Welcome to the Augusta University/University of Georgia Publications, Presentations & Awards page. Here you will find information about published and accepted papers, research, presentations, and awards by our faculty, staff, students, and residents.

Pride Wins First Place at Conference

Laura Pride, an M3 at the Partnership, won the W. Daniel Jordan, MD Medical Student Award for best abstract presentation at the Georgia Vascular Society 10th Annual Scientific Sessions. The conference was September 9-11 at the Ritz-Carlton in Lake Oconee.

Bond and Murrow Recognized



Drs. Molly Bond and Laurel Murrow have been named recipients of the AMA WPS Inspiration Award as a Physician Who Inspires.

The AMA Women Physicians Section (WPS) Inspiration Award honors and acknowledges physicians who have offered their time, wisdom and support throughout the professional careers of fellow physicians, residents and students.

Read more about the award here.

Hyder and Schoenl Present at AHA Hypertension Conference


Syed Hyder ’23 presented the posters “The Geographic Variations in Hypertension Medication Adherence” and “Disparities in Hypertension Medication Adherence Across Sexual Orientations” at the AHA Hypertension Scientific Sessions in San Diego on September 7th, 2022. The projects are co-authored by Samantha Schoenl ’23 and Dr. Onoriode Kesiena, PGY-3 Internal Medicine Resident at Piedmont Athens Regional. The published abstracts to these studies can be found in the Hypertension Journal: https://doi.org/10.1161/hyp.79.suppl_1.P022 and https://doi.org/10.1161/hyp.79.suppl_1.P214

Read more: Gay, bisexual adults may be less likely to take needed high blood pressure medication

Read more: Where you live may impact how likely you are to take your blood pressure meds

Rathbun Publishes Papers

Dr. Kimberly Rathbun had two manuscripts published this summer:

Rathbun KM, Harryman CF, Re AT. Prolonging the shelf life of homemade gelatin ultrasound phantoms. J M Ultrasound. 2022;30:130-4.

Rathbun KM, Harryman CF, Moore C. A realistic and inexpensive ultrasound phantom to demonstrate aortic pathology. Australas J Ultrasound Med. 2022. (published online ahead of print)

Hyder Presents at Conference in Chicago

Syed Hyder presented the poster “The Impact of COVID-19 on HIV Testing in GA DPH District 10” at the National LGBTQ Health Conference in Chicago, IL on July 29th, 2022. He worked along side his Community & Population Health HIV Testing Outreach Group that consists of Faiz Saulat, Rachel Gerald, Lily Francis, Sophia Sakers, Thomas Layman, Jasmine Patterson, and Chris Cuneo. This group worked under the guidance of Dr. Brett Magner, Dr. Amy Medlock from the AU/UGA Medical Partnership, and Patrick Reilly from the Georgia Department of Public Health.


Bruner Appointed as Co-chair

Lia Bruner, MD

Dr. Lia Bruner has been selected as the co-chair elect for the STFM Women in Family Medicine Collaborative.

Dong and Moriles Publish Paper


Vinh Dong and Kevin Moriles, PGY-1 residents, published a paper in March.

COVID-19 and arrhythmia: An overview

Varney JA, Dong VS, Tsao T, Sabir MS, Rivera AT, Ghula S, Moriles KE, Cherukuri ML, Fazal R, Azevedo CB, Mohamed RM, Jackson GR, Fleming SE, Rochez DE, Abbas KS, Shah JH, Minh LHN, Osman F, Rafla SM, Huy NT. COVID-19 and arrhythmia: An overview. J Cardiol. 2022 Apr;79(4):468-475. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2021.11.019. Epub 2021 Dec 1. PMID: 35074257; PMCID: PMC8632592.


Dong V, Makram O, Dinh Q, et al. A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF MYOCARDITIS FOLLOWING COVID-19 VACCINATION. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Mar, 79 (9_Supplement) 2057.

Read the entire paper here.

Gaddy Receives Teaching Award

Dr. Thom Gaddy received the 2022 Distinguished Faculty Award for Basic Science Teaching from the Medical College of Georgia. Gaddy was recognized at Medical College of Georgia Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at the Natalie and Lansing B. Lee, Jr. Auditorium.

Rohr-Kirchgraber Named President of American Medical Women’s Association

Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber has been named the 2022-23 president of the American Medical Women’s Association.

“I feel honored and excited to be leading AMWA for a second time.” Rohr-Kirchgraber. “As a Hispanic woman, I am honored to be a first, while also being committed to ensure a pathway to leadership for others.”

