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The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Confers Awards, Including First ‘Gerard Geoffroy Patient and Community Engagement Award’


Scranton, Pa. (June 18, 2021) – The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education proudly celebrated the accomplishments of its 2021 graduating class of residents and fellows on Friday, June 18. During a virtual commencement, tribute was given to 81 graduates for their resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic and their dedication to the medical profession as practitioners who are helping to address the shortage of primary care physicians in locations across the nation, including Northeast Pennsylvania. 

Certain graduates, faculty members and community partners were recognized for their outstanding commitment to and success within the program. The ceremony for the 43rd graduating class, including award presentations, can be viewed at TheWrightGraduation.org. A full list of awardees appears below.

Career geriatrician Edward Dzielak, D.O., an alumnus of The Wright Center who recently set aside his retirement to serve as Program Director of our new Geriatrics Fellowship, was honored with the prestigious Bost Award. Named in honor of the late Dr. Charles Bost, an original founder of The Wright Center’s residency programs, the award is given to a community leader who most demonstrates inspiration, guidance and support for The Wright Center’s mission. 

Several first-time awards, including one bearing the name of Jermyn resident Gerard Geoffroy, chair of The Wright Center for Community Health Board of Directors, also were presented. The inaugural Gerard Geoffroy Patient and Community Engagement Award was bestowed on geriatrics fellow Nirali Patel, M.D. Dr. Patel intends to stay on as a faculty physician at The Wright Center, delivering care to older residents in Northeast Pennsylvania and training others to do the same in this or similar settings.

The first Dr. Sanjay Chandragiri Outstanding Psychiatry Resident Award was presented to Alex Slaby, M.D. Dr. Slaby plans to practice in the Lehigh Valley.

The inaugural Dr. Stephen J. Pancoast Compassion, Kindness, Service and Humility Award — which honors the legacy of Dr. Pancoast, who recently retired after serving as an integral member of The Wright Center’s Ryan White HIV care team for more than 20 years — was presented to The Wright Center’s first gastroenterology fellowship graduate, Mladen Jecmenica, M.D.

Also, The Wright Center “Values in Action” Spirit Award annually recognizes the members of one residency program and one fellowship program; this year’s recipients were the National Family Medicine Residency and the Gastroenterology Fellowship.

Bost Award winner Edward Dzielak, D.O.
Gerard Geoffroy Patient and Community Engagement Award winner Nirali Patel, M.D
Dr. Stephen J. Pancoast Compassion, Kindness, Service and Humility Award winner Mladen Jecmenica, M.D.

Other awards included:

Teacher of the Year (Internal Medicine Residency) – Douglas Klamp, M.D.; co-Teachers of the Year (Family Medicine Residency) – Alexies Samonte, M.D., and Jason Scotti, M.D.; Faculty of the Year (National Family Medicine Residency) – Anam Whyne, D.O.; Teacher of the Year (Psychiatry Residency) – Sanjay Chandragiri, M.D.; Teacher of the Year (Cardiology Fellowship) – Samir B. Pancholy, M.D.; Teacher of the Year (Gastroenterology Fellowship) – Aman Ali, M.D.; Teacher of the Year (Geriatrics Fellowship) – Edward Dzielak, D.O.

The Robert E. Wright Award (for Internal Medicine) – Mousa Thalji, M.D.; the Moses Taylor Hospital Golden Stethoscope (for Internal Medicine) – Mousa Thalji, M.D.; Outstanding Fellow (Cardiology) – Gaurav Patel, M.B.B.S.; Outstanding Fellow (Gastroenterology) – Mladen Jecmenica, M.D.; Outstanding Fellow (Geriatrics) – Nirali Patel, M.D.; Intern of the Year (Internal Medicine Residency) – Usman Manzoor, M.D.; Intern of the Year (National Family Medicine Residency) – Carl Supnet, D.O.; Interns of the Year (Regional Family Medicine) – Mohamed El Ayashy, M.D., and Supriana Bhandol, M.D.; Intern of the Year (Psychiatry) – Erica Schmidt, M.D.

Chief Fellow (Cardiology) – Gaurav Patel, M.B.B.S.; Chief Fellow (Gastroenterology) – Mladen Jecmenica, M.D.; Chief Fellow (Geriatrics) – Nirali Patel, M.D.; Chief Residents (Internal Medicine) – Frank Frasca, D.O., Gowtham Gannamani, M.D., Daniel C. Kazmierski, M.D., Mousa Thalji, M.D., and Korinn Vandervall, D.O.; Chief Residents (National Family Medicine) – Dallin Erickson, D.O., Esther Quintero, D.O., Loc Nguyen, D.O., David Eki, D.O., Catherine Njiru-Sewer, D.O., and Sun-jae Kim, D.O.; Chief Residents (Psychiatry) – Shevani Ganesh, M.D., and Casey Lenderman, D.O.; Chief Residents (Regional Family Medicine) – Ebi Rowshanshad, D.O., and Lee Wagner, M.D.

The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Award – Lee Wagner, M.D. (Regional Family Medicine); Outstanding Resident Award (National Family Medicine) – Catherine Njiru-Sewer, D.O.; COPC Project Award (National Family Medicine Residency) – David Eki, D.O., and Afia Ukor Albin, D.O.; Practice Improvement Award (National Family Medicine Residency) – Xuan-Loc V. Nguyen, D.O., and Brandon John Miller, D.O.; AFMRD Family Medicine Resident Award for Advocacy (National Family Medicine Residency) – Catherine Njiru-Sewer, D.O.; Founding Member Award (National Family Medicine Residency) – Eleni O’Donovan, M.D.

Dr. Sanjay Chandragiri Outstanding Psychiatry Resident Award – Alex Slaby, M.D.; Dr. Stephen J. Pancoast Compassion, Kindness, Service and Humility Award – Mladen Jecmenica, M.D.; Gerard Geoffroy Patient and Community Engagement Award – Nirali Patel, M.D.; The Wright Center “Values in Action” Spirit Award – National Family Medicine Residency and Gastroenterology Fellowship; Bost Award – Edward Dzielak, D.O.

The virtual commencement recognized the accomplishments of all 81 graduating student learners, 10 of whom will stay in Northeast Pennsylvania to continue practicing medicine. The doctors studied in The Wright Center’s internal medicine, regional family medicine, national family medicine and psychiatry residencies as well as its cardiovascular disease, gastroenterology and geriatrics fellowships.

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