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Teaching Staff

Summa offers an extremely diverse faculty, all of whom are passionately committed to education. Though all of our faculty physicians possess a broad knowledge, each specializes in a particular area, such as geriatrics, pediatrics, community medicine, research informatics, procedures, women’s health, pharmacy, or sports medicine.

Maria A. Schiaffino, M.D.


Program Director

Dr. Schiaffino is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires. She completed residency in Family Medicine at the University of Louisville, KY. She completed a Fellowship in Academic Family Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. After a year as Assistant Professor at CWRU, she went on to teach at the university of Texas in San Antonio and later at Emory University in Atlanta.

Dr. Schiaffino maintained a private primary care practice for 10 years and assumed the Medical Director role for several assisted living facilities and nursing homes.  After 15 years, she returned to Ohio and joined Kaiser Permanente until 2013, when Kaiser closed operations in Ohio. She then joined the Summa Health System as Medical Director for the Clinical Access Center, and the Family Medicine Residency as a clinical preceptor.

In 2017, Dr. Schiaffino became a core faculty member within the family medicine residency program. Her extensive experience led her to progressively adopt new leadership roles. In 2020, she took on the active role of Medical Director for the program's clinic, and in June 2022 she was offered the role of Program Director.

Dr. Schiaffino maintains an active clinical practice and oversees the residency home visit program. She is dedicated to the care of complex, frail and elderly patients as well as young adult survivors of childhood chronic illnesses. She recently developed a longitudinal dermatology curriculum and integrated population health into the daily operations of the FMC. She is is passionate about developing innovative ways to train family medicine residents for the future, and improving the health of the community we serve through our "Expansion of the Circle of Care."

When not working, Dr. Schiaffino likes to garden and paint. She is an avid traveler and can't wait to visit new exotic places.

Brooke Babyak, M.D.


Associate Program Director

Dr. Babyak graduated from Northeast Ohio Medical University in 2014. In addition to her medical degree, she received a Certificate in Bioethics. She completed her residency at Summa Akron City Hospital in 2017. Soon after graduation, she joined our program as faculty. She completed the Integrated Community Psychiatry and Primary Care Fellowship and the Fellowship in Academic Medicine through NEOMED. Her areas of interest include integration of primary care and behavioral health in practice, inpatient and outpatient medicine, medication-assisted therapy (MAT), and global health. She is the M4 Elective Director. She serves on the Summa Health Addiction Services Clinical Committee and the Limited English Proficiency Steering Committee.

In her free time, Dr. Babyak loves to hike in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park with her husband and chocolate lab, read multiple books at a time, try new recipes and swims with Master's Swimming. She is an active volunteer at Faithful Servants Care Center and is on the board of Bonyo's Kenya Mission.

Paul Chenowith, D.O. 


Director of Osteopathic Education

Dr. Chenowith joined our program as a faculty member in 2017. He graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2014 and completed his internship and residency here at the Summa Akron Campus Family Medicine Residency program in 2017.

He has special emphasis in sports medicine, musculoskeletal medicine, addiction medicine and procedures. His areas of interest include inpatient medicine, rheumatology, OMM/OMT and addiction medicine. He and Dr. Thiel are developing the point of care ultrasound (POCUS) curriculum.

Dr. Chenowith started the medication-assisted therapy (MAT) clinic within the family medicine clinic, and helped develop the addiction medicine curriculum. He helps facilitate the skill-building workshops at the residency program.

Dr. Chenowith is the Director of Osteopathic Education (DOE) and oversees the osteopathic curriculum.   

Outside of work, Dr. Chenowith enjoys traveling, skiing, spending time outdoors, and spending time with family.

John DiSabato, M.D. 


Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Associate Director

Dr. DiSabato graduated from NEOUCOM in 1987 and completed his residency at Summa Akron City Hospital in 1990. He practiced at the Goodyear Medical Center for a little over two years prior to becoming a full-time faculty member with the residency program in 1993. Dr. DiSabato was appointed Chair of the Department of Family Medicine in 2008. He also serves on several Summa committees and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. DiSabato continues to be very involved in teaching and with patient care, in addition to his responsibilities as Department Chair.

Lynn Hamrich, M.D.


