March 2024 Memphis Medical News

Page 1

Legislative Update from the Memphis Medical Society

2024 will (and already has been) a year focused on taking care of the medical community. Taking care in the sense of making sure our physicians and all healthcare providers feel supported, safe, and unthreatened – physically, legally, and financially.

TMA, MMS, and MGMA have already travelled to Nashville on March 5 to advocate for better healthcare for Tennesseans and a better environment to practice medicine in our state. Still yet, calls to action will be submitted to our stakeholders to impact bills that affect our profession. This article was written March 7, so the status of these could be changed by the time you read this.

Article on page 4

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Stern Cardiovascular Foundation Director of Clinical Research Touts Research Trials for Best Clinical Care

Clinical trials help reduce illnesses, hospitalizations

When your life or the life of a loved one is at stake due to difficult-to-treat cardiovascular problems, you want the best possible care to prevent hospitalization and maximize quality of life. That means seeking out clinical trials that have the advantage of offering the latest, most promising treatments and interventions.

Cardiologist Frank A. McGrew, MD, director of Clinical Research at the Stern Cardiovascular Foundation, said the best clinical care is done in the setting of a research trial.

“When you are in a trial, you have a condition that isn’t completely taken care of and cured by conventional medicine,” McGrew said. “In the case of almost any

cardiovascular trial, you basically will have your own private nurse to communicate with any time there are concerns. Because of that kind of care and attention in most of our trials, even patients in the


placebo group will have better outcomes than the general population. We have ample evidence of that. The subjects in the trial will do better than the general population because of the opportunity to access advanced technology and medicines usually several years before they reach the general population.”

These kinds of clinical trials are not available everywhere. That leads to many cardiac patients in the region surrounding Memphis seeking treatment at the Baptist Heart Institute.

“We get a lot of patients from all over Tennessee and from Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Southwest Kentucky and Northwest Alabama,” said McGrew, who also does trials for patients at Baptist


Medical Anesthesia Group’s, Emily Coursey, Notes it’s about More Than Surgery


Arkansas > Memphis > West TN READ IT YOUR WAY! In print. Online. On your phone. By JAMES DOWD As one of the newest board members of the Memphis Medical Society (MMS), Emily Coursey, MD, is excited about collaborating across professional disciplines to promote stronger relationships between lawmakers, healthcare providers and patients. Reinvesting in her community is a passion for Coursey, who was born in Memphis, grew up in Corinth, Mississippi, earned an engineering degree from Ole Miss and an M.D. from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. She spent years crisscrossing the country, gaining experience and expertise in medical facilities from on both coasts before returning to her native Mid-South for a position with Medical Anesthesia Group (MAG) in Memphis.
Grand Rounds on page 6
Emily Coursey

Welcome Our Newest Provider

Andrew Poret, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Andrew Poret, MD is a dual board-certified general and cardiothoracic surgeon with over 35 years of medical experience. He earned his undergraduate degree and medical degree at Louisiana State University and completed two residencies and a fellowship at the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Poret’s areas of interest include:

• Complex aortic surgery, including root replacement

• Complex aortic and mitral valve repairs and replacements

• Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

• Coronary artery bypass

• Atrial fibrillation surgery

• Vascular surgery, including carotid endarterectomy and peripheral arterial disease

• Lung surgery, including lung cancer

• Video-assisted thoracoscopy

• Lung, pleural and pericardial disease

• Abdominal aortic and thoracic aneurysms

• Structural heart disease

Dr. Poret is accepting new patients.

2 > MARCH 2024 memphismedicalnews com To make an appointment, call 901-236-0508. Scan the QR code to learn more about Dr. Poret.
Saint Francis Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Associates 6005 Park Ave., Ste. 802 Memphis, TN 38119


Anesthesia Group’s, Emily Coursey, continued from page 1

Coursey, who joined MAG in 2017, rotates between several Memphis-area medical facilities as an anesthesiology physician. She’s proud of the patient service she and her colleagues provide and of the work done by the medical professionals affiliated with the MMS.

