Dedicated to the Underserved
This year’s College of Medicine freshmen have an extraordinary new opportunity, the Honors Program for Rural and Urban Underserved Primary Care Medicine, thanks to the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine’s Dr. Leslie Stone. Dr. Stone is Director of Medical Student Education in the department and Co-Director of the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA) grant we received last fall to expand our efforts to train more primary care physicians and other health professionals for Arkansas. The new honors track will provide experiential opportunities and additional studies in issues that are essential to caring for underserved Arkansans. Kudos to Dr. Stone for his tireless work on behalf of the underserved and educating the future physicians who will care for them.
Congratulations to Dr. Jose Romero, Professor of Pediatrics, on his appointment by Governor Asa Hutchinson as Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health. We have been very fortunate to have Dr. Romero’s nationally recognized expertise in viral diseases available to us at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital since he joined us as Director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases in 2008. As Arkansas continues the battle against COVID-19, our entire state is now benefiting from his expertise. Dr. Romero announced several months ago that he planned to step down from his division leadership role this summer. He began serving as Interim Secretary of Health last month, succeeding Dr. Nate Smith as he moved on to a position with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more in this Governor’s Office new release.
Caring for Arkansans in Tough Times
A shout-out to the Department of Psychiatry for its remarkable work to maintain connections with patients during the pandemic. The Walker Family Clinic in the Psychiatric Research Institute saw more patients in April through June, all via televideo, than in January through March. The Child Study Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital also cared for more patients in April-June. Meanwhile, AR-Connect is providing urgent statewide care for many patients who are struggling with mental health conditions related to the pandemic or other issues, through its 24-hour call center. Kudos to all.
Dr. Taren Swindle, Assistant Professor in the Research and Evaluation Division of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, just had a banner day. Her honors on August 6 included completing the 2020 Health Disparities Institute and being named an HDRI Scholar by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; being invited to serve as a National Institutes of Health Early Career Reviewer this fall; and having a paper highlighted in a national press release. The release from Elsevier, publisher of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, focuses on a study led by Dr. Swindle into the potential for young children to positively influence food habits at home after experiencing a healthy-eating educational intervention in Head Start program. Well done!
Dr. Alan Tackett, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has been invited to serve as a standing member of the NIH Mechanisms of Cancer Therapeutics-1 (MCT1) Study Section, one of the major review boards for evaluation of cancer research by the Center for Scientific Review. The four-year appointment recognizes Dr. Tackett, who also serves as the Scharlau Family Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at UAMS, as a leader in this field. Congratulations to Dr. Tackett.
Published in JAMA
Congratulations to the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine’s Dr. Hakan Paydak, former faculty member Dr. Krishna Pothineni, and UAMS Cardiology fellow Dr. Swathi Kovelamudi on the publication of their case report in JAMA Internal Medicine. Dr. Pothineni, who recently moved to the University of Pennsylvania, is first author, and Dr. Paydak served as senior author on “Tachycardia in a Patient with Heart Failure, Telemetry Tales.” This stellar team, along with additional residents, fellows and faculty in Internal Medicine, also recently had a paper accepted for publication in Clinical Medicine Insights: Cardiology, and continues to collaborate on innovative cardiology research.
Congratulations to third-year Family and Preventive Medicine resident Dr. Alexa Martin, who received a highly competitive and prestigious travel award from the National Institutes of Health and the National Medical Association to attend the NMA’s 2020 Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly. The conference was held virtually and wrapped up last week.
Grateful Patients and Families
Dr. Yasthil Jaganath, Chief Resident in Family and Preventive Medicine, continues to draw raves from patients and colleagues. Last year, I received a wonderful message from a COM team member about his compassionate care. Last week, the Department of Pediatrics’ Dr. Karen Young wrote to let me know about the spontaneous words of praise Dr. Jaganath received from the father of a patient he saw at Arkansas Children’s. In fact, the father described Dr. Jaganath as the best doctor his children have seen in many years of receiving outstanding care at ACH. He said Dr. Jaganath was respectful, thorough and friendly and that he did a great job answering questions. Way to go Dr. Jaganath!
On the heels of the massive effort to create the online COVID-19 course for our M3 and M4 medical students, Drs. Karina Clemmons, Karl Boehme, Martin Cannon, James Graham and Riley Lipschitz surveyed students about the course. The team has just published what may be the first reported description and corresponding evaluation of the educational content of such a course in a medical school setting. “Building Up While Shutting Down: An Academic Health System Educational Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” was published in the journal MedEdPublish. Thanks to these colleagues and the many others who worked so hard on the well-received course, the content of which has since been offered to many other learners and health care professionals.
Above and Beyond
UAMS entrance screeners are heroes in our fight against COVID-19. We know how important they are in keeping everyone on campus safe, and we’ve all benefited from their efforts to get us on our way as quickly as possible. Dr. Manisha Singh, Associate Professor in the Division of Nephrology, arrived on campus yesterday with little time to spare to get to a lecture when she realized she had forgotten her ID badge. Screener Kristie Brown, RN, had the solution. She walked Dr. Singh over to Creative Services to obtain a replacement badge and even offered to pay for it if needed. “While talking to her, I realized she has done this for other physicians too!” said Dr. Singh. “She took away any stress I had over my missing badge, kept the rules and was considerate above and beyond my expectations.”