational and dynamic experience for

Medical University.

visitors with campus videos, a campus calendar, informational stories, photo galleries and more! A @neomed.

Effective Aug.15, 2011, all emails have changed to

mobile version of the site can also be found using

edu and the website is now located at The

your smartphone at The mobile

campus bookstore has also changed stock so that it is selling

site allows users to get directions to the University,

University-branded items.

access to campus directories and a campus calendar of events. The University has also launched new social networking sites including Facebook, twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Flickr! Visit the website for direct links to these pages and connect with YOUR University! It is an easy way to stay connected on current and upcoming events, research discoveries, new programs and stories about faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Dr. Gershen’s new license plate reflects his NEOMED pride.



KEY LEADERS DISCUSS MEDICAL RESEARCH AND ITS IMPACT ON THE OHIO ECONOMY by Cristine Boyd Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, discusses the economic impact of medical research with Congressman Tim Ryan and a Forum attendee.


s the research enterprise at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) grows, so do the opportunities to recognize the economic impact this research makes

on the state and our local community. On May 16, NEOMED partnered with Research!America to

the Forum featured a prestigious panel that included Dr.

host a Research Partners Forum, “Building Ohio’s Economy

Carolyn Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research

and Health through Medical Research,” in the Ralph Regula

and Quality; Barbara Kunz, president, Health and Life Sci-

Conference and Event Center. The Forum brought together

ences Global Business at Battelle; Debra Lappin, J.D., senior

business leaders, members of the Ohio congressional

vice president of B & D Consulting and president of the Council

delegation, state executive and legislative leadership, aca-

for American Medical Innovation; Tim Ryan, U.S. Congress-

demic leadership, researchers, patient advocates, educators

man; and Dr. Lawrence Tabak, principal deputy director of

and members of the media to discuss the remarkable op-

the National Institutes of Health.

portunities medical and health research offers the state of Ohio and the ways research provides benefits through new

Dentzer led the panel in a stimulating conversation, including

jobs and businesses as well as allowing people to live longer,

why research is important. Rep. Ryan remarked, “Everyone

healthier lives.

wants to live forever and we all want someone in this room to figure out how to make that happen.” Clancy also com-

Moderated by Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs,

mented that if we want to continue to make research relevant 07 | IGNITE

to the public, we need to be innovative in how we deliver care. “We still deliver health care in old fashioned ways,” she remarked, “but it takes resources to be innovative.” “The state of Ohio is very well positioned in biomedical funding to this point,” said Kunz, “but the tide in funding may be changing.” She cautioned that as the budgets for science are reduced, the numbers of students studying science are also on the decline. Dr. Tabak commented that it is the responsibility of everyone in the room to show how science is exciting in order to draw attention to great research, which will make the case for increased (not decreased) funding. He challenged students from Cleveland’s John Hay High School and nearby Rootstown High School to “share with your friends on Facebook why you are excited about science.” The conversation quickly turned to research in a global economy. “So much of innovation happens locally, and we have great opportunities to become globally competitive

PHOTOS FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Moderator Susan Dentzer leads the discussion with Congressman Tim Ryan, Debra Lappin, Barbara Kunz, Dr. Carolyn Clancy and Dr. Lawrence Tabak. University presidents, Dr. David R. Hopkins (Wright State), Dr. Rita Rice Morris (Shawnee State) and Dr. E. Gordon Gee (Ohio State). Dr. Jeff Susman, dean of the College of Medicine, discusses medical careers with students from John Hay high school. Tom Strauss, president of Summa Heath System and Tom Cecconi, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center, converse after the event.

because of it,” said Lappin. Clancy agreed. “More and more research is being done as a team, including the delivery of it in our hospital systems,” she said. “It is a shared responsibility.” As a part of the forum, comments about the importance of research to education and the economic impact of our colleges and universities were also offered by the presidents of various Ohio universities, including Dr. Cynthia E. Anderson of Youngstown State University, Dr. Ronald M. Berkman of Cleveland State University, Dr. E. Gordon Gee of The Ohio State University, Dr. Jay A. Gershen of NEOMED, Dr. David R. Hopkins of Wright State University, Dr. Lester A. Lefton of Kent State University, Dr. Rita Rice Morris of Shawnee State

Forum sponsors included Battelle, the Inter-University Council

University and Dr. Luis M. Proenza of The University of Akron.

of Ohio, Greater Akron Chamber, BioOhio, BioEnterprise, Summa Heath System and NorTech.

Dr. Hopkins discussed the importance of public-private partnerships as a catalyst to increase research in the university system, while Dr. Berkman cited the need to address the issues in K-12 public education. “We can’t accomplish

Research!America is the nation’s largest nonprofit

goals of building a scientific workforce if we ignore the prob-

public education and advocacy alliance working to make

lems. We need a pipeline for these programs and a way to

research to improve health a higher national priority.

support a diverse pool of students with diverse needs. We

Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported

need a national commitment to public institutions to build fuel

by member organizations representing 125 million

and compete.” Dr. Gee agreed. “The future is in knowledge

Americans. Visit

— not just in hard work,” he remarked.


Poll finds Ohioans feel medical and health research is important Ohioans broadly support a strong commitment to medical and

in science, and nearly as many (57 percent) say it is very

health research and recognize its direct link to job

important that Ohio create more opportunities for careers in

creation and the state’s and the nation’s economy, accor-

science and research.

ding to a statewide poll conducted by IBOPE Zogby for Research!America and Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). Poll results were released at the R!A Forum in May. A strong majority of Ohioans (86 percent) think medical and health research is important — 42 percent say very important — to the state’s economy. Eight in 10 believe spending money on scientific research is important to Ohio’s economy in terms of jobs and incomes. Nine in 10 (92 percent) Ohioans think it is important — 62 percent say very important — for the state to be a leader in medical and health research, but only half say the state is a leader in this area. Nearly as many (88 percent) say it is important for the state to be a leader in science and technology, but just 28 percent think it is. “The strong public support by Ohioans for research is a reflection of the growth and

Further findings from the Ohio poll include: • 81 percent say they would approve of their state offering financial incentives to companies to attract new scientific research labs or companies; • 97 percent think education and training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is important — 78 percent say very important — to U.S. competitiveness and future economic prosperity; • 90 percent of Ohioans say it is important that elected officials at all levels listen to advice from scientists and public health professionals when setting policy or spending priorities; and • 62 percent agree that basic research, which advances the frontiers of knowledge, is necessary and should be supported by the federal government, even if it brings no immediate benefits.

strength of medical and health R&D conducted by the univer-

IBOPE Zogby International conducted the online survey

sities and academic health centers in our state,” said Jay A.

of 600 adults in Ohio from April 27-May 2, 2011. The sample

Gershen, D.D.S, Ph.D., NEOMED president. “Ohio’s univer-

is proportionate to the nation’s demographics, including age,

sities are building the state’s leadership in medical and health

race/ethnicity, gender and education, with a margin of error

research, educating health professionals to work in under-

of ± 4.1 percent. Highlights of the poll findings are available

served areas and creating innovative collaborations with


the state’s growing life science industry and broader business community.” Fully 85 percent say it is important — 47 percent say very important — for Ohio to support the education of health professionals for rural and urban underserved communities. Six in 10 believe it is very important for Ohio to encourage young people to pursue careers that require a solid education 09 | IGNITE





ollowing years of preparation and anticipation, the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED College

captured the inaugural class’ determination, transformation and, ultimately, success.

of Pharmacy graduated its inaugural pharmacy class

on May 21, 2011, at The University of Akron’s E.J. Thomas

“This is an incredible culmination of the hard work, dedication

Performing Arts Center.

and support of so many people, most notably the students themselves, our fantastic faculty and staff, and the family and

The pride and excitement of the students, friends and family,

friends of these graduates,” said Dr. Allen. “The accomplish-

and faculty and staff members was palpable as the charter

ments of this inaugural graduating class are

class crossed the auditorium stage to receive hoods, diplomas

tremendous, from their involvement and

and words of congratulations from David D. Allen, R.Ph.,

leadership in industry organizations and

Ph.D., FASHP, FAPhA, dean of the College of Pharmacy, and

associations to their academic achievements

Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president of the University.

to their placements following graduation. They

The recessional hardly concluded before the hall filled with

have set the standard for future College of

exclamations and laughter; an outburst of joy that perfectly

Pharmacy graduates and are a testament not only to the University, but to the profession and our region.”


