Thank you for participating in the Southern Regional election process. We invite you to cast your vote for the positions of President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer-Elect, Membership Chair-Elect, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair-Elect. Review the slate of candidates, then vote at the link below.

The deadline to cast your vote is Friday, February 23rd. Voting is reserved for SGIM members only.



Jennifer Cowart

Dr. Jennifer Cowart, an academic hospitalist at Mayo Clinic Florida, has significantly contributed to patient safety and healthcare quality improvement since joining in 2016. With roles including Patient Safety Officer, Vice Chair of the Hospital Internal Medicine Division, and Medical Director for the Mayo Clinic Florida Operations and Command Center, her career reflects a deep commitment to healthcare excellence. Cowart, a Baylor College of Medicine alumna with a strong foundation in internal medicine and clinical pharmacology, further honed her skills in quality and safety through the CRQS program at the Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Her interests span healthcare policy, quality improvement, and education, aligning with her active involvement in the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM). Since becoming a member, Cowart has engaged at regional and national levels, including participating in the Leadership in Health Policy program and contributing to SGIM’s growth in inclusivity and membership as the SSGIM Membership Chair-Elect. Her efforts, especially in fostering connections with diverse groups like Xavier University pre-med students, highlight her dedication to advancing healthcare and education through collaborative and inclusive initiatives.

With over a decade of involvement in the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) and various roles, including Membership Chair, I am running for SSGIM President-Elect. My journey began as a resident with SGIM, which has significantly shaped my career and advocacy efforts. Through leadership positions, I’ve aimed to align SSGIM with national priorities, including diversity and inclusion initiatives. Facing medicine’s evolving challenges, I believe in strengthening our community and enhancing our meetings to reflect our organizational culture. My vision includes expanding membership, fostering inclusivity, and innovating meeting content to support our members’ needs and professional growth.

Devin Oller

Devin Oller, MD, FACP, FASAM, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Kentucky, where he serves as Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program and leads the Primary Care Track and Addiction Medicine Track. He completed residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he served as one of the inaugural Rural Health Leadership Fellows and as Chief Resident. Dr. Oller’s curricular innovations focusing on substance use disorder treatment, asynchronous learning, gamification in medical education, and EBM have been featured at regional and national SGIM meetings. As a co-investigator for the NIH-funded Healing Communities Study, Dr Oller developed and directed a continuing education series on opioid use disorder treatment that has reached over 5000 community members in the region. He serves as this year’s Southern SGIM Planning Committee Chair, having co-directed the Scientific Abstracts and Clinical Vignettes subcommittees in previous years.

As this year’s planning committee chair, I know the power of the connections we make through our region’s annual meeting—in many ways, these connections represent Southern SGIM’s most powerful tool to better the lives of the communities we serve. I see two ways that I can help expand and strengthen those connections as our region’s President. First, as our meeting’s record number of abstracts from learners points to, we can continue to expand engagement and mentoring of learners in our region. Second, we must continue to develop and deepen connections to folks in our region that have not traditionally seen SGIM as their “home” professional organization. This means continued investment and collaboration with our region’s HBCUs, and making new connections to rural and community-based training programs and practice settings. It’s been an honor to serve as planning committee chair, and I appreciate you considering me for the role of President-Elect.

Membership Chair-Elect

David Giovannini

David C. Giovannini, MD, FACP, transitioned from a career in textile engineering to medicine, earning his MD from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, where he now serves as Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine and Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Active in the Society of General Internal Medicine, he has contributed to regional and national efforts, emphasizing medical education and clinical skills, notably in Point of Care Ultrasound. Recognized for his teaching excellence, Dr. Giovannini also dedicates time to community service, both in healthcare and as a youth soccer coach.

Reflecting on my SGIM journey, pivotal moments from my residency to a career in academic medicine underscore its value. My initial exposure at the New Orleans meeting revealed SGIM’s community spirit, further solidified by my role in planning both in-person and virtual meetings. The Southern Region’s dedication to medical excellence and member engagement inspires me. I advocate for active participation in SGIM, emphasizing the importance of engaging junior members to sustain our community’s vibrancy. My experiences, from a smaller program perspective, highlight SGIM’s potential to elevate careers and institutions. I’m committed to sharing this enriching community and grateful for its impact on my career trajectory.

