MDisability Intern Alumni

2021 Interns

Hiwot Abate
MDisability Project

Hearing loss linked to a higher rate of incident cardiovascular disease in adults

Publications
Biography

Hiwot is a fourth-year medical student at the Tulane University School of Medicine and the founder of the Tulane Medical Students with Disability and Chronic Illness (Tulane MSDCI). She has a childhood-onset fluency disorder called stuttering. Self-advocacy has always been part of her life; however, it was not until she became an adult person who stutters that she had to learn how to effectively advocate for herself. Hiwot is now using her skills to improve the experiences of people with disabilities in medical school and the healthcare system. She is excited to learn from the amazing work the MDisability Team is doing and get involved in disability health research.

Quote/Comment About Intern Experience
Social Media Handle(s)
Grayson Buning
MDisability Project

The association between hearing loss and psychiatric and cognitive health: a longitudinal health study AND Twelve tips for becoming a disability conscious care provider.

Publications

The first of my two MDisability projects has been submitted to Health Affairs and is awaiting decision; the second will be submitted to the Journal Medical Teacher when submissions are opened.

Biography

Grayson is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where he majored in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. Grayson is heavily involved with Michigan's Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program, and he's written extensively about the program in the Michigan Daily. Grayson currently works as a Clinical Subjects Coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine at UM. Grayson hopes to matriculate into medical school in the fall of 2023.

Quote/Comment About Intern Experience

"After completing the MDisability summer internship, I came away with a renewed sense of urgency about working to reduce the health disparities faced by individuals with disabilities. The internship offered me a chance to learn from and work alongside a number of influential advocates, researchers, and physicians, and I credit their guidance with helping me conclude that I want my life's work to follow in their footsteps."

Social Media Handle(s)

Twitter: @graysonbuning

Lydia Smeltz
MDisability Project

Mapping Adaptive Sports, Fitness, Recreation, & Leisure Opportunities: An Ann Arbor Pilot Project

Publications

Smeltz, L. R., & Carpenter, S. L. (2022). Reflecting on health inequities in a global pandemic: The need for disability conscious public health strategies. American Journal of Public Health, 112(4), 592-594. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2021.306666

Smeltz, L. (2022). Polite persistence. Journal of Family Medicine. (Accepted February 2022, awaiting publication).

Biography

Lydia is a medical student at Penn State College of Medicine and a graduate of Duke University. Lydia grew up volunteering with adaptive and therapeutic recreation programs. At Duke, Lydia conducted research on healthcare barriers experienced by persons with disabilities at federally qualified healthcare centers. As an MDisability intern, Lydia worked with Dr. Okanlami to construct an interactive map of adaptive sports and recreation opportunities in the greater Ann Arbor area. Additionally, Lydia explored disability curriculum in medical schools. She continues to work with Dr. Meeks to contextualize her observations. Lydia's passion for adaptive sports and medical education reform has continued at PSCOM. She recently started PA Revs All Starz Field Hockey, the second adaptive, disability-inclusive field hockey team in the US. She has helped increase disability curricular content in her medical school. Lydia is invigorated by opportunities to engage with and learn from like-minded, passionate individuals (like those at MDisability) and will be forever grateful for her time as an intern.

Quote/Comment About Intern Experience

"MDisability gave me the confidence and the tangible skills to create change in my local communities. These skills will stay with me for the rest of my life and have prepared me to effectively advocate in any situation."

Social Media Handle(s)

Twitter: @Lydia Smeltz  

2020 Interns

casden
MDisability Project

Increasing Access to Adaptive Fitness and Inclusive Recreation Opportunities

Publications

Polatsch DB, Rabinovich RV, Casden MA, Beldner S, Rahman OF. Primary Resection of the Ulnar Slip of Flexor Digitorum Superficialis in the Persistently Triggering Patient After A1 Pulley Release. HAND. February 2022.

Patton DM, Martin CT, Casden MA, Jepsen KJ, Ashton-Miller JA, Wojtys EM, Schlecht SH. Femoral Enthesis Degeneration Following ACL Tears in Young Women: a factor to consider in ACL reconstruction. J Orthop Res. 2021; 40(6):1-12

Bigelow EM, Patton DM, Ward FS, Ciarelli A, Casden M, Clark A, Goulet RW, Morris MD, Schlecht SH, Mandair GS, Bredbenner TL, Kohn DH, Jepsen KJ. External Bone Size Is a Key Determinant of Strength-Decline Trajectories of Aging Male Radii. J Bone Miner Res. 2019; 34(5):825-837

Biography

Michael is a medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School who became interested in adaptive sports during the completion of his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology. He is passionate about increasing access to adaptive sports and fitness opportunities for individuals with disabilities and actively conducts research to better understand current barriers to participating in adaptive sports. He aspires to pursue a career in medicine that will allow him to combine his interests in musculoskeletal and disability health.

Quote/Comment About Intern Experience

"The MDisability Summer Internship was an incredible experience that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in becoming a leader in disability health. I am proud to be a member of the internship’s growing alumni network and look forward to connecting with future interns!"