A LONG AND REWARDING JOURNEY The only pharmacy program in the eastern half of Ohio, the

Pharmacy has been dedicated to meeting and surpassing

College of Pharmacy was established, along with the appoint-

the expectations and requirements associated with accredita-

ment of founding dean, Dr. Allen, in December 2005 following

tion of its professional degree program. Since May 2006, the

approval from the University’s Board of Trustees and the Ohio

College of Pharmacy has been pursuing its accreditation

Board of Regents. The program was created to meet a com-

through a rigorous and intensive three-step process governed by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

munity need and positioned the University to be in the forefront of the interprofessional training of health professionals.

According to the ACPE, which is the national agency for the

With this focus on interprofessional education and re-

“The accomplishments of this inaugural

accreditation of professional

pharmacy students who pro-

graduating class are tremendous, from

macy, the essential purpose

actively integrate into the

their involvement and leadership in

of the accreditation process

oratively advance and deliver

industry organizations and associations

judgment of the quality of a

optimal patient care, the

to their academic achievements to their

college or school of phar-

its inaugural class in the fall

placements following graduation. They

or programs and to encourage

of 2007, formally welcoming

have set the standard for future College

continued improvement.

students into the program

of Pharmacy graduates and are a

ACPE accredits Pharm.D.

testament not only to the University, but

and schools of pharmacy in

search, and plans to graduate

health care team to collab-

College of Pharmacy enrolled

at the University’s annual White Coat Ceremony. “We recruited a stellar administrative team and diverse

to the profession and our region.”

degree pro-grams in phar-

is to provide a professional

macy’s professional program

programs offered by colleges the United States and selected non-U.S. sites.

– College of Pharmacy Dean David D. Allen

cadre of talented faculty, and we designed, in collaboration

“By participating in this accreditation process, we not

with the College of Medicine, an innovative and truly interdis-

only ensure our program provides satisfactory educational

ciplinary curriculum,” said Dr. Allen. “The final element was

preparation for licensure and practice, but assure constituents,

enrolling a top-notch inaugural class, and we most assur-

faculty and students that a framework is in place for continued

edly did.”

quality improvement to reflect the advances in knowledge and practice on an ongoing basis,” said Dr. Allen.

The University’s Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree is a four-year program that admits 75 students each year, typi-

The College of Pharmacy was awarded precandidate status

cally admitting up to 15 who have successfully completed

in January 2007, candidate status in June 2008, and, in July

their pre-professional pharmacy studies from each of the

2011, full accreditation status by the ACPE Board of Directors;

University’s four partner institutions — The University of Akron,

a milestone achievement that pays tribute to the College’s

Cleveland State University, Kent State University and

dedication to continuous self-evaluation and efforts to advance

Youngstown State University — and 15 students from other

the program as well as the profession.

institutions. Unfilled seats by partnering universities are made available to applicants from other institutions through an “at

“We are very pleased to not only have achieved full accredi-

large” application review.

tation status for our program, but to have received commendation and noteworthy practice designations for our efforts,”

In addition to establishing a solid curriculum, the College of 12 | IGNITE

said Dr. Allen. “I am grateful for the hard work and dedication


the road, it will help us work together for the betterment of our patients.” Many of the new graduates attribute their transformation and success not only to the program, but those faculty and staff members who went above and beyond in helping them realize their potential. “The College of Pharmacy, the faculty, the mentors I’ve met here, really have been the ones that have guided me to every decision I’ve made,” said Christopher Shelby, Pharm.D. (‘11), PGY1 resident at Akron General Medical Center. “It’s been of all those who played an instrumental role in our success.”

amazing how much everyone here wants you to succeed.”


A program in its infancy, the College of Pharmacy anticipated

Students who enrolled in the inaugural class had a tremendous

some growing pains and built in methods for students to

impact on the program, making curriculum suggestions, pro-

directly address and impact how those obstacles were

viding feedback on their interprofessional experience, and

managed; however, to many students, those challenges were

offering insights to faculty and staff following their rotations.

merely new and exciting opportunities.

“I think this University gives a lot of opportunity for everyone to get involved with the curriculum, to get involved with the student body and to get involved with administration,” said Rebecca Corsi, Pharm.D. (‘11), pharmacist at Giant Eagle and former student representative to the Board of Trustees. In addition to seeing a number of changes implemented during their time at the University, many charter class members anticipate their feedback will continue to shape the program for future classes. “Looking at the interprofessional experience, I am jealous of what the curriculum will be in a few years,” said Alejandro Adorno, Pharm.D. (‘11), pharmacist at Rite Aid. “It’s defi-

“When you look at our experience, you never knew what was

nitely growing, and I’ve seen it grow during my own time here. We work together once we graduate, so why not start working

part of helping make the College and the program grow,” said Joseph Dikun, Pharm.D. (‘11), graduate student in pharmacy

and training together early on in our careers? Looking down

administration at the University of Mississippi School of Phar-



going to happen next. So you were part of the learning process,


University plans for College of Pharmacy program NOVEMBER

Ohio Board of Regents approves Doctor of Pharmacy degree University appoints founding dean for College of Pharmacy DECEMBER

University Board of Trustees approves creation of College of Pharmacy 14 | IGNITE

macy. “I can’t speak enough about the individuals who have been here from the beginning. They have nothing but dedication to teaching, dedication to mentorship and dedication to leadership. I’ve had plenty of people who’ve taken me under their wing to help me develop personally as well as professionally.” A HISTORICAL AND MEMORABLE COMMENCEMENT In May 2011, the College of Pharmacy celebrated the commencement of its inaugural class of 61 graduates, more than half of whom were offered and accepted positions in Ohio

Commencement speaker William A. Zellmer, M.P.H., was

following graduation. About 60 percent entered community

awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Science Honoris

practice while the balance are pursuing health system phar-

Causa, by President Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., in

macy, continuing their education or entering residencies.

recognition of his dedication to the pharmacy profession, his leadership in academic endeavors and for his significant

Looking ahead, the program will continue to transform, incor-

contributions, leadership and excellent counsel in contribut-

porating the insights of each new class of pharmacy students,

ing to the success and growth of the NEOMED College

enhancing the curriculum to reflect the advances in knowledge

of Pharmacy.

and practice on an ongoing basis, and building on the successes achieved by its charter class. “As the first pharmacy graduates of the University, they will always hold a special place in our hearts and our history,” said Dr. Allen. “They were willing to join this new pharmacy program in its infancy and help determine its future. They were the students who made interprofessional education a reality at our University and helped build a solid reputation for this pharmacy program at the national level. I can’t thank them enough for that, and I am so proud of the accomplishments this class has made and am truly eager to see what Rebecca Corsi, Pharm.D. (‘11), was selected by her peers

their future holds.”

to carry the Bowl of Hygea at commencement and to give the inaugural commencement address. Students were asked to present this honor to a classmate they would most want


College of Pharmacy awarded precandidate accreditation status AUGUST


Inaugural white coats issued to first class J U LY

as their own personal pharmacist as exemplified through excellent intellectual and clinical skills, empathy and patient rapport, and diligence and support of fellow classmates.



