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!
Culture of Health
Congratulations to Dr. Rosemary Nabaweesi, Assistant Professor in the Community Pediatrics Division of the Department of Pediatrics, on being selected for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ) Culture of Health Leaders program. Dr. Nabaweesi, who also serves as Senior Director of Research and Evaluation for the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will use skills developed through the three-year curriculum, along with RWJ funding support, to develop a community-based, cross-sector strategic initiative focused on creating an optimal culture of health and addressing health inequity in the Arkansas Delta. Read more here.
Congratulations to Dr. Lawrence Tarbox, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Director of the UAMS Center for High Performance Computing, on his re-election to a second two-year term as the User Co-Chair of the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) Standards Committee. DICOM is the international standard for medical images and related information.
Faculty researchers continue to fight COVID-19 on many fronts in labs across UAMS and our partnering institutions. At the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, a prolific colleague is Associate Professor of Geriatrics Dr. Kalpana Padala. Among many activities, Dr. Padala is the site Principal Investigator for both the Romark/VA Nitazoxanide study for prophylaxis against COVID infection among residents in long-term care facilities and the Janssen/ENSEMBLE vaccine trial (which is also being conducted separately at UAMS). Dr. Padala’s team recently published nine COVID-related publications addressing a wide range of issues, including disproportionately lower internet access and capability for video visits among older rural veterans. Her team also found that the pandemic has increased loneliness, worsened behavioral problems in the context of dementia, and disrupted care in those with serious mental illness.
The Translational Research Institute (TRI) and UAMS Center for Implementation Research (CIR) have selected five faculty members as the 2021 Implementation Scholars. Congratulations to Dr. Laura Jean Hobart-Porter (Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation); Dr. Kyle Kalkwarf (Surgery); Dr. Riley Lipschitz (Internal Medicine); Dr. Aravindhan Veerapandiyan (Pediatrics); and Dr. Elizabeth Riley (College of Nursing). Read more about the scholars and their projects for the two-year program in the TRI newsroom.
Associate Dean Dr. Molly Gathright and the Graduate Medical Education team are doing a great job to support and improve our internal residency and fellowship programs and graduate medical education across the state. An important initiative, the Pathway to Program Excellence educational program, recently got a boost with a $30,000 Chancellor’s Circle Grant. My thanks to the GME team, and congratulations on the grant!
Active Learning Insights
Congratulations to Dr. Stanley Ellis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of Education for the Institute for Digital Health and Innovation, and Dr. Taren Swindle, Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine,for their recent publication in MedEdPublish, an official journal of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE). Their article, “Exploration of an Integrated Active Learning Strategy to Balance Student Workload in a Mixed Level Research Methods Course,” addresses how integrating active learning strategies from Team Based Learning (TBL) and Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) pedagogies aids in reducing the perceptions of workload imbalance among team members in a research methods course.
Service to Arkansas
Emergency Medicine physicians and their patients throughout Arkansas will benefit from the leadership of Dr. Brian Hohertz, Professor of Emergency Medicine, as the newly installed President of the Arkansas Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Assistant Professor Dr. Lauren Evans was selected as President-Elect during the annual chapter meeting last week. Thank you both for your service to our state.
Anesthesiology colleagues presented an excellent case series, “Erector Spinae Blocks for Axillary Pain Not Covered by Interscalene Blocks in Shoulder Patients,” at the American Society of Regional Anesthesia’s recent virtual Annual Pain Medicine Meeting. The case series was produced by residents Dr. Cash Arcement and Dr. Duy Ha; faculty members Dr. Trina Kleiver and Dr. Matthew Spond; and Floyd Nutter, RN.
Congratulations to M4 student Jasmine McKissick on receiving a 2021 STFM Foundation Student Scholarship from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. The highly competitive scholarship recognizes some of the best and brightest medical students nationwide who have shown strong potential for a career in academic family medicine through their scholastic, volunteer and leadership pursuits. Jasmine and fellow honorees will attend and have the opportunity to present posters at STFM’s virtual annual conference next February.
The pandemic thwarted the Department of Pathology’s annual volunteer service day with the Arkansas Food Bank – but not the team’s determination to make a difference for those in need. Staff, faculty and residents raised $2,045 in monetary gifts and collected 148 pounds of food items, supporting an incredible 10,403 meals through the Food Bank. Kudos to project lead Dr. Sara Shalin and all who pitched in.
A shout-out to second-year medical students Anapaula Rojas and Vanessa Bastidas for their work to make this holiday season a little brighter for older Arkansans. Working with the UAMS Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC), Anapaula and Vanessa recently presented a virtual program, “Festive Crafts for Seniors.” They also organized a “Holiday Note of Cheer” drive to have medical students make cards for residents of a local nursing home, on behalf of the UAMS Student National Medical Association Outreach Committee and AGEC. The projects, supported with a HRSA COVID Cares grant to AGEC, are designed to help decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness in older adults due to the pandemic.
And finally this week … COVID-19 forced many changes this year, but it certainly didn’t stop Medicine-Pediatrics resident Dr. Tommy Martin in his tracks. Far from it! Dr. Martin, an Ironman triathlete, was scheduled to race in Florida in November. With the race canceled, he completed his own personal challenge: successfully swimming, biking and running five Half Ironman races – a total of 350 miles – on five consecutive days. With the help of many contributors, the effort raised at least $8,255 for the Hematology-Oncology program at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, which had to cancel its annual fall fundraiser, the Super Hero Dash-and-Bash, due to the pandemic. The annual event funds toys, snacks, toiletries and much more for patients and families. Way to go!