Six UBMD physicians named 2022 Unsung Heroes

Collage of 2022 Unsung Heroes. Top row, left to right: Dr. Igoe, Dr. Khan, Dr. Gondek. Bottom row, left to right: Dr. Poreda, Dr. Rainville, Dr. Sciarrino.

Top row,  left to right: Gerald Igoe, MD, Mushtaq Khan, MD, Matthew Gondek, MD. Bottom row, left to right: Andrew Poreda, MD, Michelle Rainville, MD, Alexis Sciarrino, MD.

Published December 12, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has named six UBMD Emergency Medicine physicians as 2022 New York ACEP Unsung Heroes for their dedicated patient care.

“We’re proud to have so many physicians recognized for what we know and see all year long – their dedication, their compassion and their willingness to give of self to benefit their patients, colleagues and students ”
Professor and chair, Department of Emergency Medicine

Nominated by their colleagues, those named as Unsung Heroes embody what it means to be an emergency physician.

The impact of these unsung heroes stretches past the care they provide to patients; “they train young clinicians, share their skills, knowledge and experience and are always willing to do whatever is needed for their patients and colleagues,” as said in the NY ACEP announcement.

Awardees were nominated to the ACEP by their respective Emergency Department directors for consideration. UBMD Emergency Medicine physicians were tied with the Mount Sinai Health System for the most physicians recognized in New York.

This year’s awardees are:

  • Gerald P. Igoe, MD, Erie County Medical Center
  • Mushtaq H. Khan, MD, Wyoming County Community Hospital System
  • Matthew Gondek, MD, DeGraff Medical Park
  • Andrew Poreda, MD, Buffalo General Medical Center
  • Michelle Rainville, MD, Eastern Niagara Hospital
  • Alexis Sciarrino, MD, Brooks Memorial Hospital

In addition to providing care throughout Western New York, these physicians are faculty members at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, teaching medical students and residents and researching to improve emergency care.

“We’re proud to have so many physicians recognized for what we know and see all year long – their dedication, their compassion and their willingness to give of self to benefit their patients, colleagues and students,” said Robert McCormack MD, MBA, president of UBMD Emergency Medicine and professor and chair of Emergency Medicine at the Jacobs School.

The following is more information about the individual 2022 Unsung Heroes, including excerpts from their nominations.

Headshot of Gerald Igoe, MD.

Assistant Professor, Jacobs School                    Erie County Medical Center

Dr. Igoe has been a member of the UBMD team for over 30 years. He is an attending physician, who works the night shift in the emergency department at Erie County Medical Center, Western New York’s only adult level 1 trauma center. Even through a heavy clinical work load, Dr. Igoe brings a great attitude and outlook to every shift.

His teaching approach is loved by the residents of the program and is a fixture in the practice and the department. Dr. Igoe continues to be a strong advocate for his patients and has endured through the pandemic despite working such a heavy clinical schedule.

Headshot of Dr. Khan.

Mushtaq H. Khan, MD

Wyoming County Community Hospital

Dr. Kahn is a true veteran of the field, with a long career serving in emergency departments throughout Western New York. Before joining UBMD Emergency Medicine, Dr. Khan was the Director of the Wyoming County Community Hospital System’s (WCCHS) emergency room.

With many qualities that make him a hero to this rural community, his bedside manner stands apart. A dedicated team member working overnights, many patients coming to the ED will ask “Is Dr. Kahn working tonight?” and will be a little disappointed if they hear he is not. Without a doubt, Dr. Kahn is loved by patients and staff and has a great reputation in the ED at WCCHS. His passion for his field and his patients is in everything he does, and shines even when he's working the night shift, which he does more than any other physician at WCCHS.

Assistant Professor, Jacobs School       DeGraff Medical Park

Dr. Gondek is the doctor that we would send our friends and family to see. His compassion, wit and clinical excellence is second to none. He brings energy to the department that makes him one of the doctors that everyone wants to work with.

