February 2015                                                                                                                    Volume 3 | Issue 1
Patient Centered...
Teaching | Research | Care
From the Desk of Dr. Sinnott...


I'd like to thank you all for your continued support of the department of internal medicine. 

As we move through the second half of the academic year, our department is continuing its aggressive growth that will enhance our patient centered teaching, research and care. In this issue we highlight our achievements from the first 6 months and the previous calendar year, and share some of the exciting changes already under way. We cannot achieve all we do without the contributions of our partners and supporters - which is why we inaugurated the partner mission awards at our annual celebration of success in December. 

Grand rounds have resumed with an enriching array of topics from world-renowned experts. Our faculty are at the forefront of assisting the new leadership of USF Health with improving and enhancing operations, as we continually expand the breadth and richness of our own endeavors. 


This is an exciting time for USF Health, the Morsani College of Medicine, and our Department, and we are glad you are a part of it.





John T Sinnott MD FACP
Department of Internal Medicine
Inside This Issue...
Patient Centered Teaching
David Solomon MD Honored at a Faculty Dinner for his Years of Service to Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

Patient Centered Research
Benjamin Djulbegovic PhD to lead new Comparative Effectiveness Research program. Click here to read more.

Patient Centered Care
BRIDGE Clinic spreads holiday cheer to deserving families


newsyIn the News
Damian Laber MD, Director of Hematology/Oncology Division, was interviewed in December live on the Dr. Bill Your Radio MD show on WGUL AM860. Dr. Laber shared with listeners information regarding multiple myeloma and the benefit of utilizing PatientsLikeMe as a resource. You can listen to the full radio interview here.

Branko Miladinovic PhD, Assistant Professor with the Division of Evidence Based Medicine, is a co-author along with Aussie colleagues from the University of Sydney:  Bannister-Tyrrell M, Miladinovic B, Roberts CL, Ford JB, Adjustment for compliance behaviour in trials of epidural analgesia in labour using instrumental variable meta-analysis, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.11.005

Division of Evidence Based Medicine faculty Benjamin Djulbegovic MD, PhD; Branko Miladinovic PhD; Ambuj Kumar PhD; and Rahul Mhaskar PhD recently published an article in BMJ Open entitled Benchmarks for detecting 'breakthroughs' in clinical trials: empirical assessment of the probability of large treatment effects using kernel density estimation.


Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition faculty Joel Richter MD FACP MACG, Jonathan Keshishian MD, H. Worth Boyce MD, David Estores MD, published an article in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy titled The natural history of steroid-naive eosinophilic esophagitis in adults treated with endoscopic dilation and proton pump inhibitor therapy over a mean duration of nearly 14 years. 


Thomas Casale MD FACP FAAAAI, Professor in the Division of Allergy and Immunology, recent publications and abstracts include:


Jiang H, Xie Y, Abel PW, Wolff DW, Toews ML, Panettieri Jr RA, Casale TB, Tu Y. RGS2 Repression Exacerbates Airway Hyperresponsiveness and Remodeling in Asthma. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Nov 4. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25368964


Tabatabaian F and Casale TB. 2014. Selection of Patients for Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT) versus Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT). Allergy and Asthma Proceedings. Accepted


Casale T, Carr WW, Greos L, Engel M, Bour LJ, Moroni-Zentgraf P, Kerstjens HA. 24-hour lung function response to tiotropium respimat add-on to maintenance therapy in symptomatic patients with moderate persistent asthma. Presented at the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. November, 2014. Atlanta, GA.


Richard Lockey MD, Director, and  Narasaiah Kolliputi PhDAssociate Professor, Division of Allergy & Immunology, recently published EZH2, the Moderator in the Discussion between Methyltransferases at Histone H3?. Young, C, Swarnabala, S, Lockey RF, Kolliputi N. J Cell Commun Signal. 2014 Nov 09

Allan Goldman MD, Emeritus Chairman and Professor of Medicine,  published The Costs of Training Internal Medicine Residents in the United States, in the October issue of the American Journal of Medicine. Ron Ben-Ari, MD, Richard J. Robbins, MD, Sailaja Pindiprolu, MD, Allan Goldman, MD, Polly E. Parsons, MD.

Joel Ricther MD FACP MACG, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Division Director, presented a State of the Art Lecture - What's New in Gastroesophageal Reflux for 2015 at the Mexican GI Association Meeting in Cancun, Mexico in November to more than 2,000 gastroenterologists.  He was also a visiting professor at the University of Texas and MD Anderson Medical Center in January, where he gave talks on: Achalasia - New Diagnostic Tests and Treatments; Eosinophilic Esophagitis - Let's Keep it Simple; and Medical and Surgical Treatment of GERD. 



 awardsAwards and Accolades 



Hesborn Wao PhD, Assistant Professor with our Division of Evidence-Based Medicine, is Co-PI on a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant to conduct a four-year longitudinal study on The Effects of Social Capital and Cultural Models on the Retention and Degree Attainment of Women and Minority Engineering Undergraduates. 



