Lieutenant General Ronald R. Blanck (U.S. Army, retired) joined Intealth in November 2022 as the Interim President of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER). In this role, Dr. Blanck is responsible for developing and guiding the overall strategic direction of FAIMER. He served Intealth previously as Chair of the ECFMG Board of Trustees and as a member of the FAIMER Board of Trustees.
Dr. Blanck is a partner and Board Chair of Martin, Blanck & Associates, a health care consulting company for the private sector and the government. He retired in June 2006 as President of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, where he headed an academic health center that includes the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, and School of Health Professions.
His academic credentials include teaching positions at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University School of Medicine, The Uniformed Services University, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. A past Governor of the American College of Physicians/American Society of Internal Medicine, Dr. Blanck was named a Master by the specialists’ society.
Dr. Blanck began his military career in 1968 as a medical officer and battalion surgeon in Vietnam. He retired 32 years later as the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command, with more than 46,000 military personnel and 26,000 civilian employees throughout the world. During his distinguished military career, Dr. Blanck also served as commander of Walter Reed Medical Center, North Atlantic Region Medical Command and Director of Professional Services and Chief of Medical Corps Affairs for the U.S. Army Surgeon General.
Dr. Blanck is the recipient of numerous military honors as well as awards from organizations in the medical community. A graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Blanck is board certified in internal medicine.
Deborah Bedoll joined the FAIMER staff in March 2017, bringing with her several years of experience working in project management, communications, research, and nonprofit management. Ms. Bedoll is integral to communications and maintenance for the World Directory of Medical Schools, as well as managing projects central to FAIMER’s mission and vision. She also assists with organizing, standardizing, and analyzing FAIMER data resources, and writes and publishes research regarding international medical education accreditation.
Ms. Bedoll holds a B.S. in Evolutionary Ecology and a B.A. in Animal Behavior from the Evergreen State College. She is currently working on an M.A. in Project Evaluation from the Michigan State University.
Desared Calaku serves as the Operational Associate, Administrative Coordinator for FAIMER, supporting in the marketing and development of several projects within FAIMER. Mr. Calaku has experience in areas such as curating marketing plans, managing company social media on all major platforms and developing communication and public relations materials.
Mr. Calaku holds a B.A. from Drexel University in Public Relations and Marketing. He originally joined FAIMER in April of 2018 as part of the Drexel University Co-op Program. During this time he served as a program coordinator and assisted with several administrative and FAIMER database projects.
As Chief of Staff for FAIMER, Ms. Dutka is responsible for FAIMER project management, resource allocations, and day-to-day support of the FAIMER President.
Ms. Dutka joined the FAIMER staff in 2018 as the Director of Development. In addition to her responsibilities as Chief of Staff, she continues to lead the efforts to secure funding for all FAIMER projects. Prior to joining FAIMER, Ms. Dutka served as the Senior Director for Philanthropic Marketing for Temple University Health Systems and Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Ms. Dutka holds a B.A. in Political Science from Marquette University.
Ryan Emery supports FAIMER senior associates and FAIMER Global faculty in delivery of health professions curriculum by enhancing the online learning experience through engaging learning design and innovative learning technology. Mr. Emery leads the administration of FAIMER’s learning management system for educational programs.
Prior to joining FAIMER, Mr. Emery worked for The American College of Financial Services, where he led and managed online learning solutions.
Mr. Emery holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a master’s degree in instructional technology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a master’s degree in leadership from The American College of Financial Services.
Phionah Kinwa provides administrative support to the FAIMER global programs. She is responsible for providing administrative and logistical concierge support services to all African and other global partners as well as their students and trainees undertaking exchanges through a GEMx program. She collaborates with both new and already existing institutional partners during the publication of their profiles and elective information into the GEMx program web-based system and works closely with both students and trainees while applying for electives and throughout their exchange experience. Prior to joining FAIMER, she served as Assistant Coordinator for International Programs at Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda where she handled most aspects of internationalization while providing administrative and logistical support for international scholars at the College.
Ms. Kinwa earned a bachelor’s degree in population studies from Makerere University and an advanced certificate of education from Stella Maris College-Nsuube.
Founding Director, Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® Program for Women (ELAM®) and Professor Emerita, microbiology and immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine. Also Founding Co-Director and continuing consultation, International FAIMER Institute. She has directed numerous grants in both biomedical and social science and authored over 150 peer reviewed publications.
Positions include: Chair and first woman President of the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs, 1990; American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, 1992-93; Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs. She received her B.S., Agnes Scott College magna cum laude; M.A., Hunter College; and Ph.D., Medical College of Wisconsin.
