Inside Tulane Med: Quarterly News from the Tulane University School of Medicine

Class Notes

Update us with your latest news by emailing

Palmisano Receives Outstanding Alumnus Award

Dr. Donald Palmisano
Dr. Donald Palmisano

Dr. Donald J. Palmisano will receive the 2013 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Tulane Medical Alumni Association on October 4 during the fall reunion celebration. Palmisano is honored because of his work in patient safety, risk management, leadership, medical liability reform, emergency communications and disaster preparedness.

After graduating from Tulane University in 1960 and Tulane University School of Medicine in 1963, and Tulane Surgery residency in 1968, Palmisano went on to receive a law degree from Loyola Law School. A former president of the American Medical Association (2003-2004) and the Louisiana State Medical Society (1984-85), Palmisano has delivered over 1,000 speeches and media interviews.

He has testified before Congress many times on medical liability reform, patient safety, antitrust, health system reform and patient privacy. His message about the need for less government and third-party involvement in medicine as well as the need to fix the broken liability system has not changed since he first testified to Congress in 1976 during the hearings on National Health Insurance. He was a key participant in the development and passage of La. Act 817 of 1975, the comprehensive medical malpractice legislation in Louisiana. His goal throughout his medical career has been to protect ethical science-based medicine and patients. His national advocacy for patient privacy and medical record confidentiality resulted in the American Psychiatric Association awarding him an honorary fellowship in the American Psychiatric Association in 2003.

Palmisano is president of Intrepid Resources®, a risk management and patient safety company, and is the author of the acclaimed book, On Leadership – Essential Principles for Success, now in the expanded second edition. His latest book, The Little Red Book of Leadership Lessons, which contains leadership quotes, was published in 2012.

Hanna Receives C.D. Taylor Award

Dr. Elias Hanna
Dr. Elias Hanna

The Tulane Medical Alumni Association will honor Dr. Elias S. Hanna with the C.D. Taylor Award at the 2013 fall reunion celebration on October 4. The C.D. Taylor Award is given to a member of the alumni association who has demonstrated distinguished service to their community.

Hanna has spent most of his career using his medical skills to help underserved patients with heart conditions throughout the world. After graduating from the Tulane University School of Medicine in 1963, Hanna was drafted by the U.S. Army to perform surgery in Saigon, Vietnam. During "slow times" at the U.S. Army Third Field Hospital, Hanna created an important program that had lasting positive effects on the lives of the Vietnamese people. He operated on 89 Vietnamese children and received South Vietnam's highest honor from the government's Ministry of Health for performing the first successful heart operation on a Vietnamese citizen. He feels that the highlight of his service in Vietnam was when he successfully removed an enemy bullet from the heart of a 20-year-old American soldier. The very next day, articles with photos of Hanna, the soldier, and the bullet he removed were published in newspapers all over the world.

In 1972, Hanna performed a triple bypass operation on a patient who was a Jehovah's Witness.  Due to his religious beliefs, the man refused a blood transfusion. Hanna put together an 11-member operating team and successfully performed the procedure in approximately 75 minutes with no blood transfusion. This feat earned him a reputation for having the "fastest hands in the West".


Dr. Herbert S. Bell received the Meritorious Award from the Joint Section of Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves of the American Association of Neurosurgeons and the Congress of Neurosurgery. He is the first recipient of this award. Bell and his wife Marilyn celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this year.

Dr. Robert F. Carter, Jr. (F ’59) is once again coordinating a Class of '53 outing in Ocean Springs, Miss.

Dr. George W. Beddingfield (R '61) announces the release of his new novel, Hush, Boy, which tells of the joys and sorrows of growing up in the Deep South.

Thirty years ago Dr. Donald A. Berman wrote a Christmas tree story for his children. At their insistence, it was illustrated and published last fall. A portion of the proceeds from the book, Tommy Timber: The Story of a Christmas Tree, goes to support the work of the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Dr. R. Teryl Brooks (A&S '55) is a full time instructor in Human Anatomy & Physiology and Basic Nutrition at SEARK College in Pine Bluff, Ark. It is a two year college that feeds primarily into nursing, radiology tech and respiratory tech programs around the state.

In 1964, Dr. John P. Elliott Jr. established the first Urology practice in Northeast Mississippi. In 1978 Elliott ran and finished the Boston Marathon, and in 1995 he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. In 1996, Elliott was named the Mississippi State Arts and Science Alumnus of the Year. He has gone on multiple medical mission trips in both Africa and South America. He has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease but is doing well.


Drs. Richard Dale and Lee Schultz (both M ’61) are still practicing, although limited to Tucson, Ariz. Dr. Dale put together a successful medical conference through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River in July 2013.

