Dean’s Honor Day 2019 Faculty Awards

The UAMS College of Medicine congratulates the following faculty members who were honored for their excellence, innovations, humanism and contributions to the college’s mission in education, research and clinical care. These awards were presented at Dean’s Honor Day on April 24, 2019.

Read about the Distinguished Faculty Service Award, presented to G. Richard Smith, M.D., in the COM Newsroom.


Master Teacher Award

Robert Arrington, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics

Award presentation

Robert Arrington, M.D., (right) receives the Master Teacher Award. Department of Pediatrics Chair Rick Barr, M.D., (left) noted Arrington’s extraordinary impact on neonatal care and neonatology training in Arkansas during his 45 years at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s.

Known as the “Father of Neonatology” in Arkansas, Arrington has shaped neonatal care in the state and has served as an exemplary teacher, mentor and colleague for the vast majority of physicians who care for Arkansas’ tiniest and most critically ill newborns.

“Students, residents, fellows and colleagues all benefit from Bob’s selflessness,” Professor and Department of Pediatrics Chair Frederick “Rick” Barr, M.D., said when presenting the award to Arrington, a professor in the department. “He is a role model in every sense of the word, and he is, most certainly, a Master Teacher.”

Arrington joined UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in 1974. While chief of the Neonatology Division from 1980 to 2014 he ushered in numerous advances in technology and care, leading to greatly improved survival rates. Arrington has participated in the training of more than 800 pediatric residents and 35 neonatology fellows. He is also known for working with pediatricians, family physicians and local hospitals to improve care for newborns.

He has received numerous other awards from leaders, colleagues and students at ACH and UAMS for compassionate patient care and outstanding teaching. An endowed lectureship created by the division’s faculty was announced and presented in a surprise event honoring Arrington at ACH earlier in the week.


Educational Innovation Award

Kedar Jambhekar, M.D., and Linda Deloney, Ed.D.
With appreciation for Rachel Pahls, M.D. (medical resident)
Department of Radiology

Dr. McDonald presenting awards to team

Radiology Chair James McDonald, M.D., (left) presents the Educational Innovation Award to Linda Deloney, Ed. D., (second from left) and Kedar Jambhekar, M.D., (right). Although the award is bestowed on faculty, the winners and McDonald also recognized the contributions of fifth-year radiology resident Rachel Pahls, M.D., on an educational “escape room” game designed to ease the transition from intern to radiology resident.

The transition from intern to radiology resident is challenging, with new responsibilities and the need to master a daunting volume of complex information in a stressful environment. An educational, radiology-themed “escape room” – a fun, competitive game in which teams discover clues to escape a “locked” room – is a creative solution.

“The camaraderie of one’s peer group has been proven to help new residents meet the challenges,” Department of Radiology Chair James McDonald, M.D., said after playing a dramatic movie trailer-like video highlighting the escape room project. “Drs. Kedar Jambhekar and Linda Deloney devised this novel team-building activity for our residents and recruited Dr. Rachel Pahls, a fifth-year resident, to help make the project a reality.”

Jambhekar is an associate professor (professor effective July 1), Body MSK/MRI section chief and director of the Radiology Residency. Deloney is an assistant professor in the department.

After pilot-testing and running sessions for incoming residents last July, the team was invited by the Radiological Society of North America to offer the escape room to residents at the world’s largest annual radiology conference. It was a hit with 144 participating residents from 10 countries. The UAMS team has since presented the escape room at an additional major conference and has received additional invitations to national events.


Educational Research Award

Carol Thrush, Ed.D.
Department of Surgery, COM Graduate Medical Education

Award presentation

Carol Thrush, Ed.D., (right) receives the Educational Research Award for her many contributions to educational research throughout the college. Erick Messias, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., (left) presented the award.

Thrush, an associate professor, is a highly sought-after collaborator on educational research projects throughout the college in addition to her home bases in the Department of Surgery and the College of Medicine Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME).

