2023 Reflections From ID Chief – Dr. Rupp

Division Chief – Dr. Mark Rupp

As we enter the holiday season and approach the coming new year, it is appropriate to reflect on 2023 –what a year!

Unfortunately, 2023 started with the tragic death of Dr. Diana Florescu, a cherished ID faculty member. Prior to her death, Diana was recognized as the 2022 UNMC Scientist Laureate. To preserve her memory and sustain her legacy, the Diana Florescu Clinical Research and Education Fund was established, to be used to support ID clinical research and education – activities to which Diana dedicated her career.

Although we continue to greatly miss Dr. Florescu, 2023 also brought incredible joy with 2 births in the division – Charles Alexander Rehm and Sophia Victoria Grimon. In addition, we added 6 new physician faculty members: Dan Cybulski, Jenn Davis, McKenzie Keintz, Jon Ryder, Sias Scherger, and Juan Teran; as well as new staff members: Fantasia Blackson, Lance Burwell, Lexi Hilkemeier, Agustin Delgado Jimenez, Travis Mach, Emmanuel Nazaire Essam Nkodo, Anna Nordhagen, McKenzie Rehm, Elizabeth (Lizzy) Sawka, Kerry Stevens, and Eva Williams.

To hit just a few highlights of our research, education and clinical missions:

In 2023, the ID Division continued to hum with clinical activity. On any given day, 5 teams of ID clinicians provided expert inpatient consultative care on the Community, General, Oncology, Orthopedic, and Solid Organ Transplant services. Ambulatory clinics were offered in each of the service areas as well as at our comprehensive program for persons with HIV at the SCC. Ambulatory ID services were initiated at the Village Pointe location and innovations were offered in the Travel Medicine Clinic, Nontuberculous Mycobacterium Clinic, and Long-acting Injectable Antiretroviral Clinic. Ryan Ross was distinguished with the Nebraska Medicine ITEACH Award for Excellence in Clinical Care.

There are way too many individual honors to list but a few more highlights of 2023 include promotion to the rank of Associate Professor for Dr. Andrea Zimmer and Dr. Elizabeth Schnaubelt rising to the rank of Colonel in the USAF. Dr. Jasmine Marcelin took on new duties as the Vice Chair for Equity and Inclusion in the Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Nada Fadul was named to the Board of Directors of HIVMA, and Jessica Quick was recognized as a Fellow of FACMPE.

It is abundantly evident the UNMC ID Division is full of amazingly bright, talented, and dedicated clinicians, researchers, and educators and a terrifically effective support staff.

In closing, after nearly 32 years as a faculty member at UNMC, with the last 13 years as the ID Division Chief, and with such an incredibly accomplished and successful Division, it is a perfect time for me to step aside and watch as a new chief is chosen to lead the Division to even greater heights. A search firm has been hired and a search committee has been named and 2024 should usher in a leadership transition. It has been my life’s honor to help lead the ID Division and I look forward to staying on as a faculty member for several more years.

I hope the “UNMC ID family” and all the readers of the UNMC ID blog have a joyous holiday season and that 2024 is happy, healthy, and prosperous!

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