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Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations Class Notes


Arthur Rosenthal, MD, HU ’69, a general surgeon with a special interest in breast surgery, was highlighted in Frontal Report Sports. He serves as the chief of the Surgical Oncology/Breast program at the START Center for Cancer Care in San Antonio, Texas. (Pulse Winter 2021)

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Barbara Schindler, MD, WMC ’70, is being honored for 50 years of employment at Drexel University College of Medicine. After graduating from WMC, Schindler completed adult and child psychiatry training at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. From 1993 to 1995, she served as acting chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and then served as vice dean of educational and academic affairs for 18 years. She is now vice dean emerita, as well as a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics. Schindler is the founder and continues as medical director of the Caring Together program, an outpatient treatment program for women with substance use and psychiatric disorders and their children. Her work resulted in Drexel receiving a National Institute on Drug Abuse Center of Excellence designation for Physician Information. She is principal investigator of a three-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services grant aimed at integrated opioid use disorder prevention and treatment. Drexel is grateful for her years of dedicated service to the school and the Philadelphia community. (Pulse Winter 2021)

J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, HU ’71, joined the Clinical Advisory Board of TrialJectory, an AI-powered digital health platform that finds new treatment options for cancer patients. A board-certified medical oncologist and internist, Lichtenfeld previously served as the American Cancer Society’s deputy chief medical officer and has over four decades of in-depth cancer research and care experience. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Jacqueline Wertsch, MD, MCP ’74, received the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the fields of neuromuscular and electrodiagnostic medicine. She is the first woman to receive the award. Wertsch was on the faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin for 30 years, until 2010, when she retired from clinical practice. She was awarded an emeritus professor appointment and continues teaching activities through EduDoc LLC. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Janet Haas, MD, HU ’77, chair of the board of the William Penn Foundation, was quoted in Philadelphia Magazine’s “76 Most Influential Philadelphians” article. The Haas family was ranked #28 on the list. The foundation raised over $115 million last year to fund arts, education and environmental causes. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Stephen K. Klasko, MD, HU ’78; MBA, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, was featured in a Philadelphia Inquirer article, speaking about the ongoing mission of Jefferson to acquire Einstein Healthcare Network. He was ranked #22 on Philadelphia Magazine’s “76 Most Influential Philadelphians” list. Klasko has been serving on the management team of a special-purpose acquisition company called Health Assurance Acquisition Corp. The SPAC hopes to raise $500 million in an initial public offering to take a Bay Area health technology business public. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Melanie S. Kzirian, MPA, Speech Pathology & Audiology, HU ’78, former owner of Philadelphia-based Interstate Lift, has sold the stairlift company to Stannah, a U.K.-based stairlift company. Kzirian will be staying on with Stannah as the company continues to grow the business in the Philadelphia area. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Anna Pujols McKee, MD, HU ’79, executive vice president and chief medical officer of The Joint Commission, joined the board of directors of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity. She has served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, the Public Health Management Corporation and the Philadelphia AIDS Consortium. (Pulse Winter 2021)

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Ken Cohen, MD, HU ’80; Internal Medicine Residency, HUH, participated with top U.S. physicians and psychiatrists in the Washington Post’s livestreaming event titled “Primary Care in the Time of COVID-19.” The panelists addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the primary care system and family physicians. Cohen is the chief medical officer at New West Physicians and senior medical director of OptumCare. Additionally, he is a clinical associate professor of medicine and pharmacy at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Robert Maddalon, MD, MCP ’80; Orthopedic Surgery Residency, MCP ’85, became a partner at Florida Orthopaedic Institute after its recent merger with OrthoCare Florida. Florida Orthopaedic Institute is now the largest orthopedic group in Florida, with 95 orthopedic surgeons. He is a founding member of Brandon Orthopedics and OrthoCare Florida. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Donna Sudak, MD, MCP ’80, professor of psychiatry at the College of Medicine, was quoted in an article, “Americans Are More Likely to Report Mental Health Concerns Related to the Pandemic Than Other Developed Countries, Survey Finds,” that was published on (Pulse Winter 2021)

