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!
Congratulations to the Institute for Digital Health & Innovation’s Stacy Petty, APRN, Director of UAMS HealthNow, on her recent, well-earned Daisy Award. Ms. Petty epitomizes the spirit of the award for exemplary nurses at UAMS and around the world. The impact of her work to lead the state’s telemedicine response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been immeasurable. HealthNow facilitated face-to-face digital visits when in-person appointments and medical procedures were severely limited. In addition to receiving vital medical care while avoiding potential exposure to the virus, many Arkansans gained assurance and peace of mind. Kudos, Stacy, for your exemplary service.
Glimpse into the Heart
A recent virtual workshop presented by UAMS’ ArkanSONO program for high school sophomores participating in the American Heart Association’s Sweetheart Program was a great example of the program’s ability to pivot during the pandemic. Students learned about the inner workings of the heart. With funding from a five-year, $1.27 million NIH grant, ArkanSONO exposes students to point-of-care ultrasound and other imaging technologies to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The workshop was a great success thanks to ArkanSONO Director Dr. Kevin D. Phelan, Professor of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, Dr. Tiffany Huitt of the UAMS Department of Physician Assistant Studies, and Internal Medicine Chair Dr. Edward T.H. Yeh.
Congratulations to Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Executive Director of the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, on her new grant from the American Cancer Society and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focused on building healthy communities. The $20,000 grant will be used to install a cooking demonstration kitchen at the 12th Street police station, support UAMS’ boxed food program launch, install a demonstration kitchen, build a raised-bed community garden, and host a provider course on cancer prevention and nutrition later this month. Also recently, Dr. Richard-Davis was the guest for an American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s ASRM Today podcast, discussing a book on fertility that she co-authored, “Planning Parenthood: Strategies for Success.”
Anatomy Teaching Innovations
Dr. Edgar Meyer, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, did a great job chairing a session at the Experimental Biology 2021 conference last week. The session focused on innovative technology applications and teaching designs to support the requirements and resiliency of current anatomical education. Dr. Meyer also delivered the final presentation in the session, “Prosections to Virtual Explorations: Transitions in a Physician Assistant Gross Anatomy Course and Beyond. The College of Health Professions’ Dr. Tiffany Huitt, lent her expertise as a coauthor on the presentation.
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery faculty, residents and fellows, along with medical students, collaborated on several recent publications and presentations. These projects are outstanding and epitomize the integration of education, clinical care and research at UAMS. Participants in these various efforts include faculty members Drs. Alissa Kanaan, Mauricio Moreno, Gresham Richter, Ozlem Tulunay Ugur and Emre Vural; residents and fellows Drs. Olivia Daigle, Quinn Dunlap, J. Reed Gardner and Tyler Merrill; and medical students Jessica Campbell, William Mitchell, Jennifer Silva-Nash and Merit Turner. Read about their projects here.
Dr. Carly Eastin, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, has been elected as the incoming Chair of the Evidence Based Medicine Interest Group in the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. At UAMS, Dr. Eastin serves as Co-Chief for the Division of Evidence Based Medicine and Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine and as Director for the EBM component of Practice of Medicine in the College of Medicine. Congratulations.
Dr. Omar T. Atiq, Professor of Internal Medicine and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, served as an invited faculty member for Internal Medicine Meeting 2021, the American College of Physicians’ premier annual meeting, held April 29-May 1. Dr. Atiq presented a talk, “Addressing Disparities and Discrimination in Health Care,” during a session on “Hot Topics in Health Care.” Thanks to Dr. Atiq for his ongoing national leadership in the ACP on these important issues.
First-year Radiology resident Dr. George Vilanilam had an abstract accepted for the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET 2021) – and selected for publication online in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. Dr. Vilanilam will present his work, “Use of a Stent Retriever to Treat Severe Intracranial Vasospasm Refractory to Intra-arterial Vasodilator Infusion” virtually. Mentors for the project were Dr. Martin Radvany and Dr. Mudassar Kamran. Dr. Vilanilam also received the Residents and Fellows Activity Scholarship for ISET 2021. Well done.
The recent news that UAMS ranked seventh nationally on Forbes magazine’s annual list of Best Employers for Diversity is a reflection of one of UAMS’ greatest strengths: our team. And because we are a diverse team that respects and values the contributions of all, we are better able to accomplish our missions in education, research and clinical care. The ranking is the result of commitment to our core value of diversity, equity and inclusion. Special thanks for the leadership and efforts of Dr. Brian Gittens, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Danielle Lombard-Sims, Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer, Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis, Executive Director of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and their amazing teams.
No Place Like Home
Finally this week, I am delighted to tell you about the 10th annual UAMS NICU Reunion, which was held virtually on April 24 with the apt theme of “There’s no place like home.” Dr. Sara E. Peeples, NICU Medical Director, moderated the event with a scene from the yellow brick road in “The Wizard of Oz” as her background. Former NICU patients and families shared stories of the impact of the outstanding care they received at UAMS, and several UAMS team members shared information and answered questions.
Among the many contributors were Becky Sartini, Assistant Nursing Director for the Inpatient Women and Infant Service Line; faculty physicians Drs. Steven Dahl, Jared Beavers and Blair Beavers; Sarah Rhoads, Ph.D., APRN; and Child Safety Coordinator Heather Smith. Kudos to all for creating a magical event for our NICU families. If you could use a smile today, check out the full recording of the event on the NICU Facebook page, a very creative message to the NICU’s “munchkins” here, and a video about the NICU’s Angel Eye camera system that has long allowed families to maintain contact with their babies from home.