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!
Pediatric Research Excellence
I was delighted to learn that the Department of Pediatrics ranked in the top 30 departments for NIH funding in the latest rankings from the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR). In fact, the department’s faculty would rank in the top 20 if funding that flows through ACRI were included in the BRIMR department-based ranking. Regardless, the data reflects the caliber, successes and remarkable dedication of our researchers in Pediatrics and collaborators in many other departments who are involved in research at Arkansas Children’s.
I asked Dr. Jessica Snowden, Professor and Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics, for her perspective. As Dr. Snowden explains, “Research and innovation are critical to our mission to make children better today and healthier tomorrow. Our scientists are national leaders in nutrition, allergy, clinical trials, obesity and many other areas. We are looking forward to continued growth and integration of research even more into everything we do for children in the coming years.”
Dr. Sara Tariq, Professor of Internal Medicine and Associate Dean for Students, has served as a leader in the central Arkansas community in many capacities, including organizations devoted to the health and wellbeing of the underserved, interfaith initiatives and much more. This month, two higher education institutions are separately honoring her for her leadership and service. On March 14, Hendrix College in Conway is presenting Dr. Tariq with the Ethel K. Miller Award for Religion and Social Awareness as part of its annual Steel-Hendrix Awards celebration. And on March 29, Dr. Tariq is the honoree for the annual “Taste of Little Rock” fundraiser for UA Little Rock, her undergraduate alma mater. Congratulations Dr. Tariq. Thank you for all that you do for the community as well as UAMS.
Putting EM on the Map
Congratulations to Dr. Rawle “Tony” Seupaul, Chair of Emergency Medicine and Chief Clinical Officer, on his election to the Board of Directors of the Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Seupaul’s election reflects his outstanding leadership here and nationally, as well as the increasing numbers of nationally-recognized accomplishments in clinical care, education and research of his team. UAMS Emergency Medicine is definitely “on the map.” Well done!
Cancer Coalition Award
Congratulations to Marybeth Curtis, RN, nurse planner in the Community Health & Education Division of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, on receiving the Dr. Fay Boozman Leading Light Award from the Arkansas Cancer Coalition. She will be recognized at the 23rd Arkansas Cancer Summit next Tuesday. The ACC is honoring Marybeth for her commitment and tireless work with her team to plan and conduct multiple fall and spring educational conferences for the ACC and UAMS – efforts that have led to sustained or increased attendance at the events despite having to pivot to a virtual format during the pandemic.
Community Service Recognition
Dr. Pearl McElfish was honored by the Northwest Arkansas Council last week for her many contributions to advancing health in the region, including her research and outreach to protect vulnerable populations during the pandemic and beyond. The Council presented Dr. McElfish, Director of the Office of Community Health and Research, with its Community Service Award. Read more about this latest well-earned honor for Dr. McElfish here.
Geriatrics in the Spotlight
The Department of Geriatrics will be in the spotlight at the annual American Geriatrics Society meeting in May, with a poster by Assistant Professor Dr. Xiaomin Zhang and colleagues, “Analysis of fifteen sirtuin gene isoforms in the mouse genome,” selected for the Presidential Poster Session. Dr. Zhang’s poster was one of eight from UAMS accepted for the conference, including two with student authors. Junior Chandler Kern was first author on “Caregiver Burden Survey: A Tool for Assessing the Stress Burden in Caregivers of Elderly Patients. Junior Micah Huckabee was first author on “Difference in the Emotional Impact and Coping Strategies towards COVID-19 in Young versus Older Adults Residing in South Central United States,” with senior Anna Blach as a co-author. Many outstanding research associates and faculty contributed to the posters.
Clinical Informatics Accreditation
A shout-out to the Department of Biomedical Informatics and the Clinical Informatics Fellowship team on achieving full accreditation for the Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The fellowship is one of the first in the nation to gain the national accreditation, which will help us lead the country in a field that is playing an increasingly important role in health care. Special thanks to Biomedical Informatics Chair Dr. Fred Prior, Dr. Feliciano “Pele” Yu Jr., Director of the Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program, Dr. Joseph Sanford, who directs the fellowship program at UAMS, and Program Coordinator Amy Widner. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
Consultant of the Month
Dr. Bharat Dhanireddy, an Assistant Professor in the Hospital Medicine Division of the Department of Internal Medicine, has been named Consultant of the Month by appreciative Emergency Medicine residents. Residents praised him for his excellent patient care and kindness as well as his collegiality and understanding of the needs and constraints of the Emergency Department. Great job, Dr. Dhanireddy.
UAMS Ophthalmology residents dominated the competition in the 2022 USF Eye Institute and Cataract Coach Surgical Video competition, with four residents achieving top honors and Dr. Heather Broyles bringing home the First Place award. Also in the top 16 – chosen for discussion and ranking from entries submitted by residents, fellows and attendings from around the world – were videos from Drs. Abdelrahman Elhusseiny, Muhammad Shamim and Christian Ponder. For more info, see this flyer from the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute. Congratulations to all!