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Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of General Internal Medicine

Division of General Internal Medicine Newsletter



  • GIM News
  • Donna L. Bishop, Editor
  • Next issue:
    October 2017
  • Submission deadline:
    September 29th, 2017
  • E-mail: Donna Bishop

Faculty and Staff Changes



Welcome Aboard

Jessica Merlin, MD, MBA, will be appointed at associate professor level in the tenure stream on September 1, 2017. She has been highly productive in her research with a track record of publications in AIDS and pain related journals. Her research focus is on the intersection of HIV medication, chronic pain, mental health and palliative care. Her K23 award is on behavior intervention for chronic pain in individuals with HIV. She already has an RO1 under review. Dr. Merlin completed her undergraduate training from Carnegie Mellon University, and then attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. At that time she also completed an MBA from Penn’s Wharton School of Business, with a focus on health care management. She stayed at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to complete a residency in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in infectious diseases. In the final year of her fellowship, she also completed a clinical research certificate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Following a one-year fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Jessie was recruited to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she received an appointment in 2011 as an assistant professor of medicine, primarily in the Division of Infectious Diseases but with a secondary appointment in the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care. Jessie is also nearing completion of a PhD in Health Education and Promotion from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Health Behavior, with an anticipated graduation date in December 2017.

Eloho Ufomata, MD, MS, is being appointed as assistant professor of medicine in the Division. For the past two years she has been one of our Academic Clinician-Educator Scholar (ACES) Fellows, in the Women’s Health track. Dr. Ufomata completed her training at the University of Kentucky before coming to Pitt for her residency and fellowship. She recently developed a curriculum for internal medicine residents in providing optimal care to patients who identify as LGBT. She has won several awards for leadership and service, and serves on the executive committees of the ICRE programs LEADS and PROMISED, both focused on guiding, coaching, and mentoring biomedical professionals from diverse backgrounds.

Deanna Wilson, MD, MPH, is receiving an appointment as assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics. She is a clinician investigator with an impressive training record, and has earned several awards for her work in the areas of adolescent health, substance abuse, and overdose prevention, and for her advocacy in the community setting to address health disparities. She completed her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College, attended medical school at Yale University, and did her internship and residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital, followed by a Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Fellowship. She also has a Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. A dedicated public health advocate in the community setting, she designed the Hospital-based Overdose Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative during her fellowship to address the epidemic of overdose deaths in Baltimore. She has received a KL2 Clinical and Translational Science Scholars Award as she starts her faculty career.

Tamar Krishnamurti, PhD, will join the division as an investigator at the rank of assistant professor on August 1, 2017, and will work closely with Sonya Borrero on wide ranging projects combining women’s health and technology. Tamar has been serving as an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in behavioral decision research. She completed all of her education and training at CMU; before her faculty appointment she spent two years as a research scientist in the same department, and the three years before that as a post-doctoral fellow in the Tepper School of Business. She completed her PhD in Behavioral Decision Research in 2010. Her research has the broad goal of helping people—especially vulnerable populations—make more informed choices for themselves. Using qualitative and quantitative, basic and applied research methods, she analyzes decision making behaviors in a broad range of complex areas, primarily focusing on maternal health. Her research has been supported by a broad array of sources, including the Pittsburgh Foundation, ICON, Plc., and USAID. Her work is disseminated broadly in peer-reviewed journals such as PNAS, Nature Climate Change, Applied Energy, JAMA Internal Medicine, and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Zachary Lenhart, MHA, joined the Division in February as Director of Operations. Zachary graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual major in Economics and Business, followed by a Master of Health Administration degree. As an Administrative Resident, Zachary served as a member of the executive team that opened UPMC East. During his time there, he implemented a physician relations program for contacting physicians and updating them on procedures and operations. He then relocated to the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics where he served in several roles before returning to Pittsburgh and UPMC.

Judi Resick, MSN, MPH, RN, is a new Nurse Research Project Manager for the Palliative Care Research Group, for which she manages the day-to-day aspects of the group’s new infrastructure-building and research program initiatives. She also provides support to several existing research projects. Judi is a 1999 graduate of Duquesne University’s School of Nursing and a 2004 graduate of Johns Hopkins University’s Schools of Public Health and Nursing. She most recently worked as a Research Operations Manager for the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh.

David Bress, BS, joins the Center for Research on Health Care as a research assistant for the CONNECT study and the Supportive Care Management by Oncology Nurses pilot trial, both led by Dr. Yael Schenker. In addition to completing telephone assessments with study participants, Dave is screening and recruiting patients and their family members, completing baseline and debriefing interviews, setting up intervention visits for the nurses, and facilitating assessments. He previously worked as a data entry operator at The Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Penn State University and assisted on studying bi-directional consequences of adolescent alcohol exposure on alcohol preference in two BALB/c sub-strains as a student research assistant. Dave graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Biobehavioral Health and a minor in Health Policy and Administration in May 2015.

Lisa Porter, RN, has recently joined the nursing staff at the UPMC Presbyterian/Shadyside General Internal Medicine Outpatient Clinic, MUH 9 South. Lisa graduated from UPMC Mercy Hospital in 2013, and began her nursing career at UPMC Presbyterian/Shadyside on MUH 12 South. She has also worked as a home healthcare nurse with Allegheny Health Network Healthcare at Home, and on Med-Surg/Ortho units at Ohio Valley Hospital.

Karen Franklin, RN, joined the GIM Clinic on MUH 9 South in December as a clinical nurse and recently began working as a Firm Nurse. She graduated from St. Vincent School of Nursing in 1974. She has primarily worked in Pediatrics, and recently was Clinical Coordinator of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Outpatient Adolescent Clinic.

Hanna Murray, RN, recently began as the Infusion RN at the GIM Clinic where she also provides care to patients in the office. After graduating in 2013 from UPMC Mercy School of Nursing, Hanna worked on the Trauma Burn unit, and then moved to the ER at Magee Women's hospital.

Trina Kyte began as the Administrative Assistant in Firm 3 in December. Trina has been with UPMC for nearly 6 years, and previously worked at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC as a Patient Information Coordinator.

Please give a warm (re)welcome to Susan Spillane as she makes her return to Parkvale after nearly 2 years at the Pitt IRB. Susan will join Sharon Stover as a DCC Coordinator in the Center for Clinical Trials & Data Coordination. Welcome back, Susan!


Fond Farewell

Winnie Teuteberg, MD
Emily Beers, MD
Christine Glaser, MD
Doug Landsittel, PhD
Larissa Myaskovsky, PhD
Kerri Hochberger, RN
Kristen Bolen, RN


Recently Retired

Corde McFeaters, RN
Dawn Moody, RN

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