National honors include: Association of American Medical Colleges Women in Medicine Leadership Development Award; ACE Office of Women in Higher Education, Network Annual Leadership Award; Fellow, American Women in Science; Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology; Distinguished Career Award, Agnes Scott College; Graduate Student Alumna of the Year Award, Medical College of Wisconsin.
Dr. Mukherjee brings her experience and interest in research methodology to the implementation of evaluation and research studies at FAIMER. Prior to joining FAIMER, she was an Associate Director at the Louisiana Public Health Institute in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has extensive research and evaluation experience in public health, health services research and health care systems from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Central Arkansas Veterans Hospital Systems (CAVHS); Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Mandel School of Social Work, Case Western Reserve University.
Dr. Mukherjee has an eclectic academic training. She received her undergraduate and masters’ degree in English (Hons) from Miranda House, Delhi University, India, and her masters’ and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of Akron. Her postdoctoral fellowship was in health behavior, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Faith Nawagi leads the implementation of FAIMER programs and initiatives in Africa. She is currently a Ph.D. scholar in Health Professions Education at Makerere University. She has extensive experience in partnership development in health programs and in international program development, management, and implementation. She has written and implemented several research grants as a principal and co-principal investigator and served as faculty in global health and public health training programs with the University of Minnesota and Nexus International University. Prior to joining FAIMER, she led the development and implementation of ECFMG’s GEMx program in partnership with 56 institutions located in 15 African countries. She served as the study manager/coordinator for an NIH RO1 grant at Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University Research collaboration. She holds a master's in international public health from Euclid University, a Postgraduate Certificate in clinical epidemiology from the University of California San Francisco, and a bachelor's in nursing and midwifery from Makerere University.
Amy Opalek plans and executes strategies for the development and integration of FAIMER’s various information resources related to international medical education, accreditation, and regulation. Since joining FAIMER in March 2007, Dr. Opalek has worked with internal and external stakeholders to build and expand the World Directory of Medical Schools and to create new information sources for the public. She applies her extensive experience with data modeling and analysis to help align ECFMG|FAIMER data structures with international standards and to support FAIMER research.
Dr. Opalek holds a B.A. in Psychology from Drew University and an M.S. in Library and Information Science and Ph.D. in Information Science from Drexel University. Her research interests include international data standards for health workforce information management, health professions regulation, and the characteristics of international medical education programs.
Rory Phimister serves as the Operational Associate, Senior Administrative Manager for FAIMER Global Programs. In this role, he co-manages the teams that drive operational management and implementation of FAIMER Global Programs. Mr. Phimister joined the FAIMER team with more than 15 years of experience serving in program and project management roles delivering educational technology and program management services for multilateral agencies and nonprofit organizations in the Middle East, East Africa, and the United States. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Villanova University and a Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
Dr. Jessica Salt brings her previous experience in graduate medical education leadership, student education, and physician assessment to FAIMER to help advance its mission. She contributes to the development of FAIMER assessments and programs that support the needs of IMGs seeking to practice medicine in the United States.
Prior to joining FAIMER, Dr. Salt served as assistant vice president for CSEC assessments, overseeing test development for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills exam. Dr. Salt previously served as associate program director and internal medicine clerkship director at Thomas Jefferson University.
Dr. Salt earned her M.D. at Virginia Commonwealth University and completed her internal medicine residency at Brown University. She received her Masters of Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Salt practices at Lankenau Medical Center and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
Justin Seeling leads FAIMER’s communications and marketing efforts and provides project management and administrative support to the FAIMER staff. He works with staff to develop and curate communications and marketing strategies for FAIMER and manages project timelines and workflows to achieve project and program success. He is also responsible for researching and implementing technology solutions for the various needs of FAIMER, FAIMER staff, and FAIMER Fellows. Mr. Seeling joined the FAIMER staff in 2020 after more than ten years of serving in management and partnership development roles in ECFMG’s GEMx and ERAS Support Services programs.
Mr. Seeling holds an M.S. in international marketing management from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Temple University.
Dr. Marta van Zanten is involved in various initiatives supporting FAIMER’s mission, including research on quality assurance processes of international medical schools, the impact of accreditation on student outcomes, and the role of international medical graduates (IMGs) in the U.S. workforce. Additionally, Dr. van Zanten assists in the advancement of the World Resource, an organizational knowledge base on systems of medical education, accreditation, certification, and regulation.
Dr. van Zanten’s publication topics include clinical skills assessments, international medical schools, and quality assurance and accreditation issues. She has twice received the AAMC Research in Medical Education Outstanding Paper Award.
Prior to her appointment at FAIMER, Dr. van Zanten joined ECFMG in 1997 as a case development specialist for the Clinical Skills Assessment.
