Summer 2015                                                                                                                   Volume 3 | Issue 3

Photo courtesy of   Eric Younghans, USF Health Office of Communications       
Patient Centered...
Teaching | Research | Care
From the Desk of Dr. Sinnott...
Welcome to our summer newsletter. Under the leadership of Dean Lockwood we see an amazing array of changes; we are in the process of undergoing a metamorphosis from a community based teaching medical school to a university based research institution. We in the department have internalized these goals and share Dr. Lockwood's aspirations for greatness. This July in patient centered care we've added 22 faculty including hospitalists, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, palliative care physicians, infectious disease doctors, and nephrologists. Over 40 of our clinicians are listed in Best Doctors in America. In the area of research we remain the College's most productive Department; we have numerous industry grants, multiple NIH grants and most recently Dr. Lucy Guerra with the Division of General Internal Medicine received a Health and Human Services grant.This is a collaborative grant that addresses the needs of our aging population. This is a significant achievement and the first extramural grant for that Division. Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine have been awarded  grants from the VA Office of Rural Health and the VA office of Research and Development to increase access to pulmonary function testing and also to examine pulmonary degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Yet again, the department has excelled in teaching. With Dr. Kevin Obrien leading our undergraduate medical education we received the College of Medicine Best Clerkship Award. Dr. Robert Ledford received the John Sinnott Outstanding Clinical Teaching Award and Dr. Aly Strauss received the Outstanding Intern Instructor Award. It is a year to look back on with pride and a chance to paint a course for our future.

To put an idea on metrics we now have the highest Internal Medicine board passage rate with a 3 year rolling average in our state. Our average part 2 USMLE score of incoming residents is 241.5, the highest ever. In the past year the number of abstracts and publications submitted by residents has increased from 21 to 42. As we look forward to the coming year we will see an increased emphasis on research. We plan to search for funded pulmonary investigators, funded infectious disease investigators, and beef up the clinical research capacity of inpatient and outpatient medicine. I welcome you to examine our newsletter and reflect on a year of challenge and change with many successes. We appreciate your support of the department.

My statement would be incomplete without alluding the rankings of Tampa General Hospital and the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Nationally Nephrology was ranked #26, Gastroenterology and GI Surgery were ranked #39, and Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine was ranked #42. None of these subspecialties were previously ranked. We were noted as being "High Performing" in the areas of Endocrinology, Geriatrics, Oncology, and Palliative Care. Of our faculty, at least 44 are mentioned Best Doctors this year. With these successes we now have the foundation to begin launching our research enterprise. In the coming year we will see more changes and opportunity to not just participate in the future of medicine, but to shape the future of medicine.
John T Sinnott MD FACP
James Cullison Professor of Medicine and Chairman
Department of Internal Medicine
Morsani College of Medicine
Inside This Issue...

Patient Centered Teaching 
Dr. Lucy Guerra: Committed to Team-Based Medicine and Patient-Centered Teaching

Click here to read more.

Patient Centered Research 
Division of General Internal Medicine Receives HHS Grant to Improve Care for Older Adults
Creating Opportunities for Funded Research at USF 
Patient Centered Care 
Dr. Charles Edwards: A Shining Example of Patient-Centered Care.

Division of General Internal Medicine Makes Progress Toward "Patient Centered Medical Home" Recognition
Click here to read more.


NewsIn the News

U.S. News and World Report Name Tampa General Hospital Top Hospital in the Tampa-St. Petersburg Metro Area

U.S. News and World Report ranked Tampa General Hospital 3rd in the state in this year's Best Hospitals rankings. Congratulations to the Nationally Ranked and High Performing divisions who contributed significantly to this achievement: Gastroenterology and GI Surgery #39, Nephrology #26, Pulmonary #42, as well as Endocrinology, Geriatrics, Oncology, and Palliative Care.

Read the full story here.

