Our Team

U-M Department of Internal Medicine Residency Team 

Program Director

John Del Valle, MD, AGAF, FACP

John Del Valle, MD, AGAF, FACP

Program Director, Senior Associate Chair, Graduate Medical Education

Dr. Del Valle received his BS in chemistry from the Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 1976, and his MD from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in 1980. He went on to do internship and residency training in internal medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia from 1980-1983. He completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Michigan in 1986, where he subsequently became an instructor. John became Professor of Medicine in 1998. He has been Senior Associate Chair of Medicine for Graduate Medical Education, and Residency Program Director since 2000. 

Professional Interests: My clinical practice is in both outpatient and inpatient gastroenterology. In the outpatient setting I see cases in general gastroenterology with a focus on patients with inflammatory bowel disease, peptic acid disorders as well as rare tumors of the neuroendocrine variety. I perform endoscopy on a regular basis in our Medical Procedures Unit. I round on the inpatient lumenal service which focuses on delivering care to patients with advanced inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatic biliary disease and general gastrointestinal disorders.

My academic activities have varied over the years. Initially, my scholarly contributions were in the field of basic science gastrointestinal biology. Over the last decade my interests have been in the areas of medical education, patient safety and quality improvement. I have had multiple administrative roles over the years at an institutional and national level. These have extended from serving on a host of institutional committees that have helped shape the many conversations on campus surrounding patient care, education and research. In addition, I have served on multiple committees within our national organization, the American Gastroenterological Association. Most recently, I served as interim chair of the department of internal medicine, chair of the Dean’s committee to review the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute and Special Section Editor for the Mentoring, Education and Training section for the journal Gastroenterology.

Personal Interests: I am passionate about spending time with family and friends. We have four children and three grandchildren which are in the immediate area. When not spending time with friends and family I enjoy hiking, photography, traveling and playing golf (albeit poorly).

What I Enjoy About Practicing at the University of Michigan: Having grown up in New York City (the Bronx) and having lived in Puerto Rico for 12 years gives me a rather unique perspective on practicing and living in Ann Arbor. Originally, I anticipated spending a total of three years here for training. It was obvious to me from the start that the University offered many benefits not only to practice and to learn medicine but to develop long term friendships and collaborations. I believe the greatest strengths of our institution have to do with the people. It is truly a pleasure and an honor to work with such an outstanding group of staff members, students, trainees and faculty members. The breadth of our institution and the collaboration and collegiality within it bars none. In addition, the location of our medical campus within the broader scope of a wonderful, top ranked university with both undergraduate and graduate offerings is a major strength. Finally, Ann Arbor has been extraordinarily welcoming to my family and I. It has a wonderful blend of social cultural offerings in a setting that is extraordinarily pleasant, desirable and easy to live in.

Program Leadership

U-M Internal Medicine Residency


Kristin Collier, MD

Kristin Collier, MD

Assistant Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program;
Chief Resident, Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, 2004-2005;
Internal Medicine Residency Program, University of Michigan, 2004;
University of Michigan Medical School, 2001

Professional Interests: My clinical practice is an outpatient practice where I take care of adult patients in a community setting.  I provide a variety of clinical services, such as preventative health maintenance visits,  chronic disease management visits and urgent/acute care visits. My clinical interests involve the primary care of women, and preventative care along the lifespan. My academic interests focus on the teaching of students and residents, especially in the domains of clinical and interpersonal skills and the delivery of high-value, evidenced based care.

Personal Interests: I enjoy spending time with my husband and four sons, crafting, and baking homemade bread and desserts for family and friends.

What I Enjoy About Practicing at the University of Michigan: I enjoy practicing at the University of Michigan for several reasons. First and foremost is the collegial atmosphere that abounds here. I am continually inspired by the creative, intelligent colleagues that surround me, and also how personable and friendly they are. I am so grateful to have the wide range of world-class medical resources that exist here at the University at my fingertips to take care of my patients in the ways that they need. I am continually motivated by the environment of academic rigor and the emphasis on lifelong learning that surrounds me.

