First Class Of Resident Physicians Graduate From Penn Highlands Healthcare Graduate Medical Program

On Thursday, June 25, 2020, two resident physicians from the very first cohort of Penn Highlands Family Medicine Residency Program graduated to begin their careers as attending physicians.

Ann M. Lopez, D.O., of Dallas, Texas, and Kyle Diller, D.O., of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, were presented their residency program certificates during a small, social-distanced resident graduation ceremony held at Penn Highlands DuBois.

Lopez received her medical education from the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth Texas/Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her future plans are to move back to Dallas to work for The University of Texas Health in their Emergency Department and Graham Regional Medical Center Emergency Department.

Diller received his medical education from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He plans to attend a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at St. Luke’s in Bethlehem. He will then return to WellSpan and Chambersburg, where he plans to practice primary care sports medicine and urgent care medicine.

Led by Dr. Lisa Witherite-Rieg, the Graduate Medical Education at Penn Highlands Healthcare program started in July 2017 after PHH earned approval from the American Osteopathic Association. Now the program is accredited through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. “When Penn Highlands asked me to work with them and develop a family medicine residency program,” said Rieg, “I said I would on one condition: if we could dedicate ourselves to training doctors (whom) I would feel comfortable taking care of my own family. If we would stress competence, confidence and compassion, I’m in.”

Rieg also acknowledged Associate Program Director Renee Allenbaugh, M.D., and Institutional/Family Medicine Program Coordinator Brooke Kunselman.

The first graduation ceremony of the Graduate Medical Education program is the culmination of approximately six years of working with the idea of PHH becoming a teaching hospital, said Penn Highlands Healthcare CEO Steve Fontaine. “When our GME program was first initiated, our goal was to elevate Penn Highlands within the medical community, while offering professional development to future physicians and providing our communities with greater access to leading edge care,” said Fontaine. “It’s exciting to see the two of you reach this point. Your graduation from our program marks years of effort coming to life—and also the efforts of this team of professionals here, to make this actually come to fruition.”

Others speaking at the ceremony included Christopher Varacallo, D.O., PHH President John Sutika and Russ Cameron, M.D., C.M.O., D.I.O.