Summer 2010

Working Life

Peter Aggen BS’02 Biology

As a physical therapist at Sister Kenny Sports and Physical Therapy in St. Paul, Minnesota, Aggen helps patients return to an active lifestyle without pain. A board certified specialist in sports therapy, his own active lifestyle and love of sports helps him better understand the issues his patients face and helps apply this learning to teaching. He is also a member of the staff running program, which performs outreach to running groups and at local races.

Allison Cabalka BS’82 Biochemistry

As a pediatric cardiologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Cabalka performs some of the most delicate procedures in medicine—repairing heart defects in newborns and young children. Cabalka’s interventions include surgically placing devices to close holes in the heart and balloons to open stenotic heart valves, as well as the use of echocardiograms to diagnose congenital heart defects. She is also active in international medical aid, making regular trips to treat children in Mongolia, Nepal and the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. In 2006 the Minnesota Chapter of the American College of Cardiology recognized her for outstanding contributions to international pediatric cardiology and outreach to underserved populations.

Stephanie Lutter Fritz BS’97 Bacteriology

After completing medical school, Lutter Fritz moved to Washington University in St. Louis to accept a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases, earning a master’s degree in clinical investigation. She is now an instructor and researcher in the university’s Patient-Oriented Research Unit, where she studies the epidemiology and virulence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), one of the so-called superbugs that cause severe and sometimes fatal infections among patients. For her research ambitions she was awarded the Infectious Diseases Society of America/National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Pfizer Fellowship in Clinical Disease. Fritz doesn’t just battle bacteria in the lab: She also treats pediatrics patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and performs investigations in community settings.

Elizabeth Kearney BS’95 Genetics

As a clinician in genetic counseling for seven years, Kearney was able to practice in a variety of settings, including a diagnostic laboratory, a general genetics department, specialty clinics and prenatal diagnosis centers. Most recently, Kearney has been elected as president to the National Society of Genetic Counselors, where she leads the association and serves as chief spokesperson. She also works as an independent marketing consultant for genetics companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

Michael Meyer BS’91 Bacteriology

When Meyer returned to Wisconsin in 2008 to become an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, he brought a wealth of experience that has given him a unique perspective on his specialty of critical care. Serving 13 years in the U.S. Air Force, Meyer rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and saw duty at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan as a critical-care medical consultant. He then led a critical-care air transport team that assisted in the evacuation of critically ill patients from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. These days he pursues research on transport medicine while treating patients in critical condition at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Steve Peterson BS’83 Bacteriology

Originally a veterinarian, Peterson returned to medical school to become a specialist on conditions affecting the ear, nose and throat. Now with the Tri Cities Skin and Cancer facility in Johnson City, Tennessee, he specializes in Mohs surgery, a technique developed at UW-Madison to remove cancers from skin. Peterson says he enjoys working in an outpatient environment and finds it especially rewarding to help patients through the process of reconstructive surgery following cancer removal.

Benjamin Reineking BS’05 Bacteriology

Reineking is the owner of Reinkeking Chiropractic in Appleton, where he treats a variety of conditions through physical adjustments and rehabilitation exercises. Being a chiropractor allows him to spend more time with patients and help them with issues that lie beyond physical pain, he says. He is currently working to become certified to work with children through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.

Manuel Roman BS’82 Wildlife Ecology

Roman is an emergency-medicine physician and president of Suburban Emergency Associates, a physicians group that provides clinical services for hospitals in the Twin Cities area. When Roman began his residency, emergency medicine was a relatively new specialty. He helped establish the emergency medicine group for the St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, Minnesota, which honored him with the hospital’s first-ever new physician leadership award. Roman also has headed emergency departments in Edina, Minnesota, and Palm Springs, California.

Ann Schmidt BS’83 Nutritional Sciences

A physician in UW Health’s internal-medicine clinic, Schmidt has recently been named a fellow with the American College of Physicians for her scholarship, clinical practice, teaching and administrative work. She also serves as service chief for the Department of General Internal Medicine at the UW Medical Foundation and holds a faculty position in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Schmidt says her degree in nutritional sciences gives her a strong basis for talking to patients about the steps they can take to prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases, a subject she gives special attention in her clinical care.

Kathy Selvaggi BS’79 MS’81 Bacteriology

After training in internal medicine and hematology/oncology, Selvaggi became interested in palliative care, which focuses on relieving the pain and stress of patients who suffer from serious illnesses. In 2006 she completed a fellowship in palliative medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She then became chief of palliative medicine for the West Penn Allegheny Health System, where she was voted one of Pittsburgh’s top doctors and won the American Cancer Society’s Lane Adams Award, honoring medical professionals who promote the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. Recently she accepted a position that will take her back to Boston as co-director of the inpatient palliative care unit at the prestigious Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.

Christine Sinsky BS’77 Biochemistry

Sinsky practices internal medicine at Medical Associates Clinic and Health Plans, Iowa’s oldest multi-specialty group-practice medical clinic. She has served on numerous professional panels and committees, including the Society of Internal Medicine’s Blue Ribbon Panel on the Future of General Internal Medicine, the American College of Physicians and the National Committee for Quality Assurance. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a director on the American Board of Internal Medicine. She has also given regional and national workshops on improving office practice and has been a consultant to several academic medical centers regarding improving ambulatory practice.

Jerome Siy BS’93 Biochemistry

Currently head of hospital medicine for Health Partners Medical Group and division head of primary care at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, Siy is one of the nation’s preeminent hospitalists, a specialty that focuses on improving the quality and efficiency of hospital care. Among his accomplishments, Siy coordinated collaborations among Regions’ hospital medicine, emergency and behavioral health departments to better address patients’ mental health needs as they entered hospital care, which has helped reduce wait times and streamlined care. Thanks to such efforts, Siy was named to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s “40 under 40” in 2007 and tabbed by the Society of Hospital Medicine for its 2009 award for clinical excellence.

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