“The Memphis Medical Society is doing great things in our community, including working for legislative advocacy and increasing communication in clinical practices,” Coursey said. “I want to help continue that by talking with legislators to find ways to bridge the gaps between provider settings and hospitals and practice areas.”

Growing up in Corinth, Coursey knew from an early age that she wanted to go to med school, but her parents convinced her to pursue an engineering degree in undergraduate school as a backup in case a future in healthcare wasn’t in the cards. And while studying medicine turned out to be all she’d imagined, Coursey is grateful for her years studying general engineering.

“Engineering taught me to think in ways I otherwise wouldn’t have been geared toward,” Coursey said. “It gave me a wonderful foundation for learning and developing a greater sense of attention to detail that has served me well in anesthesiology.”

As much as she loves anesthesiology now, when Coursey first entered med school she planned on becoming a primary care physician, either devoting her career to pediatrics or family practice. But a rotation in surgery exposed her to

the possibilities of anesthesia and she was hooked.

“I fell in love with how anesthesiology allows you to make a difference in one setting – you see the immediate results of your work right there and it offered me the opportunity to take care of the whole person in the medical surgical theater,” Coursey said. “I also loved that anesthesia is real medicine where efficiency is vital and valued and I find it incredibly rewarding every single day.”

Coursey met her future husband when he was in the Navy and the two married when she was doing her internship and residency in Seattle. From there the couple moved to Virginia, where Coursey worked in a private practice, followed by a stint in Florida where she worked as an anesthesiologist and taught in the University of Florida’s residency program.

Coursey’s last stop before Memphis was in the Washington, D.C. area at time when some sectors of the medical community were being heavily scrutinized.

“I arrived in D.C. when the opioid epidemic was really coming into focus and tremendous attention was being paid to the responsible use of anesthesia,” Coursey said. “I worked at a center with patients, and it was an incredibly rewarding and educational experience to be there in this profession at that period when so much was coming to light and changing.”

After several years in the MidAtlantic, Coursey’s husband retired from the Navy and the two decided to return

to the Mid-South to be closer to family. She accepted a position with Medical Anesthesiology Group, which covers seven surgery centers in the Memphis area.

The move, Coursey said, has been the best one yet.

“I enjoy being back in this area and reconnecting with people from different eras of my life.” Coursey said. “It seems like every other day or so I see a patient who’s a friend of my parents or maybe is the parent or relative of one of my friends from school. There’s something special about taking care of people from the community you know and love.”

Looking ahead, Coursey said she’s eager to embrace new developments in anesthesia and to providing state-ofthe art care, not only for patients in the Memphis metro area, but also for those who come here because of the excellent healthcare services available.

“Anesthesiologists are known for early adoption of technological breakthroughs, and that’s apparent in surgical centers across the city,” Coursey said. “Evolutions in surgical procedures and anesthesia allow us to work more cooperatively than ever before.”

Coursey believes the trend toward transitioning to more outpatient care will continue to grow, providing greater efficiency for medical personnel and less disruption for patients.

For example, she said in years past patients were often required to arrive at hospitals the night before surgery to prep for procedures the following day.

There’s something special about taking care of people from the community you know and love.
- Emily Coursey

Following surgeries, patients spent longer periods in medical settings before returning home.

Today, medical advances have improved the landscape, Coursey said, allowing for greater flexibility and quicker healing. And while anesthesiologists provide services that patients may not remember, the importance of their work can’t be overstated.

“Patients may not always realize the extent of the role that anesthesiologists play in the hospital, but there’s more to this job than putting people to sleep and waking them up,” Coursey said. “We’re continually refining our skills by learning about new surgical techniques and adapting to medical innovations. The OR may be the only place you see us, but it’s not the only place you need us.”

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Legislative Update from the Memphis Medical Society

2024 will (and already has been) a year focused on taking care of the medical community. Taking care in the sense of making sure our physicians and all healthcare providers feel supported, safe, and unthreatened –physically, legally, and financially.

