Program Details

General Details

Thursday, December 9, 2021
6:00 – 8:00PM ET



Virtual Event

Registered attendees will receive link prior to program start.



 Should the COVID 19 vaccine be mandated for wait listed liver transplant patients? 

Henry Ford Health Center (PRO): The COVID 19 vaccine should be mandated for wait listed liver transplant patients.

UH Cleveland (CON):  The COVID 19 vaccine should NOT be mandated for wait listed liver transplant patients.

    DEBATE #2

    Use of non selective beta blockers in decompensated cirrhosis

    Ascension Health (PRO): Non-selective beta blockers are safe and should be used for primary and secondary prevention of variceal bleeding.

    University of Michigan (CON): Non-selective beta blockers are unsafe and should not be used for primary and secondary prevention of variceal bleeding.




    Kimberly Brown, MD, FAST, FAASLD

    Dr. Kimberly A. Brown is the Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. She joined the Henry Ford Medical Group in 1995 as medical director of the liver transplant program and was appointed Chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology in 2003. In addition, she served as the program director for the GI fellowship program from 2003 to 2008.

    Dr. Brown received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1981. She completed her medical degree at Wayne State University in 1985. Dr. Brown completed both her residency in internal medicine as well as her fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Michigan in 1992 and was named chief medical resident in 1984-85.

    Dr. Brown is a member of the American Gastroenterology Association, the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, the American College of Gastroenterology, The European Association for the Study of Liver Disease, and the American Society of Transplantation. She served on the Board of Governors of the Henry Ford Medical Group for 9 years, the Henry Ford Hospital and System Network Board for 3 years, and was past co-chair of the Michigan Chapter of the American Liver Foundation. She has served as the treasurer of the Board of the American Society of Transplantation and is involved with several committees for both the society and hospital. She is a past member of the UNOS Liver and Intestines Committee and the Executive Board for the Liver and Intestines Community of Practice for the AST. Dr. Brown is currently serving as secretary to AASLD.

    As Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and past medical director of liver transplantation, Dr. Brown sees and manages patients with complex liver disease both before and after liver transplantation. In conjunction with Dr. Abouljoud, she worked to develop the leading liver transplant program in the State of Michigan. As fellowship director, she managed a fellowship program of 12 GI/liver fellows and continues to be involved in structuring and monitoring their education and academic success. She has published over 70 articles, 80 abstracts and 8 book chapters/reviews and is a very active clinical investigator in viral hepatitis, advanced liver disease and post liver transplant management. She is also a past award winner of the Castle Connelly National Top Doc Award for Clinical Excellence and Henry Ford Medical Group Fred Whitehouse Award for Clinical Excellence. She is also the Associate Director of the HFH Transplant Institute.

    Faculty Q&A Panel

    Andrew Tai, MD

    University of Michigan

    Dr. Andrew Tai is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Michigan as well as a Staff Physician at the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System. He attended Harvard College for his undergraduate studies, the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program in New York, an internal medicine residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and then a clinical and research fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His laboratory research focuses on the cell biology of RNA virus infection, originally hepatitis C virus and more recently dengue, Zika, and SARS-CoV-2. He is a co-director of the medical school preclinical curriculum and coordinates its GI/liver content. 

    Andrew grew up in Vancouver, Canada and enjoys typically Canadian pursuits such as ice hockey (watching, not playing), skiing, and hiking. Other interests include running, soccer, and spending time with his wife and two teenaged daughters.

    Ascension Providence

    Marc Piper, MD


    Dr. Piper graduated from the University of Michigan and earned his medical degree at Wayne State University. Dr. Piper did his residency and chief residency at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He received his gastroenterology training at the University of Michigan where he also obtained a master’s in clinical science (health and healthcare research) through the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP).

    He is currently with Digestive Health Associates and works closely with the Providence Gastroenterology Fellowship through Michigan State University where he is the director of their fellow clinic and curriculum.