Kevin Flaherty, MD, MS, FCCP

Kevin Flaherty, MD, MS, FCCP

Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program;
MS – Biostatistics and Clinical Study Design, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 2001;
Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, University of Michigan, 1997-2000;
Chief Medical Resident, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1996-1997;
Internal Medicine Residency Program, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1993-1996;
Indiana University School of Medicine, 1993

Professional Interests: My clinical and academic interests focus around the care and study of patients with interstitial lung diseases. I am the director of the University of Michigan Interstitial Lung Disease Program and the steering committee chair for the national Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s Care Center Network and Patient Registry. My research is clinically based with a primary focus on determining the best design, outcome measures, and conducting clinical trials of novel therapies for patients with interstitial lung diseases. I am also vice-chair of the University of Michigan’s Institutional Review Board. I enjoy mentoring medical students, residents, and fellows in clinical research.

Personal Interests: I enjoy spending time with my family (wife and seven children) who continually teach and amaze me. I like various forms of exercise including cross country skiing, swimming, biking and running (I completed two ironman triathlons and numerous marathons, and hope to continue as long as my joints will allow). I would like to play guitar better and do a small part in supporting the Michigan economy via its micro-brew industry.

What I Enjoy About Practicing at the University of Michigan: The overall collaborative work environment that carries through the missions of providing excellent patient care, advancing science through research and training physicians and scientists.

Sarah Hartley, MD

Sarah Hartley, MD

Associate Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program;
Chief Resident, Detroit Medical Center-Wayne State University, 2008;
Internal Medicine Residency Program, Detroit Medical Center-Wayne State University, 2007;
Wayne State University School of Medicine, 2004

Professional Interests: My clinical practice is primarily inpatient as a hospitalist in the Department of Internal Medicine.  In addition, I volunteer at the student run free clinic, a local resource for for patients without insurance.  My academic interests include treatment and evaluation of hospitalized patients with urinary tract infection and development of clinical reasoning skill in learners.

Personal Interests: Outside of the hospital I enjoy spending time outdoors and traveling. 

What I Enjoy About Practicing at the University of Michigan: The team and collaboration it provides.  The goal is to provide every patient with the best care possible, learning together and appreciating the input from all individuals including the patient, their family, nursing, trainees, and other faculty member.

Jennifer Lukela, MD

Jennifer Lukela, MD

Assistant Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program;
Chief Resident, Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, 2002-2003;
Internal Medicine Residency Program, University of Michigan, 2002;
Harvard Medical School, 1999

Professional Interests: I am an outpatient general internist providing primary care to adults at Briarwood Medical Group in Ann Arbor. My clinical interests include health promotion and wellness, women’s health and management of chronic illness such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.  In addition to involvement in graduate medical education through the ambulatory component of the residency program, I am also involved with undergraduate medical education teaching early medical students clinical skills in physical exam, history taking and clinical reasoning as well as working with third year students in the clinic. I have an interest in teaching and evaluating clinical reasoning, oral case presentation skills and patient-doctor communication. I am thankful to my patients and for my involvement with both residents and medical students as I think they all challenge me constantly to be a better doctor and educator.

Personal Interests: Outside of the hospital, I enjoy spending time with my family, cheering for Michigan at various sporting events (unless they are playing Duke), trying hard to be a gourmet cook, reading and running. I have a long standing dream that someday I will also be a decent golfer.

What I Enjoy About Practicing at the University of Michigan: Though I am a Vermonter at heart, I have come to appreciate the wonderful and diverse community of Ann Arbor. It has been a wonderful place to raise our children. From the many athletic events at UM, to the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings, to amazing dance, music and theater performances at venues like Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor offers an amazing diversity of experiences all with a small college-town feel.

