July 2014                                                                                                           Volume 2 | Issue 3

Patient Centered...
Teaching | Research | Care
From the Desk of Dr. Sinnott...

The department of internal medicine has completed another successful year.


There are a couple of ways to look at our many successes: we have been extraordinarily successful delivering the highest quality of care to the greatest number of patients ever and are viewed as a referral source for other Morsani College of Medicine specialties. Looking at Tampa General Hospital metrics, General IM attendings requested consultation on at least 1300 occasions in the past year from other specialists and subspecialists. This shows that our interdisciplinary approach to patient care is growing and our commitment to quality is stronger than ever before.


I want to share some of the key initiatives we will focus on in the 14-15 Academic Year. A major initiative is our collaboration with Patients Like Me. We will first focus on examining health outcomes for multiple myeloma patients and providing insight on web content. This opportunity will build the DOIM brand and allow us to conduct patient-centered research and begin accessing meta data. We envision patients clinically reporting the course of their illness, especially under treatment, and our EBM group assisting with analysis. We are finalizing this agreement and will provide more details in our next newsletter. 


The second initiative we're involved in is a unique USF Health cross-collaborative program with Consulate Health Care spearheaded by Jay Wolfson DrPH, JD. Our Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine will be providing nursing home post acute care to both long-term acute care facilities and nursing home patients via a HIPAA compliant link. This will cover both clinical and administrative impact. 


Additionally, we are forming a committee to unify our diabetes initiatives and explore opportunities for cross collaboration with USF departments in this area. Those interested should contact Dr. Barbara Hansen at bhansen@health.usf.edu.


In strengthening our research, Dr. Thomas Casale from the Division of Allergy & Immunology has submitted a white paper and recommendations to improve research here at USF Health. His report is abstracted in this newsletter and is a critical read for all departmental members. This will begin our focused effort to streamline our clinical research activities. 


We are currently reorganizing the department in order to unify responses to the emerging clinically integrated network proposed by TGH and Florida Hospital. Through this reorganization, our divisions of Endocrinology, General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care will be grouped as a sub-department of Internal Medicine. Not only does this provide more robust quality of care, but it strengthens cross-collaboration within our department. Allergy & Immunology is procuring a BioCube for airborne challenge testing. There are only a few in the US. Allergy & Immunology is a preeminent division nationally and we are thrilled with the division's initiative.


Dr. Joel Richter of our Division of Digestive Diseases and I have been working on a pilot study of an alternative method to "pay for performance" and "AIMS" criteria. With Dr. Jeff Lowenkron's help Dr. Richter has developed a plan that recognizes RVU performance and academic excellence. An example of productivity recognition could be a clinician in GI who accumulates 7,500 RVUs. They would see an incremental salary increase as they reach certain RVU benchmarks. Feel free to ask Dr. Richter or myself more about this. Dr. Richter's description of the plan is in this issue of the newsletter.


Faculty recruitment is continuing. We are welcoming more than 10 new recruits to General Internal Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Nephrology, Infectious Disease, and Endocrinology.


This is an exciting time for our department and we are delighted to have you share in our successes.





John T Sinnott MD FACP
Department of Internal Medicine
Inside This Issue...

Patient Centered Teaching
We held our graduation ceremony for fellows and internal medicine residents the end of May and Dean Lockwood and Dr. Patel addressed the graduates. Click here to read more.
Patient Centered Research
Dr. Tom Casale share his report on ways we can improve clinical and basic research throughout our department and collaboratively within the Morsani College of Medicine. Click here to read more.
Patient Centered Care
Dr. Lucy Guerra joins the Division of General Internal Medicine and works with the team to devise and implement innovative ideas to improve the patient experience. Click here to read more.




newsIn the News
Shyam Mohapatra PhD, MBA, FAAAAI, Director of the Division of Translational Medicine, will be one of six inductees into the new Florida Inventors Hall of Fame for his many inventions in the field of nanoscale biodiagnositics and therapeutics in cancer, viral infections, asthma and traumatic brain injury. He will be inducted September 10th along with Thomas Edison and Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade. You can  read the full article by clicking here.


Jamie Morano MD MPH, Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine, was interviewed on WFLA 970 AM Radio about the recent appearance of the MERS virus in the US.


          Dr. Morano also spoke on Bay News 9 about daily pills for the prevention of HIV as recommended by the           World Health Organization. 


Richard Lockey MD, Director of Allergy & Immunology, appeared on ABC Action News to talk about the efficacy of salt therapies. The news clip can be viewed here.