Christine Petti, MD, MCP ’81; Surgery Residency, MCP ’86, won first place in the annual Readers’ Choice Awards category of “Best Cosmetic Surgeon” for 2020. Petti has held this title every year since 2014. She is a plastic surgeon in Torrance, California, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and an active member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery as well as the American Society for Plastic Surgeons. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Norman A. Hetzler, MD, HU ’82, was awarded the prestigious Bronze Star Medal for his service in Afghanistan as a U.S. Navy physician. Hetzler is a cardiothoracic surgeon with Coliseum Hospital in Macon, Georgia, who deployed to Afghanistan last August as a commander with his U.S Navy Reserve unit, which is based at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Ingrid Ockenhouse, MD, MCP ’83; Internal Medicine Residency, MCP, joined the primary care team at UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Family Medicine in Montoursville, Pennsylvania. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Donald M. Yealy, MD, MCP ’85, senior medical director and chair of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, was recently appointed by Governor Tom Wolf as a member of the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine, and has testified before state and federal committees earlier this year on the pandemic. Yealy was quoted in an October 19 Philadelphia Inquirer article regarding the rise of COVID-19 infections and the burden on hospital systems. He said that, due to the increase of testing low-symptom and asymptomatic cases, and vulnerable populations being more cautious, there had been less demand on hospitals; therefore the current surge of cases was not likely to overwhelm or incapacitate Pennsylvania hospitals. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Stephen L. Kessler, MD, MCP ’86, was quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer article regarding the effect of climate on the spread of COVID-19. (Pulse Winter 2021)

David P. Russo, MD, HU ’86, was appointed medical director at Seabrook, a non-profit, CARF-accredited substance use and co-occurring disorder treatment provider. Russo joined Seabrook as a staff physician in 2019. Previously, he served for 27 years as a surgeon, specializing in bariatric and various cancer procedures, before deciding to switch career paths and completing his fellowship training in addiction medicine. (Pulse Winter 2021)

David J. Shulkin, MD, MCP ’86; HD ’19, was appointed to the scientific advisory board of CureLab Oncology, a clinicalstage biotech company. He also joined RapidSOS, an emergency technology company providing a direct data link from connected devices to 911 and first responders, as an advisor to help guide the company’s expansion into the health care industry. Shulkin served as the 9th U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs after a prominent and successful career in the health care sector. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Virginia Calega, MD, MCP ’87, wrote an article, “Eight Ways to Balance Your News Intake With Brain Breaks,” for the Philly Voice. Calega, a board-certified internist and geriatrician, is vice president of medical affairs at Independence Blue Cross. She is past chair of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Medical Policy Panel. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Patrick Hwu, MD, MCP ’87, a tumor immunologist, was appointed president and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Hwu joins Moffitt from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he held various leadership roles during his 17-year tenure, most recently as head of the Division of Cancer Medicine. He was profiled in an article on the Florida Politics website. Hwu is also president-elect of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer and sits on the external advisory boards of the University of Chicago, University of Virginia, Columbia University, Yale University, and Moffitt Cancer Center. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Mark LiBassi, MD, MCP ’87; Surgery Residency, MCP ’92, a gastrointestinal surgeon, joined the medical team at Mary Surgical Associates Langhorne. LiBassi is a member of the Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, the American Hernia Society and the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Glen Stettin, MD, MCP ’88, joined the board of directors at PRA Health Sciences, Inc. Stettin is the senior vice president and chief innovation officer at Express Scripts & Cigna Services, a division of Cigna Corporation. In this capacity, he heads up research and development, patient and physician experience, product development and management focused on new clinical solutions and data, and analysis and platforms as services. Stettin previously served as senior vice president and chief innovation officer of Express Scripts, which was acquired by Cigna in 2018. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Jody Foster, MD, MCP ’89; MBA, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Pennsylvania Hospital and the first assistant dean for professionalism at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, was interviewed in the Philadelphia Inquirer. In the article, Foster explained how to deal with difficult colleagues in the new virtual work environment and how to avoid becoming one yourself. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Chong Park, MD, HU ’89, was appointed president of Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania, and Canonsburg Hospital in Washington County, Pennsylvania, both a part of Allegheny Health Network. Park is a longtime Allegheny Health Network cardiothoracic surgeon and served as medical director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Jefferson. For the past six years, he has also served as Jefferson’s chief medical officer, leading the hospital’s medical staff and clinical operations. (Pulse Winter 2021)

