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

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 fellows. 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.

Please forward this message to others you think would be interested, along 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 Program Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic

Instructors with the MEHP program understand the hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to students. Some are working longer hours and caring for patients affected by the virus, while others are home juggling work and family life 24/7. Therefore, administrators with the program are allowing extra flexibility to support our learners.

If you need more time on assignments or to take an incomplete and make up coursework later, contact your instructors. If you are having difficulties with your Capstone research, speak with your Capstone instructors and with Toni Ungaretti.

“We will do everything we can to help without sacrificing the quality of our educational programs,” Ungaretti says. “We want to make sure students have the outcomes they need, but we recognize there are different ways to get there.”

The program may offer courses this summer to make up for those normally taken during Spring II. In addition, there may be a possibility for Fellows to use experience gained during the COVID-19 pandemic toward their Capstone projects. The MEHP program also is putting together a study to capture what student and alumni experiences have been during this time and how the program helped them.

MEHP Alumni Needed for Survey Participation

What are the qualities that make a good leader under pressure? MEHP Director Toni Ungaretti, PhD, and colleagues are trying to find out. With a Johns Hopkins Discovery Award for their project, “From Jedi Knight to Jedi Master: Discovering the New Master of Health Professions Educator Leader,” the research team is now finalizing the survey and will be sending it soon to MEHP alumni, the primary target population. Watch your email inbox and please participate to help this project.
Co-investigators include Rachel Salas, MD (MEHP ’18); Sharon K. Park, PharmD (MEHP ’17); Gundula Bosch, PhD (MEHP ’16); and MEHP faculty Richard Milter, PhD, from the Carey Business School; Kathleen White, PhD, MS, RN, from the School of Nursing; Emily Jones, EdD, from the School of Education; Haneefa Saleem, PhD, from the Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Charlene Gamaldo, MD, from the School of Medicine.

Present Research at Educational Meetings

MEHP fellows and alumni looking for opportunities to present their research should consider a range of conferences that cover education related to the health professions. These are good places to network with other alumni, too. Several such conferences are scheduled in 2022:

Accolades and Congrats

MEHP Fellows Publish Research, Receive Grants and Promotions, Etc.

Fahad Alroumi, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, published the article “Rapid Intensive Care Unit Onboarding in Response to a Pandemic” in the Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development.

Stacy Cooper, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, was selected by the American Board of Medical Specialties as one of six grant recipients for a research project titled “A Pilot Analysis of an Exclusively Narrative Format to Assign ACGME Milestone Sub-competency Scores.”

Mark Garcia, MBBS, an emergency medicine staff specialist at New South Wales Health in Australia, was a guest speaker at the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Year in Review conference, discussing innovation and learner engagement in medical education.

Laura Hopson, MD, was promoted to clinical professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. She also serves as associate chair for education.

Edsel Ing, MD, PhD, FRCSC, MPH, CPH, MIAD, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Toronto, published the article “A Survey-weighted Analytic Hierarchy Process to Quantify the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Authorship Criteria” in the journal Advances in Medical Education and Practice.

Natasha Khursigara-Slattery, MD, a urology registrar and clinical fellow at University Hospital Limerick, Ireland, developed and presented a national conference in Ireland in October. The program was designed to inform, engage, and garner feedback from key stakeholders and her proposed template and content for the “Be” pillar, which addresses the competency of professionalism and is one of three pillars in a new curricular framework called Know, Do, Be. This supports the transition of the national Irish intern curriculum from a time-based to a competency-based model. The conference, called “Informing the ‘Be’ Pillar” National Stakeholders Conference, was held at Barberstown Castle Hotel in Straffan, County Kildare. It was hosted by the Mid-West Intern Training Network Programme, University Limerick Hospitals Group, and was funded by the National Doctors Training and Planning Division of the Irish Health Service Executive.

Sonam Kiwalkar, MD, has been appointed associate program director for didactics, curriculum, and evidence-based practice for Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center’s internal medicine residency program, in Vancouver, Washington.