Sally Alrabaa MD, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Disease, was featured in an article in the Tampa Bay Times about the Chikunguyna virus. You can read that article here


Tapan Padhya MD, (titles), spoke on Fox 13 News about a new implantable device as a treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Click here to watch the video segment or click here to read an article about this research project published by The Ledger.


 Damian Laber MD FACP, Professor, Division Director of Hematology and Medical Oncology, recently published an article in Invest New Drugs titled, A phase II trial of AS1411 (a novel nucleolin-targeted DNA aptamer) in metastatic renal cell carcinoma Rosenberg J, Bambury R, Van Allen E, Drabkin H, Lara Jr. P, Harzstark A, Wagle N, Figlin R, Smith G, Garraway L, Choueiri T, Erlandsson F, Laber D. 


Barbara Hansen PhD, Professor, Director of the Obesity, Diabetes and Aging Research Center, recently wrote a chapter titled "Animal Models of Obesity: Nonhuman Primates" in Handbook of Obesity, Third Edition (2014). This two volume handbook is the largest book ever written on obesity. 



As of July 2014, Dr. Hansen has been appointed as a Special Government Employee (SGE) to the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee (EMDAC).


Narasaiah Kolliputi PhD, Associate Professor in the Division of Allergy/Immunology, published an article in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience titled, Inflammasome: a new trigger of Alzheimer's Disease Saco T, Parthasarathy PT, Cho Y, Lockey RF, Kolliputi N. 


Dr. Kolliputi also did a presentation at an international conference held by the American Thoracic Society in San Diego. His presentation was titled "MiR-16 Regulates Pulmonary Artery Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation And Differentiation."


Kimberly Kolkhorst DO, Division of Digestive Diseases & Nutrition, presented a poster at Digestive Diseases Week 2014 in Chicago, IL titled "Diagnostic Correlation Between CT Scan and Subsequent Endoscopic Findings" Kimberly Kolkhorst, DO, Adnan Muhammad, MD, Kiran Joglekar, MD, Ambuj Kumar, MD and Yasser Saloum, MD. She also recently published the following articles: 


Endoscopic Removal of a Solitary Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Lesion to the Stomach. Kimberly Kolkhorst, DO, Susan Goldsmith, MD, Loveleen

Upcoming senior USF Nephrology fellows, Drs. Rebecca Paras Ong, Ammar Almakkee, Pete Zervogiannis, and Jose Lizcano, presented posters at the 2014 Spring Clinical Meeting of the National Kidney Foundation in Las Vegas, in April 22-26, 2014


Kang, MD and Prasad Kulkarni, MD. Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer, May 8, 2014.  


Achalasia with an Elbow. Kimberly Kolkhorst, DO and Joel Richter, MD. American Journal of Gastroenterology, Date TBA


Endoscopic Clip Closure of a Gastrocutaneous Fistula in a Patient with History of Tucker Dilation via Gastrostomy. Kimberly Kolkhorst, DO and Patrick Brady, MD. Boston Scientific Access Magazine, DDW Edition. May 2014.  


A team of researchers in the Division of Endocrinology have recently published the results of their work. These publications include:


Akt-dependent phosphorylation of hepatic FoxO1 is compartmentalized on a WD40/Propeller/FYVE scaffold and is selectively inhibited atypical PKC in early phases of diet-induced obesity. A mechanism for impairing gluconeogenic but not lipogenic enzyme expression. Sajan MP, Acevedo-Duncan ME, Standaert ML, Ivey RA, Lee M, Farese RV. Diabetes. Apr. 2014


Atypical protein Kinase C: A target for treating insulin-resistant disorders of obesity, the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets.


Hepatic Atypical Protein Kinase C: An inherited Survival-Longevity Gene That now Fuels Insulin-Resistant Syndromes of Obesity, the Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of Clinical Medicine.


PKC-lambda haplo-insufficiency prevents diabetes by a mechanism involving alterations in hepatic enzymes. Molecular Endocrinology.  



 John Carter MD, Division Director of Rheumatology, is PI on three AstraZeneca Industry Sponsored Clinical Trials. He was recently awarded a 4th grant in the amount of $59,100 for his project "A retrospective Analysis of the Synovial-Based Inflammation During Inter-Critical Gout Using Quantative MRI Analysis" for March - December 2014. The purpose of the clinical trial is to study patients with Gout and analyze MRI images using more advanced quantitative assessment tools in order to detect a significant reduction in the sa

me synovial-based sub-clinical inflammation.


