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Class Notes: Winter/Spring 2021

1960s

Mervyn (Bud) Goldstein, M.D. ’60, has had a varied career, from providing material assistance to Israel during the 1973 war to treating a man who was gored by an African cape buffalo. He has received numerous honors, including the Montefiore Staff and Alumni Award of Appreciation, the Montefiore President’s Award, the Einstein Lifetime Service Award, and the Scarsdale-Edgemont Community Service Award.

Sidney Levitsky, M.D. ’60, lives in Boston and is a cardiac surgeon and the senior vice chair of the department of surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the David W. and David Cheever Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Levitsky has practiced for more than 50 years. He and his wife, Lynne, formerly chief of pediatric endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital, have three children and seven grandchildren. He still remembers Bill Metcalfe arranging a surgical elective at Johns Hopkins Hospital for him.

Melvin Scheinman, M.D. ’60, and his wife, Margaret, live in San Francisco, where he heads the genetic arrhythmia unit at the University of California. He has received the American College of Cardiology Outstanding Scientist Award and the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his internationally recognized expertise in cardiac arrhythmias. Dr. Scheinman also performs an annual mission to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to care for the indigent and teach at a hospital and medical school. He reports he is the “proud grandpa of three talented children and nine wonderful grandchildren.”

Henry H. Wortis, M.D. ’60, is still working in the department of immunology at Tufts. He is engaged in teaching in the graduate programs in immunology and genetics, and he maintains a small research footprint in genetic regulators of aging. He is involved in antiracist workshops, training in implicit bias and passive racism, and increasing diversity among faculty and trainees.

Morton Schatzman, M.D. ’62, trained as a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai and Montefiore hospitals in New York and then moved to London. He lives in Highgate with his wife, Vivien. He has two sons: Daniel, who lives in Manhattan, and Gideon, who lives next door to him in London. Each son has three children.

Steve Weissman, M.D. ’63, is, he reports, “in good health and happily married.” He is still practicing psychiatry in Washington, D.C. He is writing a family history for his grandson, Sam. Sam’s mother—Dr. Weissman’s daughter Annie—represents the third generation of psychiatrists in their family. He was saddened to learn that his good friend and Einstein classmate Arnold Goldschlager, M.D. ’63, passed away.

David White, M.D. ’63, is living in Eugene, Oregon, with his wife of 56 years. They are “happy to be together and enjoying each other,” he reports.

Stanford M. Goldman, M.D. ’65, who received the Dominick P. Purpura Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996, recently had his photo and biography published in the Marquis Who’s Who magazine millennium second edition. He is a professor of radiology emeritus, a professor of urology at the University of Texas School of Medicine in Houston, a professor of radiology at MD Anderson Medical Center, and an adjunct professor of radiology and urology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Daniel Nussbaum II, M.D. ’67, has practiced in Minnesota; Rochester, New York; and Massachusetts. He did a fellowship in developmental pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Nussbaum and his wife, Alice, have returned to Rochester, and he’s enjoying retirement. Alice is a Judaic needlework designer. His daughter, Yapha, directs a school library in Los Angeles; his son, Joe, is an Emmy-nominated producer/director in Hollywood.

David H. Abramson, M.D. ’69, serves as the chief of ophthalmic oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and received a U.S. patent in November 2020 for a bionic ocular prosthesis. Existing prostheses had poor movement and no pupillary response; Dr. Abramson’s new one incorporates microelectronics with a screen that mimics ocular motility. His 700th publication appeared this past year, and his work has been cited more than 13,000 times.

Robert Hoffman, M.D. ’69, tested positive for COVID-19 last summer. He went to the emergency room at the University of California, Los Angeles, 13 days later; an X-ray revealed COVID-19 pneumonia. Over the next four days he was treated with oxygen until discharge. He received convalescent plasma, monoclonal antibodies, dexamethasone, and Lovinox. Dr. Hoffman was back at work the next week and gradually recovered completely. He has resumed daily exercise with interval training, hikes, and resistance training.

1970s

Douglas Drossman, M.D. ’70, is a professor emeritus of medicine and psychiatry in the division of gastroenterology. He has been developing programs that teach communication skills to optimize the patient-provider relationship. He just released a book he wrote with a patient—Gut Feelings: Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction and the Doctor-Patient Relationship.

