Progress Notes | April 2022

A couple weeks ago we celebrated another very successful Match Day here at VTCSOM. With a 100% match, members of the class of 2022 will go pursue training in 22 specialties across 16 states and 30 different academic health centers.

We were delighted that 13 students in the senior class matched into Virginia programs including 7 at Carilion Clinic – VTCSOM (2 in Emergency Medicine, 1 each in Plastic Surgery, Preliminary Medicine, Preliminary Surgery, Preliminary Surgery + Dermatology, OBGYN), 3 at Virginia Commonwealth University (2 in Emergency Medicine, 1 in Anesthesiology), and 3 at University of Virginia (2 in Internal Medicine, 1 in Family Medicine). We added several impressive “first-time” programs to our list of match destinations, including University of Pennsylvania (Emergency Medicine), Massachusetts General Hospital (Internal Medicine), Johns Hopkins Hospital (Internal Medicine) and the University of Michigan (Internal Medicine, OBGYN).

Nationwide, the match rate this year was 92.9%. Securing a residency is not a foregone conclusion. Our students’ match results are a tribute to their determination and commitment to excellence.

One of the eight goals in our strategic plan is to be the first choice for learners and educators. Students who apply to medical schools look for many things, including the culture of the school, the curriculum, and the opportunities for research. Another very important factor in that process are the various measures of success including USMLE scores and match results. VTCSOM has consistently scored above the national mean on the USMLE exams and enabled students to match into the most competitive specialties and programs. Setting the stage for success starts by selecting students who are most likely to thrive in our unique curriculum that exceeds other 4-year medical school curricula in research, health systems science and interprofessional practice.

Our annual research symposium occurred a week after Match Day and overlapped with a second look visit by students who received offers of acceptance to VTCSOM in the Class of 2026. Our research symposium allows students the opportunity to showcase the culmination of their four-year research project. The event features poster presentations by members of the Class of 2022 along with oral presentations by students who earned Letters of Distinction for their research.

I am tremendously proud of the achievements of the class of 2022 and the faculty and staff who have mentored them along the way.

Lee A. Learman


  • Patrick Bonson, (class of 2022), Kristin Mahac, Andrew Binks, and Renée LeClair presented a poster at Conference on Higher Pedagogy titled: “Design Thinking: Creating a Longitudinal Medical Student Experience Diagram.”
  • Jennifer Cleveland presented VTCSOM's innovative pharmacology curricular design to other medical educators at the Southern Group in Educational Affairs of the AAMC.
  • Mark Greenawald delivered a webinar entitled “No One Should Care Alone: Creating Processes for Intentional Professional Connection for AMA Steps Forward,” an initiative by the American Medical Association.
  • Congratulations to Hannah Hudson and Katherine Murphy in the Office of Admissions who successfully completed the coursework and passed the IAAP exam to become Certified Professionals in Accessibility Core Concepts (CPACC).
  • Renée LeClair and Andrew Binks gave an invited presentation at the SCHEV-OVAC Open Education Week "Open Course Tours" event discussing the use of open educational resources in pre-clerkship education.
  • A big thank you to the VTCSOM Public Health Club for participating in a hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and COVID-19 vaccination drive in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition.
  • Kris Rau discussed pathology and therapies for spinal cord injury with over 500 high school students and their teachers at the 2022 Kentucky Youth Science Summit.
  • Brittany Stopa, class of 2023, received a scholarship from the Plymouth District Medical Society.
  • Joalenn Tabor was appointed Director of Health Systems Science and Interprofessional Practice Domain.
  • Nineteen VTCSOM faculty members were recently promoted at the annual Faculty Promotion Ceremony.
  • Six members of the class of 2023, along with four faculty members, and six Carilion Clinic residents were inducted into the prestigious Gold Humanism Honor Society.


  • Anita Kablinger, Virginia O’Brien, and Robert McNamara, faculty members in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, along with Alyssa Gatto, Hayoung Ko, Sydney Jones, and Lee Cooper with Virginia Tech, and Hunter Sharp and Martha Tenzer with Carilion Clinic published Effects of COVID-19 on patients in adult ambulatory psychiatry: using patient-rated outcome measures and telemedicine in Telemedicine and eHealth.
  • Tom Liu, VTCSOM class of 2020; Katherine Howe, surgical resident; and Michael Nussbaum, professor and chair of the Department of Surgery published “Burrell Memorial Hospital: Establishing surgical care for Black Appalachians in the early 20th century” in Black Surgeons and Surgery in America, pp. 126-132, American College of Surgeons, 2021.

Welcome to New Faculty

Welcome to all the new faculty who joined us in March:

  • Basic Science Education: Adrienne Sato
  • Health Systems and Implementation Science: Dedria Tuck
  • Pediatrics: Linda Keele
  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine: Charlie Tarasidis
  • Radiology: Gary Aragon and Christin Martino
  • Surgery: Patrick Carpenter
Michael North, class of 2022, explains portable ultrasound to M.E.D.S. Experience participants.

