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Department of Medicine Chair David Aronoff, MD, FIDSA, FAAM, delivered his annual State of the Department address on June 10, 2024 before an audience of faculty and staff in Emerson Hall, describing numerous successes from within the department in 2023-24 and outlining goals and opportunities ahead. “We are a healthy and vibrant department,” he said. “Thank you all for making this a great place to work.”

Department of Medicine holds 2024 annual meeting

Dr. David Aronoff delivers his State of the Department Address in 2024.

Dr. David Aronoff delivers his State of the Department Address in 2024.

Department of Medicine Chair David Aronoff, MD, FIDSA, FAAM, delivered his annual State of the Department address on June 10, 2024 before an audience of faculty and staff in Emerson Hall, describing numerous successes from within the department in 2023-24 and outlining goals and opportunities ahead.

“We are a healthy and vibrant department,” he said. “Thank you all for making this a great place to work.”

Aronoff stepped into the role of chair in January 2022 . He said he spent much of that year immersing himself in the department, listening to its people, learning the systems and culture, and asking questions.

Heading into 2023-24, he felt ready to look forward and think strategically about the department’s future. He’s excited for what that future holds, he said.

In Memoriam

Before outlining the department’s productivity in 2023-24, Aronoff took a moment to remember those the department lost in the last year. This included:

  • Walter J. Daly, MD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Dean Emeritus, and former Department Chair
  • Stuart A. Kleit, MD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Associate Dean Emeritus, and former Division Chief for Nephrology and Hypertension
  • C. Conrad Johnston, Jr., MD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and former Division Chief for Endocrinology
  • James Dillon, MD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology
  • Kathleen James, NP, Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics who worked on GRACE team (Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders)

New Leadership Appointments in 2023-24

The Department of Medicine appointed several new leaders in 2023-24. They are:

Richard Kovacs, MD
Interim Division Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine
Interim Director of the Cardiovascular Institute

Meena Madhur, MD, PhD
Division Chief for Clinical Pharmacology

Jennifer Schwartz, MD
Interim Division Chief for Hematology/Oncology
Interim Bone Marrow Transplant Director
Associate Dean for Continuing Education in Healthcare Professions

Caitlin VanOverberghe
Communications Manager for Department of Medicine

Brian Middleton, MD
Associate Chief Medical Officer at IU Health Tipton Hospital

Lyle Fettig, MD
Section Chief of Palliative Medicine at the Roudebush VA Medical Center

Andrew O’Brien, MD
Hematology Service Line Leader for the Division of Hematology/Oncology

Ronald Mastouri, MD
Service Line Leader for Cardiovascular Medicine

Rob Siwiec, MD
Service Line Leader for Gastroenterology & Hepatology
IU Health North Medical Staff President

Samir Gupta, MD
CTSI K12 Director for Indiana Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute

Khaled Abdeljawad, MD
Eskenazi Clinic Director for Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Monika Fischer, MD
Springmill Clinic Director for Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Mark Gromski, MD
Inpatient Endoscopy Director at the Adult Academic Health Center for Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Umer Bhatti, MD
IG Inpatient Medical Director at IU Health – University Hospital for Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Nabil Adra, MD
Service Line Leader – Medical Oncology Outcome & Improvement Coordinator for the Cancer Committee at the Adult Academic Health Center

Grant Gilroy, DO
Acting Deputy Chief of Staff at the Roudebush VA Medical Center

Lindsey Temnykh, MD
Acting Chief of Medicine at the Roudebush VA Medical Center


Faculty Development

The department is currently navigating the departure of Sylk Sotto, EDD, MBA, MPS, who until recently served as the Vice Chair, Faculty Affairs & Professional Development. Sotto was the first to serve in this role and was recently recruited to the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences as Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Development and Inclusive Excellence. A search is still underway to fill the vice chair opening.

But Sotto made incredible progress in her tenure to improve the culture of the department, Aronoff said. This work will not end her absence, however, and there is progress to be made. The department currently has 1,014 full-time faculty members around the state.

Those with the rank of Assistant Professor make up 68.74% of the full-time faculty. Within that, 37.9% identify as female; and 9.3% are considered underrepresented in the medical profession (URiM).

