Christiana Care celebrates inaugural residents reunion

Approximately 80 graduates and faculty from Christiana Care’s residency training programs gathered for the first ever official residents reunion event in October. The reunion brought together former residents from Florida, Washington, and throughout the Northeast. The celebration also included the announcement of the new Resident Endowment Fund to financially support professionals in times of need during their training years at Christiana Care.

The event featured guest speaker and former Christiana Care resident Theresa Gauthier, M.D., neonatal fellowship director at Emory University in Atlanta, whose lecture was titled “A Journey in Academic Neonatology — from Mentee to Mentor.” Dr. Gauthier’s lecture was funded by Christiana Care neonatologist Stephen Pearlman, M.D., MSHQS, establishing the Rosine and Bernard Pearlman Distinguished Alumni Lectureship.

Gordon Brownlee, vice president of Development, Neil Jasani, M.D., MBA, chief people officer, Resident Fund inaugural donor Elwood “Woody” Rice, Stephen Pearlman, M.D., MSHQS, and former Christiana Care resident Theresa Gauthier, M.D., neonatal fellowship director at Emory University in Atlanta.

Annually, Christiana Care hosts nearly 300 young professionals involved in 15 residency training programs and a growing number of post-residency training fellowships. Leaders and faculty have long understood the importance of ensuring the success of the residents by addressing their personal needs.

Residency training is well-known to be arduous and incredibly demanding for medical and dental residents and fellows pursuing post-graduate training. While serving the needs of patients, residents may have little time to devote to their personal or family needs — creating challenges in work/life balance.

To support Christiana Care Health System’s residents and help meet the everyday needs of physicians and fellows in training, the Resident Endowment Fund aims to provide not only emergency assistance to alleviate unnecessary stress for residents and their families, but also to provide assistance for continuing education, research efforts, conference attendance, presentations, wellness, and personal and professional development.

Christiana Care residency alumni Gerard Fulda, M.D., chair of Surgery, Christian Coletti, M.D., Emergency/Internal Medicine faculty at Christiana Care, and Shkelzen Hoxhaj, M.D., MBA, MPH, Emergency/Internal Medicine program alumni, chief medical officer at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida.

One seminal supporter of the Resident Development Fund who joined the Oct. 13 celebration was Elwood “Woody” Rice. Rice has made two contributions to Christiana Care Health System in thanks for the care he received during an Emergency Department visit in 2016.

Neil Jasani, M.D., Christiana Care’s chief people officer, is another financial supporter of the fund, who hopes his lead contribution will inspire other alumni to help the fund increase.

“These fellows worked really hard to figure out what was causing my pain,” Rice said. “I mentioned to one of the ED nurses how thankful I was for the care. She told me residents often carry significant debt from medical school and work for relatively little pay, as residency is still part of their education.

“She said that unexpected circumstances — such as a personal illness, family emergency or even a lost stethoscope — can become financial hardships.”

Residency programs whose alumni attended the event included Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neonatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radiology, Surgery, Pharmacy, and the dual training programs in Emergency/Family Medicine, Emergency/Internal Medicine and Medicine/Pediatrics.

“We were very pleased with participation in this inaugural event,” Dr Jasani said.

Calling all alumni! Get connected!

If you’re a former Christiana Care resident, say hello on Christiana Care’s Residency Alumni Facebook page.

Next year’s resident alumni event is scheduled for Oct. 20, 2018.

To support the Resident Endowment Fund, make a gift online.

Photo gallery: Inaugural Resident Reunion