Sterling Haidt, M.D. ’70, reports that he enjoys seeing his grandchildren and doing digital photography and art in a studio in San Carlos, California.

John S. Graves, M.D. ’71, has published Lessons on the Road to Hope: A Psychiatrist’s Journey, now available on Amazon. His memoir includes his experiences as a medical student at Einstein, which he says were instrumental in cementing his decision to become a psychiatrist. Dr. Graves retired in 2016 from full-time practice after serving on the volunteer clinical faculty at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Currently he volunteers with Mental Health Colorado, a nonprofit devoted to education, advocacy, and legislation to improve access to treatment.

Barbara McCormack, M.D. ’71, has retired from her OB/GYN practice, which she had joined as the first woman on staff at Englewood Hospital. She belongs to several choral groups and a small opera company, and she and her husband, who is a musician, play golf. They live in Spring Lake, New Jersey.

Sandra L. Blethen Chasalow, M.D. ’75, reports that she, like many others, is mostly staying “safer at home.” She thinks that many colleagues must be revisiting their notebooks and patient records because she has been asked to review a number of manuscripts for endocrine journals. This activity keeps Dr. Chasalow engaged, and she enjoys trying to make each manuscript better.

Mark Erlich, M.D. ’75, has been teaching clinical gross anatomy at Einstein for the past five years, and says he is having a great time doing it. Last year he received the Samuel Rosen Teaching Award, named for a beloved former dean of education. He looks forward to many more years of teaching at Einstein, and says it’s “great to be back!”

Mitchell E. Geffner, M.D. ’75, professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, is the Ron Burkle Chair in the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). He has been a principal investigator on a trial studying youths with type 2 diabetes and a national consultant on a study of endocrinological/metabolic manifestations of HIV infection. He co-directs the CHLA Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Center of Medical and Surgical Excellence. Dr. Geffner is a co-editor of UpToDate and Pediatric Practice: Endocrinology (McGraw-Hill).

Steven Mandel, M.D. ’75, received a Rothschild Award from the Metropolitan New York Region of United Synagogue Youth of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for community service on poverty and hunger, LBGT and gender equality, climate change, mental health, and inclusiveness for people of all ages with special needs. He has been involved with the Foundation of Jewish Life, the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, and Imagine Life: A Mental Health Initiative Before It’s Too Late, promoting programs to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, suicide, and addiction.

William Clusin, M.D. ’76, continues to work full time as an associate professor of medicine in cardiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He conducts research on cardiac arrhythmias and the role of calcium channels and calcium-activated potassium channels in cardiac excitation. Dr. Clusin has three adult sons; his daughter, Audrey, is in the eighth grade.

Harold Koplewicz, M.D. ’78, released a book in February 2021, The Scaffold Effect: Raising Resilient, Self-Reliant, and Secure Kids in the Age of Anxiety (Harmony Books). Dr. Koplewicz is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and founding president and medical director of the nonprofit Child Mind Institute. All book proceeds benefit the institute.

August Leinhart, M.D. ’78, retired in July after 32 years at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York. He served for 25 years as the chief of the department of emergency and trauma services. Dr. Leinhart continues performing musical gigs—crooning jazz and composing on the guitar. His son, James, recently joined Bassett in the emergency department, which brought James and his wife and two children to Dr. Leinhart’s neighborhood as well. He sends love and peace to all.

Stuart Orenstein, M.D. ’78, wonders how many of his classmates have retired, are pursuing second careers, or are still active in medicine. He left clinical medicine 13 years ago to pursue the arts, taking classes at Santa Barbara City College. He has acted on stage, in film, on TV, and via Zoom and streaming. Some of his work can be found through the Internet Movie Database and YouTube. He hopes everyone is staying safe and well.

1980s

Dorothy Levine, M.D. ’80, and Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld are enjoying their first grandchild. Neither is fully retired yet, but they keep saying “Soon!” Dr. Levine is the chair of the board of directors’ quality improvement committee at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. She finds her role interesting and challenging, “especially as the coronavirus outbreak rears its head.”

Ellen Weinberg Mausner, M.D. ’81, works as a psychiatrist for the Office of Mental Health in New York City. She has written a biography of her grandfather, Jacob Weinberg, a prolific composer, called Jacob Weinberg: Musical Pioneer; it came out on Amazon in January 2021. She continues to write jokes and do stand-up comedy, and enjoys acting and writing plays. Dr. Mausner played a psychiatrist on The Sopranos (episode 48). Her play Prescriptions was published, and she appeared in a documentary called Vegucated, available on Amazon Prime.

