Above: Top row, from left to right- Mohammed Suhail, DO; Maria Chiejina, MD; Hana Altwal, MD; Kyle Willingham, MD; Zahi Merjaneh, MD; Emmanuel Elueze, MD, PhD, FACP, Internal Medicine Residency Program Director; Jeff Kemp, MD, Nithin Nayini, MD; Justin Oring, DO, Leon Chen, DO; Curtis Okpara, MD; Suyao Huang, MD.
Bottom row, from left to right- Ruth Jackson, MD; Carmen Tran, MD; Madhavi Annakula, MD; Yetsy Olusanya, MD; Nadia Siddiqi, DO; Jessica Vazquez, MD; Sudha Yanamandra, MD

Good Shepherd Medical Center (GSMC) held a “Welcome Breakfast and White Coat Reception” for the 2016 graduating class of Internal Medicine Residents. The event featured orations from hospital officials and a representative from UT Health-Northeast; introduction of the new class of interns, the presentation of White Coats, the 2012-2013 Avicenna Award presentation, 2012-2013 Intern of the Year award and introduction of the new resident class.

This year’s class is comprised of the following American medical school graduates, U.S. international medical grads, and international medical graduates:

Hana Altwai, MD, University of Jordan

Madhavi Annakula, MD, Ghandi Medical College

Leon Chen, DO, UNTHSC-Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Maria Chiejina, MD, Igbinedion University

Suyao Huang, MD, Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University

Ruth Jackson, MD, UT-San Antonio

Jeffrey Kemp, MD, UT-Houston

Zahi Merjaneh, MD, University of Aleppo

Nithin Nayini, MD, St. George’s University

Curtis Okpara, MD, Ross University

Yetsy Olusanya, MD, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Justin Oring, DO, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

Nadia Siddiqi, DO, Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Mohammed Suhail, DO, UNTHSC-TX College of Osteopathic Medicine

Carmen Tran, MD, Ross University

Jessica Vazquez, MD, UT-San Antonio

Kyle Willingham, MD, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Sudha Yanamandra, MD, Guntur Medical College

GSMC Executive Vice President and Interim Chief Executive Officer Ken Cunningham presented this graduating class as proof of the Internal Medicine Residents program’s success.

“Most of the candidates that we interviewed this year were U.S. medical graduates, with a large percentage of them from Texas,” he said. “The goal of our program is to train and keep primary care providers in Texas, and going into our second year we are on the right path.”

He added: “It is wonderful that we have one of the best residency programs in the country. We are proud of this new class and the new opportunities that lie ahead.”

The Internal Medicine Residency Program’s Director, Dr. Emmanuel Elueze, has high hopes for the graduating class of 2016.

“We are very thankful to have received such a well-educated group of interns,” he said. “Already in the second year we have become a highly-competitive program. We reviewed more than 1800 applications, and had to narrow that down to 200 candidates to interview. We were successful in achieving our goals to attract and obtain high-quality candidates with close ties to Texas, meaning that we will hopefully retain them as primary caregivers in Texas after their training.”


Yetsy Olusanya

Elueze made it clear that insuring East Texans stay in the best possible health is a goal GSMC never stops striving to expand. The hospital’s ministrations to locals make them more productive and this region a better place to live. Even more, the new physicians and their families contribute to the local economy.

“We are here to serve the community, and serve well, too,” he said.

Yetsy Olusanya, a 2016 internal medicine resident, has already sunk deep roots in East Texas.

“So far I have enjoyed being in Longview,” she said. “Everything is within grasp, and the people are friendly.” She learned of the program from a friend, and came seeking a position where she can make the best positive contribution.

 “I am really happy to be here,” Olusanya said.

By Kelly Bell