Jason Brayer MD PhD, Hematology and Oncology fellow, was awarded a 2014 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award by the Conquer Cancer Foundation and American Society of Clinical Oncology in the amount of $50,000 for his research titled, "Targeting Histone Deacetylase 11 (HDAC11) to selectively promote T memory stem cell development and improve T-cell antitumor immunity."


appointmentsAppointments and Promotions
USF Hospitalist Peter Chang MD, who trained at USF for his undergraduate and medical degrees as well as his residency, was recently appointed as Chief Information Officer at Tampa General Hospital. Dr. Chang maintains a clinical faculty appointment with our department. Congratulations Dr. Chang!

newhiresWELCOME ABOARD! - New Faculty Appointments & New Hires...we are waiting for 5-7 more that you will hear abot next issue

The DOIM is excited to have Jane Carver PhD MS MPH, Professor of Pediatrics, assist us with providing mentoring support to our faculty members and will help with publications and the promotion and tenure process. Dr. Carver joined the USF faculty in 1981, and was recently appointed as a joint faculty member with the Department of Molecular Medicine. During her research career, which focused on neonatal nutrition, she conducted basic science and clinical investigations. She is an author on over 50 publications and book chapters.  More recently, she obtained certificates in medical writing from the University of Chicago, the American Medical Writer's Association and the Council of Scientific Editors.  She teaches scientific writing for USF Health's graduate program in medical sciences, and directs a faculty development program for the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Carver is planning a writing mini course for faculty in our department as well as Pediatrics. The details of that course can be found here. 



Lucy Guerra MD MPH FACP FHM is our new Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Guerra earned her Masters Degree in Public Health from Florida International University prior to obtaining her MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. She completed her internship and residency at Cornell-Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and the University of Wisconsin.  Her commitment to the National Health Service Corps brought her to Tampa in 2000, and for 6 years she treated underserved populations in community health centers. Dr. Guerra then became an academic hospitalist at Moffitt Cancer Center and served as a courtesy USF Faculty member as she helped four medical students found the USF Bridge Clinic in 2007. Most recently she worked at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital. She looks forward to continuing her work with students and residents and confronting the continuous challenges raised by health disparities.



Asa Oxner MD will be a primary care physician in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Ambulatory Care at the USF Health Morsani Center. She will be part of the teaching staff for the ambulatory care training for both medical students and residents. She will also be a faculty director for the new medical-student led Healthcare for the Homeless program in Tampa. Dr. Oxner earned her medical degree at the University of South Florida where she was elcted to AOA and received a number of academic awards. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School in Boston in 2014.  As part of her Internal Medicine residency, Dr. Oxner took courses at the Harvard School of Public Health and worked in Botswana as part of a Global Health Track of Internal Medicine.  She was also in the HIV Primary Care Track and completed her requirements for certification as a practitioner of HIV Medicine.




Nancy Rihana MD joins the Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine after completing her infectious disease fellowship here at USF this June. Prior to that she earned her doctor of medicine degree from Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon, and completed residency in internal medicine at North Shore LIJ Health system - SIUH , NY. She is board certified in Internal Medicine since 2012 and earned a certificate in infection control from IDSA in 2014. She was elected to AOA as a resident in 2014. Her interests include geriatric infectious diseases, infection control and invasive fungal diseases.






Claude Bassil MD joins the Division of Nephrology after completing his nephrology fellowship training here at USF this June.  He will hold appointments at Tampa General Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center, where he will serve as our first nephro- oncologist for the Moffitt Cancer Center. During his fellowship Dr. Bassil served as chief fellow and received the distinguished service award. Prior to that he earned his doctor of medicine degree from Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon, and completed residency in internal medicine at North Shore LIJ Health system - SIUH , NY. He is board certified in Internal Medicine since 2012 . Dr Bassil interests are in onco-nephrology and glomerulonephritis.






Viraj Modi DO joins the Division of Hospital Medicine and will serve on the main service at Tampa General Hospital, where he will be admitting patients to floors and the ICU, as well as provide medical consultative services. Dr. Modi completed his residency at USF this June. During his residency he was voted Resident of the Month several times, awarded the Outstanding Third Year Resident Award and the Chairman's Award for Professionalism and Patient Centered Care. He graduated cum laude from USF with a BS in Biomedical Sciences prior to receiving his medical degree from Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011.  Dr. Modi has been involved in different volunteer activities including health fairs and community clinics across Tampa and South Carolina. Currently, he is an active member of the American College of Physicians.





