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!
The first NIH-funded Partners in Cancer Research Program for rising second-year medical students is underway in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, and as Dr. Thomas Kelly explains, the goal is “ignite the imaginations of future physicians.” Kudos to Dr. Kelly and Dr. Richard Nicholas, the program leaders, for bringing this initiative to fruition. Thanks also to program evaluator Dr. Beatrice Boateng, program manager Diane McKinstry and the many faculty mentors who are working with students on cancer-related projects. Read more about this exciting program, mentors and the student participants in the UAMS Newsroom.
Student Published in JAMA
Congratulations to third-year medical student Austin Morgan on the publication by JAMA of his insightful study into diversity among the leadership teams at National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers across the country. The article, published in JAMA Network Open, examined racial, ethnic and gender representation and found that individuals in marginalized racial/ethnic groups may face challenges that limit advancement into senior leadership positions. Policies and pipeline programs will be crucial for addressing the leadership disparities. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
Pain Management Insights
Dr. Johnathan Goree, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the Chronic Pain Division, and Dr. Carrie Hyde, Assistant Professor in the Palliative Medicine Division of the Department of Internal Medicine, shared tips for breaking down barriers to meeting patients’ pain needs in an under-resourced state in Practical Pain Management. The UAMS colleagues were invited to author the article, published last week in the nation’s premier teaching journal for clinicians in the field, after collaborating on a national talk last fall. Their work generated many positive observations about the strides UAMS has made to provide excellent, comprehensive pain care for patients despite barriers such as literacy, health and lifestyle factors and access to mental health care.
Congratulations to our colleagues in Neurology, Neurosurgery and the Neurosciences Service Line for wrapping up a banner year in FY21 across our clinical and academic mission areas. UAMS received recertification of our Comprehensive Stroke Center and Level 4 Epilepsy Center designations. Our Movement Disorders Team attained Center of Excellence Status for the Huntington’s Disease Clinic, and there were many surgical “firsts.” The service line partnered with the Institute for Digital Health & Innovation to contract with two outside hospitals to provide inpatient neurological consults, expanding access to neurological care for Arkansans. Scholarly output also was impressive with accomplishments such as 100% faculty participation in scholarly activities by Neurosurgery faculty this year.
Great Way to Start
It would be hard to beat the first week on the faculty that Isis Martel, M.S., an Instructor in the Research and Evaluation Division (RED) of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, experienced. The former Research Program Manager in the department has made many contributions to RED initiatives. But less than a week into her new faculty role, she received a 5-year, $2 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) for an initiative to fill a trauma-specific services gap for children of women with substance use disorders in Northwest Arkansas. Read more about the project, Parents and Children Together (PACT), here.
Cancer Testing Guidelines
Dr. Donald Johann, Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Internal Medicine, is among the national leaders to coauthor a second important paper published recently in the high-impact journal Genome Biology. The paper concerns the establishment of new actionable guidelines for cancer gene panel-based Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and will help to better facilitate the rapid implementation, validation and quality control of oncopanel testing in clinical use. UAMS is involved in national efforts to bring more advanced NGS assays to the clinic for our patients. Well done.
Residency Celebrations & Honors
I have been enjoying the opportunity to highlight many of the awards presented to residents, fellows, faculty and staff at ceremonies for our graduating residents and fellows last month. This week I am pleased to share the awards presented in three departments.
The Department of Family and Preventive Medicine celebrated graduates of the Little Rock Family Medicine Residency Program, along with outstanding faculty, on June 25. Residents were honored for overall excellence, scholarly work, fostering strong physician-patient relationships, medical student teaching and much more. Click here to see who was honored.
The Department of Radiology honored graduating residents in a June 5 virtual ceremony. Awards were presented to both residents and faculty for professionalism, research, teaching, excellence in the practice of radiology and outstanding support for residents. See who was honored here.
The Department of Surgery paid tribute to graduating residents and fellows in a June 19 virtual ceremony. Awards were presented for faculty and all levels of trainees, from an “Iron Intern” to a research-savvy fellow. Faculty, residents and medical students voted on various honors. Click here to learn about the honorees.
The onboarding of new residents and offboarding of graduating trainees each summer is no small feat. For many of her 41 years at UAMS, Assistant Dean for Housestaff Dwana McKay and her team in the Housestaff Office have orchestrated many of the steps in these processes, ensuring that our residents have what they need to be successful during residency and beyond. This year, 221 residents and fellows joined our campus, and each one of them benefits from Dwana’s attention to detail as well as the wonderful efforts of our GME and residency/fellowship program teams. “Dwana’s shop” is tucked in the back corner of the Dean’s Office suite, and her work may go unnoticed. Here’s a shout-out to Dwana and team members Suzie Robertson and Christy Brazil for their excellent work and dedication!
Consultant of the Month
Third-year Otolaryngology resident Dr. Mary Catherine Brown is being honored by Emergency Medicine residents as their newest Consultant of the Month. Residents appreciated Dr. Brown for taking advantage of opportunities to teach while on consults and her willingness to help patients – and the Emergency Department team – at any hour of the day or night. “Dr. Brown is always willing to come see patients and goes above and beyond to take care of them,” one resident said. Congratulations Dr. Brown!
Accolades is taking next week “off” – which could serve as a reminder about the importance of finding a little time to relax, rejuvenate and connect with family and friends. I hope you have an opportunity this summer to do just that! If you are traveling or getting together with others, please remember to follow COVID-19 precautions to keep you and those you love safe. Accolades will return on Wednesday, July 28.