  • 13.61% are Associate Professors, with 31.2% identifying as female and 4.3% identifying as URiM
  • 15.98% are Full Professors, with 17.9% identifying as female and 2.5% identifying as URiM
  • 1.68% are Endowed or Distinguished Professors, with 11.8% identifying a female and 11.8% identifying as URiM

Faculty Promotions, effective July 1, 2024, were also announced. Fourteen faculty members were promoted to Associate Professor and five were awarded tenure. An additional five faculty members were promoted to full Professors. They are:

  • Ankit Desai, MD (Cardiovascular Medicine)
  • Hala Fatima, MD (Gastroenterology & Hepatology)
  • Shadia Jalal, MD (Hematology/Oncology)
  • Jon Piganelli, PhD (Endocrinology)
  • Kathleen Unroe, MD (General Internal Medicine & Geriatrics)

Six newly Named Professors or Scholars were also announced:

  • Bradley Allen, MD
    D. Craig Brater Professor of Professionalism (Infectious Diseases)
  • Alexia Torke, MD
    Walther Professor of Supportive Oncology (General Internal Medicine & Geriatrics)
  • Erik Imel, MD
    J.O. Ritchey, MD Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology)
  • Karen Liby, PhD
    Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Professor of Hematology-Oncology
  • Michael Eadon, MD
    David M. & Julie B. DeWitt Scholar in Nephrology Research (Nephrology)
  • Meena Madhur, MD, PhD
    John B. Hickam Scholar in Medicine (Clinical Pharmacology)

To better build a sense of community in the department, Aronoff launched a new networking program in May 2024 that he calls Tables and Chair. Quarterly, he plans to invite 10 assistant professors (one from each division) to enjoy dinner with him at a local restaurant. There will be no set agenda, he said; instead, he hopes to foster relationship building and connection between young faculty members who may not otherwise have met.


The Department of Medicine named Mary de Groot, PhD, a clinical health psychologist and a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, its first Associate Vice Chair for Wellness in June 2023. In her first year in the role, de Groot conducted a needs assessment and listening tour with all 10 divisions in the department. She established a wellness advisory committee, presented a wellness-centered Medicine Grand Rounds, and established new wellness programs.

In February 2024, the department launched a new newsletter, called Rhythm, which serves as a resource for wellness, diversity and faculty development news and announcements.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Prior to her departure, Sotto also served as the department’s Vice Chair, Diversity, Health Equity, and Inclusion. She was the first to take on this role, as well, and led the creation of the department’s first DEI strategic plan. A search to fill this role is ongoing.

The last year held many key achievements:

  • The department expanded its mock residency interview program to include all four LCME-accredited medical schools in Puerto Rico.
  • A departmental health equity strategy and a research mission diversity strategy were developed.
  • The department co-hosted a bilingual grand rounds – a first with for IU School of Medicine – along with the Department of Family Medicine.
  • Leaders initiated “stay interviews” with URiM faculty members with the hope of increasing retention. This will expand to all faculty members.

This year, the department also reaffirmed its commitments to these health equity strategic focuses:

  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Delayed access to breast & colon cancer care
  • Obesity & medical weight loss management
  • HCV screening & treatment
  • Patient satisfaction

Aronoff said the department is committed to better understanding why people engage with the healthcare system, as well as diversifying the patient populations enrolled in its clinical trials.


Aronoff provided updates on the department’s graduate and undergraduate medical education efforts.

The department takes great pride in its ability to provide a harmonized education experience for all its learners, regardless of where in the state they choose to study. IU School of Medicine encompasses nine regional campuses, and Department of Medicine faculty members serve on each campus.

Ten of the 57 faculty members from IU School of Medicine to receive Trustee Teaching Awards in 2024 came from the Department of Medicine.

Student surveys show that 92% of learners in 2023-24 rate the third-year internal medicine clerkship as good or excellent (50th percentile nationally), which is up from the 22nd percentile the year before. Department faculty are effective teachers for the clerkship, according to 91% of students; and 98% of students confirm that the department’s residents are effective teachers for the clerkship.

NBME Shelf Exam score average was 52nd percentile, continuing to be above the 50th percentile as required by IU School of Medicine.

The department offers an internal medicine residency program and a combined IM/pediatrics residency in Indianapolis, as well as regional internal medicine residency program in Evansville (Southwest) and Muncie. A third regional program in Bloomington is slated to begin in 2026.

Indianapolis internal medicine residency celebrated a 100% pass rate on the ABIM in 2023 (the national average is 89%).

PGY3 resident Mariel Luna Hinojosa, MD, was awarded the 2023 Chaniece Wallace Health Care Disparity Research Award. And fellow PGY3 resident Eleazar Montalvan Sanchez, MD, was give the 2024 Multicultural Physicians Alliance Diversity Champion Award and the Indiana Latino Expo’s Indiana Latino Health Contributor of the Year.

The Muncie Residency Program graduated its 50th residency class in 2024, and five residents successfully matched into fellowships. The program has consistently had a 96% board pass rate over the past 3 years and plans to expand from 24 residents to 27 residents in 2024-25.

Residents from the Southwest Internal Medicine program regularly participate in research and submitted multiple abstracts in 2023-24. All residents presented at local evidence-based medicine and morbidity/mortality conferences, and many attended national conferences along faculty.