Rohr-Kirchgraber continued, “Our goals for the year include advocating for equity at all levels in healthcare, sex and gender health, and ensuring workplace flexibility to support women in medicine. As women physicians, we are uniquely positioned to advance health-related policy issues that impact our communities. I am grateful to be in a position to help support AMWA members and allies focused on such important work.”

Click here to read more about Rohr-Kirchgraber and American Medical Women’s Association.

Kelly Chosen for Program at Harvard-Macy Institute

Dr. Carrie Kelly was selected to participate in the Program for Educators in Health Professions at the Harvard-Macy Institute. The program was virtual due to COVID-19 and featured sessions from October-April. Kelly said the group participated in online interactive sessions, journal clubs, and poster presentations.

“It is an amazing program. I feel like I have gained so much knowledge about medical education and I hope to be able to bring a lot of what I learned back here to the Partnership,” said Kelly. “I also built a lot of great relationships through the program both nationally and internationally. I felt like this was just the beginning of my relationship with the Harvard-Macy Institute, and I know being an alumni of this program affords me many opportunities with them for the future. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have participated.”

Click here to learn more about the course.

Medical Partnership Students Sweep Essay Contest

Three students from the Medical Partnership placed in the top three for the Medical Association of Atlanta and the Atlanta Medical History Society Medical Student Essay Contest.

The three winning essays are:

  • The Medical Chart: Ethical Dilemmas Surrounding the Sacred Monetized Script by Shadman Ibamasud
  • Maternal Mortality in Georgia: Where Are We Now? by Laurel A. Parker
  • History of Palliative and Hospice Care by  Wehrmeyer

Each winner received a cash award and the book Manners, Morals, and Medical Care: How to be an Effective Physician.

Thawanyarat Presents in Utah

Tony Thawanyarat presented “The Price of Prepectoral versus Subpectoral Breast Reconstruction: A Cost-Effectiveness Markov Analysis” at the 7th Annual Mountain West Society of Plastic Surgeons Conference in Snowbird, Utah in February 2022.

Ali and Hyder Present at Conference

Hamzah Ali and Syed Hyder presented their poster “Incidence, Clinical Characteristics, & Outcomes of Acute STEMI during the COVID-19 Pandemic at a Tertiary Referral Center” at the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida on April 6th.

The study was also recently published in Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management titled “Incidence, Clinical Characteristics, & Outcomes of Acute STEMI during the COVID-19 Pandemic at Piedmont Athens Regional”.

Ali and Hyder worked alongside Dr. Jonathan Murrow on the project.

You can read the study here.

M2s Recognized for Work in Community

Twenty-seven M2s have received the Medical Partnership Benevolent Service Award for completing 25+ hours of community service!

Pascal Acree

Rehmat Babar

Ana Bankey

Caitrin Carroll

Lauren Ellis

Robert Hulsey

Shadman Ibnamasud

Chandler Johnson

Agnes Kim

Rajashri Manjunath

Artie McCarty

Tahmina Mohiuddin

Yelissa Navarro

Shant Ohanian

Kathleen Park

Laurel Parker

Alex Parsons

Dimple Patel

Tatiana Peduri

Julia Scher

Kyli Schmitt

Anna Schramski

Ravjot Singh

Tony Thawanyarat

Ethan Welch

Sarah Ye

Kara Ye

VanLeuven Presents in Philadelphia

Dr. Ariel VanLeuven presented at the Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 5. The title of the presentation was “Scroll Away! Understanding the Utility of Multi-Planar Anatomical Images in Instructional Cases for Medical Students”, and VanLeuven worked on the project with fellow Medical Partnership faculty Drs. Tom Howdieshell and  Jaya Pamidimukkala.

Bruner Publishes and Presents

Lia Bruner, MD

Dr. Lia Bruner has had multiple recent publications and presentations:


Bruner LP. Applying a clinical prediction rule to distinguish lower extremity cellulitis from its mimics. Am Fam Physician. 2021;104(3):309-310. PubMed PMID: 34523876

This peer-reviewed article was released in September in the American Family Physician and is now available through PubMed. The signs and symptoms of lower extremity cellulitis are nonspecific, making it difficult for clinicians to distinguish between cellulitis and its mimics. This article presents the evidence for the ALT-70 clinical prediction rule, which if used routinely, could reduce the rate of misdiagnosis and unnecessary hospitalizations/antibiotic use for patients with lower extremity symptoms.

You can read the entire article here.

Conference Presentations

Bruner LP, Gerald R, Heiken M, Majeed B. Intention for COVID-19 vaccination: predictors and sources of influence. Oral presentation (selected for live stream as well as on-demand) at: 49th Annual North American Primary Care Research Group Annual Conference; November 2021; virtual.

