Residency News

May 2013

Regional Medical Center Tops Hospital Safety Ranking

Susquehanna Health’s Regional Medical Center (WRMC) scored the highest patient safety rating in Pennsylvania in Consumer Reports' ranking according to this article from The Sun-Gazette.  On a scale of one to 100, Regional Medical Center scored a 72, which places WRMC among the top four hospitals in the United States

The safety score is compiled using public data on readmissions, complications, communication with patients, infections and the overuse of CT scans. Data comes from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, state governments, and the Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit organization that collects data on hospital safety.  

The Family Medicine Residency salutes the entire team of highly competent and compassionate staff at WRMC that creates a safe, healing environment every day. 

For more details on the ranking, please read the full article.

March 2013

Announcing the Appointment of Our First-Year Class of Residents for 2013-14

We are delighted to announce the completion of our first-year class of seven residents for 2013-14, with four additional senior medical students joining the Residency, courtesy of the NRMP matching program held in March.  We look forward to their beginning post-graduate medical education with us and with their three other classmates who selected us in February (see post below).

  • Steven Barrows (Jefferson Medical College)
  • Patience Ekperi (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine)
  • Kate Skipton (Ohio State University)
  • James Stoltzfus, Jr. (St. George’s University)

February 2013

Chief Resident Joining Faculty

Jesse Hickland, MD, currently our Chief Resident, will be joining the faculty of the Family Medicine Residency this summer. We look forward to deepening and extending our work with this talented physician educator. Other personnel additions include three new fourth-year osteopathic students who will be joining us as first-year residents in July. In alphabetical order, they are: Joanna Kraynak (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine), Jeri Lynn Casagrande (Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine) and Kevin Wolf (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine).

International Medical Rotation Completed in Honduras

Drs. Sarah Kent, Michelle Skinner, and Andrea Benoit recently returned from a short-term, international medical rotation in Honduras. This is the second year that the Residency has sponsored clinical staff under Dr. Kent’s direction to care for the population of San Francisco de Yojoa, where ongoing healthcare continues to be provided when our Northamerican staff leaves.

December 2012

Dr. McDowell Finishes Last Rotation

Dr. Jacob McDowell finished the last rotation of his senior year in December 2012. He has accepted a position as an in-hospital attending physician in Fresno, California. We wish him much success back home in the Golden State.

November 2012

Dr. Meeker Completes a Four Week International Rotation

Dr. Matthew Meeker completed a four week international rotation in the Toledo district of southern Belize (Central America), where he assisted local clinicians in providing healthcare to Mayan villagers.

Residency Reworks Pain Management Curriculum

Under the leadership of Dr. John Boll, Assistant Director, the Residency reworked its pain management curriculum. It now includes lectures on various modalities for the effective management of acute and chronic pain, as well as protocols for the institution of a unified office pain management contract for all patients, the universal screening of all chronic pain patients to determine risk of medication misuse, and a well-organized pain medication refill procedure for the Family Medicine Residency Center.  Dr. LeeAnna Lyne and Dr. Andrea Benoit, who are both second-year residents, and Dr. Boll hope to present the curriculum at poster sessions of national and regional scientific meetings.

October 2012

New Family Medicine Residency Video

“Introducing the Family Medicine Residency” is now available on the Family Medicine Residency’s website, with thanks to Drs. Brad Miller (Program Director), Janice Schifferli (Assistant Director), and Bryan Sandler (First-Year Resident) for their cameo appearances. To view the video, click here.

August 2012

Barb Hemmendinger Completes Training Program

In efforts to create a better integration between health and behavioral health services for residents, Associate Director/Behavioral Science Coordinator, Barbara E. Hemmendinger, LCSW, ACSW, completed a 20-hour course for Case Managers and Navigators from UMass Medical School, Department of Family Medicine & Community Health. The program addresses the common situation in which staff members have worked in the mental health system and need to bridge "silos" to address the many health issues of their clients, or staff members have worked in the health system and also need to address the depression, anxiety, substance abuse or behavioral health needs of their patients.

