University of Vermont

UVM College of Medicine Announces 2014 Medical Alumni Association Award Honorees

The University of Vermont College of Medicine has announced the winners of the 2014 Medical Alumni Association Awards to be presented during its annual Medical Alumni Reunion, June 6, 2014, on the UVM College of Medicine campus.

Charles HowardCharles B. Howard, M.D. ’69, is the 2014 recipient of the A. Bradley Soule Award, established in 1983, which honors an alumnus/a whose loyalty and dedication to the College of Medicine most emulate those qualities found in its first recipient, A. Bradley Soule, M.D.'28.

A retired radiologist, president and CEO of Princeton Radiology Associates (PRA) in Princeton, N.J., Dr. Howard was greatly influenced by Dr. A. Bradley Soule and the UVM Radiology Department as a UVM College of Medicine student. After internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he continued on in radiology at Walter Reed, where in 1972 he was appointed chief resident. In 1974 he was chief of radiology at Kimbrough Hospital in Odenton, Maryland. In 1976 he joined Princeton Radiology Associates. In 1980 he was elected president and managing partner of PRA, a position he held until 2009. During his tenure, he transformed PRA from a solely hospital-based practice to a primarily non-hospital based (independent) practice by building some of New Jersey’s largest outpatient facilities, providing both diagnostic and therapeutic radiology services. In the late 80s he built the Princeton’s Physician Organization (PO) and Physician Hospital Organization (PHO) and served concurrently on the Board of Directors of both organizations until 2009. He was instrumental in building RADCON (Radiology Consultants), a network of N.J. Radiology Groups. In 1999, he began building RadPharm (Radiology Pharmaceutical Research). After finalizing plans for a proton radiation treatment center in September 2009, a $180 million project which opened in 2011, he retired. Dr. Howard’s commitment and service to the UVM College of Medicine includes twelve years as agent for the Class of 1969. In 1998, he earned the Medical Alumni Association’s Service to Medicine & Community Award. From 1994 to 2006 he served on the college’s Medical Alumni Executive Committee (MAEC) becoming president from 2004 to 2006. During his membership on the MAEC he and his wife created the Charles & Edith Howard Medical Alumni Association Challenge Scholarship. All four of his children attended either undergraduate and/or medical school at UVM. Since retiring in 2009, he donates his time to: "kitchen table medicine" guiding people through today's opaque health care system, operating a farm, repairing autos, and pursuing his passion for music. The Princeton Brass Band, in which he plays 1st Baritone, is the North American brass band champion, having won first place in the North American Brass Band Association's Championship Division competition in 2013.

Alumni honored with this year's Distinguished Academic Achievement Award, established in 1985, which recognizes outstanding scientific or academic achievement, include:

Judith BaumhauerJudith F. Baumhauer, M.D. M.P.H. ’89, Associate Chair of Academic Affairs and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery with Tenure, Department of Orthopedics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.

Dr. Judith Ford Baumhauer was named the first woman president of both the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society for 2012-2013 and the Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery in 2012. Additionally, she was the first president of the Eastern Orthopedic Association, the largest Regional Orthopedic Society, where she served from 2009 to 2010. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Specialties; Board of Directors of the OEF and OREF, the major humanitarian and research fund raising organizations in her specialty. Dr. Baumhauer has also been an editor or reviewer for major medical journals including the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and Clinical Orthopedics, and serves on many committees for the University of Rochester. Her honors of note include: the Distinguished Alumna Award from Springfield College in 2008; the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in 2010; and the ATHENA Award of the Rochester Business Alliance’s Women’s Council in 2012. Dr. Baumhauer also received the Alumni Award for Surgical Excellence from UVM at her graduation in 1989 and has received multiple research grants and published widely. She is noted for her superb leadership and her dedication to career and family, and is a highly respected researcher and clinician.

Jane HittiJane E. Hitti, M.D. ’89, M.P.H., Professor,Obstetrics/Gynecology, Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Adjunct Professor, Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

Dr. Jane Hitti went on from the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont to develop a first-rate career in her chosen field of maternal fetal medicine. Her work focuses on infectious disease in pregnancy and has been recognized with several prestigious awards. She is also an adjunct professor of epidemiology and director of the maternal fetal medicine fellowship program. She joined her department in 1998 and is board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and the subspecialty of maternal fetal medicine. "Every woman deserves to have a happy and healthy pregnancy, within the context of her own circumstances,” she says. “I hope to advocate effectively for the health of women and their infants and to encourage my patients to participate actively in their care." Dr. Hitti’s clinical interests include the effects of HIV and other infectious diseases in pregnancy; multiple gestation, and prematurity prevention; and ultrasound. Her expertise encompasses high-risk obstetrics, infectious diseases, and perinatology.


