A Moment of Thanks

Tuesday, November 23, 2021








Message from the Chair

As we begin to celebrate Thanksgiving, there’s no better time to look back and reflect on what we’re most grateful for this year at home and in our workplace.  For me, I am most thankful for this Department’s talented group of faculty, trainees and staff. It is our people that make this Department one of the very best; words that come to mind include passionate, engaged, and thoughtful.  We also asked a few of our DOM leaders to share their words of gratitude. 

The below shows the wonderful appreciation we have for our fellow colleagues. Without each of your commitment, creativity, and high standards, we would not be the successful Department we are. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people you love most.

- Kathleen Cooney, MD, MACP
Chair, Department of Medicine


"The administrative and finance teams - thank you for your “can do” spirit, your willingness to go above and beyond for your faculty and staff. You always bringing your best self to work. Enjoy your well-deserved time off! And an extra special shout to our grants and contracts managers and administrators who powered through an extremely challenging year. Your hard work and dedication to our Divisions is very much appreciated. You’ve done an incredible job, and your support has been a huge part of our success. Whatever is meaningful and brings you happiness…may it be yours this holiday season and beyond."


- Amy Porter-Tacoronte, MBA
Vice-chair of Administration and Finance
Chief Administrative Officer


The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (DEIAR) Committee has demonstrated unusual teamwork during 2021, progressing from a January launch to concrete proposals by late summer. The DEIAR team has focused on making a positive, tangible, and sustainale impact on the culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion within DOM, and more broadly, throughout the School of Medicine.
The work of DEIAR belongs to everyone. The effort is part of the broader undertaking within the university and the health system to create permanent change to build and support a culture of respect and opportunity that strengthens DOM institutions and enriches our mission. We are all invested in creating a diverse, inclusive work environment and should be proud of our work this year.

- Laura Svetkey, MD
Vice-chair for Faculty Development and Diversity


- Julius Wilder, MD
DEIAR Committee Chair

Jyothi Rao, MBBS and Larry West, RN

"Special thanks to Jyothi Rao, Medical Director, and Larry West, nurse manager at the Duke Endocrinology Brier Creek Clinic. Their leadership in responding to the pandemic lock-down by quickly and creatively adapting their patient encounters and work-flows to meet quarantine restrictions was exemplary in maintaining patient care and staff morale. In particular, their support of the staff and attention to their involvement and well being by clinic leadership enabled a cohesive and collegial environment during the height of the COVID19 challenge."


Michael Canos, MD, MS, MPH; Alice Cooper, OGNP, RNC and Karen O'Neil

"Special thanks to Michael Canos, Alice Cooper and Karen O’Neil for lifting the Endocrinology Patient Access Center to a highly functioning unit. Their efforts rescued a project that needed direction and infused it with vitality and confidence. Under their leadership the Access Center has doubled triage capabilities, added rapid response endocrine consultation services and increased morale and pride among the team. The novel nurse navigator program, designed to ensure smooth transitions of high-risk diabetic patients from the hospital to outpatient settings has already had a measurable impact to reduce readmissions."


Endocrinology APP entering class of 2017

"Special thanks to the Endocrinology APP entering class of 2017- Patrick Cacchio, Angelika Gabrielski, Laura Overton, Melissa Rafidi, Allyson Rhinehart and Anna Schaffer. They matured as providers just in time to play a key role in patient care during the pandemic. Their grit and steadiness is reflected in their increased patient volumes, reliability and professional growth over the past 20 months."


- Dave A. D'Alessio, MD
Chief, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism


"When I think back over the last year, it is just too hard to single out individuals or teams for their achievements.  So many people in teams across Duke GI came together despite the pandemic and many other challenges and distractions.  These teams were able to continue to care for our patients, to advance science, and to train the next generation.  They weathered a number of storms, and some thrived and even grew despite these challenges.  I have tremendous admiration for our people."