TMA, MMS, and MGMA have already travelled to Nashville on March 5 to advocate for better healthcare for Tennesseans and a better environment to practice medicine in our state. Still yet, calls to action will be submitted to our stakeholders to impact bills that affect our profession. This article was written March 7, so the status of these could be changed by the time you read this.


This one hits home in a multitude of ways. We are all familiar with the tragedy that befell Dr. Benjamin Mauck, his family, his colleagues, and our entire community. The bill in his name seeks to increase the penalty for knowingly committing assault under these circumstances to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and a $5,000 fine, and aggravated assault to a Class C felony punishable by 90 days in jail and a $15,000 fine, respectively. If passed, the law would align Tennessee with 40 other states that have already established laws creating or increasing penalties for violence against healthcare workers. Critics have argued that the bill could unfairly single out the healthcare community and lead to other professions seeking similar protections. Our education on the bill centers around the unique intimacy and vulnerability of the healthcare setting, and that preemption of these crimes is the goal, more so than incarceration.

As I’ve shared with many of you, I have known Ben since fourth

grade. I had the honor of traveling to Nashville on February 27 to reunite with his family as Ben’s older brother gave testimony during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing of the bill. The bill passed and now moves on to Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee, before hopefully heading to a full House and Senate vote.


Scope of practice continues to be a prevailing issue in healthcare. Tennessee Medical Association, Memphis Medical Society and many other physician groups feel a physician-led team is still the best environment for patient care in our state because it does not compromise patient safety or quality of care. This year, SB2135/HB2727 is being carried to address scope for psychiatric nurse practitioners. The sponsors of the bill argue it is a means to increase access to behavioral health providers with prescribing authority. Physician groups and others argue that the proposal would effectively create a separate and unequal system of care for behavioral health patients in Tennessee: one where underserved communities receive medical care from practitioners who do not have

the level of training and expertise of physicians, and one with a physicianled team that ensures the highest quality of care for patients with complex mental health diagnoses. The bill is set to be heard by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on March 13.

TMA has submitted an alternative bill (SB2136/HB2318 – somewhat ironically with the same Senate sponsor) that seeks to maintain the physician-led, team-based model, while adding greater flexibility to those advanced practice providers who have more than three years of post-graduate experience. This bill was formulated through a TMA-led stakeholder group called the Collaborative Care Coalition that comprises multiple specialty advocacy groups.


Recoupment is the term used to define the process by which insurers correct payment errors. Current statute allows audits by insurers to go back as far as 18 months. This is highly damaging to medical practices and hospitals who run tight, cashbased organizations. Furthermore, the audit and recoupment process takes physicians and staff away from patient care, resulting in further financial consequences. TMA’s bill argues for a reduction in the timeframe of an audit and greater transparency from the insurers in the process. This bill is set to be heard by both the House Insurance Committee and the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on March 12.


Some studies place the physician burnout rate as high as 63 percent.

Currently in Tennessee, some health plans and hospital credentialing committees require physicians to disclose personal mental health information to practice at facilities or serve on panels. Unlike other professions, physicians who surrender their licenses or hospital privileges due to impairment must be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank. These requirements serve as barriers to physicians seeking mental health treatment, ultimately contributing to reduced professional performance, high turnover rates, and the adverse consequences of medical errors. They can also be a deterrent to recruiting new providers to our state. This bill is set to be heard on March 13 by the House Health Committee.

These are the top priorities among hundreds of bills that will be filed and monitored by the advocacy team at TMA and other healthcare organizations. Other topics will include abortion trafficking, motorcycle helmets, required AED inclusion in schools, required electronic insurance card acceptance, parental rights, among many others.

Finally, I would like to give a special shoutout to the local leaders who volunteer their time to advocate on behalf of these issues. Physicians George Woodbury, MD, Dale Criner, MD, and Desiree Burroughs-Ray, MD lead the volunteer efforts locally that shape policy and facilitate conversations with our elected officials. The government relations department of TMA also works relentlessly in tracking hundreds of bills each year. Many more from the ranks of MGMA and local hospital leadership also lend their time and energy. Thank you!

