The results are in
Alumni Council Welcomes Four New Members
My now husband still likes to joke that when we were first-year students at HMS, and he asked me what I was interested in career-wise, I delivered a reply straight out of a medical school essay: “I want to be a primary doctor while also working to advance the field at the intersection of population health, innovation, and policy.” Years later, that vision remains core to what I do every day as a practicing internist, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO), and a physician investigator in our Center for Value-Based Care Research. When I think back to my time at HMS, I am so grateful for how my experience prepared me for traditional academic medicine while also nurturing and encouraging the embrace of unexpected detours that have come along the way for me and so many of my classmates. As I move further away from that time, I have come to realize just how unique that particular aspect of HMS’s culture is. I—like so many of my peers—always felt encouraged to seize unexpected opportunities, which have left me with so many unique experiences and enriched my own perspective.
HMS laid an important foundation of mentors and friends, and the exposure I gained there to thought leaders has left a lasting imprint on my work and life. As our first-year Social Medicine course rightly pointed out, physician leaders should be able to move nimbly between clinical, policy, academic, and business arenas. I often find myself wondering how former mentors might frame a problem I have been asked to address. Having worked in health technology, academic general medicine, and population health, I am grateful to the people and institutions that have given me the opportunity to move between different industries, hospital systems, and cities. My hope is that the Alumni Council can build on two threads that have been so important in my own life: 1) the training of physician leaders with diverse backgrounds and non-traditional experiences, and 2) mentoring physician leaders with a particular emphasis on how to best support junior women in achieving personal and professional growth during the life-stage where they are simultaneously building their professional and family lives.
Jessica Ann Hohman, MD ’13 (Class of 2012), is a primary care physician in Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Internal Medicine. She also serves as medical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO). In this capacity, Hohman oversees more than 90,000 beneficiaries, focusing on designing interventions to improve health care quality and value. She has worked to decrease low-value care provision and improve the delivery of post-acute and end-of-life care for patients as part of Value-Based Operations. Hohman is also an investigator in the Center for Value-Based Care Research at Cleveland Clinic. Her research interests include health IT, health care financing, innovative care delivery models, and post-acute care. She maintains an active clinical practice, seeing both outpatients and inpatients, and is involved with the teaching and mentoring of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine students and residents.
Previously, Hohman co-founded and was chief medical officer of CarePort Health, an end-to-end platform managing patient transitions across the care continuum and early pioneer in post-acute outcomes management. Her prior work experience spans health technology, academic, and governmental sectors, including positions at LSE Health, the Massachusetts Health Connector, and as a research fellow with Professor Michael Porter MBA ’71, PhD ’73, at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness based at Harvard Business School.
Hohman graduated from HMS and completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, followed by the HMS General Internal Medicine Fellowship. She also earned two master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science, one in health policy, planning, and financing and the other in social research methods as a Marshall Scholar.
Hohman is married to classmate Trejeeve Martyn, MD ’13 (Class of 2012), a cardiology fellow at Cleveland Clinic. They have two children, Arya (3.5 years old) and Adrian (1 month old).
Every spring, I spend one day at the HMS Tosteson Medical Education Center (TMEC). I never miss the opportunity to teach first-year HMS students about congenital heart disease, admittedly trying to convince a few to join the ranks of pediatric cardiac specialists. It’s invigorating to see a fresh set of minds construct and work through nuances of reconstructing the malformations. Teaching Homeostasis 1 carries special significance to me since this was the very course, many years ago, that sparked my epiphany to become a congenital heart surgeon. Students at HMS are bright, motivated, and undoubtedly poised to be future leaders. But they could benefit from our help to unlock their full potential. I would like to explore ways to connect HMS students with alumni across the globe. We have all experienced the value of strong professional networks, and it makes sense for the Alumni Council to enhance opportunities for crosstalk amongst our community. HMS students come from increasingly diverse backgrounds and look toward non-traditional career pathways. I could envision relatively simple ways in which we could create connections between students and gracious alumni with similar interests. In this ever-changing societal and health care environment, alumni provide valuable input into the priorities of the Medical School. I have been impressed with the alacrity with which HMS embraces positive change, and our alumni are a great resource. It would be a great privilege to serve as the liaison between alumni and HMS leadership.
