Alumni Class Notes


  • Fifty-five years after receiving his MD from Howard University, James P. Comer, MD, MPH '64, returned to his alma mater in May to give the keynote address at Howard's School of Education Honors and Awards ceremony. Comer is also the recipient of the 2015 Mary Utne O'Brien Award for Excellence in Expanding the Evidence-Based Practice of Social and Emotional Learning.


  • Looking back on her long career in medicine and public health, Nigerian physician Florence Abinola Adeniran, MPH '72, says she has learned "to accommodate people and take them for who they are. In my 85 years of existence I have realized that no human being is perfect, and there is always a good side to each individual.   
  • Formerly associate vice president for development at Buffalo (NY) State College, Jane Armbruster, MPH '79, is now vice president of foundation and community relations at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.
  • Peter Butler, MHSA '76, and William Leaver, MHSA '76, were among 25 individuals nationwide to receive a Becker's Healthcare 2015 leadership award. Butler is president and chief strategy officer of Rush University Medical Center (Chicago) and associate chair and professor of Rush University's Department of Health Systems Management. Leaver is president and CEO of UnityPoint Health (West Des Moines, Iowa), and a past president and CEO of Rock Island, Illinois-based Trinity Regional Health System.
  • Sally Calef-Gebronwas, MPH '74, a long-term health care representative for Genworth Insurance and former president of the Sausalito (California) Chamber of Commerce, has been named Spirit of Marin for 2015. The award honors businesses or individuals in Marin County who have made a difference in their community.
  • A board-certified hospice and palliative-care physician, Lewis Hays, MD, MPH '72, was instrumental in developing palliative-care services on Boston's North Shore and is currently medical director of All Care Hospice in Lynn, Massachusetts.  
  • Alan M. Jette, MPH '75, PhD '79, is editor-in-chief of Physical Therapy, the monthly scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association. Jette is professor of health policy and management at the Boston University School of Public Health, where he directs the Health and Disability Research Institute, and professor in the Rehabilitation Sciences Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions.
  • President Obama has reappointed Barbara Rimer, MPH '73, as chair of the President's Cancer Panel. Rimer is dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the Gillings School of Public Health, University of North Carolina.
  • Barbara Schoenbrun-Glickman, MHSA '78, who worked in health care administration for 20 years, has published two books: Maryland's Public Gardens & Parks (2015) and Capital Splendor-Gardens & Parks of Washington, D.C. (2012).


  • St. Joseph Mercy Health System has appointed David Brooks, MHSA '85, president of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and St. Joseph Mercy Livingston. Brooks was previously with St. John Providence Health System, where he was president of St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit and senior vice president of the system's east region.  
  • Neysa Dillon-Brown, MHSA '83, has joined the Atlanta office of Diversified Search, an executive search firm, as managing director in the Healthcare Practice. Dillon-Brown was most recently president, executive search practice, with the Desir Group LLC.
  • After four decades in health care, long-time arts patron Robert Johnson, MPH '84, has become executive director of the Paramount Theatre and Visual Arts Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Johnson was previously executive director of the CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center and a St. Cloud city council member.
  • At the end of 2015, Deborah Szmuszkovicz Devaux, MHSA '83, will become COO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the Harvard School of Public Health and Tufts Medical School.
  • Sharon Legette-Sobers, MHSA '84, is senior program officer for opportunity grants for the Greater Rochester (New York) Health Foundation.
  • Valerie Powell-Stafford, MHSA '89, has been elected to the board of governors of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is the COO of Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida, and the former COO of Doctors Hospital in Sarasota, Florida.


  • Nevada Business Magazine has chosen Vance Farrow, MPH '94, as its 2015 Community Partner Healthcare Hero for southern Nevada. Farrow is the industry specialist for health care in the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development.
  • In addition to being director and CEO of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, Charles B. Holmes, MD, MPH '94, is a faculty member at the Center for AIDS Research in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases.  
  • In June, Sridhar P. Reddy, MPH '95, became chief medical officer at St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron (Michigan).
  • President Obama has nominated Kristen Sarra, MPH '97, as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget in the U.S. Interior Department. Previously the department's principal deputy secretary for policy, management and budget, Sarra has also worked in various senior roles at the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Commerce Department, and Democratic offices in the Senate.


  • After nearly a decade of service, Anand Parekh, MD, MPH '02, has stepped down from his position as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Science & Medicine) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • A faculty member in the Department of Urologic Oncology and Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Buffalo, New York), Willie Underwood III, MPH '04, focuses on methods to improve the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer.


  • As associate director of the board of directors of the American College of Epidemiology, Shervin Assari, MD, MPH '14, chairs the Associate Members Committee and serves on the Career Mentoring Committee.
  • James Keller, MD, MHSA '14, is vice president, medical management, for Chicago's Advocate Trinity Hospital.