Gail Lewis RN CCRP, Clinical Research Coordinator with the Division of Rheumatology, recently passed an exam to become a Certified Clinical Research Professional. 

The Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) has developed an International Certification Program in order to create an internationally-accepted standard of knowledge, education, and experience by which CRPs will be recognized as Certified Clinical Research Professionals (CCRP�s) in the clinical research community. The standards upon which this certification program is based have been set forth by this organization to promote recognition and continuing excellence in the ethical conduct of clinical trials.




Barbara C Hansen PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and Director of our Obesity, Diabetes & Aging Preclinical Research Center, was recently elected as a member of the American Society for Nutrition Class of 2015 Fellows. This is the highest honor the Society bestows. Dr. Hansen will be recognized for her career achievements during the ASN Awards Ceremony on March 29th.




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appointmentsAppointments and Promotions

Joel Richter MD FACP MACG, Director of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, and John Sinnott MD FACP, Chairman,
were appointed by Dean Charles Lockwood to serve as members on the USFPG/UMSA/MSSC Executive Management Committee (EMC) beginning January 1, 2015. 

scholarshipScholarship and Service

Michael Flannery MD FACPProfessor of Internal Medicine presented 4th year medical student Michael Capozza and Ronald Levinson, senior at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School, with the 21st annual Francis J. Flannery Medicine Award, which comes with a $1,000 scholarship.

hiresWELCOME ABOARD! - New Faculty Appointments & New Hires


Stephen Clum MD, PhD joins the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at USF. Dr. Clum obtained his PhD in Biochemistry and his medical degree from the University of Kansas. He completed the combined Internal Medicine and Pediatric residency program at USF from 2001-2005. He then completed his fellowship training at USF in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine from 2005-2008. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. Dr. Clum returns to USF from Springfield, Missouri where he has been in private practice for the past six years. His practice interests include interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, pediatric sleep medicine, and critical care medicine. 


Sarah McCauley joins the Rheumatology Division as the Rheumatology Fellowship Coordinator and the Assistant Nephrology Fellowship Coordinator. Sarah spent a few years prior working directly with providers in a highly productive healthcare environment and ensuring proper credentialing. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of South Florida and is now both a proud alumnae and staff member. 



Rahul Bhakta MD joined the Division of Hospital Medicine as an Assistant Professor January 28th. He earned his medical degree at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson, Mississippi and completed his internal medicine internship and residency training at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in 2014.  He is board certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Bhakta will be seeing patients at Tampa General Hospital on the MAIN Hospitalist service.

GRGrand Rounds Have Resumed - Here's the Upcoming Schedule of Lectures:


Thursday, February 26th
Overcoming the Challenges of Developing Antibiotics for Resistant Bacteria with New Regulatory Support

By: Barry Eisenstein MD

Senior Vice President

Scientific Affairs

Cubist Pharmaceuticals


Thursday, March 5th

"New" Drugs for Diabetes Mellitus

By: Anthony Morrison MD

Professor of Medicine

Department of Internal Medicine

Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Morsani College of Medicine


Thursday, March 12th

Charting New Frontiers in Medicine:

Transplant Infectious Diseases

By: Michael Ison MD MS

Associate Professor of Medicine

Department of Internal Medicine/Surgery

Division of Infectious Diseases

Northwestern University

Feinberg School of Medicine

Chicago, IL


Thursday, March 26th

Death: The Culminating Life Experience

By: Lodovico Balducci MD

Professor of Medicine

Senior Adult Oncology

Oncology Hematology

H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center



*All DoIM Grand Rounds lectures are held from noon - 1:00pm in MDL 1003, lunch is provided. They are televised at TGH B107 and FOB 1304


Podcasts of all Internal Medicine Grand Rounds can be viewed on our homepage www.usfinternalmedicine.com or by clicking here.

Patient-Centered Teaching: Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders
Dr. David Solomon Honored at a Faculty Dinner as Mark Rumbak Becomes New Interim Director for Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine 

Dr. Solomon (center) with the Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Fellows

On Tuesday January 13th the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine's faculty and fellows held a faculty dinner for an update on recent faculty changes and honor Dr. Solomon, who has served as division director for the past 20 years. The updates were started by Dr. Mark Rumbak, who was appointed Interim Director for the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine effective January 1, 2015. With more than 22 years at USF, Dr. Rumbak is a leader in patient care and has been actively involved in strategic growth initiatives for the division. 


