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!
Kudos to the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine’s Community Health and Education Division for their excellent work on the 24th Annual Family Medicine Update with Tobacco and Disease Symposium. More than 150 health care providers attended the department’s first virtual CME/CE conference, which featured faculty and clinician presenters from multiple departments and UAMS colleges. Special thanks to planners Alysia Dubriske, M.Ed., Marybeth Curtis, RN, BSN, and Andrea Hooten, M.B.A., along with Annemarie McGahagan, B.S.E., Leesa Freasier, M.Ed., Matt Mitchell, B.S., Colleen Lassiter and staff from UAMS Learn on Demand and UAMS audiovisual. Read more about the event and the outstanding presenters here.
Making a Difference
Congratulations to the Department of Emergency Medicine’s Dr. Casey Smolarz on becoming the first person to be re-elected as Chief of Staff for Baptist Health-Conway. Dr. Smolarz, Emergency Department Medical Director for the hospital, was also named Physician of the Year by the Conway Chamber of Commerce early this year. We’re proud of the difference Dr. Smolarz is making in patient care in the Conway community as well as here on the UAMS campus!
The Division of Hematology and Oncology’s Dr. Valentina Todorova continues to do superb research into cardiotoxicity from the chemotherapy agent doxorubicin (DOX). Most recently Dr. Todorova was the co-first author with the College of Public Health’s Dr. Ping-Ching Hsu on a paper in the American Journal of Cancer Research, “Biomarkers of inflammation, hypercoagulability and endothelial injury predict early asymptomatic doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in breast cancer.” Dr. Todorova and Dr. Hsu collaborated with faculty from multiple departments on the study.
A shout-out to Dr. Nihit Kumar, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, for his work to train clinicians in Motivational Interviewing. The intervention can be used to strengthen the commitment to change behaviors and improve outcomes for patients with chronic health conditions. It can also assist with treatment compliance in physical therapy, smoking cessation and weight loss, as well as in substance-use behaviors. Dr. Kumar recently chaired an extended workshop on Motivational Interviewing during the American Academy of Adolescent Psychiatry’s Virtual Annual Meeting, and he is available to conduct similar training for UAMS clinicians. Medical professionals interested in learning more can contact Dr. Kumar at NKumar@uams.edu
UAMS Graduate School Ph.D. students Lance Benson and Brian Parks have been named the inaugural Dr. Glenn and Lori Millner Distinguished Scholars in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Mr. Benson is working with the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology’s Dr. Shengyu Mu to study how salt-sensitive high blood pressure develops. Mr. Parks is working with Pharmacology’s Dr. Lisa Brents to study the effects of prenatal opioid exposure. I join with Graduate School Dean Dr. Bobby McGehee in congratulating these outstanding doctoral students, thanking their stellar mentors, and expressing gratitude to the Millner family for making the Distinguished Scholars scholarships possible. Read more here.
On the Case
Jace Bradshaw, a fourth-year College of Medicine student planning to train in emergency medicine, did a great job presenting at the “Case-Con” competition sponsored by the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA) at the American College of Emergency Physicians virtual annual conference. He took second in the October 25 student competition for his poster presentation on a case of myxoma – a non-cancerous tumor in the heart – that led to a stroke. Way to go!