- Andrew J. Muir, MD
Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division of Gastroenterology


"The Division of General Internal Medicine is thankful to have so many dedicated faculty and staff who have gone above and beyond their roles, especially through this pandemic.  For example, our Hospital Medicine faculty have worked tirelessly to manage the COVID-19 pandemic under stressful conditions around the clock. The Duke Outpatient Clinic has continued to provide the highest quality integrated complex medical care to our patients, including holding several COVID-19 vaccination clinics to help underserved individuals get vaccinated.  In all our clinics, our faculty have maintained the very highest quality patient care while they have continually ensured our residents and all learners in our midst have continued to receive excellent training. For these outstanding contributions, we are truly grateful!"


- L. Ebony Boulware, MD, MPH
Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine

Duke University HospitalDuke Outpatient Clinic and Faculty








"Earlier this year, over the span of several months, four providers either left or retired from the Division of Hematology, considerably exacerbating our access problem.  In a demonstration of teamwork, a commitment to service, and our desire to care for our patients and each other, multiple members of the Division and our team have stepped forward to help until 4 new providers could step in to replace them.  Our triage group fielded the calls and multiple e-mail requests, our anticoagulation pharmacy team helped manage urgent anticoagulation referrals, our APP’s stepped up to help with apheresis and clinic access, including shifting clinic sessions from DUH to Duke Raleigh, and our faculty have worked in urgent referrals for pre-operative clearance and acute management issues.  All of our faculty and staff in the Division have worked together as a team to get us through a particularly difficult period of time being short-staffed, exemplifying the values of Duke Health and the School of Medicine. 

Thanks to each and every one for your commitment to the Division of Hematology.  It is very much appreciated!"

- Thomas L. Ortel, MD, PhD
Chief, Division of Hematology

Jennifer Tenor, PhD

"Jenny Tenor led the Infectious Disease Division in the area of Research during the COVID pandemic. She showed excellent leadership, rallied 7 ID Labs within the ID Research Infrastructure in Sands Building and their staff to continue to operate, take care of the animals and continue our research missions during the pandemic. She has always been the go-to-person for ID Research but she displayed a new level of organization, maturity and work ethic that our division needed during a chaotic time that she continues to exemplify today. We simply could not do the research that we do without her!"


Elizabeth Ashley-Dodds, PhD

"Libby Dodds instituted a weekly COVID dashboard and conference call series for all ID and non-ID faculty members to collaborate, education each other, hear the needs of the health system and leadership and to discuss new therapies during the pandemic. Libby published a newsletter each week that outlined the CDC guidelines as they changed each week, publications on COVID data, resources available for providers and patients, emergency use of medication guidelines, and much much more. She was a wealth of knowledge and we depending on her each week to keep us up to date. I am very proud of how she represents DICON/DASON and the Infectious Disease Division."


- John Perfect, MD
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases


Jason Funaro, PharmD, BCPS

"Jason Funaro exemplifies the values of excellence, teamwork, safety, and caring for our patients in his role as lead pharmacist for the Duke Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT) Program. He ensures the safety, efficacy, and feasibility of treating patients at home with parenteral antibiotics for over 100 patients per week. He has made multiple great saves to improve antibiotic delivery, avoid harms related to antibiotic side effects or toxicities, avoid re-hospitalization, and ensure that patients do not fall out of care when they transition to the outpatient setting." 


Justin Frye, PA-C, MHS

"Justin Frye functions independently in the Duke Infectious Diseases clinic seeing new patients and hospital follow-ups, and also runs the Duke HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) clinic. He plays an important role for patients transitioning from the inpatient to outpatient setting who need close follow-up to avoid re-hospitalization. His role makes us stronger as a division." 


Eileen Maziarz, MD

"Eileen Maziarz exemplifies excellence on multiple levels. She is a strong clinician for the immunocompromised population. She leads the Infectious Diseases Fellowship program with efficiency and innovation. She has been a key player in expanding the inpatient clinical services. She is committed to making things better within the division and within the health system."


