Class Notes: Summer/Fall 2021


Fredric E. Levison, M.D. ’60, retired since 2000, lives in Washington, D.C.; he is well, and happily married.

Melvin Schapiro, M.D. ’60, is nearly 91. He has great memories of his class and notes that everyone has accomplished a lot.

Robert Chalfin, M.D. ’61, and his wife, Leita, have been married nearly 63 years. He works as a psychiatrist part time and teaches at Zucker Hillside Hospital, the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. He has three daughters and eight grandkids.

Zalman R. Schrader, M.D. ’61, recently retired as senior partner in a 12-person gastrointestinal group after nearly 50 years of clinical practice. His daughter, Elana Schrader, M.D. ’87, is chief medical officer of GuideWell Health/Florida Blue. 

Evelyn Wolf-Rokito, M.D. ’61, is doing disability physicals for Nassau County and New York State. She has two sons, both orthopedic surgeons, one daughter, who is an attorney, and seven grandchildren.

Jacob Joseph Barie, M.D. ’65, retired from radiology in 2014. He is involved in transgender issues. His granddaughter is Jazz Jennings, who stars in the reality TV series I Am Jazz on the Learning Channel. Dr. Barie, his wife, Jacky, and his family appear on the show.

Michael Gochfeld, M.D. ’65, is an occupational physician. He lectures medical students on evidence-based medicine, viruses, toxicology, and refugee health.

Susan Rako, M.D. ’66, made the shift to online psychotherapy during the pandemic. Granddaughter Alexandra is a recent graduate of Connecticut College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Rako’s books include The Hormone of Desire and That’s How the Light Gets In.

Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D. ’66, is the Audrey G. Ratner Professor, co-founder, and co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. This year she published, along with her son, Jonathan Shaywitz, M.D., the second edition of Overcoming Dyslexia. Her study “The Yale Outcome Study: Outcomes for Graduates With and Without Dyslexia” was published in 2020 by the Journal of Pediatric Neuropsychology. The American Association for the Advancement of Science honored her as a fellow, and she received the Liberty Science Center Genius Award.

Stephen Baker, M.D. ’68, retired four years ago as chair of radiology at New Jersey Medical School after 25 years. After a lifelong fascination with geography, he is pursuing his other career as a professional geographer. He lectures at City University of New York and recently had two books published, The Encyclopedia of Quizzes, Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Gary A. Rosenberg, M.D. ’68, was awarded a grant from the National Institute on Aging to establish an Alzheimer’s research center, where he will work with American Indians in New Mexico. His son is an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and his daughter covers immigration for Reuters. His grandson is almost 3. His wife, Evelyn, has over 40 public sculptures in the United States and one in Tanzania.


Ira Asher, M.D. ’71, is a retired ophthalmologist, age 75, married to his wife, Karen, for almost 50 years. They have two children and two grandchildren. He was on staff at Rhode Island Hospital and was chief of surgery at South County Hospital. 

Norman Hartstein, M.D. ’71, trained at UCLA-NPI for both adult and child psychiatry. Before retiring, he worked for 32 years at Kaiser West LA. He lives in West Hollywood with his husband, Robert, a retired lawyer. They have been together for more than 40 years.

Nathan Litman, M.D. ’71, works half time after a career as the chief of pediatric infectious diseases and vice chair at Montefiore. He initiated the pediatric hospitalist service and received awards for excellence in teaching. He and his wife, Norma, live in Westchester County, New York, and have three children and four grandchildren living nearby.

Romana Primus, M.D. ’71, retired in 1996 as a clinical immunologist and allergist. She then volunteered at a community clinic for over 20 years. Simultaneously, with her husband, Chuck, she ran her father’s auto dealership. Dr. Primus has been president of the Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut for the past 10 years. She and Chuck have four children and eight grandchildren.