The department is grateful to these learners who served as chief residents in 2023-24:
  • Martha Chodaba, Eskenazi Health Hospital
  • Hisham Wehbe, IU Health University Hospital
  • Molly Lee, IU Health Methodist Hospital
  • Parth Savsani, Richard L. Roudebush Veterans' Administration Medical Center
  • Richard Conrad, Quality/Safety
  • Erica Swanson, Ambulatory
  • Katie Mutke, Med/Peds
  • Connor Parker, Med/Peds
  • Amir Beirat, Ball Memorial Hospital (Muncie)
  • Ahmed Salih, Ball Memorial Hospital (Muncie)
  • Michael Carson, Southwest
  • Colin Martyn, Southwest

The incoming chief residents are:
  • Janine Quintero Bisono, Eskenazi Health Hospital
  • Reid Wilson, IU Health University Hospital
  • Mounir Al Gibbawi, IU Health Methodist Hospital
  • Jack Tiahnybik, Richard L. Roudebush Veterans' Administration Medical Center
  • Marielle Siebert, Quality/Safety
  • Jessica Adams, Ambulatory
  • Lauren Carpenter, Med/Peds
  • Charles Shofner, Med/Peds
  • Spencer Bonnerup, Ball Memorial Hospital (Muncie)
  • Devon Fetters, Ball Memorial Hospital (Muncie)
  • Wesam Alhadid, Southwest
  • Aireen Lacap, Southwest
  • Kareet Mann, Southwest


Kara Wools-Kaloustian, MD, the department’s Vice Chair for Research, developed in 2023 a five-year research strategic plan. Highlights include:
  • Increased scientific productivity from the Department of Medicine
  • Increased multidisciplinary research in the emerging high impact areas of Population Health, Precision Health and Health Equity
  • Increased patient access to potentially high impact clinical trials
  • Increased policy impact of departmental research output at system, state, national and global levels
  • Increased basic science discovery addressing the fundamental mechanisms of health and disease

The department continues to steadily grow its research funding. Total award costs for 2023 were $141.2 million. The department has demonstrated consistent NIH funding & Blue Ridge Rankings over the last 6 years. In 2023, the department’s Blue Ridge ranking was 30.

NIH grant funding for 2023 came in at $61.7 million. The three largest NIH grants awarded to the department this year were:

  • IUSM Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery Center (TREAT-AD)
    From the NIH-National Institute on Aging for $7.3 million
    To Alan Palkowitz, PhD, Senior Research Professor of Clinical Pharmacology
  • East Africa International Epidemiology Database to evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) Regional Consortium
    From the NIH-National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases for $3.4 million
    To Kara Wools-Kaloustian, MD, Joe & Sarah Ellen Mamlin Professor of Global Health Research in Infectious Diseases
  • Equity Using Interventions for Pain and Depression (EQUIPD)
    From the NIH-National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Strokes for $1.56 million
    To Marianne Matthias, PhD, Senior Research Professor in General Internal Medicine & Geriatrics

Research productivity in the department continue to be exceptional.

The department is responsible for about a third of IU School of Medicine’s total publications and roughly 40% of the school’s high-impact publications. The department produced 1,093 of 3,439 of IU School of Medicine’s total publications in this year. That included 274 of 699 high-impact publications.

The first Celebration of Science Day was also held this year. 



Aronoff provided the department with a brief update of work being done and progress being made in each partner facility, which included IU Health’s Adult Academic Health Campus (AAHC), the Roudebush VA Medical Center, and Eskenazi Health.

Improvement is harm and mortality rates for the AAHC continue to improve. The campus finished 2023 in the top quartile in mortality, met its harm goal for the year, and continues to see improvements in patient experience.

Notably, more than half of the AAHC medical directors are department physicians.

The VA continues to make significant improvements in facility mortality metrics, moving from the fourth quintile to second quintile.

Eskenazi ranked the No. 1 Hospital in Indiana for Community Benefit and reached record high specialty care clinic visits in 2023.

Pyramid Awards

Each year, the department recognizes members who have made noteworthy impacts. Nominations are sought and winners are selected by department leadership. Winners are recognized at a luncheon with the department chair and announced during the annual meeting.

Awards and the 2023-24 winners are:

Outstanding Early Career Clinician Award – Jennifer King, MD

Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award – Stephen Jordan, MD, PhD

Distinguished Teaching Award #1 – Bradley Sutter, MD

Distinguished Teaching Award #2 – Zeb Saeed, MD

Award in Inclusive Excellence – Curtis Wright, MD

Outstanding Mentorship Award – Kara Wools-Kaloustian, MD

Outstanding Advance Practice Practitioner Award – Brian Jordan

Outstanding Staff Award – Sheila Zielinski, APRN-BC

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Caitlin VanOverberghe

Caitlin VanOverberghe is a communications manager for the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Medicine.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.