Photo courtesy of USF Health Communications


Bousquet J, Schunemann HJ, Fonseca J, Samolinski B, Bachert C, Canonica GW,
Casale T , et al. MACVIA-ARIA Sentinel NetworK for allergic rhinitis (MASK-rhinitis): The new generation guideline implementation. Allergy. 2015 Jul 4. doi: 10.1111/all.12686. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26148220.
Calderon MA, Cox L, Casale TB , Mösges R, Pfaar O, Malling HJ, Sastre J, Khaitov M, Demoly P. The effect of a new communication template on anticipated willingness to initiate or resume allergen immunotherapy: an internet-based patient survey. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2015 May 22;11(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s13223-015-0083-z. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26015786; PubMed
Central PMCID: PMC4443522.
Camoretti-Mercado B, Pauer SH, Yong HM, Smith DC, Deshpande DA, An SS, Liggett SB. Pleiotropic Effects of Bitter Taste Receptors on [Ca2+]i Mobilization, Hyperpolarization, and Relaxation of Human Airway Smooth Muscle Cells. PLoS One.  2015 Jun 29;10(6):e0131582. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131582. eCollection 2015.  PubMed PMID: 26121686; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4485472.  
Casale TB , Bernstein JA, Maurer M, Saini SS, Trzaskoma B, Chen H, Grattan CE, Gimenéz-Arnau A, Kaplan AP, Rosén K. Similar Efficacy with Omalizumab in Chronic Idiopathic/Spontaneous Urticaria Despite Different Background Therapy. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2015 Jun 5. pii: S2213-2198(15)00243-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2015.04.015. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26054553.
Cooke A, Bulkhi A, Casale TB . Role of biologics in intractable urticaria. Biologics. 2015 Apr 13;9:25-33. doi: 10.2147/BTT.S63839. eCollection 2015. Review. PubMed PMID: 25926715; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4403603.
Czachor A, Krueger Z, Cho Y, Pathak S, Pathak Y, Kolliputi N. Disruption of Circadian Rhythms in Critical Illness - A Role of Hyperoxia-Induced Lung Injury.  Curr Pharm Des. 2015 Jul 5. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26144942.  
Demoly P, Calderon MA, Casale TB , Malling HJ, Wahn U. "The value of pre- and co-seasonal sublingual immunotherapy in pollen-induced allergic rhinoconjunctivitis". Clin Transl Allergy. 2015 May 4;5:18. doi: 10.1186/s13601-015-0061-z. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 25941566; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4418040.
Dixon AE, Castro M, Cohen RI, Gerald LB, Holbrook JT, Irvin CG, Mohapatra S, Peters SP, Rayapudi S, Sugar EA, Wise RA; American Lung Association-Asthma Clinical Research Centers. Reply. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Jul;136(1):212-3.  doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2015.04.003. Epub 2015 May 8. PubMed PMID: 25959669.
 Galam L, Parthasarathy PT, Cho Y, Cho SH, Lee YC, Lockey RF, Kolliputi N. Adenovirus-mediated transfer of the SOCS-1 gene to mouse lung confers protection  against hyperoxic acute lung injury. Free Radic Biol Med. 2015 Jul;84:196-205. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2015.03.036. Epub 2015 Apr 4. PubMed PMID: 25850028; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4457693.  

Inflammasome Inhibition Suppresses Alveolar Cell Permeability Through Retention of Neuregulin-1 (NRG-1). Venugopal R, Galam L, Cox R, Fukumoto J, Cho Y, Parthasarathy PT, Lockey RF, Kolliputi N. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2015;36(5):2012-2024. Epub 2015 Jul 17. PMID:26202361.

Jiang H, Xie Y, Abel PW, Wolff DW, Toews ML, Panettieri RA Jr,
Casale TB, Tu Y. Regulator of G-Protein Signaling 2 Repression Exacerbates Airway Hyper-Responsiveness and Remodeling in Asthma. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2015 Jul;53(1):42-9. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2014-0319OC. PubMed PMID: 25368964. 
Kerstjens HA, Casale TB, Bleecker ER, Meltzer EO, Pizzichini E, Schmidt O, Engel M, Bour L, Verkleij CB, Moroni-Zentgraf P, Bateman ED. Tiotropium or salmeterol as add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids for patients with moderate symptomatic asthma: two replicate, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, active-comparator, randomised trials. Lancet Respir Med. 2015
May;3(5):367-76. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00031-4. Epub 2015 Feb 12. PubMed. PMID: 25682232.
Kim DY, Cho SH, Takabayashi T, Schleimer RP. Chronic Rhinosinusitis and the Coagulation System. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2015 Sep;7(5):421-30. doi: 10.4168/aair.2015.7.5.421. Epub 2015 May 12. Review. PubMed PMID: 26122502.
Kinases: a remote control in inflammasome activity. Czachor A, Cho Y, Lockey RF, Kolliputi N. J Cell Commun Signal. 2015 Apr 1. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25829284.

