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!
Kudos to the UAMS Institute for Digital Health and Innovation (IDHI), the Department of Biomedical Informatics and UAMS Information Technology (IT) for their work to create a novel “copy” of the Epic electronic medical record system specially designed for students, residents and researchers. Special thanks to Dr. Kevin Sexton, Associate Chief Clinical Informatics Officer and Division Director of IDHI Innovations, and Dr. Joseph Sanford, IDHI Director, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Clinical Informatics Officer, for their leadership of the project. The copy Epic system uses synthetic data rather than actual patient data, enabling users to experience and learn from the clinical workflows of Epic without putting anyone at risk. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
Luis Juncos, M.D., a Professor in the Division of Nephrology and Director of Nephrology for the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, coauthored an article published last week in Science Translational Medicine and featured on journal’s website homepage. The article focuses on reducing ischemic kidney injury, a major contributor to the development of delayed graft function after transplantation, through application of a synchronization modulation electric field to maintain Na +/K +-ATPase functions. Dr. Juncos collaborated on the paper with researchers at the University of South Florida and others.
National Course Leader
Dr. Lauren Poindexter, an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and primary care sports medicine specialist in Northwest Arkansas, will serve as Co-Director, lecturer and moderator for “The New Metro: Sports Medicine Board Review Course” at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York in June. The nationally advertised course is the only one of its kind in the United States, geared toward primary care sports medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation fellows preparing for board exams, and attendings in the specialty who are preparing for recertification. The course is more comprehensive and exam-focused than other programs sponsored by leading institutions.
Congratulations to senior medical student Paige Jones-Brooks on her first-place win for “Start Your Chest Compressions,” her first-ever speech in a Toastmasters competition. She was participating in the District 43-Area B2 competition on Saturday through the newly launched UAMS Confident Communicators Toastmasters Club for underrepresented students, and will now move on to the Division Competition on April 2. Toastmasters International is an educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills to build confident speakers, communicators and leaders. Paige serves as Vice President of Membership for the UAMS club. (Students interested in joining the club can contact Sharanda Williams, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity, for more information.)
A shout-out to Dr. Katy Marino, Assistant Professor in the Division of Thoracic Surgery, and her team on the recent completion of the first minimally invasive, robotic assisted lung lobectomy performed at UAMS and in central Arkansas using the new Intuitive da Vinci Xi platform. The achievement is a clear reflection of Dr. Marino’s commitment to advanced training and her dedication to providing patients with the best possible care. Well done, Dr. Marino!
Dr. Husam Salah, a third-year Internal Medicine resident who will serve as Chief Resident next year, is the first author of a meta-analysis accepted for publication in the American Journal of Cardiology. Dr. Salah collaborated with his mentor, Associate Professor Dr. Srikanth Vallurupalli, and other current and former Cardiovascular Medicine colleagues on a meta-analysis of studies comparing anterior-lateral (AL) versus anterior-posterior (AP) electrode position for biphasic cardioversion in atrial fibrillation.
I continue to be amazed at the generosity of UAMS alumni, former patients and so many others who contribute to our scholarships, programs and initiatives in support of our mission. Just as wonderful is the inspiration for so many gifts – you! One recent example is a $1 million gift from 1979 alumnus Dr. Mark Harriman to support the new Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery under Dr. Lowry Barnes’ stellar leadership. Another example is a $1 million pledge from an anonymous, grateful patient to honor the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s Dr. James Suen through a future endowed chair focused on research into trigeminal neuralgia, an excruciatingly painful condition that typically involves the lower face and jaw.
Finally this week, I want to take a moment to thank the 12 COM students who were selected and are serving as UAMS Student Ambassadors this year. The program, sponsored by the UAMS Alumni and Annual Giving Office, provides students with opportunities to volunteer, network and serve UAMS alumni. During the pandemic, the student ambassadors have contributed to virtual events, video thank you messages, and assisting with UAMS Day of Giving. Participating COM students include: Kacee Daniels, Elizabeth Draper, Sarah Hall, Michael Held, Clark Kennedy, Brianna Long, ChrisTina Okolo, Meredith Ott, Olivia Speed, Julia Townsley, Matthew Tran and Margaret Woodruff. Thank you all for your service!