Gia Merlo, MD, MBA, a clinical professor of nursing and psychiatry at New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing, has been elected to the editorial board of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, in the area of Mental Health and Psychiatry. Merlo designed and is now teaching two elective wellness-related courses at NYU at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Additionally, she presented the interactive workshop “Failing Successfully — Experiences and Lessons Learned” at MEHP’s decennial conference this summer and presented “Why Now? Stress/Mental Health Crisis, Social Isolation, the Pandemic, and the Current Health Care Needs” at the Global Positive Health Institute inaugural meeting in September.

Brittany Schwarz, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, published the article “Essentials of Neonatal-perinatal Medicine Fellowship: Innovations in Medical Education” in the Journal of Perinatology. Schwarz also is associate director of the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Training Program.

Eric Zwemer, MD, has been named associate chair of faculty development in education for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Blaszczak Starts New Position

Julie Blaszczak, MD (MEHP ’21), has been named an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. She also has been selected to serve on the medical school’s Admissions Executive Committee and is faculty lead of the Department of Family Medicine Faculty Development Institute.

Bustamante-Helfrich Receives Promotion

Blandine Bustamante-Helfrich, MD, MPH (MEHP ’21), has been promoted to professor of pathology and associate dean of the Office of Faculty Affairs at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio.

Isnassuos Starts Critical Care Fellowship

Mena Isnassuos, MD (post-master’s certificate ’21), finished an anesthesia residency at Wayne State School of Medicine and started a fellowship in critical care medicine at Emory University.

Kirpalani Chairs Education Committee

Amrit Kirpalani (MEHP ’21), a pediatrics resident at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry in Ontario, Canada, has been appointed chair for the undergraduate medical education research course, hoping to develop and study outcomes in a longitudinal inquiry-based learning curriculum. Kirpalani also chaired the pediatrics postgraduate medical education EDI subcommittee, working alongside a team of trainees to evaluate the curriculum, assessments, selection process, and work environment through an equity lens. The team added inclusivity as a metric on evaluations, developed best practice guidelines, and engaged in research looking at ostracism, conflict, bias, and burnout in trainees.

Kirpalani’s capstone project was accepted for publication to the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Lewis Publishes and Presents

James “Jim” Lewis, MD (MEHP ’21), chief of surgical oncology at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, received the “Spirit of MEHP” award at the MEHP decennial conference and co-presented “The Road Less Traveled: Tenets of Resiliency.” Lewis also had two publications accepted for publication, including his capstone project, “Emotional Intelligence and Burnout Related to Resident-assessed Faculty Teaching Scores,” which was accepted to the Journal of Surgical Education.

Malinowski Chairs Curriculum for MCW

Michael Malinowski, MD, FACS (MEHP ’21), has been re-voted as chair of the Curriculum and Evaluation Committee for the Medical College of Wisconsin’s three campuses. He also was inducted as an associate member of the Academy of Master Surgeons, Division of Education. Malinowski is a vascular surgeon with the Froedtert & MCW health network.

Newman Publishes Manuscript

Matthew Newman, PharmD (MEHP ’21), a clinical pharmacist and oncology pharmacy residency program director at Johns Hopkins, published “Establishing Content Validity of a Student Pharmacist Patient Counseling Competency Assessment in Oncology” in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.

Riffat Directs Medical Education

Sabir Riffat, MD (MEHP ’21), has been appointed director of the medical education track at the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. This is a longitudinal track with monthly sessions providing a scaffolding of opportunities, knowledge, skills, and attitudes to assist the medicine and medicine/pediatric residents to grow as medical educators. Riffat also was elected as a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Abdelwahab Joins Education Committees

Abdellatif Abdelwahab, MD (MEHP ’20), an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, was elected by members of the American Academy of Pediatrics to join the executive committee of its Section on Simulation and Innovative Learning Methods (SoSILM); he also became a member of the SoSILM education subcommittee. Additionally, the neonatology fellowship program he helps lead gained ACGME-I accreditation this year, and he published a case report on treatment of neonatal peripheral intravenous infiltration/extravasation injury in the Journal of the Association for Vascular Access. Abdelwahab also is a senior consultant neonatologist, program director of the neonatal-perinatal fellowship, and program director of neonatal nutrition for the Women’s Wellness and Research Center in Doha, Qatar.