Kim Maguire MD joins the Division of Hospital Medicine after completing her residency here at USF in June. She will be managing inpatients at Tampa General Hospital as a Hospitalist on the newly developed MAIN Hospitalist Service. Dr. Maguire earned her medical degree at Florida State University, is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society and enjoys teaching and helping out in her community when she can. Prior to medical school, she completed a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy at the University of Florida and subsequently worked in both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation where she enjoyed returning patients to their prior function. In her spare time she enjoys ballroom dancing, game nights and spending time with her family. She volunteered in 2013 to help reorganize the resident graduation ceremony. She received the Chairman's Award from the Department of Internal Medicine in 2013.





Catherine Renee Smith, CMA, CCRC joins the Division of Allergy & Immunology as the new clinical research coordinator under the direction of Dr. Thomas Casale. She has been a CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) since 2002 and worked in Family Practice and Dermatology until 2009.  She began working in Clinical Research at Creighton University, Omaha, NE in 2009 in the Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Department as a research coordinator. She received the designation as a CCRC (Certified Clinical Research Coordinator) in the fall of 2012.  






GRGrand Rounds Lectures Will Resume on July 24th

May 29th was our last Grand Rounds lecture for the 2013-2014 Academic Year. The lectures resumed on Thursday July 24th.


Thursday, July 31st 

Respiratory Viral Infections in Immunocompromised Patients

By: Shyam Mohapatra PhD

Distinguished Professor

Director, Division of Translational Medicine

Director, USF Nanomedicine Research Center 
Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, College of Pharmacy
Vice Chair of Research, Internal Medicine

Thursday, August 7th


By: Richard Lockey MD FAAAAI

Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Public Health  

Director, Divison of Allergy & Immunology

Joy McCann Culverhouse Chair of Allergy & Immunology


Thursday, August 14th 

Title N/A

By: Damian Laber MD FACP

Professor of Medicine

Director, Division of Hematology/Oncology


Thursday, August 28th

 OCD in Adults

By: Betty Horng PhD and Megan Toufexis DO

Assistant Professors

College of Medicine Pediatrics


*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.

campaignFaculty & Staff Campaign Final Results: 89% giving - nearly 3xs higher than last year!


A big round of applause to all of our faculty and staff who contributed to President Genshaft's 2013-2014 Faculty & Staff Campaign. In less than 6 months we jumped from 32% participation to 55% but closed out with a whopping 89% -one of the highest giving rates for the Morsani College of Medicine. This trumps our departmental giving rate from last year nearly 3 fold!!! 


Congratulations to all in our department for a tremendous spirit of giving. What a remarkable achievement!  Thank you to everyone who contributed - you make the DOIM shine!





 APRIL 2014...




Non-UMSA employee count = 88%

P4PThe Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Devises and Pilots a New Pay for Performance Model   


The new pay for performance (P4P) program in the Gastroenterology Division (Digestive Diseases and Nutrition) was developed to help attract better faculty candidates and more align salary bonuses with clinical and research productivity. The program was initiated by Dr. Joel Richter, Director of DDN, based on similar GI P4P programs in the SE USA. It was reviewed, modified and finally approved by Drs. Sinnott and Lowenkron. The program began July 1.


The key to the program is its simplicity and transparency. It rewards clinical and research productivity as follows:

  • Bonus program begins after RVU's exceed 75th percentile (8,500 RVU's for GI) 
  • Monetary bonuses in increments of $5000 are paired with scholarly output
  • Scholarly activities include posters/oral presentations at regional/national meetings, case reports, review articles and retrospective/prospective peer-reviewed papers
  • Potential bonuses range from $5000 to $35,000/year with the number of scholarly activities expected to increase from 1-4 or more with larger increments
  • The bonus is paid once a year contingent on the financial results of the total GI Division. The Department Chair has the discretion to adjust the bonus amount up or down based on the total audited financial results at the close of the financial year
  • Progress towards a bonus is easily monitored by faculty member via their monthly HART report

Hopefully, this can be a model for other incentive plans in the Department and for others throughout the USF Physicians Group.


Dr. Richter joined the Department in 2012 as the Director for the Division of Digestive Diseases & Nutrition. He is an expert in esophageal diseases, and has co-authored close to 300 papers, 121 editorials and reviews, 11 books and 109 book chapters. In 1999, he developed the 48-hour Bravo pH test, a wireless pH test to measure acid coming up in the esophagus. Currently he is investigating new treatments for achalasia and eosinophilic esophagitis, a condition in which a certain type of white blood cells build up in the esophagus causing inflammation and injury.


vaccineCollaborative Effort to Improve Vaccine Use and Knowledge in Local Community is Off to a Great Start!