Dr. van Zanten holds a B.A. from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She also holds an M.Ed. and a Ph.D. in public health from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Vyas contributes her expertise in medicine, health professions education and understanding of international culture to FAIMER programs and its research and scholarship activities. She applies her extensive experience to oversee the FAIMER Global Programs, geared towards health care education and workforce development in collaboration with international partners.
Prior to joining FAIMER, Dr. Vyas was a professor at Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, India. She has led education innovations such as the distance learning postgraduate diploma in family medicine, integrated learning, and early clinical exposure. She was the convener for the National Medical Commission (NMC) regional and nodal centers for national faculty development in medical education. She served on the expert committee for development and implementation of basic and advanced courses in medical education for NMC.
Dr. Vyas received her M.B.B.S. and M.D. degrees from India. She holds a master’s in health professions education from UI Chicago, USA.
Harry Weckel serves a Technical Associate, Data Analyst for FAIMER. He is responsible for aiding senior associates by providing relevant data feedback for FAIMER operations and projects in an informative and easy to read manner. He also assists with identifying and filling in inadequate data.
Prior to FAIMER, Harry worked as a consultant at S3 Comply assisting the GlaxoSmithKline finance team in preparing aggregate spend data to be reviewed by local, federal, and international governments.
Mr. Weckel holds a Bachelors of Science in General Mathematics from Colorado State University. While attending he conducted group tutoring sessions and held one-on-one sessions with the Adult Learning and Veteran Services.
Since the FAIMER Institute began in 2001, Dr. Ray Wells has served as an Institute manager, leadership educator, facilitator, coach, and designer of high engagement learning processes. He is also president of Wellbeing Systems, Inc. and a consultant for the Corporation for Positive Change, two consulting practices that use appreciative, positive, strengths-based approaches for designing leadership, team, and organization development programs.
In addition to his FAIMER work, Dr. Wells has consulted for Drexel University, The Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the University of Connecticut, and two ministries within the Egyptian government while completing United States Agency for International Development (USAID) contracts. Prior to beginning his consulting practice, Dr. Wells was the Dean of Students at a Temple University branch campus.
Dr. Wells received his B.S. from Kansas State University, M.A. in student and adult development from Bowling Green State University, and Ph.D. in applied social-psychology from Temple University.
Jennifer Yerkov serves as the primary point of contact for FAIMER Fellows. She is responsible for coordinating schedules, materials preparation, communication, logistics, travel, budget, workflow, and timelines in support of the FAIMER fellowship programs. Prior to joining FAIMER, Ms. Yerkov worked for The Training and Education Fund in Philadelphia and SEIU Healthcare in Harrisburg, where she coordinated and facilitated educational programs; built partnerships; designed curriculum; and managed logistics, scheduling, travel, budget, and quality assurance.
Raymond Yuan serves as the Technical Associate, Digital Developer and Database Administrator for FAIMER, providing database support and expertise to all FAIMER programs from a technology platform, feasibility, and logistics perspective. His primary responsibilities are developing and curating FAIMER’s digital content library; serving as database administrator for FAIMER Global Programs; serving as lead platforms administrator and manager; and supporting digital marketing and communications to promote the FAIMER brand and mission.
Mr. Yuan previously served as the Digital Developer and Operations Assistant for FAIMER, and was responsible for the digital infrastructure and operations for The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) including such roles as webmaster, graphic designer, video editor, marketing and branding strategist, and more.
Mr. Yuan holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree in Marketing from Drexel University, LeBow College of Business. He first joined FAIMER in September 2016 as part of the Drexel University Co-op Program.
Ms. Yuan is responsible for conceptualizing, designing and implementing evaluation and applied research studies for a broad range of health professionals’ education programs. She teaches project management and evaluation, quantitative methods and survey methods to international health professions educators. She leads complex statistical analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of results. She collaborates with and provides analytical support for the Senior Associates on FAIMER research studies. Shiyao also performs data visualization, develops dashboards, and delivers data in useful and appealing ways to internal and external users.
Ms. Yuan joined FAIMER in 2011 as a cross-cultural facilitator and has grown professionally since then. She holds a Master of Science in Education from University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Business Analytics from Drexel University. In addition, she holds a FAIMER-Keele Certificate in Health Professions Education: Accreditation and Assessment and is a SAS Certified Advanced Programmer for SAS 9.
The Senior Associates are the doctorate (Ph.D. or M.D.) level experts on the FAIMER staff.
The Operational Associates are the operational members on the FAIMER staff.
The Technical Associates are the technology experts on the FAIMER staff. Their responsibilities and skills impact all of FAIMER’s programming and initiatives.
[Last update: November 30, 2022]