USF Health Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine Newsletter
A few corrections have been made - please enjoy this updated version of news from this summer! Thank you!
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Summer 2012

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 Creative Educational ModelsCreativeEd

On May 4th, six students from the International Medicine Scholarly Concentration program graduated from University of South Florida's (USF) Morsani College of Medicine and entered residency programs: 
  • Daniel Eckstein MD - Family Medicine - Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg, FL 
  • Krystle Hunt MD - Emergency Medicine - Shands Hospital, Gainesville, FL
  • Pryianka Kamath MD - OBGYN - University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX
  • Lauren Mullinax MD - Pediatrics - Miami Children's Hospital, Miami, FL
  • Tanvi Patel MD - Internal Medicine - Shands Hospital, Gainesville, FL
  • Lisa Sander MD - Emergency Medicine - Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT 
The Scholarly Concentration in International Medicine is one of 12 concentrations USF medical students choose from. This particular program enables students in good academic standing to gain an international perspective in the practice of medicine. The Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine faculty mentor these students and provide lectures on various topics related to infectious diseases, chronic diseases, international medicine, and the practice of medicine within international healthcare systems. For more information on this program click here.

Thank you to our faculty who serve as mentors:

Special thanks to our guest lecturers and actively engaged faculty:  

To date, more than 70 medical students have participated in the Scholarly Concentration in International Medicine program! 

Entrepreneurial ModelsResearch

USF's own ID Podcasts celebrated its five year anniversary! Co-creators Richard Oehler MD FACP, Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Education with USF's Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine, and John Sinnott MD FACP FIDSA, Director of the Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine, officially added the first podcast to the website on June 27, 2007.

id podcasts 
Fellows, faculty and other clinicians affiliated with USF's Morsani College of Medicine have produced over 150 podcasts related to infectious diseases for the website, making it the internet's leading infectious diseases podcast site. After ID Podcasts made its mark as the very first infectious diseases podcast site in the nation, the co-creators started looking at other ways to disseminate their content. 
With healthcare trending toward mobile web applications, co-creators Richard Oehler and John Sinnott partnered with Absolute Mobile Solutions in Tampa, FL to create mobile versions of the website. With its debut in 2009, ID Podcasts was the first streaming iphone app at USF and the entire state university system. ID Podcasts also made history in 2010 as the first ipad app created at the University of South Florida. Shortly thereafter, the ID Podcasts app became available in the Android marketplace.

id podcasts apps 

In 2011, social media features were added by integrating ID Podcasts into Facebook and Twitter. By following status updates and tweets, people everywhere can receive alerts for newly released podcasts, updates for mobile apps and more.

On January 13th, 2012, Dr. Oehler inaugurated the
ID Podcasts Youtube channel. The Youtube channel currently has approximately 80 subscribers and over 15,000 views. That means on the Youtube channel alone, USF's infectious diseases podcasts are being viewed over 50 times a day, reaching people across the world.

At the heart of IDPodcasts vision for spreading infectious diseases information across the globe is a goal to make it as accessible to users as possible. All podcasts are available free of charge to anyone in multiple formats (i.e., the website, Youtube channel, smartphone apps, tablets, etc). Although the original intent was to provide information to medical professionals, it has become increasingly clear that IDPodcasts audience is much more diverse. In August, Dr. Oehler was contacted by a woman in India who viewed his podcast titled Non-Tuberculosis Mycobacteria - A Clinical Review on the ID Podcasts' YouTube channel. She shared the story of her father's diagnosis with a strain of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria, and how he continually battles drug resistance, medication side effects, and secondary infections.

Impressed with the podcast, she reached out to Dr. Oehler for any information on advances in research and treatment options. She concluded her letter by thanking Dr. Oehler for making this podcast public, as it helped her better understand her father's condition, which in turn greatly enhanced her understanding and appreciation of the treating physician's decisions. At her request, Dr. Oehler also provided a personal copy of the podcast so she could share what she has learned with others.


IDPodcasts has also been instrumental in recruiting new doctors to USF. Many physicians who have interviewed for medical fellowship and residency programs at the university have cited the podcast series as a regular part of their educational tools in learning infectious diseases (ID). Dr. Oehler recalls sitting at a dinner at a national ID conference and meeting an Infectious Diseases Fellow from Johns Hopkins. The resident personally thanked him for the web site, saying, "Your podcast series is so helpful. The Hopkins faculty would never do something like this...You all are so much more open and generous about sharing your teaching with others."

The accomplishments of USF's ID Podcasts over the last five years have been varied and far-reaching. The contributions of numerous faculty, fellows, and affiliates have created a pathway for individualized learning and global education and training in infectious diseases. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support of ID Podcasts' endeavors! 



Lynette Menezes 2012

Dr. Lynette Menezes, Assistant Professor of USF Infectious Disease & International Medicine and Director of USF Medicine International, co-authored "Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Concordance in Heterosexual Couples", a paper published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in July. Click here to view the abstract in PubMed.

Georgina Nasr fellow 2011 grad  

On June 10th, USF Infectious Disease Fellow Georgina Nasr MD provided a presentation on the "Overview of Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus Infection and Prevention in Hematological Malignancies" as part of the Florida Infectious Diseases Society 22nd Annual Symposium and Meeting in Orlando, FL. Dr. Nasr has since graduated from the fellowship program and joined the Apogee Physicians group at Danville Regional Hospital in Danville, VA.   