Northeast Ohio Medical University’s Doctor of Pharmacy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 135 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 4100, Chicago, Ill., 60603-4810, 312.664.3575, 312.664.4652,


College of Pharmacy graduates inaugural pharmacy class J U LY

ACPE awards College of Pharmacy full accreditation status

Awarded candidate accreditation status



Fayez Safadi, Ph.D.

NEOMED Welcomes Ohio Research Scholar to Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

University Board of Trustees Elects New Leadership, Receives New Trustee Appointments

Fayez Safadi, Ph.D., a skeletal biologist, has joined the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) as a professor and Ohio Research Scholar.

During its Sept. 16 meeting, the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) Board of Trustees elected Eric Kodish, M.D. (‘86), to the position of chair and Chander M. Kohli, M.D., to the position of vice chair.

Dr. Safadi’s research at NEOMED is primarily focused on the regulation of bone cell development and function, with specific emphasis on growth factors that can enhance bone formation and repair. His work examines the basic biology of bone, mechanisms of disease and possible therapies. The Ohio Research Scholars Program (ORSP) works to strengthen and increase the amount of research excellence, led by Ohio’s academic institutions, that support regional economic priorities.

Renowned Cardiovascular Researcher Joins NEOMED

Marc Steven Penn, M.D., Ph.D., FACC

Marc Steven Penn, M.D., Ph.D., FACC, recently joined Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) in conjunction with Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Penn will serve as director of research at the Summa Cardiovascular Institute and professor of medicine and integrative medical sciences at NEOMED.

Eric Kodish, M.D. (‘86)

On Sept. 16, Gov. Kasich also appointed third-year pharmacy student Philip K. King to a two-year term as student member of the Board. King studied both biochemistry and prepharmacy at Kent State University Chandler M. Kohli, M.D. before coming to NEOMED. King is an Ohio Registered Pharmacy Intern and a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Additionally, Ohio Gov. John Kasich appointed new trustees Paul R. Bishop, J.D., to a nine-year term on Nov. 15 and J. David Heller, CPA, to a six-year term on Dec. 14. Bishop is chairman and CEO of H-P Products in Louisville, Ohio, the leading manufacturer of central vacuum systems for homes, and of Engineered Tube Bends, catalog and custom fabricates tubular products and accessories for industrial and commercial applications. Heller is co-founder and principal of the Cleveland, Ohio-based NRP Group, a full-service developer, general contractor and property management company.

Hull Named Fellow of American College of Preventive Medicine

A foremost researcher in his field, Dr. Penn is leading a team of scientists at NEOMED in conducting both basic science and clinical studies that focus on helping the heart repair itself after acute injury such as heart attack or while the patient is facing chronic diseases including heart failure. Sharon K. Hull, M.D., M.P.H.


Sharon K. Hull, M.D., M.P.H., professor of behavioral and community health sciences, was named a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM). Dr. Hull was bestowed the honor at the ACPM Awards/New Fellows banquet in San Antonio, Texas, as part of the Preventive Medicine 2011 annual meeting.

Article on Break-Through Glaucoma Research Awarded National Prize A jointly authored Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS ) paper on recent findings in glaucoma research, of which Samuel D. Crish, Ph.D. Samuel D. Crish, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, was the lead author, has been awarded The Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize of The New York Academy of Medicine. The Academy recognizes the most significant scholarly article on glaucoma published in a peer-reviewed journal during the previous calendar year. Nominations for the prize are solicited from leaders of the ophthalmologic community and reviewed in the spring of the award year.

Porfeli Honored with Early Career Professional Award Erik J. Porfeli, Ph.D., assistant professor of behavioral and community health sciences, and vice-chair of research, Department of Family and Community Medicine, has been awarded the Early Career ProfesErik J. Porfeli, Ph.D. sional Award from the Society for Vocational Psychology, a section of the Division of Counseling Psychology of the American Psychological Association. This prestigious award recognizes researchers early in their career who have demonstrated a substantial commitment and contribution to field of career and vocational psychology.

Bruce Named ‘30 for the Future’ Recipient Susan P. Bruce, Pharm.D., BCPS, chair and associate professor of pharmacy practice, has been selected as a 2011 Greater Akron Chamber 30 for the Future recipient. Presented by the Greater Akron Susan P. Bruce, Chamber and LPC Publishing, the Pharm.D., BCPS fifth annual recognition program honors 30 young professionals who live and/or work in the Greater Akron Region and are trendsetters in their industry, impacting the region through leadership, mentoring and volunteerism.

Moser Named Fulbright Specialist Grant Recipient

Dr. Moser shaking hands with Dr. Agron Reka, rector of the State University of Tetovo, during Dr. Moser’s formal welcome to the State University of Tetovo.

J. Michael Moser, M.D., M.P.H., FACPM, clinical professor of family and community medicine, received the Fulbright Specialist Grant, resulting in his travels to the Republic of Macedonia to provide teaching and curriculum development assistance in epidemiology to the faculty of medicine at one of the major public universities.

Created in 2000 to complement the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Fulbright Specialists Program provides short-term academic opportunities to faculty and professionals in the United States to support faculty and curricular development as well as institutional planning at post-secondary, academic institutions around the world.

Albani Named 2011 Family Physician of the Year Thomas E. Albani Jr., M.D., FAAFP, received the 2011 Family Physician of the Year Award on Aug. 6 at the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians ( OAFP ) All-Member Assembly in Dublin, Ohio. Dr. Albani has been Thomas E. Albani Jr., practicing family medicine for 27 years M.D., FAAFP and currently works as a solo practitioner in Canfield, Ohio. He is also a volunteer faculty member for the family medicine residency program at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown and is an assistant clinical professor of family medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University. OAFP annually presents the Family Physician of the Year Award to an individual who meets and exceeds the criteria of being an outstanding family physician role model; maintaining high professional standards and service orientations; providing high quality and family-centered, continuing health care and being active in community, educational or other public affairs.


RESEARCH John Young-Ling Chiang, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular pathology at Northeast Ohio Medical University, has received the highly selective MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), for his research projects on bile acid metabolism and nuclear receptors.



nitiated in 1987, the Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award enables the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to recognize researchers who have demonstrated

“A primary component of our department’s mission is to accomplish innovative scientific

superior competence and outstanding productivity in their

research to better the health of society, and

research endeavors. It provides long-term support to inves-

Dr. Chiang’s research furthers this University

tigators with impressive records of scientific achievement in research areas of special importance or promise. Less than

initiative while addressing several of the most

five percent of NIH-funded investigators are selected to receive

serious diseases affecting public health.”

MERIT Awards. John Young-Ling Chiang, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry

– Department of Integrative Medical Sciences Chair Dr. William M. Chilian

and molecular pathology at Northeast Ohio Medical University, has received the highly selective MERIT Award from the

versity. “We are extraordinarily proud of Dr. Chiang and his

NIH, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), for his research projects on bile acid

accomplishments. He and his research team have brought

metabolism and nuclear receptors.

inspire institutional support for these and other research

exceptional recognition to our University and continue to efforts.”

