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!
A shout-out to the Department of Internal Medicine and team members from across UAMS Health for their contributions to the System Based Practice Elective, a two-week course designed to teach Internal Medicine residents about navigating the complex landscape of the health care industry. Sixteen UAMS employees were honored at a recent luncheon for their commitment and dedication to the program. They included course instructors Julie Atkins, Catherine Corless, Ann Creel, Carla Elmore, Dr. Bhawna Jha, Ben Muse, Matthew Osburn, Lori Salisbury, Troy Schmit, Melissa Slater, Candy Snellgrove, Alison Stangeby, Dr. Carol Thrush, Monica Watson, Kari White, and course administrator Sheryl Young. Special thanks also to Dr. Ahmed Abuabdou, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Associate Chief Medical Officer, for his leadership of the initiative. Read more here.
Health Disparities Scholar
Congratulations to Dr. Akilah Jefferson-Shah, Assistant Professor in the Allergy and Immunology Section of the Department of Pediatrics, on being named a 2022 Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Dr. Jefferson-Shah was selected for the highly competitive program based on her past accomplishments and for showing great potential as a health disparities researcher. In August, she and other scholars will participate in lectures, seminars, interactive sessions and small group discussions with leading scientists and NIH staff to gain a broad overview of key issues in minority health and health disparities research and enhance grantsmanship. They will also attend a NIMHD Mock Review.
Equity in Obstetric & Gynecological Anesthesia
The June issue of Current Opinion in Anesthesiology is an insightful collection of review articles focusing on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in obstetric and gynecological anesthesia thanks to Anesthesiology Chair Dr. Jill Mhyre, who served as editor, and several UAMS faculty and residents. In addition to Dr. Mhyre’s editorial, the issue includes three articles co-authored by UAMS colleagues on issues relating to disparities in access to gynecologic care, under-treatment of pain, and workforce solutions for addressing disparities. UAMS contributors include Obstetrics and Gynecology residents Dr. Ann Marie Mercier and Dr. Stormie Carter and OB/GYN Chair Dr. Nirvana Manning; Dr. Jaleesa Jackson, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology/Pain Medicine; and Dr. Johnathan Goree, Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and incoming UAMS Medical Center Chief of Staff.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has awarded a Telehealth Equity Catalyst (TEC) award to the Institute for Digital Health & Innovation for the Arkansas Telemedicine Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (TeleSANE), noting that it “stood out as a prime example of effective efforts to advance health care equity and telehealth.” The $15,000 pilot award, one of only three awarded nationwide, will be used to expand the program’s activities and bolster its sustainability. TeleSANE was launched in May 2021 to increase certified nursing access in emergency departments across Arkansas for adult and adolescent victims of sexual assault. The program is one of four U.S. Department of Justice-funded sites harnessing telehealth to improve sexual assault medical-forensic exams through trauma-informed, patient centered care. Well done.
Dr. Gwen Childs, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, was an invited speaker at two national meetings in May. She was a panelist and spoke on the topic of faculty evaluations and improving performance at the meeting of the Association of Medical School Neuroscience Department Chairs. At the American Society of Andrology meeting, she gave a talk on leptin signaling in male reproduction as part of a symposium on metabolism and male reproductive health. We also just learned that a review article by Dr. Childs on the importance of leptin to reproduction was among the top 10% of cited articles published in Endocrinology in 2020-2021. Coauthors were Dr. Angela Odle, Dr. Melanie MacNicol and Dr. Angus MacNicol. Congratulations!
AHA Committee Leadership
Dr. Steven Post, Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Pathology, will continue to lend his expertise as Co-Chair of the American Heart Association’s Peer Review Committee for Established Investigator Awards. Dr. Post, who received the award himself many years ago, has served on the committee since 2012 and has co-chaired it since 2019. At UAMS, his roles include Associate Director of Shared Resources and leader of the Cancer Biology Program in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Director of the UAMS Tissue Biorepository and Procurement Service, and Director of the Experimental Pathology Research Core.
National Radiation Oncology Recognition
Congratulations to Dr. Ganesh Narayanasamy, Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, on receiving the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) Educator of the Year Award. Dr. Narayanasamy was nominated by UAMS Radiation Oncology residents for his outstanding teaching and mentorship.
Dr. R. Dale Blasier, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, has been designated as Elite Reviewer for the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, one of the leading scientific publications in the field of orthopaedic surgery. In addition to reviewing multiple manuscripts, he earned the honor for achieving review ratings in the top 1-2 percentile and other factors. Fewer than 3% of the journal’s reviewers have achieved Elite Reviewer Status. Congratulations.
A shout-out to 2022 College of Medicine graduate Dr. Win Lubana and incoming PGY1 Pediatrics resident Dr. Amy Eisenberg, along with Dr. Laura Hobart-Porter, Associate Professor of Developmental Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, on their poster presentation at the recent national meeting of the Academic Association of Physiatrists. Their research was titled “Late effects of COVID in pediatric patients: one institution’s experience.”
Thank You, Dr. Schulz
Finally this week, I want to take a moment to thank Dr. Thomas Schulz for his many contributions to our educational efforts in Northwest Arkansas as he wraps up his time with UAMS. He has been recruited to Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, where he will serve in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and will be closer to his family. Since joining our faculty in 2015, Dr. Schulz has done an excellent job as the inaugural Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. In partnership with the VA and Mercy hospitals, the program has grown from 24 positions to 33 and is graduating its fourth class of very well trained physicians later this month. Dr. Schulz also has served as Medical Director of the UAMS Neighborhood Clinic and the student-led North Street Clinic, where he has been an exemplary role model for our students and an advocate for patients in need of compassionate, high-quality care. Thank you, Dr. Schulz, and very best wishes for the future.