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!
Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Inductee
Congratulations to Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, Professor and Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Breast Oncology in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, on being selected as a 2023 inductee in the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Dr. Henry-Tillman, who also holds the Muriel Balsam Kohn Chair in Breast Surgical Oncology, is one of six Arkansans who will be honored at an Oct. 14 ceremony. She joins an illustrious group of previous inductees including Dr. Edith Irby Jones, Dr. Joycelyn Elders and other preeminent physicians and scientists; cultural figures such as author Maya Angelou; civil rights icons including Daisy Gaston Bates and the “Little Rock Nine;” and leaders in many fields.
Dr. Henry-Tillman has provided extraordinary service to Arkansas and in many national capacities while serving on our faculty since 1998. She has received both national and international recognition for her leadership, dedication and commitment to surgical training across Arkansas as well as in Africa and other low- and middle-income countries around the world. Dr. Henry-Tillman has been a staunch advocate for the medically underserved, working to improve access to early screening, detection and treatment of breast and other cancers. She has strived to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity, particularly in relation to cancer care. Induction into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame is just the latest of many well-earned, major honors for Dr. Henry-Tillman. Without doubt, there will be many more to come.
UAMS Opens State’s First Donor Milk Bank
The opening of the Arkansas Milk Bank last week was great news for mothers, babies and families across the state, as well as for UAMS, Arkansas Children’s and other hospitals that depend on donated milk for some of the tiniest, most vulnerable patients. Special thanks to Dr. Misty Virmani, Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology, who was instrumental in bringing the initiative to fruition, with the help of many others at UAMS and in the Arkansas Legislature. In 2021, the legislature passed Act 225, establishing the creation of the milk bank and special funding to help support it. Dr. Virmani serves as Executive Medical Director of the milk bank and Director of Breastfeeding Medicine. Learn more about the facility and its services in this UAMS news story and on the UAMS Milk Bank website.
DOD Peer Review Leadership
Dr. Tom Kelly, Professor of Pathology and Associate Director for Cancer Research and Training in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, has been invited by the U.S. Department of Defense to serve as Chair of the Pathology 6 (PB-6) peer review panel for the Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP). The panel will meet in October to review FY23 grant applications for research projects with high potential to lead to or make breakthroughs in breast cancer. Dr. Kelly, whose own research focuses on the tumor microenvironment in breast cancer, has served as a reviewer for the BCRP for almost three decades.
Knee Society Member
Dr. Simon Mears, Professor and Vice Chair for Quality and Safety in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, has been elected to the prestigious Knee Society. Considered to represent the world’s most influential surgeons and researchers in knee replacement, the Knee Society focuses on education and research in the area of total knee arthroplasty as well as the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis and other disease processes that lead to end-stage arthritis of the knee.
Family Medicine Faculty in the Spotlight
Dr. Sujit Kumar Kotapati, Assistant Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine and Medical Director of the UAMS Health Neighborhood Clinic in Maumelle, and Dr. Rajalakshmi Cheerla, an Associate Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine in the Baptist Health-UAMS residency program, have had six posters accepted for display at the American Academy of Family Physicians FMX (Family Medicine Experience) conference, the organization’s premier annual event, in October. One of the posters has been elevated for an in-person oral presentation at the invitation of the FMX submissions committee.
National Role for Emergency Medicine Resident
A shout-out to first-year Emergency Medicine resident Dr. Yusuke Kishimoto, who has been selected by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association (AAEM/RSA) to serve on its Cabinet of Delegates. AAEM/RSA is a professional association representing 3,500 emergency medicine residents and medical students. The organization advocates on issues that impact trainee medicine and supports the teaching of evidence-based medicine.