Rachel Gerald, a Medical Partnership student, also presented with Bruner on a live stream and on-demand.

The abstract can be found here.

Bruner LP, Baldwin A, Szymik B, Topper L, House E. Constructing curricular materials that reflect our patients: Working towards improving diversity in pre-clerkship curricula. Scholarly Topic Roundtable Discussion at: 2022 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Conference on Medical Student Education; January, 2022; virtual.

This presentation also featured faculty members Amy Baldwin, Brett Szymik, and Ellen House. Leah Topper, a Medical Partnership student, contributed as well.

Baldwin Accepted to UGA Workshop

Dr. Amy Baldwin has been accepted to the 2022 Rural Engagement Workshop for Academic Faculty. This workshop series is a program designed to help build momentum for high quality, community-engaged research in rural Georgia communities.Through a series of five sessions, participants will gain greater understanding of Georgia’s rural demographics and trends, obtain key information on developing sustained relationships with communities, and enhance their ability to engage in rural research in the state.

The first session was on January 21, 2022.

Amy Baldwin, PhD

Sardar Publishes Video Case Report

M3 student Tejas Sardar worked with local neurosurgeons Dr. Woodall and Dr. Vasudeva to publish this video case report on a patient that could reproduce his syncope by putting a finger in his ear.

Sardar TA, Vasudeva VS, Woodall MN. Microvascular decompression for a unique case of glossopharyngeal neuralgia with provokable symptomatic bradycardia: 2-Dimensional operative video. Surg Neurol Int. 2021;12:570. Published 2021 Nov 23. doi:10.25259/SNI_1030_2021

You can read more here.

Rohr-Kirchgraber Examines Pandemic Effects on Premed Students

Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, recently published the paper “The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Effect on the Premedical Student”.

You can read more here.

Brown Elected to Health-System Pharmacists Executive Committee

Dr. Tim Brown has been elected to serve on the Executive Committees of ASHP’s Pharmacy Practice Sections. The terms for the Section Chairs-elect will begin immediately; the two-year terms for Directors-at-Large will start in June 2022.

You can read the official press release here.

Gerald Poster Wins First Place

Rachel Gerald, Class of 2023, presented her project “How healthcare providers assess the accuracy of the medical history given by patients with dementia” at the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians CME conference on November 13.

Her project won first place in the poster contest. Gerald worked in this project during the summer MSP program.

Thawanyarat Presents at Plastic Surgeons Conference

Tony Thawanyarat, Class of 2024, presented twice at the Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons in Philadelphia during the weekend of September 10-12:

Dayani F, Thawanyarat K, Mirmanesh M, Spargo T, Saia W, Nazerali R. Dress to Impress: Public Perception of Plastic Surgeon Attire [published online ahead of print, 2021 Nov 27]. Aesthet Surg J. 2021;sjab408. doi:10.1093/asj/sjab408

Read more here.

Thawanyarat K, Francis S, Kim T, Arquette C, Morrison S, Nazerali R. The Zoom Effect: A Google Trends Analysis [published online ahead of print, 2021 Sep 28]. Aesthet Surg J. 2021;sjab347. doi:10.1093/asj/sjab347

Read more here.

Sulaiman Recognized for Achievements

Zoheb Sulaiman, DO, a third year resident in our Internal Medicine Residency Program, has recently been recognized for multiple achievements:

1) Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) – attended the 2021 SGIM Southern Regional Meeting virtually from February 23-25, 2021. His abstract was accepted for a virtual poster presentation – An Unusual Case of Aerococcus urinaeInfective Endocarditis.

2) Gold Humanism Honor Society –  was nominated by his co-residents and selected as St. Mary’s Hospital’s resident inductee for the Class of 2022.

3) American College of Cardiology (ACC) – attended the 2021 ACC National Meeting virtually from May 15-17, 2021. His abstract was accepted for a virtual poster presentation – An Unusual Case of Aerococcus urinae Infective Endocarditis; he was also published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology – https://www.jacc.org/doi/full/10.1016/S0735-1097%2821%2904309-6 

man with black hair

Brown Joins American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Podcast

Dr. Tim Brown participated in a podcast with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists discussing LGBTQ+ health. In the podcast, Brown discusses ways that faculty and preceptors can incorporate LGBTQ+ health education for their learners, and the teaching and learning principles that apply across all health professions.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Lester Wins Good Neighbor of the Year Award

Dr. Suzanne Lester was one of the recipients of the Good Neighbor of the Year Award at Porchfest on Sunday, October 10. The award is presented from Envision Athens and is granted to outstanding members of the community who have been nominated by fellow neighbors.

