CLER Field Representatives

Vice President

Robin Newton, MD            

Robin C. Newton, MD

Dr. Newton is the Vice President, CLER Field Operations, and is responsible for training and supervising CLER Field Representatives and volunteer site visitors. She also assists with protocol development, publication of findings, and conducts CLER site visits at ACGME-accredited Sponsoring Institutions. Prior to joining the ACGME, Dr. Newton served as the associate vice president for clinical affairs and quality at Howard University, where she managed and oversaw the quality and patient safety initiatives of the full range of clinical, educational, research, and administrative activities attendant to the Howard University Health Sciences, inclusive of the Howard University Hospital (HUH). During her tenure at Howard University, Dr. Newton also served as the designated institutional official for nine years. Dr. Newton served on the Institutional Review Committee of the ACGME and on the Group on Resident Affairs Steering Committee of the Association of American Medical Colleges. She is a past winner of the ACGME’s coveted Parker J. Palmer Courage to Lead Award.

Dr. Newton received her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1983, and is board certified in internal medicine. After completing her residency in internal medicine, she joined the staff at DC General Hospital, where she spent several years as a hospitalist involved in quality improvement projects and teaching medical students and residents. During her 18-year tenure at the hospital, she assumed many leadership positions culminating in being named Chief Medical Officer of the DC Public Benefit Corporation, which at that time included the District’s 10 public health clinics, the school health program, and DC General Hospital.

CLER Field Team Leads

Marian D. Damewood, MD            

Marian D. Damewood, MD

Dr. Damewood attended Wellesley College and the accelerated BA/MD program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After completion of a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, and a fellowship in reproductive surgery and endocrinology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, she joined the faculty as the Director of the new Johns Hopkins in vitro fertilization program, and was co-director of the reproductive endocrinology fellowship. She later served on the faculty at Greater Baltimore Medical Center in the fertility center and directed that hospital’s comprehensive midlife center. She also received a certificate in business of medicine from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business.

She served as Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Chairman, and as a service line vice president for the York Hospital/WellSpan Health System in Pennsylvania, where her responsibilities also included implementing quality of care and patient safety programs system-wide across three merged regional hospitals. She also served as the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program Director there for 10 years.

Medical school faculty appointments currently include associate professor at Johns Hopkins, and previously clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania and at Penn State. Dr. Damewood has published over 100 articles and book chapters. She is a past president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, has received numerous honors and awards, and has recently served as a member of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology National Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health, in Washington, DC. Dr. Damewood joined the ACGME in December 2015.

Staci A. Fischer, MD, FACP, FIDSA

Staci Fischer, MD  

Dr. Fischer is a transplant infectious disease specialist with more than 20 years of experience in graduate medical education, including years serving as a fellowship program director and designated institutional official. She has extensive experience in patient safety and quality improvement and joined the ACGME as a CLER Field Representative in December 2014.

Elizabeth Wedemeyer, MD            

Elizabeth Wedemeyer, MD

Dr. Wedemeyer comes to the ACGME from Columbia University Medical Center in New York, New York. Her most recent position was program director for the pediatric residency program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia campus for over 20 years. She is a board-certified pediatrician and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Association of Pediatric Program Directors. During her tenure at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Wedemeyer served in multiple roles in LCME and GME activities, including chairing the Graduate Medical Education Committee at the Columbia campus between 2007 and 2009. As residency program director, Dr. Wedemeyer led residency program innovations in fostering a quality improvement curriculum in the ambulatory setting, and developed monthly floor-based multidisciplinary rounds that focused on the errors reported through the hospital’s online medical event reporting system. She also served as a physician leader in hospital projects in reducing length of stay and earlier discharge times for inpatients.