Lai, YJ, Liu EY, Wang LM, Morano J, Wang N, Khoshnood K, Zhou L, Cheng SM. "Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection-Associated Mortality during Pulmonary Tuberculosis Treatment in Six Provinces of China.  Biomedical Environmental Sciences (an Elsevier Publication). 2015; 28(6): 77-84.  

Ledford DK. Optimal asthma diagnosis: A destination or a process? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Jun 20. pii: S0091-6749(15)00722-8. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2015.05.018. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26100083.
Lipka S, Boyce HW, Kumar A, Richter JE. The changing faces of eosinophilic esophagitis: the impact of consensus guidelines at the university of South Florida. Dig Dis Sci. 2015 Jun;60(6):1572-8. doi: 10.1007/s10620-014-3517-4. Epub 2015 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 25618310.
Lipka S,Kumar A, Richter JE. No Evidence for Efficacy of Radiofrequency Ablation for Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Jun;13(6):1058-1067.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2014.10.013. Epub 2014 Oct 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 25459556.
Montero JA, Alrabaa SF, Wills TS.  Mycobacterium abscessus ventriculoperitoneal shunt infection and review of the literature.  Infection (accepted for publication - Epub ahead of print).  PMID: 26148928 
Patel P, Lockey RF, Kolliputi N. Can inflammation regulate systemic aging? Exp Gerontol. 2015 Jul;67:1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2015.04.011. Epub 2015 Apr 23. PubMed PMID: 25914111.
Rajanbabu V, Galam L, Fukumoto J, Enciso J, Tadikonda P, Lane TN, Bandyopadhyay S, Parthasarathy PT, Cho Y, Cho SH, Lee YC, Lockey RF, Kolliputi N. Genipin suppresses NLRP3 inflammasome activation through uncoupling protein-2. Cell Immunol. 2015 Jun 16. pii: S0008-8749(15)00121-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2015.06.002. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26123077.

Singh N, Sifri CD, Silveira FP, Miller R, Gregg KS, Huprikar S, Lease ED, Zimmer A, Dummer JS, Spak CW, Koval C, Banach DB, Shroff M, Le J, Ostrander D, Avery R, Eid A, Razonable RR, Montero J , Blumberg E, Alynbiawi A, Morris MI, Randall HB, Alangaden G, Tessier J, Wagener MM, Sun HY. Cryptococcosis in patients with cirrhosis of the liver and post-transplant outcomes. Transplantation (accepted for publication - Epub ahead of print). PMID:25806406
Stokes JR, Casale TB. The use of anti-IgE therapy beyond allergic asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2015 Mar-Apr;3(2):162-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2014.10.010. Epub 2015 Jan 16. PubMed PMID: 25609342.
Tabatabaian F, Casale TB . Selection of patients for sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) versus subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT). Allergy Asthma Proc. 2015 Mar-Apr;36(2):100-4. doi: 10.2500/aap.2015.36.3830. PubMed PMID: 25715238.
Tanno LK, Calderon MA, Goldberg BJ, Gayraud J, Bircher AJ, Casale T , Li J, Sanchez-Borges M, Rosenwasser LJ, Pawankar R, Papadopoulos NG, Demoly P. Constructing a classification of hypersensitivity/allergic diseases for ICD-11 by crowdsourcing the allergist community. Allergy. 2015 Jun;70(6):609-15. doi: 10.1111/all.12604. Epub 2015 Mar 17. PubMed PMID: 25736171.
The role of the NLRP3 inflammasome in pulmonary diseases. Hosseinian N, Cho Y, Lockey RF, Kolliputi N. Ther Adv Respir Dis. 2015 May 26. pii: 1753465815586335. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PMID: 26012351.
Wang B, Li K, Wang A, Reiser M, Saunders T, Lockey RF, Wang J-W. "Highly efficient CRISPR/HDR-mediated knockin in mouse embryonic stem cells and zygotes", BioTechniques, 2015. Accepted for publication 27jul2015.
Yachimski P, Maqbool S, Bhat YM, Richter JE, Falk GW, Vaezi MF. Control of Acid and Duodenogastroesophageal Reflux (DGER) in Patients With Barrett's Esophagus. Am J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jun 2. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2015.161. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26032153.

