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Reunion & Alumni Weekend Highlights the Katz School of Medicine’s Growing Impact

Alumni and Friends come together to celebrate their #TempleMed Pride

News April 30, 2024

Group photo of alumni in front of a baseball field

The Lewis Katz School of Medicine celebrated Reunion & Alumni Weekend 2024 on April 11-13 bringing together alumni, students, school leadership, faculty and friends to collectively celebrate and support the school’s bright future, honor individual milestones and achievements, and shine a spotlight on shared Temple pride, and the impactful differences that Temple Made physicians make in medicine.

The weekend kicked off with the annual Celebration of Scholarship Dinner, a formal but intimate affair that connected scholarship donors with the students whose educations they’ve made possible.

The following night, medical students, alumni and their families celebrated at a #TempleMed takeover of Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies.  

Saturday began with an open house that included demonstrations and discussions at the Medical Education and Research Building on the school’s North Broad campus. Later in the morning, Amy J. Goldberg, MD, FACS, the Marjorie Joy Katz Dean of the Katz School of Medicine, hosted a brunch in the Maurice J. Stone, MD, Commons, which included the Medical Alumni Association Awards Ceremony.

That night, alumni donned formal attire and gathered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the weekend’s signature event with music, dancing and private access to the museum’s world-renowned galleries. Golden Owls – alumni from the Class of 1974 celebrating their 50th reunion – enjoyed a private dinner in the museum’s Saint-Laurent Gallery.

Alumni Reunion posed in the museum’s Saint-Laurent Gallery.

‘Passion and purpose are coming together’

Through a variety of demonstrations and tours at the open house, which included stops in the Carson D. Schneck, MD, PhD, Anatomy Lab, the Innovation Space at the Ginsburg Library, and the William Maul Measey Institute for Clinical Simulation and Patient Safety, alumni stepped into the shoes of a current Katz School of Medicine student.

The morning also featured an inaugural “Conversation with Black Alumni in Medicine,” hosted by Abby Berkeley, MD, JD, Interim Senior Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology at the Katz School of Medicine. Toni Eldridge Wilkes (MD ’82) and David Wilkes (MD ’82), Dean Emeritus of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and a Katz School of Medicine Board of Visitors member, were integral in organizing the discussion, which brought together Black alumni and medical students.

In addressing the audience at the brunch, Dr. Goldberg outlined the school’s soaring trajectory.

“This is an exciting moment in our history, where passion and purpose are coming together to author our school’s next chapter,” she said.

She announced the completion of the school’s new five-year strategic plan, titled “Inspiring Excellence,” and shared the new mission and vision statements resultant from the planning process.


Align with our diverse communities to advance medicine and improve health through education, research, training, and development of the next generation of clinicians, educators, and scientists.


The Lewis Katz School of Medicine will inspire a new standard of excellence in education and research and lead social change in medicine.

“These words live at the heart of everything we do, and they drive the changes that we seek to make – in education, in scientific discovery, and in creating a healthier and more equitable future,” Dr. Goldberg said.

The Katz School of Medicine is “actively expanding” its clinical research by focusing on collaborations with Temple University Health System and Fox Chase Cancer Center, she said.

It’s also continuing to develop its education portfolio, with the success of additions like the physician’s assistant and master’s in urban bioethics programs, and expansion to the school’s first regional campus at St. Luke’s in Bethlehem, PA. To keep pace with this growth, Dr. Goldberg said the school is “exploring promising options” to further expand the school’s footprint by adding an additional regional campus.

The reputation of the Katz School of Medicine is built not only on the high caliber of its education but also on its inclusivity. Dr. Goldberg pledged to continue advocating for the historically underrepresented and underserved, both within the school’s walls and beyond them.

“We are proud of the work we have done to help broaden our students’ holistic sense of belonging within the Temple community and their connection and service to the community around us in North Philadelphia,” she said.

To aid in this cause, a committee was formed to scrutinize the curriculum for biased language and assumptions. Dr. Goldberg said this was one of several initiatives launched in recent years designed to ensure the Katz School of Medicine’s education and student experience are as inclusive as possible.

“It is also critical that we look beyond our building, strengthening our connections with the local community and, crucially, demonstrating that we value its influence, perspective, and experience,” she said.

For the last three years, Katz School of Medicine applicants have interviewed with faculty and staff, as well as members of the surrounding community. The endeavor was developed by the dean’s office, the Office of Admissions, the Center for Urban Bioethics, and the Student Diversity Council.

“Medical students arrive at Temple knowing and appreciating the integral role the community will play in their education,” Dr. Goldberg said. “And our students do not just support these efforts, they are among their greatest champions.”

Contributing to a proud legacy

Group photo of six Medical Alumni Association Awards

To cap off the morning, six Medical Alumni Association Awards were presented, including Alumna of the Year.

Each year the Medical Alumni Association recognizes distinguished Katz School of Medicine alumni and faculty for their outstanding contributions to their profession, the community, and the university through the awards.

Awardees must be celebrating a milestone reunion, and nominations are submitted from across the Katz School of Medicine community. A selection committee comprised of Medical Alumni Association board members, in partnership with Dr. Goldberg, then finalizes the slate of honorees.