    His greatest job is being a husband and father to three small boys (ages 6, 3 and 6 months). His most difficult job is being a passionate Detroit sports fan.



    Jalpa Patel


    Dr. Patel was born and raised in sunny Southern California before making her way to the beautiful warm blue waters of the Caribbean for medical school at American University of the Caribbean. In 2014, she moved to Michigan to complete her 3rd and 4th year of medical school. After graduating with her medical doctorate, Dr. Patel completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Ascension Providence-Providence Park Michigan State University, before becoming a gastroenterology fellow. She is currently a third-year fellow and serves as Chief Gastroenterology Fellow. After graduation, Dr. Patel plans to begin her career as a general gastroenterologist in the Southwest.

    When she is not busy saving lives, Dr. Patel enjoys traveling and cooking up new recipes in the kitchen. Her family lives in California and she is the eldest of two kids. Her younger brother is currently a transitional year resident and will be starting his Anesthesia residency next summer.


    Areej Mazhar, DO


    Areej Mazhar, spent most of her life growing up in Chicago, IL and attended Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine/ Midwestern University for her D.O. degree. She then completed a 3-year internal medicine residency at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital where she also served as chief resident her final year. She then worked as a hospitalist/nocturnist at Henry Ford Detroit and West Bloomfield hospitals. Dr. Mazhar completed a transplant hepatology fellowship at Carolinas Medical Center-Atrium Health (currently undergoing a merger with Wake Forest) under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Russo. There, she was able to meet all the UNOS requirements for a transplant physician. She is now a second year Gastroenterology fellow at Ascension Providence-MSUCHM. Areej plans to continue pursuing her love of the liver and her goal is to ultimately become a transplant hepatologist.  

     In her free time, she  enjoys trying new foods, biking, hiking, traveling, photography and reading for pleasure (when she has the time). She is a NBA, FIFA and hockey fan. Areej is the middle child and the rest of her family resides in Chicago, the place she calls home.

    Henry Ford Health Center

    Reena Salgia, MD


    Dr. Reena Salgia is a transplant hepatologist at Henry Ford Hospital where she has been practicing since 2013 after completion of her Internal Medicine residency and Chief Residency, Gastroenterology Fellowship and Transplant Hepatology training at the University of Michigan. Her clinical and research focus is in the area of hepatocellular carcinoma. She is currently the Medical Director of the Liver Cancer Clinic at Henry Ford and co-directs the Liver Tumor Board. One of the roles she is most passionate about is that of being Program Director for the Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology Fellowship Program. She most enjoys working with the fellows, and seeing their success as they pursue their careers.

    On a personal level, Reena enjoys spending time with her family including her 2 lovely daughters and her dog, as well as her friends. Her hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking, running, hiking and travel, and volunteering with animal adoption/rescue and in her kid’s schools.

    Deepak Venkat, MD


    Dr. Deepak Venkat is the medical director of living donor liver transplant. His care philosophy is to treat every patient as if they were his own family member. 

    His specific areas of care are hepatology, liver transplant, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, viral hepatitis, autoimmune liver disease, liver cancer, hereditary liver disease, cirrhosis and portal hypertension. 

    Kevin Harris, MD


    Dr. Kevin Harris graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Bachelor of Science in Biology. He subsequently completed his medical education at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, where he graduated as a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.  He completed his internal medicine residency training at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) where he served as a fourth year chief medical resident.  During his residency training Kevin served as the President of the CCF House Staff Association and as the Chair of the Resident and Fellows Section of the Ohio State Medical Association.  In recognition for his efforts in leadership and community service he was named one of Northeast Ohio’s “Top 25 under 35” in 2021 by the Cleveland Professional Twenty-Thirty Club.  He is currently a first-year gastroenterology fellow at Henry Ford Hospital.  His clinical interests include cardiovascular risk stratification in orthotopic liver transplantation, quality improvement in hepatology and the use of social media in medical education. 