Dr. Jamie Morano, Assisant Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine and a team of USF Health researchers launched VaccineLink-Conexi�n de Salud at the Education, Health & Wellness Expo in Winter Haven, Fla., on Saturday, July 12.


Members of the VaccineLink Team (from left): Arturo Reboll�n, MD; Dr. Jaime Morano, MD; April Schenck, MBA; Viviana Delgado; Meghan Borysova, PhD; and Dawood Sultan, PhD.
The event attracted more than 400 people who received information about local universities, community organizations, health and insurance providers and food services. VaccineLink organizers implemented e-surveys and shared educational materials to improve vaccine uptake in minority and disadvantaged populations in the area.


VaccineLink-Conexi�n de Salud is the result of a multidisciplinary research group comprised of infectious diseases, health disparities, biology and public health specialists. They partner with local communities to bring high-quality vaccination information and services to adults in Hillsborough and Polk counties. The goals are threefold:

  • Create long-lasting partnerships with low-income and minority communities,
  • Provide high-quality, accurate and sustainable information about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, and
  • Increase access to vaccines.

USF Health investigators leading the project include Jamie Morano, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine; Dawood Sultan, PhD, assistant professor of public health, Department of Health Policy and Management (HPM); Meghan Borysova, PhD, Health Equity Leadership Institute Scholar and research associate in HPM, and April Schenck, MBA, grant coordinator.The team is joined by trained public health professionals and Spanish language experts/translators Arturo Rebollon, MD, MPH, Viviana Delgado, and Veronica Estrella, MS. Community member health liaisons and web-platform skilled technology experts are expected to join the project to help extend its outreach.


The project is supported by a $475,000 Pfizer Independent Grant for Learning & Change awarded to the team in Dec 2013.


Individuals from Hillsborough and Polk counties interested in learning more about VaccineLink-Conexi�n de Salud should contact April Schenck at aschenck@health.usf.edu.


Story by Drs. Meghan Borysova and Arturo Rebollon, USF College of Public Health. Photo courtesy of Dr. Arturo Rebollon.



IM Cares: Providing Age-Related Preventative Screenings in September


Our Internal Medicine Cares program focuses on preventative medicine and health maintenance through simple interventions that can have a positive impact on our employees' well being. To date, we have screened DOIM employees for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and vision, among others. This September, we are focusing on age-related preventative screenings; we will be handing out questionnaires and answering questions about this convaluted topic. For your information, below is a brief overview of current Grade A and B recommendations according to the U.S Preventive Services Task Force.





 18 and over

Blood pressure every 2 years

Chlamydia screen 15-25 years old


21-30 years

Blood pressue every 2 years

Chlamydia screen 15-25 years old

PAP smear every 3 years


30 and over

Blood pressure every 2 years

Combined PAP and HPV testing every 5 years


45 and over

Blood pressure every 2 years

Combined PAP and HPV testing every 5 years

Cholesterol screening every 5 years

Optional: Diabetes screening, especially with obesity, high blood pressure/cholesterol or family history


50 and over

Blood pressure every 2 years

Combined PAP and HPV testing every 5 years

Cholesterol screening every 5 years

Colonoscopy at 50 every 10 years

Mammogram every 2 years



65 and over

Blood pressure every 2 years

Cholesterol screening every 5 years

Colonoscopy every 10 years until age 75

Mammogram every 2 years until age 75

DEXA scan screen for osteoporosis




18 and over

Blood pressure every 2 years



35 and over

Blood pressure every 2 years

Cholesterol screening every 5 years



45 and over

Blood pressure every 2 years

Cholesterol screening every 5 years

Optional: Diabetes screening, especially with obesity, high blood pressure/cholesterol or family history



50 and over

Blood pressure every 2 years

Cholesterol screening every 5 years

Colonoscopy every 10 years



65 and over

Blood pressure every 2 years

Cholesterol screening every 5 years

Colonoscopy every 10 years until age 75


Abdominal ultrasound (to exclude aneurysm) in men who have smoked 100 cigarettes or more or family history


communicationsCommunications Update


Web sites

All of our Divisions and Centers now have a web site! We have spent the past year revamping all of our Web sites to have a consistent look and updated content so all sites are current.


