LCOM & Department News

UVM Larner College of Medicine Clinical Chairs’ Letter to the Community

July 23, 2018 by UVM Larner College of Medicine Clinical Chairs

On July 18, 2018, UVM Larner College of Medicine clinical department chairs issued a letter to the community.

On July 18, 2018, UVM Larner College of Medicine clinical department chairs issued a letter to the community that was shared with local Vermont media outlets. The content of the letter is included, below.

As clinical department chairs at the UVM Larner College of Medicine, we have responsibility for fulfilling the education, research and patient care missions of the College and of our partner, The University of Vermont Medical Center. As physicians, each of us has taken an oath to serve our patients and our community, and we take that promise very seriously. We believe it is an honor and a privilege to care for people when they need us the most, armed not only with the tools of modern medicine but also with open hearts and listening minds. While the events over the last weeks involving the nursing union and strike have been difficult, we want to assure you that we, along with our health care teams across the institution, are fully committed to ensuring that our patients and their families continue to receive safe, effective, high quality, collaborative, compassionate care – no matter what. Our tenets that follow remain strong and reflect why each of us takes great pride in being able to work and live here.

We are a team. At the core of our clinical and academic mission is the care of our patients and their families, and this is a team effort. We support and appreciate every member of the patient care team, including not only the faculty physicians, nurses, social workers and technicians you may interact with, but also the pharmacists, schedulers, laboratory scientists, culinary workers, office managers, and hundreds of others who dedicate their workday to ensuring that our patients receive the care they need, when they need it.

We are teachers and scientists. Our medical center is a vibrant classroom for medical students, nursing students, pharmacy students, laboratory science students, residents, advanced practice nurses, fellows and more. Biomedical research is also thriving here, with many breakthrough discoveries and treatments that are making a difference in the lives of people we care for locally and in turn can then be shared around the world. Studies show patients benefit when receiving care at an academic medical center teaching hospital, from the strength of the health care team to having access to the latest treatments and clinical trials. 

We are your neighbors, colleagues, and friends. This is one of the nation’s best places to live, by many measures, and we share your commitment to living and raising our families here. As members of this community, each of us has a responsibility to serve it in the best way we can. For all of us involved in the health care mission, it is a privilege to care for you and your family as compassionately and effectively as we care for our own.

We will be here when you need us most. We are proud of the professionalism and commitment of our teams who care for our patients and their families. Every hour of every day, in every department throughout the hospital, and in every clinic across our community, we will continue to focus on caring for you and the members of our community who need us most. This is at the heart of our mission as an institution and in the heart of every person who has chosen this career.

Again, we are fully committed to ensuring that our patients and their families continue to receive safe, effective, high quality, collaborative compassionate care – no matter what. We promise to be vigilant in our efforts to support, encourage, and inspire our teams to keep patients at the center of all we do, as we honor and celebrate the commitment to service and the deeply personal connections that are the hallmark of our profession.


The UVM Larner College of Medicine Clinical Department Chairs:

Ira M. Bernstein, M.D.
John Van Sicklen Maeck Professor and Chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences

Kristen K. DeStigter, M.D.
Professor and Chair of Radiology

Lewis R. First, M.D.
Professor and Chair of Pediatrics

Gregory L. Holmes, M.D.
Professor and Chair of Neurological Sciences

Debra G. B. Leonard, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Donald M. Mathews, M.D.
Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology

Claude E. Nichols, III, M.D.
Professor and Chair of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation

Mitchell C. Norotsky, M.D.
Associate Professor and Stanley S. Fieber, M.D. Chair in Surgery

Polly E. Parsons, M.D.
E.L. Amidon Professor and Chair of Medicine

Thomas C. Peterson, M.D.
Professor and Chair of Family Medicine

Robert A. Pierattini, M.D.
Professor and Chair of Psychiatry

Department Highlights

Dr. Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph. D., our department chairand the Genomic Medicine Team announce the start of the Genomic Population Health Initiative. A pilot project offering Genomic DNA Testing is now underway within the University of Vermont Health Network. Read more here... (2019)

Dr. William Pendlebury, M.D., professor emeritus of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2019 Vermont Medical Society’s (VMS) Founders’ Award. The award recognizes Pendlebury’s leadership role and advocacy in “the fight for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia in Vermont for the past 35 years.” He will receive the award November 2 at the VMS 206th Annual Meeting in Stowe, Vt.(2019)