Sitaram (Ram) M. Emani, MD ’97, is an associate professor of surgery at HMS and a senior associate in the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). After graduating from HMS in 1997, he spent a decade of residency (general and cardiothoracic surgery) at Duke University Medical Center before returning to Boston for a fellowship and faculty position. He is also the director of the Complex Biventricular Repair Program and surgical director of the Adult Congenital Heart Program at BCH. His clinical interests include complex cardiac reconstructive surgery for children and adults with congenital heart disease. He is actively engaged with the teaching of residents, fellows, and medical students. His research interests include developing novel devices for pediatric cardiac application, including an expandable heart valve, and microfluidics for coagulation diagnostic testing. His laboratory effort is supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and philanthropy.
Emani has been engaged with several clinical trials investigating applications of novel biological therapeutic agents for pediatric heart disease. Recently he conducted a first-in-human pilot clinical trial of autologous mitochondrial transplantation to treat cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury in pediatric patients. This work has led to several patents and the subsequent founding of Cellvie, where Emani serves as an executive board member and CMO. He hopes to bring this novel therapy to wider populations of adult and pediatric patients.
At HMS, Emani is actively engaged with the teaching of medical students. His favorite course is Homeostasis 1, in which he instructs students during the cardiovascular block. He is also a course instructor for a new surgical anatomy course designed for third- and fourth-year medical students, providing hands-on cardiac surgery experience in a simulated laboratory environment. His passion for teaching students extends to mentorship, and he has mentored more than 20 HMS students over the past 10 years. He is the faculty adviser for the Harvard Heart Society, a medical student-run organization at HMS.
Outside of the hospital, Emani is engaged in advocacy for awareness of congenital heart disease. He is on the board of trustees for the Ethan M. Lindberg Foundation, a nonprofit organization that spreads awareness of congenital heart disease and connects families and physicians within the congenital heart community. Within the academic community, Emani engages with the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS). He serves as a council member for the AATS Foundation and the Abstract Committee chairperson for the national annual conference. Emani enjoys music, tennis, and hiking with his family. An engineer by background, Emani enjoys tinkering with cars and motorcycles when he has spare time.
Two things became apparent to me in connection with my 40th Reunion last year, especially while serving on the Reunion Committee. One was the pleasure of reconnecting with classmates, and the other was how hard the staff members on the Alumni Engagement team work to make Reunions successful. While the money raised was an important metric, it was clear we all cared deeply about creating meaningful connections. As part of our virtual Reunion, a classmate sent out a link to a video of our second- and fourth-year shows. Fun to see, but I was struck by the grainy images of classmates singing and dancing together who have never come back to a Reunion and whose Reunion Report pages are blank. What has happened to them? Why the disconnect? Is there a way to reengage them? While there are many reasons alumni disengage, how we think we compare to others is among them. It comes up in many guises and, while mostly self-imposed and universal, Harvard as Harvard accentuates the problem. It’s easy to assume the shape of a post-Harvard trajectory and definition of success, even if you know better intellectually. I know that for myself, trying to figure out whether or how to reboot a career after taking time off for family was an arduous and mostly private affair. It didn’t occur to me to look to Harvard for assistance; I would have been too embarrassed. I ended up joining the Army at age 56. It was something of a shot in the dark that ended up working out well for me. The experience changed my life and provided just the sense of service, meaning, and adventure I sought. It reminded me, surprisingly, of aspects of medical school and residency. The military’s focus on connection, community, and mutual responsibility made a deep impression on me, and I think it contributes to my wanting to run for this office. If fortunate enough to be elected, I’d like to focus my efforts on those alumni at the periphery and see what more Harvard can do to understand and address their interests and needs. Thank you for your consideration.
Nancy Q. Petersmeyer, MD ’80, received a BA from Yale College summa cum laude with honors in history and her MD from HMS. She did two years of pediatric residency at Columbia-Presbyterian before completing psychiatric training there, during which she was chief resident. She also completed psychoanalytic training at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.
She was an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia, worked in inpatient care, taught psychotherapy, and was a collaborating analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center.
In 1990, she moved with her family to Philadelphia. There, she had a private practice, worked in inpatient and community-based psychiatry, and taught at both the University of Pennsylvania and the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. She also became involved in numerous not-for-profit organizations, serving on the boards of several, including the Free Library of Philadelphia, Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia (chair), the Russell Byers Charter School, and the Miquon School (chair).