“Dr. Thrush is sought after for two key reasons,” said Erick Messias, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of psychiatry and associate dean for faculty affairs. “The first is her dedication to improving the learning environment at UAMS. Secondly, she is exceptionally good at developing educational programs and understanding how to assess their effectiveness.”

Research collaborations anchored by Thrush have resulted in publications in peer-reviewed journals as well as national and local presentations in which medical students, residents and fellows are often involved.

Thrush joined UAMS as a research associate in the Department of Psychiatry in 1996. She served on the faculty of the UAMS Office of Educational Development from 2005 to 2015, directing the very successful UAMS Teaching Scholars Program from 2011 until assuming her current posts in Surgery and GME. Among many activities, she leads the robust Surgical Education Research Working Group. She has also developed a survey tool that is used by medical schools and universities around the world.


Excellence in Research Award

Nicola Edge, Ph.D.
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine

Award presentation

Nicola Edge, Ph.D.,. (right) receives the Excellence in Research Award for her innovative work to address the crisis of trauma experienced by young children. Department of Family and Preventive Medicine Chair Daniel Knight (left) presented the award.

Edge is known nationally for her innovative work to address the crisis of trauma experienced by children. In Arkansas her research and influence in shaping public policy has improved the lives of at-risk children and helped to prevent long-term health problems.

“Some of the most vulnerable children in our state have better lives because of Dr. Edge’s work,” said Professor and Department of Family and Preventive Medicine Chair Daniel Knight, M.D.

Edge, a professor and associate director of the department’s Research and Evaluation Division, works in collaboration with teams from Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Pediatrics and around the state to design, implement and study innovative intervention approaches to support the health of young at-risk children. She began her career targeting families impacted by serious maternal alcohol and drug addiction, and then expanded her research to examine how other behavioral health concerns, such as depression, affect child social-emotional development. Her research centers on very young children whose experiences of trauma result in emotional and behavioral problems that are difficult for parents and teachers to manage without support. She was the first to document the detrimental influence of even low-level maternal depressive symptoms on child behavioral development.

Among many leadership roles, Edge directs Arkansas’ nationally recognized mental health consultation program to child care providers. She has been continuously funded with external grants while at UAMS since 2000, serving as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on grants and contracts totaling more than $42.6 million.


Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award
Presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation

Michael Mancino, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry

Award presentation

Michael Mancino, M.D., (right) received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, which is supported by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. Mancino was lauded for his compassionate care of patients struggling with opioid addiction. Chris Cargile, M.D., was one of several nominators and presented the award.

Mancino, an associate professor and director of the UAMS Center for Addiction Services and Treatment, provides compassionate care for patients struggling with addiction to opiates.

“As most of us know all too well, addiction touches the lives of far too many people here in Arkansas and across the country,” said Chris Cargile, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and director of the UAMS Behavioral Health Service Line. “Unfortunately, too many of these patients find it difficult to access appropriate care due to lack of available trained providers, stigma, and misunderstanding of the illness – often by members of the health care community itself. That’s really where Mike’s work has some of its greatest impact.”

“As passionate as Mike is about his treatment mission, he is equally as passionate about education and training,” Cargile said. “This includes not just patients and their families but, as importantly, other care providers in the community, with his goal being not only to expand treatment options around the state, but also to decrease the stigma that often serves as a barrier for patients getting this kind of care.”

Cargile said he has referred very difficult cases to Dr. Mancino. “I know that not only are they going to get best-in-class care, they are also going to be treated with dignity and compassion,” he said.


Three faculty members on stage

Residency Educator Award winners Jerad Gardner, M.D., (left) and Shashank Kraleti, M.D., (right) are honored by Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education Jim Clardy, M.D., (center). Gardner directs the Dermatopathology Fellowship. Kraleti directs the Family Medicine Fellowship.

