Promotions – October 2018

OFD News

Ginnie Abarbanell, MD, is appointed as Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Cardiology.  Dr. Abarbanell completed her BS at Cornell University and her MD at the University of Washington, Seattle, before serving her residency at Loma Linda University, California, and her fellowship at the University of Michigan Health System, Mott Children’s Hospital.  Prior to coming to WU, she was on staff at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, Indianapolis, where she was Director of the Pediatric Echocardiography Lab, and then on the faculty at Emory University.  She has particular clinical expertise in echocardiography and has experience establishing outreach clinic programs at Emory.  At WU, she will be Director of Pediatric Cardiology Outreach Programs.  She is establishing a multidisciplinary clinic in children and adolescents after congenital heart surgery with a particular focus on neurodevelopment.  Her educational contributions include a regularly published review of journal articles, currently having published over 200 article reviews.  In addition, she has a scholarly interest in global health and is an investigator in an NIH-funded study of a malaria vaccine in children in Kenya.


Megan Cooper, MD, PhD, is promoted with tenure to Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Rheumatology and Associate Professor of Pathology and Immunology.  Dr. Cooper earned her BA at the College of Wooster and her PhD and MD (cum laude) at The Ohio State University before coming to Washington University for her residency and fellowship.   Dr. Cooper is Director of Clinical Immunology in addition to being a nationally recognized basic scientist in the area of natural killer cell memory and metabolic regulation, with more than 30 publications in journals including Blood, Nature Genetics, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and PNAS, and funding from the NIH, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, and the Jeffrey Modell Foundation.  In addition, she has an interest in identifying genetic mutations responsible for human immunodeficiency and has identified STAT3 gain of function mutations and CARD11 mutations as causes of immune disease.  Dr. Cooper has a significant commitment to education, having mentored a number of trainees, including two post-doctoral fellows who are currently Assistant Professors at other institutions, co-founded the Pediatric Summer Research Program, and taken on the task of Director of the Rheumatology Fellowship program.


Joan Downey, MD, MPH, is promoted to Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Newborn Medicine.  Dr. Downey completed her BA at Boston University (magna cum laude), her MPH and MD at Harvard, and her residency at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Her fellowship was in the Harvard Joint Program in Neonatology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital.  Following her fellowship, she came to Washington University.  She was instrumental in the development of the Barnes Special Care Nursery in her role as Medical Director for the Labor and Delivery Service and Nurseries.  In addition to her work as an outstanding neonatologist, Dr. Downey has a tremendous commitment to medical and premedical education, and has served since 2002 as Assistant Dean for the Premed and PreHealth Professions Program, PreMed and PreHealth Career Advisor, and Coordinator of Undergraduate Research and Clinical Programs in the Medical School.  She is the Founding Faculty Director of the University Scholars Program in Medicine, a program in which a high school student can gain acceptance to both the undergraduate and the medical school at WU. In addition, she is the Course Master or Biology 265 and Coordinator of Experiences in the Life Sciences Course Sequence Development, which includes seven courses including PEMRAP (Pediatric Emergency Medicine Research Associate’s Program) at SLCH.  On the medical campus, she is Course Master for International Medicine Elective for Pediatric Residents and Fellows in Honduras.  In addition to her service to the university, she has served the female faculty by serving on the Academic Women’s Network Executive Board at its founding in 1994 and as President and Past President in 2001-2002.  In addition, she served on the Dean’s Advancement of Women at WU Task Force in 2001.  She has also focused on increasing the diversity of students in the STEM fields as part of her work with the Washington University Trio Program Task Force for Recruitment and Retention of African American Premedical Students, the Cornerstone Learning Center Disability Resource Workgroup, and the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office Diversity Workgroup, the Trio Grant Advisory Board for low income and 1st Generation College Students, as well as her work developing the Freshman Seminar, “The Physician, the Patients, and the Community,” teaching the history of the Homer G. Phillips Hospital.


Margaret Lozovatsky, MD, is appointed as Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hospitalist Medicine.  After graduating with her BS (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Marquette University, Wisconsin, and her MD at the University Of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, Dr. Lozovatsky completed her residency at Rush University in Chicago.  She was a fellow in Quality Improvement at NorthShore University Health System, Evanston, Ill, and a senior Clinical Consultant at SA Ignite before moving to Los Angeles as Medical Director of Information Systems at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.  She came to WU as Chief Medical Information Officer for SLCH and Child Health at BJC in 2017.  In addition, she is Child Health Leader for the newly formed Institute for Informatics and the Medical Director of Information Technology and Clinical Effectiveness for the Pediatric Computing Faculty.    She is on the Physician Advisory Council Board for EPIC and the PEDSNet Steering Board.


Rachel Orscheln, MD, is promoted to Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases.  After completing her BS (Phi Beta Kappa) and MD (cum laude) at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Dr. Orscheln came to Washington University for her residency and fellowship.  She is Director of Ambulatory Services for her division and has developed several services including an MRSA clinic, in which she developed means of decolonizing affected patients and their families, which she has passed on to community providers, an effort that was so successful that the MRSA clinic was decommissioned.  Her interest in global health spurred her to develop a multidisciplinary International Adoption Center to evaluate and treat children adopted internationally, as well as a Travel Clinic to provide preventive care for those planning travel to areas requiring specialized vaccines or prophylactic medications.  She serves as an advisor to the SLCH Answer Line and as a member and leader of the SLCH Microbial Stewardship Team.  She is currently a Co-Investigator on several NIH grants studying treatments for cytomegalovirus, Neonatal Herpes Simplex, and Influenza A.