Michele Elaine Hackley Johnson, MD ’79 was named the Henry P. and M. Page Laughlin Alumna of the Year for her outstanding contributions to medicine.

In 2014, Dr. Johnson became the first African American woman appointed to full professor at the Yale School of Medicine. Today, Dr. Johnson is a Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Neurosurgery, and Surgery, and the Director of Interventional Neuroradiology at Yale.

“Something happened here that was magical,” Dr. Johnson said of her time at Katz. “Carson Schneck taught us anatomy and many other amazing basic science professors like Dawn Marks taught us the foundations of medicine. When I got into the clinical years, the magic… happened. I jumped in.”

Jacob W. Ufberg (MD ’96) was presented with the Honored Professor Award, given to a faculty member whose teaching style and character exemplify the knowledge and values that Temple strives to instill.

Dr. Ufberg is the Associate Dean of Admissions, Interim Assistant Dean of Career Advising, and a Professor of Emergency Medicine. A widely respected and accomplished teacher, he worked closely with the Student Diversity Council to design the framework for the Community admissions interview process.

Amy Ost Brown (MD ’09) was presented with the Emerging Leader Award, given for exemplary leadership and promise in medicine.

Dr. Brown practices with Boston Children’s Health Physicians and is an attending pediatric pulmonology physician at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. She’s also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at New York Medical College School of Medicine and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at the School of Health Sciences and Practice.

Gene Zachary Salkind (MD ’79) was presented with the Alumni Service Award, which honors exemplary records of service and generosity to the Katz School of Medicine.

Until 2022, Dr. Salkind served as Chief of Neurosurgery at Holy Redeemer Hospital. Prior to that, he was Chief of Neurosurgery at Albert Einstein Medical Center and Temple University Hospital - Jeanes Campus. He is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the Katz School of Medicine and a longstanding member of the Medical Alumni Association Board of Directors.

The Alumni Achievement Award, given to alumni whose contributions to medicine have had a lasting impact, was presented to Joel Boyd (MD ’84) and Phil Thuma (MD ’74).

Dr. Boyd is an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He also has his own practice, TRIA Orthopedic Center, in Bloomington, Minnesota. Dr. Boyd became the first Black physician in the NHL when the Minnesota Wild were established in 2000. He’s also worked with USA Hockey, the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx, and the University of Minnesota football team.

Born and raised in Zambia, Dr. Thuma has dedicated his life to combating infectious disease in rural Zambia. After initially focusing on malaria, Dr. Thuma has since made enormous contributions to the reduction of pediatric tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and, more recently, influenza and COVID. In 2003, he collaborated with the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute to establish the Macha Research Trust. This partnership facilitated groundbreaking research on malaria drug resistance and mosquito insecticide resistance, significantly impacting global efforts against the disease.

Leading voices, invested advocates

The weekend’s events also included the Spring semi-annual meeting of the school’s Board of Visitors, who gathered for their day-long session on Friday morning. Composed of alumni and friends holding leadership roles in a variety of industries and institutions across the medical field, the board serves as the school's strategic advisory council in key areas of operations and planning, including institutional advancement, research support, curricular innovations and finance. Since its establishment in 2004, the group has advocated for and supported the school’s strategic development and progress in close partnership with the dean.

Alongside presentations and discussions with education, the Center for Substance Abuse Research and the Center for Urban Bioethics and the school’s business intelligence arm, Friday’s meeting marked a special milestone as Chair Helene Pavlov, MD ’72 passed the gavel to Len Jacob, MD, PhD ’75.

Serving as Chair since 2018, Dr. Pavlov, Radiologist-in-Chief Emerita for the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY, led the board’s service to three deans, and through several critical points of transition for the school, including the COVID pandemic, Dr. Goldberg’s appointment as interim and permanent dean, and the development of the school’s strategic plan.

Chairman for Life Science Advisors in Ewing, NJ, Dr. Jacob’s term as chair began with excitement for the future, and an active call for the board’s continued philanthropic support for scholarship.

‘We teach the art’

Standing on the grand staircase of the art museum’s Great Hall, Dr. Goldberg reflected on her numerous trips to the museum as a child, and the appreciation for art instilled in her by her mother.

“My favorized painting,” she shared “was Prometheus Bound by Reubens.” The 12-foot-tall oil painting of Prometheus – the titan who shared fire with humanity and was punished with enduring disembowelment by an eagle each day, and regeneration each night.

“Maybe not the most likely choice to capture a little girl’s imagination, but I loved it,” Dr. Goldberg said. “It mesmerized me. Now we know why I became a trauma surgeon!”

Group of people looking at art paintings on the walls

Beyond the beautiful works and grand celebratory setting, however, the choice of venue for the signature event, as she noted, was purposeful.

“When it is practiced in the right way, there is art in medicine,” she said. “It is what makes us Temple Made.”

 “Every medical school teaches the science. At Temple, we teach the art.”

Enjoy photos from the weekend 


Make a gift in honor of Reunion & Alumni Weekend or reach out to to learn more about how you can support the Lewis Katz School of Medicine.