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!
Inspiring Future Cancer Scientists
Dr. Tom Kelly, Professor of Pathology and Associate Director for Cancer Research Training and Education in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, has strived to encourage and inspire future generations of cancer researchers through multiple initiatives over the years. The Little Rock School District recently recognized Dr. Kelly with a Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) “Partners in Education” award for his outstanding service on behalf of the district.
Dr. Kelly was nominated by Nancy Rousseau, Principal of Little Rock Central High School, for his work to establish the Cancer Institute’s awards for outstanding cancer research by science fair participants. The Cancer Institute has been a formal VIPS partner for the district since 2022, providing judges and mentors for competitions. Dr. Kelly has presented the Institute awards at the Arkansas State Science Fair since 2021 and in additional local and regional fairs for the past two years. Each year, winners are invited to present their work at the Cancer Institute. In April, the Cancer Institute celebrated 50 students from five schools at the “Celebration of Student Discovery.” Congratulations to Dr. Kelly on this well-earned award.
Otolaryngology National Conferences
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery faculty and trainees contributed to a number of recent national conferences. Dr. Larry Hartzell, Associate Professor, served as Chair for the Otolaryngology and Audiology Discipline Forum at the American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association Annual Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, last week. Meanwhile, at the Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meeting (COSM) in Boston, third-year resident Dr. Celeste Gibson presented during a scientific session on pediatrics and foreign bodies, on a case involving a .22 caliber bullet that was discharged into the airway of a three-year-old. Dr. Ozlem Tulunay-Ugur, Professor, presented a poster on the effects of swallowing exercises in healthy older adults for the American Broncho-Esophageal Association Program at COSM.
Honors in Underserved Primary Care
The graduating class of 2023 includes the first cohort in our Honors in Underserved Primary Care (HUPC) track. The track was developed under the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Medical Student Education Grant to increase exposure to quality experiences in rural and medically underserved areas and, ultimately, to generate excellent physicians for these communities. The first HUPC class includes Alexandra Diaz-Cruz, who will train in Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago; Morgan Campbell, who matched in Neurology at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Hospital; and Andrew Campbell, who will train in Medicine-Pediatrics at Ann Arbor. I join with Vice Chancellor Dr. Richard Turnage and the HUPC grant team in UAMS Regional Campuses and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, in congratulating these honors graduates.
“Pit Crew” Builds Wheels for Special Needs Children
A volunteer “pit crew” of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) residents, Pediatrics PM&R faculty members and a medical student recently teamed up with faculty and students at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) to build modified toy vehicles for children with significant mobility impairment. The “Go Baby Go” event, hosted by UCA in partnership with Arkansas Children’s Hospital, provided retrofitted ride-on toy Jeeps for four children with special needs. Read more and check out the smile on one of the recipients here. The UAMS crew included residents Dr. Jonathan Ross, Dr. Neha Anand and Dr. Daniel Trinh, Associate Professor and PM&R Section Chief Dr. Laura Hobart-Porter, Professor Dr. Vikki Stefans, and third-year medical student Aaron Gaul. Way to go!
Congratulations to Dr. Leonard Ferdman, a first-year resident in the UAMS Northwest Internal Medicine Residency, on taking home first place in the poster competition at the recent Arkansas Rheumatology Association conference. He earned top honors for a rheumatology-related case poster presentation.
Putting Patients First
Collegiality and teamwork are hallmarks of our college. Dr. Hakan Paydak, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, shared a great story about efforts to help a former patient from another country who had increasing concerns about potential pulmonary issues. Concerned about the level of specialty care back home, the patient hoped to be seen at UAMS during a planned brief return visit to Little Rock. Dr. Paydak praised the work of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Professor Dr. Manish Joshi and Assistant Professor Dr. Jose Caceres, along with Shatericka McKenzie, RN, to make sure the patient was worked in and received excellent care.