Class Notes

Alumni Affairs
September 21, 2022

Alistair Aaronson, M.D. ’10, is now regional medical director for care management and CDI at Providence Southern California, where he provides strategic oversight of LOS, physician engagement, high value care and documentation improvement initiatives at Providence’s 11 hospitals in Southern California. Formerly, he was a hospitalist and clinical assistant professor at Stanford University, where he received the General Medical Disciplines Divisional Research Award, the Malinda S. Mitchel Award for Quality and Service and the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Faculty Grant for his research on quality improvement, operational efficiency and interdisciplinary education. He resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife and 15-month-old daughter.

Bhisham Chera, M.D. ’04, has joined the head and neck cancer team at the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. He completed his residency at University of Florida. He comes to Hollings from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chera is a renowned expert in head and neck cancer radiation and has been part of several recent breakthroughs in detection and treatment. While at UNC, he began studying ways to create less intensive radiation and chemotherapy treatments for patients with HPV-associated head and neck cancer. He was also a part of a team that developed a blood test called NavDx which can better detect and monitor HPV-related cancers by examining circulating tumor-modified HPV DNA in the blood.

Casey Chubb, M.D. ’21, and his collaborative academic-community team, headed by Jessica Tarleton, M.D., won the inaugural College of Medicine Office of Community Engagement Start-Up Award grant during MUSC’s Innovation Week. Their program, The Lowcountry Doula Initiative, seeks to recruit, train and include three self-identified Black doulas in the MUSC obstetrics care teams as a means to providing more diverse and racially concordant care for the patient population with a strong component of community partnership. The team won a $15,000 grant to fund this initial proposal. Chubb is currently a family medicine resident at MUSC.

Carl H. Jones III, MD ’73, celebrated his 54th wedding anniversary Aug. 11.

Michael A. Mayo, DHA ’01, FACHE, received the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE) North Florida Exemplary Service Award in July.

Sunil Patel, M.D. ’85, professor and department chair of the MUSC Department of Neurosciences, was the keynote speaker at the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute’s Translational Research Day. Along with Russell “Chip” Norris, Ph.D., they presented, The Power of Listening: How a Journey Initiated by One is Transforming the Scientific and Clinical Landscape for Millions. They discussed the future of research and clinical care of hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS).

Sam Bernstein, Ph.D. ’21, presented findings from her dissertation, Systems-Level Factors Affecting Registered Nurses During Care of Women in Labor (Bernstein, Catchpole, Kelechi, Nemeth) at the 33rd International Nursing Sigma Research Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland in July.

Noah Rosenthal, RN-BSN ’20, MSN, RN III, was named MUSC’s Nurse of the Year during the Nursing Excellence Awards Ceremony in May. He currently serves as clinical staff leader for the rapid response team at MUSC-Charleston.

Carrie Cormack, MSN ’02, DNP ’14, has been chosen as one of the 2021 ELNEC Award of Excellence recipients. ELNEC Principal Investigator Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., wrote, “Your outstanding work has promoted palliative care nursing, and you have been a role model in teaching, advocating, and providing this important and sacred work. We are grateful to you.”

Emma Griffin, DNP ’21, has been published in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health. The article, Seclusion Reduction on an Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Unit: A Quality Improvement Project, is based on her DNP project.

Professor Emerita Carolyn Jenkins, MSN ’88, has been awarded the 2022 Osuntokun Award for Outstanding Contributions to Stroke Research in Africa.

Gigi Smith, Ph.D. ’12, and her research team have been awarded the 2022 Outstanding Publication award by the Association for Educational Communications & Technology for their paper, Learning Experience Design of an mHealth Intervention for Parents of Children with Epilepsy. The honor is a tribute to the outstanding collaboration and multidisciplinary work among MUSC, the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Bethany Hall-Long, MSN ’88, has served as the 26th lieutenant governor of Delaware since 2017.

Michael D. Kalos, DNP ’20, has been named patient care manager at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, part of the Allina Health System for the inpatient Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nursing team in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Leon Vinci, DHA ’05, was presented with a prestigious Wesleyan University Service Award (WUSA) during his class reunion in May. Vinci was recognized for outstanding service and dedication to his class and university. The WUSA is only bestowed to a select few alumni each year.

Valerie David, DHA ’21, presented her doctoral research at the American Association for Respiratory Care Summer Forum in Palm Springs, California. She shared several unique insights on recruitment and retention of the Millennial workforce.

James G. Padgett Jr., DMD ’73, mentored pre-dental students in Doctors on Call at Clemson University. He advised undergraduates on how to prepare and what to expect in the future.

Lisa Walters-Zucco, DHA ’14, accepted the chief operating officer position at Western Massachusetts Hospital.

Liz Mason Brunkhard, DHA ’21, accepted a new role as project management office director of the health care sector at CBRE.

Paul Packard, MHA ’07, was recently selected to be part of the Class of 2022 Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA). He was also recently elected to serve a 2-year term on the AANA board of directors. The AANA is a national organization that represents over 59,000 certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in the United States.

Annemarie Sipkes Donato, DNP ’14, FNP, co-authored an article, A Community-Based Approach to COVID-19 on a College Campus: A Case Report of a Student with Upper Respiratory Symptoms, that was published in March in The Nurse Practitioner Journal. In June, she presented a poster at the national American College Health Association (ACHA) conference. Her poster was titled Improving Outcomes and Coordination of Care for Students with Mental Health Issues: Utilizing Safety Plan, MI and Increased Communication with Campus Counseling Center.