Patricia Kohler, NP

"Patricia Kohler keeps the General Infectious Diseases inpatient service running smoothly by holding the consult pager and serving as the initial point of contact for all calls coming in to the consult service. She offers education and service for each call, all with remarkable composure. She is also a huge morale booster for our clinical fellows and rounding attendings. Thank you!"


Gary Cox, MD

"Gary Cox is one of the Master Clinicians within Infectious Diseases. His knowledge and teaching are unparalleled; trainees claim that Gary knows the diagnosis shortly after entering a patient's room. His outpatient clinic is routinely filled to double capacity by patients who refuse to see anyone but him for their clinical care. I also want to highlight that Gary runs the Infectious Diseases Fecal Microbiota Transplant program for recurrent Clostridium Difficile with limited resources, and has successfully treated multiple high-risk patients." 


Jason Stout, MD

"Jason Stout has mentored many of us in the Division of Infectious Diseases, and he is as equally concerned with our sanity as he is with our career advancement. He brings in food to share, checks in on us, sends us articles related to medicine and life in general, and acts as an ally. He is a go-to for discussing challenging cases. He has helped foster a sense of inclusion and camaraderie within the division."


Nick Turner, MD, MHSc

"Nick Turner goes above and beyond for his patients and for the health system. He has shown excellence in innovation and service by implementing universal COVID-19 screening and outbreak follow-up in several homeless shelters, organizing COVID vaccination efforts for at risk populations, and facilitating a penicillin skin testing protocol for patients seen in the Duke Infectious Diseases clinic who need treatment with penicillin-based therapies."


Rebekah Moehring, MD, MPH

"Rebekah Moehring worked tirelessly during the pandemic to keep the Division of Infectious Diseases and the hospital up to date with COVID therapeutics. She frequently sends updates to the weekend rounding teams so that they can be armed with the most up to date information. She also has shown innovation by updating restricted drug approval protocols during the pandemic to accommodate volume without sacrificing patient care." 


Lance Okeke, MD, MPH

"Lance Okeke is a leader in clinical care, innovation, research, and integrity. He is a major contributor to advancing HIV research, clinical care, and education at Duke and in the region. He strengthens the Infectious Diseases fellowship program as assistant program director. He also epitomizes integrity through his role as Vice Chief for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He is an asset to the Division of Infectious Diseases and Duke Health."


Robert Rolfe, MD

"I want to highlight Robert Rolfe for his dedication to patient care and willingness to go above and beyond for the Infectious Diseases Clinic and his patients. He is frequently overbooks his clinic template so patients can be seen quickly. He is also working to establish a Travel Clinic at Duke so that travelers can receive vaccinations and advice prior to travel."


Mike Yarrington, MD, MMCi

"Mike Yarrington has elevated the excellence of the Division of Infectious Diseases on so many levels. He assists with inpatient rounding when clinical fellows are out on vacation so that other fellows and attendings do not get overworked. He agreed to take a risk and trial the Ambulatory E-Communications Program for Infectious Diseases, which has been tremendously successful thanks to his work. We are all benefiting from his informatics knowledge and his wizard-like ability to turn queries into data. He has filled a niche within the division that allows the rest of us to function more efficiently."


Jessica Seidelman, MD, MPH

"Jessica Seidelman is committed to her patients and dedicated to improving treatment of prosthetic joint infections. She sees her patients on non-clinic days to accommodate their schedules. She has partnered with Ted Hendershot and with orthopedic surgery to create a combined Ortho-ID clinic to provide dual surgical/ID management of patients with knee or hip prosthetic joint infections. She also played a huge role in COVID infection control during the pandemic." 


Ted Hendershot, MD

"Ted Hendershot functions at a level of excellence and efficiency that is inspiring. He is absolutely dedicated to patient care: he has been seeing twice the routine volume of inpatients at Duke Regional Hospital during the pandemic. All of us benefit from his sage advice on clinical cases and on career decisions." 


