Here are this week’s Accolades, a roundup of some of the honors and accomplishments of College of Medicine and UAMS faculty, staff, residents, fellows and students I’ve heard about recently!
Mentor Spotlight Podcast
Bravo to medical students Manasa Veluvolu, Weijia Shi, Hannah Hubbard and Jasmin Cotoco, the team behind the excellent new Mentor Spotlight Podcast. The students recently released the first episode, an interview with Dr. Hakan Paydak, Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, who is widely recognized for his outstanding teaching and mentoring as well as his expertise and leadership in cardiac electrophysiology. Sharanda Williams, M.A., Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity, and Web Manager Chris Lesher also helped get the project off the ground. The podcast was created to connect medical students with potential mentors and to share insights from faculty across the COM on career paths and more. Dr. Paydak’s interview was a great way to start!
National Service in Pathology
A shout-out to Dr. Eric Yee, Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of the Anatomic Pathology Laboratories, on two recent national appointments. He has been named Chair of the Case of the Month Section of the Education Committee for the Rodger C. Haggitt Gastrointestinal Pathology Society, and Co-Chair of the Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology Subcommittee for the Chinese American Pathologists Association. Dr. Yee also serves as an Assistant Editor for the American Journal of Clinical Pathology.
Congratulations to Dr. Felicia Allard, Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of the Cytopathology Fellowship, on her appointment to the Journal Watch Section of the Education Committee for the Rodger C. Haggitt Gastrointestinal Pathology Society. Dr. Allard’s other national roles include serving on the Education Committee of the Pancreatobiliary Pathology Society and as an Assistant Editor for GI pathology for the American Journal of Clinical Pathology.
Spine Surgery Expertise
Dr. Noojan Kazemi, Associate Professor and Director of Spine and Peripheral Nerve Education in the Department of Neurosurgery, recently shared his expertise in minimally invasive developments in lumbar spine surgery with an international audience. Dr. Kazemi was the presenter for an online program hosted by Izmir Katip Celebi University in Izmir, Turkey, and endorsed by the Turkish Neurosurgical Society. Dr. Kazemi has published extensively on topics including spinal tumors, minimally-invasive surgery and craniocervical distraction injuries. He also has authored several book chapters in major neurosurgery textbooks.
Residency Celebrations & Honors
It has been a pleasure to share highlights from graduation and year-end ceremonies from across the college this summer. This week, we are featuring the Department of Anesthesiology, which presented awards to residents for excellence in several areas, along with recognitions for outstanding teaching by faculty at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s. Program Directors and Coordinators can continue to share reports of ceremonies and honorees for upcoming editions of Accolades. Use this template for your overview and send it to COMInternalCommunications@uams.edu.
Surgery & the Pandemic
A new paper by Drs. Lori Wong, Moriah Hollaway, Hanna Jensen and colleagues shows how the initial triaging system UAMS used during the early months of the pandemic to postpone or cancel elective surgeries when possible worked well. The study, published in Surgery in Practice and Science, found there were minimal urgent admissions or Emergency Department visits due to canceled surgical cases. Dr. Wong worked on the project while completing her Clinical Informatics Fellowship in the Department of Biomedical Informatics. Dr. Hollaway, now a Surgery resident, was working toward her MD/MPH degree and received a U.S. Public Health Service award for the project. Dr. Jensen, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Radiology, was senior author and is leading the team’s follow-up study analyzing similar outcomes in later stages of the pandemic. Kudos to the team for this important work – and to Team UAMS for ensuring the very best surgical care throughout this challenging time.
Robotic Surgery Leadership
UAMS’ leadership in robotic surgery has led to designation as one of a select number of da Vinci Observation Epicenters for Colorectal Surgery. UAMS will host surgeons from across the country to demonstrate colorectal surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System, which is used by more than 1,500 hospitals nationwide. Dr. Conan Mustain, Associate Professor of Surgery, hosted the first visiting surgeon last Friday. The colorectal surgeon is head of the UAMS Robotics Steering Committee and one of 16 certified robotic surgeons at UAMS across nine specialties – Colorectal, General Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Thoracic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Urology, Urologic Oncology, Gynecology and Gynecological Oncology. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
Dr. William C. “Bill” Culp, who retired from UAMS in 2020, devoted his expertise, energy and resources to finding new treatments for stroke and advancing the field of interventional radiology during his two decades on the faculty. The retired Professor of Radiology, Surgery and Neurology also served as Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Radiology. A $500,000 gift commitment from this visionary and forward-thinking scientist, clinician and educator will be used to establish the Dr. William Culp Endowed Professorship in Interventional Radiology. We are grateful to Dr. Culp, whose gift will support this important area of research for decades to come. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
Putting Patients First
Sometimes, “putting patients first” goes beyond providing exceptional care at the bedside. Dr. André Wineland, Associate Professor in Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, turned a tragedy into a statewide training opportunity. A young patient with a tracheostomy died earlier this year after it accidently fell out and was not replaced in time. To prevent something like this from happening again, Dr. Wineland and his team organized the first annual Statewide Pediatric Tracheostomy Training Course.
Almost 50 people devoted their entire day on July 22 to learn how to better care for children with tracheostomies. Participants included therapists, nurses and administrators of day cares and schools. Parents of children with tracheostomies also participated, providing their unique perspective on caring for a child with a tracheostomy. The mother of the little girl who inspired Dr. Wineland shares why the initiative is so important in this video from Arkansas Children’s.
Kudos, Dr. Wineland. Creating a one-of-a-kind conference that will benefit countless lives is the epitome of putting patients first.