School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine
Dr. Theodore Jones named president of Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan
In Headlines on June 30, 2016
Theodore Jones, M.D.

Theodore Jones, M.D.

Theodore Jones, M.D, F.A.C.O.G., associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology for the Wayne State University School of Medicine, was installed as president of the Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan at its 166th annual business meeting May 18.

Dr. Jones, a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. After serving three years in the National Health Service Corps in rural southeast Arkansas, he completed a fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at Wayne State University/Hutzel Hospital in Detroit. He has been a faculty member for the Wayne State University School of Medicine since completing that fellowship.

He has served as Residency Program director, associate chair for Education, interim chair, and director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine for the WSU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and chief of Obstetrics for Hutzel Women’s Hospital. He now serves as vice chair of WSU/Oakwood Programs in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and academic chair and Residency Program director at Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center (now Beaumont Dearborn Hospital) in Dearborn, Mich.

Dr. Jones is the founder and medical director of the Perinatal Infectious Disease Clinic at the Detroit Medical Center University Health Center, the only obstetrical clinic for pregnant women with HIV infection in the state. Since 1999, there have been no infected babies born to mothers compliant with the clinic program. In addition, he is the obstetric principal investigator for perinatal HIV infection prevention studies sponsored by the International Maternal Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trial Network, or IMPAACT, a National Institutes of Health-funded network, and has been funded continuously for 25 years.

This year, Dr. Jones completed his first term as vice speaker of the 151st meeting of the House of Delegates, Michigan State Medical Society. He is the outgoing section chair for Obstetrics and Gynecology for the National Medical Association.

At the society’s annual meeting the following individuals received special recognition awards from their peers:

Natalia Tanner, M.D., was awarded the Charles C. Vincent, M.D., Professional Achievement award for being nationally recognized in her field of expertise.

John Popovich Jr., M.D., was awarded the Peter McCabe, M.D., Contributions to WCMSSM award for consistent and continuous service for the good of the society.

The first Joseph J. Weiss, M.D., Memorial Essay Contest award was presented to Ko Un Clara Park, M.D., a fourth-year general surgery resident at Henry Ford Hospital, for her submission, “A Big Favor.”

Other new society officers for 2016-2017 include Talat Danish, M.D., president-elect; Charles Barone, M.D., secretary; and Herbert Smitherman Jr., M.D., immediate past president.

Student organization's home-visit program earns praise at national interprofessional conference
In Headlines on June 29, 2016
Medical students Molly Belisle, left, and Kate Dobesh presented a poster at the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare conference in Connecticut.

Medical students Molly Belisle, left, and Kate Dobesh presented a poster at the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare conference in Connecticut.

A Wayne State University School of Medicine student organization’s service learning program was showcased at the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare’s interprofessional conference, held June 17-19 at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

Class of 2019 medical students Molly Belisle and Kaitlyn Dobesh presented the poster, “Integrating Home-Visits into Developmental Disabilities Clinical Service Learning Program,” which summarized a home visit program led by the Arie Foundation, a School of Medicine student organization that provides support and comfort to pediatric patients and their families.

“As medical students, Kate and I were able to interact with physicians and other professionals leading the medical field on building communication and relationships in health care. There was significant interest in our home-visit program through the Arie Foundation and its possible integration at other schools,” Belisle said. “We received feedback that our program here at the School of Medicine was unique in allowing first- and second-year medical students to visit the homes of families who had a child with a developmental disability.”

The program supports the medical profession’s transition to a patient-centered care model, exposing freshman and sophomore medical students to diverse patient interactions early in their medical education. Participating medical students visit families in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties who have children with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities, in collaboration with WSU Developmental Disabilities Institute. The program gives the students the opportunity to assess their attitudes and perceptions of people with developmental disabilities and interact on a personal level with families. They also gain insight into the home life, medical needs and personal concerns of the family, which translates into greater empathy and understanding of the specific needs of families.

“The poster was developed as part of a grant we received from the WSU Developmental Disabilities Institute to increase medical students’ clinical and communication skills with parents of children with disabilities,” Co-Curricular Programs Director Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D., said.

Dr. Mendez and medical students Xiaofan Mi, Jessica Tsuei and Crystal Zhang also contributed to the project. The program requires two medical students to complete two home visits, each scheduled for two hours, approximately 30 to 60 days apart, with a phone call in between. The families complete surveys on physician empathy adapted for health professions students, patient perceptions of physician empathy and a general physician trust scale. Students assess their perceptions of disability and definitions and criteria associated with disabilities assessments.

As a thank you to the families, the Arie Foundation and the DDI hosted a family appreciation event in the Margherio Family Conference Center last November.

Dr. Kamat's second edition of 'Textbook of Pediatric Care' published
In Headlines on June 29, 2016
Deepak Kamat, M.D., Ph.D.

