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!
New Era for Heart Care
UAMS’ first recipient of a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) recently headed home to a far better quality of life thanks to the dedication of many team members in the new Heart Restoration Program. As Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson said in a news story, this signals a new era for UAMS, including heart transplants in the near future. Dr. Paul Mounsey, Director of the UAMS Health Heart Center and the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Dr. Jay Bhama, Surgical Director of the Heart Center, Director of the Heart Restoration Program and Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery; along with Dr. Kalai Sivakumar, Medical Director of Advanced Heart Failure, have been instrumental in ushering in this new era. As for the first LVAD patient, Mr. Layman Roseby looks forward to the little things in life, like fishing with his two dogs in tow.
National Mentoring Award
Congratulations to Dr. Alan Diekman, Professor in the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Urology, who will receive the Distinguished Mentor Award from the American Urological Association and Urology Care Foundation at the AUA annual meeting in New Orleans on Saturday. The award recognizes Dr. Diekman for his work with medical students in the area of urology research and his long track record of providing an excellent training environment for early-career investigators. As many of you know, Dr. Diekman is also highly regarded at UAMS for his teaching. At Honors Convocation this month, he will receive his ninth consecutive and 10th overall Golden Apple Award from freshmen. In 2020, he received the COM Master Teacher Award.
NHLBI Committee Appointment
Dr. Paula Roberson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics, will share her expertise in the design, management and data analysis of clinical trials as a member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Single-Site and Pilot Clinical Trials Study Section. Her three-year term on the NIH peer-review committee will start July 1. Congratulations!
Dr. Emmanouil Giorgakis, Assistant Professor in the Division of Transplant Surgery, has been appointed by the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) Executive Committee to a three-year term on the ILTS Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee. The appointment is just the latest example of Dr. Giorgakis’ contributions to scholarly work globally. He also currently serves as guest associate editor for Transplant International, the official journal of the European Society for Organ Transplantation, on the special issue “Organ Reconditioning and Machine Perfusion in Transplantation,” and as an invited editor for Frontiers in Public Health on the Health Economics topic “Assessing the Value and Cost of Organ Donation and Transplantation.”
Beyond End-of-Life Care
UAMS researchers led by Dr. Hanna Jensen, Assistant Professor in the departments of Surgery and Radiology, and with senior medical student John House as first author, have published an article, “the Impact of Palliative Medicine Consultation on Readmission Rates and Hospital Costs in Surgical Patients Requiring Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation,” in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Dr. Jensen and John, along with Dr. Kevin Sexton and Dr. Howard Corwin, also discussed the broader team’s findings in a blog post for the Joint Commission. While palliative care has traditionally been underutilized in surgery, the team identified significant benefits of palliative care for critically ill surgical patients, including lower hospital costs and readmission rates.
Department of Dermatology faculty and residents and several medical students contributed extensively to the recent Arkansas Dermatological Society Annual meeting. Professor Dr. Jay Kincannon moderated case presentations by medical students Sophia Ly, Nikhil Nair, Zainab Atiq, Alyson McKinnon, Devea De and Delice Kayishunge, who were coached and mentored by residents Drs. Jon Rick, Josh Chang, Blake St. Clair, Patrick Phelan, Khiem Tran and Mavina Guram. Assistant Professor Dr. Megan Evans presented “Lumps and Bumps in Infancy and Early Childhood,” and Associate Professor Dr. Vivian Shi presented “Landscape of Immunomodulators for Atopic Dermatitis.”
Impactful Student Research
Haley Feezell, a second-year medical student mentored by the Department of Radiology’s Dr. Teresita Angtuaco, recently presented her research at the annual meeting of the Association of University Radiologists. Her research, titled “Analysis of the efficacy of a clinical decision support system for radiological imaging at an academic hospital,” seeks to reduce imaging overutilization at our institution to benefit our patients and colleagues alike. Haley’s work revealed that the use of clinical decision support (CDS) at UAMS has significantly improved our ability to order images that are in accordance with American College of Radiology guidelines. Collaborators included senior medical student Rachel Graham, Radiology IT lead Scott King, Dr. Nick Kaukis (Biostatistics/College of Public Health), and Dr. Hanna Jensen (Surgery/Radiology). Haley is currently analyzing whether there were significant changes in imaging overuse at UAMS during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally this week, kudos to soon-to-be retiree Dr. Hemendra Shah, Professor of Radiology, for his 40 years of service to UAMS. Dr. Shah has made his mark on many radiology residents through the years. One of them, Dr. Marwan Moussa, now at Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has made a gift to UAMS to establish the Hemendra R. Shah, M.D. Endowed Fund for Excellence in Radiology, which will support resident education in body CT, Dr. Shah’s area of expertise. A numbers of other residents, faculty and friends have contributed to this fund, bringing the endowment to over $40,000. Our thanks to all of these donors for their generosity – and best wishes for your retirement, Dr. Shah!