Class Notes: Summer/Fall 2023


Linn Turner, M.D. ’61, reports that she is thriving in sunny California, where she has a small practice and is enjoying life with her four children and five grandchildren. She swims at least a half a mile most days and keeps as active as she can.

Mervyn Stein, M.D. ’63, retired in 2008 after practicing general ophthalmology for 38 years in Marin County, Calif. For the past 15 years, he has been engaged in golf, gardening, do-it-yourself home projects, travel (until COVID-19), drawing, and playing piano with several like-minded musicians. His daughter is a lawyer living in Sacramento, Calif., and his son is an airplane investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, living in Gig Harbor, Wash. Dr. Stein has two grandchildren.

Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D. ’66, is the Audrey G. Ratner Professor in Learning Development at Yale University and co-founder and co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. She is the author of a bestselling book on dyslexia, Overcoming Dyslexia (Knopf, 2020). Dr. Shaywitz is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the principal investigator of the Connecticut Longitudinal Study, continuously funded and now active in its 40th year. Most recently she presented to the U.S. Congressional Dyslexia Roundtable. Her goal is to help ensure that parents, educators, and physicians know about and use the tremendous scientific progress in dyslexia for the benefit of dyslexic children and their families. Her three sons are all physicians, and the eldest of her six grandchildren is starting college in the fall.

Richard Halford, M.D. ’67, has been working in Minneapolis doing hair transplants for Bosley. His daughter writes for the American Chemical Society, and his son is an anesthesiologist.

Philip Herschenfeld, M.D. ’68, is still working as a psychoanalyst half-time and enjoys it very much. He says he and his wife love New York City. They have three children. One is a dermatologist in Boston, one is a builder in Brooklyn, and one is a stand-up comedian and actor. (You can see his album, Thug Thug Jew, on YouTube.) Dr. Herschenfeld has six grandkids ranging in age from 17 to 26.


Harold Jawetz, M.D. ’71, is in remission from Hodgkin disease and doing well; he completed chemotherapy one year ago. He is looking forward to finally enjoying retirement (which he started just before his diagnosis was made). Dr. Jawetz says it has been three years since he has had the pleasure of going to Yankee Stadium.

Miriam Tasini, M.D. ’71, has been retired for the past four years but continues to be active. She recently made a film about child survival during the Holocaust that was widely shown in the Northern California Jewish community. She has been widowed twice and has four granddaughters, one of whom has just graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Tasini sends love to all.

Walter Orenstein, M.D. ’72, retired from Emory University, where he was a professor of medicine, pediatrics, epidemiology, and global health, on Sept. 1, 2023. He has been an editor of Plotkin’s Vaccines, the standard textbook in vaccinology, for the last six editions. The eighth edition was published in April 2023. Previously, he was the director of the national immunization program for 16 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Steven Kussin, M.D. ’74, retired 30 years after founding his practice and then writing two books (Rowman & Littlefield) directed toward promoting patient education. He says he is now busy doing nothing; he is currently looking after too many homes and too few grandchildren (zero). Dr. Kussin reports that he and his sweetheart, Annie, have been together for 30 years now. He is looking forward to his 50th Einstein reunion.

Maja Nowakowski, Ph.D. ’74, retired in 2022 after 44 years on the faculty at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and School of Graduate Studies. Her research interests are lymphocyte-virus interactions, macrophage activation, and functions. She has twin sons (1973) and a daughter (1989), all born at Einstein. She also has six grandchildren, with a seventh on the way. Her mentors at Einstein, she notes, were Barry R. Bloom and Donald F. Summers.

Richard W. Walker Jr., M.D. ’74, M.B.A., is the chief executive officer and founder of Walker Health Care Holdings, Inc., and its four subsidiaries, which are healthcare companies focused on value-based care. The plan is for the firm to become national, serving the most-vulnerable patients, with the goal of achieving health equity through community empowerment and value-based in-home healthcare. Dr. Walker has published three books, the most acclaimed being Black Health Matters (2021); his most recent is What to Do About Your Troubled Child (2022). Formerly an obstetrician and gynecologist in Houston, he retired from clinical practice in 2015.

Robert Katz, M.D. ’75, retired from the practice of pathology and remains connected to medicine as president of the Morris Township (N.J.) board of health and as a member of the credentials committee at Morristown Medical Center. He maintains his longtime interest in Sherlock Holmes and has co-edited two books on medical aspects of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Neil White, M.D. ’75, is a professor of pediatrics and of medicine in the division of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is the former director of the division and the pediatric clinical research unit and the associate director of the Center for Diabetes Translation Research at Washington University. Dr. White has worked on numerous National Institutes of Health–sponsored multicenter clinical trials related to type 1 and type 2 diabetes over the past 40 years. He and his wife, Ann, have two sons and four grandchildren.

Kenneth Blank, Ph.D. ’76, was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2015 and was recently appointed to the academy’s board of directors.

Andrew Dutka, M.D. ’76, retired from the full-time practice of neurology in December 2021, after 21 years with the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group and, before that, 24 years in the Navy, and now enjoys two pensions. He says he completed the three-year accelerated medical school program available at Einstein at the time, and he has never regretted it. Dr. Dutka says that he is particularly interested in the whereabouts of classmates Dave Carmichael, M.D. ’76, and Ed Sausville, M.D., Ph.D. ’79.

David Feldshon, M.D. ’76, has been a partner in MNGI Digestive Health in Minneapolis for 25 years. He and his wife just bought an apartment in New York, so they will be moving back after a lifetime of training and practicing—first in California, then Arizona, then California again, and then Minnesota. They have three daughters and three granddaughters. Dr. Feldshon’s major interests are in liver disease and obesity medicine. He says he would love to hear from his classmates.

