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Alumni Association Award Winners

2022 Alumni Association Award Recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022 Alumni Association Awards. They were honored at a virtual ceremony on June 4.

Boots Cooper, MD, Service Award – Marylou Buyse, MD, MCP '70

2022 Alumni Award winner Marylou Buyse, MD, MCP '70

Marylou Buyse has served as Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island’s chief medical officer since December 2018, bringing with her a deep expertise in care management redesign, focused on providing members in government programs with comprehensive, coordinated care management. She has extensive experience in population health, quality, utilization management and medical policy development. Buyse has served in various clinical leadership roles at health plans, including Highmark, United Healthcare of New England and Scott & White Health Plan of Texas.

\She has served on medical faculties including University of Southern California, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston University and Harvard University. She also served as clinical professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. She was the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society and CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans. She is currently on the board of Meals on Wheels RI. Buyse has served on various boards, committees and commissions including the Massachusetts Health Council, Massachusetts Cost and Quality Council, Commission to End Cervical Cancer and the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium. She also has been affiliated with many professional organizations spanning over 20 years, including American Medical Women’s Association, Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, Massachusetts Medical Society where she was president from 1999-2000, Rhode Island’s American Cancer Society and Rhode Island’s American Heart Association. Buyse is also a member of Leadership Rhode Island Class of 2000.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College, a Master of Science from University of Wisconsin in preventative health and administrative medicine, and a medical degree from Drexel University. She did her residency and a fellowship at LAC-USC Medical Center in Los Angeles and is board certified in pediatrics, medical genetics and medical management.

As chief medical officer, Buyse provides clinical leadership for all medical management and evaluation and improvement. In addition, she oversees pharmacy and behavioral health service operations as well as the Department of Primary Care, which includes Health@Home.

Boots Cooper, MD, Service Award – Loretta Christensen, MD, HU '84

2022 Alumni Award winner Loretta Christensen, MD, HU '84

Loretta Christensen, an enrolled member of the Navajo Tribe, serves as the chief medical officer of the Indian Health Service. The IHS, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the principal federal health care provider for American Indians and Alaska Natives. As the chief medical officer, Christensen is IHS’s lead expert on medical and public health topics, giving technical consultation and guidance to the IHS Office of the Director and IHS staff throughout the country on American Indian and Alaska Native health care policies and issues. She provides national leadership for clinical and community-based health programs of the agency and serves as the primary liaison and advocate for IHS health professionals.

Emerging Leader Award – Rita Alvarez, MD '10

2022 Alumni Award winner Rita Alvarez, MD '10

Born in Guatemala, Rita Alvarez migrated with her family to New York City during the escalating turmoil of her country’s civil war. She was educated by the NYC public school system including Hunter College for undergraduate studies. She took two years to work for the American Red Cross, after which she was fortunate to attend Drexel University College of Medicine.

Her best memories at Drexel include the Chinatown Clinic and the small group classes in PBL. She continued her pediatric training at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, and pediatric critical care fellowship in University of Colorado/Children’s Hospital of Colorado. She was an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Children’s Wisconsin where she continued clinical research in pediatric ICU delirium and was part of the new NeuroICU group. She worked for the University of New Mexico PICU for one year and learned major life lessons in the time of COVID.

Alvarez’s first passion was always the underserved who, throughout her career, she’s had the opportunity to serve in different forms. Most recently she completed her second volunteer trip to care for post-cardiac surgery children in developing nations and support education for local nurses, RTs and intensivists. She’s currently working as a locums provider at St. Joseph’s Providence in Eureka, California, and Valley Children’s ED in Fresno, California.

She is inspired and uplifted by Supreme Court Nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who said, “Seeing me move to the Supreme Court, they will know you don’t have to be perfect in your career trajectory, you can still end up doing what you want to do.” Alvarez’s career path has not been traditional, but she is blessed to practice what she loves today.