Murrow and Ulversoy Win First Place at ACC Quality Summit

Dr. Jonathan Murrow and former Medical Partnership student Kyle Ulversoy won first place at the American College of Cardiology Quality Summit for their poster that examined the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on cost and readmission rates among HF patients at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital in Georgia.

You can read more here:

Transgender Education in North American Family Medicine Clerkships: A CERA Study

Dr. Vicki McKinney published:

Donavan, M., VanDerKork, K., McKinney, V.R., Graves, L. and Everard, K. (2021) Gender-Affirming Care Curriculum in Family Medicine Residencies – A CERA Study. Family Medicine, 53:9, 779-785.

You can read the paper here.

Vicki McKinney, PhD

Bruner and Adams Present at Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Practice and Quality Improvement Conference

Lia Bruner, MD

Dr. Lia Bruner recently presented a poster at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Practice and Quality Improvement conference. The poster presentation was entitled “COVID-19 Vaccine Intention and Influences in Vulnerable Populations” and was based on part of the data from a telephone survey done of persons who tested negative for COVID-19 through the Athens Free Clinic in the summer of 2020.

Bruner presented the poster with M3 student Zac Adams.

You can read more here and view the poster here.

Rohr-Kirchgraber Presents on Sex & Gender in Medicine

Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, presented for the IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Women of Influence event this month on Sex and Gender in Medicine and Pay.

You can listen to the entire presentation by clicking here.

Insight into the function of active site residues in the catalytic mechanism of human ferrochelatase

Dr. Amy Medlock published a paper that provides additional insight into the mechanism of human ferrochelatase, the last enzyme of the heme biosynthesis pathway. This study describe the structure of 4 ferrochelatase variants, as well the characterization of enzyme activity and heme interactions in the active site in a number of variants.

Biochem J. 2021 Sep 17;478(17):3239-3252. doi: 10.1042/BCJ20210460.
Insight into the function of active site residues in the catalytic mechanism of human ferrochelatase
Amy E Medlock, Wided Najahi-Missaoui, Mesafint T Shiferaw, Angela N Albetel, William N Lanzilotta, Harry A Dailey
PMID: 34402499 DOI: 10.1042/BCJ20210460

Read the full paper here.

Primary research Reducing costs and improving care after hospitalization: Economic evaluation of a novel transitional care clinic

Dr. Jonathan Murrow published a paper that examined the clinical and economic impact of the Piedmont Community Care Clinic in providing care to patients after hospitalization, regardless of their ability to pay. In short, the part of the CCC taking care of these patients 1) reduced re-hospitalization and emergency department use while 2) providing a cost-savings to the health system. This work is scholarship resulting from clinical and teaching programs that grew in collaboration with the Medical Partnership, with early support by the Board of Regents to get underway. It provides the framework for other health systems in Georgia and beyond to rethink how they best care for patient who have been hospitalized with acute illnesses despite insurance status.

You can read the paper here.

The PPE Pandemic: Sex-Related Discrepancies of N95 Mask Fit

Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber had a paper accepted this summer that addressed how N95 masks fit women compared to men and how that contributed to the death toll in both genders.

You can read the paper on EMG Health or view the PDF version here.

Scott Wins Marietta Suhart Award

Dr. Don Scott was recently named the winner of the Georgia Gerontology Society’s Marietta Suhart Award. This award recognizes vision and leadership in educating those working with older adults. Scott will be recognized at the annual GGS conference on August 10.

To read more about the award, click here.

Medical Partnership Heavily Represented at International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE)

Presentations at the IAMSE:

Teshager D, Baldwin A, Bond M, Hill JR, Bruner L.  “Medical school curricular factors that may contribute to students’ choice of specialty”.  Oral presentation, 25th Annual meeting of the International Association of Medical Science Educators, June 2021.

*This presentation was nominated for an Outstanding Oral Presentation Award.

Bassett CN, Martin AT, Gibbs S, Boegehold MA, Gaines JK. “Collaboration among basic science and clinician educators in creating and implementing high fidelity simulation sessions in an integrated preclinical medical education curriculum”. Poster presentation, 25th Annual meeting of the International Association of Medical Science Educators, June 2021.

Martin AT, Gibbs S, Bassett CN, Gaines JK, Boegehold MA. “Using an escape room activity to orient learners to the simulated medical environment”. Oral presentation, 25th Annual meeting of the International Association of Medical Science Educators, June 2021.

Barany DA, Gallman E, VanLeuven AJ, Fiorella L. “Drawing insight from medical student drawings.” Oral presentation, 25th Annual meeting of the International Association of Medical Science Educators, June 2021.