 Awards Awards and Accolades

In May Chair of Internal Medicine, Dr. John Sinnott, attended the American College of Physician's meeting in Boston where he served as a judge. Photographed with him are 1st year residents Ju Hee Kim MD and Maghana Vellanki MD, winner of the ACP Clinical Poster competition.

USF Health was awarded a grant by the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare future healthcare workers to respond to the unique needs associated with advancing age. The Division of General Internal Medicine will be one of a number of collaborators to participate in this project.

The Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at the James A. Haley VA Hospital was recently awarded two grants. The VA Office of Rural Health awarded the division $233,204 to fund the project " Increasing Access to pulmonary function testing for rural veterans with ALS through at home testing." The VA Office of Research and Development (ORD), Rehabilitation Research and Development SPiRE Program awarded the division $196,638 to fund the project "DESIPHER_Speech Degradation as an Indicator of Physiological Degeneration in ALS."

Dr. Richard Lockey was re-elected to the Hillsborough County Medical Association Executive Council as the USF representative.

Congratulations to Dr. Blanca Camoretti-Mercado! During the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference in May she was elected Chair of the Assembly on Respiratory, Structure and Function and became a member of the Excutive Board of the ATS.

(Left) Dr. Robert Ledford, Recipient of the John Sinnott Outstanding Clinical Teaching Award; (Center) Dr. Alexandra Strauss, recipient of the Outstanding Intern Instructor Award with Internal Medicine Chairman, Dr. John Sinnott; (Right) Dr. Kevin O'brien and Dean Lockwood proudly display the departmental award for Outstanding Clerkship.  

Appointments and Promotions

Dr. Allan Goldman appointed Professor and Chairman Emeritus

Congratulations to Dr. Allan Goldman on his retirement after 41 years of service! Throughout his four decades at USF Dr. Goldman treated patients, taught and advised students and residents and fellows, served as chair for the Department of Internal Medicine, directed Graduate Medical Education, taught environmental and occupational health to public health students, and mentored teams of staff and colleagues at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. Goldman's retirement became official on July 31st, he now holds the title of Professor and Chairman Emeritus. Read more about his career and retirement here.

Photo courtesy of Eric Younghans, USF Health Office of Communications

OutreachOutreach and International

(Top Left) Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, met with Dr. John Sinnott, Dr. Kathy Lynch and several medical students seeking input on changes in medicine. A major point of discussion was the anti-vaccine movement. Dr Murthy is the first US Surgeon General of Indian descent. He is photographed with Dr. Madeline Snyder PGY1. (Bottom Left) Dr. Guerra and members of the BRIDGE Clinic were presented with a certificate of appreciation. (Top Right) Dr. Lynette Menezes  with volunteers and trainees from the International Program; (Bottom Right) Dr Marion Menezes volunteering with  Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association. Photo by Dr Sinnott who also attended.

Report Card

U.S. News and World Report National Rankings:

Pulmonary, Critical Care Medicine and Sleep 42
Geriatrics High Performing
Endocrinology High Performing
Oncology High Performing
Palliative Care High Performing

Clinical Research:

Clinical Research Revenue 
FY 2014
Clinical Research Revenue 
FY 2015
% Change 
Internal Medicine 754,070.30

Residency Program:

Rolling Average
National Average
2014 93% 85%
2013 91% 85%
2012 84% 85%
33 categorical interns and 3 prelims started July 1
83 categorical residents in 2012; 96 in 2015; anticipated
99 in 2016.
Graduated 26 residents in June 2015 
Started new X+Y ambulatory block schedule on July 1

Department growth:

Over 40 faculty added in 3 years

Best Doctors

Over 40 doctors ranked in 2015  

  NewStaffWELCOME ABOARD! New Faculty and Staff:


Sharon Aroda MD
Dr. Aroda earned her MD from Florida State University in 2012. SHe completed an Internal Medicine internship at the University of South Florida in 2013 and a residency in Internal medicine at USF in 2015
. She specializes in General Internal Medicine. 