    In his free time, Kevin often travels to Chicago to visit his fiancé Kelley who is a cardiology fellow at Northwestern.  He also enjoys playing the piano, watching college sporting events (Go Heels!) and exploring the Detroit and Chicago food scenes.  In addition, he loves to travel and has visited 29 states and 8 foreign countries.  He hopes to travel to Australia as COVID-19 travel restrictions are eased. 

    Armani (Ari) Patel, MD


    Ari Patel is a second year GI fellow at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. She completed her residency training at University of Illinois-Chicago and moved back to Detroit, where she was born and raised, to attend fellowship. In the future, Ari plans to pursue a career in general GI with an interest in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    While away from the hospital, Ari enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling internationally (domestically for now), eating at various restaurants in Detroit, and camping, especially during the summertime in Michigan. Her favorite place in the world is the Sleeping Bear Dunes up north.

    University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

    Anthony Post


    Bianca Islam, MD, PhD


    Dr. Islam attended the Medical College of Georgia from 2012-2019. She obtained her Ph.D. in the Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology. She is a physician-scientist with clinical/translational research interest areas including colorectal cancer prevention, gut homeostasis and treatments for inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Islam is passionate about public health, health care policy, medical and public education, equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is a member of the Associate Member Council and Science and Government Policy Group of the American Association of Cancer Research. Dr. Islam completed her residency at University Hospitals Case Western Reserve University and began her gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship there in 2021.

    Dr. Islam’s hobbies include painting, taking care of her house plants, fine dining, skiing, watching life sciences documentaries and binge-watching Netflix series with my husband.


    Adrian Lindsey, MD


    Dr. Lindsey went to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine from 2013-2017 after graduating from Kent State University in 2013. He performed his residency training at University Hospitals Case Western Reserve University where he won medical student teaching awards and graduated with the “Resident as Teacher Award in 2020”. Dr. Lindsey started his gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship at University Hospitals Case Western Reserve University in 2020. His career interests include medical education, gastrointestinal bleeding, chronic liver disease and IBD.

    Dr. Lindsey enjoys being outdoors – hiking, biking and playing sports. I belong to a basketball group and play every Monday. I also enjoy building Legos in my spare time.

    University of Michigan

    Hari Conjeevaram, MD


    Dr. Hari Conjeevaram is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. In addition to patient care, he has also been actively involved in medical research and in education (both in the US and globally including India and Ethiopia). He has won numerous awards for his teaching for his community service activities, some of which include University of Michigan “Dean’s Award for Community Service”, “Shining Hero Award”, and the “Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award”. In 2017, he received the “Lifetime Achievement Award for Education” from the American Gastroenterological Association for his achievements as an outstanding educator over a lifelong career. Most recently, he was the recipient of the 2019 American College of Physicians (ACP)-Michigan Chapter “Volunteerism and Community Service Award”.


    Pratima Sharma, MD


    Dr. Pratima Sharma, an Associate Professor at the Department of Internal Medicine  at the University of Michigan Medical School, is a gastroenterologist and a transplant hepatologist.  She received her medical degree from the University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India in 1992. She also received Masters degree in Clinical Research from University of Michigan School of Public health, Ann Arbor, MI in 2007. Dr. Sharma completed her advanced hepatology and liver transplantation fellowship from Mayo Clinic, Arizona in 2003 and Gastroenterology fellowship from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI in 2008. She is a core faculty for GI fellows and advance hepatology fellows and actively involved in their education and career development. She is board certified in gastroenterology and transplant hepatology.

    Her clinical interests include Complications of cirrhosis viral hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatocellular carcinoma, acute and chronic liver diseases, and liver transplantation. Her research interests include outcomes of liver transplantation, recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma, cirrhosis care and kidney dysfunction before and after liver transplantation. Dr. Sharma is a health services and translational researcher. She has over 70 publications and many of her papers have provided evidence for changes in liver allocation policy. Dr. Sharma is actively involved in many liver related research endeavors and clinical trials.


    Kira Newman, MD, PhD



    Abhishek (Abhi) Shenoy, MD