Judith Lustig, M.D. ’82, has retired from practicing neurology. She has been doing volunteer work, including teaching neurology to adults at Bergen Community College. Dr. Lustig has “been blessed with three boys,” and now has three grandchildren. Her passion is cycling. She would love to hear from her classmates.

David Tal, M.D. ’85, has continued his geriatrics work at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is enjoying his grandchildren. He offers his warmest wishes to all.

Etta May Eskridge, M.D. ’86, Ph.D. ’95, has been a palliative-care physician, board-certified in internal medicine and palliative and hospice medicine, at Rochester General Hospital since 2013. She has been a board member for the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance, which organizes trips to Malawi to train medical students and clinical officers in a resource-poor country. She says Einstein prepared her well for her work as we face a rapid increase in the number of elderly patients.

Daniel Hyman, M.D. ’86, returned to the Philadelphia area and is serving as the chief safety and quality officer at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After he spent 12 years working in Colorado and living apart from his wife, Martha J. Sack, M.D. ’86, they are happy to be in one home. Martha continues her work as an attending cytopathologist at Abington Hospital in the Jefferson Health system.

Rafael Pelayo, M.D. ’88, has been promoted to associate division chief for the sleep medicine division at Stanford University. He has published a new book, How to Sleep.

1990s

Barry Kraushaar, M.D. ’90, is busy in Nanuet, New York, practicing orthopaedic, sports, and joint medicine. He serves on the National Board of Councilors at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the board of the New York State Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons. His twin boys are finishing college, focusing on engineering, and his eldest is applying to dental schools. Dr. Kraushaar and his wife, Helene, say they hope their classmates are well, and they would like to hear from their Einstein friends.

Lisa Moreno, M.D. ’90, M.S., is a professor of emergency medicine at the Louisiana State University in New Orleans. The American Academy of Emergency Medicine elected Dr. Moreno to be its president; she is the first woman ever to hold that position.

David Rauch, M.D. ’91, just published his second book, Challenging Cases in Pediatric Hospital Medicine, and has started work on the third edition of Caring for the Hospitalized Child. He is happy at Tufts Children’s Hospital in Boston with his wife, Mindy Stimell-Rauch, M.D. ’90.

Jonathan Lewin, M.D. ’93, reports that he “is weathering COVID-19” and that in some ways he has gotten stronger. His private orthopaedic/pain/spinal surgery practice in Englewood, New Jersey, and New York, the Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders, has not closed during the pandemic, which is allowing for a smoother recovery phase. If anyone with those specialties is looking for a change of venue, drop Dr. Lewin a line at drjdlewin@gmail.com; his practice is expanding. He says he’d love to reconnect with fellow alumni.

Hugh Bases, M.D. ’94, completed his residency in pediatrics and then did a fellowship in developmental-behavioral pediatrics. He is currently the program director of the fellowship at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He also has a small private practice. His wife, Randi Asher, Psy.D., has a busy clinical psychology practice on the Upper West Side.

Justin Greisberg, M.D. ’95, is a professor of orthopaedic surgery at Columbia University. He is also the chief of foot and ankle orthopaedics at NewYork-Presbyterian and the chief of orthopaedic trauma at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital. He misses his time at Einstein and his great friends from the Class of 1995, and hopes to reconnect.

Kim Starer Landzberg, M.D. ’95, and her husband, Brian R. Landzberg, M.D. ’95, have been happily married since 1992. They have three children: Zachary (24), Renée (22), and Eddie (18), and an English shepherd named Dash. She has practiced in Riverdale, the Bronx, since completing her glaucoma fellowship in 2000. She enjoys forging relationships with whole families of patients; one spans four generations. She has found implanting trifocal intraocular lenses during cataract surgery tremendously rewarding.

Brian Blaufeux, M.D. ’96, was on the panel of a NODE.Health webinar about digital health, telehealth, and primary care post-COVID-19. He was also interviewed by the Westchester Senior Voice about telehealth, and conducted a virtual live session to take questions from its readers. Read more here.

Camille A. Clare, M.D. ’97, was appointed the new chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology and a professor at the College of Medicine and the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University.