Deepak Kamat, M.D., Ph.D.

Deepak Kamat, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.P., professor of Pediatrics for the Wayne State University School of Medicine, has seen the second edition of the “American Academy of Pediatrics Textbook of Pediatric Care” published this month.

The second edition contains 75 new chapters (for a total of 375 chapters) for enhanced coverage of the full breadth of pediatric practice. It includes more than 600 full-color photos and illustrations, new sections on health and care of special populations and enhanced focus on patient- and family-centered medical homes, and expanded coverage of mental health topics.

The 3,000-page book, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, highlights the numerous advances and developments in pediatrics. The edition provides a complete update of the premier clinical reference, including signs and symptoms, behavioral health, care of healthy and high-risk infants, adolescent health, critical situations, practice management, ethical and legal concerns and more.

“I got to work with world-renowned educators as my co-editors for the second edition of this comprehensive textbook of pediatrics,” said Dr. Kamat, who also serves as director of academic programs for the WSU Department of Pediatrics and designated institutional official for Children’s Hospital of Michigan. “I am hopeful this book will help improve the health of children all over the world.”

The books other editors include Thomas McInerny, M.D., F.A.A.P., immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Henry Adam, M.D., F.A.A.P.; Deborah Campbell, M.D., F.A.A.P.; Thomas DeWitt, M.D., F.A.A.P.; and Jane Meschan Foy, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Dr. Kamat is the editor-in-chief of “Quick Reference Guide to Pediatric Care” and the co-editor of “Textbook of Pediatric Global Health” for the AAP. He edited “Challenging Cases in Pediatric Diagnosis,” also published by the AAP. He is the lead editor of the “Point-of-Care Quick Reference on Pediatric Care Online,” a first-of-its-kind in pediatric medicine. The reference is an integrated point of care service available on handheld devices that can be used by physicians at patient bedside.

Three medical students receive prestigious Fight for Sight research fellowships
In Headlines on June 28, 2016
Ashok Kumar, Ph.D., and medical student Joshua Barbosa.

Ashok Kumar, Ph.D., and medical student Joshua Barbosa.

Medical student Elizabeth Curtiss and Jena Steinle, Ph.D.

Medical student Elizabeth Curtiss and Jena Steinle, Ph.D.

Medical student Catherine Tran and Bruce Berkowitz, Ph.D.

Medical student Catherine Tran and Bruce Berkowitz, Ph.D.

Fight for Sight has awarded Wayne State University School of Medicine students with three of 15 $2,500 summer fellowships given nationwide.

The Class of 2019’s Joshua Barbosa, Elizabeth Curtiss and Catherine Tran are spending eight to 10 weeks this summer working in the laboratory of a School of Medicine faculty member on a vision research project.

FFS is a New York-based nonprofit that supports eye and vision research by providing initial funds to promising scientists early in their careers. Summer student fellowships are available to undergraduates, gradate and medical students who are interested in pursuing eye-related clinical or basic research.

“FFS awards are highly competitive and selected by the scientific review committee composed of prominent scientists and clinicians,” said Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology Ashok Kumar, Ph.D., who is mentoring Barbosa on the project “Metabolomics Driven Discovery of Biomarkers in Ocular and Systemic Fungal Infections.”

The Kumar lab studies host-pathogen interactions in ocular infections, particularly endophthalmitis, a vision-threatening condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent vision loss. “If doctors can identify who is going to get endophthalmitis and what specific organism is involved in the infection, it’s possible to tailor treatment and preserve vision,” Barbosa said. “This research seeks to identify small molecule markers of endophthalmitis. Just like a finger print can be used by detectives to identify a criminal, we believe a signature pattern of molecules can be used to identify who is at risk for endophthalmitis.”

Like Barbosa, Curtiss is also studying a condition that can lead to blindness, in the lab of Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology Jena Steinle, Ph.D. The project, “Beta Adrenergic Receptor Regulation of TLR4 in Diabetic Retinopathy,” focuses on the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults. There are no treatments available for diabetic retinopathy.

“The immune response in the diabetic retina leading to blindness is still poorly understood, with the role of inflammation becoming a focus of potential therapies targeted to treat earlier stages and/or prevent progression of the disease. This project aims to identify key pathways in the innate immune response in the diabetic retina to target for novel therapeutics to prevent blindness,” said Curtiss, whose career goal is to become an ophthalmologist practicing clinical medicine and engaging in academia and research.

She was already working in Dr. Steinle’s lab on a research track externship when she was notified of the Fight for Sight grant. “Ophthalmology is one of the more competitive specialties to be matched in for residency. I knew that by being awarded the Fight for Sight summer fellowship I would be able to conduct research and publish works, which would aid in my ability to secure an Ophthalmology residency. I was excited about my research proposal because it addresses blindness --a major problem faced by those suffering from diabetes. Sight is the foundation for independent living and quality of life. Therefore, as a future ophthalmologist, my goal is to provide the best care for individuals to help maintain their eyesight,” Curtiss said.