Emerging Leader Award – Kraftin E. Schreyer, MD '13

2022 Alumni Award winner Kraftin E. Schreyer, MD '13

Kraftin E. Schreyer is an attending physician and associate professor of emergency medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. She received her medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine and completed her residency training at Temple University Hospital where she served as a chief resident in her final year. She is currently the medical director of capacity management for the Temple University Health System, and also continues to serve as the director of clinical operations for the Temple University Hospital Episcopal Campus Emergency Department, the assistant director of clinical operations for Temple University Hospital Main Campus Emergency Department, the director of the Emergency Medicine Administrative Fellowship at Temple University Hospital, and the quality officer for the Department of Emergency Medicine. Schreyer additionally chairs the Operations Management Committee and heads the Women in Emergency Medicine Leadership Working Group for the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.

She holds a certification in medical quality and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in health care management from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. Schreyer has over 30 peer-reviewed publications and has lectured on a local, regional and national level. Her clinical interests are in emergency medicine administration and operations, quality and performance improvement.

She is particularly interested in the intersections between emergency department operations, resident education and community engagement. She currently residents in New Jersey with her husband Matt and their two very large puppies.

Graduate Citation Award – Early Career or Young Investigator – Vanessa S. Boyce, PhD '07

2022 Alumni Award winner Vanessa S. Boyce, PhD '07

Vanessa Boyce received her master’s degree in biology from Duquesne University and doctoral degree in neuroscience from Drexel University College of Medicine. She completed postdoctoral research at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and was also an associate of the International Research Consortium on Spinal Cord Injury of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation during that period. Her research focused on investigating the mechanisms by which neurotrophic factors, specifically brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin 3 (NT- 3), promote the restoration of hind-limb locomotor function in animal models of paraplegia following spinal cord injury. She is currently a scientific review officer (SRO) at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) where she runs the Molecular and Cellular Neuropharmacology Study Section. She is also the new SRO training and development coordinator at CSR.

Graduate Citation Award – Early Career or Young Investigator – Heather J. Painter, PhD '08

2022 Alumni Award winner Heather J. Painter, PhD '08

Heather J. Painter, is a principal investigator in the Laboratory of Mucosal Pathogens and Cellular Immunology. Painter received her PhD in molecular and cell biology and genetics from Drexel University College of Medicine. After completing her postdoctoral research at Princeton University and Pennsylvania State University, she joined the Division of Bacterial, Parasitic and Allergenic Products, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, at Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in 2019. Her laboratory evaluates the feasibility and new approaches for creation of anti-malaria vaccines by identifying the molecular processes involved in parasite development, creation of novel assays to detect the developing parasite in human populations and defining biomarkers of infection and immunity and creation of appropriate assays, including nascent transcriptome analysis.

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Recognition Award – Marian Baldini, MS, HU '77

2022 Alumni Award winner Marian Baldini, MS, HU '77

Marian Baldini is the CEO and president of KenCrest, a human services and early learning provider throughout Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware, that serves over 12,500 people annually. She is an unwavering advocate for the equality and inclusion of people with disabilities, as well as access to early education for all. Baldini has over 40 years of leadership in executive planning, administration, academia and operational oversight. She began her career as a direct support professional in the 1970s at the same agency where she now serves as CEO. Throughout her journey she has never lost sight of her “why,” and has inspired a shared vision among many in the intellectual and developmental disabilities industry for what true inclusion looks like for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Baldini has testified at legislative hearings on the closures of institutions, rallied for the certification of direct care workers and published numerous op-eds on innovative service models to offset the nation-wide direct support professional crisis.

She has served in executive director, vice president and COO positions for Elwyn, Northwestern Human Services (now Merakey) and JEVS Human Services and has worked as an adjunct professor for Widener University’s School of Business. She has been recognized by Philadelphia Business Journal as one the Most Admired CEOs (2019) in the region, as well as a Woman of Distinction (2015). She was named one of Main Line Today’s Power Women in 2021 and was most recently recognized by Lutheran Services of America (LSA) for her leadership as their first ever Paragon Award recipient in 2022.