Associate Director

Dr. Hamrich graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1996. She completed her residency in 1999 and went on to complete a fellowship in Women’s Health at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Hamrich joined the faculty in July 2000. She is the director of OB services for the residency. Dr. Hamrich, along with Drs. Fay, Valeri, Bortell and Hershberger, provides the OB instruction and/or precepting at Summa Family Medicine. Her curricular responsibilities also include Gynecology and Women's Health. She is the physician lead for Patient Centered Medical Home ongoing certification. Her other areas of interest are QI, optimization of smartphone for point of care information and she assists Drs. Davis and Thiel with EMR optimization. Dr. Hamrich is Chairperson of the Summa Health Quality and Safety Committee and also serves on the Summa Health Board of Directors. She is married for over 30 years to her husband and has two adult daughters. She enjoys walking her two rescue dogs (Minnie and Princess), visiting Disney (World, Land, doesn't matter) and traveling. She also enjoys local travel to ride UTVs with her family on off-roading trails.

Katherine Davis, M.D.


Associate Director

Dr. Davis graduated from Northeast Ohio Medical University (previously NEOUCOM) in 2014. She went on to complete her Family Medicine residency at Indiana University-Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis in 2017. During that time, she participated in the Women’s Health Track and served as Chief Resident in her third year. After residency, Dr. Davis completed a Clinical Informatics Fellowship at MetroHealth in Cleveland in 2019 and joined the Faculty at Summa Health that same year.

Her curricular interests include teaching EHR skills, obtaining and understanding clinical data, and incorporating scholarly work into Family Medicine. Her other professional interests include clinical and applied informatics, women's health, and physician leadership.

She currently serves on the Medical Executive Committee as a medical staff elected At Large Representative and as an At Large Director for the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians Board.

When not working, Dr. Davis enjoys spending time with her husband Craig, exploring National Parks and adventuring together (if they are lucky enough to have call schedules align!). They have a tabby cat named Buckeye and are working on keeping their garden alive. 

Shannon Perkins, M.D.


Associate Director

Dr. Perkins completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at St. Louis University in 2001. She did her internship in clinical health psychology at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Perkins has worked in several departments at Summa since 2009, before coming to the Family Medicine program in 2017. She previously worked in the Bariatric Care Center, as medical director of the Psychiatric Intensive Outpatient program, and as a consult-liaison psychologist with the trauma surgery service. She oversees Behavioral Health Integration, Community Medicine, Wellness and Narrative Medicine, and teaches communication skills and behavioral health. Additionally, Dr. Perkins coordinates the Medical-Legal Partnership in the Family Medicine Center. 


Dr. Perkins has twin girls in high school and a son who goes to Kent State University.  In her free time, she reads lots of books, walks her dogs, and watches her daughters play volleyball.


Associate Director

Dr. Blaser attended the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Forth Worth, Texas, and graduated in 2002. She completed her internship and residency training at Summa Akron City Hospital Family Medicine in 2005. Dr. Blaser went into private practice for several years following graduation. She returned to the program as a faculty member in 2017. Stemming from her experience in private practice, Dr. Blaser enjoys interacting with residents and patients during outpatient clinic hours. She collaborates with Drs. Chenowith, Babyak and Hamrich in the Family Medicine MAT (medication-assisted therapy) clinic. Her curricular areas of responsibility include Practice Management, Pediatrics (outpatient), and Newborn Nursery. The long-term opiate therapy (LTOT) program is primarily headed by her along with the behavioral health consultants. Dr. Blaser works with several other faculty in population health/panel management, in addition to clinical operations. She represents Family Medicine at the Newborn Clinical Consensus meetings for the hospital. When not at work, Dr. Blaser enjoys a fun-filled and busy life with her family, reading and staying active. She volunteers her time at a free medical clinic, mobile food pantry, and through a local organization devoted to the survivors of human trafficking.

Kathleen Fay, M.D.

Associate Director

Dr. Fay is an Akron Native, who was even born at Summa Akron City Hospital. She graduated from the University of Akron in 2014 and went on to attend Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) where she graduated in 2018. Dr. Fay completed her residency with our program and graduated in 2021. She, along with Dr. Thiel, are the first M.D.s of our program to graduate with Osteopathic Recognition designation. She assists Dr. Hamrich with teaching and leading the OB/GYN and women's health curriculum. Her special curricular interests include obstetrics and inpatient medicine. In her free time, she enjoys spending quiet evenings at home with her family and two dogs. She is a big fan of Marvel and Disney and can be frequently found visiting one of their parks.

Alaina Thiel, M.D.