Dr. Wedemeyer received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine. She did her post-graduate training in pediatrics and chief medical residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Jose Zayas, DO            

Jose Zayas, DO 

Dr. Jose Zayas completed his undergraduate education at the University of Florida prior to attending medical school at Michigan State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine (1997). He completed his pediatric residency at Miami Children’s Hospital (2001) after completing an osteopathic internship (1998). He is board certified in pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) since 2001.

Dr. Zayas began his career as a general pediatrician in private practice while also serving his community as an emergency room physician and developmental pediatrician, before focusing on an academic medical career. In 2005, he became the first academic pediatric hospitalist at the University of Florida, College of Medicine-Jacksonville. There he served as the Pediatric Residency Program Director from July 2009-September 2016. Prior to this, he served as the Curriculum Director and as an Associate Program Director. He has developed expertise in the design of web-based platforms for medical education and health care efficiency, and has continued interests in the psychology of change and difficult conversations in health care.

Dr. Zayas has been active with a number of professional organizations, including the Association of Pediatric Program Directors, the Florida Chapter of the AAP, and the AAP Section of Hospital Medicine. He has won numerous awards for excellence in medical education, for his contributions to pediatric hospital medicine, and for his work in the area of difficult conversations, including the use of simulation.

CLER Field Representatives            

Robert Casanova, MD, MHPE            

Robert Casanova, MD, MHPE

Prior to joining the ACGME, Dr. Casanova was the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program Director at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. As an institutional leader, Dr. Casanova was the Assistant Dean leading the development and opening of a new medical school campus that accommodates 30 students. He identified and engaged faculty members and clinical training sites, and was involved in curriculum development.

Dr. Casanova earned his Master’s degree in health professions education from the University of Illinois, Chicago, his Doctorate from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center Southwestern Medical School in Texas, and did his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Kevin C. Dellsperger, MD, PhD            

Kevin C. Dellsperger, MD, PhD

Prior to joining the ACGME, Dr. Dellsperger was the Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at AU Health System and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He received his Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering from Tulane University, and his MD and PhD from LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. After completing his residency and chief residency in internal medicine, and a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at the University of Iowa, he joined the faculty where he was promoted to Professor. During his time at Iowa, he served as Chief of Staff at the Iowa City VAMC and Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs of the Carver College of Medicine from 1997 to 2003. In 2003 he moved to Columbia, Missouri to lead the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Missouri for six years, where he also served as Associate Dean for Clinical Outcomes until he was recruited to AU Health System (formally Georgia Regents Health System) in 2013. He served there as Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer of the Augusta University Health System until early 2018. Dr. Dellsperger also served as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs for the Medical College of Georgia.

Dr. Dellsperger served as President of the American Heart Association, Heartland Affiliate and Governor of the American College of Cardiology for the state of Iowa. He served as a member of the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for six years in total, and as a Senior Examiner for the past four years.

As an academician, Dr. Dellsperger has been active in research in the broad areas of coronary and pulmonary arterial and microvascular function in health and disease, exercise physiology in metabolic syndrome, and education and patient safety. He has served on the editorial boards for three journals, and is the author of more than 130 papers, review articles, and book chapters in the fields of basic research, clinical cardiology, and patient safety.

Robin Dibner, MD            

Robin Dibner, MD

Passionate about patient safety, Dr. Dibner has been active in the development of the Near Miss Registry, a joint effort of New York APDIM and the New York chapter, and more recently national, ACP. She has given workshops at national ACGME and APDIM meetings on involving medical trainees in quality improvement projects, and has been the recipient of two grants to study the impact of educating residents on medical errors.

Dr. Dibner’s professional accomplishments in New York have also included developing an on-site job fair model for “orphan residents” displaced by hospital and residency program closings, and collaborating with the New York University Department of Medicine to accommodate residents and medical students displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

Dr. Dibner received her medical degree from the Wayne State University School of Medicine. She did her post-graduate training in internal medicine and chief medical residency at St. Luke’s Hospital (now St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center), and her rheumatology fellowship at the SUNY Downstate Health Science Center, all in New York City.