“MERIT Awards are among the most selective research grants given by the NIH, and this is one of the highest honors that

Chiang’s research projects on bile acid metabolism and nuclear

an NIH-funded investigator can receive,” said Jeffrey L.

receptors have been supported by two long-term NIH R01

Susman, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine at the Uni-

grants since he joined the University in 1978; one is in its


sixteenth year of funding and the MERIT Award will extend

tinal absorption and transporting nutrients, fats, steroids and

the other, which has been funded for 23 years, by an addi-

drugs. An imbalance of cholesterol and bile acids in the body

tional ten years.

can cause gallstones, fatty liver disease and liver injury and can also contribute to heart disease. Bile acids also play

“This long-term research support lessens the administrative

critical roles in glucose and energy metabolism in the body

burdens associated with preparation and submission of com-

to prevent diabetes and obesity.

peting grant applications, allowing Dr. Chiang to concentrate his efforts on advancing the research,” said Walter E. Horton

The NIDDK, a component of the NIH, conducts and supports

Jr., Ph.D., vice president for research and dean of the College

basic and clinical research on diabetes and other endocrine

of Graduate Studies at the University.

and metabolic diseases, including digestive, kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. These diseases, which can afflict people of all ages and ethnic groups, encompass some of the most common, severe and disabling conditions affecting Americans. “A primary component of our department’s mission is to accomplish innovative scientific research to better the health of society, and Dr. Chiang’s research furthers this University initiative while addressing several of the most serious diseases affecting public health,” said William M. Chilian, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Integrative Medical Sciences and professor of physiology and pharmacology at the University.

Chiang’s research focuses on studying mechanism and re-

“His much deserved receipt of this MERIT Award recognizes

gulation of bile acid and cholesterol metabolism in diabetes,

his long-term research achievement and acknowledges his

obesity and liver diseases. Excess cholesterol can break

consistent and excellent contribution to scientific knowledge

down bile acids in the liver, which play a critical role in intes-

and research productivity.” 19 | IGNITE


John Wray, vice president for administration and finance, shows the new building drawing to John Graham, past student representative to the Board of Trustees.



ore than 200 people gathered on the south side of campus on a misty May 16 morning to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new University Research

and Graduate Education Building. The four story, 80,000 square foot building will include state-

“Research is of vital importance to our University,” said Dr. Gershen. “It means enhanced learning for our students, jobs for our community, and ultimately, medical

of-the art open biomedical laboratories to support collabora-

breakthroughs that can make a difference

tive research along with sophisticated core facilities. In ad-

in the lives of our neighbors, friends and

dition, there will be faculty offices, areas for students and technicians, and seminar and small group conference and

loved ones.”

teaching rooms. It is estimated that it will take 18 months to complete construction on this $42 million building.

William Batchelder; state Rep. Todd McKenney; Portage County Commissioner Maureen Frederick; Dr. Carolyn Clancy,

The groundbreaking ceremony drew individuals from the

director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality;

research, business, education, political and non-profit circles.

Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America; and

Speakers included Dr. Steven P. Schmidt, former chair of the

Dr. Walter Horton Jr., vice president for research and dean

University Board of Trustees and vice president, clinical re-

of the College of Graduate Studies.

search and innovation and president and COO of the Summa Foundation; Congressman Tim Ryan; Ohio House Speaker 20 | IGNITE

The research enterprise for the University has been expanding.

Congressman Tim Ryan stresses the economic impact the new building will have on the county.

Dr. Walter E. Horton Jr., vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, describes the dynamic research that will take place in the new building.

Breaking ground are (left to right): Dr. Walter Horton, Mary Woolley, Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Congressman Tim Ryan, Dr. Jay Gershen, state Rep. Todd McKenney, Dr. Steven P. Schmidt, Speaker William Batchelder, and Commissioner Maureen Frederick.

Rendering of the Research and Graduate Education Building

For the past two years, faculty on the Rootstown campus

ing College of Graduate Studies room to grow. With degree-

have garnered more than $10 million in new funding for

granting authority for a master of public health, and graduate-

research and sponsored programs, that equates to almost

level coursework and research opportunities leading to master

$150,000 of new annual funding per faculty member, a level

and doctoral degrees in other biomedical areas, including an

on par with larger research universities. The new building will

important partnership doctoral program with Kent State Uni-

support the important research leading to better treatments

versity in biomedical sciences, the building will allow the

for heart disease, orthopedic conditions such as arthritis and

University to dedicate proper learning space for collaborative

osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, addiction and

graduate-level learning and opportunities for dual degrees

other areas.

such as the M.D./Ph.D. and Pharm.D./Ph.D.

“These new facilities will support our continued commitment

The groundbreaking for the new Research and Graduate

to this important mission of the University,” said Dr. Gershen.

Education building also sets a plan in motion to develop a

“Remember – medical research is not just about health, it is

public-private partnership zone that will create space on the

also important for the health of our economy. For every $1

University campus for companies that need access to research

million in federal funding that comes to a university, it is esti-

laboratories and the type of support facilities that can be

mated that between $1.8 and $2 million in economic impact

provided by a medical university. This will bring companies

occurs through jobs, supply chain for the research programs,

into the region, which will create jobs and have a positive

and construction.”

impact on the economy. The public-private partnership zone will be located in existing space and will be physically con-

In addition to research, the new building will allow the burgeon-

nected to the new building. 21 | IGNITE


Magdi H. Awad, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Northeast Ohio Medical University and clinical pharmacist at Portage Community Health Resources, meets with a patient about medication therapy management.



by Heather Bing

anaging multiple medications and fully understand-

MTM sessions typically involve a 30-60 minute, one-on-one

ing their impact on a variety of disease states can

meeting between a patient and pharmacist where the patient

be challenging for a patient, especially when

is asked to bring his or her prescription and over-the-counter

compounded with concerns over proper use, possible side

medications or a detailed list for review. This review allows

effects, interactions with other medications and rising health

for an open and honest conversation about the patient’s

care costs.

medical history, when and why the patient is or is not taking the medications, side effects the patient is experiencing and

Medication Therapy Management (MTM) is an integrated

other related concerns.

approach to improving patients’ health outcomes. From educating patients about the medications they are taking and

Following the session, the pharmacist produces a recom-

how they are working for their disease states to generating a

mendation for improving health outcomes to be reviewed with

recommendation for medication and lifestyle changes, MTM

the patient’s primary care provider. Recommendations may

services promote medication self-management and individu-

include the elimination of some medications, dosage changes

alized, patient-centered care.

and proposed lifestyle/behavioral changes, all of which can work to reduce health care costs for the patient and ensure

“MTM services improve treatment outcomes for individual

all medications are taken appropriately.

patients by promoting active collaboration among patients, pharmacists, doctors and other health care providers,” said

Patients with chronic illnesses, taking multiple medications,

Magdi H. Awad, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy

experiencing discouraging side effects, incurring overwhelm-

practice at Northeast Ohio Medical University and clinical

ing costs, or expressing concerns about the long-term out-

pharmacist at Portage Community Health Resources. “It is

comes of their current medicinal use may benefit most from

much more than traditional counseling.”

participating in MTM.


Fourth-year pharmacy student Nelson Waynesboro speaks with a patient about her prescriptions, and possible side effects and interactions with other medications.

services through his work in a federally qualified health center as well as his residency training, which was specifically focused on ambulatory care. He has provided MTM and disease management services to patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma/COPD, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, arthritis and blood clots. His current work at Portage Community Health Resources centers around elderly patients and underserved minorities who are trying to manage numerous medications, are faced with compliance and health literacy issues, and who may be seeing multiple specialists. Many of his patients are referred to him by “The more medications a patient is taking, the more oppor-

physicians while others hear about his services through word

tunity there is for resolving an issue,” said Dr. Awad. “It is

of mouth.

important the patient, pharmacist and provider all partner in order to ensure medications are appropriate, effective, safe

“It’s challenging working with patients with barriers; you have

and convenient.”

to spend the majority of your time creating a ‘no shame’ environment and just gathering information,” said Dr. Awad. “You

Dr. Awad earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the

have to excel at not only making recommendations but making

University of Minnesota where he first participated in MTM

the services work within their busy schedules.” 23 | IGNITE


Angelo L. DeLucia, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular virology and cancer biology, and John J. Thomas, assistant director of campus operations, volunteer to have their longstanding mustaches shaved to kick off the Shave-A-Thon event. 24 | IGNITE

A group of “shavees” gather for a photo during the Shave-A-Thon event.