WRMC Gets the Gold

The renovation and expansion at Regional Medical Center recently achieved gold level LEED® certification.  WRMC is the first and only hospital of more than 200,000 square feet to be certified under the LEED-NC 2009 rating system – a more stringent rating system particularly for energy and water conservation.  The LEED achievement was the result of implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions to achieve high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

July 2012

Residents Complete Training

Seven Family Medicine Residents graduated in ceremonies at DiSalvo’s on June 29, 2012. We are proud of their accomplishments and wish them well in their new practice locations:

Rachel Hogg, MD - , PA (Susquehanna Health Family Medicine at Warren Avenue)

Nathan Jean, DO - York, ME

Kimberly Jones, DO - , PA (Susquehanna Health Family Medicine at Warren Avenue)   

Jason Lazor, DO - , PA (Loyalsock Family Practice)  

Jacob McDowell, MD - TBD upon completion of scheduled rotations in December, 2012 

Steven Pinckney, DO - , PA (Family Practice Center)

Joseph Rabinowitz, MD - Cheraw, SC

Dr. Heilmann Appointed to CMIO Position

Dr. Timothy Heilmann, Associate Director and faculty member in the Residency since 1992, has been appointed to the position of Chief Medical Information Officer for Susquehanna Health Medical Group.  Adept at software design as well as clinical medicine, Dr. Heilmann will split his responsibilities between resident education and information technology.

June 2012

Welcome New Residents

The Family Medicine Residency welcomes a new group of first-year residents who started their orientation on June 11. They represent fine medical and osteopathic schools and come with a diversity of interests and experiences in addition to their singular commitment to family medicine. The new resident physicians are:

Ross M. Bickford, MD                       University of Connecticut

Norman L. Hesser, DO                     Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Gawu M. Kamara, MD                      Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara & New York Medical College

Anna R. Kent, DO                            Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Elizabeth M. Klucka, DO                   Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Bryan Sandler, MD                           State University of New York - Buffalo

Elizabeth A. Sullivan, DO                   New York College of Osteopathic Medicine

February 2012

Arthur “Art” Ralph Taylor, MD

Dr. Art Taylor, our first medical director, died early Thursday morning, February 9, 2012 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He touched our lives in so many ways. Dr. Taylor’s lasting legacy continues in the good done by all those many family physicians whom he trained and in the high-caliber graduate medical education program that he founded and launched on its remarkable 40-year journey to date. We will miss his exuberance and caring. Please visit to view the full obituary.

December 2011

Residency Graduates Featured in PAFP Magazine Cover Story

Three recent graduates of the Family Medicine Residency program are featured in the cover story of the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of the Keystone Physician magazine, a publication of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP). Drs. Luan Pham, Mark Stutzman and Lisa Malys, who found an opportunity to continue to practice as a team, discuss the triumphs and challenges of working with an underserved population in a Pennsylvania community health center. The article entitled, “They Wanted to Give Back” focuses on healthcare provided to Carlisle residents through the Saddler Health Center. Read more.   

October 2011

Family Medicine Residents Extend Care to Tibetan Community

In October, second-year residents Dr. Matthew Meeker and Dr. Catherine Boucher participated in the Family Medicine Residency’s first elective international medical rotation to a Tibetan community in Mundgod, India. Dr. Meeker and Dr. Boucher provided medical care at the Loseling Clinic with a team of nine medical professionals representing Medical Care International. Loseling Clinic is run by the charitable medical organization Loseling Altruistic Medical Association (LAMA) which is an extension of the Drepung Loseling Monastery. The clinic provides free medical care to the Tibetan monks, nuns and laymen in this poor rural area.  

In the five-and-a-half days spent in India, the residents assisted nearly 2,000 patients. Dr. Meeker was most surprised by the lack of medical care for the Tibetan people, specifically the lack of medications like Tylenol that are so easily accessible in America. “I was impressed by the gratitude expressed by the patients for the simplest things that we tend to take for granted,” added Dr. Boucher.

September 2011

Barbara Hemmendinger Recognized for Making a Difference

During the month of September, Barbara Hemmendinger, associate director and behavioral science coordinator, was recognized by Pennsylvania Business Central as one of the Women Making a Difference. The award honors women throughout central Pennsylvania who are making a difference in their business, communities or organizations. Honorees were selected by an independent committee from Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Pennsylvania Business Central, a biweekly business publication, recognizes the winners in its September 23 issue.

