Alumni News and Notes

Keep up with the latest events and milestones of your Wake Forest University School of Medicine classmates

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MD PA Graduate School
House Staff Academic Nursing Pastoral Care

Latham-Sadler to Lead in New Role

Brenda Latham-Sadler

Brenda Latham-Sadler, MD ’82, House Staff ’85, has assumed a new role as senior associate dean for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion for the academic enterprise encompassing Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Atrium Health. She is associate professor of family and community medicine and formerly served as associate dean for student inclusion.

In her new role, Latham-Sadler is responsible for developing and implementing strategic innovations to create and enhance a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, a climate of belonging, and to work toward eradicating structural racism, gender bias and all forms of discrimination across the collective academic enterprise. Her work will involve programs for faculty, trainees and staff.

Latham-Sadler has been on faculty in the Department of Family and Community Medicine since 1990 and is deeply focused on development of the next generation of medical educators and health care delivery that is culturally appropriate. For 12 years, she led the No.1-rated third-year Family Medicine Clerkship, as determined by Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) surveys, and she has one-on-one teaching experience with hundreds of medical students and resident physicians, as well as a number of junior faculty. As an adviser to underrepresented and disadvantaged high school and college students, Latham-Sadler has guided hundreds of young people to success in pursuing a career in medicine. She also has served as faculty adviser for several Wake Forest University School of Medicine student organizations.

She has served in leadership roles with the AAMC, National Association of Medical Minority Educators and the North Carolina Medical Society. Latham-Sadler is involved in community service throughout the state and has served on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian State University Foundation, Winston-Salem Urban League, United Way of Forsyth County, Youth Opportunities, the North Carolina Black Repertory Theater Company and the AAMC’s Medical School Advisory Committee to the National Board of Medical Examiners, Committee on Student Diversity Affairs and Group on Inclusion and Diversity and as president of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Medical Alumni Association.


MD Early Decision: Apply by Aug. 1

Now in its fifth year, the early decision option at Wake Forest University School of Medicine is designed for MD Program applicants who are highly committed to pursuing a Wake Forest medical degree. Candidates must commit to enrolling in medical school at Wake Forest if they are accepted.

Applicants benefit from applying among a smaller pool of candidates during early admission, and the school benefits by accepting top-quality students who are truly committed to the school. Early admission applicants are promised an early notification in case they need to pursue alternate plans.

“I would advise anyone who is passionate about coming here and whose numbers are close to our typical class profile, assuming they do well on the interview, that early decision is a great option for them,” says Daryl Rosenbaum, MD ’97, House Staff ‘01, associate dean for medical school admissions and student financial services.

Application deadline for early decision is Aug. 1. Learn more.

10 MD Students Honored with Peacock-Plonk Awards

The 2021 Peacock-Plonk Award for Outstanding Student Clinician recognized 10 recipients from the MD Class of 2022. The award is given to recipients with the highest clerkship grade of Honors in their third-year immersion curriculum clerkship rotations.

The Peacock-Plonk Award was established in 2017 in honor of James E. Peacock Jr., MD, professor of infectious diseases, and George W. Plonk Jr., MD ’73, associate professor of vascular surgery, who were known as “doctor’s doctors” and widely revered for their clinical expertise, diagnostic acumen, bedside manner and humility.

The awards were presented at the June 2021 meeting of the Faculty Executive Council:

  • Anthony Anzalone Eric “Ricky” Barash
  • Katherine Grace Beuerlein
  • Morgan Carnes
  • Deborah Cull
  • Richard “Andy” Hesse Vanessa Lukas
  • Laurie Stanek
  • Karl Wold
  • Zechariah “Zach” Harris

Connecting with New MD Graduates in Community

Al Baker with New MD Graduates
The late Alfred L. Baker, MD ’66, hosted new graduates Hannah Johnston, MD ’21, and Brianna Borsheim, MD ’21, and John Blizzard, for dinner in Chicago last fall.


In Remembrance: Robert L. Gibson, MD

Robert L. Gibson, MD, former associate professor of anesthesiology with the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, died Jan. 17, 2021, from natural causes at age 94.

Gibson joined the school’s faculty in 1971. He received numerous awards for teaching excellence and twice had the annual yearbook dedicated in his name. He gave international presentations in his field, and his bibliography included dozens of scientific articles and the published book, “I Care Intensively.” He also served as medical director of the intensive care unit at Wake Forest Baptist from 1972 to 1981.

He and his wife, Peggy Williamson, were married for 61 years until her death in 2012. Survivors include four children, Cathy Schwartz, MD ’80, House Staff ’84; the Rev. Dr. Thomas Gibson, who is an alumnus of Wake Forest Baptist’s Pastoral Care Program; Tricia Johnston; and Gay Slough; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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DeTroye Honored for Lifetime Achievement

Alisha DeTroye

Alisha T. DeTroye, MMS, PA-C ’04, DFAAPA, received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Physician Assistants in Oncology (APAO).

