Safety First, Last, Always
Thanks to the hard work of many UAMS faculty and Arkansas Children’s staff members, Arkansas Children’s Hospital achieved remarkable safety outcomes in FY 2020. President and CEO Marcy Doderer, FACHE, outlined the accomplishments in a message to team members last week. I join with Ms. Doderer in expressing gratitude for the entire team at ACH, with special thanks to the safety-focused leaders in these areas:
Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI): Dr. Katherine Irby, Anna Gaspar
Surgical Site Infections (SSI): Dr. Greg Albert, Michele Honeycutt
Unplanned Extubations (UPE): Dr. Matt Malone, Dr. Amy Huggins, Randy Willis
Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infection (CLABSI): Dr. Michele Moss, Dr. Parthak Prodhan, Dr. Daniel Ashton, Sabra Curry, Ellen Mallard, Carol Oldridge
Pressure Injury (PI): Dr. Gresham Richter and the ENT Service, Kristan Cooper
Patient Safety Officer: Dr. Chris Edwards
Surgery Safety: Dr. Sid Dassinger
VP Quality and Safety: Dr. Jared Capouya
Director of Quality: Stephanie Evans
A shout-out to the UAMS Stroke Center, which recently earned two national awards and continued recognition for its excellence in treating stroke patients from around the state. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association awarded UAMS the Get with the Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll and the Gold Plus Quality Achievement award. UAMS has maintained Gold Plus status for the past six years! Congratulations to Stroke Program Director Matthew Mitchell, Medical Director Dr. Sanjeeva Onteddu, Associate Professor of Neurology, and the entire team.
The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Global Health Educators Collaborative has awarded the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine’s Dr. Bill Ventres the 2020 Gabriel Smilkstein Memorial Award. The award recognizes Dr. Ventres for his “outstanding contributions to the growth and development of family medicine education around the world.” At UAMS, Dr. Ventres is Associate Professor and the Ben Saltzman, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Rural Family Medicine. He has received numerous honors here and internationally for his three decades of clinical work with socially and economically marginalized patients, his work to develop educational and clinical programs in family medicine, and more. Congratulations to Dr. Ventres on this latest honor!
Enhancing Women’s Health
Kudos to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Dr. Nirvana Manning, Director of the Women and Infants Service Line, and the entire team behind the opening this week of the UAMS Health Women’s Center on Midtown Avenue. The new center consolidates several previous locations and services to improve multidisciplinary care for women. Special thanks to Service Line Nursing Director Penny Ward, Service Line Administrator Paul Stover, and Project Manager Paul Williams.
Making an Impact
Fourth-year medical student Jacob Carter sent me a wonderful email about the dedication and impact of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine’s Dr. Hakan Paydak in his M4 ECG course. “I have yet to meet an instructor or individual so dedicated and passionate about furthering the education of students,” Jacob wrote, emphasizing the extraordinary amount of time Dr. Paydak spends with students. “I truly believe that he made a significant impact on my future career and taught me life lessons outside of medicine that I will carry with me. He reminded us every single day that the most important rule was to be kind to people.” He noted that Dr. Paydak’s patients echoed these thoughts, advising Jacob to “be like Dr. Paydak.”
When I told him about Jacob’s letter, Dr. Paydak beamed, saying he “will be a great internist and hopefully a cardiologist in the future.” As for himself, Dr. Paydak said, “I love what I do, and I do what I love!”
An Orange, A Chicken Breast …
Third-year Obstetrics and Gynecology resident Dr. Meredith McKinney has been selected for the Harrith M. Hasson Award for Best Presentation Promoting Education or Training from the Society of Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgeons (SLS). Dr. McKinney will present her intriguingly titled video demonstration, “Use of an Orange and Chicken Breast in Simulation Training of the ExCITE Model,” at the SLS virtual meeting on September 2. ExCITE (extracorporeal C-incision tissue extraction) is a surgical technique used in minimally invasive gynecologic procedures. Congratulations to Dr. McKinney and her mentor, Dr. Luann Racher!
Dr. Sara Tariq, Professor of Internal Medicine and Associate Dean for Student Affairs, inspires many through her dedication to teaching and our students, compassionate patient care, service to the community and underserved, and her passion for justice and equality. In her honor, a faculty member and their family, who wish to remain anonymous, have given generously to establish the Sara Tariq, M.D., Endowed Scholarship. With the aim of increasing diversity at UAMS, the scholarship will be granted to students from underrepresented groups. We are incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Tariq and those who share her vision as colleagues. If you would like information about contributing to this endowment or want to learn more about supporting students while honoring a colleague, please contact Jim Smith, Director of Development, at JGSmith@uams.edu or (501) 454-9527.
One standout in our ongoing battle with COVID-19 is how so many are going above and beyond across our mission areas. Another is the sincere appreciativeness of fellow UAMS team members. I receive many notes from colleagues confirming that your hard work does not go unnoticed.
Dr. Katherine Irish-Clardy, Residency Program Director at UAMS West in Fort Smith, recently sent a shout-out to Melissa Vandiver and the Student and Employee Health Services team for their tireless work in COVID screening and the kind, thoughtful assistance they provide for faculty and staff.
I also want to share a note from the Department of Geriatrics’ Dr. Priya Mendiratta about our Pulmonary and Critical Care physicians, who work day and night with COVID-19 patients, including older Arkansans. To them, Dr. Mendiratta wrote:
“I often think of you with such admiration as you have the hardest task at the moment. While all of the staff and all others are heroes in this pandemic, I wanted to so thank Dr. Harmeen Goraya, Dr. Rajani Jagana, Dr. Jose Caceres, Dr. Anand Venkata, Dr. Emily Kocurek, Dr. Larry Johnson and Dr. Nikhil Meena. Thank you for putting yourself selflessly in the way of danger to save others every day. Thank you for your hard work, resilience, humility, kindness and strength in the face of such adversity, and for working day and night to save people in this state. I cannot express my gratitude and admiration in words. Our patients have so appreciated all of you.”
I would like to add my own thanks to all – not only for your hard work, but also for noticing and expressing gratitude for the contributions of others. This is spreading kindness!