Alumni Spotlight: Alycia Cleinman

First tell us about you, your time here, and what you did.

I am originally from Maryland but have lived in many places from college to medical school including Vermont, Miami, NYC, and Dominica before finding my way to Mississippi in 2009 for residency. I completed my internal medicine residency and geriatric medicine fellowship at UMMC. I then spent 4 years as faculty in the Geriatrics Division. Even though I am a northerner, my fellow trainees were nothing but welcoming and accepting – helping me to feel right at home, so much so that I didn’t want to leave after finishing my training. While I loved my Mississippi family, after much soul searching and many luring opportunities presenting themselves during my time as faculty; I chose to leave academics for a non-profit. Only another geriatrician could understand how hard a decision like that is – as geriatric practices rarely succeed outside an academic setting. 

Where are you now and what are you doing?

I am currently practicing geriatrics with CommonSpirit, the largest religious based non-profit health system in the US. I am the lead Geriatrician of the Center for Healthy Aging in Chattanooga and currently oversee 3 clinic sites. I am currently serving as the Vice Chair of the hospital board. I have developed and oversee the community health education series at our Boynton clinic site, located within a low income senior housing project. I have recently been awarded a TN state grant and am developing a community virtual-based dementia lecture series. I recently established a multi-subspecialty telemedicine hosting site at our Alexian clinic site, located within a religious based senior living campus. In my spare time, I serve as a consultant for MorningPointe (a multi-state senior living corporation) for geriatric program development to help with aging in place.

What do you miss most about UMC?

I miss my geriatrics family. While I have been given a wonderful professional opportunity in Chattanooga; there is nothing like being surrounded by so many fellow like-minded geriatricians on a daily basis. I could never thank Dr. Gwen Windham and Dr. Mark Meeks enough for how much they helped to guide my career since my intern year; their leadership, example and advice was invaluable.

Share a memory or more of your time here at UMC.

I will never forget my office buddy for life – Dr. Sara Sanders. How far we have grown from our shared desk in fellowship (where we also served as the building doorman) to our shared first year faculty office. We almost went into withdrawal when they gave us our own office spaces but luckily they were joined through a door that we always kept open.

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