Amid a global health scare and an international protest movement, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital residents celebrated a graduation they couldn’t have imagined but won’t soon forget.
With social and physical distancing, and adapting to a virtual format, the residency program honored its fourth graduating class Saturday with a dozen doctors poised to make an impact on pediatric medicine.
“In a world where war is ever prevalent and where hatred lurks in schoolyards, buses and places of worship, the hospital is perhaps one place where everyone is treated equally regardless of creed, race and social status,” says George Jallo, M.D., physician-in-chief and vice dean at Johns Hopkins All Children’s. “As a healer then, you have the ability to convey a strong message: If people are entitled to receive the same quality of medical care, wouldn’t we be obligated to treat everyone with the same love and respect we reserve for our family and friends?”
The Johns Hopkins All Children’s program prides itself on taking a modern approach to graduate medical education, emphasizing education and leadership over grueling hours of clinical service. Those qualities will serve this class well as it enters such a challenging time in the world in general and health care in particular, says Akshata Hopkins, M.D., residency program director.
“We are incredibly proud and confident that you will all be THE positive change agents who will address health care inequities and launch pediatrics into the future,” Hopkins says. “Class of 2020, you have role modeled resiliency and have innately known how to take the next step.”
The graduation included a series of award presentations, including:
- Resident of the Year: Victoria Elliott, M.D.
- Resident Scholar of the Year: Samantha Lucrezia, M.D.
- Resident Advocate of the Year: Alana Koehler, M.D.
- Allen Root Award for Continuous Excellence in Residency: Victoria Elliott, M.D.
Jallo closed his remarks by congratulating the graduates and calling on them to continue to strive for more.
“Class of 2020 … you have been running hard for a long time, but please take this moment to let this all sink in,” he says. “Your hard work and dedication are deserving of recognition. Just remember, your studies may be over, but the process of learning will never end. … You are unstoppable and will continue to succeed. Be ready for all the world has to offer you and adapt accordingly. In this time of uncertainty, life is a journey, not a destination, which requires continuous growth and elevation.”
2020 Johns Hopkins All Children’s Residency Program Graduates
- Joanne Decade, M.D., will enter private practice with First Choice Pediatrics in Orlando, Florida.
- Aditi Dey, M.D., will become a neonatal/perinatal fellow at Johns Hopkins All Children’s.
- Victoria Elliott, M.D., will become a pediatric endocrinology fellow at the University of Colorado School of Medicine/Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Denver.
- Machi Kaneko, M.D., will become a pediatric nephrology fellow at University of Washington School of Medicine/Seattle Children’s Hospital.
- Alana Koehler, M.D., will become a pediatric emergency medicine fellow at University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine/Oishei Children’s Hospital.
- Maria Leszczysnka, M.D., will become a dermatology research fellow at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.
- Samantha Lucrezia, M.D., will become a pediatric emergency medicine fellow at University of Louisville/Norton Children’s Hospital.
- Pooja Purswani, M.D., will become an allergy and immunology fellow at Duke University School of Medicine.
- Jessica Reilly, M.D., will become a chief resident at Johns Hopkins All Children’s.
- Kathryn Reynolds, M.D., will become a pediatric cardiology fellow at University of Colorado School of Medicine/Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Denver.
- Aaron Samide, M.D., will become a chief resident at Johns Hopkins All Children’s.
- Catherine Wysocka, M.D., will enter private practice with MacKoul Pediatrics in Cape Coral, Florida.