Nathan Douthit

Nathan Douthit was born and raised in Alabama. He graduated from Auburn University and attended medical school at The Medical School for International Health at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. His residency training was at Brookwood Baptist Health in Birmingham, Alabama, after which he completed a chief resident year within this program. He joined the teaching faculty at the East Alabama Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency Program in 2020. He was appointed program director in 2023. In 2021, Nathan joined the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine—Auburn Campus as Co-Chair for Internal Medicine. He continues to serve in this role as an assistant professor as well. Nathan has been involved in SGIM since 2016, his PGY-1 year of residency. He has regularly attended southern regional meetings, both in person and virtually as well as several national conference meetings. He considers SGIM to be his professional home. He has served on the southern regional planning committee for the last two years and presented workshops and posters in both the national and regional meetings. He also has mentored many medical students and residents and continues to bring them along for each meeting.

Since joining SGIM in 2016 during my PGY-1 year, I’ve grown professionally, moving from a resident needing mentorship to Program Director at East Alabama Internal Medicine Residency and Assistant Professor at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. My engagement with SGIM, especially at the Southern Regional Meetings, has been pivotal, offering mentorship and a platform for academic growth. I’ve actively promoted SGIM’s value to students and residents, bringing them along to meetings and encouraging faculty membership. My vision as membership chair is to broaden SGIM’s reach, especially to those in community-based programs and underrepresented groups, showcasing the organization’s value early in their careers.


Brandon Altillo

Brandon Altillo, MD, MPH, FACP, FAAP, serves as a primary care internist and pediatrician at CommUnityCare Southeast Health & Wellness Center, and as an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Population Health at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. Dr. Altillo’s career is distinguished by his commitment to enhancing access to, quality of, and education in primary care, particularly for underserved populations. He has held significant roles, including Outpatient Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and Co-Director of Dell Med’s longitudinal Primary Care, Family, and Community Medicine Clerkship. Additionally, he is the recipient of the 2023 Southern SGIM Leadership Development Award. Inspired by his work in rural Peru with Engineers Without Borders, his research focuses on optimizing primary care systems and training in resource-limited settings. Dr. Altillo’s deep passion for primary care and community health, combined with his extensive experience in medical education and conference leadership, highlights his dedication to improving healthcare outcomes.

I would be honored to serve as your Secretary/Treasurer for the next two years. As a candidate, I bring a unique blend of clinical expertise, leadership, and a deep commitment to primary care excellence. I am poised to contribute meaningfully to our region’s growth and impact with extensive experience in medical education, conference planning, and community health initiatives. My dedication to improving primary care access and quality for underserved communities and my proven track record in budget management and organizational leadership equip me to serve effectively in this role. I am excited about the opportunity to leverage my skills and passion to advance our mission and support our community’s needs.

DEI Chair-Elect

Fareeha Khan

Fareeha Khan, a board-certified internal medicine physician, brings a unique blend of rich historical and cultural insight from Pakistan to her practice in the United States. With a career spanning over eight years across both academic and community hospital environments, she has honed a profound interest in medical education. Fareeha is dedicated to enriching the clinical abilities of residents and medical students, emphasizing the importance of practical, hands-on learning. Moreover, her efforts to enhance inter-departmental collaboration highlight her commitment to operational excellence within healthcare settings. Fareeha’s transition from an immigrant to a valued contributor in the medical community underscores her unwavering dedication to diversity and her significant impact on healthcare in the United States.

As a physician deeply invested in the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI), I aspire to leverage my unique perspective and experiences to foster growth and stability within our community. My journey from an international medical graduate to a key player in academic medicine in the U.S. has equipped me with the insights necessary to advocate for underrepresented voices. If elected, I commit to driving the momentum of change, honoring the legacy of pioneers before us, and paving new paths toward a more inclusive and equitable future.

TaReesa Wills

Dr. TaRessa Wills is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, specializing in Hospital Medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital since 2019. With a background in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Doctorate of Medicine from Howard University College of Medicine, she plays a pivotal role as the Associate Site Director of Hospital Medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital. Dr. Wills leads over 50 providers in serving Atlanta’s vulnerable populations and champions diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by co-leading a DEI special interest group and serving on both the Emory University Department of Medicine’s DEI Council and the School of Medicine’s DEI and Racial Advocacy Faculty Advisory Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the Society of General Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians.

I am applying for the SGIM Southern Region Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair-Elect position, bringing a background rich in diversity from my education at Howard University, military service, and locum tenens work. My experience has honed my ability to work effectively across diverse backgrounds, fostering inclusivity and equity. As an academic hospitalist and associate site director at Grady Memorial Hospital, I actively promote DEI through various roles, demonstrating my commitment to creating equitable and inclusive communities within Southern SGIM. Inspired by mentors within SGIM, I am eager to contribute to and learn from the DEI initiatives, valuing empathy, intersectionality, and the strength in our differences.


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