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AAMC selects EVMS-led team for project to improve community health

Cynthia Romero
Cynthia Romero, MD, FAAFP, Director, M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently selected EVMS as one of only eight U.S. institutions to participate in the three-year workshop series, Building a Systems Approach to Community Health and Health Equity for Academic Medical Centers. The AAMC chose EVMS for the partnership-based project from about 40 applications.

The EVMS team is led by Cynthia Romero, MD (MD ’93), an EVMS-Sentara Endowed Chair for Academic Leadership Advancement, family physician and Director of the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health at EVMS.

“Our goal,” Dr. Romero says, “is to allow EVMS to work strategically with our community partners to use education, research and clinical care to transform the systems where our patients live, learn, work and play to prioritize health and wellness.

Other team members include:

  • Mekbib Gemeda, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at EVMS
  • Kaethe Ferguson, EdD, MS, Toy Savage Endowed Professor in Pediatrics, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Community Health and Research, a division of EVMS Pediatrics
  • Elsie Harold Lans, EdD, Senior Director of Student Support Services for Norfolk Public Schools
  • Demetria Lindsay, MD, Director of the Norfolk Department of Public Health
  • Grace Hines, MBA, Corporate Vice President for System Integration for Sentara Healthcare

New skin cancer program keeps patients closer to home

Abby Van Voorhees
Abby Van Voorhees, MD, Chair and Professor of Dermatology

Sentara Healthcare and EVMS are working together to create a new program to treat skin cancer.

The Sentara-EVMS Cutaneous Cancer Program will focus on various areas, including lymphoma that occurs in the skin. Currently, local patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma would have to travel to Maryland or North Carolina for treatment.

“This level of care doesn’t exist in Hampton Roads,” says Abby Van Voorhees, MD, Chair and Professor of Dermatology. “Being able to offer this type of service for these patients closer to home will be quite meaningful in their care.”

The program will also target those who are at high risk for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers like squamous cell and basal cell, which are often seen in patients who’ve had an organ transplantation. Dr. Van Voorhees says a lead physician will be in place by summer 2017.

Diagram of skin cell

Young student finds inspiration in family and volunteer work

Second-year medical student, David Neuberger, holding a football.
David Neuberger, second-year EVMS MD student.

Don’t tell this EVMS student he can’t do something. There’s a good chance he’ll prove you wrong.

At only 21 years old, David Neuberger is about to complete his second year of medical school. He was 16 when he graduated from high school and only 19 when he received a degree in chemical engineering at the University of Alabama.

Being the youngest of his peers hasn’t stopped him from achieving his goals. “As the youngest of four kids,” Mr. Neuberger says, “I was always very competitive with my siblings, and they motivated me to do my best in every aspect of life. I don’t let my age define me or hold me back.”

As for medicine, his fascination began at an early age. “I was intrigued by my mother’s prosthetic arm and how it worked.” That inspired him to volunteer at places where he could help people with a variety of disabilities. “That work was my first true exposure to the medical field, and it was when I realized that becoming a doctor is what I wanted to do with my life.”

It also inspired his field of interest: sports medicine. “I’ve always been fascinated with how the body moves and works the way it does, so sports medicine is the perfect fit for me.”

When it came time to choose a medical school, he didn’t take long to realize EVMS also was the perfect fit. “I loved the people at EVMS when I interviewed here,” he says, “and I knew that EVMS was going to be a supportive environment with a great group of motivated students.”

He was impressed, too, by the school’s commitment to community service and the opportunities it could provide. “I really loved being able to be hands on with patients my second semester in medical school, as well as volunteering at the HOPES Free Clinic so early.”

While accomplishing so much so young has been a challenge, Mr. Neuberger says it’s been worth every second of hard work. “I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything.”

EVMS professor elected President of SENTAC

David Darrow
David H. Darrow, MD, DDS, FAAP, Professor, Director, Center for Hemangiomas and Vascular Birthmarks.

David Darrow, MD, DDS, Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, was elected President of the Society for Ear, Nose and Throat Advances for Children (SENTAC) at its annual meeting recently in Orlando.

SENTAC is a nonprofit, service-oriented society founded in 1973 that’s devoted to research and advancement of the treatment of ear, nose and throat maladies in children.

Dr. Darrow also served for 13 years on the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, including terms as its Chair and Program Chair.