The Department Homepage has a new layout! You can now access our Sharepoint site on our homepage!


Next steps: The Internal Medicine Residency Web site will have a vibrant new look to enhance recruitment efforts this year, and the Department Web site will include more information on the history of the department, research, and key initiatives.



Our Department and the Internal Medicine Residency program has facebook pages! Join our pages to connect with faculty, staff, friends of the department and alumni!


Click here to 'like' the Internal Medicine Residency Facebook Page

Click here to 'like' the Department of Internal Medicine Facebook Page



Many people don't know what Pinterest is, and for those who do they say "oh that's for arts and crafts or recipes". Pinterest is great way to "pin" images from Web sites and organize them into "boards" to easily scan and see what you bookmarked. Our Department Pinterest boards include links to articles on the various specialties we have, as well as some neat tips and tricks for the computer or for improving fitness. Check them out!



 We are always adding new resources to the SharePoint site. Some video tutorials on using Endnote and Office 2013 and a quick link to the USF Health Branding Guidelines can be found on the right side of our SharePoint site. Visit our homepage and go to the bottom Right corner to quickly get to our SharePoint site!

Patient-Centered Teaching: Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders
gradResidents, Fellows and Faculty Receive Awards and Recognition at DOIM Graduation
At this year's Departmental Graduation we wished more than 80 residents and fellows much success in their careers.
Dean Charles Lockwood MD, MHCM provided imparting wisdom in his address to the graduates and Kiran Patel MD led the charge to the class. Some   of our Patel Scholars - Jaymin Patel MD, Brijesh Patel MD and Aly Strauss MD - shared highlights from their trips to India and China thanks to Dr. Patel's support of our IM Sustainable Program. The residents presented Dr. Patel with a signed collage and plaque for his dedication and commitment to patient care and international health. 

At last year's graduation ceremony Dr. Sinnott began a tradition of acknowledging faculty who have provided significant contributions to patient centered teaching, research and care.
This year Benjamin Djulbegovic MD PhD, Director of the Division of Evidence Based Medicine and hem/onc physician, received the Lifetime Contribution to Research Award. Anthony Morrison MD, Director of the Division of Endocrinology (Clinical),  and David Solomon MD, Director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine received the Allan L Goldman Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to all those who received awards for their commitment to excellence - to our residents who went above and beyond, and our faculty who equipped the residents to practice Patient-Centered Care:
Outstanding PGY I Award                                Chairman's Leadership Award                            Moffitt Teaching Award
Nancy Rolfe MD                                                Akhil Patel MD                                                       Smitha Pabbathi MD

Outstanding PGY II Award                               Chairman's Research Award                              TGH Teaching Award
Sunil Medidi MD                                                Emma Westermann-Clark MD                             David Ecker MD and Candice Mateja DO

Outstanding PGY III Award                              Chairman's Award                                                VA Teaching Award
Viraj Modi DO                                                     Viraj Modi DO                                                       Daniel Poetter MD

ACP Outstanding Resident Award                 Chairman's Humanism Award                             Outpatient Teaching Award
Vadin Lall Dass MD                                          Alberto Sabucedo MD PhD                                 Hugo Narvarte MD

Fellow Teaching Award                                   Nathan Marcus MD Award                                  Roy H Behnke MD Award
Michael Mishkin DO                                        Adam Winkler MD                                                 Jose Lezama MD FACP
                                                                            Clinical Award - JR Faculty                                 Clinical Award - Faculty
                                                                            Robert Ledford MD                                             Kevin O'Brien 





















Patient-Centered Research: Innovative Ideas
researchA Report to the Chairman: Strengthening Research in the DOIM and MCOM 
by Dr. Thomas Casale MD

Thomas B Casale MD FAAAAI

The postgenomic age of the 21st century requires reconsideration by our researchers to stay competitive in the ever more complex basic, translational and clinical research arena.


It is anticipated that the impact of functional genomics, proteomics and full scale transcriptome analysis will change the pace and scale through which basic science insights will impact medicine. The Department and MCOM must plan ahead to keep pace with this changing research landscape.


Four main themes will permeate medical research in the near future:


1. Complexity: Scientific achievements will increasingly depend on the collaborative and interdisciplinary effort of large consortia, resulting in multi-author publications and grant application


2. Tools: Cutting edge science requires tools too complex and costly for single PI's and even departments. Supra-departmental consortia are necessary to justify obtaining and maintaining such equipment (EM, MRI, NMR, etc).


