The MEHP newsletter highlights news and achievements of Johns Hopkins Master of Education in the Health Professions students and alumni.

MEHP Program Recruiting New Applicants

Remember the old commercial where a young woman said she told two friends about her shampoo, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on, until the word spread? Let’s make that happen with the MEHP program. Do you know someone who could benefit from the MEHP program? As a fellow, faculty, alumnus or friend, your experience with the program and as an educator puts you in a unique position to help us identify prospective new members of the MEHP community. In addition to the academic requirements for admission, candidates must have a passion for education, aspire to a career that incorporates clinical work with teaching, and be committed to educational research and scholarship.

Do you know two people in your circle of colleagues who meet this profile? If so, forward this message to them with a comment about your own experience in the MEHP program. The MEHP webpage has a wealth of information, and we can be contacted directly by e-mail ([email protected]). Tell them to be sure to mention your name so that we can thank you for your continued support of the MEHP’s ongoing growth and success!


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MEHP Fellows Impacted by Beirut Blast

Three MEHP Fellows—Alexandre Nehme, George Adel Cortas, and Dany Al Hamod—were working for Saint George University Medical Center in Beirut, Lebanon, in August when a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at a nearby port exploded. The damage sustained at the hospital, which was located close to the epicenter of the blast, went beyond material damage to include the loss of four beloved nurses, 12 patients, and one visitor. Adel Cortas was one of more than 100 health care professionals, including doctors, residents, nurses, and administrative staff, who sustained injuries. He lost 50% of his blood volume and broke his lower jaw and three to four teeth.

For the first time in 150 years, the 400-bed hospital was rendered nonoperational. Some 160 inpatients had to be evacuated from the floors to the emergency room, and then discharged to their homes or other hospitals.

“Right after the incident, with all the physical and psychological damage sustained, our health care professionals team relentlessly cared for hundreds of trauma cases, including a number of serious and critical cases, disregarding their own injuries and trauma,” writes Nehme, the hospital’s chief medical officer, who is now heading the emergency recovery plan.

“I like to say that with the help of several Angels sent by God, I was saved,” Adel Cortas writes. “These Angels included hospital staff, house staff and doctor friends of mine whom I thank sincerely…. I was able to seek [care at] another hospital, and how I got there and got treated is a miracle by itself. They stitched all my wounds and operated on my jaw.”

With an expected recovery time of two to three months, Adel Cortas has been resting at home. Al Hamod also is doing well, Nehme says.

Nehme says he was fortunate to have left work early the day of the blast or he’s not sure he would have survived. His home, situated parallel to the hospital, was completely damaged, and his wife was injured by shattered glass. Thankfully, his 11-year-old daughter was out of town that day.

“The explosion not only devastated Beirut but also added to the already overwhelming status of the Lebanese Healthcare System,” he writes. “With COVID-19 greatly affecting the health care economy and the availability of health care services, the Lebanese economic crisis further deteriorated the situation, restricting cash flow as well as the availability of medications and medical equipment.”

The estimated cost of damages to the facility, from glass windows, rooms, ceilings, and doors, were estimated to run over $40 million. Still, Nehme and colleagues remain hopeful and determined to begin reconstruction in phases. The hospital has set up a webpage for donations.

MEHP alumna Sandra Mrad also was in Beirut during the blast and treated people injured in the explosion at another hospital across town.

Ungaretti Organizes AERA Meeting Panel

MEHP Program Director Toni Ungaretti, PhD, has been tapped to organize a panel discussion at the American Educational Research Association virtual annual meeting in April 2021. The session, titled “Reimagining and Reinventing Health Professions Education in COVID’s Environment: Moving from Crisis to Opportunity,” will showcase papers from six institutions. Ungaretti and Emily Jones, EdD, an assistant professor with the MEHP program, will present on “The Crisis/Opportunity of COVID on Established Online Global Health Professions Education Programs: Accepting Educational Responsibility.”

Kirpalani Presents at Kidney Week

MEHP Fellow Amrit Kirpalani, MD, a pediatrics resident at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, in Ontario, Canada, presented a poster at Kidney Week 2020, the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology. The work, titled “Assessing Nephrology Competency in General Pediatrics,” was co-authored by Justin Jeffers, MD (MEHP ’19), an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Sheehy Moves to Memphis

MEHP Fellow Ryan Sheehy, PhD, accepted a new position as assistant professor of medical education at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, teaching pharmacology to medical students and conducting medical education research. “I get to make medical education my primary focus because I no longer reside in a basic sciences or pharmacology department,” he writes. “I’ll still teach pharmacology, but I now have the opportunity to work within a department that contains specialists from other disciplines that have a similar focus on education and educational research.” He previously worked for Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Missouri.