SHAVE-A-THON Raises Funds for Childhood Cancer Program More than 15 faculty, students, staff and family members had their heads, beards or mustaches shaved to raise funds for the Childhood Cancer Program (CCP) at Northeast Ohio Medical University. The CCP is a voluntary, student-run program conducted in conjunction with a local children’s hospital. The inaugural Shave-A-Thon event, which took place in the University’s courtyard and amphitheater, was developed by Gary Meszaros, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at the University, to support CCP funding for medical student and pediatric cancer patient activities. “Each year, medical students interact with cancer patients and their families and become part of a supportive team in treatment and patient care,” said Dr. Meszaros. “The students

Gary Meszaros, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and pharmacology, has his head shaved by donor and raffle winner Rey T. Notareschi, director of academic technology services for the University.

and patients spend time together through hospital visits, trips

developments, ideas or concerns in their interactions with the

to the zoo, ball games, movies or any activities that would be

children and their families.”

enjoyed by the children. In addition, the students in the program meet with sponsors and social workers to discuss any new

The event raised nearly $2,500. 25 | IGNITE


Master of Public Health Program Expands to Include Current University Students The Master of Public Health curriculum emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention through the core areas of knowledge: bio-statistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, health services administration and environmental health sciences. Health professions students will be able to add a population perspective to the patient centered approach they learn in their current education. The entire degree is 42 semester credits. The courses are delivered through a hybrid of teaching methods: interactive videoconferencing, online asynchronous lectures and face-to-face lectures. As part of the Consortium of Eastern Ohio Master of Public Health (CEOMPH) program, the Northeast Ohio Medical

Additionally, the program is open to other individuals outside

University College of Graduate Studies is now accepting

edu/MPH or email

of the University. For more information, visit www.neomed.

students who are currently enrolled at the University.

Departments of Family Medicine and Behavioral and Community Health Sciences Merge Earlier this year, Northeast Ohio Medical University announced

“Our departments have had a great history of collaboration

the merger of the Department of Family Medicine and Depart-

and collegiality, and this merger will allow us to capitalize on

ment of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences into

our combined strengths in the future,” noted Dr. Costa.

a single, combined Department of Family and Community Medicine.

“Both departments have been productive and well-functioning units in the College of Medicine, with active agendas in teach-

Anthony Costa, M.D., former chair of the Department of Family

ing, research and service,” said Jeffrey L. Susman, M.D.,

Medicine and associate dean for community partnerships,

dean of the College of Medicine. “The departments continue

now serves as chair of the combined department. Sharon

to engage in many collaborative projects, and this merger will

Hull, M.D., M.P.H., past chair of the Department of Behav-

catalyze further synergies. I am particularly delighted by the

ioral and Community Health Sciences, continues to serve as

prospect of further extramural funding, developing new edu-

professor and is actively engaged in emerging projects.

cational and outreach programs, and recruitment.”


College of Pharmacy Classic Golf Outing Raises $4,000 for Student Scholarships The College of Pharmacy hosted the first Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) Pharmacy Classic Golf Outing

The event raised $4,000 for student scholarship, and a check

on Aug.19, bringing together students, alumni, faculty, staff

Gershen and Foundation President Derek Misquitta. The

and partners to raise funds for the NEOMED Foundation in

second annual NEOMED Pharmacy Classic Golf Outing is

support of student scholarship.

slated for August 2012.

for the Foundation was presented to University President Jay

The student-run event, hosted by 25 students representing five student organizations, drew 72 golfers to Oak Knolls Golf Course in Kent, Ohio. Participants had the opportunity to arrive early for a Jurisprudence Continuing Education program before breaking into teams for the afternoon. Following the event, participants took part in an on-site dinner and awards presentation, recognizing event planners and participants, the 30 hole sponsors, raffle winners and others who played a role in the event’s fundraising efforts and success.

College of Pharmacy students (from left to right) Andrew King (P3), Reindorf Boateng (P3), Christina McKenzie (P4), and Jason Lionetti (P3), present a check to (from left to right) College of Pharmacy Dean David D. Allen, University President Jay A. Gershen and Foundation President Derek Misquitta. 27 | IGNITE


Aneal Mohan Kohli Academic Technology Endowment age of 30, was a self-employed videographer and had a passion for videography and the visual arts. The Kohli family was honored at a reception held at the Ralph Regula Conference and Event Center on the University’s campus on May 18 to unveil the newly branded technology. Dr. Kohli is a neurosurgeon in the Youngstown, Ohio, area and is vice chair of the University Board of Trustees. In recognition and appreciation of this significant endowment, all recorded lectures will be branded the Aneal Mohan Kohli Lecture Capture System. Each time University students log on to review The Aneal Mohan Kohli Academic Technology Endowment

course lectures, they note the attribution to Aneal and the

was established at Northeast Ohio Medical University through

creation of the endowment.

a gift of $500,000 made by Dr. Chander M. and Mrs. Karen Kohli of Liberty, Ohio. The donation was made to the North-

The creation of this endowment will forever assist the Aca-

east Ohio Medical University Foundation by the Kohli family

demic Technology Department to remain innovative and

in memory of their son Aneal, who, before passing at the

cutting edge in the delivery of online course material.

Guillermo Alfonso Scholarship Endowed Susan Alfonso of Akron, Ohio, was recently recognized for her tireless efforts to raise $50,000 to create a scholarship endowment for a financially deserving College of Medicine student at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Alfonso and her family celebrated and recognized the first Alfonso scholar at a brunch held on Aug. 7, at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn. The Guillermo Alfonso, M.D., Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund was created in memory of her late husband through the Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation.

was a general surgeon and chief of surgery at St.Thomas Hospital in Akron. He also served the then Northeastern Ohio

Guillermo Alfonso, M.D., was born in Bogotá, Colombia, on

Universities College of Medicine as a clinical faculty member

July 17, 1927. Dr. Alfonso earned his medical degree at

beginning in 1979. Dr. Alfonso practiced medicine in Akron

National University in Colombia in 1954. He later moved

for 45 years until his retirement in 1995. He passed away on

to New York City and then to Northeast Ohio. Dr. Alfonso

Oct. 26, 2003.


Former University Employee Leaves a Legacy passing, as well as provide a $50,000 scholarship to a financially deserving medical student. Bench was honored on June 14, 2011, as one of the Leave a Legacy “Jewels of our Communities” participants. Leave a Legacy is a public awareness campaign that is intended to encourage individuals to make a charitable bequest. (from left to right) Lindsey Loftus, senior development officer, Foundation President-Elect James E. Merklin, Vondea Sheaffer, former development and alumni relations coordinator, and Foundation President Derek Misquitta at the Leave a Legacy “Jewels of our Communities” reception. Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Sarah Zahradnicek.

Higher education was not an option for Bench. Therefore, she

Dorothy “Dot” Bench, retired employee of Northeast Ohio

pharmacists, in addition to her arrangements to donate her

Medical University has provided the University with an altru-

body upon her passing. This gift will support in the mission

istic gift to further medical education. Bench has made ar-

of the University and will undoubtedly make a lasting impres-

rangements to donate her body to the University upon her

sion on our community.

desires to provide an opportunity to a deserving medical student. Bench’s generous gift will aid in providing scholarship support for future generations of community physicians and

Major Gifts to Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation

Thank Y ou !

The Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation appreciates every gift received, as they support and advance the University’s mission of education, research and service in the health professions in ways that truly make a difference. Below is a list of major gifts and commitments received in fiscal year 2011. The Foundation thanks these and all donors.

Aneal Mohan Kohli Academic Technology Endowment • Dr. Chander M. and Mrs. Karen Kohli ................. $500,000 Campus Safety and Mental Health Program • The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation ............... $50,000 Education for Service Initiative • Dr. Jay A. Gershen .............................................. $100,000 • The Sisler McFawn Foundation........................... $100,000 • Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland ........... $25,000 • Mr. James L. and Mrs. Roberta M. Pazol ............. $10,000 Giant Eagle Educational Opportunities in Community Pharmacy • Giant Eagle ........................................................ $100,000 KAMANEO Endowed Scholarship • Korean American Medical Association ................. $10,000 Klein Commitment to Community Pharmacy Scholarship • Mr. Barry and Mrs. Ann Klein................................. $10,714

Palliative Care Documentary Series • Akron Community Foundation ............................... $18,000 • The Maynard Family Foundation........................... $10,000 Parkinson’s Disease Research • Stark Community Foundation ............................... $50,000 • Frances and Lillian Schermer Charitable Trust ..... $25,000 • Zita M. and Joseph DiYorio Charitable Foundation .......................................... $25,000 The Parkson Foundation Scholarship for Academic Excellence • The Parkson Foundation ....................................... $10,000 Samuel A. and Judy Roth Scholarship • Youngstown Area Jewish Federation .................... $49,000 Wasson Unrestricted Fund • The Wish, Cope and Life Foundation .................. $100,000 Watanakunakorn Trust Distribution Fund • Eleanor Watanakunakorn ................................... $300,000 29 | IGNITE

JOIN US Monday, May 7, 2012

The 2012 Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation Annual Golf Outing honoring the memory of Glenn Meadows. Enjoy the company of University alumni and friends for lunch and 18 holes of golf at Firestone Country Club. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, call 330.325.6671.

Michael Miladore, M.D.(‘82), takes a swing while Paul Watanakunakorn, M.D.(‘98), watches.


Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation Annual Golf Outing Celebrates 10 Years Alumni, community leaders and students gathered together at the 10th Annual Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation Golf Outing held at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. A luncheon was held beforehand with a post-event dinner and awards presentation for participants. A student group comprised of pharmacy and medicine students won the first place prize, and a team from Akron General Medical Center took second place.

were sponsored by donors and competed in the tournament. Thank you to all sponsors, including Grand Slam Sponsors:

This year’s outing raised more than $22,000 for scholarships

Akron General Medical Center, Giant Eagle, Summa Health

and other important initiatives. Thirteen University students

Systems and W3 Wealth Management, LLC.

New Officers Appointed to University Foundation Board of Directors Bacon of Canfield, Ohio; Dominic J. Bagnoli, Jr., M.D., FACEP, of Hartville, Ohio; Hortense Bobbitt of North Canton, Ohio; Joy J. DeSalvo of Youngstown, Ohio; Derek R. Misquitta

James E. Merklin, CPA, CFF, CFE, M.Acc.

Douglas J. Thorpe

Albert J. Cook II, M.D. (‘90)

Nathaniel Doe, M.D., FACP, of Youngstown, Ohio; James F. Kravec, M.D. (‘02), of Canfield, Ohio; Stephan C. Kremer of Akron, Ohio; Erwin Maseelall, M.D., of Hudson,

A new slate of officers has been appointed to the Northeast

Ohio; Garry L. Mrozek of Poland, Ohio; Dean L. Olivieri of

Ohio Medical University Foundation Board of Directors for

North Canton, Ohio; Samuel Roth of Canfield, Ohio; Matthew

fiscal year 2012.

A. Shannon of Copley, Ohio; Bruce E. Sherman of Youngstown, Ohio; David M. Sperling, M.D. (‘85), of Solon, Ohio; and Milton

Derek R. Misquitta, senior portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley

I. Wiskind of Akron, Ohio.

Smith Barney in Akron, Ohio has been appointed president; James E. Merklin, CPA, CFF, CFE, M.Acc., partner at Bober,

In May 2011, the Board of Directors voted and approved

Markey, Fedorovich & Company in Akron, has been appointed president-elect; Douglas J. Thorpe, vice president

changing the Foundation name to the Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation (formerly the NEOUCOM Foundation)

of investments and financial advisor at Stifel, Nicolaus &

to align with the University’s name change and positioning

Company Incorporated, in Canfield, Ohio, has been appointed treasurer; and Albert J. Cook II, M.D. (‘90), president

efforts. Founded in 1978, the Northeast Ohio Medical Univer-

of Ohio Imaging Associates, Incorporated, in Kent, Ohio, has

business leaders and is led by a 25-member volunteer Board

been appointed secretary.

of Directors. The Foundation aims to strengthen the financial

sity Foundation is comprised of health care, community and

capacity of the University and to broaden access to high Additional members of the board of directors are: Vincent S.

quality medicine and pharmacy education. 31 | IGNITE


80s Robert Fenstermaker, M.D. (‘81), is professor of neurosurgery and oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Center at SUNY at Buffalo. He and his wife, Maureen, reside in Orchard Park, N.Y. Their oldest son Michael, after graduating from Northwestern University, is a first-year medical student at NYU School of Medicine. Margaret Groff, M.D. (’81), recently retired from Silver Creek Family Health Center in Mechanicsburg, Pa., after having served her community for 25 years. She entered medical school after completing training as a registered nurse. While married and a mother of three, Groff first earned a B.S. in biology, then was accepted to the University at the age of 43. Groff attributes her interest in medicine to a family physician she knew as a child. “He was very kind, a soft-spoken gentleman, and he always talked to me. He was the kind of doctor I wanted to be.” Michael J. Miladore, M.D. (‘82), and Dianne Bitonte Miladore, M.D. (‘81), were named 2011 Penguins of the Year by Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio.


Thomas Boniface, M.D. (‘83), was presented one of two 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards from Cardinal Mooney High School. A 1977 graduate, the school recognized his accomplishments in medical education, his work as chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Northeast Ohio Medical University and vice-chairman of the Department of Surgery at St. Elizabeth’s Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio, and his commitment to his community and family. Dr. Boniface and his wife, Elisabeth Young, M.D. (‘85), have four children and reside in Poland, Ohio. An-Yu Chen, M.D. ( ‘85 ) , is head of section for the Department of Gastroenterology at the Lexington Clinic in Lexington, Ky., the largest and oldest multispecialty group practice in the state of Kentucky. Marsha Kay, M.D. (‘85), in April was appointed chair of the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic. Her areas of interest include therapeutic endoscopy in pediatric patients, gastrointestinal hemorrhage and pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

Frederick Marquinez, M.D. (‘85), is president of the Portage County Division of the American Cancer Society and was appointed to the Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. He is a hematologist/ oncologist practicing in Akron and Ravenna, Ohio, and is the reigning national champion in Olympic-style Masters Weightlifting in his age and weight class. He will represent the U.S. in the Pan-American Masters Championship this summer. Raymond Perez, M.D. (‘85), was named medical director of The University of Kansas Clinical Research Center in Kansas City, Kan. He also serves as a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at The University of Kansas School of Medicine and was named the Lieberman Family Endowed Professor in Cancer Research. Andrew H. Fenton, M.D. (‘86), was honored as the 54th member of Akron General Medical Center’s Society of Distinguished Physicians. Dr. Fenton is executive director on the oncology service line at Akron General Medical Center and is associate professor of surgery at NEOMED.