Yvone Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., Jos van der Velden, Ph.D. (both Pathology & Laboratory Medicine faculty) and senior author, Charles Irvin, Ph.D. (Medicine), published "The Effect of Flavored E-cigarettes on Murine Allergic Airways Disease" in Nature Scientific Reports. The study has been cited in stories by several news outlets: U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay; American Journal of Managed Care; Medical News Bulletin; and Medical Daily. (2019)

Dr. Mark Fung, M.D, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for Population Health, was recently named to the board of directors for the Project Santa Fe Foundation, which “focuses on demonstrating the power of longitudinal clinical laboratory data to proactively augment population health in a value-based healthcare environment.” (2019)


Dr. Bronwyn Bryant, M.D. was named a 2019 Frymoyer Scholar for her project, “Validating Entrustable Professional Activity-Based Assessment to Determine On-Call Competency in Pathology Residents”. (2019)


Dr. Rebecca Wilcox, M.DDr. Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. was selected, by the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2019, to be the commencement keynote speaker. Read more... [Photo credit: Andy Duback 2019] (2019)

Please join Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger in congratulating Allison Manuel and Evan Elko

Dr. Allison Manuel is a post-doctoral fellow in our group.  Her abstract to be presented at the American Thoracic Society conference was chosen to receive an Abstract Scholarship . The scholarship includes a full In-Training Registration to the 2019 ATS International Conference in Dallas, Texas.  

Evan Elko is a PhD student. He just received notice that his F31 NIH application entitled: “Role of peroxiredoxin-4 in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis”  will be funded.

Congratulations to Evan and Allison.


Department alumni, Dr. Bobbi Pritt, M.D. featured in Vermont Medicine Magazine. To read her story click on the photo below.




Dr's Leonard and HuberA Remarkable Gift from Dr. Sally Huber, Ph.D.

At the end of last week's Research Day, Dr. Leonard gave a surprise announcement: a very generous bequethment of $5 million by research faculty emerita, Dr. Sally Huber! The funds will go toward two endowed professorships for junior investigators in our department. The endowments will be named for her parents, Elmer R. Huber and Blodwen S. Huber, and will support junior research faculty for five years.(9/2018)

This amazing support will allow junior faculty time and funds to gain independence while pursuing the milestone achievement of being awarded their first R01 grant.

Heintz Awarded 2018 Distinguised Graduate Alumni Award

Dr. Nick Heintz, Ph.D. received the 2018 UVM Medical Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award​, which is presented to Larner College of Medicine (LCOM) alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in basic, clinical or applied research; education; industry; public service/humanitarianism; and/or outstanding commitment to the LCOM community.

He accepted his award at the college's Celebrating Research Excellence event at the end of October. (September 2018)

Kida Received Certificate of Commendation

Dr. Kida receives award from the State of more here. (August 2018)

Leonard and Committee Publish Through National Academies Press

Dr. Debra Leonard, along with a committee under the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, ​published "Returning Individual Research Results to Participants: Guidance for a New Research Paradigm" through The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2018 (Committee Member). (August 2018)

Excellence in Education

The Larner College of Medicine’s second year medical students nominate and elect faculty who they want to recognize for their outstanding teaching and support over their first years of the Foundations education. (February 2018)

Pathology nominees (winners in bold):

AMWA Gender Equity Award  - Pamela Gibson; Sharon Mount; Rebecca Wilcox

Dean Warhsaw Integration Award - Rebecca Wilcox

Silver Stethoscope Award - Scott Andreson; Maureen Harmon; John Lunde

Above and Beyond Award - Ronald Bryant; Rebecca Wilcox

Foundations Course Director Award -Rebecca Wilcox

Outstanding Foundations Course Award

  • Cardiovascular, Respiratory & Renal Systems: (Ron Bryant; Kelly Butnor; and Pam Gibson are the primary pathologists in each section of the course, respectively)
  • Nutrition, Metabolism & the Gastrointestinal System: Course Director is Rebecca Wilcox

Foundations Teaching Award - Ronald Bryant; Pamela Gibson; Rebecca Wilcox; Christina Wojewoda

Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger Receives Patent

Yvonne Janssen-Heinger was awarded a patent on the ​concept that strategies to inhibit GSTP has utility for the treatment of patients with pulmonary fibrosis. Congratulations, Yvonne! (January 2018)

Drs. Bronwyn Bryant and Phillip Munson inducted into the Teaching Academy

Last week Bronwyn and Phillip were inducted into University of Vermont's Teaching Academy. The Teaching Academy sustains and supports an interdisciplinary community of educators who value the scholarship of teaching and learning while facilitating educator development; improve the efficiency and quality of medical education through collaboration and scholarship; and promote an academic environment that increases the value and impact of educators locally, regionally, and nationally. (January 2018)