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Fernando B. Bonanni Jr., MD, HU ’90, joined the Blessing Bariatric Institute in Quincy, Illinois, as a bariatric surgeon and institute medical director. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Philip E. Werthman, MD, HU ’90; MMH, joined the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board at GT Biopharma, Inc. Werthman is director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and former assistant clinical professor of urology at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Richard Grossberg, MD, HU ’93, joined the board of directors of Hattie Larlham, an intellectual and developmental disabilities nonprofit organization. Grossberg has served as the medical director at the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities in Mantua, Ohio, since 1999. He is a board-certified pediatric neurodevelopmental disabilities specialist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, where he has worked since 2000. He is also an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Sedat M. Surmeli, MD, HU ’94, joined St. Peter’s OB/GYN–Slingerlands, a practice of St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates. His professional interests include normal and high-risk pregnancy, major and minor gynecologic surgery, management of menopause, and routine gynecologic care. Surmeli comes to the Capital Region from West Orange, New Jersey, where he previously worked as an OB/GYN physician with Axia Women’s Health. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Michael Cackovic, MD, HU ’97, shared his expertise about the cause of swollen lymph nodes during pregnancy for an article on Cackovic is an OB/GYN specializing in maternal-fetal medicine at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Keith Scott Dickerson, MD, MCP ’97, received the 2020 Family Medicine Teacher of the Year Award from the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians. He is the associate program director of the Family Medicine Residency and chair of the Medical Section at St. Mary’s Medical Center, Grand Junction, Colorado. Dickerson earned his BS in electrical engineering and his MS in biomedical engineering from Drexel before enrolling in medical school at MCP. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Deborah Lang, PhD Molecular Pathology, MCPHU ’97, associate professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine, has been awarded a two-year, $250,000 grant from the Harry J. Lloyd Charitable Trust to further her research on the molecular and cellular biology of melanoma. The award will support her project “Transcriptional Mechanisms Underlying the Shared and Unique Roles of YAP and TAZ in Melanoma.” She has mentored more than 20 students and has served as an elected council member and plenary speaker of the Pan American Society for Pigment Cell Research. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Amit Shah, MD, HU ’97, chief medical officer at CareOregon, wrote an article, “Eliminating Medical Bias Starts with Studying Patterns,” for the Becker’s Hospital Review website. Shah previously served as CareOregon’s senior medical director of network and clinical support. He has served as a board member for CareOregon, Jefferson Health Information Exchange, Northwest Regional Primary Care Association and Comagine. (Pulse Winter 2021)