Medlock AE, Lee LP, Murrow J. “A summer research curriculum to cultivate medical student research”. Poster presentation, 25th Annual meeting of the International Association of Medical Science Educators, June 2021.

Slaughter Contributes Columns for Journal of Biomolecular Techniques

Dr. Clive Slaughter, Professor of Biochemistry, has his own column, “Article Watch”, featured quarterly in the Journal of Biomolecular Techniques – a peer-reviewed journal with four regular issues and one supplemental meeting issue per year that is published by the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities.

You can read his previous and upcoming articles here.

Clive Slaughter, PhD

Rohr-Kirchgraber Wins 2021 AMPAC Award for Political Participation

Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber has been named the winner of the 2021 AMPAC Award for Political Participation. Awarded every two-years, the AMPAC Award for Political Participation recognizes an AMA or AMA Alliance member for their outstanding work through volunteer activities in a political campaign or significant health care related election issue such as a ballot initiative or referendum.

Rohr-Kirchgraber joined the Medical Partnership in 2021 and is a professor of medicine.

You can read more about Rohr-Kirchgraber and the award by clicking here.

Transgender Education in North American Family Medicine Clerkships

Dr. Vicki McKinney published the following paper:

VanDerKork, K., McKinney, V.R., Graves, L. and Harper, D. (2021) Transgender Education in North American Family Medicine Clerkships – A CERA Study. Family Medicine, In Press.

Vicki McKinney, PhD

Scott Presents at Virtual National American Society on Aging Conference

Dr. Don Scott virtually presented the workshop “Being There Matters: Physician Education in a Community Based Organization” during the American Society on Aging Conference on April 7.

Why Is a Child Not a Miniadult for Infections?

Drs. Tresa Chappell, Carrie Kelly, and Ken Rosenthal were recently published for their work on why children are not mini-adults when it comes to infections.

Chappell, M. Tresa MD*; Kelly, Carrie MD*; Rosenthal, Ken S. PhD*,† Why Is a Child Not a Miniadult for Infections?, Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: April 5, 2021 – Volume Publish Ahead of Print – Issue – doi: 10.1097/IPC.0000000000001012

Abstract: The presentation of an infectious disease in a child is likely to differ from an adult and will differ at different ages of the child. In addition to differences in immune response, there are significant differences in anatomy, physiology, metabolism, and behavior that affect susceptibility, course of disease, severity, and treatment. This is the first of a series of reviews that examine differences in disease presentation for different demographics. This short review will look at some of the parameters that ask, “Why is a child not a miniadult for infections?”

The full paper can be read here.

AF Symposium Virtual Presentations

Alex Sweeting, Kyle Ahmed, Sujay Sreenivasan, Jacob Lawing, and Ty Frix all presented at the AF Symposium with Dr. Kent Nilsson.

Sweeting A, Ahmed M, Sreenivasan S, Nilsson K. Comparison of Fluoroscopy Exposure in Tacticath SE Ablation Catheter versus in Tacticath Ablation Catheter.  26th AF Symposium.  Virtual Symposium.  January 29-31, 2021.

Sreenivasan S, Ahmed M , Sweeting A , Lawing J, Frix J,  Mrlik M, Nilsson K. Comparison of XY versus XY/XZ Mapping During Pulmonary Vein Isolation Using the HD Grid. 26th AF Symposium.  Virtual Symposium.  January 29-31, 2021.

Menstrual experience of adolescents in the USA: protocol for a scoping review

Nine members of the Medical Partnership family (three faculty: Julie Gaines, MLIS, Ed Sperr, Amy Baldwin, PhD, five students: Debbie Shim, Bryanna Moppins, Diane Park, Jasmine Patterson, Samantha Schoenl, and one alumna: Ronke Olowojesiku, MD) were recently published for their research on adolescent menstruation.

Olowojesiku R, Shim DJ, Moppins B, Park D, Patterson JO, Schoenl SA, Gaines JK, Sperr EV, Baldwin A. Menstrual experience of adolescents in the USA: protocol for a scoping review. BMJ Open. 2021 Feb 18;11(2):e040511. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040511. PMID: 33602701; PMCID: PMC7896570.

Introduction: In recent years, there has been a growing desire to address issues related to menstruation, particularly for adolescent girls. In low-income and middle-income countries, prior literature review of the adolescent menstrual experience suggests the need for further research into the impact and efficacy of interventions with this population. There is evidence to suggest the need for initiatives and research in higher-income countries like the USA. To date, the body of research on adolescent menstrual experience in the USA remains uncharacterised. Therefore, we propose a scoping review of the literature on this subject to better inform on areas for future primary study.

The paper can be read in its entirety here.


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