Elias Maroun ID Fellow 
USF Infectious Disease Fellow Elias Maroun MD published two papers in the journal of Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice. His first, titled "Pyogenic Liver Abscess Due to Fusobacterium Mimicking Metastatic Liver Malignancy"
and his second, titled "Mycobacterium fortuitum Breast Infection After Nipple Ring Placement: Case Presentation and Review of the Literature" were published in September.

Dr. Maroun has since graduated from the fellowship program and joined the Physicians of Central Florida group in Leesburg, FL.  


Faculty NewsEvents

In July, Dr. Beata Casanas, Associate Professor of Infectious Disease & International Medicine at USF and Medical Director of the Hillsborough County Health Department's Tuberculosis (TB) Center was interviewed by the Tampa Bay Times for her expert opinion on a recent outbreak of TB among the homeless in Jacksonville, FL. She discussed TB transmission, management and treatment. Last year, the TB Center in Hillsborough County saw 46 cases. Click here to read more. 
     Dr. Beata Casanas.

The USF Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine would like to congratulate our 2012 graduating fellows:
  • Joseph Katta DO, who joined Infectious Disease Consultants in Orlando, FL
  • Elias Maroun MD, who joined Physicians of Central Florida in Leesburg, FL
  • Tienchai Narach MD, who joined Dodge City Medical Center in Dodge City, KS
  • Georgina Nasr MD, who joined Apogee Physicians at Danville Regional Hospital in Danville, VA
  • Luis Rosas MD, who joined South Texas Infectious Diseases Consultants in McAllen, TX
  • Kevin Smith MD, who is currently uncommitted  
2012 Graduating Fellows June 14
Pictured left to right: Fellowship Program Director Dr. Todd Wills, USF Division of Infectious 
Disease Director Dr. John Sinnott (back), and fellows Joseph Katta, Elias Maroun, Tienchai 
Narach, Georgina Nasr, and Luis Rosas (Kevin Smith not pictured) at the Fellows  
Graduation Ceremony on June 14, 2012.
Also in June, six new fellows were welcomed into the USF Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine's two year Fellowship Program: 
  • Joseph Halliday DO, from Nova Southeastern University - College of Osteopathic Medicine 
  • Lily Jones DO, from Touro University - College of Osteopathic Medicine  
  • Mitsuya Katayama MD, from Tokyo Jikei University, Japan 
  • Nancy Rihana MD, from Lebanese University, Lebanon 
  • Rey J. Rivera MD, from Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine 
  • Vivian Vega MD, from University of South Florida   
2013 2014 Fellows Class
2013-2014 Fellows Class. New fellows Mitsuya Katayama (back row, left), Joseph Halliday (back row, second from left), Rey J. Rivera (back row, right), Vivian Vega (front row, second from left), Lily Jones (front row, third from left), and Nancy Rihana (front row, second from right), join current fellows Patrick Kenney (back row, second from right), Pamela Damisse (front row, left), Christine Ayarza (front row, third from right), and Phuong Nguyen (front row, right).
For more information on the fellowship program, click here.

On September 24th, the USF Research Foundation's MD Stats app became available for purchase in iTunes! According to the app creator, Dr. John Sinnott, this app serves as a tool for medical students to learn the basics of medical statistics in an interactive and fun way. Since its release, the app has been downloaded by users in the United States, Switzerland, Mexico, and Japan! To download the app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, click here. MD Stats may also be accessed online by clicking here.

MD Stats 

On August 8th, Dr. Dennis Cookro, Associate Professor with USF's Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine, was named the state's Interim Deputy Health Secretary for Health & Deputy State Health Officer for Children's Medical Services in Tallahassee, FL. The Division would like to congratulate Dr. Cookro on his recent appointment with the Florida Department of Health and thank him for all his hard work over the years!



AETC 21st annual HIV Conference

On October 26-27th, the Florida/Caribbean AIDS Education and Training Center (F/C AETC) will host it's 21st annual HIV Conference in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Jointly sponsored by USF Health and the F/C AETC, this conference is designed to increase the knowledge and skills of health care providers with regard to HIV. The three learning tracks will be Advanced Topics for HIV Clinicians, Fundamentals of HIV for Providers & Staff, and Women, Adolescents & Children.

Wills rounded edges

Dr. Todd Wills, Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine and Infectious Disease Fellowship Program Director, will serve as a track leader for Advanced Topics for HIV Clinicians.

Casanas rounded edges

Dr. Beata Casanas, Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine, will serve as a track leader for Fundamentals of HIV for Providers & Staff.

Montero rounded edges

Dr. Jose Montero, Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine, will serve as a track leader for Advanced Topics for HIV Clinicians.

For more information, or to register for this conference, click here.


ID conferences banner


ID Conferences are weekly lectures, typically held on Mondays, where fellows and faculty come together to enhance their knowledge of infectious disease. Recent topics included treponematosis, trypanosomiasis, microsporidia, aspergillus and more! For more information, contact Tammy Grice at      


John Sinnott




Our mission is to be an internationally outstanding academic center. We conduct research, analyze policy, deliver clinical care and provide training to healthcare providers locally, nationally & internationally. Our goal is to be a resource for infectious disease identification, prevention & treatment issues.