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Class Notes

The class notes you see in the Rush MD alumni newsletter and on this website are driven by alumni submissions. We'd love to let fellow Rush alumni know about your practice and help you facilitate professional connections or reconnect with former classmates.

Please complete our online update form or send your news to the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@rush.edu, by phone at (312) 942-7199, or by mail at 1700 W. Van Buren St., Suite 250, Chicago, IL 60612.  

The class notes below were received between April 2, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015.


Rush has appointed Gordon H. Derman, MD ’75, as the acting chairperson of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Derman has spent his entire career at Rush and is widely known and admired for his patient care, teaching and administrative expertise in plastic surgery. He will lead the department’s patient care, educational and research components during the transition from the leadership of John Polley, MD, who is relocating his practice out of state.

Christopher G. Goetz, MD ’75, GME, director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Program at Rush, professor of neurological sciences and professor of pharmacology, and Jeffrey H. Kordower, PhD, director of Rush’s Research Center for Brain Repair and professor of neurological sciences, recently hosted the first-ever World Parkinson Coalition (WPC) Scientific Update: Parkinson Pipeline Umbrella. This live three-day webcast highlighted the latest advances in the disease’s research and brought together the international Parkinson’s community. 

Thomas P. Bleck, MD ’77, GME, professor of neurological sciences, neurosurgery, medicine and anesthesiology and associate chief medical officer for critical care at Rush, was the keynote speaker for the 28th annual meeting of the Japan Society of Neurological Emergencies and Critical Care in Tokyo and Atami, Japan, last July. This meeting marked the start of an academic affiliation between the Japan Society of Neurological Emergencies and Critical Care and the Neurocritical Care Society, of which Bleck is the founding past president. Additionally, Bleck was recently selected a Master of Critical Care Medicine (MCCM) by the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) and the American College of Critical Care Medicine. Bleck received the MCCM designation during the SCCM’s 44th Critical Care Congress on Jan. 19, 2015, in Phoenix.

Lois M. Nora, MD ’79, GME, received an honorary degree from the Northeast Ohio Medical University in May. Nora is a former president and dean of the College of Medicine at NEOMED and directed the transition of NEOMED from a college of medicine into a health sciences university by establishing the College of Pharmacy and the College of Graduate Studies during her tenure as president.

Karen B. Weinstein, MD ’83, GME, has joined Rush as a primary care physician and assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

David A. Bennett, MD ’84, GME, director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the Robert C. Borwell Professor of Neurological Sciences, was the invited speaker at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center’s fifth annual Michael M. Ossoff Visiting Lecture in Memory Disorders and Alzheimer’s Disease last June.

Paul Evans Later, MD ’87, GME, joined Northwest Community Healthcare’s Medical Group in neurology and is treating patients 14 and older at NCH’s Palatine, Ill., office.

Mary C. Anderson, MD ’91, GME, has joined Valence Health, Inc. as medical director. Valence Health is a Chicago-based consultancy with special expertise in value-based payment models. She will continue to remain on medical staff at Rush. 

Xin Qi Dong, MD ’99, has been promoted to professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush.

Brian D. Stein, MD ’01, is serving as interim senior patient safety officer to help Rush continue to achieve high levels of quality, safety and patient satisfaction. Stein has chaired the emergency resuscitation committee and has advanced Rush’s practice with regard to emergency resuscitation across the Medical Center. He is also the medical director of Rush University PFT Lab and an assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine. Stein is also the co-director of the Rush University Asthma Center.

Marta Batus, MD ’02, GME, has been promoted to associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush.

Minh B. Luu, MD ’02, GME, surgery clerkship director for Rush Medical College, received the Top Gun award during the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons’ Annual Meeting and Minimally Invasive Surgery Week in Las Vegas last September. The Top Gun Laparoscopic Skills Shoot-Out is designed to provide the ultimate arena for the residents and trained surgeons from all specialties to develop and demonstrate their laparoscopic skill development while promoting friendly competition.

Elizabeth M. Salisbury-Afshar, MD ’07, joined Heartland Health Outreach at Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights in Chicago last July as the medical director. 

Alison P. Sweet, MD ’07, has joined Rush as an emergency medicine physician and as assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Jill M. Palko, MD ’10, has joined Aishling Obstetrics & Gynecology. In her spare time, Palko has volunteered at homeless shelters, tutored children and worked with Habitat for Humanity.

Abdoulie Njie, MD ’14, received Rush’s 2014 Henry P. Russe, MD, Humanitarian Award. Njie volunteered as an instructor at the American Heart Association’s training center at Rush, teaching CPR, cardiac life support and pediatric life support. Njie also volunteered with a Rush program that brings students from Chicago schools to the Medical Center, giving them exposure to employment opportunities in health care, and he volunteered at free health clinics. Njie was inspired by his parents who cared for at least 20 foster children, as well as his five biological brothers, while he grew up in Gambia, Africa.

