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!
NCI Investigator Development
Congratulations to Dr. Analiz Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Neurosurgical Oncology, on being accepted for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Early Investigator Advancement program (EIAP). The program facilitates the advancement of scientists from diverse backgrounds to become independent investigators, providing professional and career development for new and early-stage investigators from institutions around the country. This wonderful news comes on the heels of the recent selection of Dr. Rodriguez for the first cohort of the Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program sponsored by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, National Medical Fellowships and the American Association for Cancer Research. Well done, Dr. Rodriguez!
Ensuring Good Health for All
This week, I had the privilege of talking with Dr. Omar Atiq, Professor of Internal Medicine and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, about why it is so crucial for us to strive to eliminate health disparities here in Arkansas and across the country. I interviewed Dr. Atiq for the newest video in our Spotlight on Excellence series. Dr. Atiq has just been voted President-Elect of the American College of Physicians, and he has been a leader in major, evidence-based ACP initiatives to address health disparities and ensure good health for all. His insights will inspire me and many others as our college and UAMS continues to make diversity, equity and inclusion – and ultimately elimination of health disparities among Arkansans – a top priority. In case you haven’t had an opportunity to watch our interview yet, here is a link to the video.
Our Shared Responsibility
Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Executive Director of the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has long championed equity in health care, including initiatives to address disparities that women of color experience in reproductive medicine. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) featured a column by Dr. Richard-Davis on its website to mark Black history month. In “Our Shared Responsibility,” Dr. Richard-Davis touched on some of her work with the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion working committee, which she chairs, and efforts in Arkansas to increase the numbers of Black women and others in the pipeline for physicians and health professionals.
“Community leaders such as doctors should be leading conversations and initiatives to change policies to drive equity,” she wrote. “We are in positions of influence and should leverage our influence in every possible way to support equity.” Thank you for your leadership here in Arkansas and nationally, Dr. Richard-Davis.
Clinical Chemistry Reviewer
A shout-out to Dr. Hoda Hagrass, Assistant Professor of Pathology, on being selected to serve a three-year term as a poster abstract reviewer for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Scientific Meeting. In Arkansas, Dr. Hagrass serves as Medical Director of the Clinical Chemistry and Immunology Laboratories at UAMS and the Clinical Chemistry and Metabolic Diseases Laboratories at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Prestigious Summer Fellowship
And finally this week, congratulations to Megan Clark, a first-year medical student at the UAMS Northwest Campus, on being selected for the 2022 New York University Bellevue Summer Fellowship in Emergency Medicine for Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine. Megan was one of only five students from across the country selected for the highly competitive fellowship. Program officials wrote that her application was a standout in part because of the extensive health care and community volunteer work she has already undertaken in Northwest Arkansas. Additionally, as Dr. Linda Worley, Associate Dean for Northwest Arkansas, said in her letter of support, “Megan is courageous, intelligent, motivated, compassionate, altruistic and inspirational. She lights up a room with her refreshing spirit of cooperation and optimism.” We are proud of you, Megan!