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • Seventeen Virginia Tech freshmen who are underrepresented in medicine and planning careers in medicine and research took part in VTCSOM’s Medical Exposure for Diverse Students (M.E.D.S.) Experience weekend last month. The program included exposure to clinical experiences, overview of the medical school admissions process, a first aid course, and Stop the Bleed training.
  • On Tuesday, April 12 at 6:00 p.m. VTCSOM will host its third Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging event called Ramadan Reflections.
  • The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team is proud to announce the Dean’s Diversity Champions Award, which recognizes significant achievements of faculty and students toward developing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Nominations (including self-nominations) are welcome from any member of the VTCSOM community. Up to ten awards will be given each year. Deadline for nominations: Wednesday April 11 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Holidays and observances in the month of April:
    • Celebrate Diversity Month
    • Autism Acceptance Month
    • 2: World Autism Awareness Day
    • 2-11: Chaitra Navaratri
    • April 2–May 2 (sundown to sundown): Ramadan
    • 8: The Day of Silence (daylong vow of silence to protest the actual silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) students and their straight allies due to bias and harassment)
    • 10: Palm Sunday
    • 10: Ram Navami
    • 13:  Equal Pay Day
    • 14: Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday)
    • 14: Mahavir Jayanti
    • 14: Vaisakhi (Baisakhi)
    • 15: Good Friday
    • 15: Lord’s Evening Meal
    • April 15–April 23: Passover
    • 16: Lazarus Saturday
    • 17:  Easter
    • April 21–May 2: The Festival of Ridvan
    • 22: Earth Day
    • 23: St. George’s Day
    • 24: Armenian Martyrs’ Day
    • 27–28: Yom HaShoah
    • 29: Ninth Day of Ridvan
    • 29: Laylat al-Qadr
collage of two photos of staff volunteering at feeding america

Community Corner

Last month, eight VTCSOM faculty and staff observed Principles of Community Week by helping out at Roanoke’s Feeding America Southwest Virginia. The group assisted with the organization’s recovery from the pandemic by sorting and processing donations. Thanks to VTCSOM staff who participated: Elvir Berbic, Katherine Brown, Jennifer Cleveland, Gwen Ghee, Jamie Hollimion, Courtney Powell, Kris Rau, and Brian Stanford

Celine Marlin Andrews

Spotlight on Giving

“Every day when I walk down the hall, I see Caroline Osborne’s picture, and I’m reminded to pay it forward to be the kind of physician I know she would have been,” said Celine Marlin Andrews, class of 2024 and recipient of the Caroline Osborne Memorial Scholarship created by the family as a remembrance. “Receiving the scholarship has made such an unbelievable impact on me. I want to make the most of my time here at VTC.” Read Celine's story.

Humanism Notes

Think about how different our lives would be without the barrage of chiming texts or email notifications that seem to interrupt our flow of thought and conversation. The internet is flooded with articles about the good things that come from powering down from our cell phones and computers, even for just 24 hours. These breaks allow us to focus on our human interactions, the beauty of the natural world, and other every day pleasures. They give us more time to be curious and creative, and to reflect on what we appreciate most. According to an article in Forbes, by unplugging, you’ll be more productive, sleep better, and improve relationships with others.

Even though the 13th annual National Day of Unplugging, sponsored by the Unplug Collaborative, was observed last month, I believe the idea of setting aside 24 hours to replace electronics with human interaction has merit anytime.

I believe we can all benefit from a short respite from technology each and every day, elevating the human connection over digital engagement.

Take Note

Take Note

  • Your VTCSOM student social chairs and student affairs team are thrilled to announce the return of the annual faculty vs. student softball game and chili cook-off! It will take place on April 24 at 4:00 p.m. at the River's Edge Sports Complex, Ball Diamond 1 (ball field closest to the concession stand at River's Edge South/Wiley Drive).
    If you are interested in playing on the faculty team or have any questions, please contact Mira Nicchitta at
    Fill out this Google form if you are interested in making chili and participating in the cook-off.
  • On April 21 and 28 VTCSOM, in partnership with REACH (Real Experiences Affecting CHange) are offering a FREE unique escape room, Escape from Poverty, experience to help understand the financial, psychological, and emotional stress of living in poverty. Drs. LeClair, Binks, Cleveland, and Rau invite the students, staff, and faculty of the Roanoke Campus of Virginia Tech to participate. There are four opportunities to attend.
  • April is Autism Awareness Month, and the Basic Science domain, students and other stakeholders, have incorporated a panel discussion on neurodiversity on April 27.
  • Teaching Excellence Academy for Collaborative Healthcare contains a number of best practices for speakers and teachers on their website, including resources for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
  • Accessible Technologies is hosting a number of accessibility-related courses this spring, including PDFs, PowerPoint and Google Slides, using Ally in Canvas, and universal design for learning.
  • For users of the VTC gym or wellness room, there is a new link to make reservations through the RecSports booking system. There will be two tabs: one for the gym reservation and one for the wellness room reservation.
    Employees who would like access to the VTC gym or wellness room booking system need to contact Emily Holt Foerst at Students will be granted priority if scheduling conflicts exist.
  • Past issues of Progress Notes are available on the website.

Upcoming Events

Keeper is a golden Labrador. Here he is laying on the floor in the VTCSOM library
Keeper chilling in the VTCSOM Library at Riverside 2.

The Last Note - Introducing Keeper!

Saint Francis Facility Dog Keeper was placed with Virginia Tech’s Health Sciences & Technology (HS&T) campus as the official HS&T Facility Dog. Keeper received two years of rigorous training from Saint Francis Service Dogs, an Assistance Dog International accredited organization, to prepare him for his role as a facility dog.

Utilizing his highly specialized skill set, Keeper and his handler, Carrie Knopf, MA, CPACC will provide the HS&T community with animal-assisted activities strategically designed to enhance wellness while mitigating issues such as burnout. They will also provide animal-assisted educational opportunities to teach faculty and students about the ways in which dogs support human health, including those with disabilities and chronic illness. Keeper’s placement makes him one of the few facility dogs in the United States to hold a full-time position on a health sciences campus.

Keeper will be in FBRI Library on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month and the VTCSOM library on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of the month. For information about his other activities, check out the Wellness Weekly or follow him on Instagram @KickItWithKeeper. Contact Carrie Knopf at with any questions or inquiries.

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