Michael Lukela, MD

Michael Lukela, MD

Director, Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program; 2002 Chief Resident, Pediatrics, University of Michigan, 2002-2003; MD, Harvard Medical School, 1998

Professional Interests: My clinical practice is primarily inpatient as a hospitalist in the Department of Internal Medicine. In addition, I volunteer at the HOPE clinic, a local resource for adult and pediatric patients without insurance. My primary academic focus has been in medical education where I am extensively involved in both Graduate Medical Education (GME) and Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) as the Director of the Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program, member of the Admissions Executive Committee, and Director of the M2 Clinical Comprehensive Assessment. I have interest in educational assessment and curricular innovation and design.

Personal Interests: Outside of the hospital I enjoy coaching both of my sons’ competitive soccer teams, compete in marathons and distance triathlons, and remain ever hopeful that I will be able to train our dog, Maya.

What I Enjoy About Practicing at the University of Michigan: The people. My faculty colleagues and our residents are truly exceptional individuals. In addition to providing outstanding care for our patients, everyone is warm, friendly, easy-going, and compassionate. It is simply a wonderful community to be part of.

Rachel Perlman, MD

Rachel Perlman, MD

Associate Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program;
Nephrology Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2003;
Internal Medicine Residency Program, University of Michigan, 2000;
MD, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, 1997  

Professional Interests: My clinical practice is primarily in Nephrology both at the University of Michigan where I am the director of the home hemodialysis program and at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital where I am the Nephrology Section Chief. My academic focus is both in medical education and work-life balance.

Personal Interests: Outside of the hospital I enjoy trying to keep up with my sons (they run faster than me!), spending time with my family and our German Shepherd Puppy (who is also quite fast...)

What I Enjoy About Practicing at the University of Michigan: I came to University of Michigan for my own training  and never left.  I enjoy working with outstanding faculty colleagues and nephrology fellows; a terrific group of residents; and wonderful medical students.  I appreciate and am proud to be part of the commitment to patients both at the University and VA Hospital.

Namita Sachdev, MD

Namita Sachdev, MD

Associate Director, Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program
Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program, University of Michigan, 1993
Chief Resident, Pediatrics, University of Michigan, 1993-94
MD, University of Michigan Medical School, 1989

Professional Interests: My clinical practice is in one of our Medicine-Pediatrics practices at East Ann Arbor Health Center where I have a strong interest in health prevention and chronic illness management. As Associate Program Director, I enjoy working on resident education with a focus on ambulatory education and the development of new ambulatory experiences. I also spend time with first and second year medical students during their Clinical Foundations in Medicine course teaching clinical skills. During the summer months I volunteer with a community agency providing care to migrant farm workers.

Personal Interests: Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and 3 children. My hobbies include playing and watching tennis, hiking, and reading.

What I Enjoy About Practicing at the University of Michigan: The opportunity to work with people from many walks of life, both as patients and colleagues! I also love teaching students and residents who are eager to learn and constantly challenge me to become a better teacher.

Thomas H. Sisson, MD

Thomas H. Sisson, MD

Director, Physician Scientist Training Program;
Associate Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program;
Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, University of Michigan, 1998;
Internal Medicine Residency Program, University of Michigan, 1995;
MD, University of Michigan Medical School, 1992

Professional Interests:  My clinical practice occurs in both outpatient and inpatient pulmonary and critical care. In the outpatient setting I care for patients with in general pulmonary problems with a focus on individuals with cystic fibrosis and other causes of diffuse bronchiectasis. As part of my inpatient responsibilities, I round in the medicine intensive care unit and I oversee bronchoscopies on a recurrent basis in our Medical Procedures Unit. 

My academic activities are centered on research and education.  I supervise a basic science laboratory that focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis. In the area of medical education, beyond my duties participation in the medicine residency program, I help supervise the respiratory sequence for the first year medical students.  I also am an active participant in the curriculum transformation that is ongoing in our medical school, and I am overseeing the integration of scientific education in the clinical setting.

Personal Interests: In addition to spending time with my family (including 2 daughters), I am passionate about endurance sports including running, cycling and cross country skiing.  As a life-long Ann Arborite, I am also cheer hard for University of Michigan Sports.

