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!
National Humanism Award
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has selected Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis to receive the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award for Practicing Physicians. Dr. Richard-Davis, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Executive Director of the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is being honored for demonstrating the ideals of compassionate and respectful care. She will be recognized during the ASRM President’s Gala in October for serving as a “superlative role model” for a generation of residents and fellows, as well as for her scientific efforts relating to menopause, fibroids and health disparities. In a letter to Dr. Richard-Davis, ASRM President Dr. Hugh Taylor said, “Your efforts to support and raise the level of care for the underrepresented and disadvantaged have been a wonderful example for all of us.” Here at UAMS, we couldn’t agree more!
A $1 million gift from the Ethel Brickey Hicks Charitable Corporation is the latest example of the impact of Assistant Dean for Admissions Tom South’s excellent stewardship of our scholarship programs for more than 35 years. The corporation credits Tom for ensuring the success of previous scholarships, loans and loan-forgiveness opportunities stemming from the legacy of the late philanthropist from Knox County, Tennessee. Over the past 27 years, the Ethel Brickey Hicks Trust has awarded more than $1.7 million to UAMS medical students who aspire to practice medicine in rural Arkansas. “We often thought of making gifts to students outside of Arkansas but did not because Tom made it so much easier for us to continue with our program at UAMS,” trustee Janet Moore says in a UAMS news release. Thank you, Tom.
Leading the Way in Psychiatric Training
The Baptist Health-UAMS Psychiatry Residency Program will begin training its first residents next July, helping to ensure outstanding mental health care for Arkansans in the decades ahead. The ongoing pandemic will impact the mental health of Arkansans long into the future, making this new training program even more important for our state. The program, which received initial accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) earlier this year, will be in great hands under the leadership of Dr. Prasad Padala, Professor of Psychiatry, who has accepted appointment as Program Director. Dr. Padala currently serves as Associate Director for Clinical Innovations for the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System’s Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center and has been a part of PRI’s Center for Health Services Research since 2015.
91 Days of Writing Excellence
I had the pleasure last week of joining in the Translational Research Institute’s celebration of the researchers who participated in the first 91-Day Writing Challenge, which generated an incredible 173 manuscript submissions. Dr. Don Willis, an Assistant Professor in the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus, led in the number of submissions with 10, earning him the Astounding Apprentice Award. Indeed, four of the seven writing challenge winners are based in that office, which is led by Dr. Pearl McElfish, the honoree for Best Representation of Team Science. Other winners from across campus included Drs. Jennifer Andersen, Nahed El-Hassan, Holly Felix, Nishank Jain, Sara Landes and Jennifer Vincenzo. Read more in the TRI Newsroom.
Leading by Example
The team members “behind the scenes” of our work in education, research and patient care are crucial to our ability to carry out our mission. I received appreciative words about one of these heroes, Brian Carpenter, MBA, from Dr. Karen Farst, Chief of the Children at Risk Section in the Department of Pediatrics. As Practice Director for Behavioral Health Services in the department, Brian has shouldered an enormous load as multiple sections have transitioned to EPIC, experienced significant staff turnover, and dealt with staffing issues related to COVID-19. “He is not in a position where the spotlight would ever really shine on him, nor would he seek that out,” Dr. Farst wrote of Brian. “He leads by example with integrity, compassion and always finding ways to encourage those around him.” Kudos, Brian, for all you do!
In the Spotlight
The Department of Emergency Medicine’s efforts to promote and offer COVID-19 vaccinations in the Emergency Department with the aid of medical and pharmacy student volunteers was in the spotlight last week thanks to a KTHV news broadcast. Associate Professor Dr. Carly Eastin and second-year medical students Luke Lefler and Kikko Haydar did a great job sharing information about the initiative for viewers. Check out the KTHV broadcast here, and read more about the efforts of Dr. Carly Eastin and colleague and husband Dr. Travis Eastin to develop the outreach and educational opportunity in the UAMS Newsroom.
What is the Alfieri Stitch?
“What is the Alfieri Stitch?” and “What is 5 mm?” were the final answers – or rather, questions – in the “Jeopardy!” quiz show-inspired competition hosted by our Cardiology Chief Fellows last week. It was great fun watching the action as Cardiology fellows, faculty and APRNs from UAMS and the VA competed in the educational and team-building experience. Special thanks to the Chief Fellows, Dr. Shravan Turaga and Dr. Mahesh Bavineni, for doing such a great job on the event. The Round 1 winning team was Dr. Gaurav Dhar (Professor), Dr. Danish Abbasi (third-year fellow), Dr. Kirby Von Edwins (first-year fellow), and Jenna Valovich, APRN. The Round 2 winning team was Dr. Barry Uretsky (Professor), Dr. Sanjay Shah (Assistant Professor) and Dr. Dinesh Voruganti (second-year fellow). Congratulations!
Kindness in Action
When second-year Radiology resident Dr. Anas Attasi recently encountered a haggard-looking older gentleman in the hospital lobby asking for money, he didn’t look the other way. He stopped to help. Dr. Atassi took the man to the Lobby Café and bought him a sandwich and a drink. This simple gesture, noticed by a colleague, reflects the kindness and compassion Dr. Atassi is known for. Kudos, Dr. Atassi.