And to the rest of you – I encourage you to get involved via these organizations or on your own as a constituent.

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Clint Cummins

Stern Cardiovascular, continued from page 1

Memorial Hospital in Memphis. “These research opportunities are not available anywhere else in this part of the country. We have more clinical trials than the vast majority of medical schools and university hospitals, by far.”

An example of a present trial is for people who haven’t responded to medicine for high cholesterol and have had a heart attack. People in this trial take a cholesterol medicine injection every two weeks for six months. In one trial, the new medication showed the stunning ability to cut cholesterol levels in half.

“This had a tremendous result in reducing heart attacks and deaths,” McGrew said. “Another trial we just completed of great interest to the general population was of the drug Ozempic, which was initially marketed for weight loss and diabetes. The preliminary investigations for that drug suggested it lowered cardiovascular events. In this trial called Select, the main entry criterion for patients were heart disease and obesity.”

people be healthier, it saves a lot of money. We always have 30 people in the emergency room waiting for beds at Baptist Memorial Hospital. That is true of most big hospitals. If we can prevent hospitalizations, we have helped a lot of other people by freeing up those beds. And we have reduced medical costs.”

The results, which were presented at the American Heart Association convention in November of 2023, were so impressive that many medical experts consider this one of the most important trials ever done showing significant weight loss and fewer heart attacks, strokes and deaths in non-diabetics. McGrew said people with diabetes would show even better benefits because sugar levels significantly improve.

“That is probably the most visible trial we have done in a while, a weight loss medicine that helps treat heart disease,” McGrew said.

Another trial the Stern Cardiovascular Foundation associated with Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, was with a four-lead pacemaker. Pacemakers generally have one, two or three leads. A fourth lead can be put in through an artery that will strengthen the heart.

“This goes one step beyond for people who have three leads and still need an additional lead,” McGrew said. “This is added onto a small pacemaker the size of a grain of rice that is powered by ultrasound energy converted into electricity. It is unique.”

Another new device that strengthens the heart, Cardiac Contractibility Modulation (CCM), looks like a pacemaker and is inserted like a pacemaker. This new device can be combined with a defibrillator for rhythm irregularities. In addition to being used for patients with a weak heart, it can be used for patients with a stiff heart.

“That is a brand-new concept,” McGrew said. “All these trials we have talked about are not available at most large hospitals. When we can prevent hospitalizations, which we can often do with these devices, we not only help

A unique thing about the Stern Cardiovascular Foundation, a 45-doctor group, is the service provided for the minorities. About 15 percent of Black Americans have Lipoprotein (a) (LPA) high cholesterol, which enhances the risk of cardiovascular disease significantly. Until recently, there was little that could be done. But now there is a trial with a self-injection pen that can be used at the first symptom of a potential heart attack. The second trial gives patients a new anti-inflammatory medicine.

“We know inflammation plays a role in heart attacks and strokes,” McGrew said. “We will identify patients at risk and give them a pill to reduce that. That whole concept will go over into arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

“We are also paving the way with genetic analysis. Every patient in certain studies in the research department will get a genetic analysis. Another trial of tremendous importance to the general population is high blood pressure. We are doing a study now where we give a gene-modifying medicine that goes into the liver and prevents the formation of proteins that cause high blood pressure. That will be taken as an injection every six months. One of the problems with high blood pressure is that it is a silent killer. People may not know they have it and compliance with taking medicine becomes an issue because it doesn’t cause symptoms in the short run.”

McGrew said they are also involved in a study called Rebirth, a nationwide study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health to treat women who develop peripartum cardiomyopathy, a congestive heart failure late in pregnancy or within the first four months after delivery.

“To date, the only treatment for this is to use standard heart failure medications,” McGrew said. “Studies outside the United States have used a new drug, bromocriptine, which shows promise in this particular type of heart failure. This drug interferes with a naturally occurring hormone, prolactin, which is increased in pregnancy and plays a role in this type of heart failure. This trial will evaluate bromocriptine as an adjunctive agent to treat patients with this disease. Peripartum cardiomyopathy carries a very high risk of cardiac disability and even death, and often precludes successful later pregnancies.”

