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January 15, 2020 | Volume II, Issue 1

Stephen Leffler

Leffler Named President and Coo of UVM Medical Center

On December 30, 2019, Professor of Surgery and Larner College of Medicine alumnus Stephen Leffler, M.D., was appointed permanent president and chief operating officer of the University of Vermont Medical Center. Dr. Leffler is a 26-year veteran of the UVM Medical Center and has been serving as its interim president and chief operating officer since the retirement of Eileen Whalen, M.H.A., R.N., in June 2019.

A native of Leicester, Vt., Dr. Leffler received his medical degree from UVM in 1990 and completed an emergency medicine residency at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He then returned to Vermont and joined UVM’s Division of Emergency Medicine, serving as division chief from 2006 to 2011. He also helped establish UVM's emergency medicine residency program, which welcomed its first class in 2019. From 2011 to 2017, Dr. Leffler served as chief medical officer for the UVM Medical Center, completing a Master of Health Care Delivery Science at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business in 2016. In 2017, he was named chief population health and quality officer for the UVM Health Network. He has spoken extensively across the country about population health and the social determinants of health.

Jennifer A. Campbell, M.P.H., Caitlin Marie Beaudet, M.P.H., Victoria Hart, Ph.D., assistant professor, Graduate Public Health Programs; Dr. Carney; Katherine Luella Copp, M.P.H.; Kelsey Gleason, Sc.D., assistant professor, Graduate Public Health Programs; Kerry Farrell, M.P.H

Master's and Doctoral Degree Recipients Honored at December Ceremony 

A total of 41 August and October 2019 and January 2020 Larner College of Medicine master’s and doctoral degree recipients participated in the University of Vermont’s Graduate College Hooding Ceremony held in UVM’s Ira Allen Chapel on December 11, 2019. Degrees recognized included Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Medical Science, Master of Pharmacology, Master of Pathology, Master of Clinical and Translational Science, and Doctor of Philosophy in Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences. Participating faculty members included Associate Dean for Public Health and Health Policy and Director of Graduate Public Health Programs Jan Carney, M.D., M.P.H., and Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and Associate Dean for Graduate Education Christopher Berger, Ph.D.

Among the graduates recognized at the event were Larner staff members Shelby Fertal, M.S., lab research technician in pediatrics, and Sahene Warrick, M.S., lab research technician in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, who each received a Master of Science in Pharmacology degree, and Kelsey Phipps, M.S., lab research technician in pathology and laboratory medicine, who received a Master of Science in Medical Science degree.

Pictured above, from left to right: Jennifer A. Campbell, M.P.H., Caitlin Marie Beaudet, M.P.H.,Victoria Hart, Ph.D., assistant professor, Graduate Public Health Programs; Dr. Carney; Katherine Luella Copp, M.P.H.; Kelsey Gleason, Sc.D., assistant professor, Graduate Public Health Programs; Kerry Farrell, M.P.H. (Photo by David Seaver)

Read more about the December graduate degree recipients.

Christopher Huston

Huston Closes in on Potential Cryptosporidium Theory 

In 2009, Professor of Medicine Christopher Huston, M.D., treated an immunocompromised patient who had contracted Cryptosporidium—a parasite that causes acute diarrhea and dehydration—while tending to the cows on her dairy farm in Vermont. The encounter changed the course of Dr. Huston’s research career.

The parasite—which is the third most common cause of life-threatening diarrhea worldwide and is especially deadly for children in the developing world—receives scant attention from researchers. “It made me angry,” says Dr. Huston. “There’s [currently] nothing better than a sugar pill.”

That emotion fueled a change in his lab’s focus. Now one of the most preeminent crypto researchers in the world, Dr. Huston and his team are closing in on potential drugs. Dr. Huston has received several grants from the Gates Foundation, including a $1.86 million award in 2015, to fund research supporting other scientists within a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the development of crypto therapeutics. 

Read the full article in the Fall 2019 edition of The Chart.

Martin Luther King Health Equity Lecture Series Poster

Text only version: 7th Annual Martin Luther King Health Equity Lecture Series.

Join us Wednesday, January 22, 5:30 PM, Sullivan Classroom, for “Racial Segregation and Obesity: An Unhealthy Connection” by Mercedes Carnethon, Ph.D., Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. More information at

Erin Bingham, APRN, leads a session for Comprehensive Pain Program participants

Medical Center Program Provides Alternatives to Opioids

“Pain is a medical term,” says Assistant Professor of Family Medicine John Porter, M.D. “It doesn’t begin to capture the experience of individuals who have chronic pain in terms of the impact is has on so many aspects of their lives. We think the word ‘suffering’ better describes the experience of our participants, and that’s a universal human experience.”

Dr. Porter is the medical director of the UVM Medical Center Comprehensive Pain Program (CPP), an integrative approach to addressing chronic pain that is one of the first of its kind in the nation. In a world where stories of opioid abuse cases beginning with legal prescribing seem all too common, the CPP offers alternatives to pharmaceuticals for managing not only pain, but also the many-faceted complications it causes for those suffering from it. 

Read more about the CPP and its work with patients with chronic pain in the current issue of Vermont Medicine.

Pictured above: Erin Bingham, APRN, leads a session for CPP participants. (Photo by David Seaver)

2018/2019 Dana Medical Library Student support Report graphic

Text-only version: 2018/2019 Dana Medical Library Student Support Report:

2,284 students attended library education sessions. 151,647 patrons visited the library. 250 unique courses supported via physical course reserve, COMET, and Blackboard. (Adapted from the 2019 Dana Medical Library Annual Report. View the full report here.)

Tim Moynihan

Tim Moynihan, M.A., Ph.D., Director of Academic Achievement and Medical Education Learning Specialist, Student Services

Listening, offering feedback, conceptualizing, strategizing, and supporting ongoing change. Every day, Tim Moynihan employs skills he learned during graduate training in psychology and has honed while working in higher education over the past decade. 

Dr. Moynihan joined UVM and the Office of Medical Student Education as a course coordinator in August 2016 and also served as a curriculum specialist before taking on his current role about a year ago. He likes to look at things through several prisms to create and problem-solve, which helps him continually grow and improve.

“I work with students, both in person and remotely, to develop effective learning strategies and lifelong learning skills, and collaborate with staff, faculty, and other teams to support students and refer them to additional learner support resources,” he says.

“Tim is a warm and steady presence in the OMSE and a great collaborator,” says Lee Rosen, Ph.D., director of student well-being and assistant professor of psychiatry. “He is totally committed to helping our medical students succeed and maximize their potentials in a way that also maintains their balance and well-being.”

Text-only version: Teaching Academy Accepting Proposals for Frymoyer Scholars Program now through March 16.

Text-only version: Teaching Academy Accepting Proposals for Frymoyer Scholars Program now through March 16. Learn more at

Accolades & Appointments

Jesse Moore

Elise Everett, M.D., M.S., associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, has been appointed level director of the clinical curriculum, reporting to Tania Bertsch, M.D., associate dean for clinical education. She will assist in articulating the mission, vision, and values of the clerkship and required acting internships curriculum; stimulate collaborative endeavors to improve all academic programs; promote educational innovation and research; seek and support external funding opportunities; and participate actively in continuous educational quality improvement.

Lee Rosen

Lee Rosen, Ph.D., assistant professor psychiatry and director of student well-being, recently published an essay, titled “Tumbling into Mindfulness–A Novice at Age 50,” in the November 2019 issue of The Snowboarder’s Journal. His essay explores how learning to snowboard as an adult forced him to practice the “growth mindset” he teaches to students and patients. “In my teaching and clinical practice, I often ask people to embrace being uncomfortable . . . My turn. I let go of my fragile ego and notions of self-worth. Liberation through humility.”

Roxanna del Rio-Guerra, Ph.D.,

Julie Lahiri, M.D., associate professor of surgery, has been appointed by the Society for Vascular Surgery Executive Board as a member of the new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force. The task force researches “inequities related to gender, race, ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation and develop strategies to reduce identified inequities” within the vascular surgery specialty.

Jeffery Klein

A. Bradley Soule and John P. Tampas Green and Gold Professor of Radiology Jeffrey Klein, M.D., co-moderated a panel on vaping-associated lung injury at the Radiological Society of North American (RSNA) national meeting in Chicago, Ill., on December 2, 2019. Dr. Klein, a member of the RSNA Board of Directors, was featured in several news articles on the topic, including Radiology Business and, as well as locally on WCAX-TV Channel 3.

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H. Daniel, S.S. Bornstein, J.K. Carney, T.G. Cooney, L.S. Engel, H.E. Gantzer, T.L. Henry, J.D. Lenchus, B.M. McCandless, M.B. Southworth, F. Syed, J. Quinton, M.A. Wallace, A. Valdrighi. Policy Recommendations for Public Health Plans to Stem the Escalating Costs of Prescription Drugs: A Position Paper From the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2019; Nov 12. doi: 10.7326/M19-0013. [Epub ahead of print]

Arnell TL, York C, Nadeau A, Donnelly ML, Till L, Zargari P, Davis W, Finley C, Delaney T, Carney J. The Role of the Dental Community in Oropharyngeal Cancer Prevention Through HPV Vaccine Advocacy. J Cancer Educ. 2019 Nov 14. doi: 10.1007/s13187-019-01628-w.