Baldini is a graduate of Temple University, Widener University and Drexel University and resides in Media, Pennsylvania, with her husband Larry, and rescue pup, Millie.

HU Distinguished Graduate Award – Jeffrey Carson, MD, HU '77

2022 Alumni Award winner Jeffrey Carson, MD, HU '77

Jeffrey Carson graduated from Hahnemann Medical College in 1977 and was an internal medicine resident and chief resident at Hahnemann from 1977-1980. He obtained his research training at the University of Pennsylvania as a Henry J. Kaiser Fellow and at the University of Oxford, England, as Fogarty Senior International Fellow. He was the founding chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. In 2014, he was appointed as one of the two inaugural provosts of Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences. He is also the Richard C. Reynolds, MD, Chair in General Internal Medicine and distinguished professor of medicine.

Carson is an active clinician and has recognized by the annual “best” doctor list since 1998. He was member and chair of the Clinical Trials Review Committee at NHLBI. The focus of his research is determining the indications for red blood cell blood (RBC) transfusion. His landmark trial evaluating RBC transfusion demonstrated the safety in using fewer transfusions in elderly patients was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet. Other notable publications include clinical guidelines published in JAMA, review in UpToDate, and an invited review in the New England Journal of Medicine. His research has influenced the worldwide reduction of red blood cell transfusions.

Carson is currently the study chair of the NIH supported trial called MINT that is evaluating transfusion thresholds in 3,500 patients with acute myocardial infarction conducted worldwide in over 130 centers. His research has been recognized by numerous local and national honors including the American Association of Physicians, National Heart Lung Blood Institutes, American Association of Blood Banks and American College of Physicians.

WMC/MCP Distinguished Graduate Award – Nancy Stiles Curry, MD, WMC/MCP '72

2022 Alumni Award winner Nancy Stiles Curry, MD, WMC/MCP '72

Nancy Stiles Curry was valedictorian of her high school class, attended the University of Rochester and was accepted into Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania class of 1972. She and her husband Bob married after her first year (celebrating 53 years in August). She stayed at WMC for one year of internship and one year of residency in internal medicine before moving back to her hometown, Rochester, New York. After the birth of her first son, Scott, she took a 3/4 time job at a community health center for one and a half years. Changing course, she then completed a radiology residency at the University of Rochester, becoming their first female chief resident. Her favorite rotations were in gastrointestinal and genitourinary subspecialties, along with an interest in percutaneous procedures and abdominal CT. There followed a fellowship year in genitourinary imaging and intervention at UCLA.

Subsequently, Curry joined the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), becoming the only fellowship-trained uroradiologist in South Carolina. In 1982 and 1984, her children Ryan and Laurel were born. She reached tenured full professor with a secondary appointment in urology and served as the first female president of the South Carolina Radiologic Society and the second female president of the National Society of Uroradiology.

In her late 40s, Curry took up competitive running, setting South Carolina state age group records in 5K, 10K and 12K distances. Her son Scott is now an infectious disease specialist at MUSC, raising two sons with his husband Bill, a musician; Ryan works as an engineer in Atlanta and Laurel has a doctoral degree in public health and is raising her daughter with husband Daniel, a lawyer, in Arlington, Virginia. Curry retired from MUSC as professor emerita in 2015.

Outstanding Medical Graduate Award – Ryan K. Lee, MD, MCPHU '00

2022 Alumni Award winner Ryan K. Lee, MD, MCPHU '00

Ryan K. Lee is associate professor at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. He is the chair of the Department of Radiology at Einstein Healthcare Network. His areas of expertise include radiation management in imaging, radiology clinical decision support and MRI safety. He is known for his work not only in CT radiation dose reduction, but also in the reduction of variance in radiation dose. An authority on quality in radiology, he serves on several quality and safety committees in the Einstein Healthcare Network.

