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Phoebe Family Medicine Residents Celebrate Graduation

Albany, Ga. – The Phoebe Family Medicine Residency Program (PFMR) celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2019 on Saturday evening during a ceremony at Doublegate Country Club in Albany.  This year’s graduates are:  Stephen Daniel, MD, Maria Kyriacou, MD, JR Mariano, MD, Serena Miller, MD, and Laura De Simone, MD.

“It has truly been a privilege to be involved in the journey of such talented and passionate physicians over the last three years. While we are extremely excited to welcome two of the recent graduates back to the Phoebe Family, all of the graduates will greatly benefit their community by providing the highest quality of care to their patients whether they are staying here or going to a neighboring state,” said William Fricks, MD, program director, Phoebe Family Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. De Simone and Dr. Mariano are staying in Albany and will be practicing as hospitalists for Phoebe starting this summer. Dr. Daniel will be practicing in Mount Airy, NC., and Dr. Miller will be practicing in Houston, TX. Dr. Kyriacou is beginning a Sports Medicine Fellowship in Miami, FL.

“The last three years has been an amazing experience and Phoebe has truly become my family. I know that staying here to practice, I will be making a difference in the lives of patients in the community. That is why I became a doctor – to help others and make a difference,” said Dr. De Simone.

During the graduation ceremony, PFMR awarded several awards. Laura De Simone, MD, was awarded the inaugural Joel Wernick Resident of the Year award and Tiera Barron, MD, was named Residency Teacher of the Year. Nguyet Nguyen-To, MD, was named Intern of the Year and ILdiko Babka, MD, was honored with the Community Faculty of the Year. Tracy Rosenbaum, DO, was awarded In-Patient Faculty of the Year, and the Advance Practice Provider of the Year of awarded to Kendra Armstrong, NP.

The PFMR’s primary mission is to train family physicians to practice in rural Southwest Georgia. This year’s class brings the total number of PFMR graduates to 125 since the program began in 1993. Seventy-two percent of those graduates are currently practicing in Georgia, and the majority of those remain in southwest Georgia.

To learn more about the Family Medicine Residency Program, please visit


PHOTO CAPTION: Class of 2019 graduates pictured from left to right: Laura De Simone, MD, Serena Miller, MD, Maria Kyriacou, MD, Stephen Daniel, MD, and JR Mariano, MD.