House Staff

Rush has appointed Richard I. Abrams, MD, GME, assistant dean for Graduate Medical Education (GME), and Joy S. Sclamberg, MD, GME, as assistant designated institutional officials. Abrams and Sclamberg are working with Susan Vanderberg-Dent, MD, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, designated institutional official, to provide the best possible clinical and academic learning environment for Rush’s 650 residents and fellows and to support and advocate for training programs and program directors. Abrams is the program director of the internal medicine residency at Rush, while Sclamberg serves as the program director of Rush’s diagnostic radiology residency.

Gunnar B. J. Andersson, MD, PhD, GME, was named president of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery for 2014 to 2015. Andersson previously was honored with the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine Stryker Spine Lifetime Achievement Award and the Trustee Medal from Rush University Medical Center. Andersson retired from Rush on Dec. 31 after more than 30 years with the Medical Center.

Becker’s Hospital Review recently named David A. Ansell, MD, MPH, senior vice president of system integration at Rush, and Larry J. Goodman, MD, GME, CEO of Rush University Medical Center, to its “500+ People to Know in Health Care” list.

Eric J. Bieber, MD, GME, was named president and CEO of the Rochester Regional Health System in New York. Previously, he served as president of University Hospital Community Hospitals West Region and president of UH’s Accountable Care Organizations. Bieber began his new role on Nov. 1.

Major League Baseball (MLB) selected Charles A. Bush-Joseph, MD, GME, sports medicine and arthroscopic surgical specialist with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, as its orthopedic surgeon for the November 2014 Japan All-Star Series tour. Bush-Joseph is the head team physician for the Chicago White Sox. 

Edie Y. Chan, MD, GME, has been promoted to associate professor in the Department of General Surgery.

Mary Jo Fidler, MD, GME, has been promoted to associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Katherine H. Finn, DO, GME, has joined Rush as a rheumatologist and assistant professor, Department of Internal Medicine.

Larry J. Goodman, MD, GME, Rush CEO and president of Rush University and the Rush System for Health, received the Pastora San Juan Cafferty Legacy Award from Casa Central, the Midwest’s largest Hispanic social services organization, this fall. The Cafferty Award recognizes a person of extraordinary achievement whose work addresses critical issues that affect the quality of life of many people; who performs exceptional acts of philanthropy; who supports social services for members of disadvantaged populations; who promotes inclusiveness of people with differing backgrounds and views; and who is an inspirational leader.

Last spring, the American College of Physicians (ACP) named Alan A. Harris, MD, GME, associate chair, Department of Internal Medicine, senior attending, infectious diseases, and professor of internal medicine and preventive medicine, its new master. Harris is currently at Rush as associate program director of subspecialties, associate chair in the Department of Internal Medicine, senior attending in infectious diseases, professor of internal medicine and preventive medicine and a hospital epidemiologist. As an associate ACP member, he hosted and chaired the first statewide meeting in the country for ACP associates, which are now held in states throughout the country. He was a founder of the Doctor’s Dilemma competition. For ACP’s Northern Illinois Chapter, he served on the Governor’s Advisory Committee and added his expertise to planning chapter meetings. 

William F. Hartsell, MD, GME, has been named a Fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology. Hartsell, medical director of the CDH Proton Center in Warrenville, Ill., is one of 30 radiation oncologists selected for the honor in 2014. Hartsell also serves as the president of Radiation Oncology Consultants, Ltd., and has practiced for more than 30 years.   

Rush has appointed Jerome Hoeksema, MD, GME, as acting chairperson of the Department of Urology. Hoeksema has had his clinical practice at Rush for more than 30 years and is a senior member of the department.

Bala N. Hota, MD, GME, has joined Rush as an infectious diseases specialist, chief research information officer and associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Rush has appointed Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, GME, associate provost for research in Rush University. Jacobs also continues in his role as chairperson of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, a position he has held since 2008. For the past four years, he has served in a leadership role with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, becoming its 81st president in 2013. 

Miral D. Jhaveri, MD, GME, has been promoted to associate professor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology.

Russell F. Kelly, MD, GME, has been promoted to associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Janis M. Orlowski, MD, GME, has been selected chief health care officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Orlowski joined the AAMC as senior director of clinical transformation in October 2013, after serving for nine years as chief medical officer and chief operating officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Prior to her MedStar tenure, Orlowski held several leadership roles at Rush, including executive dean for operations and associate vice president of medical affairs from 1996 to 2004. Orlowski also serves as chair of the U.S. Department of Health’s DC Board of Medicine and previously held various leadership roles with the Chicago Medical Society, Illinois State Medical Board and United Network of Organ Sharing.

Gian D. Pal, MD, GME, has joined Rush as a neurologist and assistant professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences.

Stuart W. Rosenbush, MD, GME, has been promoted to associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Sepehr B. Sani, MD, GME, has joined Rush as a neurosurgeon and assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery.

Kamaljit Singh, MD, GME, has been promoted to associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Garth R. Swanson, MD, MS, GME, has been promoted to associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Sarah Y. Won, MD, GME, has joined Rush as an infectious disease physician and assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

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