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Paul Bolno, MD, MCPHU ’00; Surgery Resident, MCPHU; MBA, joined the board of directors of SQZ Biotechnologies, a clinical-stage cell therapy company. Bolno is the chief executive officer of Wave Life Sciences. Prior to this, he was vice president of worldwide business development and head of Asia business development and investments, as well as head of global neuroscience business development, at GlaxoSmithKline. He earned his MBA from LeBow College of Business in 2005. David Damsker, MD, MCPHU ’00, director of the Bucks County Department of Public Health, served as a panelist for a town hall meeting hosted by the Bucks Families for Leadership. The meeting focused on COVID-19 best practices as students and families prepare to face the challenges of in-person learning. Damsker was also quoted in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer regarding the danger of COVID-19 spread in schools. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Ian B. K. Martin, MD, MCPHU ’00; MBA, professor with tenure and system chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, was appointed by the Milwaukee Common Council’s Public Safety and Health Committee to the Board of Health of the City of Milwaukee. In addition to his MCW roles, Martin is emergency physician-in-chief at the Froedtert & MCW Heath Network. Prior to coming to MCW, Martin served as professor and executive chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Sophia McIntyre, MD, MCPHU ’00, became senior vice president of the Ambulatory Division at WellStar Medical group based in Atlanta, according to a LinkedIn update. Previously, McIntyre was the chief medical officer of Hudson River HealthCare, Inc. and had been with Hudson River since 2008. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Africa Stewart, MD ’00, MBA; Drexel/Hahnemann Obstetrics & Gynecology Residency, is president of the U.S. Board of Directors of Doctors Without Borders. She was first elected to the board in 2017. Stewart’s career with the Doctors Without Borders began with a trip to Sudan in 2011, and she has now completed five surgical field assignments and served as a guide for the organization’s Forced From Home exhibition about the global refugee crisis. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Asif M. Ilyas, MD, MCPHU ’01, recently launched the Foundation for Opioid Research and Education, part of the Rothman Orthopedic Institute. The mission of this new nonprofit foundation includes educating patients and prescribers on safe opioid consumption and prescribing; supporting research focusing on opioid-sparing pain management strategies; and advocating to lawmakers on evidenced-based opioid policies. Ilyas has been asked to serve on President-elect Biden’s Health Policy Committee to develop the administration’s opioid policy. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Manny Pacheco, MD ’01, became senior consultant and chief of public policy and government advocacy at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, according to a LinkedIn update. Pacheco is an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, and his specialty areas include medical, addiction, and disaster psychiatry, as well as ethics and drug interactions consultation. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Taiwona L. Elliott, DO; PBC Medical Science Preparatory ’02, was appointed director of the Family Medicine Residency program and vice president of clinical education and services at Duke/Southern Regional Area Health Education Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Vishal Kothari, MD ’05, was recognized by Continental Who’s Who as a Top Surgeon for his professional excellence and outstanding contributions to the fields of medicine and education with Nebraska Medicine’s Lauritzen Outpatient Center. A board-certified general surgeon, Kothari is currently serving patients within the Nebraska Medicine Healthcare Network. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Juli Tomaino, MD ’05, became deputy director at the Food and Drug Administration, where she leads several areas, including the Division of Gastroenterology, the Office of Immunology and Inflammation, the Office of New Drugs and the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, according to a LinkedIn update. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Marcelo R. Malakooti, MD ’08, was appointed associate chief medical officer at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, according to a LinkedIn update. Malakooti also serves as medical director of the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Heather Painter, PhD Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics ’08, published a study, “Novel Methods to Detect Malaria Biomarkers for Evaluation of Vaccine Safety and Efficacy,” on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website. Painter is a principal investigator in the Laboratory of Mucosal Pathogens and Cellular Immunology within the FDA. (Pulse Winter 2021)

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Marshal Meier, MD ’10, will be working at the newly established monthly clinic offered at Flagstaff Bone & Joint’s Sedona, Arizona, office. Meier is a physical medicine and interventional spine doctor at Flagstaff Bone & Joint, and also practices at their Flagstaff and Cottonwood locations. He completed his internship at the University of Utah School of Medicine, his residency at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and a rehabilitation interventional spine fellowship at UCLA Spine Center. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Karissa Lozenski, PhD Microbiology & Immunology ’11, became director and clinical trial lead at Bristol Myers-Squibb, according to a LinkedIn update. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Elizabeth Malsin, MD ’11, was profiled in U.S. News & World Report about performing a double lung transplant on the first known COVID-19 patient in the U.S. to undergo the procedure. Malsin is a pulmonary critical care physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She completed an internal medicine residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, followed by fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Northwestern. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Priyanka Chugh, MD ’12, board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, joined the Gastroenterology Center of Excellence, part of the Trinity Health of New England Medical Group, in Naugatuck, Connecticut. Her research and clinical interests include complex liver diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, colon cancer screening, peptic ulcer disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease. She also has a clinical interest in obesity and nutrition in overall health and will be certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine in 2021. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Joshua Sesek, MD ’14, joined the urologic surgery team at Pinehurst Surgical Clinic. Sesek comes to Pinehurst after completing his residency in general surgery and urology at Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, New York. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Rishi Patel, MD ’15, joined the medical team at Capital Health–Rheumatology Specialists in Pennington, New Jersey, part of Capital Health Medical Group. Patel is a member of the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians. He completed his internal medicine residency at Cooper University Hospital/Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and a rheumatology fellowship at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Sina Memari, MD ’16, emergency medicine physician, joined the medical staff at the Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Illinois. He completed an emergency medicine residency at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Brielle Ferguson, PhD Neuroscience ’17, was named to Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 Science list. Ferguson is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Neurology at Stanford University. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Nicole Klee, PhD Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics ’17, became publication lead at Alcon, a Swiss eye care company that manufactures surgical and vision care products for conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal diseases and refractive errors. (Pulse Winter 2021)