Robert Hermanowski, M.D. (‘89), announces the release of “Be Seeing You,” the third CD of original rock from his band Collideascope (www. In addition to local gigs, Collideascope was featured in the United Way of Summit County’s eighth annual Docs Who Rock concert Oct. 22, at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron, Ohio.

Joseph Klejka, M.D. (‘89), and wife Jacquelyn celebrated when the city of Bethel, Alaska, proclaimed May 12, 2011, “Jeremiah Klejka Day” in honor of their son winning the Alaskan sport of dog mushing.

90s Alicia Campbell, M.D. ( ‘91 ) , joined Community Hospice of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville as associate medical director. Robert Hudak, M.D. (‘92), and Elaine Davis welcome a son, Samuel Thomas Hudak, who was born at 8 pounds and 4 oz. Akhil Saklecha, M.D. (‘94), and Falgu Saklecha, M.D. (‘94), recently relocated to the San Francisco Bay area. Akhil has joined a venture capital firm which invests and manages life sciences start-up companies, including those in health care IT, medical devices and diagnostics and is also a part-time emergency room physician at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, Calif. Falgu is an inpatient psychiatrist at El Camino Hospital-Los Gatos. Their children, Anokhi ( 13 ), and Anjay ( 10 ) , have enjoyed the move to warmer weather.

Todd Stultz, D.D.S., M.D. (‘96), and Allison Vidimos, R.Ph., M.D., are still keeping busy at the Cleveland Clinic. Todd is practicing in the section of neuroradiology, Imaging Institute, and Allison is the chair of dermatology, Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute. Daughter Katherine (18), is now a freshman at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., and Kristen (16), is a junior at Magnificat High School in Rocky River, Ohio. Kim Kumer, M.D. (‘97), was commissioned as an officer with the United States Air Force entering with a rank of major. She completed officer training at Maxwell Air Force base in Montgomery, Ala., and is now stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev. While currently treating fighter pilots and other active stateside military personnel, she will likely be deployed to evaluate and treat soldiers in active theaters.

Robert Onders, M.D. (‘97), is medical director for Kodiak Area Native Association and lives in Kodiak, Alaska, with wife Heather and son Shane.

John Visger, M.D. (‘97), and Cherish Visger, M.D. (‘98), and their children, Mary, Abi, Angela and Bella, welcomed Elijah Matthew, born Dec. 14, 2010. The Visger family resides in Pullman, Wash.

Divya Singh-Behl, M.D. (‘98), is a partner at Deerfield Dermatology and Associates where she is director of the MOHS Micrographic Lab. She completed her dermatology residency at the Cleveland Clinic in 2002, and she later worked for four years as a staff associate Her surgical interests encouraged her to pursue a one-year fellowship in MOHS Micrographic Surgery. Upon completion in 2007, she joined Deerfield Dermatology and Associates. Dr.Sing-Behl lives in Northbrook, Ill., with her husband and two children. Shruti Singal, M.D (‘98), welcomed her third child, Sarina, March 2010. Sarina joins older brothers, Neil (6), and Shaan (4).




Tad Mabry, M.D. (‘00), is a consultant in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery (Division of Adult Reconstructive Surgery/Orthopedic Trauma) at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Ericka Tung, M.D. (‘01), is a consultant in the Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine. She was recently awarded the “Teacher of the Year” for Outpatient Education from the Mayo Internal Medicine Residency Program. They are parents of Madelyn (5), and Victoria (1).

Noah Miller, M.D. (‘01), is the director of Child and Adolescent Services at Windsor Laurelwood Center for Behavioral Medicine in Willoughby, Ohio. He and his wife Stephanie are parents of a daughter, Rachel (3), and welcomed twins Daniel and Catherine in September 2010.

Srinivas Vuppala, M.D. (‘01), wife Mandy Vuppala, M.D., and daughter Zahra (3), are

Ashok Asthagiri, M.D. (‘01), and Dr. Heather Asthagiri announce the birth of their first child, Avani Lynn Asthagiri, on March 13, 2011, in Washington, D.C., at Sibley Memorial Hospital.


relocating to Myrtle Beach, S.C. Mandy will be the medical director for Palliative Care for Georgetown Hospital System and Vasu will be the medical director for Hospital Medicine at Conway Medical Center. They welcome visits from classmates!

Barbara D’Onofrio Martinez, M.D. ( ‘02 ) , and Luis Martinez, M.D. ( ‘02 ) , celebrated the birth of their first child, Ricardo Antonio Martinez, on Dec. 23, 2010.

Anupama Upadhyay, M.D. (‘02), is a psychiatrist with the Behavioral Health Care Associates in Schaumburg, Ill., and received the Golden Stethoscope award for 2010 in recognition of outstanding quality of care, responsiveness, courtesy and collaboration with patient care services. Matthew (McDonald) Bowdish, M.D. (‘03), is practicing allergy and clinical immunology in Colorado Springs, Colo. He and his wife, Kara, welcomed a daughter, Olivia Mae, in December 2010.

Andrew J. Schoenfeld, M.D. (‘03), is a major in the U.S. Army and faculty of the Army’s combined orthopedic residency program at William Beaumont Army Medical Center/Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas. Dr. Schoenfeld has published more than 50 research articles and 10 book chapters. He has received numerous awards in the past year, including Researcher of the Year at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Order of the Silver Spur from the 1st Squadron/13th U.S. Cavalry Regiment and the History of Military Medicine Award of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He was named a North American Traveling fellow of the American Orthopedic Association. He is currently serving in Afghanistan. James Shina, M.D. (‘03), was named to the Board of Directors for Northside Medical Center in Youngstown, Ohio, and is medical director and team physician for Youngstown State University Athletics, medical director for Austintown Local Schools and head team physician for the Austintown Athletic Program. He and his wife Janice reside in Youngstown with son Landon (3), and daughter Payton (2).

Preeti Venkataraman, M.D. (’03), is an attending physician in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Husband Neil Majmundar, M.D. (’06), is a secondyear emergency medicine resident at St. John Medical Center in Detroit, Mich. Holly Wyneski, M.D. (‘03), is a urologist at Southwest Urology in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, and serves on the Advisory Board of the International Medical Meeting Professional Association (IMMPA). She has authored numerous publications and remains active in research and education.

Erin (Ort) Bertino, M.D. (‘04 ) , and husband Andy announce the birth of their son, Benjamin, on Feb. 1, 2010. In September, Dr. Bertino completed a hematology-oncology fellowship at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and has accepted a position in the Medical Oncology Department specializing in thoracic malignancies.

Michael J. Davis, M.D. ( ‘04 ) , completed the Vitreo-Retinal Surgery Fellowship at Rush University Medical Center/ Illinois Retina Associates. He has joined the Retina Institute of California in Los Angeles, Calif. Andrew Deak, M.D., D.M.D. ( ‘04 ) , completed his first Ironman triathlon in Sonoma County, Calif. He finished with a time of 11 hours, 49 minutes and 56 seconds. Ross Myers, M.D. ( ‘04 ) , has completed a pediatric pulmonary fellowship at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and will continue as faculty in the Divisions of Pediatric Pulmonology and General Academic Pediatrics at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. He will also serve as assistant professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Benjamin Brooks, M.D. (‘05), has completed an interventional radiology fellowship at the University of New Mexico and is in private practice in St. George, Utah.