Adam Tremblay, MD

Adam Tremblay, MD

Associate Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Internal Medicine Residency Program, University of Michigan, 2002;
MD, Dartmouth Medical School, 1999

Professional Interests: My clinical practice includes primary care clinic and inpatient general medicine wards at the VA Ann Arbor. In these venues I am fortunate to be able to serve our nation's veterans and heroes. I strive to incorporate the principles of the patient centered medical home and a team approach to comprehensively manage all of my patients' medical, social and family concerns. I have found my clinical practice to be stimulating and extremely personally gratifying. In addition to my clinical work, I am fortunate to be the Director of Primary Care and the Associate Chief of Medicine at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. In these roles I am able to serve as an educator for several resident conferences including inpatient and outpatient morning report, morbidity and mortality conference, intern report and resident continuity clinic. Educating residents and students is my true passion and joy. My research interests blend with my administrative roles as I focus on implementation of the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Model of healthcare delivery within an academic VA setting.

Personal Interests: My greatest joy in my personal time is spending time with my family and friends. I have three children and treasure every moment with them, including coaching my son’s youth sports teams. When not spending time with family, I enjoy playing and watching numerous sports as well as playing fantasy football and baseball.

What I Enjoy About Practicing at the University of Michigan: I grew up and did all of my formal training in New Hampshire and moved to Ann Arbor in 1999 to begin residency training. I chose Ann Arbor at that time because I perceived the residency program to be a perfect blend of education and fun. My perceptions were accurate as I received an outstanding education from dedicated faculty and colleagues in a supportive and collegial environment. I developed lifelong friendships during those three years and to this day communicate with my former classmates on a near daily basis. The University of Michigan has been extremely supportive of my personal and academic growth. I cannot say enough positives about the community of Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor offers a magnificent blend of social and cultural opportunities and simply a wonderful environment to raise a family.

Program Staff

U-M Internal Medicine Residency Staff

Lisa Miller, Program Administrator & Lead Fellowship Coordinator

Professional Interests: As the Program Administrator, I function as a liaison between the Program Director and the Institutional Graduate Medical Education office and Department Administration. I provide supervision for the program staff and administrative support for the Inpatient Resident Assistants.

I think Graduate Medical Education is a fascinating field due to the continual advancements and challenges. The University of Michigan is a great place to work, but the people are by far the best benefit.

Personal Interests: I love spending time with my husband and two children; whether it is enjoying a Family game night, or taking a vacation we always have a lot of fun. I like to walk my dog in the park near the lake and read a book on my deck. I am determined to find some winter activities that I enjoy this year, but definitely not downhill skiing.

What I Enjoy About Living in Our Community: Whether you are looking to do something as a family with young children, on a date-night, or just out with friends there are endless options all within easy reach; there is such a variety of options from concerts to rock climbing that no matter your personal preferences, or budget, you can always find something to do.

Amy Cutting, Medicine-Pediatrics Program Coordinator

Professional Interests: I’m the Program Coordinator for the Med-Peds and Physician-Scientist Programs so I stay busy working as a liaison between the different programs and GME as well as keeping up with our Med-Peds residents!

Personal Interests: I can usually be found somewhere either with my camera, knitting, reading, working on the computer, cooking for guests, hiking or camping. We’re pretty actively involved in the local cycling and running communities as well and will occasionally be spotted running around the Ypsi/Ann Arbor area with two giant dogs in tow.

What I Enjoy About Living in Our Community: I love the variety of events (many of them free) available in the Ann Arbor/Detroit areas! There is ALWAYS something to do but there’s also a ton of natural areas to explore whether you hike, run or bike that are beautiful all year round. I also enjoy the wide variety of restaurants available - especially ethnic cuisine if I can talk someone else into it!

Jamie Jackson, Administrative Assistant

Professional Interests: I am the Administrative Assistant for the Residency Program, supporting Dr. John Del Valle. I coordinate meetings between our residents and program directors as well as organize/plan events throughout the year, such as Graduation and our Departmental Holiday Dinner. I also assist with duty hour tracking, submitting parking access and other various tasks.