Howard Wiener, M.D. ’71, retired from a group pediatric practice in 2013 and enjoys working in stained glass, researching Jewish history, and spending time with his family, including his wife, Judy, three children, and four grandchildren.

Eric Heyer, M.D., Ph.D. ’75, has been in academic medicine throughout his career. Before retiring in 2016, he headed the division of neurosurgical anesthesiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where he performed a National Institutes of Health­–supported study measuring cognitive changes associated with patients having carotid endarterectomy.

Robert Katz, M.D. ’75, retired from pathology but continues an association with medicine as president of the Morris Township (New Jersey) Board of Health. He has edited five books about Sherlock Holmes, with a sixth on the way.

Peter Rotwein, M.D. ’75, retired in March 2020 after 40 years of biomedical research at medical schools in St. Louis; Portland, Oregon; and El Paso, Texas. He and his wife, Bonnie, spent the past year shuttling, mostly by car, among San Antonio, Chicago, and Portland to see their children and two grandchildren.

Jonathan Rosen, M.D. ’76, recently retired after a 40-year career as a family physician in Connecticut. He helped found ProHealth Physicians—the largest primary- care practice in the state. He and his wife, Linda, celebrated their 47th anniversary with their two sons and two grandsons. He recently published a sixth novel, The Museum of an Extinct Race.

Harvey Stern, M.D. ’78, retired from Bronx Care (Bronx Lebanon) this year after 32 years as chair and vice chair of radiology. Dr. Stern is proud of the residency program, which has produced more than 60 radiologists. Dr. Stern served in the army reserve for 25 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel. He has two sons, both lawyers, and three grandchildren.


Kevin Davis, M.D. ’80, found after four months at home that he was not ready for retirement. He is now working in the Edison, New Jersey, office of Plainfield Pediatrics, still doing what he loves. His grandson is almost 2.

Fred Barken, M.D. ’81, is enjoying retirement from medicine and is working with his youngest son in real estate in Ithaca, New York. He and his wife are expecting their fourth grandchild shortly.

Barbara Bartlik, M.D. ’81, was rated one of New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors in Psychiatry.” She is a co-editor of Integrative Sexual Health (2018). A distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, she is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and Lenox Hill Hospitals. She and her husband, David Carroll, an attorney, have two children: Thomas, who works in online marketing, and Beatrix, a software engineer.

Daniel Behar, M.D. ’81, is head of the interventional radiology unit at the E. Wolfson Medical Center, a government hospital in Tel Aviv. A fellow in the Society of Interventional Radiology, he also teaches medical students. He lives with Esther, his wife of over 40 years, in Hashmonaim, Israel. They enjoy time with their children and grandchildren.

Stephanie Green, M.D. ’81, who is retired from pediatrics, is happy to report the birth in July 2020 of grandson Maddox Green, who joined his dad, Andrew (Dr. Green’s son), mom, Brittany, and brother, Beckham, age 4, at home in New York City. Her son Christopher graduated from Cornell’s psychiatry residency program in June 2020. Dr. Green and her husband, Stephen, who is retired from interventional cardiology, live in Dix Hills, New York. 

Michael Kram, M.D. ’81, now happily retired, served as the medical director of a gastroenterology group in Rockland County, New York. He married Elyse Teicher, M.D. ‘82, and has four children and eight grandchildren. In 2014, he came down with an illness that baffled experts in New York City. Dr. Kram had to figure it out himself, and he fought for his life. He published his own case report on his illness (baroreflex failure) in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension in 2016. He detailed his experiences in the book Zebra: It’s Not All Black and White. Dr. Kram says there are many vignettes from Einstein in the book.

Iris Lesser, M.D. ’81, retired from her position at Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center in mid-2017, shortly after her husband, Bruce, retired. In the fall of 2019 they hosted a wedding for their daughter.

Abraham Port, M.D. ’81, is practicing complete women’s imaging in Garden City, New York. He previously held positions as director of breast imaging at the South Nassau Communities Hospital; director of breast imaging at Mount Sinai Medical Center; and director in the department of radiology at Mount Kisco Medical Group.