Christopher Bingham MD
Dr. Bingham joined the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine as an Assistant Professor on May 21, 2015. In 2007, he earned his medical degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. He completed his Internal Medicine/Pediatrics internship and residency training at the University of South Florida in 2011. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.

Elizabeth "Liza" Bugarin MD
Dr. Bugarin Completed her MD at the USF College of Medicine in 1995. In 2001 she completed a residency in General Surgery at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. The following year she was accepted into the Critical Care Fellowship Program at Washington Hospital Center.

Karel Calero MD
Dr. Calero earned his medical degree at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida in 2007. He completed his internal medicine training at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida in 2010 and worked as a hospitalist at St Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Florida until 2011. He then joined the University of South Florida, where he furthered his training in pulmonary and critical care in 2014 and then went on to expand his training in Sleep Medicine in July 2015. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine.

Devi Bharati Yalamanchili MD
Dr. Yalamanchili earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency program at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in June 2015. Her special interests include global health and improving health access for disadvantaged populations, which Dr. Yalamanchili has continued to cultivate through her involvement with the Sante Total clinic in Jaconsville, Haiti and the San Jose Mission clinic in Dover, FL. Dr. Yalamanchili joined the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine as an Assistant Professor in July 2015. She will be seeing patients at Tampa General Hospital.

Jennifer Caputo-Siedler MD
Dr. Caputo-Siedler grew up in the small town of Mahopac, NY. She graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a BS in 2008. She then attended State University of New York Upstate Medical University, graduating in 2012. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida.

Max Feldman MD
Dr. Feldman graduated from the University of Connecticut school of Engineering in 2007. He attended the University of South Florida College of Medicine graduating in 2012. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida. Dr. Feldman's interests include preventative medicine, caring for the underserved, and medical education. Dr. Feldman is in the division of General Internal Medicine.

Martin Giangreco MD
Dr. Martin Giangreco is originally from the Tampa Bay area, born and raised in Bradenton, Fl with an undergraduate degree in Biology from the Univerisity of Miami and his MD from Florida State University. He completed his internal medicine residency with USF and now serves on faculty through the department of Hospital medicine at TGH.  His professional interests include international and tropical medicine.

Rene Daniel Gomez Esquivel MD
Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine

Crystal Jacovino DO
Dr. Jacovino has a BA in biology from Cornell University and a DO from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. In 2010 she completed an Internal Medicine internship at the University of Tennessee and in 2012 she completed her residency in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Tennessee Memphis. She specializes in General Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and Metabolism. 

Katie Knupp MD
Dr. Knupp earned her BS from the University of North Carolina Hospital in 2005 and her MD from East Carolina University in 2011. In 2012 she completed and internship in Internal Medicine Pediatrics at the University of South Florida and in 2015 She completed her residency in Internal Medicine Pediatrics at USF.

Satyam Kalan MD
Dr. Kalan earned a BS from the University of Florida in 2008. In 2012 he earned his MD from the University of South Florida. The following year he completed an internship in Internal Medicine at USF and in 2015 He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at USF .

Kiran Kondaveeti MD
Kiran Kondaveeti, MD attended a combined 7-year undergraduate and medical school program at the University of South Florida. She received her medical degree upon graduation in 2012. She continued on at the University of South Florida for her Internal Medicine Residency. She has now joined the USF MAIN Hospitalist service and is currently seeing patients at Tampa General Hospital.

Francis "Daniel" Labarbera MD

Sunil Medidi MD

Dr. Sunil Medidi joined the University of South Florida (USF) 7-year medical program in 2005. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2008 and joined the USF Morsani College of Medicine. He graduated from medical school in 2012 and continued to complete his Internal Medicine residency at USF in 2015. He is now working as part of the USF Hospitalist Group at Tampa General Hospital.

