Alumni and Student Updates

The 2015 Alumni Awards

From left to right: John Betz, PA-C, John Olerud, M.D., Sue Verreault, Psy.D., who accepted the award on behalf of her late partner, Jamie Garcia, M.D., and Jared Baeten, Ph.D., M.D.
Photo: Team Photogenic

Respected by their peers as innovators, leaders, researchers, teachers and compassionate physicians, this year’s recipients of the UW School of Medicine Alumni Awards were recognized at A Toast to the UW School of Medicine during Reunion Weekend in June. Video tributes are posted online.

2015 Distinguished Alumni Award: John Olerud, M.D. ’71, Res. ’76, Res. ’78
Dr. Olerud, professor emeritus and former head of the Division of Dermatology, was honored for his contributions to the field of dermatology, where he is universally admired as a physician, teacher and researcher. He has published more than 100 articles, with much of his research focused on the areas of wound healing and T-cell lymphoma.

Alumni Humanitarian Award: Jamie Garcia, M.D. ’99 (awarded posthumously)
Dr. Garcia was honored for years dedicated to bringing healthcare to the most impoverished members of her community in California, providing care to the homeless and improving access to healthcare for the uninsured.

Alumni Early Achievement Award: Jared Baeten, Ph.D. ’01, M.D. ’03, Fel. ’08
Dr. Baeten was recognized for his exceptional achievements in global health, his excellence in teaching, and his contributions to research, which have had a major impact on global HIV prevention and reproductive health priorities.

Alumni Service Award: John Betz, PA-C (Seattle Class 1)
Mr. Betz was recognized for his 44-year career serving the rural community of Othello, Wash. Beginning in 1970, he cared for several generations of Othello residents, including many farmworkers — often for no charge.

We also congratulate the following alumni, honored by MEDEX Northwest in April.

Lifetime Achievement Award
June Betsch, PA-C (Seattle Class 20).

PA Pioneer Award
John Betz, PA-C (Seattle Class 1), Paul Snyder, PA-C (Seattle Class 1), and Richard Bunch, M.D.

Outstanding Preceptor Award
Carlos Vigil, PA-C (Seattle Class 28) and Martin Buccieri (Seattle Class 31).

Future of MEDEX Award
Laura Katers, PA-C (Seattle Class 45).

MEDEX Excellence in Teaching Award
Patrick Parenzin, PA-C (Seattle Class 39).

MEDEX Humanitarian Service Award
William Bomberger, PA-C (Yakima Class 8).

Nominate Exceptional Alumni!
We encourage your nominations for the 2016 UW School of Medicine Alumni Awards. Anyone who has received a degree from — or completed residency or fellowship training in — a program administered by the UW School of Medicine is eligible. Nominations are due by Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. Read more and nominate at

The Gift of a Stethoscope

Spokane students wear their new
stethoscopes from the alumni association.
Photo: Clare McLean

In ceremonies across the WWAMI region, each of the 245 students in this year’s entering class received their first stethoscopes, a gift from the UW School of Medicine Alumni Association. Alumni volunteers from 20 classes, ranging from 1954 to 2011, presented the stethoscopes.

In Seattle, Scott Stuart, M.D. ’01, Res. ’04, Chief Res. ’05, the new president of the association, spoke about the support alumni can provide students through programs like SAID and HOST, as well as the symbolic and practical role of the stethoscope. “Even more important than hearing a wheeze or a murmur, using this stethoscope will allow you to lay healing hands on your patient,” he said. “The magic in your healing hands is comfort, care, empathy and reassurance.”

Congratulations to the newest students at the UW School of Medicine!

Our Alumni Volunteers
Thanks to the alumni, listed at right, who participated in stethoscope ceremonies across WWAMI. If you’re interested in participating in the future, please contact the alumni relations office at

Anchorage, Alaska. Barb Doty, M.D. ’82, Steven Floerchinger, M.D. ’87

Moscow, Idaho. Mary Barinaga, M.D. ’95, Res. ’98, Anne Eacker, M.D. ’97, Chief Res. ’01

Bozeman, Mont. Meghan Johnston, M.D. ’11, Leslee Kane, M.D. ’07, Christy Mitchell, M.D. ’98

Laramie, Wyo. Jasper Chen, M.D. ’07, Thor Hallingbye, M.D. ’08, Mark McKenna, M.D. ’05, Samantha Michelena, M.D. ’11, Greg Wallace, M.D. ’09

Seattle, Wash. Angela Chien, M.D. ’95, Alison Dragnich Hartvigson, M.D. ’06, Res. ’09, Margaret Isaac, M.D. ’03, Henry Kuharic, M.D. ’54, Michelle Oh, M.D. ’94, Scott Stuart, M.D. ’01, Res. ’04, Chief Res. ’05, Julie Vath, M.D. ’00, Ray Vath, M.D. ’65, Res. ’69, Carl Wigren, M.D. ’01, Res. ’05

Spokane, Wash. Karlene Arguinchona, M.D. ’85, David Bare, M.D. ’75, Jerico Cairns, M.D. ’07, David Greeley, M.D. ’89, Warren Toews, M.D. ’71

UW Night at the Mariners

Fourth-year students Kramer Wahlberg, Beth Stroeher, Tom Wright and Josephine Garcia join the fun at the Mariners game.

