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As the calendar year comes to a close, the Department of Medicine has much to celebrate. Congrats to the following individuals who are beginning new administrative positions with the Department. Their expertise and enthusiasm will help us excel in 2023. While others are moving along in their career journey, we are thankful for their contributions and wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Welcome New Associate Chiefs of Administration

Jennifer Layton, Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Jenn has been with the Division of GI since 2015, learning the ropes as team lead, business services, administrative and project coordinator.  She has developed a wealth of knowledge in GI, particularly through her role as the Qgenda guru. GI has many locations to cover, faculty balancing responsibilities across sites of service and has active participants in all three missions; one learns a lot about FTEs and clinical operations trying to juggle that. In addition to Jenn’s Masters in Business Administration, she is pursuing a Masters in Project Management. She has been serving in an interim capacity and on December 16 officially became the associate chief of administration for the Division of GI.

Miranda Pennachi, Infectious Diseases

Miranda has been with Infectious Diseases since 2019, first as their HR coordinator, then transitioned to project and business manager. As Business Manager, Miranda led the effort to revive our ID 340B program, managed several contractual relationships, led the administrative team and supported the Ryan White program. Miranda completed her Masters in 2021. Prior to joining medicine, she was the centralized manager of pediatric subspecialty fellowships. Effective December 16, she assumed the role of associate chief of administration for the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Matt Kretzschmar, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Matt-KretzchmarMatt joined the department in 2020, overcoming the challenges of onboarding during a pandemic. As Business Manager, Matt has brought our $20 million of contracts into much better shape, in addition to his other administrative responsibilities. Matt has previous history as a manager in the OB/GYN Department, and a grants manager at the University of Iowa. In May, Matt jumped in to help provide coverage to Pulmonary and will officially assume the role as associate chief for the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine on Dec. 25.

Christina McMillan, Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology; Endocrinology and Metabolism

Christina is a familiar face to many and we are fortunate to recruit her back to the Department of Medicine where she was an administrative assistant, quality and organizational excellence specialist, and clinic manager. In 2021, Christina joined the APP center as an operational project manager. Not only does she bring much to our divisional leadership including her deep quality and project management knowledge, she also has experience with all clinical administrative/scheduling realms. Christina will join us next month as the associate chief of administration for the Divisions of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology and Endocrinology & Metabolism.  

Central & Oncology Administrator

Melba Ribeiro will assume new responsibilities centrally in the Department, working closely with all divisions and finance. A resourceful leader who helps to develop outside the box solutions, Melba will be helping to standardize processes and reporting, serve as a resource to new directors and will focus on clinical finance and operations. Recruitment is underway for a new administrative director of Hematology, while Melba will continue as associate chief of administration for the Division of Oncology, working closely with Business Manager Caitlyn Hunter.

Administrative Director of Clinical Research

Jill Cunnup is transitioning into the position of administrative director of clinical research. She is expanding her role to strengthen our programs across the Department and will also maintain responsibility for research in the Divisions of Endocrinology and Cardiology. Jill has already made notable improvements in our operations and financial performance.

Director of Pharmacy Programs

The Department welcomed Jason Wittes in June to serve as the director of pharmacy programs. We will be integrating management of our two 340B programs made possible by our Hemophilia Treatment Center grant and the Ryan White HIV award. In the hemophilia world our pharmacy severs not only our UNC program but is the contract pharmacy for several external sites. For ID, we do not have our own pharmacy, but contract for services with UNC Health shared services and other pharmacies. Jason was previously director of pharmacy at Wake County Human Services. In addition to being a brand new dad, Jason is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar.


Jill Watson will be leaving us at the end of the month to become the associate chief of administration for the Department of Neurology. This is wonderful for Neurology, but we will miss Jill’s experience and steadfast leadership as our associate chief of administration for Geriatric Medicine and Hospital Medicine. Jill has done a masterful job balancing the needs in these two divisions and working so collaboratively with changing hospital leadership and our Geriatrics clinic. Her replacement will have big shoes to fill.

John Vargas will be assuming a full time role managing the analytics group within FP.  As Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, John has helped the Department manage and understand our clinic practice. You may also recall John’s incredible project management of the Eastowne project, just a little work on the side (who knew we had an internal expert in design and construction!). He has also supported numerous VCAG projects over the years and has a unique knowledge of the intersection of analytics and clinical operations.