Zamberg Honored for Teaching Prowess

MEHP Fellow Ido Zamberg, MD, a physician in the Anesthesiology Department of the Geneva University Hospitals, in Switzerland, received the 2020 Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching. The award was given for his “Head to Toe” project, a mobile digital platform developed for easy, efficient dissemination of medical information. The platform makes it easy to quickly access evidence-based medical references for use in daily clinical practice. It also features checklists to help physicians with medical history taking and performing physical examinations, and videos describing recommended steps for performing physical exams and procedures.

Dinh Promoted at Florida Dental School

Katie Dinh, DMD, MHSA (MEHP ’20), has been promoted to assistant dean of curriculum and assessment at the LECOM School of Dental Medicine in Bradenton, Florida. “I have learned and grown professionally through the four years with the MEHP program, and the training I received will definitely guide me through my career,” she writes.

Knicely Assumes New Post at UVA

Daphne Knicely, MD, FASN (MEHP ’20), has been named an associate professor with the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and starts this December. Knicely will be based at the Augusta Health community hospital and will serve as an attending on the UVA nephrology consult service. She previously worked for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Amendola Named VA Senior Innovation Fellow

Michael Amendola, MD, FSVS, FACS (MEHP ’19), a professor of surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, and a program director at McGuire VA Medical Center, in Richmond, has been selected as a Senior Innovation Fellow by the Veterans Health Administration Innovation Ecosystem. Through this program, Amendola will be a 3D Printing Clinical Champion, working with 3D printing engineers, clinical stakeholders, and the ADAPT team to develop a 3D printing curriculum and quality assurance processes at the Central Virginia VA Health Care System. This integration will optimize the utilization of this novel manufacturing approach.

Papillon Smith Studies Surgical Training

Jessica Papillon Smith, MD, FRCSC (MEHP ’19), an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McGill University Health Centre (Royal Victoria Hospital) in Montreal, Canada, and clerkship site director for the hospital, has worked on several education-related projects this year. She is collecting data for work developing a standardized curriculum for MIGS (minimally invasive gynecologic surgery) fellowship training in Canada. She submitted a manuscript on “Understanding Advanced Gynecologic Surgery Training in Canada: A National Survey of Recent Graduates” to the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, and she published her paper “Effect of Pre-operative Training Using Surgical Videos on Resident Performance of Unilateral Salpingo-oopherectomy: A Multicentered Randomized Controlled Trial” in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. Papillon Smith chairs McGill’s Taskforce on the Learning Environment.

Garibaldi Consults with Trump’s Medical Team

Brian Garibaldi, MD (MEHP ’18), director of the Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit, assisted the medical team treating President Trump this fall for COVID-19. Garibaldi consulted with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center experts and the White House Medical Unit. He also took part in a press briefing on the president’s condition. For more information, see Wbal-Tv.

Onguka Publishes Capstone Project

Stephanie Onguka, MD (MEHP ’18), a family medicine faculty member with Kabarak University in Kenya, published her capstone project, “Calling All Authors: Writing Skills for Family Medicine Residents in Kenya,” in the African Journal of Health Professions Education.

Strowd Promoted at North Carolina Medical School

Roy E. Strowd III, MD, MS (MEHP ’18), an associate professor of neuro-oncology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has been named assistant dean for MD Program Academic Affairs. In this position, Strowd is involved in the daily operations of the Office of Academic Affairs, leading efforts related to policies and procedures, collaborating to maintain accreditation standards compliance, participating in the budget process, and ensuring ongoing communication with medical student leaders and groups to ensure student representation in the MD degree program. Strowd also is director of the school’s Health Professions Education Institute.

Syed Promoted to Full Professor at UTMB

Misha Syed, MD (MEHP ’18), was promoted to professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where she serves as residency program director in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Syed also was elected to the Program Directors Council for the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology. The PDC is a peer-elected body charged with “being the voice for ophthalmology program directors and liaison between the AUPO board of trustees and other governing bodies of residency education,” she writes. “It’s an exciting position that allows us to effect change and move initiatives for resident education forward.”

Nemec Named a Rising Star

Eric Nemec, PharmD (MEHP ’17), director of research and assessment at Sacred Heart University in Trumbull, Connecticut, received the Rising Star award at the 2020 Physician Assistant Education Association Education Forum. Nemec also is a clinical associate professor in the university’s physician assistant program.

Lindeman Lauded for Faculty Excellence

Brenessa Lindeman, MD, FACS (MEHP ’14), an assistant professor of surgery and medical education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, received the Dean’s Award for Junior Faculty Excellence this spring. Lindeman also is the associate designated institutional official for the Clinical Learning Environment in the Graduate Medical Education Office.