Bennett Directs Educational Research for Radiology Residents

Paige Bennett, MD (post-master’s certificate ’20), a professor of radiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is principal investigator of a project titled “Clinical Readout Assessment Tools for Radiology Residents.” These are formative and summative learning assessments in a mini-clinical exam format for use at the radiology viewing station, tailored to each subspecialty of radiology. The tool was presented as a poster at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging’s annual meeting.
Bennett also was appointed to the SNMMI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force and presented the lecture “Academic Promotion Pathways” as the Tom Miller Memorial Lectureship Award recipient for 2021. Additionally, she published a paper on nuclear medicine education via Instagram in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology.

Haley Receives Double Promotion

Colin Haley, DDS (MEHP ’20), received a promotion to clinical associate professor of oral medicine and diagnostic sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Dentistry. Haley also was promoted to associate director of group facilitation, overseeing all of the active group learning course components at the dental school.

Martinez Directs Education, Ethics Course

Rebeca Martinez, MD (MEHP ’20), is vice chair for education, faculty director for the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and course director for Ethical Foundations of Medicine at Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.

Peterson Directs Courses at Penn State

Brandon Peterson, MD (post-master’s certificate ’20), an assistant professor of medicine at Penn State’s Heart and Vascular Institute, is course director for first-year medical students’ cardiorespiratory block and is a course director representative for the university’s Committee on Undergraduate Medical Education. Peterson is conducting research on cardiology fellowship training requirements in echocardiography and how effectively training guidelines ensure adequate exposure to pathology to ensure competency.

Rakab Facilitates Virtual Faculty Development Coursework

Amine Rakab, MD, FACP (MEHP ’20), an assistant professor of clinical medicine and assistant dean for clinical learning at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, was a course facilitator for a series of virtual faculty development courses for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The courses, related to the importance of assessment to advance competency-based medical education, were offered internationally. Rakab also participated in a quality improvement project on the development of national clinical guidelines for the state of Qatar and was a reviewer for the national clinical guideline on diagnosis and management of skin and soft tissue infections.

Amendola Named Master Surgical Educator

Michael Amendola, MD, FACS, FSVS (MEHP ’19), division chief of vascular surgery at the Central Virginia VA (Veterans Affairs) Health Care System and professor of surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine, was accepted into the American College of Surgeons’ Academy of Master Surgeon Educators. He also served on the planning committee and was a faculty member for a new educational program called “3-D Printing in the VA Health Care System: Building the Hospital of the Future.”

Guiter Publishes Research

Gerardo Guiter, MD (MEHP ’19), an adjunct assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, published the article “Development of a Remote Online Collaborative Medical School Pathology Curriculum with Clinical Correlations, Across Several International Sites, Through the COVID-19 Pandemic” in Medical Science Educator.

Jeffers Receives Grant

Justin Jeffers, MD (MEHP ’19), an assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, received an innovation grant from the medical school to implement an augmented reality system to improve pediatric cardiac arrest. One of Jeffers’ capstone mentees had a paper accepted for publication in the journal Paediatrics & Child Health, on assessing nephrology competence in general pediatrics.

Lagoski Aids Afghan Immigrants

Danielle Lagoski, MD (MEHP ’19), a family medicine specialist in Camp Pendleton, California, served as faculty of the family medicine residency program in Camp Pendleton. After one week, she was sent for temporary duty to Fort Dix in New Jersey to support Afghan immigration efforts.

Nielsen Named Advisor of the Year

Nicole Nielsen, PharmD, BCACP, APh (MEHP ’19), an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at West Coast University, was named the West Coast University School of Pharmacy Advisor of the Year for 2020-2021. She also was named president-elect of the Pharmacists’ Professional Society of the San Fernando Valley.