Residency Educator Awards

Jerad Gardner, M.D., Dermatopathology Fellowship

Gardner is internationally recognized for his use of professional social media for teaching, learning and career-building of residents, students, himself and other faculty colleagues – and especially the fellows he has trained as director of the Dematopathology Fellowship since 2014.

“Dr. Gardner has 100-plus YouTube videos with over 400,000 views,” Jim Clardy, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education, said when presenting the award. He drew friendly laughter from the audience when noting, “That equals over 3 million minutes of watching pathology videos.”

Gardner joined the Department of Pathology in 2012 as an assistant professor and associate director of the Dermatopathology Fellowship. He has held a dual appointment in the Department of Dermatology since 2013 and was promoted to associate professor in 2017.

In a letter supporting Gardner’s nomination, Professor and Department of Pathology Chair Jennifer Hunt, M.D., M.Ed., lauded the highly respected and nationally competitive fellowship program. “I think it is worth pointing out that Dr. Gardner teaches his fellows much more than just dermatopathology,” she wrote. “He also educates them about professionalism, involvement in our specialty and the public face of medicine through his expertise in social media.”


Shashank Kraleti, M.D., Family Medicine Residency

Kraleti has made strides in enhancing the learning environment for residents while serving in leadership roles in the Family Medicine Residency since 2012, including his current post as program director since 2016.

“Dr. Kraleti brings a vision and passion for training residents,” said Jim Clardy, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education. “It has taken strong administrative skills as well as his passion to accomplish all that he has done for our Family Medicine Residents.”

One measure of his success is the 100 percent pass rate by the program’s residents on national board exams for the past six years, Clardy said, noting that it is the best record of all family medicine residencies in the state and impressive at the national level.

Clardy and residents writing in support of Kraleti’s nomination cited numerous initiatives, including a procedure clinic that provides more essential, hands-on training; substantially increasing the residents’ training experiences with pediatric patients; and additional mentored research activities.

“His interest in connecting with us one-on-one, combined with a sharp ability to make high-impact changes to benefit the entire UAMS community, makes Dr. Kraleti a relatable and strong leader such as I aspire to become,” wrote Chief Resident Brian Yuen, M.D.


Investiture of the Lutterloh Medical Education Excellence Professorship

Dr. Davies wearing endowment medallion, with Dr. Childs and Dr. Westfall.

David Davies, Ph.D., (center) is invested in the Lutterloh Medical Education Excellence Professorship. Davies is an award-winning educator who has taught gross anatomy to thousands of medical students in his 34 years at UAMS. The investiture was led by Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences Chair Gwen Childs, Ph.D., (left) and COM Dean Christopher T. Westfall, M.D.

David Davies, Ph.D.
Department of Neurobiology & Developmental Sciences

Davies was lauded for his award-winning work in education as he was invested in the rotating Charles H. Lutterloh and Charles M. Lutterloh Medical Education Excellence Professorship.

“One of the reasons I’m excited about Dr. Davies receiving this professorship is because I have heard so many good things about him from students,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., FACS. “He is an outstanding choice to become the sixth Lutterloh professor.”

Davies, an associate professor, directs the first course taken by freshman medical students, the Human Structure Module, and co-directs the Division of Clinical Anatomy. He also serves on the college’s Curriculum Committee and has been extensively involved in initiatives to enhance learning.

“Dr. Davies has taught gross anatomy to thousands of medical students since joining the faculty in 1985, and his impact is clear when you look at how many awards our students have bestowed on him,” said Gwen Childs, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences.

Freshman classes have voted Davies as their most outstanding teacher, presenting him the Golden Apple Award, three times. He has also received two Gold Sash awards for outstanding teaching and is receiving his 22nd Red Sash recognition from medical students this spring.

Faculty colleagues also have recognized Davies, presenting him the Educational Innovation Award in 2015 and the Master Teacher Award and Chancellor’s Teaching Award in 2016.