Tiffany Turner, M.D. (‘05), completed her Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. She joined the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and is assistant professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University. Melissa Amorn, M.D. (‘06), had completed an otolaryngologyhead and neck surgery residency at Georgetown University Hospital. On July 9, she married Michael Klippert, an attorney in Palo Alto, Calif. She will open a practice in Castro Valley, Calif. Gretchen Foley, M.D. (‘06), was appointed assistant professor of psychiatry at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. Matthew Frey, M.D. (‘07), and Heather Alexander, M.D. (‘07), were married in September 2010. They are transferring to St. Louis, Mo., where Heather will begin a maternal-fetal medicine fellowship at Washington University of St. Louis, and Matt has accepted a position in the Emergency Department at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Alicia Perry, M.D. (‘08), is deployed as a squadron flight surgeon in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and stationed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with HMH463, a Marine helicopter squadron. Her squadron is originally based out of Kaneohe, Hawaii, and though she enjoys serving, she can’t wait to return home.

Kamal Shemisa, M.D. (‘08), is at University Hospital’s Case Medical Center, in Cleveland, Ohio, training in internal medicine. Arielle ( Dodd ) Bokisa, M.D. ( ‘09 ) , and George Bokisa Jr. welcomed son George Stephen Bokisa III on Aug. 23, 2011. Ramon Cancino, M.D. ( ‘09 ) , won the Mayo Clinic Florida Family Medicine Research Award. He has had his research on quality improvement presented nationally and internationally in locations including Cancun, Vancouver, New Orleans and Orlando.



Dr. Christine Zirafi (‘82), shows off the new NEOMED T-shirt while aboard her sailboat, the Left Main, in Cleveland. Dr. Zirafi is an interventional cardiologist at Cardiovascular Clinic in Parma, Ohio.

Sporting his new NEOMED T-shirt, Dr. William B. Cullen (‘86) proudly poses beside his practice sign in Warren, Ohio. Tru Health Injury Center focuses on addiction medicine, chronic pain management and facial aesthetics/cosmetic procedures.

Alumna Dr. Manal Assaad (‘94) in her NEOMED shirt outside her Glaucoma & Eye Specialist, Inc. solo practice in Canton, Ohio.

Dr. Christina Delos Reyes (‘96) rocks her NEOMED shirt in Cleveland, Ohio.



Northeast Ohio Medical UniversityChanging Lives, Expanding Knowledge At Northeast Ohio Medical University, we’re on the cutting edge of the latest health care innovations. Our College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and College of Graduate Studies are lighting the way for current and prospective students, enriching the educational experience through new and innovative studies.

Through our mission of education, research and service, Northeast Ohio Medical University continues to improve the quality of health care and make a strong economic impact in Northeast Ohio and beyond. 36 | IGNITE


Samuel A. and Judy B. Roth Create Scholarship Endowment at Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation After Sam graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from The Ohio State University in 1966, he joined the family business, Roth Bros. Inc., a diversified engineering and contracting corporation, where he worked for more than 30 years. He served as president of Roth Bros. Inc. until 1999. The company was sold to First Energy in 1997. Sam served as president of the First Energy Facilities Services group until 2002. Since January 2003, he has been a consultant to businesses, specializing in turnarounds, planning, mergers and acquisitions. During his career at Roth Bros. Inc., Sam and Judy reside in Canfield, Ohio. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.


Sam employed numerous individuals from Youngstown State University and is grateful to the University for the

amuel A. Roth has been a member of the Northeast

quality and caliber of people that worked for him at Roth

Ohio Medical University Foundation Board of Directors

Bros. Inc.

since 1989. He served two terms as president, first in

2008 and again in 2009. He has served in a number of other

Judy is a licensed supervising professional clinical counselor

leadership roles during his tenure, most recently as immedi-

and a licensed chemical dependency counselor. She earned

ate past president. Sam and Judy Roth lead by example and

her undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University, a

have been very generous giving their time, talent and treasure

master’s degree in counseling from Youngstown State Uni-

to Northeast Ohio Medical University. They recently established

versity in 1983 and subsequently completed a post-masters

a scholarship endowment with a gift of $50,000 to the Foun-

program in clinical counseling, also at Youngstown State

dation. This scholarship will benefit a financially deserving

University. She has received special training in cognitive

student in the College of Medicine who has earned a Bach-

therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing,

elor of Science degree at Youngstown State University. The

and chemical dependency counseling. Judy has worked with

scholarship will be awarded to a student who desires to

children, adolescents and adults at Trumbull County Children

practice as a primary care physician.

Services. She was coordinator of the Children’s Therapeutic Program and supervisor/administrator of outpatient services

“Creating this scholarship is a way Judy and I can give back

at Parkview Counseling Center. She currently works in a

to a community we are proud to be a part of,” said Sam.

private practice.



Willard J. Howland, B.S., M.D., M.S., FACR, DSc, (Hon.) Willard J. Howland, B.S., M.D., M.S., FACR, DSc, (Hon.), died on May 28, 2011. He was born Aug. 28, 1927, in Neosho, Mo.

Kyle S. Lang, M.D. (‘02) Kyle S. Lang, M.D. (‘02), 34, of Wooster, Ohio, passed away May 20, 2011, on a farm as a result of a farming accident. He was born Sept. 16, 1976, in Wayne County.

Howland was professor and chairman of diagnostic radiology at the University of Tennessee Medical Units and the then Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM). He was president of the medical staff of Aultman Hospital and of the Ohio State Radiology Society. He received the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Service from NEOUCOM, the RSNA Scroll of Appreciation and the Silver Medal of the Ohio State Radiology Society. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from NEOUCOM and made a Fellow of the American College of Radiology.

Lang was a 1995 graduate of Triway High School, a 1998 graduate of The Ohio State University and a 2002 graduate of the then Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. He completed his residency at Aultman Hospital and in 2002 went on to practice as a physician at the Cleveland Clinic in Wooster, where he was instrumental in starting the urgent care at the facility.

Marshall J. Pierson Jr., M.D. Marshall J. Pierson Jr., M.D., passed away Feb. 26, 2011. Pierson was born in the city of Colon, Panama Canal Zone in 1918. After completing undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University and Western Reserve University, Dr. Pierson’s academic medical training was completed in three years at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia in 1943. His internal medicine residency was completed nine months later at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich. In 1947, Dr. and Mrs. Pierson returned to their home base of Akron, Ohio, and he began his family and allergy practice in Cuyahoga Falls. Pierson retired from private practice in 1996. He was especially proud to have served Saint Thomas Hospital from 1947 through 1996. During his tenure he served as chair of the Outpatient Department Committee for more than 20 years. In 1968, he represented Saint Thomas as a member of the then Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine Faculty Formation Committee. In 1970, he began a 25-year term as clinical instructor in family practice for Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. In 1988 and 1990, he received the Distinguished Physician Award, Family Practice.

Clarence V. Smith, M.D. Clarence V. Smith, M.D., age 95, of North Canton, Ohio, died July 16, 2011, in Windsor Medical Center. Smith received his Bachelor of Science degree from The College of Wooster and his M.D. degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He served his internship at Genesee Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. and a residency in internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He interrupted his medical training to serve in the United States Army in Europe during World War II, as a captain in the Medical Corps. Following the war, he continued his training in diabetes and endocrinology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Smith started in private practice in Canton in 1948, retiring in 1992. He was a preceptor for the then Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine through Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center. In 1994, he returned part time to private practice, providing nursing home care. Smith was an active staff member of Aultman Hospital since 1948, serving as president of the medical staff in 1972, and was also a staff member of Mercy Medical Center. Smith was instrumental in the formation of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and was a member of the admissions committee of the University.



NORTHEAST OHIO MEDICAL UNIVERSITY College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy CLASS OF 2015


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Ignite Magazine | Winter 2011  

Ignite is a biannual publication designed to showcase and celebrate the accomplishments and milestones of the NEOMED community around the Un...

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