Kelly Ross, MD, is promoted to Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hospitalist Medicine.   Dr. Ross completed her MD at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and her residency at Duke University.  She served as Director of Pediatric Hospitalist Medicine at Missouri Baptist Medical Center for a decade, developing numerous clinical care guidelines, and now is a Nocturnist, specializing in covering hospital patients at night.  She co-founded the Perinatal Behavioral Health Service, caring for mothers and infants at Barnes and SLCH.   She has a particular interest in multiple birth infants and mothers and co-authored a book for parents expecting more than two infants and she is a member of the SLCH Social Media Team and the Medical Director and Chair of Medical Advisors for Raising Multiples.


Charles Samson, MD, is promoted to Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition.  Dr. Samson earned his BS (highest distinction and highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa) at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his MD at the University of Washington.  He returned to UNC for residency and then went to Cincinnati Children’s for fellowship.  He is Director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at SLCH and Consultant in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Intestinal Failure at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.   His scholarly work focuses on quality improvement as a member of the ImproveCareNow (ICN) group, where he has served as chair of the Measurements Committee and the Strategy Council, Clinical Committee, and Physician Leadership Council.  He also serves as the Arkansas Children’s ICN Director and is an investigator on PCORI study, “Harnessing PCORNET to Study Comparative Effectiveness and Safety of Biologic Therapies.”  In addition to his clinical and scholarly work, he is Associate Director of the GI fellowship program.


Bryanne Colvin, MD, is promoted to Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Newborn Medicine.  Dr. Colvin completed her BA (magna cum laude) at the University of Dallas and her MD at St. Louis University, where she was also a resident.  She came to WU for her fellowship.  She is currently Assistant Medical Director for the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Special Care Nursery.  In that role, she has developed a program advising expectant mothers at BJH whose babies are at risk of requiring special care after delivery, as well as a program to disclose intrapartum clavicle fracture.  She contributes videos to the SLCH Facebook series, “From Belly to Baby – Bringing Baby Home from the Hospital.”



Emily Fishman, MD, MSCI, is promoted to Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Newborn Medicine.  Dr. Fishman earned a BS (summa cum laude) at Youngstown State University, Ohio, and an MD at Northeast Ohio Medical University before completing residency at The Ohio State University/Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a fellowship at Washington University.  She completed an MSCI at WU while a fellow.  She is medical director of the Progress West Level II Special Care Nursery.  She has served on the Executive Council of the Trainee and Early Career Neonatologist (TECaN) section of the AAP and as a TECaN representative to the Organization of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Training Program Directors.  She represents SLCH at the Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Database Focus Group for bronchopulmonary dysplasia.


Kathryn B. Leonard, MD, is promoted to Assistant Professor Of Pediatrics in the Division of Emergency Medicine.  After completing her BS and MD (with AOA membership) degrees at St. Louis University, Dr. Leonard came to Washington University for her residency and fellowship.  During her fellowship, she developed a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Boot camp, a three-day program that has hosted pediatric emergency fellows from all over the Midwest.  As a faculty member, she has adapted the program for training new Hospitalists on the faculty.  She also serves as Associate Fellowship Director for the division, where she has developed a fellowship curriculum including simulation work. She has a clinical interest in asthma – having coordinated development of an ED Asthma Management Guideline and served on the Asthma Quality and Outcomes Committee and the BJC Pediatric Clinical Expert Council.


Shawn O’Connor, MD, is promoted to Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Newborn Medicine.  Dr. O’Connor completed a BS (summa cum laude) at the University of Georgia, and an MD at Medical College of Georgia before coming to SLCH for residency, where he was awarded the James P. Keating Award.  He then was a Clinical Fellow Researcher and a Neonatal/Perinatal Fellow at WU.  He is Co-Medical Director of the Belleville Memorial Hospital nurseries.  Dr. O’Connor was the lead MD for Newborn Medicine in implementation of EPIC and he is the Director of Informatics for the NICU.  The design and process he developed for EPIC in the NICU was adopted by the PICU as well.


Kelsey Sisti, MD, is promoted to Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hospitalist Medicine.  Dr. Sisti completed her BS at the University of Arkansas and her MD at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences before coming to WU for residency.  Her work as a hospitalist includes work at BJH, SLCH, MBMC, and PWH.  She was recipient of the Triple Crown Award from Children’s Direct for exemplifying the attributes of Superior Patient Experience.  She is the lead educator for the WUMS III students rotating at MBMC and serves as a facilitator for the Hospitalist Mentor Program.


Leena Stemler, MD, is promoted to Assistant Professor Of Pediatrics in the Division of Emergency Medicine.  After completing a BA and MD at Brown University, Dr. Stemler came to Washington University for residency then went to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota for her fellowship.  During her fellowship, she worked on health literacy, pain perception, and simulation.   She has developed programs using simulations to educate students, residents, and new faculty in the ED.   Her clinical work with Children’s Direct earned her the Children’s Direct Emergency Services Triple Crown Award.


Zachary Vesoulis, MD, is promoted to Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Newborn Medicine.  Dr. Vesoulis completed his BA at Miami University, Ohio, and his MD at The Ohio State University, before coming to WU for his residency, where he was awarded the James P. Keating Award, and his fellowship, where he was awarded the “Outstanding Fellow Teaching Award.”  His scholarly focus began in fellowship identifying biomarkers predicting brain injury in premature infants, which he has carried forward into studies using cerebral near-infrared spectroscopy to examine cerebral blood flow and identify dysfunctional regulation of vascular tone, work funded by the ICTS that has resulted in over 23 publications to date.


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