2023 IRA


Are Approaching What You Need to Know

Financially, many of us associate the spring with taxes—but we should also associate December with important Individual Retirement Account (IRA) deadlines. This year, like 2024, will see a few changes and distinctions.

Remember, this article is for informational purposes only. It is not a replacement for real-life advice, so consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals for the most up-to-date information about IRA account deadlines and contribution strategies.

The deadline to take your Required Minimum Distribution from traditional IRAs is December 31, 2024.

The deadline for making 2023 annual contributions to a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and certain other retirement accounts is April 15, 2024.1

Spring is not only tax time, it’s also time to think about your IRA contributions.

Some people may not realize when they can make their IRA contribution. You can make a yearly IRA contribution between January 1 of the current year and April 15 of the next year. Accordingly, you can make your IRA contribution for 2024 any time from January 1, 2024, to April 15, 2025.1

A person can open or contribute to a Traditional IRA past age 72 as long as they have taxable income.2

If you make a 2023 IRA contribution in early 2024, you must tell the investment company hosting the IRA account for which year you contribute. If you fail to indicate the tax year that the contribution applies to, the custodian firm may make a default assumption that the contribution is for the current year (and note exactly that to the IRS).

So, write “2024 IRA contribution” or “2023 IRA contribution,” as applicable, in the memo area of your check, plainly and simply. Be sure to write your account number on the check. If you make your contribution electronically, double-check that these details are present., November 22, 2023 bution%20deadlines,Roth%20and%20traditional%20IRAs%20qualify.

2, July 5, 2023

memphismedicalnews com MARCH 2024 > 5
Chirag Chauhan, AIF® CFP® Chirag Chauhan, MBA, AIF®, CFP® is the managing partner of Bluff City Advisory Group in Memphis, Tennessee For more info, please visit bluffcityadvisory com. Frank A. McGrew




Schnapp Opens Third Clinic in Jackson, Tennessee

Mays & Schnapp Neurospine and Pain, helping patients in the Midsouth with chronic pain for over 30 years, proudly announces the opening of a new clinic at 58 Murray Guard Drive in Jackson, Tennessee. To refer a patient, please call: 901-747-0040 or fax/efax to: 901-255-9901 or refer direct through our website:

Their main clinic is in Memphis at 55 Humphreys Center Drive, Suite 200. There is also another clinic in Southaven, Mississippi, at 7600 Airways Boulevard, Suite A.

Duvvuri Joins the Baptist Heart Institute Team

The Baptist Heart Institute at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis recently welcomed Dr. Padmaraj Duvvuri to the Advanced Heart Failure Program.

Dr. Duvvuri earned his doctorate at Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College in Yavatmal, India, and received his Master of Science in Clinical Research

Organization and Management from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

He completed his residency in internal medicine at Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C., a fellowship in general cardiology at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL and a fellowship in critical care medicine and advanced heart failure cardiology at Cleveland Clinic.

OrthoSouth Physical Therapy Expands Footprint in Southaven

OrthoSouth is pleased to announce the opening of its new freestanding Southaven Physical Therapy office, located at 7111 Southcrest Parkway, Suite 105, Southaven, MS.

The demand for physical therapy services is rising much faster than for other industries. As demand grows, with it grows the need for additional capacity and easier access to physical therapists.

With the new location, OrthoSouth Physical Therapy more than doubles its footprint in Southaven (from 1,500 square feet to 4,000 square feet), and plans to hire additional physical therapists and staff to accommodate the market.

The new OrthoSouth Physical Therapy location also enables:

• Expansion of the Hand Therapy Program: Certified Hand Therapist Laureen Coffelt, OTR/L, CHT, will offer greater availability of specialized hand and wrist therapy for OrthoSouth patients from

Southaven and the surrounding area.

