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!
Courage to Teach
Congratulations to Dr. Shashank Kraleti, Associate Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine and Program Director for the College of Medicine Family Medicine Residency, on being selected for the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The national award honors Program Directors who find innovative ways to teach residents and provide quality health care while remaining connected to the initial impulse to care for others in this environment. Dr. Kraleti exemplifies this, serving as a model physician as well as a highly respected educator. The honor is just the latest for Dr. Kraleti, who has been recognized nationally as well as at UAMS for his work in the residency program since 2012 and as Program Director since 2016. Dr. Kraleti will be honored at the 2023 ACGME Annual Education Conference in Nashville next February.
Gender Diversity in Sports Medicine
Dr. Lauren Poindexter, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, did a great job co-moderating a national lecture on gender diversity in sports medicine for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) last week. The panel discussion was part of AMSSM’s Early Career Blueprint Series and included both epidemiological data on gender representation in the male-dominated field and the personal insights of participating sports medicine physicians. Dr. Poindexter practices at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Northwest and serves as a team physician for Razorback Athletics.
AAP Section Chair
Dr. Gregory Albert, Professor of Neurosurgery and Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Arkansas Children’s, has been appointed to a two-year term as Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Neurosurgery (SONS). SONS addresses issues in pediatric neurosurgery relating to patient management, continuing education and clinical research, and is active in interdisciplinary educational activities and programs to benefit primary care pediatricians as well as pediatric neurosurgeons. The section also assists the AAP in developing practice parameters and position papers on issues related to children with neurological disease. Kudos to Dr. Albert for his national leadership in pediatric neurosurgery as well as his service here in Arkansas.
Telehealth for Endocrine Care
Dr. Spyridoula Maraka, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, is a coauthor on an important position paper for the Endocrine Society on the appropriate use of telehealth in endocrine care. The manuscript was published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and was highlighted in Endocrine News this week. Dr. Maraka, who also directs the Endocrinology Fellowship at UAMS, was one of nine endocrine experts to serve on the panel that developed the evidence-based policy perspective. The panel examined five core aspects of care that determine when telehealth is appropriate and recommended an individualized approach. Significantly, the paper noted that telehealth can play an important role in reducing disparities in health care access.
Microbiology Spectrum Editorial Leadership
Dr. Se-Ran Jun, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics, has been invited to serve as an Editor for Microbiology Spectrum, a journal of the American Society of Microbiology, one of the largest life science societies in the world. Dr. Jun will lend her expertise in computational genomics, computational metagenomics and translational bioinformatics. Her laboratory has long-standing interests in microbial genomics and microbiome research for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance. Currently, her laboratory is working on real-time genomic surveillance for infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship using real-time sequencing technology.
Preventing Physician Suicide
The Psychiatric Research Institute’s Dr. Prasad Padala and Dr. Srinivasa Gokarakonda were instrumental in a national webinar hosted by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) that focused on preventing physician suicide. Dr. Gokarakonda, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, moderated the event, which was held in conjunction with National Physician Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 17 and drew over 150 participants. Dr. Padala, Professor of Psychiatry and Geriatrics and Program Director for the Baptist Health-UAMS Psychiatry Residency, presented the webinar. Dr. Padala is also a member of the AAPI Distinguished Speakers Club.
Business of Medicine in the Spotlight
The Business of Medicine course founded and directed by Dr. Jason Mizell, Professor of Surgery, continues to draw well-earned national attention. The course for College of Medicine seniors was featured prominently in an online article, “What Med Students Need to Know About Money to Avoid Financial Mistakes,” in Medscape last week. Dr. Mizell has been a national leader in financial education for medical students and residents since launching the course, initially for Surgery residents, a decade ago. The course expanded into an elective for senior medical students in 2015, and UAMS medical students can now also complete a four-year honors track in finance.
Inspiring the Next Generation of Cancer Researchers
A shout-out to everyone who made the second Health Partnership in Cancer Research (PCAR) summer research program for medical students a great success. The program is funded by a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health and is led by Dr. Thomas Kelly, Professor of Pathology and Associate Director of Cancer Research Training and Education in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, and Diane McKinstry, BBA, Summer Program Manager. Along with Dr. Kelly, mentors and lecturers this year included Drs. Alan Tackett, Nathan Avaritt, Katy Marino, Marius Nagalo, Samantha Kendrick, Jesús Delgado-Calle, Valandra German, Behjatolah Karbassi, Martin Cannon, Henry Wong, Fenghuang Zhan, Fen Xia, Kevin Sexton, Richard Nicholas, Donald Johann and Richard Crownover. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
Fostering Cultural Humility
Kudos to the Department of Psychiatry for its commitment to fostering cultural humility – an approach to clinical work, supervision and research that is guided by self-reflection, recognizing and addressing power imbalances, and advocating for institutional alignment for a more just and inclusive environment. After offering a cultural humility curriculum to Psychology trainees for four years, the department has selected its first cohort of faculty psychologists for the voluntary, year-long program. The faculty include Drs. Melissa Zielinski, Joy Pemberton, Glenn Mesman, Sacha McBain, Jennifer Gess, Lisa Evans, Tisha Deen and Maegan Calvert. The curriculum was developed by Dr. Eva Woodward, this year’s course facilitator, of the Psychiatric Research Institute’s Center for Health Services and Research, and was refined and co-led by Dr. Sufna John of the ARBEST program.
Service to the Community
Hundreds of Arkansans received free health screenings and learned about health topics at the UAMS-sponsored Health and Wellness Expo on Sept. 24. Thanks to the many faculty, staff and students who contributed to this event. Speakers included Dr. Purushottam Thapa, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the UAMS Mindfulness Program; Dr. Mohammed Moursi, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Vascular Surgery; Dr. Dinesh Edem, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine/Endocrinology and Director of the UAMS Medical Weight Management Program; and Dr. Jeanne Wei, Professor and Chair of Geriatrics and Director of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.
Chancellor’s Circle Grants
Finally this week, congratulations to the 14 programs from the COM and across UAMS receiving Chancellor’s Circle Grant Awards this year. The philanthropy supported awards will support innovative projects such as a culinary medicine program for our residency and fellowship programs, a puberty education workshop for pre-teen and teenage girls, upgrades to regional crisis stabilization units, and digital health initiatives in diverse areas including lactation support, geriatrics, stroke, sexual assault, and image repository/sharing for medical facilities. This year’s awards total $336,000, and members have generously given more than $9 million to support UAMS’ work in education, research and clinical care since the inception of the Chancellor’s Circle in 1984. Read about this year’s grants in the UAMS Newsroom.