School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine
Class of 2017's Buzz it for Boards raises more than $1,200 for charity
In Headlines on May 1, 2015
Angela Degraaf shows off her new buzzed undercut.

Angela Degraaf shows off her new buzzed undercut.

Brad Smith gets his hair clipped by a student stylist from the Douglas J. Aveda Institute.

Brad Smith gets his hair clipped by a student stylist from the Douglas J. Aveda Institute.

Andrew Bagby gets his hair buzzed.

Andrew Bagby gets his hair buzzed.

Angela Degraaf donated eight inches of hair the day before her fellow second-year medical students at the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s gathered in Scott Hall’s cafeteria for the annual Buzz it for Boards fundraiser Thursday. Yet she wanted to do something else to her hair that would support her class and the charity Camp Kesem.

Enter the “undercut.” A student stylist from the Douglas J. Aveda Institute in Royal Oak used clippers to buzz several inches from the underside of Degraaf’s hair, leaving her with an edgy look covertly hidden by the rest of her mane. She was one of 26 students who opted to have their hair buzzed, cut or blown out for the event that raised $1,255 for Camp Kesem Michigan, which provides free weeks of summer camp to 180 campers ages 6 to 16 annually at YMCA Camp Copneconic in Fenton, Mich.

Some students fundraised on line, while others gave cash at the event. The second-year tradition was established in 2009 by the School of Medicine’s Class of 2011. It gives students a chance to let loose and cheer on their friends before taking the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step I in June.

Most of the Class of 2017 will spend its summer studying for the USMLE, a comprehensive national medical exam that tests medical students on everything they’ve learned during years one and two of medical school. Students must pass to move on to clinical years three and four of medical school.

Second-year student Leann Arcori suggested Camp Kesem as this year’s beneficiary. Kesem means “magic” in Hebrew. She started volunteering for with the organization while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan.

“As we get older, more and more people we know are diagnosed with cancer, including parents. Camp Kesem supports a very unique population often overlooked,” Arcori said. “There are endless resources for the cancer patient, but as many personally know and understand, cancer is a struggle for the entire family. We support Camp Kesem Michigan, which serves southeastern Michigan in hopes of bettering the lives of children in our area coping with their parents' cancer.”

Click here for a video about the charity.

“I figured I might as well donate and get a haircut out of it,” said Brandon Smith, who opted for a close buzz.

A few chairs away, first-year medical student Andrew Bagby was getting his head clipped close as well.

“I need a haircut pretty bad, and it’s nice to give some money to a good cause,” Bagby said.

This year, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development Lisa MacLean, M.D., and Assistant Dean of Basic Science Education Matt Jackson, Ph.D., upped the ante, promising to “extreme” their hair if the students could raise at least $2,000 for charity.

They’re safe – for now.

Program directors association names new award for Dr. Silbergleit
In Headlines on May 1, 2015
Allen Silbergleit, M.D., Ph.D.

Allen Silbergleit, M.D., Ph.D.

A national organization has named an award for a longtime Wayne State University School of Medicine professor.

The Association of Program Directors in Surgery earlier this month announced a new award, the Silbergleit Award, in honor of Allen Silbergleit, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery and physiology for the School of Medicine.

Recognizing Dr. Silbergleit’s longevity and contributions during his 40 years as director of the WSU surgical residency program, a position he gave up just a few years ago, the new award will be presented to directors who serve 25 years.

“This was a surprise to me,” said Dr. Silbergleit, who served 26 years as chief of surgery for St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital. “It’s very gratifying and I feel good because I’ve always thought that people who have served a long tenure and who have been effective should get some recognition, and now they will.

“There are a few people who have been program directors for 25 years. I served 40 years. If I thought I could have made 50 years, I would have done it,” he added with a laugh.

Ronald Strickler, M.D., a senior staff member of the Division of Reproductive Medicine for the Henry Ford Health System, described Dr. Silbergleit as “a truly awesome example for us all,” setting the bar “as tall as Wilt (the Stilt) Chamberlain.”

Tsveti Markova, M.D., chair of the WSU Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, and associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, called him “an amazing mentor and teacher.”

Dr. Silbergleit was a founding member of the Oakland Health Education Program (now the Southeast Michigan Center for Medical Education), centered at Wayne State University and the largest community-based medical education consortium in the United States. Recognition of his dedication include being a Fellow and Governor of the American College of Surgeons and the 2007 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. He has received the OHEP Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Medical Education, the Alexander J. Walt Award of the American College of Surgeons Michigan Chapter, the Wayne State University Surgical Alumnus of the Year Award and the Wayne County Medical Society Humanitarian of the Year Award.