Social Media Handle(s)

Twitter: @CasdenMichael

Sam Grewe
MDisability Project

Increasing Access to Adaptive Fitness and Inclusive Recreation Opportunities

Publications
Biography

Sam became involved with adaptive sports after a cancer diagnosis in 2012 led to the amputation of his right leg.  He quickly fell in love with track and field and is now enjoying his 5th year on the US Paralympic Track & Field team as a high jumper.  Sam is also a member of the Notre Dame track & field team.  Sam has earned many accolades as a Paralympic athlete, including 3-time world champion, Rio 2016 Silver Medalist, and world record holder. Sam is thrilled to join the MDisability team in June, where he will assist in building and promoting fitness opportunities for the disabled community. 

Quote/Comment About Intern Experience

"The MDisability Internship provided an amazing opportunity to develop professional and academic skills, all while simultaneously developing projects that leave a lasting impact on our community."

Social Media Handle(s)

Instagram: @samgrewe
Twitter: @samgrewe

MDisability Project

Understanding the Barriers and Facilitators for Audiology Follow-up: Secondary Analysis of Early Auditory Referral in Primary Care (EAR-PC)

Publications

John C. O’Donnell, Erin M. Purvis, Kaila V.T. Helm, Dayo O, Adewole, Qunzhou Zhang, Anh D. Le, D. Kacy Cullen. "An Implantable Human Stem Cell-Derived Tissue-Engineered Rostral Migratory Stream for Directed Neuronal Replacement." Nature Comm Biol., 15 July 2021| https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02392-8

Kate V. Panzer, Justin C. Burrell, Kaila V.T. Helm, Erin M. Purvis, Qunzhou Zhang, Anh D. Le, John C. O’Donnell, D. Kacy Cullen. “Tissue Engineered Bands of Büngner for Accelerated Motor and Sensory Axonal Outgrowth.” Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol., 20 November 2020| https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.580654

Biography

Kaila is an aspiring physician and hearing ally from Newburgh, NY. A 2020 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, Kaila studied the Biological Basis of Behavior with a language certification in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies. After the internship, Kaila worked as a Clinical Subjects Coordinator for the University of Michigan's Family Medicine Department for two years, mainly supporting projects focused on Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) patients. As a multigenerational African-American, Black woman, Ms. Helm is passionate about better understanding the role of intersectionality and how having multiple marginalized identities impacts one's access to healthcare. Through her research at U-M, she aimed to explore ideas related to disability health research while advocating for patients with disabilities. She hopes to continue pursuing research on the intersections of healthcare, disability rights, race, and language exchange in the future. Kaila will attend the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai starting Fall 2022 to pursue an MD/MPH as a Global Health Scholar.

Quote/Comment About Intern Experience

"I really appreciated the one-on-one mentorship I received as an intern. My faculty mentor, Dr. McKee, was perceptive to my interests and helped me develop projects most aligned with my passions. For example, I supported the monthly Deaf Health Talks and began working on an additional project relating to Black DHH maternal health"

Social Media Handle(s)

Instagram: @kailahelm
Twitter: @kailahelm

Zoie Sheets
MDisability Project

Lived Experiences of #DocsWithDisabilities: A Podcast Analysis

Publications

Sheets Z. Disability Justice. In: Heller T, Parker Harris S, Gill C, Gould R, eds. Disability in American Life: An Encyclopedia of Concepts, Policies, and Controversies. Vol 2. ; 2018:195.

Sheets Z. But You Look Fine: Limitations of the Letter of Accommodation. In: McMaster C, Whitburn B, eds. Disabled Students’ Manifesto. Peter Lange Group; 2019.

Petersen K, Sheets Z, Singh S, Jawadi Z, Michael D, Meeks L. Inclusive Medicine and Medical Education: Increasing the Number of Clinicians With Disabilities. In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Global Public Health. Oxford University Press; 2022. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190632366.013.290

Biography

Zoie is now a fourth year medical student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She plans to apply to a Med/Peds residency, with a goal of providing primary care for disabled patients across the lifespan. She also completed a Masters of Public Health, with a focus on the barriers faced by those with disabilities when they need access to primary care. Additionally, her research focuses on creating curriculum and simulated patient models that can help break down stigma and improve physician attitudes toward people with disabilities. As a member of the Meeks Lab, she also works on issues pertaining to medical education and inclusion of disabled learners — which is key component of creating a more accessible field for patients and providers alike. She is thrilled to be a part of the MDisability program, and can’t wait to see the ways this program will continue to equip her to become a #DocWithDisabilities herself! 

Quote/Comment About Intern Experience

One of the most exciting aspects of this program was being fueled by the experiences, passion, and goals of fellow interns. Sometimes doing this work, especially as a disabled learner, can feel isolating and a bit scary. But, when you’re surrounded by like minds who care as deeply as you about countering ableism in medicine, you feel both supported and encouraged to keep pushing forward. 

Social Media Handle(s)

Twitter: @ZoieSheets

2019 Interns

Caroline Cerilli
MDisability Project
Publications
Epstein, S., Campanile, J., Cerilli, C., Gajwani, P., Varadaraj, V., & Swenor, B. K. (2021). New obstacles and widening gaps: a qualitative study of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on US adults with disabilities. Disability and Health Journal14(3), 101103.
 
