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!
National Vaccine Leadership
Congratulations to Dr. Robert Hopkins Jr., Professor and Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine, who has been asked to continue his service on the National Vaccine Advisory Committee to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through September 2025. He also will remain in his role as Chair of the committee, which he has led since early 2019. Dr. Hopkins has provided essential expertise for national decisions on adult and pediatric vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, with a steadfast commitment to assuring their safety and efficacy. He has also been a highly respected source of information for Arkansans and Team UAMS throughout the pandemic. Thank you, Dr. Hopkins. We are so fortunate to have you as a colleague.
USDA Panel Appointment
Dr. Mario Ferruzzi, Director of the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center and Chief of the Section of Developmental Nutrition in the Department of Pediatrics, has been named to a USDA advisory board. Following his nomination by the American Society for Nutrition, Dr. Ferruzzi was appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to lend his expertise as a representative of academic or research societies on the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board. The board provides advice to the Secretary of Agriculture and land-grant colleges and universities on top priorities and policies for food and agricultural research, education, extension and economics.
Congratulations to Dr. Shashank Kraleti, Associate Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine, on being selected for the 2022-2023 LEADS Fellowship by the Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM). The prestigious one-year fellowship provides leadership training for family medicine leaders who are interested in pathways to serve in senior leadership positions at academic and other health systems. Dr. Kraleti has been recognized nationally as well as at UAMS for his outstanding work in the Family Medicine Residency Program since 2012, including his service as Program Director since 2016. Dr. Kraleti also holds the Jack W. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Family and Preventive Medicine and serves as Medical Director for the Institute for Digital Health & Innovation.
Pediatric Trauma Excellence
The Division of Pediatric General Surgery was well represented at the recent Pediatric Trauma Society (PTS) meeting in Baltimore. Fifth-year resident Dr. Krista Stephenson had two podium presentations showcasing her work with Drs. Deidre Wyrick, Sid Dassinger and Todd Maxson on pediatric trauma triage methods and with Dr. Marcene McVay-Gillam on a clinical pathway for mild traumatic brain injury in children. Additionally, Dr. Wyrick was elected to the PTS Nominations Committee and Jennifer York, APRN, was appointed to the Advanced Practiced Providers Steering committee.
Dr. David Bumpass, Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, has been named a member of the esteemed Scoliosis Research Society, the world’s leading organization of spine surgeons, researchers and allied health professionals involved in research and treatment of spinal deformities. Read more about the honor and Dr. Bumpass, who serves as Co-Director of Spine Care Services for UAMS Health, here. Congratulations!
Family Medicine Annual Update
Kudos to the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Community Health and Education Division, and team members from across our college and UAMS who made the 25th Annual Family Medicine Update a great success. Special thanks to Andrea Hooten, Marybeth Curtis, Colleen Lassiter and Alysia Dubriske for their leadership on the conference. The annual Update with Free Tobacco and Disease Symposium was held virtually Oct. 26-29 with national experts as well as UAMS clinicians and faculty presenters. The broad array of topics included food as medicine, cancer screening, tobacco and vaping, nicotine in pregnancy and breastfeeding, opioids and drug use, and much more. Read more here.
Congratulations to Dr. Spyridoula Maraka, Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, on her appointment as Chair-Elect of the American Thyroid Association Guidelines and Statements Committee. Internationally recognized for her expertise, Dr. Maraka delivered an oral presentation last week for the Australian Deprescribing Network, discussing preliminary results of a grant-funded clinical trial on discontinuation of levothyroxine therapy for patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. At UAMS, Dr. Maraka also directs the Endocrinology Fellowship.
Transfusion Medicine Education
A shout-out to Dr. Tina Ipe, Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of the Division of Transfusion Medicine, who has begun her term as Chair of the Annual Meeting Education Committee for the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies (AABB). The committee is planning the continuing medical education components of AABB’s next annual meeting, scheduled for next October in Orlando, Florida. AABB is an international organization of individuals and institutions involved in the fields of transfusion medicine and biotherapies.
November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, and faculty and staff in the Epilepsy Clinic from Neurosurgery, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Neurology, Pediatric Neurology and Psychiatry did a fantastic job at the Third Annual Epilepsy Symposium on Nov. 6. Presenters included Drs. Gregory Albert, Kapil Arya, Adrianne Parkey, Salman Zahoor, Harshad Ladha and Jennifer Gess, who were also joined by Drs. Viktoras Palys, Fred Perkins and Debopam Samanta for a FAQ panel moderated by Taneicie Sabb, APRN. Read more about the symposium here.
Dr. Surjith Vattoth, Associate Professor of Radiology in the Division of Neuroradiology, was the November speaker for the webinar conducted by the European Society of Head and Neck Radiology (ESHNR) for radiologists and radiology residents from around the world. His Nov. 9 talk focused on paranasal sinus anatomy and variants and their importance in clinical imaging. Dr. Vattoth is nationally and internationally recognized for his work in education relating to diagnostic neuroradiology/head and neck imaging.
Head of the Class
I was delighted to learn that Ashley Herdman, a second-year Ph.D. student in the Neurosciences Track of the Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences, was featured in the Endocrine Society’s Endocrine News. The newsletter featured a “Head of the Class” Q&A with Ashley about her experiences as an awardee in the Endocrine Society’s Research Experiences for Graduate and Medical Students summer program. Ashley did a great job discussing her work with her mentor, Dr. Angela Odle, Assistant Professor in Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, which includes pioneering studies on regulation of pituitary cell networking and communication.