Brian L. Gumbs, M.D. ’97, was selected for the Northwest Permanente (NWP) Care Experience Hall of Fame for 2020, recognizing his expertise in the care experience. With more than 1,500 physicians and clinicians, NWP is the largest self-governed, independent, multispecialty medical group practicing in Oregon and southwest Washington.

Ari Mosenkis, M.D. ’98, moved to Israel in 2018 after nearly 15 years in private practice in the Midwest. His current clinic provides “high-quality healthcare at low cost” to Israelis of all religions. His novel First Among Nations (published under the name Ira Mosen) involves an Israeli soccer team competing in the World Cup; it explores the complexities of Israeli society and the dangers of anti-Semitism. The book has been a bestseller on Amazon.com in several different categories.

Karen Zur, M.D. ’98, was named the chief of the division of pediatric otolaryngology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; she started the job Dec. 1, 2020, after having served as interim chief since March 2020. It was “quite a whirlwind” to take over the division during the COVID-19 pandemic, she reports, but she is honored to be the first female surgical division chief. She is leading a team of 16 surgeons.

2000s

Roger Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D. ’00, is the J. Samuel Staub, M.D., Professor in the department of cancer biology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He recently formed the Penn Center for Genome Integrity, where he serves as the inaugural director. He is also the director of basic science for the Basser Center for BRCA. Dr. Greenberg’s laboratory investigates basic mechanisms of genome integrity maintenance and their impact on cancer etiology and response to therapy.

Dean J. Straff, M.D., ’04, has been named director of emergency medicine at Montefiore’s White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York. Dr. Straff is also an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Einstein.

Rachel Fleishman, M.D. ’05, has combined her work as a neonatologist with her undergraduate studies in creative writing to explore the emerging discipline of narrative medicine. She teaches seminars for her hospital system, including for pediatric trainees, and has been writing and publishing essays about humanism in neonatal care. In December 2020 she won the Lancet’s Wakley Prize for best essay.

Dominique Aimee Jean, M.D. ’05, has taken a nontraditional path. Striving for balance in her life, she launched a dual career as a pediatric anesthesiologist and fashion stylist. She started a charity, the Haute Healing Foundation, whose mission is to provide hope to chronically ill, terminally ill, and disadvantaged young people (including LGBTQIA individuals) through head-to-toe makeovers, gifts, and photo shoots.

Carol Yuan-Duclair, M.D. ’05, after eight years in hospital administration and a brief stint in private practice, is embarking on a new path. Passionate about empowering people to live healthier lives, she has created B. Hai Sleep Health, a telehealth sleep service, to help women become good sleepers. She encourages people to check out her website.

2010s

Brian Nishinaga, M.D. ’11, moved back home to the San Francisco Bay Area to work for Kaiser Permanente at the hospital across the street from his high school. In April 2018, his daughter Elsie was born, and a second child is due in April 2021. Dr. Nishinaga reports that he and his family have been healthy, happy, and safe during COVID-19. “Be well, be safe,” he says, “and thank you for all you are doing.”

Sunju Park, M.D. ’11, has been the associate residency program director for the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Montefiore since 2019, and is enjoying working closely with her residents. Her husband, Kevin Hsu, M.D. ’11, is also on the faculty at Montefiore, in the division of neuroradiology. Dr. Park  says she and Dr. Hsu are settling into their new home in Scarsdale and look forward to being able to host dinner parties.

Rachel Aviv, M.D. ’15, and her husband, Sasha Semach, live in Forest Hills, New York. She is a pulmonary and critical care fellow at Northwell Health.

Marissa Lombardo, M.D. ’15, is in the second year of her fellowship at the New York University Langone Medical Center. She specializes in noninvasive cardiology.

Shira Wieder, M.D. ’15, started an attending position at West Derm Skin and Laser Center in Riverdale, New York. Dr. Wieder and her husband have a newborn, Ralphi, and a daughter, Orly.

Lauren Roth, M.D. ’16, was recently appointed co-chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Health and Well-Being Special Interest Group of the Academic Pediatric Association.

Cameron Kemal, M.D. ’17, and Chiara Campana were married Feb. 22, 2020, at Our Lady of Pompeii Church in New York. Dr. Kemal is a resident in internal medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York. Ms. Campana is pursuing a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences in the department of pharmacology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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