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!
Article Highlights UAMS Strategic Efforts
Dr. Kristie Hadden, Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics and Senior Strategy Associate for UAMS, is the lead author of a paper published this month in NEJM Catalyst on strategy execution in an academic medical center. In the article, Dr. Hadden and her co-authors, Provost and Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Stephanie Gardner and Chancellor Cam Patterson, illustrate how UAMS is successfully executing a robust and ambitious strategic plan. They also provide guidance and practical advice to health care leaders on strategy execution and monitoring, including efforts to anticipate obstacles and respond to challenges. Congratulations on this important publication!
Pediatric Specialties Match
Congratulations to our pediatric fellowship programs on the successful Pediatric Specialties Match. I join with Dr. Molly Gathright, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, and the GME team in thanking all of our pediatric fellowship faculty and staff for their hard work to recruit and match quality candidates amid the challenges of virtual interviews. Fully filled programs included Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (2); Pediatric Cardiology (2); Pediatric Critical Care (3); Pediatric Emergency Medicine (3); and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (1).
Congratulations to our senior medical students who participated in the Military Match as the next step in their service to our nation and the field of medicine. The Class of 2022 will have the most military graduates in a single year since at least 2010. Please join me in thanking these seniors for their dedication and service:
Timothy Hardaway (Navy), Surgery, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia
Rebecca Philpott (Army), Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia
Connor Purvis (Army), Transitional Year, Walter Reed National Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland
James Sellers (Army), Pediatrics, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington
Gideon Singleton (Army), Transitional Year, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
Vi Tran (Air Force), Family Medicine, Eglin AFB, Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
John “Nick” Wary (Army), Orthopaedics, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
John Wilson (Army), Family Medicine, Fort Benning, Georgia
The results of a multicenter, randomized clinical trial led by Dr. Erika Petersen, Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery, were published in Diabetes Care. The study highlighted the benefits of a breakthrough treatment for patients with painful diabetic neuropathy using high-frequency spinal cord stimulation. “This study was the success of a great team,” Dr. Petersen said, noting the co-leadership of Dr. Johnathan Goree, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the Chronic Pain Division, and Lisa Richardson, RN, the lead study coordinator in the Translational Research Institute. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
UAMS Hosts Anatomy Meeting
The Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences did a great job hosting the recent virtual regional meeting of the American Association for Anatomy, which focused on the diverse and multidisciplinary nature of anatomy and its influence on other health sciences. Dr. Edgar Meyer, who recently moved from UAMS to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, led the planning committee. Other committee members were Neurobiology Chair Dr. Gwen Childs, faculty members Drs. David Davies, Kevin Phelan, Tiffany Huitt, Noor Akhter and Mohsin Syed, and Dr. Steve Boone, Director of the UAMS Office of Educational Development and the Office of Academic Services. Neurobiology faculty and colleagues from several other departments presented top-notch workshops and talks that showcased instructional and research innovations at UAMS. Read more here.
Neurology Resident Honor
Congratulations to Dr. Ricardo Lopez Castellanos, Administrative Chief Resident in Neurology, on being chosen for the 2022 Enhanced Resident Leadership Program by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). The highly selective program provides additional educational and networking opportunities at the AAN meeting for residents with the potential to become future leaders in the field and the Academy. With only 10 residents in adult neurology across the country selected for the program, this is quite an honor and an indication of how well regarded Dr. Lopez Castellanos is at the AAN.
Social Media Standouts
A shout-out to the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group (LMIG), which recently received the Outstanding Social Media award from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. The group was founded last year by its College of Medicine student leaders: LMIG President Sam Ivanovsky, now a senior; Vice-President Alanna Davis, also a senior; Secretary Elise Moix, sophomore; Treasurer Calie Morrison, junior; and Social Media Manager Caitlin Harty, who is also a junior. LMIG has grown to include interprofessional colleagues in the College of Pharmacy and the College of Health Professions Physician Assistant Program. Dr. Gina Drobena, Associate Professor of Pathology and Course Director for the Culinary Medicine Elective, serves as faculty advisor. Check out their award-winning social media outreach and follow LMIG on Instagram.
Surgical Research Leader
The Department of Surgery continues to excel in its scholarly collaborations among faculty, residents and students – and Assistant Professor Dr. Hanna Jensen is a major reason why. “With Dr. Jensen’s leadership and facilitation, our department has nine talks accepted for the Academic Surgical Conference and eight accepted for the Southeastern Surgical Conference,” Assistant Professor Dr. Sacha McBain said in a note. “Most have a student or resident as first author, and while each student has a faculty project mentor, Dr. Jensen provides crucial overarching support to all of our students to help them accomplish their research goals. I know I would be lost without her and her team!” Thank you Dr. Jensen, and congratulations to those who will be presenting at the upcoming conferences.
Putting Patients First
When a medical student makes a great impression on a patient, it makes our day. A patient at the VA recently took the time to praise the efforts of several members of the health care team – and third-year medical student Vanessa Bastidas was at the top of the list. The patient noticed the great care that Vanessa, who was on her Internal Medicine rotation, took to learn about the patient’s situation and to communicate effectively. “She helped me to understand why I was there and what I was going through,” the patient wrote. “She helped me to relax and understand the process.” Faculty and residents have noticed Vanessa’s work, too, describing her as hardworking and integral to the team. Well done, Vanessa!
Congratulations to Dr. Jerrilyn Jones, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, and Dr. Jessica Snowden, Professor and Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, on being named to Arkansas Money and Politics’ 2021 Power Women list. Honorees were nominated by AMP readers and selected for blazing trails, exhibiting outstanding leadership or enhancing their company or organization’s performance.
At UAMS, Dr. Jones’ leadership roles include directing our new Medical Scholars in Public Health program. She also serves as Medical Director for Preparedness and Response at the Arkansas Department of Health and has served on an advisory group to Gov. Asa Hutchinson during the pandemic. Earlier this year, she received the Arkansas First Lady’s Woman in Public Service Award.
In addition to serving as a Division Chief, Dr. Snowden is Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics. She is also Co-Principal Investigator of the IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network’s UAMS-based Data Coordinating and Operations Center and recently became the site leader at the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute for a new 14-state NIH-funded consortium focusing on pediatric COVID-19 long haul cases. Here’s a Q&A with Dr. Snowden from the AMP feature.
Team Science in Action
When Arkansas’ first case of the Omicron variant was confirmed last week, the discovery was the result of sequencing by Sangam Kandel, a Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) Ph.D. student working with a team of faculty, staff and students at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI). The team is sequencing SARS-CoV-2 samples from UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Baptist Health and the Arkansas Department of Health to learn more about variants circulating in the state.
The project is led by Department of Pediatrics Associate Professor Dr. Josh Kennedy as an extension of Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Professor Dr. Alan Tackett’s NIH-funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). DBMI Professor Dr. David Ussery, who is also working with the group, notes that the equipment, staffing and other costs of this important project were made possible by five different external and internal funding sources as well as team members from many areas. This is true team science in action. Kudos to Sangam and the entire group for their outstanding work!
Happy Holidays, and Thank You
Finally this week, I want thank all of you for your collegiality and hard work this year. Learning about your accomplishments and sharing them with colleagues across the college has been a delight. I look forward to hearing more great stories of excellence in 2022.
Enjoy the holidays!
Accolades will return on Jan. 5.