While he no longer performs surgery, the cardiothoracic surgeon continues to teach both in surgery and physiology, and conduct research. Dr. Silbergleit received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, which presented him with its Distinguished Alumni Award several weeks ago. He received his doctoral degree from the WSU School of Medicine, and joined the WSU faculty in 1962.

Dr. Silbergleit continues to “set the standard for observing, participating, leading, evaluating and disseminating a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and wisdom,” said Jeffrey Devries, M.D., M.P.H., president of SEMCME and professor of pediatrics for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

Founded in 1977, the Association of Program Directors in Surgery works to provide a forum for the exchange of information and for discussion on a wide range of subjects related to post-graduate surgical education and to maintain high standards of surgical residency training by improving graduate surgical education and patient care.

National Hemophilia Foundation to honor career of Professor Emeritus Dr. Jeanne Lusher
In Headlines on April 30, 2015
Jeanne Lusher, M.D.

Jeanne Lusher, M.D.

The Class of 2015's Phillip Kucab is co-chairing the event honoring Dr. Lusher.

The Class of 2015's Phillip Kucab is co-chairing the event honoring Dr. Lusher.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics Jeanne Lusher, M.D., will receive the National Hemophilia Foundation’s Inspiration Award at its fifth annual Spring Soiree on May 21 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York, an event co-chaired by fourth-year Wayne State University School of Medicine medical student Phillip Kucab.

Dr. Lusher, a Rochester Hills resident, retired from the School of Medicine in June 2013. She continues as a member of the steering committee for a National Institutes of Health-funded multi-center research study. She also is active on committees for the National Hemophilia Foundation, American Thrombosis/Hemostasis Network, Hemophilia and Thrombosis Research Society, and a gene therapy study, and is on the editorial board of the journal Haemophilia. She is a lifetime member of Wayne State’s Academy of Scholars, the highest honor bestowed on a university faculty member.

Dr. Lusher is receiving the award for being an inspiration to others, including those with bleeding disorders, their caregivers, trainees in hematology and other physicians. “However, I feel that these individuals have been a great inspiration to me!” she said.

The Spring Soiree celebrates individuals whose exemplary contributions have significantly advanced NHF’s mission to find better treatments and cures for inheritable bleeding disorders and to prevent disorder complications through education, advocacy and research.

University of Michigan Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology Steven Pipe, M.D., who mentored Kucab while the medical student was an undergraduate working in Dr. Pipe’s lab, also will be honored at the event. Kucab is a longtime volunteer and former board member of NHF.

“I served for a short time on the NHF board with Dr. Lusher and had several conversations with her about her career at that time. She is a remarkable individual. For someone to dedicate so much of her life to making a difference for people with bleeding disorders is incredible – especially for something so rare,” Kucab said. “I’m inspired not just by her dedication and commitment, but also by what she has accomplished. She has contributed significantly to the advancements in care for people with bleeding disorders. As a soon-to-be Wayne State alumnus, it’s encouraging to celebrate other people who have made such a positive difference in the world here in Detroit at Wayne State.”

Dr. Lusher served as co-director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and as medical director of the Special Coagulation Laboratory of Children’s Hospital of Michigan while at WSU. Her main research interests include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, splenic structural physiology in a variety of hematologic/oncologic disorders in children, platelet-vessel wall interactions, development of new assay methods in blood coagulation, and the etiology and pathogenesis of inhibitor antibodies developing against FVIII, an essential blood-clotting protein. Dr. Lusher and a colleague were the first to document the antibody nature of these inhibitors in the late 1960s.

She has written more than 300 publications, including 270 original peer-reviewed articles, 60 book chapters and 17 review articles. She also wrote or edited nine books.

A native of Ohio, Dr. Lusher received her bachelor and medical degrees from the University of Cincinnati. During her postgraduate training at the Charity Hospital of Louisiana at New Orleans, she saw and treated children with a wide variety of medical problems and became particularly interested in hematology-oncology and blood coagulation. She joined the faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1968 as an assistant professor of pediatrics and staff hematologist at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Event celebrates new collaborative engagement project for children with disabilities
In Headlines on April 30, 2015
The Arie Foundation coordinators for 2014-2015, from left, Xiaofan Mi, Jessica Tsuei, Crystal Zhang, Hira Rashid and Seung Won Chung.