For Tran, the project “Imaging Anti-oxidant Treatment Efficacy in the Outer Retina In Vivo” is an opportunity to utilize new imaging methods to measure photoreceptor oxidative stress. She works in the lab of Bruce Berkowitz, Ph.D., professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology and of Ophthalmology ,and director of the Small Animal MRI Facility.

“In many blinding diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa, the earliest known problem is that photoreceptors experience damaging levels of oxidative stress. It has not been possible to measure photoreceptor oxidative stress in the living subject. To solve this problem, we are developing new imaging methods to measure photoreceptor oxidative stress in different models of these blinding diseases,” Tran said. “Once we have optimized our new imaging methods, we plan on transitioning them to patients with sight-threatening diseases to minimize vision loss and blindness. I hope to contribute my skills to moving this project forward and become sufficient at utilizing the imaging methods. I look forward to participating in the advancement of care for patients with retina diseases and to utilizing this experience in my care as a future physician.”

Wayne State research scholar focuses on how to make patient safety, quality and regulation count
In Headlines on June 27, 2016
Paul Barach, M.D., M.P.H.

Paul Barach, M.D., M.P.H.

One of the 10 most influential scientific articles of 2015 from BioMed Central, a leading scientific publisher, was co-authored by Wayne State University School of Medicine Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Paul Barach, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Barach was appointed a pediatric cardiomyopathy research scholar at the school in March 2016 as the 2016-2017 Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation and Kyle John Rymiszewski Foundation Senior Research Scholar in the Department of Pediatrics. Recognizing the need to foster the next generation of researchers in the field, the two foundations jointly established a scholar program at the School of Medicine and in the Children’s Research Center of Michigan at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Dr. Barach’s article, “A systematic review of hospital accreditation: the challenges of measuring complex intervention effects,” was chosen by BioMed Central as one of the most influential articles of 2015 based on the opinion of other scientists, the rigor of the paper and its potential impact on the field and health policy. The article was published in the journal BMC Health Services Research and is available at

Increased focus on improving patient outcomes, safety and quality of care has led stakeholders, policy makers and health care provider organizations to adopt standardized processes for evaluating health care organizations. Accreditation and certification are standard approaches to ensuring patient safety and high quality health care delivery. Hospitals are accredited by independent assessment agencies like The Joint Commission, which accredits about 21,000 health care organizations and programs. Dr. Barach’s research found that there is limited data to support that guidelines and regulations disseminated by accreditation agencies like The Joint Commission lead to improved or safer patient outcomes and better financial performance.

“This article speaks to a very relevant topic of governance, oversight and public accountability amid the growing calls and requirements for more regulation,” Dr. Barach said.

He and his research team, after performing an exhaustive literature search and comprehensive meta-analysis, could not find any published data on the meaningful effectiveness of accreditation. “From a fiduciary perspective, is all the money and resources spent on accreditation efforts actually adding value to society or not?” he asked. “How can we envision and deploy a more effective accreditation scheme for U.S. hospitals that protects patients, makes sense to providers and adds value to the community?”

A Harvard-trained cardiac anesthesiologist and intensive care expert with formal training as a health services researcher, Dr. Barach is a leader in the field of quality and safety outcomes, including those for children with heart diseases. This past year Dr. Barach, along with Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics Professor and Chair Steven Lipshultz, M.D., and others, edited “Pediatric and congenital cardiac care,” a two-volume textbook published by Springer that focused on outcomes analysis, quality improvements and patient safety for pediatric and congenital heart patients. Visit for more information.

Dr. Lipshultz, also the Schotanus Family Endowed Chair of Pediatrics, the Carman and Ann Adams Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research and principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health-supported North America Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry, is pleased to have Dr. Barach on board as the first pediatric cardiomyopathy research scholar at the medical school.

Dr. Barach is working with Dr. Lipshultz and James Wilkinson, M.D., professor of Pediatrics and associate director of the Children’s Research Center of Michigan, and the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry research team to design and conduct research in pediatric safety, quality and reliability, with a special focus on cardiomyopathy. Since becoming a WSU pediatric cardiomyopathy senior scholar, Dr. Barach, along with Dr. Lipshultz, published a critical assessment of a timely topic in patient outcomes research on the benefits and hazards of publicly reporting quality outcomes in the Elsevier journal “Progress in Pediatric Cardiology,” which may be viewed at

“Following an international search, Wayne State University School of Medicine was able to bring Dr. Barach here for the next year to help make patient outcomes better around the world,” Dr. Lipshultz said, praising the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation and the Kyle John Rymiszewski Foundation for their support. “We have been able to make this pairing and partnership available to address the needs of affected children and their families, as well as to this field, with the vision and generosity of these two foundations.”

The Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation (CCF) is a national organization focused on funding research and educational initiatives, providing family support and increasing awareness and advocacy for all forms of pediatric cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of heart transplants and sudden cardiac arrest in children 18 and younger. CCF approached the Michigan-based Kyle John Rymiszewski Foundation to help establish the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Research Scholar position.

“We remain committed to furthering research on pediatric cardiomyopathy, and this new position will help us to develop new studies that are critical to improving patient outcomes in this field,” said Lisa Yue, CCF’s founding executive director.

The scholarship honors Kyle Rymiszewski a Clinton Township, Mich., teenager diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who was treated at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. He died in 2009 following a cardiac arrest resulting from his cardiomyopathy. His namesake foundation supports and collaborates with the CCF on research projects and is dedicated to increasing awareness of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in children. The scholarship position is the foundation’s first endeavor to fund research focused on improving outcomes, and is committed to continuing the scholarship in perpetuity.

“We’re excited that Dr. Barach is the first recipient of this scholarship in Kyle’s memory. Dr. Barach will bring a new perspective to the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry research team and can spearhead national qualitative studies on this disease,” said Kyle's mother, Aimée Cowher.

Dr. Kuhn, former provost recognized for work to develop female leadership
In Headlines on June 23, 2016
Gloria Kuhn, D.O., Ph.D.

Gloria Kuhn, D.O., Ph.D.

Margaret Winters

Margaret Winters

The Wayne State University chapter of the Michigan ACE Network and the President's Commission on the Status of Women recently honored two Wayne State University administrators for their long and impressive work to support, promote and develop leadership abilities of their female colleagues.

Gloria Kuhn, D.O., Ph.D., professor of Emergency Medicine for the Wayne State University School of Medicine, was awarded the 2016 MI-ACE Network Women of Distinction Award. She was selected based on her exemplary accomplishments as a physician, educator and researcher, and for her positive impact on women in emergency medicine, particularly junior female faculty.

“I was thrilled to be nominated for this award -- actually winning it was the frosting on my cake,” said Dr. Kuhn, a resident of Farmington Hills and vice chair of Academics in the Department of Emergency Medicine. “It is particularly gratifying to me to support women in medicine and science because they have so much potential and dedication. For a number of reasons, this potential is often not reached, and even when it is, may not be recognized and rewarded. Much has been done to rectify these problems, but more remains.”

The MI-ACE Wayne State chapter Women of Distinction award is awarded annually to a Wayne State employee who has demonstrated a sustained commitment to women and issues of diversity. “Commitment” is defined broadly to encompass all areas of university life and levels of employment, from administrative positions of leadership through service as faculty or staff on campus and in the community.

In nominating Dr. Kuhn, Brian O’Neil, M.D., the Dayanandan Endowed Chair and Edward S. Thomas Endowed Professor of WSU Emergency Medicine, wrote: “She has been a major force for recognition and resolution of the specific challenges women face in emergency medicine and medicine in general. Dr. Kuhn’s philosophy is that for women to make an impact in medicine, it requires them to be intimately involved at all levels — research, leadership and education. She has been a mentor to countless women and has used her large professional network to connect junior faculty to regional and national service."

The organizations presented the first Outstanding Achievement Award to former WSU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Margaret Winters, in recognition of her support of women in higher education as both a campus leader and mentor during her 14-year career at Wayne State.

“I am honored to receive the COSW/Wayne State ACE chapter Outstanding Achievement Award,” Winters said. “It means a great deal to me, precisely because it was awarded by the great group of women I have been working with during my years at Wayne State. I am grateful to them for it.”

Winters, a Grosse Pointe resident, was nominated by Associate General Counsel Linda Galante. “I have seen her repeatedly promote and demonstrate inclusiveness in all aspects of academia at Wayne State, both with regard to women and minorities,” Galante said. “The fact that Wayne State currently has — under Margaret’s tenure — six highly qualified female academics as deans, three of whom also are minorities, is a true testament to her passion for supporting females and minorities in academia.”

The awards were presented at a June 3 luncheon at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on Wayne State’s campus. The COSW/MI-ACE Network Outstanding Achievement Award is in its inaugural year, and recognizes a woman who has shown exceptional leadership in regard to women’s issues.

In conjunction with the Office of Women in Higher Education of the American Council on Education, the Michigan ACE Network is committed to identifying, developing the leadership of, advancing and supporting the retention of women in higher education.

The Wayne State University President's Commission on the Status of Women, founded in 1971 by the president of WSU, advises the Office of the President and the larger campus community on issues facing women students, staff, faculty and alumni, including gender equity and equality, social justice and intersectionality. The commission advocates for women through programming, university service, outreach, research and policy recommendations.

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