DeTroye has spent most of her PA career in medical oncology at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist. Although she has practiced with a variety of oncology patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings, her passion has always been working with neuro-oncology patients in the ambulatory setting.

DeTroye was senior author on “Clinical Experience Using Osimertinib in Patients with Recurrent Malignant Gliomas Containing EGFR Alterations,” which explored a novel treatment strategy and was published in the Journal of Cancer Science and Clinical Therapeutics in April 2021. In addition to her local oncology success, she has been active with the APAO’s CME, advocacy and education committees, and has been involved at conferences as moderator, coordinator, presenter and panelist since 2017.

In addition to her clinical work, DeTroye is adjunct assistant professor with the Department of PA Studies and serves as director of advanced practice-PAs at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, providing co-leadership to the overall workforce of approximately 1,000 providers. Active in general PA leadership and advocacy at the local, state and national levels, she is immediate past president of the North Carolina Academy of PAs.

PA Class of 2022 Graduate Projects Symposium

Second-year PA students present research, started more than a year ago, to faculty, students, alumni and friends on February 28.

PA Class of 2022 Graduate Projects Symposium
Tiara Good-Greene, PA Class of 2022, reviews her research with Ercell Tate, PA ‘73, and wife, Linda. Good-Greene is the inaugural recipient of the Ercell A. and Linda W. Tate PA Scholarship.
PA Class of 2022 Graduate Projects Symposium
Joel Miller, MD ‘74, speaks with PA students about their research posters.
PA Class of 2022 Graduate Projects Symposium
Sarah Waddle, PA Class of 2022, recipient of the Mike Walker, PA Excellence Scholarship, reviews her team’s research findings with Sandy Walker, widow of Mike Walker, PA ‘73.

Students Receive National Health Service Corps Scholarships

Six Wake Forest University School of Medicine PA students from the Class of 2023 and one from the Class of 2022 have been awarded National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year. The prestigious and highly competitive program awards full-tuition scholarships to MD and PA students.

The NHSC builds healthy communities by supporting qualified health care providers dedicated to working in areas of the U.S. with limited access to care. Strengthening and growing our primary care workforce — through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) — began in 1972. NHSC alumni include 63,000 primary care medical, dental and mental and behavioral health providers.

The PA student recipients are:

  • Terry Chukwuneke, PA1
  • Lauren Lubejko, PA1
  • Jasmine Ragland, PA1
  • Rachel Roberts, PA1
  • Courtney Martin, PA1
  • Logan Shearon, PA1
  • Hayley Kessler, PA1
  • Annie Campbell, PA2

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Academic Nursing

DNP Marks Second Annual Poster Symposium

The Department of Academic Nursing celebrated its second annual Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Poster Symposium on Aug. 20, 2021. The symposium provided an opportunity for graduating DNP students to present their innovative, diverse and engaging scholarly work. These projects include a focus on advocacy, policy development, health care prevention, care protocols and pioneering health care education.

On Aug. 21, eight academic nursing students were awarded DNP degrees at a graduation ceremony held at the Stevens Center. Among the students, five different nursing specialties were represented, including nurse practitioners, nurse educators, nurse directors, nurse anesthetists and nurse leaders. The students selected Temple Michaels Kellermann, DNP ‘21, MSN, RN, CNOR, director of nursing for perioperative services at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, to represent their class as a speaker at the ceremony. One outstanding student, Katie Fitzpatrick, DNP ‘21, MSN, RN, nurse educator with Charlotte Area Health Education Center, was presented the DNP Excellence in Doctoral Education Award for her outstanding scholarship and leadership in the program.

Inaugural Run for Joy 5K Honors Memory of Beardsley, SRNA ‘20

Inaugural Run for Joy

On Oct. 16, 2021, the Department of Academic Nursing held the inaugural Run for Joy 5K in memory of Katelyn Joy Beardsley, a former student in the nurse anesthesia program who was lost to suicide in June 2020. Organized to honor Beardsley’s memory and love for running and to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and well-being among medical trainees, Run for Joy was a huge success. More than 500 runners attended in person, and more than 200 runners representing 27 states participated virtually. Several nurse anesthesia programs across the country showed their support by either attending or hosting their own walk in memory of Beardsley, including the Johns Hopkins Nurse Anesthesia Program and SRNAs from Duke, Western Carolina, Gonzaga and Thomas Jefferson universities. Her passing underscored how difficult it can be to speak up when you or someone you know is going through a hard time or struggling mentally. The Run for Joy 5K planning committee and the Department of Academic Nursing intend to keep the conversation about mental wellness and well-being going and to provide support to students who are struggling.