The Arie Foundation coordinators for 2014-2015, from left, Xiaofan Mi, Jessica Tsuei, Crystal Zhang, Hira Rashid and Seung Won Chung.

From left, Crystal Zhang, Dan Yong and Sway Wu perform.

From left, Crystal Zhang, Dan Yong and Sway Wu perform.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan fine artist Gail Rosenbloom Kaplan helps participant Shane with an art project.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan fine artist Gail Rosenbloom Kaplan helps participant Shane with an art project.

The Wayne State University School of Medicine’s first- and second-year medical students reunited with families from the Wayne State University Developmental Disabilities Institute to celebrate the Arie Co-Curricular Clinical Initiative from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Margherio Family Conference Center. The event included entertainment from The Ultrasounds and Music in Medicine, art projects, coloring stations and games.

The new collaborative program provided 25 medical students the opportunity to take their medical education out of the classroom by working with families from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties who have children with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities.

The goal of the November 2014 to April 2015 project, expected to return in the fall, was to give medical students an opportunity to engage families as a holistic and dynamic system and to teach the unique stressors families confront as they parent a child with a disability.

The project included two one-hour visits with the family to administer the Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale. The students then compared between the meetings how the family’s quality of life may have changed and assessed how a family was succeeding while mitigating possible challenges as a family unit. Students also made follow-up phone calls one month after the initial visit, and provided pertinent website addresses for organizations that support children with developmental disabilities, and information about accessing community mental health, respite and dental services that accept Medicaid insurance. The children and their families received small gifts and/or gift cards to thank them for their participation.

The Arie Foundation is a School of Medicine student organization that provides support and comfort to pediatric patients and their families by hosting weekly “Wheel of Fortune” nights at Children's Hospital of Michigan. Arie coordinators for 2014-2015 Seung Won Chung and Hira Rashid, Class of 2017, and Xiaofan Mi, Jessica Tsuei and Crystal Zhang, Class of 2018, have an interest in medical student perceptions and education about disability. With the goal of expanding Arie's community involvement, the students designed and implemented the program in partnership with the Developmental Disabilities Institute and with guidance from Director of Co-Curricular Programs Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D. The students presented the clinical initiative at the Central Group on Educational Affairs 2015 Spring Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, and the 2015 National Academies of Practice Annual Meeting and Forum in Baltimore. 

The Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University provided training for the students and recruited participating families. Students were awarded eight hours of co-curricular credit for participation.

“The families who have participated have expressed how important they believe it is for future medical practitioners to recognize their unique circumstances as families who have children with disabilities,” said Elizabeth Janks, DDI associate director of Training and Community Support. “They expressed their gratitude for being able to participate in this valuable teaching opportunity. This project is aligned with the mission of the Developmental Disabilities Institute, which is to build inclusive communities for individuals with disabilities to promote the highest quality of life for each individual and their family.”

The DDI, established at Wayne State University in 1983, is Michigan’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and is one of the 63 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service nationwide. The DDI provides statewide programs designed to enhance the lives of people with disabilities.
Dr. Ho-Sheng Lin appointed chair of WSU Otolaryngology
In Headlines on April 29, 2015
Ho-Sheng Lin, M.D.

Ho-Sheng Lin, M.D.

Ho-Sheng Lin, M.D., professor of the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology, was named chair of the department, effective immediately.

Dr. Lin has served as interim chair of the department since Sept. 1, 2014, when he replaced Robert Mathog, M.D., who led the department since 1977 and died shortly after announcing his intention to step down as chair.

Jack D. Sobel, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, announced the appointment April 29.

Dr. Lin is the leader of the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Team for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and chief of otolaryngology for the John D. Dingell Veterans Administration Medical Center. He has served on the Surgery Performance Improvement Committee and the Medical Staff Operations Committee, and as vice chief of otolaryngology for Detroit Receiving Hospital.

A widely published researcher with more than 55 publications in peer-reviewed journals, he also served on the editorial board for several journals and has been named associate editor for the Sleep Section for the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

His research interests include molecular markers for diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer, focusing on the development of a blood test for early detection of such cancers in high-risk patients. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Cancer Institute have funded his research.

Clinically, Dr. Lin specializes in surgical treatment of cancer and diseases of the mouth, throat, neck, thyroid, parathyroid and salivary glands, and surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. He has special interest in the use of new and minimally-invasive technology in head and neck surgery. He has used Harmonic technology for minimally-invasive thyroid surgery and is the first surgeon in Michigan to use da Vinci robotic technology to perform surgery on the throat to treat cancer and sleep apnea. He is the first otolaryngologist in Michigan to perform a robotic-assisted thyroidectomy.