3. Funding: Interdisciplinary groups working on multiple levels of a given project will have a higher funding success rate and can tap into newly generated NIH programs. Conversely, individual researchers with their limited scope will be increasingly unable to compete. Similarly, industry funding for clinical research will become more competitive and cooperative coordinated recruitment of appropriate patient populations will be essential.


4. Academic careers: Increasingly, scientists will belong to two or more departments and will align with researchers across disciplines to implement the needed flexibility to align their expertise with successful research groups.


The NIH "roadmap" for medical research in the 21st century also emphasizes the new paradigm of research success.

  • New Pathways to Discovery: Future progress in medicine will require a quantitative understanding of the many interconnected networks of  molecules that comprise our cells and tissues, their interactions, and regulation.
  • Research Teams of the Future: The scale and complexity of today's biomedical research problems increasingly demands that scientists move beyond the confines of their own discipline and explore new organizational models for team science.
  • Re-engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise: We need to develop new partnerships of research with organized patient communities, community-based health care providers, area health centers and academic researchers.


Dr. Casale reviewing the latest Allergy & Immunology research in his USF office.

A major hurdle for success will be to integrate areas of clinical and research excellence. This will facilitate the transfer of research discoveries into patient care activities and provide a more appealing profile for:

- Philanthropy

- Clinical trials

- Additional funding opportunities


Some of the major questions we will address over the next year with Dr. Stephen Liggett are:

  • What's the research performance of various groups that are present or emerging in the Department of Internal Medicine?
  • Which groupings should be defined as a center of excellence? What criteria should be used for such a definition? Dr. Liggett will be helpful.
  • How should the Department of Internal Medicine target future recruitment to help existing and emerging centers/groups?
  • Should the Department of Internal Medicine locate centers/groups into proximity of one other to enhance overall research interaction?

For our department to be successful in the research arena there is a need to align the research pipeline with clinical and business strategies. This will require the following to occur over the next year:

  • Increased communication between basic and clinical scientists
  • Staff technology transfer offices
  • Ability to interact with industry/pharma while adhering to appropriate Conflict of Interest policies

In addition, the DOIM will need to assess how best to focus the research portfolio on Centers of Excellence and organize research to be compatible long term while increasing competition for extramural funds. The following questions will be addressed over the next year. Should we:

-restructure research groups to maximize investment in research infrastructure?

-allocate internal funds to maximize support of successful research groups?

-develop an institution-wide incentive plan for extramurally funded research faculty?

-allocate indirects so as to maximize competitiveness of those groups that provide most of the indirects?


Another area that needs to be addressed for the Department of Internal Medicine and MCOM to be successful is the graduate programs. Successful research will require the following integrated efforts:

*Recruitment of the best graduate students

*Changes in how we train graduate and post-graduate students

*Dual mentoring to bridge basic and clinical sciences

*Leadership and collaboration that bridges the basic and clinical sciences among academic departments.

*Secure funds for "post-doctoral" research

* Secure NIH training grants


To be successful, investigators need time and money, and the Department and MCOM need to address faculty protected time. Some potential solutions have been identified and shared with Dr. Sinnott and Dean Lockwood for consideration.


We have a challenge in taking the DOIM research enterprise to a higher and more successful level. There are some major hurdles, such as downturn in federal research dollars, but we believe our innovation can overcome these challenges and ensure our research activities grow and thrive.
Dr. Casale joined our Division of Allergy & Immunology last October. He has published more than 300 scientific papers, reviews and chapters in the field and organized and directed more than 50 CME programs for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). He is a Past President and current Vice President of AAAAI and served on the Board of Directors of the World Allergy Organization.


Thank you for your contributions to patient centered research Dr. Casale!


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Patient-Centered Care: Putting Compassion into Practice


 Our Division of General Internal Medicine has been built on a lasting legacy of great physicians who exemplified patient centered care and patient centered teaching - from Dr. Philip Altus, now a professor emeritus but still very engaged, to Dr. Elizabeth Warner who was with our division for 25 years and served as division director for the past 6 years before transitioning to a new position.


General IM physicians and staff deal with a variety of issues for patients, and there is never a dull moment! These faculty, nurses and medical assistants embody the true essence of compassionate care and demonstrate it daily. 


Improving Patient Centered Care

This week we warmly welcomed Dr. Lucy Guerra who joins us from the James A Haley VA hospital and Moffitt. She will work with Drs. Kevin O'Brien and Hugo Narvarte to enhance the division's already superb patient centered care. They will be joined by Asa Oxner MD, a USF alumnae who just completed residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.


