Dean’s Honor Day 2019 Staff Excellence Awards

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

Lacie Covington, M.B.A.
Department of Radiology

Award presentation

Lacie Covington, M.B.A., (right) receives the Staff Excellence Award in Education from Mollie Meek, M.D., of the Department of Radiology. Covington was honored for keeping the educational programs of the department running smoothly and for her broader leadership among graduate medical education program coordinators.

Covington was recognized for her dedication and exceptional organizational skills in coordinating multiple educational programs in the Department of Radiology, along with her leadership of the college-wide Program Coordinators Organization (PCO).

“If you know Lacie, you know that she has exceptional organizational skills,” said Mollie Meek, M.D., chief of the Interventional Radiology Division. “Her fine attention to detail keeps us all on our ‘A Game’ and moving smoothly.”

Covington coordinates the ACGME-accredited Interventional Radiology Residency, Vascular and Interventional Radiology Fellowship, Nuclear Medicine Residency, and Pediatric Radiology Fellowship. She also coordinate’s the department-sponsored Breast Imaging and Body MRI/MSK fellowships and serves as administrator for the Interventional Radiology Division.

Meek noted Covington’s leadership of the PCO, a group that provides resources and support for coordinators of graduate medical education programs throughout the college. Among many initiatives, she led an off-campus professional development day last fall that focused on team building and development.  She also lends her expertise to a national organization of interventional radiology program coordinators.


Shalese “Fitz” Fitzgerald, M.S.
Department of Family & Preventive Medicine

Award presentation

Shaleze “Fitz” Fitzgerald, M.S., receives the Staff Excellence Award in Research for his work as a biostatistician in the Research and Evaluation Division of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. The division’s director, Leeanne Whiteside-Mansell, Ed.D., (left) nominated Fitzgerald and presented the award.

Fitzgerald was honored for his work in the Research and Evaluation Division (RED), which conducts community-based research in partnership with numerous organizations that target some of the most at-risk individuals in the state, particularly families with young children living in poverty.

As the biostatistician for the statewide evaluation of federally funded services that provide in-home parenting education, Fitzgerald manages data from multiple home visiting models and 100 community-based staff in more than 40 agencies.

“It is an understatement to say that the data for these projects is complex,” said RED Director Leanne Whiteside-Mansell, Ed.D. “We are fortunate that Fitz has harnessed all of this data. He developed a streamlined system designed to identify potential problems before they happen, correct errors, and provide useful reports for the staff in the field and for our office.”

“It’s a joy working with Fitz, and his positive influence on our research is undeniable,” Whiteside-Mansell said. “He can seem reserved and quiet in project meetings, only to stop us all and ask the one question that brings us all back to the purpose of our work.”


Andrea Easom, M.N.Sc., APRN
Department of Internal Medicine/Division of Nephrology

Award presentation

Andrea Easom, M.N.Sc., APRN, (right) receives the Clinical Staff Excellence Award for 40 years of service to patients, including those with chronic kidney disease, through her work as a certified nurse practitioner, educator and researcher in the Division of Nephrology. Manisha Singh, M.D., (left) nominated Easom for the award.

Easom, a certified nurse practitioner in both family medicine and nephrology, has led many clinical, research and educational initiatives as a key member of the Division of Nephrology for 40 years. She has transformed the lives of patients along the way.

“Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, has a mortality rate on par with some cancers …,” said Manisha Singh, M.D., an assistant professor in the Division of Nephrology, director of the UAMS-VA Home Dialysis Program and co-director of the COM second-year renal course. “But CKD is not necessarily a death sentence – and Andrea Easom has dedicated her life and career as an APRN, researcher and educator to bring hope and empowerment to Arkansans with CKD.”

Easom was the first nurse to start a peritoneal dialysis training clinic, and when the UAMS Home Dialysis Program was established over 30 years ago, Easom trained providers across the state. She pioneered tele-education for CKD patients and is currently a co-principal investigator on a pilot grant with the Arkansas Department of Health to determine the effectiveness of CKD education via telemedicine in slowing CKD progression and improving outcomes. She has focused extensively on developing educational resources for patients and also established the Arkansas CKD Advisory Committee.


Paul Stover, M.B.A.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Award presentation

Paul Stover, M.B.A., (right) receives the Staff Excellence Award in Administration for his administrative leadership in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and across campus. Department Chair C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., nominated Stover and presented the award.

Stover was recognized for his strong administrative leadership in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Service Line and his positive influence across the campus.

“Paul is an absolutely principled leader and has an incredibly strong work ethic,” said C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., Chair of Orthpaedic Surgery, Musculoskeletal Service Line Director, and Interim Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN). “This is what makes him stand out. He always goes above and beyond what has expected, and he has helped to make Orthopaedics one of the campus leaders.”

Barnes noted numerous other service roles, including Stover’s current work as interim administrator for OB/GYN and previous and current key business roles in the College of Medicine Dean’s Office. He said Stover’s administrative expertise and institutional knowledge helped him immensely when he moved from private practice to academic medicine several years ago.

“Paul has earned respect on campus, and he stands out as a leader in all respects,” Barnes said. “Simply put, UAMS is a better place because of Paul Stover, and I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of this award.”