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!
First for Arkansas Kids with Epilepsy
Arkansas children with epilepsy receive world-class care thanks to UAMS and Arkansas Children’s team members across multiple disciplines. In the surgical arena, a historic first for the state occurred Jan. 23 with the first deep brain stimulator (DBS) implantation of a patient with epilepsy at Arkansas Children’s. The procedure was performed by Dr. Viktoras Palys, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Surgical Director of the Level 4 Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, and Dr. Gregory Albert, Professor of Neurosurgery and Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery. DBS for children with epilepsy remains relatively rare across the country. In fact, Dr. Palys performed the first adult case for a patient with epilepsy in Arkansas in December 2020. Last November, Dr. Palys and Dr. Albert performed another first for Arkansas – the first pediatric laser ablation (LITT) surgery for epilepsy. Kudos to these outstanding neurosurgeons and their colleagues.
National Diversity Award
Congratulations to Dr. Ramona Rhodes, Associate Professor of Geriatrics, on being selected for the Richard Payne Outstanding Achievement in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). Dr. Rhodes will be honored at the AAHPM annual meeting in Montreal in March for her work to improve care for diverse, vulnerable and underrepresented patient populations. Dr. Rhodes serves as Associate Director for Health Services Research in the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.
Prestigious Grand Rounds
A shout-out to Dr. Analiz Rodriguez, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Neurosurgical Oncology, who presented the Neurosurgery Grand Rounds at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine last week. Dr. Rodriguez’s talk was on “Future Directions in the Management of Recurrent Glioblastoma.” Dr. Rodriguez continues to gain national recognition for her expertise, and we are fortunate to have her at UAMS.
National Program Directors Honor
Dr. Shashank Kraleti, Associate Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine and Program Director for the UAMS Little Rock Family Medicine Residency, has been named a recipient of the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD) Program Director Recognition Award at the Silver level. The award is based on accomplishments in areas including scholarly activity, peer and professional development, service to family medicine organizations, and advocacy. This is just the latest of several national honors for Dr. Kraleti, who received the AFMRD award at the Bronze level in 2021. Last fall, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) selected Dr. Kraleti for the 2023 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award, which will be presented later this month. In October, he was featured in the American Academy of Family Physicians’ “Family Doc Focus.”
ED Consultant of the Month
Dr. Marina Joseph, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine, has been selected as the new Consultant of the Month by Emergency Medicine residents. The monthly honor highlights collegial faculty and residents from across the COM – and their impact on both residents and patients in the Emergency Department. As one resident wrote, “Dr. Joseph maintains an elevated level of professionalism and kindness that complements her clinical expertise and confidence well.” Well done, Dr. Joseph.
AHA Predoctoral Fellowships
Congratulations to UAMS graduate students Lance Benson and Soumiya Pal on their predoctoral fellowship awards from the American Heart Association. Lance, who works in the lab of mentor and sponsor Dr. Shengyu Mu, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, will use his one-year award for a project titled “Inappropriate activation of CD8 cells contributes to the pathogenesis of hypertension.” Dr. Nancy Rusch, Distinguished Professor and Chair, is a co-sponsor. Dr. Yuet-Kin “Ricky” Leung (also in Pharmacology) and Dr. Lu Huang (Microbiology and Immunology) are collaborators on Lance’s award. Dr. Mu is also a co-sponsor and Dr. Rusch is a collaborator on Soumiya’s award, for “Mechanism of lymphatic contractile dysfunction in hypertension.” He is a student in the lab of mentor and sponsor Dr. Amanda Stolarz, Assistant Professor in the College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Congratulations & Kudos to our Anatomical Scholars
And finally this week, a well-earned shout-out to the six third-year medical students who served as Anatomical Scholars for the Human Structure module this year. All six actively participated in the weekly journal club and served as teaching assistants in the fall course for freshmen, as well as conducting multiple scholarly research projects. The students prepared four abstracts that have been accepted for presentation at the American Association for Anatomy meeting in Washington, D.C., March 25-27 and will receive travel grants from the Lutterloh Trust for Medical Education Excellence to attend the conference.
Congratulations and thank you to the Anatomical Scholars: Brett Glenn, Larkin Harris, Savana Kuhn, Monroe McKay, Brooke Nunn and Marc Reed. Their abstracts address multiple aspects of the Anatomy Scholars program and its impact in gross anatomy and M1 education, including the benefits of supplemental teaching by “near peers,” student satisfaction, resource utilization and student performance, and the success of traditional vs. digital human anatomy curricula. Faculty collaborators and mentors included Module Director Dr. David Davies, Professor of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, Dr. Hanna Jensen, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Radiology, and Dr. Jasna Vuk, Associate Professor in the Educational and Student Success Center.