Personal Interests: Besides spending time with family and friends, Volleyball and Hockey consume a majority of my free time. From playing and coaching Volleyball to cheering on the U of M Wolverines, Detroit Red Wings, and the Flint Firebirds (formerly the Plymouth Whalers), my passion for these two sports can be obsessive. I highly recommend making a trip to Yost Arena to watch the U of M Hockey team because the atmosphere is incredible!

What I Enjoy About Living in Our Community: I grew up right outside of Ann Arbor, so I am familiar with everything this unique town has to offer. I love the endless options of restaurants to indulge in, shops to explore, and all the outdoor activities there are to enjoy. If you want to spend a day discovering a unique treasure of Ann Arbor, I recommend the Fairy Door hunt. The Urban Fairy Door Map can be found online and provides all the locations where you can find the Fairy Doors, including one inside our Mott’s Children’s Hospital! 

Brian Minnich, Database Administrator

Professional Interests: I am the program database administrator: a new position that we are still in the process of fleshing out. Any place there's data collection in the program you'll probably find me somewhere. For instance, I work with evaluations and other data to create reports for the program directors to track resident progress through residency. This is a somewhat new field in Graduate Medical Education administration. There is so much data that is collected and so much of it is underutilized. I am also involved with overseeing schedules.

Personal Interests: I am the resident nerd. If you stand around the office long enough you'll probably learn something about space and rockets or whatever random topic I've been reading about lately (Chinese history, at the moment). My wife and I have three children and we enjoy strategy games, semi-successful gardening (it went better before we had kids), reading, and movies. When we can we love to get out hiking, camping, biking, and canoeing, preferably up north.

What I Enjoy About Living in Our Community: Ann Arbor is a very open, multi-cultural community. I enjoy all of the people that I meet and all of the good food that can be found. There are a lot of good little hole in the wall ethnic restaurants around. I'm not so much a city person, but Ann Arbor has a lot of green space, which is really nice. More generally, Michigan is a beautiful state. There are all sorts of beautiful places around the great lakes.

Evonne Weatherford, Administrative Assistant

Professional Interests:  I am an Administrative Assistant for the Residency Program and my day consists of sending out evaluations, putting in schedules, organizing events such as the House Officer Retreats along with several other tasks. My most important job duty is the monthly resident meal money and food ordering for conferences several times a week. I’ve learned that good food makes happy residents!

Personal Interests:  My husband and I love to go camping; we go every chance we get.  When we’re not camping you will usually find us sitting in bleachers for hours watching our daughter/teammates run high school track.  Our son lives on his own now so when I have the opportunity to spend time with both of my kids and my husband at the same time, it’s the best thing ever. Watching Michigan football with family and friends is also one of my favorite things to do, GO BLUE!

What I Enjoy About Living In Our Community:  I’ve lived in Ann Arbor for almost 20 years and I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d want to be! The diversity in this city as well as the people are a huge asset to living here. Ann Arbor is a perfect place to raise a family with a great school system and awesome neighborhoods all over the city. The downtown area offers a wide variety of unique shops, delicious restaurants and is close to U of M campus where you can walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I also recommend that everyone experience at least one Michigan football game at the Big House but do not leave out tailgating at the golf course; this may be one of the best experiences of your life! In Ann Arbor, there’s definitely a little something for everyone.  

Chief Medical Residents

 Matthew Ettleson, MD
Matthew Ettleson, MD
Northewestern University
 Shannon Kay, MD
Shannon E. Kay, MD
Stony Brook University
 Kevin Platt, MD
Kevin D. Platt, MD
University of Southern California
Meaghan E. Trainor, MD
University of Wisconsin

House Officers

Resident Assistants

U-M Internal Medicine Residency Assistants 

Erica Ashe, Resident Assistant

Professional Interests:  I have been with the University of Michigan for 16 years.  As the Resident Assistant for the Hem/Onc service I help with numerous tasks and even round with the teams to provide the best service possible. 