Associate Director

Dr. Thiel grew up in the Akron area and attended the University of Akron. She graduated in 2014 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and went on to attend medical school at West Virginia University in Martinsburg, West Virginia, where she graduated in 2018. 

Dr. Thiel joined our residency program in 2018 and served as our Chief Resident in her third and final year, graduating from the program in June 2021.  Dr. Thiel was one of our first MD residents to complete residency with Osteopathic Recognition designation.  Following graduation, Dr. Thiel joined the family medicine center as one of our faculty.  Her special areas of interest include Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and Inpatient Medicine.  Dr. Thiel and Dr. Chenowith are currently developing the point of care ultrasound (POCUS) curriculum.

Evan Howe, M.D. 


Associate Director

Dr. Howe is a northeast Ohio native. He has special interests in integrative medicine, health education, community health, health services research, and the practice of medicine in outreach settings.  Prior to joining Summa Health system, Dr. Howe practiced rural primary care in his hometown for eight years, including newborn nursery, inpatient, nursing home, and hospice care along with his outpatient office responsibilities.  Additionally, he served as deputy coroner, assisting in death scene investigations in that county.  Dr. Howe is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine where he received his medical and doctoral degrees, completing his dissertation on healthcare service delivery to the homeless population.  He also completed a Master of Public Health focusing on healthcare education in underserved populations. He completed a residency in family medicine at Fairview Hospital, in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Howe is a current member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Ohio Academy of Family Physicians.  In his spare time, Dr. Howe enjoys time with his wife and two sons and is active with running and cycling, as well as participating in traditional Irish music performance.


Ellen Harrington, Ph.D.


Associate Director

Dr. Harrington earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Kent State University and completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System.  Prior to joining the Family Medicine program in 2021, she worked at Summa Health’s Traumatic Stress Center for 12 years.  Dr. Harrington teaches communication skills and behavioral health topics and collaborates with Dr. Perkins on Community Medicine, Wellness, and Behavioral Health Integration. Additionally, Dr. Harrington oversees the food pharmacy program in the Family Medicine Center.

When she is not at work, you can probably find Dr. Harrington playing fetch with her dog at the park or trying to keep up with her two very energetic elementary school-aged children. She also enjoys doing yoga, playing soccer, seeing live music, and cooking and eating good food. 

Virginia Regula, D.O. 


Associate Director

Dr. Regula graduated from Ohio Universities Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2015. She completed her family medicine residency at Summa Akron City Hospital in 2018 where she served as Chief Resident in her third year.  After completing residency, Dr. Regula joined Mercy Primary Care Portage in North Canton, Ohio, where she maintained a busy outpatient practice for four years. She returned to our program as a faculty member in 2023.

Dr. Regula has academic interest in medical education. Her interest in education and teaching stems from her first career as an elementary school teacher. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Miami University and a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Kent State University. She is thrilled to be working in a residency program where she can care for patients and teach residents and medical students. She serves as the M3 Family Medicine Clerkship Director for both NEOMED and OUHCOM. she also serves as the Undergraduate Clinical Site Director for the M1 and M2 NEOMED students.

When not working, Dr. Regula enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, running, and traveling.

Stefanie Lehmier, Pharm D, BSM 


Associate Director, Clinical Pharmacist

Dr. Lehmier graduated from Roosevelt University College of Pharmacy in 2014 with a doctorate in pharmacy. In addition, she expanded her clinical knowledge by pursuing a PGY1 and PGY2 residency. Her pharmacy practice PGY1 residency was completed at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in the Chicagoland area. She went on to receive specialty training by completing a PGY2 Internal Medicine/Academia residency at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center and Northeast Ohio Medical University.

Dr. Lehmier rounds with the FMIS team daily and assists with transitions of care. She also works under a collaborative practice agreement to assist in chronic disease state management in the Family Medicine clinic. In addition to her Summa Family Medicine roles, Dr. Lehmier is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and teaches within the Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy curriculum. Dr. Lehmier's scholarship interests include scholarship of teaching and learning, quality improvement, inter-professional education, and characterizing and identifying trends in the Ohio pharmacy workforce.

Part-Time Faculty & Community Preceptors:

Melanie Bortell, DO

Mark Cipriani, Jr., MD

Colin Drolshagen, MD

Vernon Hershberger, MD

Michelle Holmer, MD

Jay Williamson, MD

Anne Valeri, DO




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