MAG Foundation announces graduating & incoming GPLA classes

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A diverse mix of physicians from across the state graduated from the ninth class of the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation’s (MAG Foundation) Georgia Physicians Leadership Academy (GPLA) in a ceremony that took place in Atlanta on April 22nd, announced GPLA Steering Committee Chair John Sy, D.O. The members of the 10th GPLA class were also introduced during the ceremony.

“The GPLA was established to develop physician leaders and improve health care delivery for their patients, communities, and the medical profession,” explains Dr. Sy. The Savannah-based emergency physician says that the year-long curriculum includes classes that cover leadership development, conflict resolution, media relations, and advocacy – adding that participants must design and complete a leadership project.

The most recent GPLA graduates include Matt Astin, M.D., an emergency physician in Macon; Deepti Bhasin, M.D., a psychiatrist in Bonaire; Brad Bushnell, M.D., an orthopaedist in Rome; Frederick Flandry, M.D., an orthopaedist in Columbus; Sandra Fryhofer, M.D., an internist in Atlanta; Yolanda Graham, M.D., a psychiatrist in Atlanta; Brian Hill, M.D., a urologist in Atlanta; Sandra Hollander, M.D., a hematologist/oncologist in Dublin; Mark Huffman, M.D., an anesthesiologist in Atlanta; Jeremy Jones, M.D., an ophthalmologist in Atlanta; Matt Keadey, M.D., an emergency medicine physician in Atlanta; Faria Khan, M.D., an allergist in Suwanee; Fonda Mitchell, M.D., an OB-GYN in Atlanta; Alyce Oliver, M.D., a rheumatologist in Augusta; Brian Ribeiro, M.D., an internist in Fort Benning; Al Scott, M.D., an OB-GYN in Decatur; and Jeff Stone, M.D., a family physician in Marietta.

Dr. Sy also welcomed the incoming GPLA class, which includes Bhavin Adhyaru, M.D., an internist in Atlanta; Ahmed Ali, M.D., a radiation oncologist in Atlanta; Keisha Callins, M.D., an OB-GYN in Macon; Brett Cannon, M.D., an emergency medicine physician in Marietta; Steven Celestin, M.D., a family physician in Braselton; Chip Cowart, M.D., a family physician in Statesboro; Brandy Cross, M.D., an orthopaedist in Marietta; Syamala Erramilli, M.D., a palliative medicine physician in Tucker; Masoumeh Ghaffari, M.D., a hospitalist in Acworth; Kelly Homlar, M.D., an orthopaedist in Augusta; Nikki Hughes, M.D., a family physician in Cumming; John Johnson, M.D., an internist in Atlanta; Michele Johnson, M.D., a neurosurgeon in Atlanta; Joash Lazarus, M.D., a neurologist in Atlanta; Zachary Lopater, M.D., a radiation oncologist in Macon; Sultan Simms, M.D., a psychiatrist in Atlanta; Anna Skold, M.D., a palliative medicine physician in Atlanta; Sudha Tata, M.D., a nephrologist in Atlanta; and Margaret Wong, M.D., an ophthalmologist in Atlanta.

Nearly 120 physicians – including 10 of the 13 members of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) Executive Committee and others who serve in leadership roles at MAG and other state and local medical societies – have graduated from GPLA. This includes MAG’s current president, Steven M. Walsh, M.D. The MAG Foundation’s mission is to enable physicians to support medical science and public health projects that enhance the quality of life in the state. Go to and for additional information on MAG and the MAG Foundation.   

GPLA Class 9 – back row, L-R: John Sy, D.O.; Fonda Mitchell, M.D.; Mal Hollander; Brian Ribeiro, M.D.; Sandra Fryhofer, M.D.; Bill Clark, M.D.; Mark Huffman, M.D.; Jeff Stone, M.D.; Brian Hill, M.D.; Matt Astin, M.D.; Matt Keadey, M.D. Front Row, L-R: Al Scott, M.D.; Sandra Hollander, M.D.; Fred Flandry, M.D.; Eddie Richardson Jr., M.D.; Yolanda Graham, M.D.; Jeremy Jones, M.D.; Deepti Bhasin, M.D.; Faria Khan, M.D. Not pictured: Brad Bushnell, M.D.

GPLA Class 10 – back row, L-R: Kelly Homlar, M.D., Chip Cowart, M.D., Steven Celestin, M.D., John Johnson, M.D., Sultan Simms, M.D., Anna Skold, M.D., Ahmed Ali, M.D., Brett Cannon, M.D. Front row, L-R: John Sy, D.O., Keisha Callins, M.D., Joash Lazarus, M.D., Zachary Lopater, M.D., Sudha Tata, M.D., Syamala Erramilli, M.D., Bhavin Adhyaru, M.D., Masoumeh Ghaffari, M.D., Nikki Hughes, M.D. Not pictured: Brandy Cross, M.D., Michelle Johnson, M.D., and Margaret Wong, M.D.