Avery K. Ellis, MD ’77, PhD ’79, MBA, senior associate dean for medical curriculum and associate professor of medicine and physiology, died suddenly on November 7, 2014 in Chicago, where he was attending a medical conference. He was 64.
Prior to assuming the medical curriculum deanship in 2008, Ellis directed UB’s cardiology fellowship and served as chief of staff at the VA Western New York Healthcare System.
“Teaching was one of Avery’s passions, and he was a master at it,” said David Milling, MD ’93, senior associate dean for student and academic affairs. “He had a critical impact on our medical students’ education — especially, but not limited to, the preclinical years. In the Office of Medical Education, he was an integral team member. His unique sense of humor was known to all of us, and we will miss him dearly.”
A Buffalo native, Ellis graduated from Cornell University and received his doctorate in physiology and medical degree from UB. He completed his residency and cardiology fellowship at Stanford University Hospital. In 1999, he received a master’s degree in business administration from Duke University.
Surviving Ellis are his wife of 40 years, the former Nitza Farhi; two sons, Robert A. and Noah D.; his mother, Mary Ann; a brother, Neil R.; and a sister, Laura.
Memorial gifts in his honor can be directed to: UB Foundation, Office of Medical Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, 901 Kimball Tower, Buffalo, NY 14214. Please note that your gift is in honor of Dr. Avery Ellis.
Terence Clark, MD ’71, president of Anchor Radiology, PA, writes: "I have practiced diagnostic radiology in the upstate of South Carolina since 1977. I’m semi-retired and live in a small university town (Clemson) on a lake in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mts. I serve on 3 boards, including a local free clinic. In 2012, I donated a kidney to a close friend in the UK (transplant took place in Coventry, UK). I have two children, one practicing law locally. I’ve biked every major river in Europe as well as Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Enjoy vintage racing with my own cars—a Ferrari or two. Play tennis 5 times a week! Specialize in making opponents look good! But getting better!?" Favorite memories: Surgical lab; OB at Sisters; physicals at Deaconess. Elected to AOA. Graduation Day.
Elliott Brender, MD ’70, FACS, writes: I am now retired after a successful career in private practice general surgery. I am also a clinical professor of surgery at the University of California Irvine. Since 2008 I have been doing volunteer missions to Cambodia, where I bring donations, teach surgery, do cases, attend clinic and present at international conferences. I completed my fifth mission in January 2016. You can see pictures and read my travelogue at www.201601missiontocambodia.shutterfly.com. I am now working with the American College of Surgeons, the American Board of Surgery, and the Residency Review Committee to establish a rotating surgical residency program in Cambodia. It would bring state-of-the-art surgery to Cambodia, helping the Cambodian people and surgeons while providing case material and experience for American residents. From the above link, there are links to my other missions.
Thomas A. Lombardo, Jr, MD ’73, a practicing orthopedic surgeon at Northtowns Orthopedics, was installed as president of the Erie County Medical Society on May 7, 2013.
Lombardo received his undergraduate degree in 1969 from the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and his medical degree from UB in 1973. His postgraduate training included a two-year surgical residency at Millard Fillmore Hospital and a four-year orthopedics residency at UB.
Lombardo began in private practice in 1979 and became a board certified orthopedic surgeon in 1980. Over the years, he has held a variety of elected positions, including president of the Western New York Orthopaedic Society. He also was a long-time chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Millard Fillmore Hospital and served on the board of directors for the New York State Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Gregory A. Antoine, MD ’76, treated many of the injured survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing. At the time, he was chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Boston University School of Medicine.
Today Antoine is chief of staff at the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fayetteville, NC.
A native of Boston, Antoine served in U.S. Army for over 20 years, in Desert Storm and Operation Restore Hope (in Somalia) and has had significant experience with combat trauma.
The emergency room the day of the bombing looked like a combat scene, he says. “It was controlled chaos. We were triaging patients and sent about eight or ten of them immediately to the operating rooms. We took some into the ambulatory portion of the OR, which you’re not supposed to do, but we made an exception because we needed the operating space.”
Most of the patients he saw had lower extremity injuries. “My first patient was the man who lost both his legs [Jeff Bauman],” he recalls. “I cleaned up his injuries and stabilized him. Another man was in shock, with significant wounds to both legs. I also saw a woman who’d suffered a shrapnel injury to the back of her knee. Luckily, the artery was not transected; otherwise, she could have bled to death. She had significant nerve injury, and I went in some days later to repair her nerves and close her wound.”
Antoine says many of the hospital staff were unaccustomed to what they saw—the severity of the injuries and the volume of patients. “Many were in shock,” he says, explaining that counseling services were provided for them in the days following the attack.
Stephen Lazoritz, MD ’76, has been appointed medical director of Arbor Health Plan, a Medicaid managed care organization operating in 83 rural Nebraska counties.
A pediatrician, health care executive, author, speaker and advocate for the health and welfare of children, Lazoritz also holds an appointment as a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Creighton University School of Medicine.
Prior to joining Arbor Health Plan, he served as the chief medical officer for the Omaha Military Entrance Processing Station, United States Military Entrance Processing Command, and prior to that, as vice president of medical affairs at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha.
Arbor Health Plan is part of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, a majority-owned subsidiary of Independence Blue Cross; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan holds a minority interest.
Nedra Harrison, MD ’77, was voted by her medical colleagues as a Top Doc, as announced in the April 2013 issue of Phoenix Magazine which profiled the top rated doctors in the Phoenix/Scottsdale and surrounding areas.
Harrison also participated in a short video presentation, posted on the Phoenix Magazine website, that introduces the work she does with breast cancer patients.
A specialist in benign breast disease and breast cancer surgery, Harrison is affiliated with the Scottsdale Healthcare System. A former past president of the UB Medical Alumni Association, she has lived and practiced in Arizona for 14 years.
Rev. William E. Stempsey, SJ, MD ’78, PhD (pictured second from the left) has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Philosophy Department at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he has taught since 1996.
After earning his medical degree from UB, Stempsey completed residency training in pathology at University Hospital in Boston before joining the Jesuits in 1982. After ordination to the priesthood, he studied the philosophy and ethics of medicine at Georgetown University, where he earned his PhD in 1996. Stempsey has expertise in the concepts of health and disease, clinical reasoning, religion in bioethics, and ethical issues in death and dying, organ transplantation, and medical education. He is the author of Disease and Diagnosis: Value-Dependent Realism (Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999) and is the editor of Elisha Bartlett’s Philosophy of Medicine (Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer, 2005). He serves on several ethics committees in Worcester, and also regularly celebrates liturgies on campus and in a local parish.