Meeks, L. M., Taylor, N., Case, B., Stergiopoulos, E., Zazove, P., Graves, L., ... & Moreland, C. J. (2020). The unexamined diversity: disability policies and practices in US graduate medical education programs. Journal of graduate medical education12(5), 615-619.
 
Samuel, L. J., Xiao, E., Cerilli, C., Sweeney, F., Campanile, J., Milki, N., ... & Swenor, B. K. (2022). The development of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program enrollment accessibility (SNAP-Access) score. medRxiv.
 
Campanile, J., Cerilli, C., Varadaraj, V., Sweeney, F., Smith, J., Zhu, J., ... & Swenor, B. (2022). Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Among Top-Funded US Undergraduate Institutions. medRxiv.
Biography
Caroline is currently an Advocate with Disability Rights Maryland, focusing on increasing access to supported decision making. She studied Public health and Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University (class of ’22). She is a student researcher at the JHU Disability Health Research Center, where she has worked on dashboards tracking undergraduate disability inclusion, COVID vaccine access, and SNAP accessibility. She has also worked as an accessibility intern at the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. 
Quote/Comment About Intern Experience

"This internship was the first chance I had to work with disabled mentors in public health. It was so meaningful to me to learn about public health research from people I could relate to and from people who understood the issues personally." 

Social Media Handle(s)

Twitter: @carolinecerill1 

Kate is a white female with dark hair, she is wearing a blue flower print dress, white lab coat and a stethoscope around her neck. The background is a blurred green landscape.
MDisability Project

Deaf Health Clinic manuscript, DocsWithDisabilities podcast, Adaptive Sports volunteer

Publications

MDisability-related:

Panzer K, Park J, Pertz L, McKee MM. Teaming Together to Care for Our Deaf Patients: Insights from the Deaf Health Clinic. JADARA. 2020;53(2):60-77. Retrieved from https://repository.wcsu.edu/ jadara/vol53/iss2/3

Panzer KV, Maraki I, Cross T, Meeks LM. Podcast possibilities: Asynchronous mentoring for learners with disabilities. Medical Education. 2020;00:1-2.

Bernard A, Weiss S, Rahman M, Ulin SS, D’Souza C, Salgat A, Panzer K, Stein JD, Meade MA, McKee MM, Ehrlich JR. The Impact of COVID-19 and Pandemic Mitigation Measures on Persons with Sensory Impairment. American Journal of Ophthalmology. 2021; doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2021.06.019

DeJonckheere M, McKee MM, Guetterman TC, Schleicher LS, Mulhem E, Panzer K, Bradley K, Plegue MA, Rapai ME, Green LA, Zazove P. Implementation of a Hearing Loss Screening Intervention in Primary Care. Annals of Family Medicine. 2021;19.

Other publications:

Panzer KV, Burrell JC, Helm KVT, Purvis EM, Zhang Q, Le AD, O’Donnell JC, Cullen DK. Tissue Engineered Bands of Bungner for Accelerated Motor and Sensory Axonal Outgrowth. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. 2020;8:580654. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2020.580654

O’Donnell JC, Katiyar KS, Panzer KV, Cullen DK. A tissue-engineered rostral migratory stream for directed neuronal replacement. Neural Regeneration Research. 2018 Aug;13(8):1327-1331. 

Struzyna LA, Browne KD, Brodnik ZD, Burrell JC, Harris JP, Chen HI, Wolf JA, Panzer KV, Lim J, Duda JE, Espana RA, Cullen DK. Tissue engineered nigrostriatal pathway for treatment of Parkinson’s disease. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018;12:1702-1716. https://doi.org/10.1002/term.2698

Biography

Kate graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 2018, where she studied bioengineering, learned American Sign Language (ASL), and conducted tissue engineering research for neuroregeneration. Upon graduating, she completed a one-year research program in Ghana with a nonprofit called Cocoa360. In 2019, she relocated to Ann Arbor, MI, for the inaugural MDisability summer internship program. She continued to work as a clinical research assistant with MDisability faculty until starting medical school at the University of Michigan in 2020. As a medical student, she serves as co-founder of Medical Students for Disability Health & Advocacy and student lead of the inaugural ASL Elective for Medical Students.

Quote/Comment About Intern Experience

"The MDisability Internship was a launching pad for me to explore various aspects of disability health and wellness. The strong connections I made with faculty, staff, and students are a major reason why I decided to stay at UM for medical school. I'm thankful for my MDisability colleagues who motivate me to become a better learner, researcher, and advocate.

Social Media Handle(s)

Twitter: @Kate_Panzer

Anah Salgat
MDisability Project
Publications
Biography

Anah is a 2019 graduate from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Cognitive Science and a minor in Biology. Her current interests include breaking down the patient-physician communication barrier through community outreach and education as well as increasing accessible resources that support patient autonomy. She is pursuing a career as a physician and is very excited to begin her post-graduation career with the MDisability team.  

Quote/Comment About Intern Experience
Social Media Handle(s)