Dr. Guerra who brings a wealth of experience in compassionate care kicked off her first day with the Division by doing a walk thru of the offices with Dr. Sinnott and Shenita Crum, her lead certified medical assistant, to view the patient's experience from the time they enter the waiting room through check-out. Kristy Andre MSM helped facilitate a strategic meeting with all of the Gen IM office faculty, nurses and staff to go over what they observed and to map out ways to improve the patient experience and quality of care.


The team had some innovative solutions - from a clinician-nurse-resident teams approach to delivering care, to informational sheets on health conditions - the group is looking forward to implementing their ideas and creating new ways to engage our patients. 


Kris Kay, Monica Matos, Wanda Holyoke, Joe Jackson and Shenita Crum

Kristy shared the team's signage concerns with Joe Jackson, Director of Managed Care & Clinical Facilities and Monica Matos - Director of Brand Marketing for USF Health Communications who quickly held a walk thru with Kristopher Kay, National Account Manager from their preferred signage vendor Creative Sign Designs. During the walk they met with Dr. Guerra and Shenita and interfaced with patients in the waiting room and as they left the doctors offices. They committed to enhance signage and to change the patient check-out experience. Patient scheduling and other concerns will be reviewed with Ms. Wanda Holyoke from the USF Physician's Group and Dr. Guerra in the weeks to come. We thank them for their willingness to meet with us and contribute to patient satisfaction!


Commitment to Patient Centered Teaching 

Our Gen IM faculty are not only committed to patient centered care, but to patient centered teaching as well.


Dr. O'Brien is the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education for the department where he manages and teaches clerkships and electives for medical students. Every year he receives multiple teaching awards for his excellence in patient centered teaching. 


Dr. Guerra will serve as the new Associate Program Director for the IM Residency Program and will work with Dr. Cuc Mai to enhance the quality of their educational experience. In August Drs. Narvarte, Oxner, and Guerra will run student clinics at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute , and will supervise and guide 48 residents as they see patients at the Morsani office.


Our faculty's committment to patient centered teaching and care transcends to the community. In 2007 Dr. Guerra helped four students establish the  BRIDGE Clinic, 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.


Dr. Guerra also advises Tampa Bay Street Medicine, another student-run organization that is dedicated to improving the medical care of the homeless in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg metropolitan area through direct outreach on the streets and in shelters. By providing medical services on site as well as connecting homeless individuals with medical resources for longitudinal care, they seek to improve the health of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. April 25th they completed a Street Run in cooperation with Project Downtown, an undergraduate group that provides food to the homeless in Tampa Heights. The street runs, comprised of teams of 2-3 medical student volunteers that are supervised by a volunteer physician or nurse practitioner, provide basic primary care and wound care to homeless patients, as well as offer direction and resources for them to establish longitudinal care within the area.


They are currently looking for supervising USF faculty physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to oversee upcoming Street Runs every other Friday from 5:30-8PM in Tampa Heights. If interested, please contact Shawna Foley MS2 sfoley1@health.usf.edu or Jason Riccuiti MS4 jricciu1@health.usf.edu.



 Welcome aboard Drs. Guerra and Oxner, and great work General Internal MedicineTeam!


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Dr. Michelle Estevez awarded for her dedication to our Department and care in Geriatrics.


Gen IM faculty wish Drs. Warner and Estevez much success in their careers.


Award of Distinction for Dr. Elizabeth Warner, faculty with us for 25 years! 


 'Fishing Boat at Sunset' painting by Dr. Ana Paula Velez from Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine on Display in the Chairman's Office!

Sidney Fernandes, CIO and Assistant VP for Technology for USF Health IS and Interim VP of Technology for USF (and Valerie Williams, Director of Clinical Systems for the USF Physicians Group), meet with our Division Directors to share the latest in technologies and address concerns regarding our EMR at Morsani. Thank you for all your help Sidney and Valerie! 


Dr. Sinnott prepares Jae Chung, MS4 for her international project in the Netherlands.


Welcome Aboard to our Newest Internal Medicine Residents!

Dr. Doug Holt, Director of our Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine and Director of the Hillsborough County Health Department (far right) goes on an early morning walk around the USF campus with Florida Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong, directors and administrators from Florida health departments, and USF health students on July 16th.. The walk is in recognition of the Florida Department of Heath Healthiest Weight Initiative.


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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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