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!
Shoring up the Pipeline
Arkansas needs more doctors, but social, economic or geographic disadvantages often create academic barriers that prevent promising medical school applicants from being accepted, or from thriving academically after they are admitted. The College of Medicine, in collaboration with the College of Public Health, is launching a post-baccalaureate program this year to keep young Arkansans who have great potential to become outstanding and compassionate physicians in the pipeline.
Participants in the one-year Medical Scholars in Public Health (MSPH) program will begin working toward master’s degrees in public health while studying to retake the Medical College Entrance Exam (MCAT) and participating in an academic success program that includes one-on-one faculty coaching and much more.
Jerrilyn Jones, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, has been named Director of the program. I want to thank Dr. Jones for agreeing to serve in this important role, as well as members of the COM Admissions Committee, who will be integral in identifying potential participants. Special thanks to Dr. Sara Tariq, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, for her leadership of the MSPH planning committee, and the committee members: Drs. Edgar Meyer, David Davies, Gloria Richard-Davis, Billy Thomas, James Graham, Karina Clemmons, Jasna Vuk and Jeanne McLachlin; Mr. Tom South, Ms. Amber Booth and Ms. Kimberlyn Blann-Anderson.
Thank You, Arkansas Children’s
With the care of all adult trauma patients back at UAMS as of this week, I want to thank Arkansas Children’s leadership, faculty physicians and clinical team members for the excellent care they provided for adult patients over the past couple of months as we prepared for a surge in patients at UAMS due to COVID-19. We are grateful, as always, for the partnership of Arkansas Children’s on behalf of patients across Arkansas.
Congratulations to the recipients of UAMS Interprofessional Education (IPE) Small Grant Program awards: Dr. Sacha McBain, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Surgery; Dr. Gary Lewis, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology; and Emily Freeman, MHSA, Director of the UAMS Faculty Center. The focus of this year’s awards from the Office of Interprofessional Education and the Provost’s Office was on projects to address objectives in the UAMS Vision 2029 strategic plan. Read more in this week’s announcement from the Provost’s Office.
An article by Dr. Giulia Baldini, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Dr. Kevin Phelan, Professor of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, was one of the top five most-cited articles in the Journal of Endocrinology in 2020. Dr. Baldini and Dr. Phelan coauthored “The melanocortin pathway and control of appetite – progress and therapeutic implications,” which was published in April 2019. Congratulations.
Scholars & Mentors
The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is doing a fantastic job on scholarly projects with medical students. M2 student Jessica Campbell was second-author on an article, “Operative and postoperative outcomes in elderly patients undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery” in the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. She collaborated with Dr. Olivia Daigle and research fellow Dr. J. Reed Gardner, under the guidance of senior author and faculty member Dr. Alissa Kanaan. M3 students Olivia Speed and Kesley Brown coauthored an article, “Impact of surgery for velopharyngeal insufficiency on eustachian tube function in children: pharyngeal flap versus sphincter pharyngoplasty,” in the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal. They collaborated with Pediatric ENT fellow Dr. Colin Fuller and Dr. J. Reed Gardner, under the guidance of the senior authors and faculty members Drs. John Dornhoffer, Adam Johnson and Larry Hartzell.
Fourth-year Ophthalmology resident Dr. Joseph Fong and faculty members Dr. Ahmed Sallam and Dr. Joseph Chacko co-authored an insightful case study in the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology. In “Vitreopapillary Traction Masquerading as Papillitis and Papilledema,” the colleagues showed that vitreopapillary traction, a process localized in the eye, can simulate a stroke or papilledema from a brain tumor. Early identification of the condition can avoid an unnecessary MRI and spinal tap. Well done.
For the first time ever, the Department of Emergency Medicine has three faculty members simultaneously nominated for national office positions in the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). The SAEM nominating committee tapped Dr. Amanda Young, Assistant Professor, Director of EM Simulation Education and Assistant Residency Program Director, as a candidate for the Simulation Academy Executive Committee. Assistant Professor and Emergency Medicine Clerkship Director Dr. Christopher Fowler was nominated for the SAEM Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine Executive Committee. Dr. Tony Seupaul, the Stanley E. Reed Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine and UAMS Medical Center Chief Clinical Officer, was nominated to serve on the Board of Directors for the Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine. Congratulations to all.
Dr. Martin Radvany, Professor and Chief of Interventional Neuroradiology, was the featured guest on recent episodes of the BackTable podcast, a resource for vascular and interventional specialists. Dr. Radvany discussed the role of interventional radiologists in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. Read more and get the links here. Great job, Dr. Radvany.
Above & Beyond
Imagine being on your own in a country without family and having an urgent medical condition arise. When Dr. Alissa Kanaan, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, learned of difficulties a young man in Northwest Arkansas was facing (through her own connections with a neurologist in Paris), she reached out to Dr. Lee Archer, Professor and Chair of Neurology, and Dr. Joseph Chacko, Professor of Ophthalmology. Without hesitation, they arranged to see the patient and provide the diagnosis and care he needed. Dr. Kanaan said they treated the young man like family. “As I told Dr. Archer, I am extremely proud to work in an institution that has great people like him and Dr. Chacko; not only for their great skills and expertise, but also for their compassion and willingness to help.”