2021 NCANA College Bowl Champs

NCANA College Bowl Champs
The college bowl team of Zach Matthews, Chris Youssi, Rae Lynch and Lauren Ferm brought home the trophy and then went on to be victorious over the South Carolina state winner.

Academy Honors Wheatley

Cathleen Wheatley

The American Academy of Nursing selected Cathleen Wheatley, DNP, RN, CENP, president of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, as one of its 225 distinguished nurse leaders inducted into the 2021 Class of Fellows. Induction into the academy is a significant milestone in a nurse leader’s career, in which their accomplishments are honored by their colleagues within and outside the profession.

Through a competitive, rigorous application process, the academy’s Fellow Selection Committee reviewed hundreds of applications to select fellows based on their contributions to advance the public’s health. The newest fellows represent 38 states, the District of Columbia and 17 countries. The inductees were recognized for their significant contributions to health and health care at the academy’s annual Health Policy Conference in October 2021.

The academy serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis and dissemination of nursing knowledge.

Award-winning Nursing Practice

Award-Winning Nursing Practice
On behalf of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Deb Harding, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, vice president and regional chief nurse executive and Cathleen Wheatley, DNP, RN, CENP, president of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, accepted the 2021 North Carolina Nurses Association Best Practice Award in the category of Caring for Ourselves.

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Graduate School

Ma to Lead Biochemistry Department

Jian-xing “Jay” Ma, MD, PhD, has been named chair of the Department of Biochemistry effective Nov. 1, 2021.

As department chair, he leads the team through the next era of transformation and innovation by deepening research collaborations among Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the greater Atrium Health enterprise and cross-university research initiatives, with a goal of growing the department’s national recognition.

An internationally recognized researcher, Ma has completed 44 NIH and extramural grants, with an additional seven projects still in progress. He has published 238 peer-reviewed articles and has four patents. He often presents at international and national conferences and has served as a grant reviewer for the American Association Advancement of Science, Austrian Science Fund, French National Research Agency, the Dutch research foundation Uitzicht, Diabetes UK, the JDRF and many more.

He received a medical degree from Jiangxi Medical College in China, his master’s in pharmacology from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, and his PhD in biochemistry from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Ma completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the City of Hope Beckman Research Institute in Duarte, Calif.

PhD Candidate Chosen for Prestigious Science Outreach Program

Lanazha Belfield

Lanazha Belfield, a fourth-year molecular medicine and translational science PhD candidate, was selected to participate in the Yale Ciencia Academy, which provides doctoral students in the life and health sciences from underrepresented backgrounds with opportunities for mentoring, networking, skills development and contributing to their communities through science outreach.

The program is led by the nonprofit organization Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR) in collaboration with Yale University. Fellows must apply to be selected to participate in the year-long, mostly virtual program that leverages the CienciaPR community, one of the largest networks of Hispanic/Latinx scientists in the world. During the program, fellows gather once or twice a month for online conversations and workshops with role models and experts. One of the most innovative aspects of the program is that YCA fellows are guided to design and implement a science outreach project that helps them put into practice transferable skills (e.g., science communication, leadership, etc.) and allows them to connect with a community they care about.

The academy’s 2021 class is composed of 16 students from 14 institutions throughout North America.

Seymour, Hsu Named Associate Deans for Research

Rachel Seymour, PhD, and Joseph Hsu, MD, FAOA, have been appointed associate deans for research at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, effective Sept. 1, 2021.

Drs. Seymour and Hsu work closely with the school’s team of research leaders to grow research in the newly formed Atrium Health strategic partnership. They participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of research programs and partnerships across the enterprise with a specific emphasis in the greater Charlotte region.

Seymour is a professor and vice chair for research for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute. She received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in gerontology from the University of Southern California before completing a doctorate in public health at the University of Illinois Chicago. Her research focuses on opioid safety and pain management, optimizing outcomes and reducing complications following injury, and scaling effective interventions to promote accessibility for all.

Hsu is professor of orthopaedic trauma at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center, director of the limb lengthening and deformity service, vice chair of quality for the Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute and medical director of Global Healthcare Services. He was an honor graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1994 and completed medical school and residency in orthopaedic surgery, and a fellowship in orthopaedic trauma at Tulane University and Charity Hospital in New Orleans. He also completed limb deformity fellowships in Lecco, Italy, and Kurgan, Russia.

Hsu served in the U.S. Army and worked in its Institute of Surgical Research to help build and lead a research team to define research gaps, translate discoveries to clinical care and optimize outcomes for combat casualties with extremity injuries. He has translated that work to the civilian sector and dedicated research and quality efforts on opioid prescribing safety and non-opioid strategies for pain management.

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