Byron Moran MD
Dr. Moran graduated from University of Florida in 2007 and University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in 2011. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at USF in 2014.  Dr. Moran then completed a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of South Florida - Morton Plant Mease in 2015.  He is seeing patients in General Internal Medicine as well as Sports Medicine and serves as a team physician for USF athletics .

Alejandro Ramirez MD

Dr. Ramirez earned his medical degree with honors in Colombia at Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira in January, 2005. He ranked 6th in Colombia's medical graduation board exam, ECAES, among 3329 physicians. He finished his Internal Medicine residency at Seton Hall University/Trinitas Regional Medical Center in New Jersey in 2010 and a Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism fellowship at USF in 2012. He was employed with Florida Hospital Carrollwood until January 2014. At that time he joined JAHVA and became a USF faculty member for endocrinology and internal medicine. His research interests include clinical bone diseases and diabetes; he has a number of publications in these areas. 

Ricardo Restrepo MD

Chakrapol Sriaroon MD
Chak Sriaroon, MD earned his medical degree at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand and completed his Internal Medicine residency at Saint Joseph hospital, Chicago, IL. He went on to complete his fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of South Florida where he received the Outstanding Fellow Award in 2008. He spent 3 years working as an infectious disease consultant and USF voluntary faculty. Dr. SriAroon subsequently joined USF Pulmonary/Critical Care fellowship, which he completed in June 2015. Before graduating, he went to National Jewish Health, Denver, CO for a Mycobacterial fellowship. Dr. SriAroon is board certified in Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Pulmonary and Critical Care. His clinical interests include Mycobacterial infection and sepsis.  

Farnaz Tabatabaian MD
Dr. Tabatabaian earned her medical degree at The Northeast Ohio Medical University and completed her internal medicine residency at The
Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio University. She subsequently completed training in Allergy and Immunology at the University of South Florida in 2015. Prior to medical school she completed her masters degree with a focus on innate immunity. her current research interest are the physiological effect of nicotine on the human airway. Her primary clinic interests are general internal medicine with a focus on women's health, immune deficiency, allergic rhinitis, asthma, food and drug allergies.

Pushpak Taunk MD
General Internal Medicine

Amanda Wilson MD
Dr. Wilson completed her MD at St. Georges University in Grenada in 2011. In 2012 she completed an Internal Medicine internship at East Carolina University and in 2014 She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at East Carolina University. In 2015 she was accepted into the Palliative Care Fellowship Program at the University of South Florida .
Administrative Staff

With the realignment of the Morsani outpatient offices we are transferring 19 professionals into our Internal Medicine offices. We will introduce them in the next newsletter. Today we would like to introduce some of our new administrative staff who contribute to patient satisfaction and office efficiency.

Athena Failla

Technical and Paraprofessional

Nancy Hunter
Administrative Specialist
Ms. Hunter has worked for USF for 4 years, but recently joined the Department of Internal medicine as an Administrative Specialist in the Chairman's office. Prior to coming to USF she worked as a mainframe computer programmer for 13 years. She then worked as a contractor for a number of years. During this time she worked for the Residency program here at USF where she met Dr. Michael T. Flannery whom she went to work for as an administrative assistant. She then transferred to the Department of Internal Medicine to assume her current position.

Jamie Meeks, MA
Director of Communications, Education, & Public Relations

Ms. Meeks joined the Department of Internal Medicine from Florida State University where she worked as a Marketing Representative for the Florida Institute of Government. While at FSU she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Art History and a Master's Degree in Arts Administration. Her career in Marketing and Communications began while working for FSU's Union Marketing as an undergraduate. Ms. Meeks will handle all communications and public relations for the department as well as coordinate educational programs and department-wide events.