• Specialized area for the treatment and rehabilitation of student and adult athletic injuries.

• Responsive capacity: As needs evolve throughout the seasons, the new location offers the ability to add physical therapists to absorb referrals from other nearby OrthoSouth clinics, as needed, and to allow for more patients to attend their prescribed physical therapy program close to home.

Campbell Clinic Adds Two Physicians to Growing Team

Campbell Clinic recently added two physicians, Dr. Stephanie Chen and Dr. Kristina Quirolgico, to its growing team of providers. With 90+ providers and more than 800 employees, Campbell Clinic is recognized as a regional, national and international leader in the field of orthopaedics.

is passionate about helping artists and athletes of all levels continue to perform, and uses a multi-disciplinary, team-based approach to restoring function and quality of life.

Quirolgico completed her sports medicine fellowship at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School from which she also earned her medical degree. She completed her internship in internal medicine at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey and completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at New York Presbyterian–Columbia and Cornell University Medical Centers.

During her fellowship, she was a team physician for Rutgers University and continued on page 8 >

Dr. Stephanie Chen joined the Campbell Clinic team in January of 2024 and practices out of its flagship Wolf River facility in Germantown, Tennessee. She is a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon treating patients with a wide range of congenital and traumatic conditions including fractures and injuries, hip, knee, or foot and ankle conditions, limb deformity, and scoliosis.


Pamela Z. Haskins

Chen earned her undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University in 2012 and went on to earn her medical degree from the University of Toledo College of Medicine in 2017. Following her residency training at The University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee, she completed a fellowship in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio followed by additional subspecialty training in neuromuscular pediatric orthopaedics at Gillette Children’s Hospital and Cerebral Palsy Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Her primary clinical interests involve the care of children with cerebral palsy, neuromuscular disorders, and other disabilities. For more information on Dr. Chen, visit https://www.campbellclinic. com/physician/stephanie-chen-m-d/



Greg Campbell



Pamela Z. Haskins


Sarah Reimer






Dr. Kristina Quirolgico is a fellowshiptrained physiatrist focused on primary care sports medicine with a special interest in treating foot and ankle injuries and specializing in musculoskeletal ultrasound, peripheral joint injections (with and without ultrasound guidance), PRP injections, and extracorporeal shockwave therapy. A former dancer, Dr. Quirolgico has extensive medical experience providing orthopaedic care for dancers of all genres. She founded the Performing Arts Medicine Collaborative at the Hospital for Special Surgery where she served as Co-Medical Director. She



6 > MARCH 2024 memphismedicalnews com
Cummins James Dowd Becky Gillette
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Padmaraj Duvvuri Stephanie Chen Kristina Quirolgico

Welcome Our Newest Provider

Joseph Okolo, MD


Joseph Okolo, MD, is a board-certified cardiologist with over 25 years of medical experience. He received his Master of Public Health degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago and earned his medical degree at the Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, OH. He is a member of the American College of Cardiology and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Coronary Angiography & Intervention. He completed his internal medicine residency at Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, his cardiology fellowship at Saint Vincent Hospital, Worcester, MA and his interventional cardiology fellowship at Brown University at Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI.

Dr. Okolo’s areas of interest include:

• Diagnostic catheterization

• Pacemaker insertion – 1CD, BIV-1CD

• Percutaneous coronary interventions with balloons and stents

• Insertion of intra-aortic balloon pump

• Insertion of IABP, Impella LVAD, ECMO

• Vein and lymphatic management

• Preventive cardiology

• Nuclear cardiology

• Echocardiography

• Peripheral cardiology

• Vascular cardiology

• Interventional cardiology

Dr. Okolo is accepting new patients.

memphismedicalnews com MARCH 2024 > 7
Saint Francis Cardiology Associates - Memphis 6005 Park Ave., Ste. 500B Memphis, TN 38119 Saint Francis Cardiology Associates - Bartlett 2996 Kate Bond Rd., Ste. 305 Bartlett, TN 38133 To make an appointment, call 901-683-6925. Visit to learn more.