Lee has expertise in hospital and physician reimbursement, and as chair of the Medicine Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) Committee at Einstein is responsible for developing strategies in the merit-based incentive payment systems and alternative payment models environment. He has extensive experience in the implementation of radiology clinical decision support and has given numerous lectures regarding its benefits. He is a member of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria Neurological Imaging Subcommittee, ACR MACRA Committee, ACR Economics Subcommittee on Neuroradiology, and ACR General, Small, Emergency and/or Rural Quality and Safety Committee. He serves on the board for the Pennsylvania Radiological Society and the Philadelphia Roentgen Ray Society.

Lee graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts and attained his medical degree at Drexel University College of Medicine. He completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of Rochester and fellowship in neuroradiology at the University of Pennsylvania.

He is a diplomate of the American Board of Radiology and has a certificate of added qualification in neuroradiology. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Simon School at the University of Rochester.

Outstanding Biomedical Sciences Graduate Award – Anthony J. Piraino, MS, HU '74, PhD, HU '76, MD, HU '84

2022 Alumni Award winner Anthony J. Piraino, MS, HU '74, PhD, HU '76, MD, HU '84

Anthony J. Piraino is a medical educator and clinical researcher who has spent over 35 years in academic medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. Piraino is a nationally recognized authority in the field of clinical pharmacology and is board certified in this specialty.

He began his career at MCP, where he achieved the rank of professor of medicine and pharmacology and was named chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology in the Department of Medicine. Piraino also chaired MCP’s Institutional Review Board for five years. He later became senior associate dean for clinical research, associate provost and executive director of clinical research at the merged MCP–Hahnemann School of Medicine, most recently holding the rank of clinical professor of medicine and pharmacology. He won the coveted Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence and was later appointed adjunct professor of pharmacology at the Temple University School of Medicine. Piraino also managed two clinical research units and has served as principal or co-investigator for over 100 Phase I-IIa clinical drug development trials.

After joining industry full-time, he became senior director of clinical research and medical affairs for AstraZeneca. Here, he created and led a global team responsible for training AZ’s medical professionals, delivering face-to-face learning programs to over 4,500 physicians and scientists on four continents. In this role Piraino also led the medical review of promotional materials and advertising for over 20 marketed products in multiple therapeutic areas, notably Crestor, Nexium, Pulmicort and Symbicort.

An undergraduate of St. Joseph’s University, Piraino received his MS, MD and PhD degrees from Hahnemann. He has authored 52 publications and 40 abstracts, and has delivered over 60 presentations nationally and internationally. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and a past fellow and Board of Regents officer for the American College of Clinical Pharmacology. Piraino has taught on the national faculties of the ACP and the Pharmaceutical Education and Research Institute (PERI), serving on its Board of Directors, its Curriculum Committee, as a course director and as co-chair of PERI’s Continuing Medical Education Committee. He has also served on the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and the American Journal of Therapeutics.

Special Recognition Award – Howard Miller, MD, HU '74

2022 Alumni Award winner Howard Miller, MD, HU '74

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Howard Miller attended Central High School and Franklin and Marshall College. He was admitted to Hahnemann in 1970 after three years of college, without a bachelor’s degree, at the age of 19. Miller stayed at Hahnemann for his internal medicine residency and then joined the faculty in 1977 for a career as a clinician educator in the Department of Medicine.

Miller was permanently on the teaching service for the next 40 years at Hahnemann without a single break. He ran the residency program in internal medicine on three separate occasions for over 12 years. He was the medical director of the Physician Assistant program.

He practiced general internal medicine full time for over 40 years. Miller ran the clinical practice plan for Drexel University as vice dean for clinical affairs and for 10 years was executive vice chair of the Department of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. He continues to be editor-in-chief of Postgraduate Medicine Journal published in London.

