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!
Rx for a Fulfilling Career in Medicine
Dr. Bill Ventres, Associate Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine and the Ben Saltzman, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Rural Family Medicine, was the guest for an episode of the “Rx for Success” podcast from MD Coaches. The podcast spotlights physician leaders and their journey to a successful and fulfilling career. Dr. Ventres has worked for over 30 years as a family physician, leader and educator in diverse settings around the world, including many underserved communities. In an engaging interview, he discusses how he came to understand the importance of the non-biomedical aspects of providing patients and families the very best care. The podcast’s format ends with a guest physician sharing his or her personal prescription for success. Dr. Ventres’ “Rx” is insightful and humbling.
Dr. Shengyu Mu, Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, shared his expertise on immune mechanisms in the pathogenesis of salt-sensitive hypertension as an invited speaker at the International Society of Hypertension (ISH2022) conference in Kyoto, Japan. Senior graduate student Lance Benson from Dr. Mu’s lab also presented and was the recipient of the Young Investigator Award and a travel award for the conference. Congratulations to both!
Pediatric Research Honorees
Congratulations to the Department of Pediatrics faculty members who were inducted into the Society for Pediatric Research, the top pediatrics-specific research honor society, this year. They include Dr. Ron Sanders in the Critical Care Medicine Section; Dr. Elisabet Børsheim, Dr. Mario Ferruzzi and Dr. Craig Porter in Developmental Nutrition; Dr. Joana Mack in Hematology, and Dr. R. Whit Hall and Dr. David Matlock in Neonatology.
Forensic Dentistry Expertise
Dr. Kirt Simmons, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatric and Special Needs Dentistry, has been appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice to serve on the Forensic Dentistry Subcommittee of the national Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC). OSAC promotes and facilitates development of high-quality, technically sound standards in numerous areas of forensic science, including dentistry. In addition to being a nationally recognized leader in orthodontic care for patients with cleft and craniofacial anomalies, Dr. Simmons is a leading expert in facial growth, development and identification, and orthodontic and dental digital standards.
ENT in the Spotlight at Conferences
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery faculty are continuing to share their expertise around the state, nation and world. Professor Dr. Emre Vural has been at the Congress of European OtoRhinoLaryngology Head and Neck Surgery annual meeting in Milan, Italy, this week for two presentations on “Finesse in nasal reconstruction” and “Midfacial reconstruction.” Professor Dr. Gresham Richter recently presented a Grand Rounds on “Vascular Anomalies: Present Understanding and Future Directions” at Children’s Hospital Colorado. And Associate Professors Dr. Patrick Fraley, Dr. Alissa Kanaan and Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch will be participating as speakers and/or panelists at the Arkansas Society of Head and Neck Surgery annual conference in Hot Springs this weekend. Dr. Fraley is serving as President of the society this year. Kudos to all.
Standout Student Presentation
Congratulations to third-year medical student Connor Shewmake on taking second place for her oral presentation at the Southern Medical Association’s Annual Scientific Assembly last weekend. Connor and COM graduates Dr. Olivia Speed (now a UAMS ENT resident) and Dr. Sarah Gammill (now a Surgery resident at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans) collaborated with faculty mentors on “Improved confidence and clinical application: The effects of a longitudinal suture curriculum for medical students.” Their abstract was selected as a top-five finalist from among more than 100 submissions. UAMS faculty collaborators included Dr. Larry Hartzell (Otolaryngology-Head/Neck Surgery), Dr. Carol Thrush (Surgery), Dr. Kevin Phelan (Neurobiology/Developmental Sciences) and Dr. Avi Bhavaraju (Surgery).
Family Doc Focus
Dr. Shashank Kraleti, Associate Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine and Program Director for the UAMS Little Rock Family Medicine Residency, was featured online in the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) “Family Doc Focus” last week. This latest national recognition focuses on Dr. Kraleti’s transformative work to expand the learning opportunities of family medicine residents and touches on his path to practicing and teaching in family medicine. The article also notes his recent selection by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for the 2023 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award, which will be presented next February. With numerous leadership roles, Dr. Kraleti’s impact at UAMS is extensive. Kudos for your outstanding work, Dr. Kraleti.
Pediatric Hospital Medicine Papers
A shout-out to Dr. Rebecca Cantu, Associate Professor and Section Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, first author Dr. Sara Sanders, an Assistant Professor in the section, and colleagues on two recent publications. Numerous faculty contributed to a report, published in the journal Medicine, on “Demographic and clinical characteristics of pediatric COVID-19 in Arkansas: March–December 2020.” The Pediatric Hospital Medicine team also authored a case report, “Fournier’s Gangrene: A Rare Infectious Entity in an Adolescent with Type II Diabetes,” published in Global Pediatric Health. Additional UAMS authors on one or both articles included Drs. Taylor Maxwell, Jacob Filipek, Dustin Williford, Cindy Nguyen, Charalene Fisher, Emily Barnes, Rebecca Latch, Jessica Snowden and Archana Balamohan.
Family Medicine Update 2022
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 26th Annual Family Medicine Update a great success. A special thank you to Andrea Hooten, Marybeth Curtis, Colleen Lassiter, and Alysia Dubriske for their hard work and leadership on the conference. The annual Update with Free Tobacco and Disease Symposium was held virtually Oct. 25-28 with national experts and numerous UAMS clinicians and faculty presenters. The broad array of topics included obesity, the monkeypox virus, pulmonary hypertension, opioids, cardiology care, tobacco and much more.