Photo: Lynne Salkin Morris

While the Seattle Mariners weren’t triumphant on July 10, 2015, our alumni still enjoyed a UW School of Medicine Alumni Association-hosted gathering at UW Night at the Mariners. Joining more than 1,000 University of Washington alumni and community members, our alumni, students, family and friends came together at Lookout Landing inside Safeco Field, where they mingled, reconnected, enjoyed a dinner of baseball-field favorites and watched the Mariners take on the L.A. Angels.

2015 Reunion Weekend

Top: Alumni and friends gather at A Toast to the UW School of Medicine at the Museum of History & Industry on Friday night.
Bottom: Monika Mahal, M.D. ’95, Susan Kim, M.D. ’95, Res. ’96, and Martin Makela, M.D. ’95, enjoy their reunion.
Photos: Team Photogenic

“It was absolutely fantastic to get together with old buddies and find out what in the world they had been doing for the last half-century.”
– Dick Baerg, M.D. ’65

On June 5 and 6, more than 550 alumni and their guests reconnected at the UW School of Medicine 2015 Reunion Weekend. The two-day program began with a WWAMI-themed reception for all graduates at the Museum of History & Industry. The following day, participants gathered for a variety of programs, including an update on the School, presented by Dean Paul G. Ramsey, M.D., “Doc Talks,” highlighting innovations at UW Medicine and beyond, and a tour of Harborview Medical Center. The weekend concluded with class dinners at restaurants across the city. Thank you for making Reunion Weekend 2015 one for the record books!

And now for 2016: save the date!
If you graduated in a year ending in a 1 or a 6 (such as 1961 or 1996), save the date for next year’s reunion: Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4! Visit for more information, and consider joining your class reunion outreach committee — it’s fun, and the time commitment is minimal. To volunteer, contact or 206.685.1875.

Students Say “Thanks!”

More than 250 alumni help our students and their school each year: assisting with mock interviews, hosting students who are traveling to interviews for residencies, or sharing advice. Our students greatly appreciate you. Below are a few words of thanks we’ve received from students in recent months.

“Thank you for all the effort you put into HOST! I was matched seven times, which was not only a significant financial help, but also such a pleasant introduction to new cities!”
–Tiana Nizamic, M.D. ’15

“I had a great time at my SAID event! The doctor who hosted me has since been sending me articles that he finds relevant to our conversation. Very thoughtful and helpful!”
–Ramsey Larson, E-2012

“[My HOSTs were] really lovely people! It was great to get their perspectives on the town they live in and the program they are training in.”
–Alice Bremner, M.D. ’15

For more information about how to get involved, please visit

Speed “Dating” and Physical Therapy

“Everyone was really positive, the atmosphere was great, and I feel like I walked away with great information as well as future contacts.” That was Catey Whitlock’s assessment of a career networking event for physical therapy students, one hosted by the alumni association and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in May.

During the fun, three-hour program — structured to resemble a speed-dating event — students could speak with 20 alumni, who were seated at tables divided by specialty and work setting. Students changed tables every 10 minutes, which allowed them to learn about a variety of careers. Afterwards, while chatting over appetizers, students were able to ask more detailed questions. “I had the most amazing time with my classmates and the UW alumni,” says Whitlock.

To participate in the next event this spring, please contact the alumni office at

Students speak with alumni about careers in physical therapy.

Photo: Lynne Salkin Morris

Emergency Medicine’s First Residents

Our first class of emergency medicine residents: Alisha Brown, M.D., Res. ’15, Rebekah Heckmann, M.D., Res. ’15, Patrick Maher, M.D., Res. ’15, Blaise Bellows,
M.D. ’11, Res. ’15, and Ryan Gould, M.D., Res. ’15.
Photo courtesy of the program.

Four years at local urban hospitals, rotations at rural and international sites, and now: the end of residency.

The inaugural class of the UW Medicine Emergency Medicine Residency Program, consisting of five students, completed their training on Friday, June 12, 2015. Four are staying in the area to pursue further training. “The UW emergency medicine residency is the only civilian emergency medicine training program in the WWAMI region and, as such, addresses an important aspect of UW Medicine’s mission to improve the health of the public,” says Susan Stern, M.D., UW professor and head of the Division of Emergency Medicine. The division also graduated its first medical education research fellow, Joshua Jauregui, M.D., Fel. ’15.

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