Dr. Lin is a principal investigator in the use of novel and minimally-invasive surgical approaches to treat obstructive sleep apnea. He has been involved in several industry-sponsored clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of new surgical approaches to OSA, including the Pillar Implant to stiffen the soft palate and the Inspire Medical hypoglossal nerve implant, which monitors breathing patterns during sleep and delivers a mild stimulation to key muscles to keep the airway open.

Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners, he is a member of the Society of Robotic Surgery, the International Surgical Sleep Society, the American Sleep Association, the Association of VA Surgeons, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the American Head and Neck Society and the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

A 1994 graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Lin completed an internship and residency in general surgery at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in 1996, followed by a residency in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in 1999. He served as chief resident in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at New York University Medical Center from 1999 to 2000, and in 2002 completed a fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology in the Department of Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

He joined the School of Medicine faculty as an assistant professor of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery in 2002, and was named professor in 2012.

Dr. Lin also serves as director of residency recruitment and the First Year Curriculum Committee for the Department of Otolaryngology. He has been as a member of the Faculty Senate since 2002.

Black Medical Association graduation banquet returns May 9 after four-year hiatus
In Headlines on April 24, 2015
The graduation banquet will honor 19 Class of 2015 graduates.

The graduation banquet will honor 19 Class of 2015 graduates.

The Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Black Medical Association Graduation Banquet, a fundraiser celebrating the student organization and its graduating medical students, will return next month after a four-year hiatus.

The banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 9 at the Detroit Yacht Club, 1 Riverbank Drive, Detroit.

Speakers will include WSU President M. Roy Wilson, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Meds-Peds Program Director Eric Ayers, M.D. ’89, and Anita Moncrease, M.D. ’84.

“Congratulations to these wonderful students on a job well done. We are so proud of all of our Class of 2015 graduates and know they will provide outstanding health care to their future patients,” said Vice Dean for Medical Education Maryjean Schenk, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Founded in 1969, the Black Medical Association is the local affiliate of the Student National Medical Association. The BMA is one of the oldest and most active student organizations at the School of Medicine, and supports the development of academic excellence and professionalism among African-American and minority students, and encourages communication between the school's student organizations and the student body. The BMA participates in a variety of outreach programs aimed at youth development, including the annual “Reach Out to Youth” event for urban schoolchildren interested in medical careers.

“The banquet is an opportunity for the students to celebrate their accomplishments and obtaining their goal of becoming a physician, and to say goodbye to people they have been with almost daily for the past four years,” Dr. Moncrease said. “The banquet also serves as a fundraiser for the Black Medical Association Scholarship (Endowment) Fund, which was started by the Wayne State University School of Medicine BMA Class of 1977 as a way to leave a gift to BMA students coming along behind them. The BMA alumni are very excited to see the seniors instituting this function again. The banquet gives the alumni the opportunity to interact with the students, other alumni and the university again.”

The banquet was revived after Class of 1989 alumnus John Carethers, M.D., mentioned the traditional event during the BMA’s Black Men in Medicine session last year. The 34th banquet, the BMA’s last before the hiatus, was held in 2010.

“I think the banquet and other functions of the alumni and the BMA, to support and celebrate success now and for the next generation, is paramount. This is truly exciting,” Dr. Carethers said.

Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased via PayPal here.

Full-page program advertisements can be purchased here. The program book will be distributed to faculty, staff, students, family members, private practitioners, community leaders and the faith-based community. The program book will also be available on the BMA website.

For more information on tickets and advertising in the program booklet, contact the Class of 2016’s Adam Milam at

The event will recognize the following BMA Class of 2015 members: Ashley Berry, Lakisha Burton Willis, Erica Call, Justin Carroll, Melissa Chamberlain, Nejlah Clark, Shamaya Creagh, Aida Girma, Osamuedemen Iyoha, Jennifer McCaskill, Randall McPherson, Sameen Farooq, Joi Moore, Eniye Odigie, Lauren Robinson, Aaron Stubbs, Etsegenet Tizazu, Lauren Uroda and Delon Wilson.

“I think this banquet is important because it allows the graduating BMA members to celebrate their time together at the school of medicine. Family, friends, students and faculty members can highlight some of the memories they have with students. This event will encourage underclassmen to continue to work hard to achieve their goal at becoming a successful physician,” said Lauren Robinson, who served as BMA president during the 2013-2014 academic year.

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