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Nearly 300 UH Physicians Named “Top Doctors” by Cleveland Magazine

The clinical expertise of University Hospitals physicians is both broad and deep, according to the latest issue of Cleveland Magazine. Nearly 300 UH physicians have been named “Top Doctors” in the publication’s annual issue spotlighting clinical excellence. UH had representatives on the list from 54 specialties and 13 different UH hospitals and health centers.

In evaluating physicians, Cleveland Magazine partnered with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. Its physician-led research team reviewed those physicians nominated by their peers as providing the most outstanding health care. Physicians do not and cannot pay to be selected as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor.

In addition to providing a comprehensive listing of “Top Doctors,” the August issue of Cleveland Magazine features profiles of Northeast Ohio doctors singled out for excellence in women’s health care.

UH has eight such physicians profiled. They include:

Daniel I Simon, MD, Cardiology; President of UH Cleveland Medical Center Daniel I. Simon, MD

Dr. Simon has been involved in cardiovascular research for over 20 years and is a leader in getting the word out that heart disease is the number one killer of women and affects them in different ways. His work has led to better methods of detecting heart disease in women who often have different – less typical – symptoms.

In addition to providing cutting-edge treatments and conducting research, Dr. Simon is also focused on preventing heart disease. Preventive cardiologists continue to refine their risk prediction models, striving for the “perfect formula” for predicting a heart attack or other cardiovascular event. Dr. Simon and colleagues in interventional cardiology are addressing this issue by supplementing traditional risk scoring with an aggressive coronary calcium scoring program. Begun in 2007, the program has provided 15,000 coronary calcium tests to date for UH patients. During a June 2015 pilot, the test was offered at no-cost and attracted 800 patients – including a significant number of women. When the test was offered at no cost, the proportion of women went from 40 percent to 60 percent – with severe disease identified in about 15 percent of women tested.


Roya Rezaee, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology; Medical Director of the Women’s Health Center Roya Razaee, MD

Dr. Rezee is a national expert in female sexual dysfunction and has been involved in multiple research studies on potential therapies. Along with colleague Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD, Dr. Rezaee leads a first-of-its-kind collaborative sexual health clinic in Ohio and is heavily involved in research. She and Dr. Kingsburg recently published an invited review article on low libido in women (hypoactive sexual desire disorder) in one of the most highly acclaimed scientific journals on women’s health.





Debra DeJoseph, MD, Internal Medicine; Medical Director, UH's Women's Health Institute Debra DeJoseph, MD

Dr. DeJoseph leads UH’s newly launched Women’s Health Institute. This virtual center provides coordinated care for busy women, who may not have time to spend on their own health and well-being. Features of the Women’s Health Institute include an online or phone-based health risk assessment for new patients, reviewed by a women’s health nurse navigator. The nurse navigator consults with new and current UH patients to help with referrals and helps patients prepare for office visits and evaluate health information.


Donna Plecha, MD, Radiology; Director of Breast Imaging at UH Seidman Cancer Center Donna Plecha, MD

Dr. Plecha is a tireless advocate for prevention and early detection of breast cancer. She’s been part of the research group studying 3-D mammography (tomosynthesis) – the biggest advancement in breast cancer detection in 30 years, publishing findings twice recently in the Journal of American Medical Association. When a medical group released controversial breast cancer screening guidelines, she and the breast cancer team at UH developed their own guidelines to encourage women to continue getting annual mammograms beginning at age 40.


Joseph Baar, MD, PhD, Hematology and Oncology; Director of Clinical Breast Cancer Research at UH Seidman Cancer Center Joseph Baar, MD

Dr. Baar is piloting a new approach to a breast cancer vaccine for select women with metastatic breast cancer – a vaccine targeting tumor blood supply. Previous attempts to develop a breast cancer vaccine have repeatedly met with failure. Cancer cells evade immune cells, either by changing or not expressing the molecular targets that the immune cells seek. Dr. Baar’s approach works around these issues.


Janice Lyons, MD, Radiation Oncology, UH Seidman Cancer Center Janice Lyons, MD

Dr. Lyons is dedicated to treating women with breast cancer using innovative and breast-sparing treatments, in the face of a rising rate of mastectomies in the U.S. She is involved in many clinical trials, one of which is a unique study to determine whether lumpectomy and repeat radiation can be an effective alternative to mastectomy, giving patients additional options. The study examines women with breast cancer recurrence more than five years after their original diagnosis, who have already undergone radiation treatment. Under this protocol, patients can be re-irradiated and potentially avoid mastectomy. The study aims to show that mastectomies may not be necessary in all cases.

For content featuring Dr. Lyons

Cardioprotection During Radiation Therapy





Eric J. B. Shapiro, MD, Gastroenterology, Chief of Staff, UH Ahuja Medical Center Eric Shapiro, MD

Dr. Shapiro advocates for healthier eating and lifestyle, both for maintaining a proper body weight and also for a better sense of gastrointestinal well-being. He recommends avoiding sugar alcohols (as well as other non-nutritive sweeteners), minimizing processed foods, eating a mostly vegetable-based diet, and engaging in more physical activity.



Laura David, MD

Laura David, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, University OB/GYN Associates, UH University Suburban Health Center

Dr. David has strong ties to UH, having completed both her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology and her fellowship training in maternal and fetal medicine here. Her interests include adolescent gynecology and menopause management, with a special focus on helping women navigate the physical and emotional changes of perimenopause. For these women, Dr. David recommends a combination of lifestyle changes, including regular Kegel exercises and time for relaxation.



Our physician community is the strength of our system, as the largest network of primary care physicians in Northeast Ohio and the source of clinical expertise in nationally ranked specialties. It’s this community that makes it possible to offer a full continuum of care for every patient and every condition. We congratulate the 297 UH physicians who were honored.


For a complete listing of the Cleveland Magazine "Top Docs", click here.