Deng Madut, MD

"Deng Madut demonstrates excellence in patient care and teamwork. He provides a vital role for the inpatient rounding services and, through his engagement, has allowed us to expand the rounding services and improve our clinical care delivery model. He has also been recognized for his teaching by the first-year medical students." 


Gilda Maga and Clinic 1K Staff

"Gilda Maga deserves great credit for rejuvenating Clinic 1K (Infectious Diseases clinic). She has recruited excellent staff and implemented new policies, and she is helping to advance the scope of practice of the clinic. The staff of Clinic 1K deserve praise as well - they come to work every day with enthusiasm for their jobs and are a joy to work with." 


Becky Smith, MD and Sarah Lewis, MD, MPH

"Becky Smith and Sarah Lewis logged hundreds of hours working on infection control during the pandemic. They were working behind the scenes and touched on almost every aspect of the hospital, making sure that you and your patients could stay safe."


Cameron Wolfe, MBBS, MPH and Tom Holland MD, MSc

"Presidential award winners and powerhouses within the Division of Infectious Diseases, Cameron and Tom do a multitude of things - from education, to clinical care, to research, to mentorship - and do them all exceedingly well. This has been an extremely busy 2 years for Cameron and Tom, and we are thankful for all of their hard work and dedication to the health system." 


Donna Phinney, MSN, RN and Blake Cameron, MD, MBI

"I want to highlight Donna and Blake for their outstanding innovation and support in Telehealth medicine. The process of planning, creating, and implementing an Ambulatory E-Communications referral system for my division was seamless and efficient."


- Kristen Dicks, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases


"In May 2021, the Blood Cancer Center had a successful relocation merger with BMT and Heme. This required two years of planning, a multidisciplinary approach including but not limited to: MD, APP, nursing, PRMO, access, research, lab, and leadership. This has allowed us to provide high-quality care seamlessly to a critically ill patient population.  The implementation would not have been successful without the teamwork, positive work culture, and our 5G PLAN (Gratitude, Generosity, Grace, Grit, and Giggle). 

Over the past six past months, the Blood Cancer Center treatment volume has vastly increased. In addition, new treatment protocols and patient populations have been added to the ambulatory platform. The nursing team has demonstrated excellent teamwork to provide high-quality, safe patient care to support all these changes. With this, the nursing team has grown significantly, requiring the onboarding of many new team members and successfully integrating them into the positive work culture in the BCC."


- Jennifer Frith MSN, RN, OCN, NE-BC
Clinical Operations Director
Inpatient Oncology and Outpatient BCC


"The Breast Oncology team would like to acknowledge all of our APP providers, especially Jennie Petruney, NP.  She is amazing.  She is the epitomy of collegiality and professionalism.  She is supporting the breast Med Onc attendings, training new APPs, and contributing to the growth of an awesome program by supporting new patient intake, improving clerical and nursing involvement, and recruiting and training our first nurse navigator.  We can’t say enough about how wonderful she has been to work with!" 


- Carey K. Anders, MD
Interim Chief, Division of Medical Oncology


“The strong commitment from our faculty, fellows, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants and staff provides an ongoing environment of support, encouragement and comradery. Nephrology’s carefully cultivated family culture fosters excellence in education, research and patient care. We show respect for and inclusion of people from all backgrounds. Especially during changing times, we salute our entire Nephrology family who have embraced the values of respect, teamwork and caring for our patents, their loved ones and each other.”