The faculty recognized Assistant Professor Robert Geck MD, who will be leaving USF to return to Wisconsin, and welcome Dr. Stephen

(from left to right) Drs. Mark Rumbak, David Solomon, and John Sinnott

Clum who started his first month on service. Dr. Sinnott shared the vision and long-term strategic goals of the Department of Internal Medicine and how the Division contributes to the fulfillment of the vision. However, the highlight of the evening was honoring Dr. Solomon, who was praised by colleagues and fellows for his 20 years of leadership as Division Director. 

Dr. Allan Goldman, Chairman Emeritus, recalled when he first formed the division in 1974 and Dr. Solomon was his first recruit. He touts recruiting Dr. Solomon was "one of the best decisions of my life". At the time, there were only two or three pulmonologists in town. When Dr. Goldman became Chair of the Department, Dr. Solomon became the division director and began the fellowship program, whose 100+ fellows all successfully became Board Certified.

Frank Walsh MD exclaimed that Dr. Solomon is one of the kindest and most generous persons he's ever known who has a tremendous amount of dignity and "not a mean bone in his body". He shared that he has so much respect for Dr. Solomon and tries to emulate his behavior. "He has touched thousands of patients lives and tens of thousands more indirectly through the fellows he has trained. I have a great deal of admiration for him - all are blessed by being associated with him."


Dr. Solomon and wife Bonnie

Long time friend and colleague Richard Lockey MD, Director of Allergy & Immunology, shared that he is a fan of the tremendous work of the division. He proudly noted Dr. Solomon is "the physician's physician" and has saved more patients from unnecessary surgeries than can be counted. "All are lucky to not only receive great training and instruction from him, but to have him to call on for guidance with patients."


Dr. Sinnott has arranged for the first internal medicine grand rounds lecture each July to be named the David A Solomon Grand Rounds Lectureship in honor of the month Dr. Solomon began his tenure with USF. He received a standing ovation as he was presented with a Legendary Leadership Award and embroidered polo.  


Dr. Solomon has been faculty and an attending with USF Health for nearly 40 years. He will continue to serve as the Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship Program Director as well as Chair of the Departmental Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee. He will also direct the division's research efforts.


Dr. Solomon with the Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Faculty
Patient-Centered Research: Innovative Ideas
Benjamin Djulbegovic Leads Newly Established Comparative Effectiveness Research Program

In October 2014, Dean of Morsani College of Medicine and SRVP of USF Health Charles Lockwood MD, MHCM announced the development of a new research program to be led by our Evidence Based Medicine Division Director Dr. Benjamin Djulbegovic.


Such comparative effectiveness research (CER) aims "to assist consumers, clinicians, purchasers, and policy makers to make informed decisions that will improve health care (outcomes) at both the individual and population levels."  Related health outcomes, quality improvement and patient safety research all seek to enhance value in health care delivery. To meet this need USF Health established the Comparative Effectiveness Research program.

                                                                                                                                                                         Return to top 
Patient-Centered Care: Putting Compassion into Practice


PCcareUSF Health BRIDGE Clinic Spreads Holiday Cheer to Deserving Families



The BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic hosted its 6th Annual Holiday Celebration for families who receive medical care at their clinic on Thursday, December 11th at the USF Physical Therapy lounge and courtyard. 

BRIDGE Clinic volunteers consisting of USF medical, pharmacy students as well as faculty arranged the event, which benefited 25 families including 63 children, all of whom live in underserved communities around USF. Families got to sing along to christmas carols, decorate holiday cookies, dance and enjoy live music and food. The highlight of the evening was when Santa came to visit and take group photos with the families. After getting their picture with Santa, each family was given a bundle of gifts, which were donated by members of the community, USF faculty and staff, and students. The gifts ranged from toys and clothes to gift cards to grocery stores. 


Lucy Guerra MD, MPH, our General Internal Medicine Division Director, is a medical director of the clinic along with family medicine professor Eduardo Gonzalez MD, FAAFP.

The BRIDGE clinic directors are grateful to all donors and volunteers who made the event possible, and are looking forward to the 7th annual BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic Holiday Celebration next December. 


Started in 2007, the BRIDGE Clinic is a free student-run clinic that stands for Building Relationships and Initiatives Dedicated to Gaining Equality. They 
serve uninsured adults 18 and older who are more than 200 percent below the poverty level. Their care is offered through a
 collaboration of medicine, physical therapy, social work, public health, and pharmacy providers.


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celebsuccessCelebrating Another Year of Successes 

2nd Annual Celebration of Success Honors Staff and Partners for their Contributions


On Wednesday December 10th the Department of Internal Medicine's 2nd Annual Celebration of Success brought together more than 170

faculty, staff, senior leadership and partners to recognize the efforts and contributions of our faculty and staff.