Deborah Rubin, M.D. ’81, is the William B. Kountz Professor of Medicine and Developmental Biology in the division of gastroenterology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She and her spouse, Marc Levin, M.D., have had a longstanding collaborative research program that focuses on gastrointestinal stem-cell dynamics in gut injury and carcinogenesis. Dr. Rubin also heads an intestinal rehabilitation/short-bowel clinic and is associate director for faculty affairs for the division of gastroenterology and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The couple have two sons: Robert Levin, who is a news editor at Newsday, and Ben Levin, a musician and composer in Boston.

David Sherr, M.D. ’81, worked for close to 15 years at North Shore University Hospital, followed by almost 10 years at Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he received an M.S. in clinical epidemiology. David is now chief of radiation oncology at the Brooklyn Hospital Center.

Lee Simerman, M.D. ’81, is retired after 30 years in a Philadelphia hospital-based radiology practice, first at Graduate Hospital for over 13 years and then at the nation’s oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, for more than 16 years. He now spends winters in Fort Lauderdale.

Stuart Kaplan, M.D. ’85, is a partner in Rheumatology Consultants in Hewlett, New York, and serves as chief of rheumatology at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital. He and his wife, Dalia, have six children and five granddaughters. Their oldest daughter, Atira Kaplan, M.D., who completed her residency and fellowship in physiatry and women’s rehab at Montefiore, is married to Jerry Karp, M.D. ’18, son of Dr. Kaplan’s roommate at Einstein, Adam Karp, M.D. ’87.

Peter Sherman, M.D., M.P.H. ’86, received a grant from the World Childhood Foundation to start the Bronx Human Trafficking Task Force, a multidisciplinary group.

Lewis Stein, M.D. ’86, became an ambulatory anesthesia specialist over the past 10 years and moved away from obstetric anesthesia. His group practice covers many sites throughout metropolitan New York City and Long Island. He lives in Lawrence, New York, and enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He is considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2022.

Eryn Oberlander, M.D. ’88, is thankful to be able to practice psychiatry via video sessions. Her eldest daughter got married in Colorado this summer and works in healthcare investing; her youngest daughter graduated summa cum laude from Wharton amidst COVID-19; and her middle daughter received a master’s degree in education from Boston University.


Victoria Shulman, M.D. ’90, and Elliot Shulman, M.D. ’90, announce the birth of two grandchildren: Caleb, born Oct. 18, 2020, and James, born Dec. 4, 2020. Dr. Victoria Shulman is a pediatric emergency attending at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. Dr. Elliot Shulman is a urologist in New Jersey.

Jane Gold, M.D. ’92, is pleased to welcome her daughter, Samantha Gold, to the Einstein Class of 2024. Dr. Gold works for Premise Health as the medical director for the WarnerMedia Health Hub in New York City’s Hudson Yards.

Laurie Marzullo, M.D. ’92, and Nathaniel Robin, M.D. ’89, have been at Children’s of Alabama since 2003. Dr. Marzullo divides her time between clinical work and medical education. Dr. Robin is clinical director and residency director of clinical genetics. Their three sons live in Manhattan. Their “Einstein baby,” Joseph, is an intern in orthopedics at NYU, son Timothy works for a financial tech company, and Alex is a recent Columbia graduate.

Jeff Gindi, M.D. ’97, is pleased to announce the upcoming bat mitzvah of his daughter, Sarah, age 12. Dr. Gindi has been an associate medical director for a hospitalist medicine practice and an instructor in medicine with New York Medical College in Westchester County. He founded the New York City/Westchester chapter of the Society of Hospital Medicine and is its president.

David Holbrook, M.D. ’97, completed his residency and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry in 2002. He has a private practice in Lebanon, New Jersey, with a special interest in the mind-body relationship as well as the importance of the autonomic nervous system. He tends to specialize in working with difficult patients and severe psychiatric pathology.

