College of

Dean's Update

A Message from Dean Marsha D. Rappley, MD



Our warmest congratulations to Dr. Dean Sienko, Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health and a Major General in the U.S. Army Reserves, as he takes a one-year leave of absence to go on active military service as the next Commanding General of U.S. Army Public Health Command.  This appointment comes from The Army Surgeon General, Lieutenant General Patricia Horoho.  The Army Public Health Command’s portfolio missions include Environmental Health Engineering,  Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, Health Promotion and Wellness, Health Risk Management, Laboratory Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Occupational Health Sciences, Toxicology and Veterinary Services.  Army Public Health Command employs over 3,000 people who have responsibilities in 100 countries. Dr. Sienko is slated to take the command on May 23, 2013 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. It is an honor for Dr. Sienko and a privilege for Michigan State University to support this important effort. As always, Dr. Sienko is building bridges for us, across institutions and disciplines, to promote a healthier nation and better quality of life for all of our people. We salute you, Major General, and thank you for your service!




Please join me in congratulating Gary Ferenchick, M.D., Professor, Department of Medicine, CHM and graduate of the CHM class 1984, for receiving the 2013 Ruth Marie Fincher Award from the Clerkship Directors of Internal Medicine (CDIM). The award will be formally presented at the annual meeting of CDIM in October, but we want to thank Dr. Ferenchick for the creativity, energy and devotion to medical education that he has brought to CHM for more than 30 years. Both Dr. Ferenchick and this award are emblematic of the deeply held values of our college, putting innovation behind the rigorous standards and high expectations of ourselves and our students. We deeply appreciate the recognition and national visibility that Dr. Ferenchick’s work and this award bring to our determination to graduate physicians who are prepared to lead the cutting edge of quality patient care in the future.




Congratulations to third-year students Drew Emge and Mopelola Adeyamo who have earned grant support for medical research. Drew landed a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation International Clinical Research Fellowship and will be stationed in Zambia at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research. Drew’s research will focus on pediatric diarrheal diseases that are a major cause of childhood death in the developing world. Mopelola’s research will take her to the Bethesda, Maryland, campus of the National Institutes of Health as part of the Medical Research Scholars Program. She will be assigned a mentor and a research project. We are very proud of these students for earning these competitive grants and thankful to all our faculty in our communities who are supportive of student research and offer mentoring to our students.  And congratulations and thanks to Tiffy Zachos in her continued leadership roles with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.




I would like to let you  know that I have a somewhat personal interview on “Jack Krasula, Anything is Possible,” WJR Radio, 760 AM, on Sunday, April 21 from 9-10 pm. This is very different than any other interview I have given. Jack asks very personal questions about my experience as a physician and as a nurse, such as “What is it like to take care of a dying child?” And he respectfully asks some things about my family life. I reflect on the more intimate side of caring for others, what it means to be a physician and a human being confronted with the suffering of others. In case some of you might be interested in listening, I provide the WJR live stream website below. It will also be archived on the website for “Anything is Possible.” 


Marsha D. Rappley, M.D.

Dean, College of Human Medicine