- Myles Wolf, MD
Chief, Division of Nephrology

Duke Nephrology Fellow with Family

































Daniel Gilstrap, MD  Daniel Gilstrap, MD

"Daniel Gilstrap has led the charge for the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as the director of the MICU.  He has worked tirelessly to support our physicians and staff while constantly striving to ensure we are providing the highest quality of care to our patients in the MICU.  He has worked with leaders of other units throughout the health system to help them rapidly develop protocols for the management of severe respiratory failure secondary to COVID-19.  He has also partnered with interpreter services, community organizations, and local advocacy groups to provide better care to our non-English speaking patients who were especially isolated and vulnerable during the course of this pandemic.  This is all in addition to his constant presence and availability on the unit to help anyone in any way.  Dr. Gilstrap epitomizes the knowledge, compassion, and work-ethic of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care medicine at Duke."


Donna Permar

"Donna Permar, Staff Assistant in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, exemplifies the Duke values in so many ways.  Donna is a tremendous advocate for persons with disabilities, and she works closely with DHTS to ensure systems remain ADA compliant.  Whenever there are Maestro or other system upgrades, she is quick to identify any issues and works with DHTS to get them resolved.

She has used her experiences and challenges to educate Duke Health support staff and providers on how to better care for our patients with disabilities, especially those who are visually impaired.   After realizing that clinic personnel didn’t know how to assist her, she reached out to PRMO leadership and suggested training for their front desk staff.  The PRMO responded enthusiastically and created an online LMS training “Serving Patients with Disabilities”.  Donna provides commentary in the training video and directly demonstrates how to effectively assist visually impaired patients and other patients with disabilities along with her guide dog, Kyle.

Donna and her husband, who is also visually impaired, also give presentations at the Duke School of Nursing each semester to instruct nursing students on how to interact with and support visually impaired patients.  Donna helps serve the visually impaired community as a whole by serving on the Advisory Board of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh."  


  Irina Mokrova, PhD

"Irina is our grant development specialist working with junior faculty on K submissions.  Her role includes helping to demystify the NIH proposal process, as well as assisting faculty through the time-consuming, laborious process of preparing, revising, and submitting a proposal – and doing all that again – until the proposal gets funded.

Dr. Riley writes “Irina helped me navigate the intimidating and arduous process of submitting my first NHLBI K application and my diversity supplement FOUR weeks apart. She was fun to work with and made the process manageable and constantly encouraged me when I experienced self-doubt. Irina went above and beyond the call of duty and I am grateful to her commitment to faculty development.”


Traci Womble

"Since February 2008, Program Coordinator Traci Womble has been a pillar of our Division’s fellowship programs.Whether coordinating a virtual recruitment season on short notice or managing the many administrative priorities of our growing fellowship programs, Traci knows how to get the job done with integrity and innovative solutions. We are so grateful for Traci’s unrelenting commitment to service and the pursuit of excellence in support of our educational mission."



  Tim McMahon, MD, PhD & Abbey Horne, RRT

"The Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS) Program is the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) primary program for deployment of clinical and non-clinical staff to an emergency or disaster and has played an important role in the VHA’s national response to the needs of veterans during the COVID pandemic. Two of our Pulmonary/Respiratory Care staff at the Durham VA Health Care System deployed through DEMPS in early 2020 to assist areas overwhelmed by the pandemic, when cases were still relatively lower in North Carolina. Tim McMahon, MD assisted with patient care and COVID protocol developments in Spokane, Washington, while Abbey Horne, RRT deployed to the Washington DC VAMC where she managed critically ill, mechanically ventilated COVID patients in the ICU. When asked what made her volunteer, Abbey said “I just kind of felt called. I think this being my first year on the job post-graduation and it being a respiratory pandemic, those are kind of crazy circumstances that aligned with my position as a caretaker.”  Abbey’s choice to join the team at the VA after graduating from Durham Tech was inspired by her grandfather, an Army veteran and prior drill sergeant at the Citadel." Her compassion and purpose in service to veterans are highlighted by the DVAHCS through an interview on the facility social media site. Respiratory Therapist... - Durham VA Health Care System


Edna ScarlettEdna Scarlett

"Edna has been employed at Duke for more than 36 years. After working for several years as a nursing assistant in the Rheumatology Clinic, Edna joined our division as a clinical coordinator in 1989.  Over the past 3 decades, Edna has had made enormous contributions to our divisional research and has played a key role in supporting innumerable clinical trials. Through hard work and dedication, she rose through the ranks to become our lead clinical coordinator. In this role, Edna has shepherded many junior faculty members and trainees into the clinical research arena, helping them with their first IRB submissions and organizing divisional resources to facilitate their projects. It’s hard to imagine where the division would be without Edna’s leadership, gentle guiding hand, institutional knowledge, and research know-how."