Neil HymanNeil H. Hyman, M.D. ’84, Professor of Surgery, University of Vermont
Chief, Division of General Surgery, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt.

Dr. Hyman is currently the Samuel B. and Michelle D. Labow Green and Gold Professor of Colorectal Surgery and co-director of the Digestive Disease Center. He has authored more than 170 peer-reviewed original articles or textbook chapters. He serves on many regional and national committees and is a member of numerous national organizations and societies. He has been president of the Vermont Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, associate editor of Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, principal investigator of the New England and Vermont Colorectal Cancer Quality Project, and chairman of the Standards Committee of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Dr. Hyman has been the recipient of many teaching awards including three Clinical Teacher of the Year Awards. He received the Jerome S. Abrams Teaching Award in 1992-93, 1993-94 and 1997-98; the Howe Outstanding Surgery Faculty Award for 2000-2001, 2004-2005, 2010-2011; and the Humanism in Medicine Award for 2001-2002. He was named Teacher of the Year by the Chief Surgical Residents in 1991, 2007 and 2009. In 2005, he delivered the Commencement Address at the College of Medicine graduation. Dr. Hyman was named Physician of the Year by the Vermont Medical Society in 2011.

John Persing

John A. Persing, M.D. ’74, Chief of Plastic Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Dr. John Persing is the Irving & Silik Polayes professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, where he has chaired the Section of Plastic Surgery for over two decades. At Yale he has expanded the Section’s scope and mission while traveling the world teaching surgical techniques. He has published widely, and is an international expert in craniosynostosis, a condition in which sutures in the infant skull fuse prematurely. As a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Persing has a long history of involvement with international aid organizations that provide cleft lip and reconstructive surgeries in developing areas of the world. He co-founded such an organization, the Virginia Children’s Connection, in 1989; he became a volunteer provider, trip leader, and later a board of directors member for the reconstructive surgery organization Interplast. As an advisory board member of Operation Smile, he has overseen a DNA study into the genetics of cleft lip/cleft palate. Dr. Persing is past chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and president of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons and the current president of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons.

The College's Service to Medicine and Community Award, established in 1984, is presented to graduates who have maintained a high standard of medical service and who have achieved an outstanding record of community service or assumed other significant responsibilities in addition to their medical practice. The 2014 recipients of this award are:

KoplewitzMartin J. Koplewitz, M.D. ’52, Associate Professor of Surgery Emeritus, UVM College of Medicine, Burlington, Vt.

Dr. Koplewitz graduated from the University of Vermont College of Medicine cum laude in 1952 and was a charter member of the (AOA) Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Following a rotating internship at the Beth Israel Hospital in New York he entered military service. He served at the Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, for two years as officer in charge of the surgical wards and acting chief of the Surgical Service. He subsequently returned to Vermont, where he finished his surgical residency in 1959. After private practice in surgery in St. Albans, Vermont, and in partnership with one of his mentors, Arthur Gladstone, M.D., chief of surgery at the DeGoesbriand Hospital, he joined the faculty of the University of Vermont in April of 1973 and was rapidly promoted to associate professor with tenure. Dr. Koplewitz quickly became an exemplary role model for students and residents alike during his more than three decades of clinical teaching. The compassionate way he cared for his patients and colleagues is considered legendary.

UptonMichael D. Upton, M.D. ’94, Psychiatrist and Clinical Assistant Professor, UVM College of Medicine, Burlington, Vt.

Dr. Michael Upton completed his psychiatric residency at Dartmouth and returned to Burlington to begin his psychiatric practice in 1998. A native Vermonter, his family includes four generations of UVM College of Medicine graduates dating back to the 1890s. Currently, Dr. Upton is a CAPS (Counseling and Psychiatry Services) staff psychiatrist who has worked at the Center for Health and Wellbeing at UVM since 2004. His clinical interests include diagnostic evaluation, medication management and brief psychotherapy models. He has worked in a number of settings including inpatient psychiatry, substance abuse treatment centers and community mental health.For over ten years Dr. Upton has been a faculty member on the college’s student wellness committee — a confidential peer support system for medical students. Dr. Upton is a co-faculty advisor of the GSA (gay straight alliance) at the College of Medicine who has been a valued team member helping to guide this group. Pamela Gibson, M.D. ’89, Dr. Upton’s co-faculty advisor on the GSA, describes Dr. Upton as “a compassionate listener who seeks to improve the visibility and acceptance for all underrepresented in the medical community including students, faculty, staff and patients.” His approach, says Gibson, “is thoughtful and inclusive.