Dr. Sinnott started the evening introducing our guests and supporters, which included USF President Judy Genshaft, Office of the President Chief of Staff Cindy Visot, Ed D, Rhea Law, JD, Dean Charles Lockwood, new COO and CEO of the USF Physicians Group Richard Sobieray, COO of USF Health Edmund Funai, chairs and directors of Morsani College of Medicine departments, and partners from PatientsLikeMe, TGH and the community. No one was spared from Dr. Sinnott's humerous introductions.


Some of the major successes of the year highlighted include:

  • 96% board pass rate, the highest for the IM Residency program in years
  • 45% increase in research proposals
  • 90% increase in hospitalists
  • ~32% in Education Funding (EVU) FTEs
  • ~50% increase in internationally prominent grand rounds guest lecturers
  • 42% increase in TGH inpatient/outpatient contracts in FY14
  • 40+ USF Health students, residents and faculty supported to go on international service trips through the IM Sustainable program.

President Genshaft gave us some fist pumps and a round of applause as PatrickHenry, Director of Development and Alumni Relations for MCOM, congratulated us for our 300% increase in participation/giving in the 2014 Faculty & Staff Campaign - noting we were one of the top participating departments in USF Health. 

Dean Lockwood shared how impressed he was with our faculty and staff achievements and that he looked forward to working with us in the years to come. He helped Dr. Sinnott present our Exemplary Leadership Award and newest Patient Centered Partner Awards.

 Congratulations to our partners, supporters, faculty and staff who were awarded the following:

Exemplary Leadership Award = Mr. Sidney Fernandes, CIO of USF Health, for his guidance and support of the department.

Patient Centered Teaching Partner Award =  Patel Family Foundation (Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel)

Patient Centered Research Partner Award = Stephen Liggett MD, Associate VP, USF Health, Vice Dean of Research MCOM

Patient Centered Care Partner Award = Tampa General Hospital, accepted by Sally Houston MD, Executive VP, Chief Medical Officer 


Sidney Fernandes, Stephen Liggett and Sally Houston (from left to right) receiving their awards from Drs. Charles Lockwood and John Sinnott


 Awards of Excellence for exceeding all expectations and continually striving for perfection

    • Mr. Brad Clark, IM Residency Program Administrator
    • Ms. Matel Galloway, Undergraduate Medical Education Coordinator
    • Ms. Shenita Sanders, Lead nurse, General Internal Medicine

Star Staff Award of Distinction in recognition of their exemplary performance and unwavering commitment to the department and their divisions 

    • Ms. Peggy Hales,  Division of Allergy & Immunology
    • Ms. Carole Parrish, Division of Hospital Medicine

Service Awards:

    • 10 years
      • Mark Glaum MD, PhD - Associate Professor, Allergy & Immunology Division
      • Mycesha Romeo - HR & Payroll Specialist, Internal Medicine Chairman's Office
      • Sharon Stiner - Executive Assistant to John Sinnott MD, Chairman of Internal Medicine Department
    • 15 years
      • Stephen Rifkin MD - Professor, Nephrology & Hypertension Division
    • 20 years
      • Carolyn Dawson MS Faculty Affairs & HR Director, Internal Medicine Chairman's Office
      • Laurie Ganter - Administrative Specialist, Digestive Disease & Nutrition Division
    • 25 years
      • Frank Walsh MD - Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Division
      • Robert Walker MD - Professor and Director, Ethics, Humanities & Palliative Medicine Division
      • Lois Nixon PhD - Professor, Ethics, Humanities & Palliative Medicine Division
    • 30 years
      • Peggy Hales - Administrative Specialist, Allergy & Immunology Division
    • 35 Years
      • Jay Mamel MD - Professor, Digestive Disease & Nutrition Division
    • 40 years
      • Richard Lockey MD - Professor and Director, Allergy & Immunology Division
      • Allan Goldman MD - Chairman Emeritus and Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Division
Peggy Hales, Shenita Sanders, and Brad Clark (from left to right)



Have newsworthy content? Have questions about the DOIM? Help us get it acknowledged!
The DOIM has many ways of sharing our successes. Content to consider:
  • Nominations for those who go above and beyond
  • Faculty, Research, Resident or Fellow feature (including patient-centered focus)
  • Accomplishments, Awards and Accolades
  • Publications
  • International Activities
  • Socializing/Networking Opportunities 
  • Interesting articles you think the DOIM would benefit from
  • Questions on policies, procedures or general inquiries
Please email submissions for consideration in all our marketing materials.
  Kristy Andre, Communications Director - (813) 974-4067 kandre@health.usf.edu
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