David D. Oh, MD ’17, became chief resident of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Temple University Health System, according to a LinkedIn update. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Nikkisha Mills, MS Interdisciplinary Health Sciences ’18, graduated from the School of Medicine of Wayne State University’s Pre-Medical program. She is interested in emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and surgery, with a research interest in infectious disease. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Karen Hager, MS Clinical Research Organization & Management ’19, became director of clinical research at Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company that uses plant-based manufacturing and virus-like particle technologies to develop innovative vaccines and protein-based therapeutics for infectious diseases and emerging public health challenges. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Austin Katona, MD ’19, and Anamika Saha, MD ’20, were featured in Philadelphia magazine. The couple recently held their wedding and reception over Zoom with immediate family present virtually from as far as London and Bangladesh. (Pulse Winter 2021)

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Andrew Joseph III, MS Drexel Pathway to Medical School ’20, was highlighted in an article in the Clarion Herald, the local New Orleans Archdiocese’s newspaper. Joseph is an alumnus of The Good Shepherd School, an elementary school serving underprivileged children in New Orleans that opened in 2001. Now a member of the Drexel MD program Class of 2024, he is the first alumnus of Good Shepard to attend medical school, an accomplishment he hopes will inspire young people in his hometown and across the country. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Anamika Saha, MD ’20, see Austin Katona, MD ’19. (Pulse Winter 2021)

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Former Residents and Fellows


Charmaine Edwards, MD; Internal Medicine Residency, MCP ’95, a gastroenterologist/hepatologist, joined Gateway Medical Group’s office in Granite City, Illinois. Edwards will also continue to practice at Gateway’s sister facility, Red Bud Regional Hospital in Red Bud, Illinois. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Jordan Glaser, MD; Drexel/Hahnemann Orthopedics Residency ’11, joined Southeastern Health’s Southeastern Orthopedics. Glaser is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons as well as a member of the North American Spine Society and the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Mayya Kawar, MD; Drexel/Hahnemann Emergency Medicine Residency, an emergency care physician, joined the medical staff at Frederiksted Health Care Inc. in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Mahboob Rahman, MD, PhD; Internal Medicine Residency, MCP, joined CytoDyn, Inc., a biotechnical company developing innovative treatments for multiple therapeutic indications, as chief scientific officer. Rahman was most recently the global head of immunology development and pharmacovigilance at Mesoblast Inc., a regenerative medicine company. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Donna Smith, MD; Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency, MCP ’93, a gynecologist and obstetrician, joined Care for Her, the women’s health service at Mendocino Community Health Clinic in Mendocino County, California. She has spent most of her career practicing medicine in small, rural communities, most recently in Glasgow, Montana. (Pulse Winter 2021)

Allan Tunkel, MD, PhD; Internal Medicine Residency, MCP ’87, gave a presentation, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Education,” at the annual Future of Medicine Summit hosted by the Palm Beach County Medical Society. Tunkel is the senior associate dean for medical education and chief of medical education at the Brown University Alpert Medical School. (Pulse Winter 2021)

L. Steven Zukerman, MD; Internal Medicine Residency, MCP, serves as medical director of Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s newly created Cardio–Oncology program, which provides cancer patients and survivors access to cardiology and oncology specialists and advanced imaging services. Zukerman is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. (Pulse Winter 2021)

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