The Early Achievement Award, established in 2000, recognizes early-career physicians for outstanding academic achievements or contributions through community or medical service. The 2014 award recipients are:

DiSantoRachel J. DiSanto, MD ’04
Family Physician, North Country Primary Care, North Country Health System, Inc., Newport, Vt.

Dr. Rachel DiSanto practices family medicine at North Country Primary Care in Newport, which is affiliated with North Country Hospital in Newport, Vermont. Her practice includes all ages from newborn to geriatrics, including ICU and nursing home settings. The practice is involved in the Vermont Blueprint for Health and has been certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a medical home. She is an active preceptor of UVM medical students in the third year clerkship and teaches family medicine residents at her practice. Dr. DiSanto has a strong interest and involvement in global health. For several years she has been on the board of the Kenya Children's Fund and has traveled to Kenya multiple times to provide medical care. She is currently working with KCF to establish a community-based feeding program for malnourished infants and children. She traveled to Haiti in 2012 for another medical mission and to Nicaragua in January 2014 to work with women and child victims of human trafficking in Managua. In her own community, Dr. DiSanto volunteers in her church doing community service with her husband and their two children. She is also active at her children’s school with various health and science programs.

ZehleChrista M. Zehle, M.D. ’99, Associate Dean for Students & Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine & Pediatric Hospitalist at Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt.

Dr. Christa Zehle successfully launched the Pediatric Hospitalist Program at Fletcher Allen Health Care and continues in her clinical role at Vermont Children’s Hospital along with her responsibilities as Associate Dean. She is a sought-after mentor by medical students and residents and has received numerous awards for teaching. Dr. Zehle has been honored twice by residents as clinical attending of the year and was nominated for the award five more times, garnering runner-up honors in her first year at UVM/Fletcher Allen. She has been a physician mentor for the Public Health Projects, the UVM Pre-medical Enhancement Program, the AHEC MedQuest program, and Community Rounds. A full member of the Admissions Committee since 2007, Dr. Zehle is co-director for the Pediatric Student Interest Group. She also advises a number of senior medical students pursuing a career in pediatrics or other specialties, as well as pediatric interns, and informally advises the 18 pediatrics residents. At Vermont Children’s Hospital, she serves on the Residency Education Committee and the Integrated Quality Program Committee, and is a member of the Fletcher Allen Child Abuse Task Force. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a member of the Vermont Chapter of Academic Pediatric Association (APA), and was honored as an APA Educational Scholar in 2009, receiving a grant to pursue a scholarly project in medical education.

The Robert Larner, MD ’42 Student Award is a newly inaugurated award to be presented yearly to a current student or students for outstanding leadership and loyalty to the College and for embodiment of Dr. Larner’s dedication to supporting his medical alma mater and inspiring others to do so as well.

SchloffEmily A. Schloff ’15, Middlebury, Vt.

Emily Schloff is a third-year medical student in strong academic standing at the College of Medicine and is a Larner Loan recipient. She is one of many in her family to attend the University of Vermont and has strong loyalty to the university. She received her undergraduate degree in nutrition and food science from UVM, graduating cum laude in 2010. Her clinical evaluators consistently comment on her excellent interpersonal and communication skills and her ability to always put her patients at ease. She is one of four in her class who serve on the Student Education group, a liaison between the administration and the student body on matters regarding the curriculum. Schloff was also selected to serve on the Medical Student Executive Board, the highest student leadership committee that meets with the dean of the college and other administrators. She is also a leader of UVM’s Chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association. Schloff is expected to graduate with her class with a doctor of medicine degree in May 2015.

HackettCharles S. Hackett ’15, South Burlington, Vt.

Charles S. Hackett is currently a third-year medical student in excellent standing at the College of Medicine. Excerpts from his clinical evaluations describe him as an excellent advocate for his patients with an outstanding bedside manner. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from the UVM in 2011, was a Vermont Scholar, a Pizzagalli Vermont Scholar, and graduated summa cum laude as an Honors College Scholar. He also received the George Perkins Marsh Award in Biology. In addition to his academic accomplishments, he served the College of Medicine as a peer tutor, providing one-on-one tutoring to other medical students experiencing academic difficulty. He has also been a mentor in the UVM Premedical Enhancement Program, a formalized mentoring program for UVM undergraduate students co-sponsored by the UVM Honors College and College of Medicine Office of Primary Care. Hackett is also the recipient of the William Street, MD ’59 scholarship. He is expected to graduate with his class with a doctor of medicine degree in May 2015.

For awards information, go to the 2014 Medical Alumni Association Awards website.