Dr. John T. Wilson III (A&S '60, G '63), Professor of Pediatrics, Chair of the Section on Clinical Pharmacology and the Director of Children's Clinical Research, is being recognized for career's work by two of his former students. Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, located in Kansas City, Mo., has created the John T. Wilson Endowed Lectureship Award in Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. The endowment honors the contributions of Dr. Wilson by hosting an annual lecture, which will allow leaders in pediatric clinical pharmacology and therapeutics to share and disseminate new knowledge in a public forum. This lectureship was created by the Division of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutic Innovation and the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Mercy. Funding for this lectureship at Children's Mercy was made possible through a philanthropic gift to the institution from Gregory L. Kearns, PharmD PhD, and Kathleen A. Neville, MD MS, both of Children's Mercy, in recognition of their mentorship by Dr. Wilson.

Dr. W. Foster Eich III retired completely from medical practice in November 2012. He had retired from general pediatric practice in 2006, but continued to work part-time, first in a pediatric ER and then at a mental health center.

Dr. John A. Enbom retired from active practice in 2000 but has remained active in Pacific Coast Obstetrical and Gynecological Society serving as secretary treasurer (2007-10) and president (2012). He has enjoyed attending his Tulane School of Medicine 40th and 45th reunions.

Dr. James M. Ciaravella Jr. (A&S '64) was named artist of the month and his work was on the cover of Louisiana State Medical Society Journal. He enjoyed designing, sculpting and constructing the U.S. Navy SEAL Memorial in Shreveport, La., honoring Lieutenant Commander Jonas Kelsall and Sr. Chief Petty Officer Rob Reeves.


Dr. Stanley P. L. Leong (A&S '71, PHTM '74, R '75, F '76) received the Eminent Scientist of the Year award for 2012 in Clinical Oncology and Cancer Research. It was presented by the International Research Promotion Council at the World Scientists Forum. Leong, an internationally reputed expert in Clinical Oncology, especially in Cutaneous Oncology, is presently working as Chief of Cutaneous Oncology at California Pacific Medical Center and Senior Scientist at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, San Francisco. He is also Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. In addition, he is the Founder and President of the Sentinel Node Oncology Foundation and the Sentinel Lymph Node Working Group.

Dr. Kirk F. Bellard (R '77) is busy planning his 40th class reunion in 2014. He was promoted to full professor of clinical pediatrics for his volunteer teaching duties with the Tulane School of Medicine.

After 25 years in radiology, most recently as chief of radiology at Deaconess Hospital, Dr. Clark A. Ward has chosen to facilitate today's cutting edge technology: proton therapy. He joined ProCure in the spring of 2011 as senior vice president of physician and patient affairs, and became its chief executive in June 2013. Opened in July 2009, ProCure recently completed treatment for its 800th patient.

Dr. Gordon L. Love (R '83), the medical director of the Los Angeles Quest Diagnostics laboratory, has been appointed medical director of the Western Region of Quest Diagnostics. As Western Region medical director, Love directs Quest Diagnostics clinical laboratory activities in six western states from Alaska to California, including Nevada and Idaho. The Los Angeles Quest Diagnostics laboratory is the largest laboratory in the Western Region as well as one of the largest, free-standing medical laboratories in the world, processing over 50,000 patient requisitions per day and well over a billion individual laboratory tests per year. Love was previously the medical director of the Sacramento Quest Diagnostics. He is a professor of Clinical Pathology at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine. Board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, Cytopathology, Medical Microbiology, and Medical and Public Health Mycology, Dr. Love is the author of Bench Top Atlas of Mycology published by the College of American Pathologists. Dr. Love and his wife, Margaret, are in the process of relocating to the Los Angeles area.

Dr. Jesse P. Penico has been added to the Memorial Physician Clinics in the practice of infectious diseases.

Dr. Bernard H. Eichold (A&S '75, PHTM '78, PHTM '80) was named the 2012 Mobilian of the Year by the Cottage Hill Civitan Club of Mobile County, Ala. The award has been given annually since 1948 to an individual who has made an extraordinary, positive impact on the Mobile community. In the last two decades, Eichold has revolutionized the Mobile County Health Department. His engagement of public-private partnerships has helped advance several public health initiatives.


Dr. Mary P. Lupo (NC '76, R '84) was named a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for 2013. Lupo is a board certified dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine. Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.'s highly selective list of Regional Top Doctors in their specialties highlights less than five percent of the nation's licensed physicians.

Dr. Gail C. Brady (R '87) lives in Los Angeles with her 15-year-old daughter, Lesley. Brady still practices psychiatry, and she is getting used to Los Angeles. The hiking and climate are wonderful, but she will always love Louisiana.

Dr. Richard "Hunt" Bobo (A&S '79) is practicing neurosurgery in Tupelo, Miss. He is married to Sara Phillips Bobo and has twin 15-year-old daughters, Rachel and Jenny.

Dr. Rachel L. Levine, formerly Richard, is a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine, Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics, and Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. She trained at Mount Sinai in New York City and was on staff for 5 years. She then left New York and moved to central Pennsylvania in 1993 to Penn State Hershey, where she enjoys the mix between the clinical care of teens and young adults with eating disorders, teaching, research and administration. She has two children: David and Dayna.

Drs. Mark and Daphne Anderson (both M ’83) live in Springfield, MO. He practices interventional cardiology and she has recently retired from dermatology practice.