Jerry Stern, M.D. ’77, says that after 20 years in academic/private practice at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, he has transitioned to industry, serving as the global head of medicine (virology and liver diseases) at the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. He “retired” from full-time work in 2016 and was a consultant for many early-stage biotech companies. Dr. Stern is currently the chief medical officer for Ischemix, leading research on cytoprotective drugs for various medical conditions whose needs remain unmet. He has been married to his wife, Robina, since his first day at Einstein. Dr. Stern’s oldest granddaughter is now applying for medical school. His newest hobby is golf, and he says it’s never too late to start.

Jay B. Dobkin, M.D. ’79, associate professor of medicine in the pulmonary division at Einstein and a pulmonologist at Montefiore. was selected by Einstein faculty this year to receive the 2023 lifetime achievement award for excellence in teaching at the College of Medicine.

Warren Heymann, M.D. ’79, was granted honorary membership for lifetime achievement in dermatology by the American Academy of Dermatology.


Kenneth Davis, M.D. ’80, says that for the past two and a half years he has been working in the Edison, N.J., office of Plainfield Pediatrics, still doing what he loves—general pediatrics three and a half days a week, with no nights, weekends, or hospital rounds. He is still married to Ellen Radin, Barnard ’78, Cardozo ’82, and is a proud grandfather of “two perfect grandchildren.”

Filippo Di Carmine, M.D. ’83, retired in December 2022 and has been traveling, but took time off from retirement to work in Guam for three months. He will celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary by spending time in Hawaii, and then return to New York to wait for the arrival of his first grandchild. 

Stuart L. Marcus, M.D., Ph.D. ’83, founded SonALAsense, Inc., in 2019 to develop a noninvasive, nontoxic, tumor-specific combination drug-device therapy for the treatment of glioblastoma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. The Ivy Brain Tumor Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix ran the first clinical trial of sonodynamic therapy in patients with recurrent glioblastomas. The first preliminary clinical report was published online in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology in April 2023. Go to for more information.

Dana Zweig, M.D. ’83, is starting her 21st year of solo private practice in family medicine on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. She is an assistant professor of family medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine. She and her husband, Charlie, are celebrating 25 years of marriage. Their son graduated from high school in June and will be going to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston in the fall.

Ron Alterman, M.D. ’86, is a professor of neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School and the chief of the division of neurosurgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He and his family live in Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Alterman and his wife, Jackie, are proud to announce that their daughter had a bat mitzvah in May, and that their son is engaged to be married next January. Despite having lived in the Boston area for more than a decade, Dr. Alterman remains a die-hard Yankee fan.

Felise Milan, M.D. ’88, and her husband, Mark Polisar, M.D. ’88, live in Irvington, N.Y. Dr. Milan is the director of the Ruth L. Gottesman Clinical Skills Center at Einstein and the director of the introduction to clinical medicine program for preclerkship medical students. She also sees patients at an internal-medicine residency clinic once a week. Dr. Polisar sees family medicine patients at Montefiore Medical Group’s Williamsbridge site. Their oldest child is an assistant rabbi for a reform congregation in Cherry Hill, N.J. Their middle child is a computer engineer and data analyst for the dating app Hinge. Their youngest is a working actor/dancer/singer.


Marc Levitt, M.D. ’93, is the chief of the division of colorectal and pelvic reconstruction at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., a program that integrates surgery, urology, gynecology, and gastroenterology in the care of children with complex colorectal and pelvic disorders. He is a professor of surgery and pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Levitt lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Shary, whom he married during his fourth year at Einstein; they have three grown children.

Peter Shaw, M.D. ’94, moved to Milwaukee, Wis., in 2022 to become the medical director of pediatric hematology/oncology/blood and marrow transplant at Children’s Wisconsin/Medical College of Wisconsin. He has two sons in college, and a daughter in high school who aspires to become a doctor. Dr. Shaw says that his wife, Randi, is “amazing” and remains supportive and patient.


Saryna P. Young, M.D. ’03, has started an independent dermatology practice in Stamford, Conn., called Young Skin. She says she enjoys seeing all generations of a family, and the experience is bringing back the joy of practicing medicine. 

Gary Schwartz, M.D. ’06, was named the chief of thoracic surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He serves as the surgical director of lung transplantation and the director of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Dr. Schwartz is a clinical associate professor of surgery at Texas A&M School of Medicine.

Noe D. Romo, M.D. ’08, M.Sc., assistant professor of pediatrics at Einstein and medical director of the pediatrics inpatient service at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, was selected by Einstein medical students to receive the 2023 Samuel M. Rosen Award for Outstanding Clinical Teaching.


Caitlin McMullen, M.D. ’10, has been at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., as a head-and-neck surgical oncologist/reconstructive surgeon since 2017. She has two children, ages 4 and 1. Dr. McMullen encourages her classmates to reach out to her if they’re visiting Tampa.

Leon Siegel, M.D. ’17, completed his general-surgery training at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in June. He is now pursuing further specialization as the bariatric surgery fellow at the University of Iowa, which is the home of Edward Mason, M.D., the father of the gastric bypass and of vertical banded gastroplasty. Dr. Siegel and his wife, Shayna, have one son.

Samima Habbsa, M.D. ’18, completed an endocrinology fellowship at the University of Maryland and is returning to New York to work at Mount Sinai South Nassau in endocrinology.

Dayle Hodge, M.D., Ph.D. ’19, and his wife, Chelsea McGuire, M.D. ’15, are happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Amari, in October 2022.

Heidy Wang, M.D. ’19, married fellow Einstein classmate Henry Yang, M.D. ’19, in 2022. She is currently a pediatric infectious-diseases fellow at NYU Langone Health, and he is finishing his neurology residency at Montefiore Medical Center. He will then go on to an epilepsy fellowship at the same institution.

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