Alumni Updates & Accomplishments

The alumni updates you see in the print edition of the Rush University Magazine and on this website are driven by alumni submissions. We’d love to let fellow Rush alumni know about your work and your accomplishments. We can also help you facilitate professional connections or reconnect with former classmates.

To send in your personal or professional news, update your contact information or notify us of a deceased alumnus, submit an update online or send your news to the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@rush.edu, by phone at (312) 942-7199, or by mail at 1201 W. Harrison St., Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60607-3319. 

Search: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, GME

1970s

CHRISTOPHER GOETZ, MD ’75/RMC; GME, was appointed president of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society during its 21st annual international congress held in Vancouver. Goetz is professor, Department of Neurological Sciences and Pharmacology, and director, Movement Disorders Program at Rush University Medical Center.
 
SANDRA MILLER, MD ’75/RMC, has retired after 10 years of private practice and 30 years of academic family medicine. Miller is now writing novels focused on fictional medical adventures and is looking to connect with others interested in writing medical fiction.
 
JAMES A. MESEROW, MD ’77/RMC; GME, joined Benefis Women’s Health in Great Falls, Montana.
 
ROBERT F. MULCH JR., MD ’77/RMC, took the oath of office for the Montgomery County Board in Montgomery, Illinois.
 
RONALD STERN, MD ’78/RMC, joined the Florida Pain Relief Group - Melbourne.
 
MARIE T. BROWN FELDMAN, MD ‘79/RMC; GME, was named a Master by the American College of Physicians, the largest medical-specialty society in the world, recognizing excellence and distinguished contributions to internal medicine.

1980s

ROBERT G. GILLIO, MD ’80/RMC, was appointed by J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, as the medical director for the health system’s new Pulmonary Care Center. Gillio will oversee a program of lung disease education, prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment.
 
KATHLEEN L. DUNN, MS ’82/CON, retired in 2017 after 28 years as the clinical nurse specialist for the Spinal Cord Injury/Disease Center at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and continues to serve as a moderator for the CareCure website.
 
JAMES T. O’DONNELL, MS ’82/CHS, was appointed to the American College of Surgeons Opiate Task Force.
 
JOHN V. PRUNSKIS, MD ’82/RMC, was appointed to the Health and Human Services pain management task force.
 
CARYN D. BING, MS ’83/CHS; GME, received the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Board of Directors 2017 Award for Distinguished Leadership and authored two chapters in Compounding Sterile Preparations, 4th edition.
 
KAREN B. WEINSTEIN, MD ’83/RMC; GME, was named acting medical director, regulatory affairs, Rush University Medical Group.
 
DAVID A. BENNETT, MD ’84/RMC; GME, received the 2018 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases, in recognition for his research on memory loss. Sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize of Alzheimer’s research, the Potamkin Prize is an internationally recognized tribute in the field. Bennett is the director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center and the Robert C. Borwell Professor of Neurological Science in the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush Medical College.
 
MARY LOU MASTRO, MS ’84/CON, is the chief executive officer for Edward-Elmhurst Health and was elected to serve on the Illinois Health and Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees.
 
KATHY SWARTWOUT MS ’86/CON, PHD ’07/GRAD, was appointed to associate chairperson for the Department of Community, Systems and Mental Health Nursing at Rush University College of Nursing.
 
ELIZABETH CARLSON, PHD ’88/CON, received the 2017 Lucie S. Kelly Mentor Award at the Honor Society of Nursing Sigma Theta Tau International’s 44th Biennial Convention in Indianapolis.
 
FREDERICK M. BROWN JR., BS ’89, MS ’94, DNP ’07/CON, was promoted to associate vice president, psychiatric nursing, Rush University Medical Center.
 
KATHLEEN R. DELANEY, PHD ’89, CERT ’05/CON, was awarded a $1.4 million Health Resources and Services Administration grant for her project titled “Academic/Practice Partnerships: Incubators for Innovations in Clinical Learning.” This project develops and evaluates an academic-practice partnership model for clinical training of family nurse practitioners students. Delaney is professor, Department of Community, Systems and Mental Health Nursing, Rush University College of Nursing, and project director, Rush University Medical Center Graduate Nursing Education Demonstration.

1990s

RANDALL W. PORTER, MD ’93/RMC, was appointed to Arizona Technology Council’s Board of Directors.
 
BLAIR MARTIN ROWITZ, MD ’93/RMC, was appointed as the first permanent associate dean for clinical affairs at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine in Urbana, Illinois.
 
SUSAN BREITENSTEIN, BS ’94, MS ’97, PHD ’09/CON, associate department chair and associate professor, Department of Community, Systems and Mental Health Nursing, Rush University College of Nursing, and LOLA COKE, PHD ’05/CON, associate professor, Department of Adult Health and Gerontological Nursing, Rush University College of Nursing, were inducted as fellows in the American Academy of Nursing.
 