Dr. Julie Amstutz Hodge (PHTM '87, R '91) has begun a four-year term as a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Dermatology. She is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California at Irvine, and a past president of the Dermatologic Society of Orange County and of the Pacific Dermatologic Society.

Dr. Kathryn E. Maccaulay has lived in Seattle for the past 19 years with her husband Tom. They have four children and two of the four are college age. She is looking forward to her 25th reunion from medical school and seeing her classmates.

Dr. Eric A. Schoenberg does full-time independent contracting as an anesthesiologist and is a part-time flight surgeon in the Air National Guard. He is mostly busy with two children, a wife, and two cats.

Dr. Frederick M. Azar was elected first vice president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Board of Directors at its annual meeting in Chicago. Azar serves as chief-of-staff of the Campbell Clinic, as well as a professor and director of the sports medicine fellowship program in the University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He was also director of the department’s residency program for 10 years. He is a member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA), and the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA), along with many other national and international groups. Azar also serves as the team physician for the NBA Memphis Grizzlies, and the University of Memphis and Christian Brothers University sports teams.

Dr. O. Alton Barron (R '94) and his wife Dr. Carrie Barron (Grace Caroline Vigilante, M '89), published a self-help book a year ago called The Creativity Cure, with an introduction written by Bruce Springsteen.

Dr. Myra A. Kleinpeter (PHTM '89, R '92, F '96), along with faculty member and chairman of the department of Otolaryngology Dr. Paul Friedlander, was honored on July 13, 2013 in New Orleans with the Unsung Heroes Award by CLOUT – Religious and Educational Association of Louisiana, for being a strong representative of the Church, Civic, Corporate and Medical Community. Dr. Kleinpeter is Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine and serves as director of the Peritoneal Dialysis Program for Tulane/Dialysis Clinics, Inc., and director of the Tulane Nephrology Clinic at the Medical Center of Louisiana, formerly known as Charity Hospital. She has formerly served as director of the ambulatory clinics at the Medical Center of Louisiana of New Orleans from 1999-2005. She serves as Chair of Medical Affairs for the Board of Trustees for the American Kidney Fund; president of the board for the National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana; and is past president of the Orleans Parish Medical Society. She is the current president of the Louisiana Medical Association, and currently serves as a commissioner for Hospital District A, Parish of Orleans, in redeveloping a community hospital in New Orleans East.


Dr. Jeffrey D. Carron was recently promoted to Professor of Otolaryngology and Pediatrics at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, where he is also the Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program.

Dr. Amanda B. Hilmer (NC '95) recently joined Family Care Health Centers in St. Louis. She is board certified in Internal Medicine. After graduating from the Tulane School of Medicine in 1999, she completed her residency program at Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Amarpaul S. Sidhu (PHTM '99) spends his days performing surgery on his cancer patients, but reserves his evenings to work on his latest action film. Dr. Sidhu is one of the most well respected cancer-fighting doctors in California, and is quickly becoming one of the most unconventional success stories in the independent film industry. He has produced and acted in two independent films ("Aakhari Decision" and "The Black Russian"), and is currently working on his third.


Dr. Lisa Martén (NC '95, PHTM '96) purchased South Texas Eye Institute (STEI) on April 17, 2008 and became Medical Director of the practice. This year, Martén is celebrating STEI's five-year anniversary. She lives in San Antonio with her husband, Jorge Gorrzegz (S&E ’99) and their two children.

Dr. Heather Berkowitz Elizondo-Vega (NC '98, NC '98) has completed 11 years of service as a physician in the US Army. She has now relocated with her family to Orlando, Fla., where she is an Adolescent Medicine specialist for the Florida Hospital Pediatrics Residency program.

Dr. Sarah Youssefi Estrada is a dermatopathologist with Affiliated Dermatology in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has three children: Carlos, 7, Lucy, 3, and Eloise, who was born in January 2013.

Dr. Chad S. Miller (R ’07), assistant professor of clinical medicine, is the recipient of the 2013 Teaching Scholar Award at the Tulane School of Medicine. Miller's innovations in introducing future generations of medical school faculty to best practices in teaching were central in his being selected to receive the honor. Miller is director of student programs for the Department of Medicine and the department's clerkship director. Of the courses he teaches, Miller says, "the clinical clerkship is the big one. That's when the students start doing their clinical rotations, when they actually go into the hospital." Miller teaches several elective courses coordinating with the clinical experience, including one on clinical problem solving that tests students' knowledge of medicine and reasoning skills. In another, Miller trains students how to be effective teachers of medicine. He provides the same training for current faculty in the School of Medicine.

Update us with your latest news by emailing

<< Back to Newsletter

Tulane University School of Medicine
Physical Address:
131 S Robertson St. Suite 1500
New Orleans, LA 70112
Telephone: 504-988-5462
Mailing Address:
1430 Tulane Ave. #8001
New Orleans, LA 70112
Fax: 504-988-2945

Tulane School of Medicine