Princeton University athletics covering football, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, ice hockey, and wrestling.

Dr. Quirolgico joined the Campbell Clinic team in January of 2024 and practices at both its Germantown and Collierville, Tennessee offices. For more information on Dr. Quirolgico, visit https://www.

Kosten Foundation Awards $170,000 in Grants to Propel Pancreatic Cancer Research

The Kosten Foundation announced today it will fund $170,000 in grants in 2024 to advance pancreatic cancer research. The Memphis-based pancreatic cancer nonprofit is partnering with Baptist Memorial Hospital, University of Texas Southwestern, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the newest addition, NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

“These dedicated research teams are tackling pancreatic cancer with innovative approaches that are making a real impact,” shared Alan Kosten, Chairman of the Kosten Foundation. “We take pride in supporting their efforts and extend our gratitude to the Kosten Foundation’s supporters, whose commitment allows us to make a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer.”

Since 2003, the Kosten Foundation has donated more than $2.5 million to pancreatic cancer research. The organization’s largest fundraiser, the Kick It 5K, raised more than $160,000 during November 2023’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Summaries of the Kosten Foundation-funded programs are below:

• Baptist Clinical Research Institute

» Studying genetic mutations associated with ampullary, bile duct, and duodenal cancers that may allow immunotherapy treatment of these diseases

» Studying neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy treatment on these cancers prior to surgery

• UT-Southwestern Medical Center

» Researchers will collect clinical data and tissue samples to study patients with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer to increase diagnostic success of pancreatic cancer and develop personalized treatment plans for patients

• UT-Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine

» Researchers are studying the effectiveness of a gene therapy designed to inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer and make it more vulnerable to chemotherapy

• NYU Grossman School of Medicine

» Developing a pipeline to profile drug sensitivity in CTC cultures to identify association between predicted response and clinical course of patients

» Performing single cell RNA sequencing on CTC cultures to identify aggressive biological clones in pancreatic cancer In addition to its research efforts, the Kosten Foundation hosts the only free, inperson and virtual pancreatic cancer support

Public Health Service as a fellow, then completed the Long Island Jewish Medical Center’s emergency medicine residency program. Dr. Warren He is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Dr. Warren is well-known and respected in the Memphis community not only as a family physician but also as a councilman on the Memphis City Council, a member of the Memphis and Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force, as a two-term commissioner on the Memphis City School Board, and as a member of First Presbyterian Church in downtown Memphis, among other community service activities. He was a 2022 recipient of the MLK Luminary Award, the highest honor a citizen can receive from the City of Memphis for public service.

LeBonheur Healthcare Names Two New Leaders

first cardiologist in Memphis certified in Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) and started the nationally accredited ACHD program in Le Bonheur’s Heart Institute.

Dr. Waller also serves the Memphis community as a longtime volunteer and board president of Carpenter Art Garden, a non-profit organization dedicated to working with the children of Binghampton to promote each one’s creativity and self-worth through exposure to artistic, educational and vocational programs.

Giles Robinson named director of St. Jude Neuro-Oncology

group in the Mid-South. The free support group meets on the second Saturday of every month and is open to all who would like to attend. Anyone interested in learning more about the Kosten Foundation, or wanting to attend the support group, can find more information on the Kosten Foundation’s website at https://www.

Dr. Jeff Warren of Memphis

Named Tennessee Family Physician of the Year

Jeffery Warren, MD, FAAFP, of Memphis has been honored by the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians as the 2023 Family Physician of the Year. Dr. Warren was recognized by his colleagues recently during the association’s annual conference in Gatlinburg.

TNAFP gives the annual award to an individual whose medical practice and volunteer efforts embody the ideal family physician. Recipients are nominated by their colleagues for their outstanding contributions to family medicine, and to advancing public health and/or medical education and training.

Dr. Warren has been a family physician in Memphis since 1990 when he completed his family medicine residency at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. He grew up in North Carolina, earned an undergraduate degree from Yale, received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine, completed his flexible surgical residency at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, served three years in the U.S.

