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!
Zoom with the Dean
While the pandemic is preventing in-person breakfasts with students this year, I am delighted to be able to visit with our M1s and M2s in our new “Zoom with the Dean” sessions. Just as in past years, the students I visited with last week had great things to say about faculty educators. They appreciated Dr. Alan Diekman (Biochemistry/Molecular Biology) for his exceptional organization and course leadership; Dr. Sung Rhee (Pharmacology/Toxicology) for his help preparing them for the Step 1 exam; and Dr. Matt Quick (Pathology) for his passion and inspiration. Three Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences faculty members earned praise: Dr. Mohsin Syed for his encouragement and great teaching; Dr. David Davies for his course leadership and ability to lower stress; and Dr. Edgar Meyer for his ability to make complicated material easier to understand. Kudos to these fine faculty members for their dedication to medical education!
P.S. – Watch for information about a brand new teaching award, and the inaugural recipients, in the COMmunication e-newsletter later this month!
Congratulations to Dr. Ahmed Sallam, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Ophthalmology Residency Program, on his investiture in the John W. Nutt Chair in Ophthalmology. While a formal investiture ceremony has been postponed due to COVID-19, this is a wonderful and well-earned honor for Dr. Sallam, who is a superb eye inflammation and retinal specialist as well as a dedicated educator and excellent researcher. Dr. Sallam has excelled in all of our core mission areas since joining our faculty in 2016. The endowed chair was established with a gift from the late Mr. John Nutt, who was a longtime supporter of the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, and his family and friends. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
A shout-out to Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility) and Executive Director of the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, for her service on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). As a Co-Chair of the Task Force, she will join other leaders to present an overview of the group’s charge and ongoing work at the ASRM Congress next week. The Task Force is developing recommendations for addressing health disparities and non-inclusivity in the field of reproductive medicine and within the ASRM. She founded ASRM Health Disparities Special Interest Group in 2014 to focus on inequities in reproductive medical care and reporting.
Department of Pediatrics faculty and fellows were well represented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Transport Medicine. Dr. Michael Stroud of our Critical Care Medicine Section served as Program Chair for the virtual meeting, finessing many challenges posed by the pandemic. He was also the driving force behind the development of the section’s first ever in-training research grant. Third-year Critical Care Medicine (CCM) fellow Dr. Courtney Cox won over some stiff competition to take home the new grant! Another rising star, second-year CCM fellow Dr. Nathan Epps, gave a virtual poster presentation. Dr. Stroud and Dr. Franscesca Miquel-Verges of the Neonatology Section serve together on the AAP Section on Transport Medicine Executive Committee. Great job everyone!
Congratulations to third-year Anesthesiology residents Dr. Jonathan Aronson, Dr. Bryce Ferry and Dr. Nikhil Kamath on their remarkable, top 10% in the nation performance on the American Board of Anesthesiology BASIC exam. Thanks as well to Dr. Charles Napolitano, Program Director, and all of the faculty members contributing to our residents’ success!
The Doc Talk
Dr. Amir Mian, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Arkansas Children’s have launched a new podcast, “The Doc Talk.” The podcast, which debuted this week, will feature conversations with physicians and medical leaders. Dr. Mian, who serves in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and his guests will discuss innovations, medicine, personal and professional growth and other topics, with a goal of helping colleagues stay connected during this time of social distancing. Way to go!
This month I have had the honor of presenting some of our COM staff members with awards for their excellent work and service. You may recall that while we were unable to gather in person for our traditional Dean’s Honor Day ceremony in April due to the escalating pandemic, we announced all of the highly deserving faculty and staff winners on our website and in the April COMmunication. Since then, Dean’s Office and Faculty Affairs representatives have found various ways to present the awards to honorees – and more will be scheduled in the future.
I encourage you to read (or re-read) about the stellar staff and faculty we honored this year. Meanwhile, I want to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to this year’s non-faculty honorees:
Residency Educator – Program Coordinator
Emily Stotts, Pediatrics Residency
Staff Excellence – Administration
Debbie Holliman, Department of Anesthesiology
Staff Excellence – Clinical
JoAnn Conley Cooper, Interventional Pain Clinic
Staff Excellence – Research
Debbie Hodges, Psychiatry
Staff Excellence – Education
Marcie Johnson, COM Curriculum Office
Wingman on the Weekend
And finally this week, congratulations to Neurosurgery resident Dr. Angela Palmer on earning her Federal Aviation Administration Formation Card at Grider Field in Pine Bluff last week. Dr. Palmer, who goes by the apt call sign “Scrubs,” is an experimental aircraft pilot and member of the Bulldog Formation Flight Team. Her wingman check ride on Friday was the final hurdle to earning the FAA Formation Card, which is required for performing flyovers at events in FAA-waivered airspace. Dr. Palmer and the formation flight clinic were featured in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Pine Bluff Commercial.