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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, procedures, women’s health or sports medicine.

Maria A. Schiaffino, M.D.


Program Director/FMC Medical 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. 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 2016. She then joined the Summa Health Medical Group as Medical Director for the Clinical Access Center, and the Family Medicine Residency as a clinical preceptor. 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. 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 held a skill building workshop on dermatologic procedures. She is passionate about improving the health of the community we serve. As a recent graduate of the Practice Transformation Fellowship at NEOMED, she successfully sponsored the acquisition of a grant for the family medicine program food pantry. 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 & Undergraduate Site 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. Dr. Babyak collaborates with Dr. Valeri in the academic track recognition program. She serves as the M4 Elective Director and is the Undergraduate Site Director, overseeing M1 and M2 medical students from NEOMED at our off-campus medical student training site. 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 is training to run her first half marathon!

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.  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 our Director of Osteopathic Education (DOE) and oversees the osteopathic curriculum. He and Dr. Thiel are developing the point of care ultrasound (POCUS) 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, Davis, Bortell and Hershberger, provides the OB instruction and 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 assists Drs. Davis and Thiel with EMR optimization. Dr. Hamrich is Chairperson of the Summa Health Quality and Safety Committee, the Summa Health Hospital Quality Committee and also serves on the Summa Health Board of Directors. She is married for 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 when COVID is not getting in the way. 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. She provides full spectrum Family Medicine care and teaches residents and medical students in outpatient, inpatient, and obstetrical settings. Her curricular interests include teaching EHR efficiency and advocacy, obtaining and understanding clniical 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 previously served as the Young Physician Representative to the committee in 2021. 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 cat named Buckeye and are trying to figure out how to be homeowners and keep their plants alive. Dr. Davis values physical movement, so you will often find her walking outside on breaks. She learned how to crochet during the pandemic and keeps a collection of handmade creatures in her office, along with an assortment of her latest reads for you to check out. 

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 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 consults daily with the Family Medicine Inpatient Service, oversees Community Medicine and Wellness, oversees Behavioral Health Integration, teaches communication skills, and collaborates with Dr. Valeri on Narrative Medicine.


Anne Valeri, D.O.


Associate Director and Clerkship Site Director

Dr. Valeri is an Akron native. She graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 2005. She completed her residency at Summa Akron City Hospital in 2008, with special emphasis on prenatal care and obstetrics. Her areas of interest include Obstetrics, Lactation, Restorative Reproductive Medicine, Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT), Narrative Medicine, Centering Healthcare, and Natural Family Planning. She also oversees the NEOMED and OUHCOM M3 Clerkship student rotations in Family Medicine. Dr. Valeri is a happily married mom of four who is active in women's ministry, tries to homestead, owns too many books, and loves rollercoasters. 


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. She also collaborates with Dr. Perkins in revising the PGY-1 Family Medicine Center rotation. Her curricular areas of responsibility include Practice Management, Pediatrics (inpatient, outpatient, ED), 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. 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 in addition to 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. She assists Dr. Babyak with overseeing the M1 student from NEOMED at our off-campus medical training site. 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 West Virginia University in Martinsburg, West Virginia for medical school, where she graduated in 2018.  Dr. Thiel joined our residency program and served as our Chief Resident in her third and final year, graduating from the program in June 2021.  We are very lucky to have Dr. Thiel return to the program as faculty in August.  Dr. Thiel is one of our first M.D. residents to complete residency with Osteopathic Recognition designation.  Her special areas of interest include Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and Inpatient Medicine.  We are very excited to have Dr. Thiel in our practice as a faculty member. She has also been elected as the Early Career Physician Representative to our medical staff here at Summa.

Kathrine Distel, Pharm.D.


Associate Director

Dr. Distel graduated from Cedarville University's School of Pharmacy in 2019.  She completed her PGY1 residency at MetroHealth System in 2020 and her PGY2 in ambulatory care at Summa Health System in 2021. After graduation, dr. Distal remained at Summa as the second pharmacist in the Family medicine Center, where she works in both the clinic and with the inpatient team. As par of the FMC pharmacy team, she sees patients, participates in shared office visits, participates in FMIS rounds, and assists with resident education.  She is also an assistant professor at NEOMED School of Pharmacy and oversees rotating P4 students. An Ohio native, Dr. Distel enjoys exploring the hiking that is available in our state and national parks year-round.  She has also recently taken up kayaking and is hopeful that her puppy enjoys being out on the water.

Evan Howe, M.D. 

EVAN HOWE, Md., Ph.D., M.P.H.

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 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, 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 consults daily with the Family Medicine Inpatient Service; collaborates with Dr. Perkins on Community Medicine, Wellness, and Behavioral Health Integration; and teaches communication skills and behavioral health topics.  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.


Part-Time Faculty & Community Preceptors:

Melanie K. Bortell, D.O.

Mark A. Cipriani, Jr., M.D.

Colin Drohlshagen, M.D.

Vernon Hershberger, M.D.

Michelle Holmer, M.D.

Richard Hines, M.D.

W. Denny Robertson, M.D.

Jay C. Williamson, M.D.




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