 

Douglas E. Paull, MD, MS, FACS, FCCP, CHSE

Douglas E. Paull, MD, MS, FACS, FCCP, CHSE

Dr. Paull graduated from Duke University with degrees in zoology and medicine. He completed general surgical training at the New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center and cardiothoracic surgical training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his Master’s degree in patient safety leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Paull is a veteran of the US Air Force, and was an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Wright State University School of Medicine and the VA Medical Center in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Since 2008, he has worked at the VA National Center for Patient Safety, sequentially as Co-Director of Medical Team Training, Director of Patient Safety Curriculum, Director of Medical Simulation, Senior Medical Officer/Deputy Director, and Acting Chief Officer. He is the author of articles, chapters, and a book on the topics of surgery, patient safety, team training, simulation, and high-reliability health care organizations. Dr. Paull is also an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he teaches graduate-level courses in patient safety leadership.

Melissa Schori, MD, MBA            

Melissa Schori, MD, MBA

Dr. Schori previously worked at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, where she was the Chief Medical Officer. She is board certified in internal medicine and has had extensive experience in patient safety, quality initiatives, Joint Commission accreditation compliance, and ACGME program compliance. She served as chair of the Hospital Wide Performance Improvement Committee and as co-chair of the Graduate Medical Education Committee. Her areas of interest include reducing health care disparities, developing patient navigation programs to increase cancer screening, implementing best practices to reduce asthma hospitalizations and ED utilization, and implementing best practice patient safety initiatives.

Dr. Schori received her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, and completed her post-graduate training in internal medicine at the New York Hospital. She received her MBA from the Hagen School of business of Iona College.

Marie Trontell, MD            

Marie Trontell, MD

Dr. Trontell joined the ACGME in June 2015. She is a medical educator and pulmonary physician. Throughout her career, she has served as an internal medicine program director, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Senior Associate Dean for Education, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, designated institutional official, and Chair of the Graduate Medical Education Committee, all at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (UMDNJ-RWJMS), now Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She has been involved in patient safety and quality improvement at the departmental and institutional levels, and has taught medical students throughout her career. She retired from UMDNJ-RWJMS in June 2013, continuing to teach and see pulmonary outpatients as a volunteer clinical faculty member.

Martha Wright, MD            

Martha Wright, MD

Dr. Wright is a pediatric emergency medicine physician with special expertise in medical education for health professions. She was a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Wright has an extensive background in graduate medical education, in which she held various leadership roles.

Dr. Wright received her MD from Duke University School of Medicine, and completed her residency in pediatrics and chief residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, DC. She then completed a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Wright also earned a Master’s degree in Medical Education for Health Professionals at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. Throughout her career, Dr. Wright has received numerous awards for teaching and distinguished service to her profession. She has many publications on various topics in pediatrics, including peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Her research has ranged from safety issues to medical illnesses in pediatrics.

James Zaidan, MD, MBA            

James Zaidan, MD, MBA 

Dr. Zaidan received his undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania State University, his medical degree from West Virginia University and his MBA from Emory University. He completed his anesthesiology training and his cardiac anesthesia fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. After serving a tour of duty with the US Army in Landstuhl, Germany, he and his family moved to Atlanta, where he most recently was the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education/designated institutional official and Professor of Anesthesiology at Emory University School of Medicine. He is currently a professor and Chair Emeritus.

Dr. Zaidan served as the Deputy Chair for Education and as the Chief of Service at Grady Memorial and Emory University Hospitals. He was a Senior Associate Examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Anesthesiology Education and Research of the American Society of Anesthesiology and President of the Association of Cardiac Anesthesiology. Dr. Zaidan was the Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology from 2001 to 2011 and the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and designated institutional official from 2000 to 2016. Dr. Zaidan received the ACGME’s Courage to Lead Award. He recently completed a six-year term on the ACGME’s Institutional Review Committee and served as its Vice Chair for two years.

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