Miller opened the Convenient Care Center for Drexel, the first of its type in the country associated with a medical school. It won an award from Philadelphia Magazine as the best convenient care center in the city. He has been happily married to Mauree for 47 years and is the father of Cory and Tracy, and grandfather to lovely Avery and Emilia.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Frances Ruth Batzer, MD, WMC '72, MBE

2022 Alumni Award winner Frances Ruth Batzer, MD, WMC '72, MBE

Taking care of women with all the reproductive ramifications clearly became Frances Batzer’s first priority as she was deciding on a career path. This was before the crucial Roe vs. Wade 1973 decision, when only New York state allowed comprehensive reproductive care for women that included abortion.

Batzer completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology. She has been practicing and boarded in the specialty of reproductive endocrinology from the time the fellowship was created, becoming one of the first women in the field. She has participated in residency and medical student education throughout her career at both Pennsylvania Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University, becoming clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

The first baby conceived via in vitro fertilization was born in the U.S. in 1982, and her practice had its first baby born shortly thereafter in 1984. Her practice pioneered many advances in the world of assisted reproduction including gamete intra-fallopian tube transfer (GIFT), intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), gestational carrier and more. She also advanced the use of vaginal sonography in evaluation of early pregnancy and pelvic pathology.

Batzer received a master’s in bioethics when Arthur Caplan, PhD, opened a program at the University of Pennsylvania. She served as chair of the Ethics Committee at Thomas Jefferson as well as on the Ethics Committee of her professional organization, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

Batzer pioneered the use of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery in Philadelphia. She was one of the first two women on the board of the American Association of Gynecological Laparoscopy, and she has received many awards including the Kate Hurd Mead Fellowship Award from MCP.

She served as head of the Medical Committee for Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania (PPSP) for many years and she was honored by PPSP for this leadership. She also served on the Medical Committee for national Planned Parenthood, heading the contraception and endocrine sections.

Batzer’s passion for fine arts, and specifically Matisse, led to her and her husband collecting all the books illustrated by Matisse. The collection was donated to the Morgan Library in New York City.

One of her greatest pleasures was being asked to help her daughter and friends study for their written and oral obstetrics and gynecology boards. Her daughter is now the fourth generation of obstetrician-gynecologist in her family, practicing frontline at Pennsylvania Hospital throughout the pandemic. Batzer continues to practice telemedicine during this pandemic.

Batzer remains a passionate reproductive freedoms advocate. She enjoys her other time with her three children, their families and six grandchildren all living in Philadelphia!

Lifetime Achievement Award – Helen Meeks Horstmann, MD, WMC/MCP '72

2022 Alumni Award winner Helen Meeks Horstmann, MD, WMC/MCP '72

Helen Meeks Horstmann has been a pioneer for women in the field of orthopaedic surgery. She was the first woman resident in orthopaedic surgery at Thomas Jefferson University. As a fellow at DuPont Institute, now Nemours, she started into a subspecialty of cerebral palsy management, and developed into one of the nation’s leading voices in that field. As such, she served as president of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. She also co-wrote a definitive text on cerebral palsy with Eugene Bleck entitled Orthopaedic Management in Cerebral Palsy. She has served on medical editorial boards including Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology and Foot and Ankle International. She was instrumental in the creation of the national women’s orthopaedic society, the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society, and was its president as well as an officer in multiple positions.

She was an attending orthopaedic surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for most of her career and was recognized as a national leader in pediatric orthopaedics. In addition, she was a recognized authority on post-polio syndrome in adults. She was an attending surgeon at the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital and took trauma call there for more than 20 years.

Throughout her career she has been an educator and mentor of medical students, surgical and orthopaedic residents and especially young women at both Drexel University College of Medicine and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She has served the community in multiple board positions including at Rosemont College, Villanova University and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. She is the current chair of the Philadelphia Flower Show. She and her husband John are the parents of six daughters and soon-to-be 12 grandchildren.


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