LeBonheur Health has announced two new executive leadership changes.

Brandon Edgerson, Pharm D, MS, is Le Bonheur’s new Chief Operating Officer. In his role, Brandon oversees operations in the Pharmacy, Lab, Radiology, Rehabilitation Services, Nutrition, Spiritual Care, Child Life, Social Work, Volunteer Services and Respiratory Care. Brandon joined the Le Bonheur family in 2006 and served as director of Pharmacy before moving into his current position. In addition to his work at Le Bonheur, he has held the offices of President and Secretary/Treasurer for TSHP and been involved in various professional organizations such as TPA, Children’s Hospital Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the UTHSC Pharmacy Alumni Board. Brandon earned his PharmD from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, completed his residency training at The Ohio State University Medical Center and earned his master’s from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Benjamin “Rush” Waller is the new Chief Medical Officer at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and also serves as medical director of Le Bonheur’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease division. He is also professor of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). He graduated from Memphis University School before attending Rhodes College. Upon graduation from Rhodes, he attended medical school at UTHSC where he earned a Doctor of Medicine before completing an internship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Pediatrics. He completed his residency at UTHSC in Pediatrics before doing a fellowship at Medical University of South Carolina in Pediatric Cardiology and Pediatric Interventional Cardiology. Dr. Waller joined Le Bonheur Children’s in 1999 as the first pediatric interventional cardiologist in Memphis. He was also the

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has announced Giles Robinson, MD, has assumed the role of director for the Department of Oncology’s Division of Neuro-Oncology. He has also become co-leader of the Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program within the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center. These combined units comprise one of the largest clinical brain tumor programs in North America.

“Dr. Robinson has been an exemplary member of St. Jude since joining as a hematology/oncology fellow in 2007,” said Julie R. Park, MD, Department of Oncology chair. “He is an internationally recognized leader in the pediatric neuro-oncology field, and his contributions are defining the landscape of treatment for pediatric tumors of the central nervous system.”

Though he treats all pediatric brain tumors, Robinson’s most significant work has focused on medulloblastoma, the most common malignant childhood brain tumor and one of the leading causes of non-accidental death in U.S. children and adolescents. He is particularly interested in improving therapy through a better understanding of the genomics of disease, and this has formed the cornerstone of his clinical research.

Today, Robinson leads SJiMB21, the first clinical trial to tailor therapy for infants and young children with medulloblastoma according to the tumor’s molecular makeup. He also leads SJ901, a targeted-therapy clinical trial for treating children with lowgrade glioma.

“I am fortunate to assume this role at a time when so many innovative and compassionate people are already a part of this division and program,” said Robinson. “Our team will continue its mission of improving the survival and reducing the treatment-related toxicities for children with brain tumors by developing effective therapies through a better understanding of the disease.”

Robinson earned his medical degree at Brown University and his bachelor’s degree at Boston College. He has published research as first author or corresponding author in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet Oncology, NeuroOncology, The Journal of Clinical Oncology, Acta Neuropathologica, Neuro-Oncology Advances, Oncotarget and Cancer.

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Left to right: Tom Craig (Kosten Foundation), Kathryn Gilbert Craig (Director of Community Engagement, Kosten Foundation), Scott Fountain (SVP & Chief Development Officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care), Ann Bishop (System Administrator of Oncology, Baptist Memorial Health Care), Alan Kosten (Chairman, Kosten Foundation), Jeffrey Goldberg (President, Kosten Foundation), Dr. Stephen Behrman (Baptist Medical Group-Metro Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery), Maggie DeBon (Executive Director of Developmental Research, Baptist Clinical Research Institute), Liset Taybo, (Director of Research, Baptist Cancer Center) Brandon Edgerson Dr. Jeff Warren (right) of Memphis received the 2023 Family Physician of the Year Award from Dr. Jim Holt, 2023 TNAFP President, during the TNAFP annual conference in Gatlinburg. Benjamin “Rush” Waller Giles Robinson
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