Personal Interests:  I love singing, and all things Sci-Fi.  I belong to a Rainbow book club, enjoy going to the movies and of course, music is my life. 

What I Enjoy About Living in Our Community:  The main thing I love about Ann Arbor is the many opportunities to perform; there is musical theatre and opportunities to sing at different restaurants and venues all throughout the city. 

Joyce Lewis, Resident Assistant

Professional Interests:  I have been employed at the University of Michigan for 28 years.  The role of Resident Assistant has brought me the most joy.  I really enjoy working with the Interns, assisting them with non-clinical patient care.  One day, I plan to open my home daycare for infants – 4 year olds for those who work midnights and afternoons in the medical profession.  My love for single parents and young families are my passion to assist them as they enter the workforce. 

Personal Interests:  I love working in the youth ministry at my church.  I enjoy reading, and facetime with my new granddaughter, Amira.  My husband and I enjoy traveling and eating at some of Ann Arbor’s and Ypsilanti’s finest restaurants. 

What I Enjoy About Living in Our Community:  Ann Arbor offers so much for the entire family, great nature parks with biking trails, plenty of shopping, along with Arts and Music festivals, it’s a great place to live and raise a family.  Having grown up in Ann Arbor, I can’t help but cheer for the Wolverines, Go Blue!

Stephanie L. Howard, Resident Assistant

Professional Interests:  As a Resident Assistant, I interact with nurses and doctors to make sure the patient’s stay at UMHS is successful.  I enjoy the customer service part of my job, making sure others are happy.  Being a Resident Assistant is very rewarding because I get to see the outcome of everyone’s hard work in taking care of people. 

Personal interest:  I enjoy spending time with family.  I have 2 children and 1 granddaughter, whom I love dearly.  I am very active in my church.  I enjoy crafting, reading and cooking.  My favorite sport is basketball.

What I Enjoy About Living in Our Community: I have found that our community is a melting pot of people.  I am originally from Birmingham, Alabama.  I have come met so many people that are from my hometown.  Our community is warm and inviting.  There are so many cultural things to do.  

Valynda Mathis, Resident Assistant

Professional Interests:  I have been a Resident Assistant for almost 10 years.  My main focus is assisting and supporting the Residents and Interns on a daily basis.  I am currently working with the two Gastroenterology inpatient teams and one inpatient Cardiology service. 

Personal interests:  Spending time with my husband and grown children.  We love to travel, going to breweries and wineries all over the U.S. and other countries.  I also enjoy cooking, gardening, swimming and participating in 5k’s. 

What I Enjoy About Living in Our Community:  I live about 40 minutes outside the Ann Arbor Community on a working farm.  I enjoy coming back to Ann Arbor for shopping, great restaurants and going to the breweries in Saline and Ann Arbor. 

Jeanine Palacio, Resident Assistant

Professional Interests:  I am a Resident Assistant for the General Medicine teams of; Sturgis, Francis & Newburgh.  I provide support to my Internal Medicine Interns and Residents by coordinating outpatient clinical services including: scheduling follow-up appointments for continuing care post discharge, patient testing, and assisting with other discharge needs.  Obtaining medical information from various medical facilities is also a daily task.

Personal Interests:  I LOVE football season, professional or collegiate, makes no difference.  My husband & I have been known to set up a laptop for those games not televised in the area, allowing us to watch multiple games at the same time!  Entertaining family & friends is also a favorite pastime.  Genealogy research is a hobby that has consumed me for years & the search for that next great find always is the challenge that drives me to dig a little deeper.  Grabbing a good novel & a few quiet hours, is just another way for me to enjoy a day.  Spending time with my husband and/or our two children, is by far at the top of my favorite list!

What I Enjoy About Living in Our Community:  I appreciate the diversity of the area, lending to the variety of restaurants & cultural events.  I grew up in a similar type of community & it gives me all the things that remind me of my childhood.