Reena Karani, M.D. ’97, was elected treasurer of the National Board of Medical Examiners. She is director of the Institute for Medical Education and a professor of medical education, medicine, and geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Sarah Klagsbrun, M.D. ’98, is now class ambassador and will email members to submit Class Notes. Dr. Klagsbrun is a child and adolescent and adult psychiatrist, and the medical director of Four Winds Hospital in Westchester County, New York. 

George Ruiz, M.D. ’98, has joined Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania as chair of cardiology and vice chair of the Geisinger Heart Institute. He specializes in clinical cardiology with a subspecialty in adult congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension.


Victoria Chernyak, M.D. ’01, has completed her tenure at Montefiore Medical Center after nearly 19 years.

Joshua Rocker, M.D. ’01, became chief of the pediatric emergency department at Cohen Children’s Medical Center two years ago. The flu season of 2019–2020 was intense, and then COVID-19 occurred. Dr. Rocker has been running a pediatric emergency medicine conference for the last nine years. This year, the theme was “Lessons Learned from 2020.”

Adam J. Friedman, M.D. ’06, was appointed chair of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. He also received the inaugural advocacy leadership award from the Derma Care Access Network.

Gary S. Schwartz, M.D. ’06, was named the director of the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, and is a member of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization committee for use of ECMO for COVID-19.

Lee Schalop, M.D. ’08, announces that Oncoceutics, the biotech company that he co-founded shortly after graduating from Einstein, merged into a larger drug company called Chimerix in January.


Chris R. Hawk, M.D. ’11, lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Carolyn Saylor Hawk, M.D., Ph.D. ’11, and their two girls—almost 4 and 6. Dr. Carolyn Hawk is a primary-care pediatrician, and Dr. Chris Hawk developed a home-visit/palliative-care program for the Lummi, a local Native American Salish coast tribe.

Amanda Guardado, M.D. ’15, moved back to New York City in 2019 after completing her residency in obstetrics & gynecology at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She now works for Columbia University as a general ob-gyn with NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital and is site director for obstetrics & gynecology at the Washington Heights Family Center.

Jonathan Sterman, M.D. ’15, is finishing his fellowship in muscular skeletal radiology at Montefiore and will take a position at Hudson Valley Radiology. He and his wife, Shira Wieder, M.D. ’15, have a daughter. Dr. Wieder is a dermatologist in Riverdale, New York.

Adam Berman, M.D. ’16, finished his internal medicine residency and a fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and began his cardiology fellowship at Brigham in July 2020. Dr. Berman’s wife, Tova, is a clinical pharmacist. They have two children—Noam, 5, and Lior, 2.

Ethan B. Fram, M.D. ’16, and his wife, Laurie, had a baby boy, Julian, in November 2020 at White Plains Hospital.

Miles Gordon, M.D. ’16, is at NYP-Columbia as faculty for emergency medicine and emergency ultrasound. He and his wife have a 2-year-old son. He says he is happy to be near Einstein alumni, such as gastroenterologist to the stars Andrew Joelson, M.D. ’16!

Yair Saperstein, M.D. ’16, married Miriam Friedman on March 14, 2021. Dr. Saperstein is the chief executive officer of avoMD, a health tech startup that digitizes clinical algorithms for internal medicine and pediatric physicians. Miriam is a business strategy consultant at Accenture.

James M. Semple, M.D. ’16, married Elizabeth Chernyak, M.D. ’16, on New Year’s Eve in 2019 and welcomed a baby girl, Katerina, on Aug. 9, 2020. Dr. Semple is an emergency medicine attending in New Jersey, and Dr. Chernyak is a neurology attending in Brooklyn.

Elizabeth Goldberger, M.D. ’17, is an emergency medicine physician at NYU Langone. She married Zachary Mostel, a fellow physician, in June 2020.

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