Stefanie Molitor
Academic Services Administrator
"Stef"  Molitor joined the Department of Internal Medicine this past June as an Academic Services Administrator.  She will be assisting Dr. Cuc Mai and Brad Clark, MA with the administration of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Prior to joining Internal Medicine, Stef worked with many of the medical students at USF as the Doctoring II Coordinator in
the Office of Educational Affairs (OEA). Her  previous roles for OEA were coordinating the Longitudinal Clinical Experience (LCE) and the fourth year selective Skin & Bones.
Stephanie Peters , MA 
Quality Assurance Administrator
Stephanie Peters recently joined the Division of General Internal Medicine (GIM) as a Quality Assurance Administrator, reporting to Dr. Lucy Guerra. In this new position, she will focus approximately 40% of her time on the Patient Centered Medical Home initiative as well as support the daily operation of the GIM Division. Stephanie was previously in the Department of Family Medicine for 9 years and most recently served as a Faculty Administrator in the USF Health School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences. She was involved with the launch of the Health Disparities Scholarly Concentration and has taught Communication for Health Professionals in the Physical Diagnosis and Doctoring curricula. Stephanie received her Master of Arts degree from USF in Communication after 15 years in sales and marketing. She is a Returned Peace Corps volunteer (Western Samoa, 1998-2000), holds a B.S. in Agricultural Economics (University of Nebraska), and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology (USF).

Lisa Simpson 
Administrative Specialist
Lisa Simpson was born and raised in Tampa, FL. She attended Hillsborough High School and South West Florida College. Ms. Simpson has worked in the Administrative and Customer Service field for 15 years. Ms. Simpson's experience will help with the day to day operations and support of the Hospitalists and Office Manager with the internal medicine and financial functions of the department.

Clinical Staff

A message from our Clinical Manager

It is my pleasure to welcome all our staff into the Internal Medicine family. Recently we all moved from the Clinical Operations department and were chosen to join different departments under the Internal Medicine umbrella. You were chosen because of your dedication to our patients and commitment to our patient centered care model. I am so happy all of you are with us and look forward to strengthening our level of service to our patients, our providers and each other. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.


Joe Kirkner, RN
Clinical Manager
Family and Internal Medicine

Saira Arias, AMT
Robin Crabb, LPN 
Ashley Cutidor, NRCMA
Yvette Jackson, NRCMA
Allison Jones, LPN
Susan Lewin, RMA
Dana Mallen, RT
Bridget Mendez, NRCMA
Deborah Mishtawy, LPN
Farideth Oberheu, LPN
Sherry Orr, RMA
Janet Paul, LPN
Jeannie Pruett, CMA
Iris Sanchez, CMA
Shenita Sanders, NRCMA
Petra Shields, NRCMA
Leslie Skrodzki, LPN
Latessa Smith, NRCMA 
Shanon Spicher , CMA 
Carshena Tisdale, AAMA

Roy H Behnke MD Grand Rounds:

Dr. Sinnott photographed with Grand Rounds speaker Dr. Roy Weiss and Dr. Barbara Hansen

Thursday, August 20th

Mucormycosis: Update on Risk Factors & Organ Involved From Our Experience at Ahmedabad, India
By: Atul Patel, MD
Department of Internal Medicine
Divi sion of Infectious Disease & International Medicine
Morsani College of Medicine 

Thursday, August 27th 
By: Mark Rumbak MD
Department of Internal Medicine 
Director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine
Morsani College of Medicine 

Thursday, September 3rd
Go to the People
By: Jim Withers,
University of Pittsburgh
Street Medicine Institute

Thursday, September 10th
From China to Panama:
The Medical Mystery of Paralysis and Acute Renal Failure
By: Nestor Sosa, MD
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine
Morsani College of Medicine

Thursday, September 17th
Phenotypes of Sinusitis
By: Seong Cho, MD
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Allergy and Immunology
Morsani College of Medicine

Thursday, September 24th
By: Desh Asthana, PhD
Department of Internl Medicine
Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine
Morsani College of Medicine

Grand Round Lectures are currently being held in Group Learning Room 5. Click here for a map to the room. 
All DOIM Grand Rounds lectures are held from 12:00- 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.

CampaignFaculty & Staff Campaign: Internal Medicine hits home run!


The purpose of the USF Faculty and Staff Campaign is to support scholarships and employee programs and give each USF department the opportunity to become engaged and involved with the university fundraising effort.

This year the Department of Internal Medicine had more faculty and staff contribute to the Campaign than any other department! Way to go DOIM! We had an 81% participation rate among the highest on campus. Furthermore we donated the largest amount of money.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Campaign. As the great tennis player Arthur Ashe said, "From what we get we make a living, from what we give we make a life." -Dr. John Sinnott, Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine

Thank you to everyone who contributed. You make the DOIM outstanding!

**Remember, faculty and staff have to option to enroll their contribution in payroll deduction,
which can be renewed automatically from year to year.**
Patient-Centered Teaching: Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders
Dr. Lucy Guerra Featured on USF Health News for Her Commitment to Team-Based Medicine and Patient-Centered Teaching

Dr. Lucy Guerra was the first faculty member to be highlighted by USF Health News. The article focused on faculty who exemplify a commitment to outstanding patient care. At the BRIDGE Clinic where she and her team provide free care to the local under-served community Dr. Guerra works to remind her students and residents why they chose medicine as a career. 

"People who are learning and in a learning environment sometimes get caught up, just like I did, in studying or trying to get good grades or trying to pass, and you have to keep reminding them why they chose this profession. For a physician, a nurse or anyone working in health care, it really needs to be a commitment. You're making a commitment to somebody else - the patient. If you can ground a student in that, then they're going to be the better health care provider for it." - Dr. Lucy Guerra

Read the full article here   

Photo courtesy of Sandra C. Roa, USF Health Communications


Patient-Centered Research: Innovative Ideas
Division of General Internal Medicine to Participate in Collaborative Effort to Improve Care for Older Adults with HHS Funding

USF Health was one of 44 organizations in the country awarded a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services through the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program. The Division of General Internal Medicine will be one of a number of USF Health collaborators on this project. This program is committed to investing in a workforce that will ensure high quality care for older adults. Grant recipients were selected for their efforts to develop programs and curricula that prepare future healthcare workers to respond to the needs of aging adults. Read more about this project here. Read more about the grant here.
"Today's grants reaffirm our commitment to invest in a workforce that will ensure high quality care for older adults. The geriatrics programs supported by these grants help schools design curricula that respond to the needs of aging adults and leads to better care. These investments will promote access to quality health care for older adults by supporting their self-management, their families' engagement in their care, and the dedicated caregivers who work with them." - HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

Photo courtesy of USF Health Communications

Creating Opportunities for Funded Research at USF

Chairman of Internal Medicine, Dr. John Sinnott, has been invited to serve on the Dean's Committee of Research Resources. He and Dr. Todd Wills are examining possible opportunities to bring funded researchers to USF. Stay tuned for very important announcements regarding this effort.

Patient-Centered Care: Putting Compassion into Practice
Dr. Charles Edwards: A "Shining Example" of Patient-Centered Care


Dr. Edwards featured on USF Health News for his efforts to provide safe and efficient patient care


Dr. Charles Edwards was featured on USF Health News for his work as a hospitalist at Tampa General. Dr. Edwards and his team care for hospitalized patients in place of their primary care physician for anywhere from hours to months. Their goal is to provide immediate, personalized care to patients for the duration of their stay.


"We are here, we are here 24 hours a day. Available immediately to see patients, if needed...though [my care] may not continue, while they're here [I'm] going to care for them as much as their primary care doctor does."  

- Dr. Charles Edwards


Read the full article here



Photo courtesy of Sandra C. Roa   



Dean Lockwood Highlights Dr. Edwards' Commitment to Patient-Centered Care

Dean Lockwood of the Morsani College of Medicine recently turned the spotlight on Dr. Edwards for his efforts to ensure "top quality, 24-7 inpatient care so that Tampa General Hospital patients feel valued and listened to, and receive prompt attention to all their changing health needs during and after their hospital stay." Read Dean Lockwood's letter here.

The Division of General Internal Medicine Continues to Make Progress Toward "Patient Centered Medical Home" Recognition

Read the update on their progress here.






Epic Reporting Guide 
To assist users with the transition to Epic the Integrated Data Management team put together a Reporting Guide to assist with running reports containing scheduling related data. Click here for the Reporting Guide.
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The DOIM has many ways of sharing our successes. Content to consider:
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