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!
The latest report from the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Project (TQIP) reflects the UAMS Trauma Team’s continuing excellence and commitment to quality improvement. The program ranked in the first decile in a number of metrics and categories, and the UAMS Level 1 Trauma Center continues to be one of the nation’s top performers for ventilator-associated pneumonia in all patients and traumatic brain injury patients. This is all the more impressive in light of the ongoing pandemic and with several new surgeons on the team. I want to thank Surgery Chair Dr. Ron Robertson for his leadership, and I join with him in thanking the entire Trauma Team for their outstanding work.
I also recently learned of several scholarly accomplishments in the Department of Surgery. For example, Dr. Garrett Klutts, a third-year General Surgery resident, presented excellent and timely original research at the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma Regional Meeting last week. After noticing that the amount of trauma seemed to increase during the pandemic, Dr. Klutts led a retrospective review of the UAMS trauma database during the period of strict quarantine in Pulaski County last spring and found that penetrating and violent trauma rates had indeed gone up. This trend has been described to a limited extent at other institutions, but there has been a dearth of published data. Dr. Klutts is collaborating on a manuscript with Drs. Kyle Kalkwarf, Kevin Sexton, Hanna Jensen, Saleema Karim and Avi Bhavaraju.
COVID Task Force
UAMS colleagues will lend their expertise to the COVID-19 Winter Task Force established by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson last week. The panel will advise the Governor as the state battles the increasing challenges of the pandemic in the months ahead. The initial 19 appointees include Chancellor and UAMS Health CEO Dr. Cam Patterson, Dr. Jerrilyn Jones of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Keyur Vyas of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Jose Romero, Arkansas Secretary of Health and Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Greg Bledsoe serves as Vice-Chair, and colleagues from the Department of Health, other agencies and health care systems, hospitals and organizations around the state round out the Task Force. Please join me in expressing gratitude to all of these members for their service at this critical time.
First in the Nation
A shout-out to Dr. Bobby Boyanton, Professor of Pathology, who is the first physician nationwide to receive the American Board of Pathology Focused Practiced Designation in Microbiology. Dr. Boyanton was also invited to serve on the ABPath Certlink Test Development and Advisory Committee for continuing certification in Clinical Pathology. As recognized experts in their field, committee members develop, edit and critique exam questions and provide guidance on content.
Congratulations to Dr. Jessica Snowden, Associate Professor and Director of the Infectious Diseases Section in the Department of Pediatrics, on her selection and nomination by UAMS for the prestigious Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program at Drexel University. Dr. Snowden’s work in many areas, including her co-leadership of the Data Coordinating and Operations Center for the IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network, make her an exceptionally strong candidate for the highly competitive ELAM program.
Dr. Vishank Shah, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, presented research as a platform presentation at the combined European Stroke Organization and World Stroke congress this month. His presentation, “One year fate of survivors of large intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhage with poor outcome at day 30,” was the result of a collaboration with mentors at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where Dr. Shah completed a clinical and research fellowship before his recruitment to UAMS in 2018. Great job!
Two in a Week
The Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism’s Dr. Spyridoula Maraka and colleagues had two articles published last week in Thyroid, the journal of the American Thyroid Association. One article, “Knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and treatment burden related to the use of levothyroxine in hypothyroid pregnant women in the United States” was a collaboration with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The second article is “Clinical Outcomes After Discontinuation of Thyroid Hormone Replacement – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Well done!
Congratulations to the Department of Ophthalmology’s Dr. Sami Uwaydat for his contributions to an excellent poster presentation at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s virtual annual meeting this past weekend. Dr. Uwaydat was a co-author on “One Year Outcomes of Anti-VEGF Therapy in Peripapillary CNV.”
Congratulations to Mitra Rocca, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, on being inducted as a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association (FAMIA) during the AMIA annual symposium this week. The FAMIA program recognizes the contributions and professional accomplishments of AMIA members who apply informatics skills and knowledge in their professional setting. Her primary mentor is Professor and Biomedical Informatics Chair Dr. Fred Prior.
Getting Through This, Together
Finally this week, my thanks to Dr. Erick Messias and the many faculty members from throughout our college who participated in a working group and additional conversations to find solutions to some of the logistical challenges and stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic. The group held two productive open forums as part of their efforts over the past few months, and their suggestions were shared with clinical leaders and others.
A key accomplishment was the compilation of a comprehensive resources guide to help faculty, residents, staff and students, as well as their families during the pandemic. These resources address wellness and many other areas, and I encourage COM team members to explore them.
Special thanks to the working group. Joining Dr. Messias were Drs. Renee Bornemeier, Romona Davis, Molly Gathright, Katie Kimbrough, Michelle Krause, Abby Nolder, Melda Onal, Sowmya Patil, Tamara Perry, Angie Scott, Tony Seupaul, Sara Tariq and Puru Thapa, along with Emily Freeman, MHSA, UAMS Faculty Center Director. Associate Provost for Faculty Dr. Wendy Ward and her team were instrumental in preparing the resources guide.
This outstanding effort proves, once again, that we will get through this together.
Accolades will return December 2. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!