Papillon-Smith Chairs Learning Task Force

Jessica Papillon-Smith, MD, FRCSC (MEHP ’19), since 2020 has served as the course director for obstetrics and gynecology undergraduate medical education and lead competency-based medical education for the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. This year, Papillon-Smith chaired the OBGYN Learning Environment Task Force for the university and in 2022 will assume the role as program director for the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship Program at McGill University Health Centre. Additionally, she published on understanding minimally invasive gynecologic surgery fellowship training in Canada, in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada.

Rolls Named Associate Director of Utah MEHP Program

Joanne Rolls, MPAS, PA-C (MEHP ’19), an associate professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine’s Division of Physician Assistant Studies, has been named associate director of a new master of education in health profession program at the university. Rolls also published about the outcomes of Health Resources and Services Administration–funded expansion of physician-assistant training grants in the Journal of Physician Assistant Education and spoke about transgender health care at the Iowa Physician Assistant Society’s annual meeting.

Steinberg Directs Emergency Medicine

Eric Steinberg, DO (MEHP ’19), has been named program director of emergency medicine at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey. Steinberg also was appointed associate professor of emergency medicine at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and director of the imaging curriculum for Foundations of Emergency Medicine, a free online emergency medicine residency curriculum used by over 150 residency programs. Additionally, he has joined the editorial board of, a medical reference accessed by millions of users each month.

Talmon Promoted to Associate Dean

Geoffrey Talmon, MD (MEHP ’19), professor of medicine at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, has been promoted to associate dean for medical education. He also received the 2021 UNMC Varner Educator Laureate award in the spring. To read an article about the award presentation, click here.

Tomobi Joins Summer Health Professions Program

Oluwakemi Tomobi, MD (MEHP ’19), a research fellow with Johns Hopkins’ Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, was selected to the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) National Alumni Advisory Board. SHPEP is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program that engages college first years and sophomores in a six-week summer program providing early exposure to medicine, nursing, physical therapy, dentistry, and other allied health professions. Additionally, she gave a presentation at the Maryland Consortium for Adjunct Faculty Professional Development conference titled, “Combating Health Disparities: What Can Be Done at the College Student Level?”

Salas Named Distinguished Teacher

Rachel Salas, MD, FAAN (MEHP ’18), a professor of neurology and nursing at Johns Hopkins, was inducted into the Distinguished Teaching Society at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Salas also was selected by the Cambridge Health Alliance Center for Professional and Academic Development and the Harvard Macy Institute for the Art Museum-based Health Professions Education Fellowship. The fellowship introduces innovative ways to use the art museum environment to advance health professions educational goals.

Salas also is director of the neurology clerkship and director of interprofessional education and collaborative practice for the Johns Hopkins medical school and serves as a faculty adviser for the MEHP program.

Spooner Co-Directs Cardiac Surgery Bootcamp

Aaron Spooner, MD, FRCSC (MEHP ’18), spent most of 2019-2020 working for Houston Methodist Hospital. Now he is in Canada working as an attending cardiac surgeon at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, as an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba. Spooner co-directs the Cardiac Surgery Society of Canada Bootcamp for new residents and is a faculty member (transitioning to the director role) for the society’s Trainee Review Program, an exam prep course for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s board exams.

Torres Helms Quality at GWU Hospital

Ulises Torres, MD, FACS (MEHP ’18), has been appointed chief quality officer at George Washington University Hospital.

Al-Sheikhly Receives Faculty Appointment

Deema Al-Sheikhly (MEHP ’17), director of medical education and continuing professional development at the Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, has been named a lecturer of education in medicine in recognition of her teaching contributions to medical education and continuing professional development. Al-Sheikhly presented on “Academic Continuity Planning to Ensure Students Progress in the Curriculum at a Time of Crisis” at the MEHP decennial conference. Additionally, she was actively involved in the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education Embracing Change conference, including presenting a workshop on a team-based approach to online modality during a pandemic and participating as a member of the steering committee.