RUTH M. KLEINPELL, CERT ’95, CERT ’16/ CON, received grant funding from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners for the study demonstrating the outcomes of nurse practitioner care using a national collaborative.
 
ANTHONY PERRY, MD ’96/RMC; GME, vice president, population health and ambulatory services at Rush University Medical Center, has been appointed to lead Rush’s newly formed Ambulatory Transformation Center.
 
SOPHIA DRINIS, MD ’96/RMC, joined Samaritan Urology in Albany, Oregon, as a urologist.
 
SIMON LEE, MD ’97/RMC; GME, and JOHNNY L. LIN, GME, were selected to be company physicians at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago.
 
EDWARD F. HOLLINGER, JR. PHD ’98/GRAD; MD ’01/RMC; GME, and DAVID J. CIMBALUK, GME, received the 2017 Lifesaving Partners Award from Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network for their work in addressing the important need for organ and tissue donations.
 
SAM GEORGE PAPPAS, MD ’98/RMC, joined Rush as chief, Division of Surgical Oncology. Pappas is a leading expert in robotic surgery for patients with gastrointestinal cancers and regional therapies for advanced malignancies.
 
MICHELLE STUERCKE, DNP ’98/CON, joined Transitional Care Management in Lisle, Illinois, as the chief clinical officer.
 
ROSEMARIE SUHAYDA, CERT ’98/CON, and Pam Levin, MD, developed a paper titled “Transitioning to the DNP: Assuring integrity of the curriculum through curriculum mapping” that was accepted for publication in Nurse Educator. Suhayda currently serves as assistant dean of evaluation and associate professor, Department of Women, Children and Family Nursing, Rush University College of Nursing.
 
VICTORIA M. VILLAFLOR, MD ’98/RMC; GME, was named a 2018 “Top Doctor in Chicago” by Chicago magazine for her work in medical oncology.
 
XINQI DONG, MD ’99/RMC, has been named the director of Rutgers University’s Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research and is the inaugural Henry Rutgers Professor of Population Health Sciences.

2000s

MELISSA ANDREA SIMON, MD ’00/RMC, received the 2017 Marion Spencer Fay Award for her contributions to women health and health equity.
 
THOM BLOOMQUIST, MS ’01/CON, presented on neuroplasticity at the National Guild of Hypnotists and presented on non-drug pain management at the New Hampshire Medical Society.
 
KEVIN LETZ, DNP ’01/CON, joined Sound Physicians in Tacoma, Washington, as the vice president of Advance Practice Providers. Letz is responsible for the Advance Practice Providers strategy, clinical education and career development.
 
SUSAN K. O’CONNER-VON, PHD ’01/CON, received the American Society for Pain Management Nursing Dr. Jo Eland Excellence in Pediatric Nursing Award.
 
BEN REMOR E. INVENTOR, MS ’03, PHD ’15/CON, received the Excellence in Nursing Education/Research Award from the 23rd annual Chicago Filipino Asian American Hall of Fame. Inventor is an instructor in the Department of Adult Health and Gerontological Nursing, Rush University College of Nursing.
 
AMON T. FERRY, MD ’04/RMC; GME, joined OrthoArizona in the Arizona Sports Medicine Center. Ferry completed a sports medicine and shoulder surgery fellowship at Harvard Sports Medicine Service in Boston, has worked with the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins, and now works with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners.
 
CARRIE PIKE, BS ’04/CON, was appointed by the Department of Psychiatric Nursing at Rush University Medical Center as interim unit director for 8S/8N in the Johnston R. Bowman Health Center.
 
LOLA COKE, PHD ’05/CON, see note for SUSAN BREITENSTEIN, BS ’94, MS ’97, PHD ’09/OON.
 
AMANDA L. KRATOVIL, BS ’05/CON; PHD ’16/GRAD, accepted an assistant professor, tenure track position in the College of Nursing at Purdue University Northwest.
 
JONATHAN R. KAMERLINK, MD ’07/RMC, started his own paid medicine practice, Kamerlink Pain Institute in Boca Raton, Florida.
 
MARY JANE WELCH, DNP ’07/CON, retired after 14 years of service to Rush, most previously serving as associate vice president, research regulatory operations. She helped strengthen the foundation for a comprehensive research administration infrastructure that is focused on service and excellence. Under her leadership, Rush was awarded its first human research protections accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs which has since been renewed.
 
BRITTANY A. FOOTE, BS ’08/CON, joined Edward Medical Group’s obstetrics and gynecology practice in the Lisle, Illinois, office.
 
MARK S. FRATZKE, DNP ’08/CON, was appointed president and chief executive officer of Seton Medical Center and Seton Coastside in California.
 
ECE A. MUTLU, MS ’08/CON; GME, was promoted to professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center.
 
MARY S. BECK, DNP ’09/CON, was appointed as the chief nursing officer at University of Missouri Health Care.
 

2010s

AMANDA J. BATTERBEE, MS ’10/CON, joined the University of Colorado Colorado Springs as new faculty in the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
 
JULIE M. BOLL, MD ’10/RMC; GME, joined Saint Thomas Hospital West in Nashville as a registered physician in vascular interpretation.
 
MERRICK J. DONENBERG, MD ’11/RMC, joined the OSF HealthCare Cardiovascular Institute office in Ottawa, Illinois.
 
CHRISTOPHER J. DUNNING, MS ’13/CON, was appointed emergency department unit director at Rush Oak Park Hospital.
 
NILI L. SELESKI, MD ’13/RMC, joined the Silver Cross medical staff. She is a board certified pediatrics physician and is located at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie’s Children’s Outpatient Center in New Lenox, Illinois.
 
TERRI BOGUE, MS ’14/CON, published an article co-authored with LYNN MOHR, PHD ’15/GRAD, titled “Putting the Family Back in the Center: A Teach-Back Protocol to Improve Communication During Rounds in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.” This article appeared in a special Pediatric Critical Care Edition of Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America.
 
ALICE M. GEIS, DNP ’14, CERT ’11/CON, has been appointed interim medical director at Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare in Chicago.
 
TERESA W. YAMBO, PHD ’15/GRAD, joined the University of Colorado Colorado Springs as a faculty member in the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
 
BREYANNA GRAYS, MD ’16/RMC; GME, is now practicing at Carle Neurology Clinic in Urbana, Illinois.
 
SARAH G. AURICH, DNP ’17/CON, joined Sanford Bemidji in Minnesota as a family nurse practitioner on the pediatrics team.
 
THOMAS STARR, MS ’17/CON, has been appointed to unit director of the neurosciences, stroke and epilepsy unit at Rush University Medical Center.

GME (House Staff)

JOSEPH U. BARKER, GME, is the first surgeon in Wake County, North Carolina, and first surgeon in the Raleigh metro area to perform a treatment to regrow knee cartilage.
 
MIGENA BETZ, GME, joined Mercyhealth in Rockford, Illinois, as a board-certified diagnostic radiology physician.
 
ASOKUMAR BUVANENDRAN, GME, was appointed president of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. Buvanendran is vice chair, research, and director, orthopedic anesthesia, in the Department of Anesthesiology at Rush University Medical Center.
 
DOMINIC S. CARREIRA, GME, joined the Partners of Peachtree Orthopedics in Atlanta.
 
DAVID J. CIMBALUK, GME, see note for EDWARD F. HOLLINGER JR. PhD ’98/GRAD; MD ’01/RMC; GME.
 
WILLIAM B. INABNET III, GME, was selected as the new editor-in-chief for VideoEndocrinology by the American Thyroid Association.
 
MUSTAFA KHAN, GME, joined the Milwaukee Orthopaedic Group.
 
GUENTHER KOEHNE, GME, has been named chief of bone marrow transplantation and hematologic oncology at the Miami Cancer Institute.
 
KEN N. KUO, GME, was awarded the Distinguished Life Achievement Award of Asia Pacific Orthopedic Society for his work in pediatric orthopedic surgery.
 
PRIMO N. LARA JR., GME, has been named the director of the National Cancer Institute-designated UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.
 
JOHNNY L. LIN, GME, see note for SIMON LEE, MD ’97/RMC; GME.
 
RICHARD PAZDUR, GME, was listed among the 2017 “Bloomberg 50,” a list of the most influential people nationally and internationally as determined by Bloomberg Businessweek. He was recognized for his work as a director at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Oncology Center of Excellence and success with increasing the approval rate for cancer drugs and medications.
 
JAMES S. RICKARDS, GME, recently released his book, Our Health Plan: Community Governed Healthcare That Works, focusing on transforming health care systems.
 
SARAH SUNG, GME, has joined the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine as an assistant professor.
 
CRAIG J. DELLA VALLE, GME, was named the 28th president of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.
 
JAMES WEINSTEIN, GME, was honored as Rush’s Distinguished Surgical Alum.
Abbreviations
  Colleges and programs
AUD Speech & Hearing Science*
CON Rush University College of Nursing
GRAD The Graduate College at Rush University
HSM Health Systems Management*
OT Occupational Therapy*
PSL Presbyterian-St. Luke’s School of Nursing
PRES Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing
RMC Rush Medical College
ST. LUKE’S St. Luke’s Hospital Training School of Nursing

*programs in the College of Health Sciences at Rush University

  Degrees/certifications
BS Bachelor of Science
BSN Bachelor of Science in Nursing
CERT Certificate
CRNA Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
DNP Doctor of Nursing Practice
GME Graduate Medical Education
(House Staff Alumnus)
MD Doctor of Medicine
MS Master of Science
MSN Master of Science in Nursing
PhD Doctor of Philosophy