In 2010, Petersmeyer joined the Army. She did so knowing little about the military but understood that she had expertise in an area of acute need within the military as a psychiatrist. She also felt a personal obligation to help care for the young men and women—many the same age as her own children—whom our nation was sending to war.
She was commissioned a lieutenant colonel, completed the Medical Corps’ basic officer training at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, and moved to Germany to serve over the next four years at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. There, she rotated between running inpatient and outpatient units and screened and treated hundreds of soldiers evacuated from combat zones or stationed abroad. She was promoted to deputy chief of the Division of Behavioral Health, chaired the hospital’s ethics committee, and served on the garrison’s suicide response team.
In 2011, she deployed to Iraq as the officer-in-charge of a combat stress control detachment. In 2014, she deployed to Afghanistan as the behavioral health consultant to U.S. forces. She left active duty in 2015 and returned to Philadelphia. Between 2015 and 2018, she was a member of the Army Reserve, where she attained the rank of colonel.
She is currently an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. Her primary focus has been on revising and teaching behavioral health modules used in Operation Bushmaster, the medical school’s annual, multi-day, simulated deployment exercise. Petersmeyer is also researching and writing about lessons learned crossing the civilian-military divide. She is especially interested in how stock narratives take hold and shape and distort our understanding of military service, post 9/11 war, and military-related mental illness.
Petersmeyer has served on her class’s Reunion Committees over several cycles. Through the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, she was recently introduced to the HMS Civilian-Military Collaborative, a group she looks forward to learning more about and supporting. She has two children: Peter, a filmmaker, and Katherine, a writer.
Improving quality is and should always be a primary objective of the medical establishment. However, the other piece of the value equation is cost reduction. I am concerned about the cost of health care in this country. It is shameful that we spend nearly twice as much as other advanced nations, yet have only mediocre outcomes to show for it. For the last several years, I have been teaching medical students about a variety of health economics topics, such as how medical insurance works, how doctors get paid, how hospitals get paid, and the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act. I have been surprised by how little students know about these subjects. I believe we all are stewards of a finite resource, as the percent of GDP that goes to health care cannot continue to rise. Medical students should be educated in some of these basics because physicians tend to make prudent decisions when presented with cost data. Movements such as Choosing Wisely are a good start, but we need to do more. The tragic murder of George Floyd might be a tipping point in the struggle against racism in this country. At the medical school level, a robust response is required if we are to maintain momentum against this evil, deeply ingrained system. We should work to eliminate microaggressions from everyday speech and continue to increase faculty diversity, but also figure out a way to deal with overtly racist comments and actions. This is an extraordinary opportunity for major progress, and it should not be wasted.
John F. Cramer III, AB ’70, MD ’74, graduated from Harvard College and then earned his medical degree from HMS. He subsequently completed an internal medicine residency, followed by a chief medical year, at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver. After training, he practiced critical care medicine in Everett, Washington, for 18 years. He then obtained an MBA from the University of Washington and took a job as network medical director for Aetna U.S. Health Care in Seattle, where he learned much about the medical insurance industry.
After several years, he returned to patient care by founding and managing a large inpatient hospital team in Everett. He currently teaches University of Washington medical students and has also recently joined the clinical faculty of the new Washington State University medical school, which has a clinical training site in Everett. He serves on the board of a biotech startup, Prevencio, a cardiac biomarker company that uses artificial intelligence to develop innovative diagnostic blood tests for cardiovascular disease.
Cramer has been active with the Harvard alumni community. He was on the 45th Reunion Committee for the class of 1974, serving as leadership gifts chair. With his wife, Suzanne Poppema, MD ’74, he endowed an HMS REACH scholarship, a program that makes it more possible for exceptionally talented students from economically underprivileged backgrounds to come to HMS.
He is a staunch supporter of women’s rights, particularly in the reproductive medicine area. In 2018, he worked for the successful political campaign of Kim Schrier, MD, who is now the only woman physician in congress. Cramer and his wife have traveled extensively in the developing world and have had medical experiences in numerous countries, including Thailand, Nepal, India, Afghanistan, and Ethiopia.
He volunteers for the Northwest Refugee Project by doing medical evaluations of asylum seekers, and, if indicated (evidence of torture), writing a supportive affidavit to the asylum judge. Outside of medicine, he is a dedicated road cyclist and is passionate about classical music. He has been very involved with the Seattle Chamber Music Society for many years and enjoys playing his restored 1886 Steinway grand piano.