Rosehart AC, Johnson AC, Dabertrand F. Ex Vivo Pressurized Hippocampal Capillary-Parenchymal Arteriole Preparation for Functional Study. J Vis Exp. 2019Dec 18;(154). doi: 10.3791/60676. PubMed PMID: 31904015.

Stowman AM. Educational Case: Granulomatous Dermatitis. Acad Pathol. 2019 Dec 18;6:2374289519892559. doi: 10.1177/2374289519892559. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.PubMed PMID: 31897421; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6920582.

Brnich SE, Abou Tayoun AN, Couch FJ, Cutting GR, Greenblatt MS, Heinen CD, Kanavy DM, Luo X, McNulty SM, Starita LM, Tavtigian SV, Wright MW, Harrison SM, Biesecker LG, Berg JS; Clinical Genome Resource Sequence Variant Interpretation Working Group. Recommendations for application of the functional evidence PS3/BS3 criterion using the ACMG/AMP sequence variant interpretation framework. Genome Med. 2019 Dec 31;12(1):3. doi: 10.1186/s13073-019-0690-2. PubMed PMID: 31892348; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6938631.

Dworkin JD, Linn KA, Solomon AJ, Satterthwaite TD, Raznahan A, Bakshi R, Shinohara RT. A local group differences test for subject-level multivariate density neuroimaging outcomes. Biostatistics. 2019 Dec 26. pii: kxz058. doi: 10.1093/biostatistics/kxz058. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31875881.

Johnson AC, Mays D, Villanti AC, Niaura RS, Rehberg K, Phan L, Mercincavage M, Luta G, Strasser AA. Marketing Influences on Perceptions of Reduced Nicotine Content Cigarettes. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 Dec 23;21(Supplement_1):S117-S124. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntz167. PubMed PMID: 31867656; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6939778.

Wood ME, Rehman HT, Bedrosian I. Importance of family history and indications for genetic testing. Breast J. 2019 Dec 22. doi: 10.1111/tbj.13722. [Epub aheadof print] PubMed PMID: 31865627.

Pike AH, Zvara P, Antulov MR, Schrøder HD, Hejboel EK, Rasmussen L, Qvist N, Ellebæk MB. Intramural Injection of Botulinum Toxin A in Surgical Treatment of a Long Gap Esophageal Atresia-Rat Model. Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2019 Dec 13. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-3400285. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31858493.

Goukasian N, Hwang KS, Romero T, Grotts J, Do TM, Groh JR, Bateman DR, Apostolova LG. Association of brain amyloidosis with the incidence and frequency  of neuropsychiatric symptoms in ADNI: a multisite observational cohort study. BMJ Open. 2019 Dec 18;9(12):e031947. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031947. PubMed PMID:31857304; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6937083.

Houghton DE, Koh I, Ellis A, Key NS, Douce DR, Howard G, Cushman M, Safford M, Zakai NA. Hemoglobin levels and coronary heart disease risk by age, race, and sex in the reasons for geographic and racial differences in stroke study (REGARDS). Am J Hematol. 2019 Dec 16. doi: 10.1002/ajh.25703. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31840854.

Weinberger SJ, Cowan KJ, Robinson KJ, Pellegrino CA, Frankowski BL, Chmielewski MV, Shaw JS, Harder VS. A primary care learning collaborative to improve office systems and clinical management of pediatric asthma. J Asthma. 2019 Dec 14:1-10. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2019.1702199. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31838923.

Shan R, Ding J, Plante TB, Martin SS. Mobile Health Access and Use Among Individuals With or At Risk for Cardiovascular Disease: 2018 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Dec 17;8(24):e014390. doi:10.1161/JAHA.119.014390. Epub 2019 Dec 10. PubMed PMID: 31818220; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6951076.

Gutiérrez OM, Irvin MR, Zakai NA, Naik RP, Chaudhary NS, Estrella MM, Limou S, Judd SE, Cushman M, Kopp JB, Winkler CA. APOL1 Nephropathy Risk Alleles and Mortality in African American Adults: A Cohort Study. Am J Kidney Dis. 2020 Jan;75(1):54-60. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2019.05.027. Epub 2019 Sep 26. PubMed PMID: 31563468.

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The Larner College of Medicine
at The University of Vermont
Copyright 2020