William St. Clair, MD
Chief, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology

Kayla Humphrey

"Kayla Humphrey is the recruitment coordinator for the Medicine Residency.  The COVID-19 pandemic required all GME programs to conduct their recruiting season online  for the first time ever.  Kayla masterfully transitioned the Medicine residency to a virtual recruitment process for the 2020-21 recruiting season. This was an enormous endeavor that involved creating virtual “recruitment dinners” the evening before every interview day, managing schedules and technical issues for the over 400 medical students who interviewed for a residency position at Duke. In early fall 2021, she graciously took on the task of also coordinating recruitment for two DOM fellowship programs. She implemented her methods for identifying and scheduling faculty and managing the interview day for both programs.  Faculty and interviewees to our programs have only praise for the work that Kayla did over the 2020 and 2021 recruiting seasons. We are incredibly fortunate to have her here at Duke."

- Lisa Criscione-Schreiber, MD, MEd
Vice Chair for Education, Department of Medicine


-Aimee Zaas, MD, MHS
Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency

Juliessa Pavon, MD – Organizing for a Cause

"For many years, Juliessa Pavon has organized Team Geriatrics for the annual Stead Tread 5K event to benefit Lincoln Community Health Center.  Her commitment to service and teambuilding have been invaluable in building community among the Geriatrics faculty and staff, as well as generating many hundreds of dollars in donations to support the compassionate care that Lincoln provides to patients in our community."

Team Geriatrics at the 2021 Stead Tread

Team Geriatrics at the 2019 Stead Tread






                                                                                     Team Geriatrics at the 2019 Stead Tread


Team Geriatrics at the 2021 Stead Tread


Liza Genao, MD – Advancing Respect and Inclusion for Spanish-speaking Patients through Medical EducationLiza Genao, MD

"Liza Genao is passionate about expanding culturally competent care for Spanish-speaking patients and their families at Duke Health and beyond.  A native Spanish-speaker herself, Dr. Genao has pioneered a dedicated course in the Medical School curriculum in Medical Spanish and is committed to training the next generation of physicians to bridge the language barrier with their Hispanic patients.  Dr. Genao is also actively involved in LATIN-19 and envisions a future Spanish-language geriatrics clinic to meet the needs of a patient population that is currently underserved." 



HOPE Skilled Nursing Collaborative – Connecting Duke with Long Term Care Facilities in a Disconnected Time

"The HOPE Collaborative, led by Duke PHMO and Dr. Heidi White, consists of over two-dozen skilled nursing facilities across seven central-North Carolina counties that have agreed to collaborate closely with Duke Health to provide better, more coordinated care for our shared patients.  This innovative network of care facilities began meeting well before the pandemic, and has been a crucial opportunity for shared support and collective innovation throughout COVID-19.  Nursing facilities have been especially hard hit and challenged by the pandemic, and this opportunity to band together with peer facilities and the health system to improve care for our most vulnerable older adults has been both inspirational and productive."

Dr. Heidi White (second from left) and 2020-2021 Geriatric Medicine Physician Fellows at Croasdaile Village Retirement Community, a member organization of the HOPE Collaborative and a Duke Geriatrics clinical care site

Dr. Heidi White (second from left) and 2020-2021 Geriatric Medicine Physician Fellows at Croasdaile Village Retirement Community, a member organization of the HOPE Collaborative and a Duke Geriatrics clinical care site.