Feinman Appointed Surgery Vice Chair

Marcie Feinman, MD, FACS (MEHP ’17), has been appointed vice chair of the Department of Surgery at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and division chief for acute care surgery. She has continued her role as general surgery program director.

Golub Serves on Teaching Council

Elizabeth Topper Golub, PhD, MPH (MEHP ’17), director of online programs for applied learning for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, serves on the school’s Teaching Council, which supported faculty who had to pivot to online/remote teaching. She is leading a session titled “Assessment Strategies for Large Courses.”

Huq Appointed to Academic Board

Fawzia Huq, MD (MEHP ’17), a senior lecturer in medicine at the University of Sydney in Australia, has been appointed to the university’s academic board in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Huq also was appointed to the COVID-19 Advisory Group for the hospital, supporting junior doctors and ensuring their training was not derailed by the pandemic. Huq created junior and senior medical officer training packages for clinicians new to the COVID-19 virus and is working on a project to assess ward-based learning in the COVID-19 environment.

Mahmoud Promoted to Associate Professor

Mai Mahmoud, MBBS (MEHP ’17), has been promoted to associate professor of teaching in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar.

Nemec Promoted to Clinical Professor

Eric Nemec, PharmD (MEHP ’17) has been promoted to clinical professor at Sacred Heart University in Trumbull, Connecticut. Nemec also joined the editorial board of the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and served as an accreditation site visitor for the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc.

Park Promoted to Assistant Dean

Sharon Park, PharmD (MEHP ’17), has been promoted to assistant dean for academic affairs at Notre Dame of Maryland University’s School of Pharmacy. She oversees the curriculum, assessment, and accreditation of the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the school and continues to teach and engage with MEHP programs. Park also had seven papers published in journals, including the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.

Sozio Takes on ASN Roles

Stephen Sozio, MD (MEHP ’17), an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins, continues to be active in education at the national level through the American Society of Nephrology. He serves as principal investigator of the ASN Annual Fellows’ Survey and co-chair of the ASN Students and Residents (STARS) program. Additionally, Sozio was selected to serve as vice chair of the ASN Workforce and Training Committee starting in January 2022.

Jain Tenured at Texas Tech

Shailesh “Bobby” Jain, MD (MEHP ’16), professor and regional chair for the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center of the Permian Basin, has been granted tenure.

Nadir Appointed Residency Director

Nur-Ain Nadir, MD, FACEP (MEHP ’16), has been appointed residency program director for a new emergency medicine residency program in California run by Kaiser Permanente that she helped launch; the first class just matriculated. Nadir also was appointed associate professor at the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine in Pasadena, California, and received the Kaiser Permanente Central Valley Emerging Leader Award for 2021.

Caruso Leads Pediatric Anesthesiology Training

Thomas J. Caruso, MD (MEHP ’15), a clinical professor of anesthesiology, perioperative, and pain medicine at Stanford Medicine, was appointed program director of the pediatric anesthesiology fellowship there. He continues to work on his Ph.D. dissertation at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.

Ryan Appointed Vice Chair of Education

Michael Ryan, MD (MEHP ’15), has been appointed the Barry V. Kirkpatrick Endowed Vice Chair for Education for Children’s Hospital of Richmond in Virginia. He also has been appointed director of competency-based assessment for the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and was promoted to professor of pediatrics with tenure at the medical school. Additionally, he is site primary investigator for a grant-funded study, “Coaching the Master Adaptive Learner: Faculty and Learner Development.” Ryan is a co-author of six papers recently accepted for publication in journals, including Academic Medicine.

Lindeman Receives Promotion

Brenessa Lindeman, MD, FACS (MEHP ’14), has been promoted to associate professor of surgery and medical education, and assistant dean for graduate medical education, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. Lindeman also was recently named a councilor for the American Board of Surgery and a director of the General Surgery Board as well as a councilor for the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons.