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!
Excellence in Teaching, Academic and Student Leadership
The College of Medicine Honors Convocation ceremony last Friday evening and UAMS Commencement ceremony on Saturday were both incredibly moving and inspiring. It was such an honor to participate in these events for the first time. I want to thank our Academic Affairs and Student Affairs teams for once again doing a fantastic job with Honors Convocation and to thank all of the speakers, presenters and participants.
I also want to congratulate the College of Medicine faculty members and residents who were recognized for teaching excellence. Dr. Gregory Snead, Professor and Vice Chair of Emergency Medicine, received the Chancellor’s Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence at UAMS Commencement.
At our Honors Convocation, Dr. Sung Rhee, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, delivered the Faculty Charge and also was selected by students as this year’s Senior Golden Apple Award recipient. The Junior Golden Apple went to Dr. Lindsey Sward, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Sophomores awarded their Golden Apple to Dr. Manisha Singh, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine/Nephrology. Dr. Alan Diekman, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was the Freshman Golden Apple recipient. Earlier, COM students at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus honored Dr. Sharon Reece, Assistant Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine, as their inaugural Golden Apple honoree.
Also at Honors Convocation, fourth-year General Surgery resident Dr. Tamara Osborn was recognized as Resident of the Year. For the Northwest Campus, third-year Internal Medicine residents Dr. Tony Hoyt and Dr. James Tullis received awards for Resident Physician Teaching Excellence.
Watch for lists of this year’s Red Sash and Gold Sash recipients in the COMmunication newsletter later this week. Meanwhile congratulations to all of these outstanding educators and, of course, the Class of 2022!
Pediatric Health IT Standards
Clinical informaticians from the departments of Pediatrics and Biomedical Informatics recently completed a two-year project to develop national electronic health record (EHR) system standards to improve care for pediatric patients. Dr. Pele Yu, Chief Medical Information Officer at Arkansas Children’s and Professor of Pediatrics, Biomedical Informatics and Public Health, co-chaired the effort as part of the Health Level Seven International (HL7) EHR Working Group. The resulting standards officially launched in May. Dr. Yu is Program Director of the UAMS Clinical Informatics (CI) Fellowship Program. CI fellows Dr. Daniel Liu, Dr. Lori Wong and Dr. Obeid Shafi contributed to the project and published an account of their experience in Applied Clinical Informatics. Read more on the Biomedical Informatics website.
National Honor for Incoming Resident
Congratulations to incoming PGY1 Neurosurgery resident Dr. Stenia Accilien, who has been awarded the national James E. Boggan Award. The award is presented to exceptional aspiring neurosurgeons with the goal of encouraging medical students from underrepresented groups to enter the field. Haitian born Dr. Accilien is a graduate of Florida State University College of Medicine, where she served as Class President. We are thrilled to have Dr. Accilien join Team UAMS!
Surgical Research Symposium
The inaugural UAMS Surgical Research Symposium was a great success last week thanks to the many faculty, residents and medical students who participated. The event showcased the diverse areas of research performed in the Department of Surgery focused on the generation of novel therapies and devices and modification of standard treatment protocols for improving patient care and outcomes across the UAMS campus. Presentation awards went to third-year medical student Tarendeep Thind – Best Overall; 2022 graduate Dr. Hailey Hardgrave – Chair’s Choice; and third-year student Samuel Byrd – Speaker’s Choice. Special thanks to Dr. Marie Burdine, Director of the Division of Surgical Research, Assistant Professor Dr. Hanna Jensen and Grants Manager Sandy Moore, MA, for their leadership and coordination of the symposium. Thanks also to keynote speaker Dr. Joshua Smith, who delivered an excellent talk highlighting his impressive research as a surgeon-scientist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Read more on the Department of Surgery website.
Expertise Highlighted in ACNC Webinar Series
The Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center (ACNC) is doing an excellent job hosting a three-part webinar series in partnership with the Institute for Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences. The series of 90-minute webinars began May 17 with an overview of the ACNC by Director and Developmental Nutrition Section Chief Dr. Mario Ferruzzi and presentations focused on early-life determinants of metabolic health, including fitness and physical activity, by Pediatrics faculty members Dr. Elisabet Borsheim and Dr. Craig Porter. The series continued on Monday with talks focused on connections between the gut and the brain with Dr. Linda Larson-Prior (Psychiatry), Dr. Xiawei Ou (Radiology/Pediatrics) and Dr. Laxmi Yeruva (USDA-ARS). The series concludes tomorrow morning with a focus on maternal and child diet and physical activity with presenters Dr. Aline Andres (Pediatrics) and Dr. Taren Swindle (Family and Preventive Medicine).
A shout-out to Pediatric Pulmonology fellow Dr. Jordan Fett and the labs of Dr. John Carroll at Arkansas Children’s and Dr. Roy Morello in Physiology and Cell Biology on their new article in Physiological Reports. Dr. Fett is first author on “Haploinsufficiency of Col5a1 causes intrinsic lung and respiratory changes in a mouse model of classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.” The paper is the first comprehensive characterization of respiratory abnormalities and pulmonary function in a mouse model of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a group of inherited disorders that affect connective tissues, primarily the skin, joints and walls of blood vessels. Milena Dimori, a Research Assistant in Dr. Morello’s lab, also contributed to the project.
The Operating Table
Fifth-year Neurosurgery resident Dr. Matthew Helton did a great job presenting “The Operating Table – Past, Present, and Future,” at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting in Philadelphia earlier this month. Dr. Helton conducted his project with the help and guidance of Neurosurgery Professor Dr. T. Glenn Pait and Associate Professor Dr. Noojan Kazemi.
Fellows Research Day
Congratulations to the outstanding fellows who received awards at the Department of Pediatrics Fellows Annual Research Day on May 19. The Samuel D. Smith Outstanding Fellow of the Year Award went to Dr. Patrick Bonasso (Pediatric Surgery). The inaugural Outstanding Fellow Educator of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Mary Littrell (Hematology/Oncology). The Best Abstract, Poster and Oral Presentation awards went to Dr. C. Preston Pugh (Neonatology), Dr. Murad Almasri (Pediatric Cardiology), and Dr. Jacob Wooldridge (Clinical Informatics), respectively. For more information and photos from the event, click here.
Improving Services for Epilepsy Patients
Thanks to team members in the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, patients with implanted Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) devices can now have MRIs performed more quickly. Jason Guell, MRSO, and Emily Casson, LPN, are believed to be the first MRI technologist and LPN combo in the country to be trained for VNS device management – bypassing the need for having a Neurology resident or attending step aside from other urgent duties, or even having a VNS company representative come in from out of state, which can delay the MRI. The newly trained team members provide coverage on workdays, and when additional MRI technologists are trained, they will also provide services after hours in lieu of neurologists. This is a big win for patient accessibility, convenience and satisfaction. Kudos to Jason and Emily, along with Dr. Viktoras Palys, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Surgical Director of the center and Quality and Safety Officer for the Neuroscience Service Line, and MRI tech leader Gregory Martin.