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October 1, 2009

People of the Times

Donald M. Yealy has been named chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Yealy is a principal investigator on two federally funded research trials totaling $9.6 million. His recent work includes studying differences in the severity of illness between black and white patients hospitalized with congestive heart failure and researching the optimal care of inflammatory cytokine response in pneumonia, sepsis and pulmonary embolism.

Yealy received his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. After completing a residency in emergency medicine and a clinical research fellowship at Pitt, he became a senior staff physician at the Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Texas and director of research in its Department of Emergency Medicine.

He returned to Pittsburgh in 1993 as associate chief of what was then the Division of Emergency Medicine, as well as chief of the Presbyterian University Hospital Emergency Services. He has served as vice chair of the emergency medicine department since 1995.

Yealy is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a member of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. His academic achievements include an award for outstanding contributions to research from the American College of Emergency Physicians (2009); the Hal Jayne Academic Excellence Award from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (2006), and an award for outstanding contributions to education from the American College of Emergency Physicians (2001).

He also has won three awards for faculty excellence in teaching from Pitt’s affiliated residency program in emergency medicine.

Susan A. Albrecht, associate dean susan_albrechtand associate professor in the School of Nursing’s Department of Health and Community Systems, was named Pitt’s 2009 Cameos of Caring nurse educator awardee. Albrecht will be recognized along with 62 other regional nursing professionals — including 13 who are Pitt nursing school graduates — at the 11th annual Cameos of Caring awards gala on Oct. 17.

Pitt’s nursing school created the Cameos of Caring program in 1999 to recognize nursing excellence at the bedside. The nurse educator category was added to the awards program in 2006. Nurse educator awardees are selected in recognition of their knowledge of current clinical and didactic educational methods; commitment to consistent, proactive clinical decision-making and excellence in nursing care; professional service to the community, and advocacy for the nursing profession.

In addition to teaching master’s and doctoral students, Albrecht serves as a doctoral student adviser and as a dissertation chairperson.

Her own research interests are in the areas of adolescent health, smoking cessation during pregnancy, relapse prevention and prevention of initiation of smoking in adolescents.

Albrecht is president-elect of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.

Thomas A. Medsger Jr., the Gerald P. RodnanMedsger Professor of Medicine, received the Scleroderma Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his service to the scleroderma community. The award is the foundation’s highest honor and is presented to individuals who have devoted a minimum of 20 years of service, either as a volunteer or professional, to the scleroderma community.

Scleroderma — a disease that causes the tissue in the skin, joints and internal organs to thicken — affects approximately 300,000 people in the United States. Medsger served as chief of Pitt’s Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, and director of the scleroderma research program and UPMC’s Scleroderma Clinic. His primary clinical and investigative interest is in scleroderma and other connective tissue diseases.

In 2001 and 2005 Medsger was the recipient of the Scleroderma Foundation’s Doctor of the Year Award.

Medsger serves as the Scleroderma Foundation western Pennsylvania chapter’s treasurer and interim president. He has written numerous articles for the foundation’s Voice magazine and has published more than 300 journal articles about scleroderma and related diseases.

Amy Seybert, associate professor Seybertof pharmacy and therapeutics, was selected to receive the 2009 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Foundation Pharmacy Residency Excellence Preceptor Award. The award recognizes excellence and leadership in the training and mentoring of pharmacy residents. Seybert will be honored at an award reception hosted by the ASHP Foundation in December.

Seybert, who joined Pitt’s faculty in 1997 after earning her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in pharmacy here, is a 2006 winner of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Pharmacy’s Kristine Schonder, assistant professor of pharmacy and therapeutics, has been appointed to the American College of Clinical Pharmacy educational affairs committee. The committee will make recommendations on re-engineering the delivery of experiential education to increase student involvement in direct patient care and to increase student impact on the preceptor’s practice productivity.

schonderSchonder also was appointed to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Council of Faculties faculty affairs committee. The committee will create an inventory of existing faculty development programs and will categorize best practices and successes.

Also at the pharmacy school, Dexi Liu, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, has received the 2009 Nagai Foundation Tokyo Distinguished Lectureship.

The Nagai Foundation Tokyo was founded in 1986 in commemoration of Tsuneji Nagai’s receiving the 1986 Hoest-Madsen Medal from the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the first for the Japanese. The non-profit organization promotes international exchange in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences.liu

A faculty member at Pit since 1993, Liu is a member of the American Society of Gene Therapy and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). He has been on the editorial board for Molecular Therapy and Gene Therapy, and on the editor’s advisory board for Pharmaceutical Research. He currently serves as associate editor for the AAPS Journal.

This month, Liu presented a lecture entitled “Ten Years of Hydrodynamic Gene Delivery: How Close Are We From Clinical Use?” at the Shizuoka Drug Delivery System conference in Shizuoka, Japan.

Adam Shear, assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies, has won the Morris D. Forkosh Award for his book “The Kuzari and the Shaping of Jewish Identity, 1167-1900.”

The Forkosh award is granted by the Journal of the History of  Ideas to the best book in intellectual history published in 2008.

According to the award committee, Shear’s book, “which tracks the reception and influence of Halevi’s masterpiece through many centuries — from the late middle ages through modern Europe — is a ‘tour de force’ of intellectual history. That Shear’s highly original book is able to combine scholarly depth and historical breadth without sacrificing accessibility to the non-specialist reader is a rare achievement.”

Earlier this year, the book won the 2008 Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in Scholarship, a national award given by the Jewish Book Council.

Shear also was awarded a 2007 Cahnman Publication Subvention Grant by the Association for Jewish Studies.

Joyce (Reed) Radovanic, director of conference services and special projects at the Johnstown campus,has been named to the Pitt-Johnstown Alumni Association board of directors.

Radovanic, who has worked at UPJ for 27 years, received her BA in English literature from Pitt-Johnstown in 2005.


The People of the Times column features recent news on faculty and staff, including awards and other honors, accomplishments and administrative appointments.

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