August 2011

Dr. Ambrose throws first pitch

Dr. Ambrose throws the first pitch of the game. Photo provided by Crosscutters

Directors Honored to Participate in Susquehanna Health Pack the Park Night Event

Dr. David Ambrose, Program Director of the Regional Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program, was honored to throw the first pitch during Susquehanna Health’s Pack the Park Night on August 9 at Bowman Field in . Dr. Bradley Miller, Director of Osteopathic Medical Education for the residency program, also helped get the Crosscutter’s minor league baseball game underway by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Dr. Brad Miller sings national anthem

Dr. Miller sings the national anthem. Photo provided by Crosscutters

A crowd of more than 3,000 attended the Pack the Park Night event to watch the Crosscutters defeat the Staten Island Yankees 1-0 on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.

July 2011

Program Achieves NCQA Recognition for Patient-Centered Medical Home

Dr. Timothy Heilmann, Associate Director of the Residency Program, announced that Regional Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program has been successful in its application to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) in gaining Program Level 3 recognition for the Residency practice’s ability to function as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. Building on the joint principles developed by several primary care specialty societies (American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association), these standards emphasize the use of systematic, patient-centered and coordinated care management processes. We applaud Dr. Heilmann’s efforts in our gaining such an important and prestigious designation.

Local Participation in Cancer Prevention Study Exceeds National Rates

A recent report from the American Cancer Society on participation in the nationwide Cancer Prevention Study-3 indicates an 82% retention rate for , PA participants during the first year of their inclusion in this prospective cohort study. ’s retention rate considerably exceeds national norms. Chaired by Barbara Hemmendinger, ACSW, the May 2010 nationwide Cancer Prevention Study-3 at the Relay For Life enrolled about 200 healthy adults in a 20-30 year-long study about lifestyle and other medical factors that might be associated with the subsequent diagnosis of cancer. Enrollment in this study is ongoing across the country in pursuit of obtaining a minimum of 500,000 subjects. It is anticipated that healthcare institutions may be approached in the near future as potential enrollment sites. 

Residency Program Represented at National Conference

Visit with representatives of the Regional Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program at booth 1716 during the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, Missouri from July 28-30.

June 2011

Kent Obtains Grant Funding

Dr. Sarah Kent received grant funding to enhance our electronic health record in order to collect data more easily for the Interconception Care Study. This study is the next phase of the Interventions to Minimize Preterm and Low birth weight Infants (IMPLICIT) study, a multi-site research program in which the Regional Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program has participated since 2003.

Global Health Rotation Available in Honduras

A new opportunity is available for residents to participate in a global health rotation in the Honduras. Two Family Medicine Residency Program residents will be accepted to the rotation, which will be held February 11-25, 2012. The residents will be accompanied by practicing physicians from central Pennsylvania.

First-Year Residents Welcomed

A new class of first-year residents began orientation on June 13, 2011.  They are:

  • Andrea Benoit, DO  (University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine)
  • Jenna Brown, DO  (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine)
  • Casey Johnson, MD  (University of Vermont College of Medicine)
  • Marla Mead, DO  (University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine)
  • LeeAnna Roberts, DO  (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine)
  • Sara Swain, DO  (Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine)
  • Kristine Tofts, DO  (West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine)

Residents Complete Training

Seven residents completed their training on June 30, 2011.  We wish them well in their new practice locations:

  • Tanam Ahmed, MD           (Pierson, FL)
  • Bertha Gaytan, MD           (Gatesville, TX)
  • Ayn Kerber, MD                (Lewisburg, PA)
  • Lisa Malys, DO                  (Carlisle, PA)
  • Sara McElroy, DO             (Lock Haven, PA)
  • Luan Pham, MD                (Carlisle, PA)
  • Mark Stutzman, DO          (Carlisle, PA)

May 2011

International Rotations Announced

Dr. Brad Miller's work has culminated in the selection of two resident physicians who will travel to India in October to provide healthcare to a colony of Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. This ongoing program is co-sponsored by Susquehanna Health and Medical Care International.

Assistant Director Dr. Sarah Kent will also direct an elective international rotation in Honduras. We expect to have our first resident participate in that program in February 2012.

April 2011

Full Accreditation Accorded

The allopathic Residency was accorded full accreditation (five years) by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The osteopathic side of the Family Medicine Residency Program received its initial three years' full accreditation in 2010 from the American Osteopathic Association.

February/March 2011

Exceptional "Match" Results Received

The Residency announced its very successful match results, filling all seven first-year positions for the class of 2014 from the top ranks of our lists.