Class notes: 1990s

Gale Brown-Blakley, MD ’91, is the author of the book, Dr. Gale's Page: Facts and Fiction on Girls' Sexual Health. There's a saying that you don't mix business with pleasure. Dr. Blakley says you shouldn't mix politics with a woman's sexual health and welfare.  
Dr. Blakley believes her book is extremely important and necessary at this time because it arms young girls with important answers to their questions, questions they may feel uncomfortable talking about with their mothers or other people. Transitioning from puberty into womanhood can be a scary time and confusing but it doesn't have to be, according to the OBGYN. "We're living in a time where we're trying to reduce maternal death and there shouldn't be anything political about that." Read the full story here.

Cara Vasconcelles, MD ’91, “My son Ryan will graduate from SIU SOM in 2024.” 

Kenneth Sagins

Kenneth Sagins, MD '93, is the Chief Medical Officer for Springfield Clinic as well as the clinical liaison for other medical entities. Dr. Sagins believes that the most important aspect of his role leading the Clinical Research and Quality Management teams is remaining a full-time clinician. That way, he retains the perspective of his physician colleagues and understands their challenges and needs. (pictured left)
Specialty: Internal Medicine/Pediatrics 
His Leadership Why: “Whether in the exam room or the Board room, it’s never one person who achieves goals; it’s always a team approach.” 
In His Free Time: Between being a full-time clinician and executive, he plays ice hockey and guitar.

Deidre Flanagan, MD ’94, After 23 years with Ascension Medical Group in Wisconsin, we moved to Moab, UT in August of 2022. I am the General Surgeon and Trauma Director at Moab Regional Hospital, a 17-bed critical access hospital and Level 4 trauma center. Mike is working as a paramedic for Grand County EMS and in the ED at the hospital. He also volunteers with Search and Rescue. We are loving the West, and enjoying our opportunities to hike, canyoneer and bike!

Valerie Hay

Valerie Hay, MD ’97, Begins a new job at VIP Children's Clinic as of July 2023 & moved to Tennessee from Wisconsin. (pictured left)


Michelle Palazzo, MD ’99, Chief of hand surgery, University of Louisville 2023; 8th year as Program Director of nation's largest fellowship in hand and microsurgery. 


These class notes are updated with the latest content from July 2023 through January 2024.