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!
Thank You, Dr. Marsh
This month marks the close of Dr. James Marsh’s 16-plus years of service as the Nolan Family Distinguished Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Marsh has provided superb leadership for one of our largest and most critical departments, overseeing the growth and strengthening of numerous divisions. He has made extensive contributions to our educational, research and clinical mission through his leadership and his own masterful teaching, collaborative scientific work and highly regarded, compassionate care as a cardiologist.
One mark of Dr. Marsh’s leadership has been that while always thoughtful and diplomatic, he has unfailingly stood firm on matters of principle. Jim is a collegial and gracious colleague, and he will be missed when he moves on to retirement in January. Fortunately, Dr. Marsh will remain with us as a senior cardiologist for a couple of more months as we welcome incoming Chair Dr. Edward Yeh.
Dr. Marsh has been appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor, and I am struck by how truly distinguished he is. I know I speak for all of us at UAMS in expressing our gratitude for his extraordinary service and wishing Jim all the best in his retirement.
Life Support Leader
Dr. Steve Schexnayder, Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, is the senior author of the American Heart Association (AHA) 2020 Pediatric and Advanced Life Support Guidelines. The guidelines, published in Circulation, serve as the gold standard for pediatric CPR and resuscitation for approximately 180 countries, as well as the scientific basis for AHA courses that train more than a million pediatric health care providers around the globe each year. Dr. Schexnayder also serves as one of four U.S. representatives on the Pediatric Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. Children here and around the world are the beneficiaries of the expertise and many hundreds of hours that he devotes to this work. Thank you for your leadership in this field, Dr. Schexnayder.
Dr. Terry Harville, Professor of Pathology and Internal Medicine, and Dr. Kent McKelvey, Associate Professor of Genetics and Family and Preventive Medicine, are among the eight co-authors of a landmark paper from the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Published October 20 in the Special Communication Section of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the paper presents the first evidence-based medical care guidelines for adults with Down syndrome. The UAMS colleagues and their peers at some of the largest adult Down syndrome clinical centers in the country worked for four years on the guidelines, which include 14 recommendations and four statements of good practice. The guidelines address behavioral health, dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, atlantoaxial instability, osteoporosis, thyroid and celiac disease. Congratulations and kudos to Dr. McKelvey and Dr. Harville on this very important work.
College of Medicine cardiologists and researchers continue to publish important papers that advance the understanding of the links between COVID-19 and the heart. Dr. Jawahar L. (Jay) Mehta, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics and the Stebbins Chair in Cardiology, most recently co-authored a paper with Internal Medicine resident Dr. Husam Salah. “Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and COVID-19 infection” was published in the European Heart Journal-Cardiovascular Imaging and discusses a newly defined phenomenon in some patients with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, colleagues in the Department of Pediatrics Division of Cardiology have just had an article accepted for publication in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. Fellow Dr. Lee Crawford, Associate Professor Dr. Kenneth Knecht, Professor Dr. Parthak Prodhan, Associate Professor Dr. Elijah Bolin and Assistant Professor Dr. Markus Renno collaborated on “Variable Presentation of COVID-19 in Pediatric Patients,” a case series indicating at least two different pathways that can result in cardiac involvement with acute infection or delayed inflammatory response.
Resident Leadership Award
Child Neurology resident Dr. Praveen Ramani recently received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Pediatric Hospital Medicine Section of the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Ramani received the largest share of nominations in the history of the award, and for very good reason. Nominators praised his commitment to patient care, exceptional clinical skills and mentorship of interns. During his rotation, he made an exceptional “catch,” saving a patient’s life by identifying a pericardial effusion in tamponade before the patient’s symptoms escalated. Congratulations Dr. Ramani. We are proud of you.
A shout-out to the Department of Dermatology for their excellent work hosting the second annual UAMS Dermatology Fall Clinical Symposium last Saturday. This year’s virtual format enabled approximately 40 providers from across the state and beyond to participate. The symposium was organized by Dr. Henry Wong and Ms. Amanda Blagg. Along with Dr. Wong, presenters included Dr. Vivian Shi, Dr. Rodrigo Valdes-Rodriguez, Dr. Megan Evans and resident Dr. Hugh Nymeyer, as well as case presentations by UAMS medical students heading into dermatology: Amanda Ederle, Alyson McKinnon, Dmitry Nedosekin, Sophia Ly and Blake Richardson.
Congratulations to third-year M.D./M.P.H. student Anusha Majagi on being selected for the Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC) 2021 Geriatric Student Scholars Program. Supported by a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant, the program is designed to increase health professions students’ knowledge about older adults and the specialized care they need. Anusha’s nomination was supported by Dr. Sara Tariq, Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Read more about Anusha and the program here.
Let’s have a round of applause for all of the outstanding, dedicated colleagues being honored with UAMS Employee Service Awards this week. UAMS recognizes employees after each five years of service, and many of this year’s 1,220 honorees have served on Team UAMS for three, four or even five decades. Six College of Medicine faculty and staff are being honored for an incredible 40 years of service: Dr. Teresita Angtuaco (Radiology), Dr. Robert Bradsher Jr. (Internal Medicine), Dr. Lawrence Cornett (Physiology/Biophysics), Wyvonne Ora (Northwest Arkansas IM Residency), Dr. Robert Reis (Geriatrics) and Dwana McKay Yarberry (Housestaff Affairs). We are grateful for the service of these and other COM colleagues as well as our friends in ICE, other colleges and areas throughout UAMS.
The College of Medicine freshman class hosted a beautiful and moving ceremony last week to express gratitude for the anatomical donors who helped them learn the intricacies of anatomy during their Human Structure course this fall. While the foundational course lasts only a matter of weeks, the memory and impact of the gift of an anatomical donor stays with a physician throughout their lifetime. Many thanks to M1 Class President Tamanna Basri and fellow 2024 Class Officers for planning and conducting the largely virtual event, along with ceremony speakers Dr. David Davies and Dr. Edgar Meyer and all of the Human Structure faculty.
Above & Beyond
A patient recently wrote to thank UAMS for the exceptional care provided by the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s Dr. Mauricio Moreno, Dr. Jumin Sunde and Samantha Rose, APRN. The multi-page letter made it clear that this patient faced an extremely serious and frightening condition. The patient was grateful for the expertise of the Otolaryngology team – but something else meant just as much. “The clarity and kindness that they provided was far beyond just being conventionally compassionate and dramatically exceeded any type of expectations,” the patient wrote. Kudos to these colleagues for their exceptional work. This is what we are all about!