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 everyone who had a role in UAMS receiving Perinatal Care Certification from The Joint Commission. This certification reflects that the Women and Infants Health Service Line has met and exceeded strict standards of care for maternal, fetal and newborn health. UAMS is the only hospital in Arkansas and one of only 61 hospitals nationwide with this certification. While many faculty and nursing team members contributed greatly to this accomplishment, the following service line leaders were instrumental: Dr. Nirvana Manning, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Dr. Sara Peeples, Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology and Medical Director of the UAMS NICU; Dr. Dora Smith, Associate Professor of OB/GYN and Director of Labor and Delivery; and Michelle McFail, MSN, Senior Nursing Director for the Medical/Surgical and Women and Infants Health service lines.
World-Class Breast Cancer Care
The UAMS Breast Cancer Program in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute has been reaccredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). The UAMS program’s world-class reputation is further reflected in the appointment of Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Breast Surgical Oncology, and Dr. Sindhu Malapati, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, as Vice Chairs of the NAPBC. UAMS has been accredited by the NAPBC, a program of the American College of Surgeons, since 2011. Another longstanding accreditation accomplishment is the UAMS Breast Center’s designation as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. The center is led by Dr. Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith, Associate Professor of Radiology. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
National Pathology Leadership
Congratulations to Dr. Ted Brown, Associate Professor of Pathology, on becoming Chair-Elect of the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Pathologists Council. Dr. Brown will assume the role of Chair in September 2023.The council is the voice of ASCP Fellow members and provides advice and recommendations to the ASCP Board of Directors. Dr. Brown’s leadership roles in Arkansas include Director of Autopsy at UAMS and Chief Medical Examiner for the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.
Diversity Scholars Program
Dr. Roopa Ram, Associate Professor of Radiology and Program Director for the Diagnostic Radiology Residency, has been selected for the Association of University Radiologists (AUR) Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Allyship (IDEA) Scholar Program. The six-month program is designed to increase knowledge of issues relating to these principles and to build skills for educating others in them. The program consists of five workshops this fall and winter, and follow-up activities such as lectures or workshops at the participant’s home institution. Congratulations and kudos to Dr. Ram for her dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion.
A shout-out to several Pediatrics colleagues who presented at the 2022 Pediatric Hospital Medicine conference. The Division of Hospital Medicine’s Dr. Rebecca Cantu was a collaborator on a mini-plenary presentation, “Don’t Just Pump and Dump: Managing Breastfeeding Mothers on Medications and More.” Dr. Cantu, Dr. Brittany Slagle (Hospital Medicine) and Dr. Paul Drake (Pediatric Neurology), presented a poster, “The Head and the Heart: A Missed Connection.” COM Collaborators on this project included Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics fellow Dr. Claire Foster, Medicine-Pediatrics resident Dr. Trevor Meece, and fourth-year medical student Andrew Campbell. Dr. Cantu, Dr. Slagle and Dr. Sara Sanders (Hospital Medicine) presented a well-received talk on the utility of procalcitonin levels for detecting serious bacterial infections that also earned them an invitation to recap the talk on the PHM podcast.
Rare Case Study
Dr. Emily Barnes, Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, was a coauthor on a case report, “Rapid Facial Swelling in a 15-year-old female,” published in Clinical Pediatrics. The incident was unique as the only documented case of bilateral septic cavernous sinus thrombosis – the rare formation of a blood clot within the cavernous sinus – caused by a ruptured acne vulgaris near the upper philtrum. Coauthors on the study were 2021 College of Medicine graduate Dr. Muhammad Abu-Rmaileh and former faculty member Dr. Courtney Edgar-Zarate.
Putting Patients First
Looking back at some of the patient comments that have been shared with me this past summer, I am again once again struck by how much excellent physician communication skills matter. While clinical expertise is vital, so many patients focus their praise on what their doctor and other care providers said and how they made the patient feel even when circumstances were difficult. Here are some examples.
“I don’t think they come more compassionate and attentive than Dr. Lee Archer and Mary Caroline Carnes (APRN). … I’m astounded, literally, at how easy it is to communicate my care or follow-up concerns.” (Neurology)
“Dr. Brian Kirkpatrick made me feel comfortable with this appointment, being the first time I have seen a psychiatrist. He was attentive to what I was saying.” (Psychiatry)
“Dr. Geeta Sakariya is such an interested, concerned health care provider. She treats the whole patient, physically and emotionally. We have never had a more interested physician.” (Family/Preventive Medicine)
“Dr. Matt Steliga and Patricia Franklin (APRN) were outstanding … so easy to talk to. Just genuine through and through.” (Surgery)
“Dr. Michael Smith is one of the most caring, knowledgeable medical care staff I have ever met. He not only discussed my overall medical history, but he explained some medical concepts to me and suggested questions to ask during my visit tomorrow.” (OB/GYN)
“I was exceptionally fortunate to have Dr. Katie Kimbrough as the head of the surgical team who took care of me. What made this a unique experience is that she did not talk to me or at me, but with me. Together we discussed the various options, and together we came up with a care plan. Including me in the decision process has made this a plan I am truly comfortable with.” (Surgery)
Very special thanks to all of these compassionate, patient-focused colleagues.