His demeanor calms the department, even in the most chaotic of times. As an attending, he has continued to excel and has all makings of a strong senior physician in our academic group.

Headshot of Dr. Poreda.

Assistant Professor, Jacobs School         Buffalo General Medical Center

While the community sleeps, Dr. Poreda goes the extra mile to manage the healthcare needs of every patient he meets. Working overnight hours in the emergency department of Western New York’s leading comprehensive stroke and STEMI center can be challenging, but Dr. Poreda works hard to support all of his colleagues from within and outside of the department. He is often referred to as the “go-to person” on night shifts – helping people to finish their work tasks, but also assuring they care for themselves just as well as they care for their patients.

Whenever there’s a free moment for learning, Dr. Poreda, who is dual board-certified in emergency medicine and EMS, engages the residents in conversations and mini lectures about emergency medicine and broader health topics.

In addition to his role as a physician, he works side-by-side with area first responders as a volunteer firefighter and serves as the medical director for a local volunteer fire department. With this unique role in the community, Dr. Poreda’s teaching extends throughout the hospital setting and beyond to his time as a first responder. He has published and presented content on firefighter safety and rehabilitation, helping to improve firefighter wellness throughout the region and country. Dr. Poreda is currently the principal investigator for a study about the effects of cold weather on firefighter physiology and hopes to further improve the health, safety, and well-being of firefighters and other first responders.

Dr. Rainville headshot.

Assistant Professor, Jacobs School        Eastern Niagara Hospital

Dr. Michelle Rainville is an integral part of the Emergency Department at Eastern Niagara Hospital and is one of the core physicians in this small, outlying emergency department. She is always calm and collected, no matter the circumstances. Highlighted particularly throughout the COVID pandemic, she has a gift for communicating factual information in a non-confrontational way that resonates with staff and patients alike.

Dr. Rainville has the ability to unify the department, and those who work with her leave their shift feeling a part of a team. She truly loves her job, and it is contagious. Having someone consistently bring this energy to the department, every shift, contributes to a culture where people want to work – and that quality is hard to quantify but makes her undoubtably the definition of an unsung hero.

Bringing a depth of experience, Dr. Rainville is always eager to educate students, staff and clinical colleagues, which in turn elevates the care provided by all of those around her. Dr. Rainville is a strong advocate for the ED, but even more importantly for her patients – always pushing for their best interest. She is a mentor and role model, particularly for new female physicians at UBMD Emergency Medicine.

She volunteers her time on the Medical School Admissions Committee to help select the next generation of doctors. Working in both academic and community medicine throughout her career, she has been practicing community medicine in Buffalo for over 15 years. She is a mother of three and is very active enjoying outdoor interests such as running, cycling, and skiing.

Dr. Sciarrino headshot.

Assistant Professor, Jacobs School            Brooks Memorial Hospital

Dr. Sciarrino has been working at Brooks Memorial Hospital since 2014. She is a fixture on the night shift and respected by staff and colleagues throughout the hospital. She was recently elected to the medical executive committee, serving as the secretary/treasurer.

At Brooks Memorial, Dr. Sciarrino now provides care in her rural hometown and continues to call it home. The patients she treats are her community members, her neighbors, her friends and family. The care she provides reflects her compassion for her community.

Outside of Medicine, she is the mother to Mikaela, 11, Riley, 8, and her 3 dogs. She loves being outdoors at the beach and is always up for a challenge. She swims, bikes, runs and lifts, competing in half ironman distance triathlons, marathons and races of all length.

About UBMD Emergency Medicine

UBMD Emergency Medicine provides emergency medical care to patients across Western New York. All physicians are certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Our team also consists of nurse practitioners and physician assistants. UBMD Emergency Medicine is part of UBMD Physicians’ Group, the largest medical group in Western New York with more than 550 physicians in 18 medical practices, treating patients, conducting research on top medical needs, providing research-guided care, and teaching the next generation of doctors. UBMD is the clinical practice plan of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. Our team treats patients at Erie County Medical Center and hosptals throughout the Kaleida Health System.