Recognition of Commitment to the Profession – 4 Under 40 Award

4 under 40 award

This award program is designed to recognize 4 physicians under the age of 40 who practice in Rhode Island that demonstrate and exemplify commitment to their profession.  Please tell us who you think should be nominated for the 4 under 40 Award and why.  Winners will be recognized at the RIMS Convivium on September, 25 2020 at the Narragansett Towers.



Katelyn Moretti, MD

mark F. brady, MD

Dr. Moretti is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, a co-founder of the Rhode Island Medical Society Climate Change and Health Committee, and a co-investigator on the recently funded 3CRS project — Community-driven Coastal Climate Research and Solutions, where she evaluates coastal resiliency in New England.

Dr. Moretti has been honored with a “4 Under 40” award for her deep commitment to and advocacy around the health implications of climate change, as well as the impact she has had on her medical students at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Moretti is an ardent advocate for planetary health and healthcare sustainability and infuses great energy into her role as co-founder of the Rhode Island Medical Society Climate Change and Health Committee and as co-investigator on the 3CRS project — also known as the Community-driven Coastal Climate Research and Solutions project. She is also a key figure in Lifespan’s internal sustainability efforts and, on a larger stage, recently testified to the U.S. Senate about the significant health care challenges brought on by climate change. All of this is in addition to her work as an Emergency Medicine Physician and serving as a faculty member at the Warren Alpert School of Brown University where she has been recognized by medical students as an “excellent mentor and teacher who demonstrates that meaningful physician advocacy is possible and can lead to meaningful change.”

Read her Q&A here. 

Fahad Ali, MD


Dr. Ali is in his final year of residency in the Warren Alpert Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine of Brown University. He is the first-ever Chief Resident of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Brown Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Ali has been honored in his last year of residency with a “4 Under 40” award for his work as Brown Emergency Medicine’s first-ever Chief Resident of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In this role, he has helped develop and implement an educational curriculum focusing on microaggressions and racism in the work environment, and on advocating for improvements in care delivery to patients of color, patients with language barriers, and patients experiencing substance use disorders. Dr. Ali’s work has included establishing a link between emergency medicine physicians and department community health workers to reduce barriers to care, improve access, and decrease Emergency Department recidivism among patients experiencing homelessness, patients with low financial means, and other underserved populations. Through his work, Dr. Ali has pioneered the first Social Emergency Medicine elective for Brown Emergency Medicine residents, which will serve as a way to improve the impact Brown Emergency Medicine residents have on the Rhode Island community for years to come. 

Read more in Dr. Ali’s Q&A.

Allison Heinly, MD

Rory Merritt, MD, MEHP

Dr. Heinly is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Associate Program Director of Brown Pediatric Residency Program, and general pediatrician at Hasbro Children’s Hospital Primary Care.

Dr. Heinly has been honored with a “4 Under 40” award for her tireless advocacy and education efforts around tobacco prevention and cessation. She serves as the tobacco champion for the Rhode Island chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; leads the chapter’s statewide advocacy efforts with the legislature; and teaches pediatricians across the state the newest prevention and cessation techniques. She currently serves on the Executive Committee for the national AAP’s Section on Nicotine and Tobacco Prevention and Treatment and previously served as the Rhode Island representative for the AAP’s E-Cigarette Chapter Champion network. Dr. Heinly’s deep commitment to lowering the rate of tobacco use in Rhode Island is evident in her work at Hasbro Children’s Primary Care where she has infused into her role as a pediatrician – screening families for tobacco use and developing cessation plans when teens or parents are ready to quit. Dr. Heinly’s efforts to lower tobacco use in teens and adults extends into the community. She serves on the Tobacco Free Rhode Island Policy and Cessation Workgroups and has spoken at several community events with the American Heart Association, Rhode Island Regional Prevention Coalitions, and Providence Public School Parent University on nicotine and tobacco related topics.

Read her full Q&A here. 

Vincent LaBarbera, MD 

Tammi-Marie K. Phillip, MD

Dr. LaBarbera has been honored with a “4 Under 40” award for his exemplary leadership of the Rhode Island Hospital ALS Clinic. As a neurologist who specializes in clinical neurophysiology and neuromuscular disorders, Dr. LaBarbera applies his skills and compassion for patients through several roles. However, it is what he has done in his role as Medical Director of the Louise Wilcox ALS Clinic at Rhode Island Hospital that was brought to our attention as being particularly impressive.

Dr. LaBarbera took on the role of Director of the ALS Clinic last year after his predecessor retired. As one of two multidisciplinary ALS clinics in Rhode Island (the other run through the Providence VA Medical Center), the clinic is a critical resource for patients with ALS. It provides care including neurology, pulmonology, nursing, dietician, physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other specialists – all in one comprehensive visit. In this clinic, Dr. LaBarbera sees patients who have been diagnosed with one of the most feared diseases in medicine, and he does so with great care and compassion. Running the clinic is a herculean undertaking for someone so early in their career, yet, Dr. LaBarbera has worked incredibly hard to not only continue the work of his predecessor but to bring cutting-edge advancements to ALS patients. He has helped ALS patients in Rhode Island access brand new drugs recently approved by the FDA to help improve survival; he has aided patients in identifying clinical trial opportunities; and he has brought a new focus to genetic testing for ALS. Outside of the ALS clinic, Dr. LaBarbera does EMG tests, sees patients with a range of other neurologic conditions, and co-directs the preclinical neuroscience course at the Brown Medical School.

Read Dr. LaBarbera’s full Q&A here. 

Daria Szkwarko, DO, MPH

Daria Szkwarko, MD

Dr. Szkwarko, who is double boarded in Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine, has been fortunate as an educator, clinician, and researcher, to find passion and partners for implementing and evaluating innovative educational strategies that specifically democratize knowledge for primary care physicians and impact vulnerable patient populations. She is committed to the continued growth of multi-disciplinary and transformational collaborations. As Global Health Fellowship Director of Brown Family Medicine, she is expanding training opportunities for North American fellows and their Kenyan counterparts, growing bilateral exchange programs, and expanding virtual learning efforts. Her life-long goal is utilizing implementation science to improve the clinical care, health and welfare globally particularly for marginalized populations.

Vincent M. Varamo, DO

Vincent M. Varamo, DO

Dr. Varamo is an Emergency Medicine attending physician at Kent Hospital.  He is the Kent EMS liaison and spends countless hours on Quality Improvement and education within our EMS system. He also served as the Chief Medical Officer at the Cranston COVID-19 field hospital, where he was instrumental in not only setting up the field hospital, but also worked a grueling schedule. He is also a leader and role model in the Kent residency program, where he serves as a core faculty member, and always goes above and beyond for the residents. From the many nominations for Dr. Varamo, we learned that he is dependable, committed to his patients and humble. To quote one nomination “He doesn’t get a lot of recognition for the many hats he wears and the personal sacrifices he makes to make Kent better – and I can’t think of someone who deserves this more than he does.”

Cara Zimmerman, MD, MBA

Cara Zimmerman, MD, MBA



Eden R. Cardozo, MD
Liz Samuels, MD
Gillian Morris, MD
Adam Levine, MD
Simone Thalasevan, MD


Elizabeth Goldberg, MD
Umber Akbar, MD
Katherin Hart, MD
Kara Stavros, MD