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.
Chair-Elect of the LCME
Dr. James Graham, Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, has been elected by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) as its Chair-Elect. Dr. Graham’s one-year term as Chair-Elect will begin on July 1, and he will begin serving as Chair of the national accrediting body for M.D.-granting U.S. medical schools the following July. Dr. Graham was first elected to the LCME in 2020 as a nominee of the American Medical Association (AMA), after serving for about a decade as an LCME site survey team member for other medical schools during their accreditation and reaccreditation processes.
Dr. Graham’s election to this high-profile national leadership role reflects the high regard of his peers in the AMA and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the LCME’s joint sponsors. At UAMS, Dr. Graham has served as Executive Associate Dean since 2020, after 10 years as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. A Professor of Pediatrics, he joined the faculty in 1991 and was Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine in 2005-2010. Early central leadership roles included Director of the Clinical Medicine I course (now called Practice of Medicine I) from 1999 to 2017.
Congratulations, Dr. Graham, and thank you for your service nationally and at UAMS.
Flagship for Adult Trauma Care
UAMS has received designation as an adult Level 1 Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for another three years following a comprehensive on-site review in November that lauded UAMS as the “flagship trauma center” for the state. UAMS remains Arkansas’ only adult Level 1 Trauma Center, having first earned the verification from the ACS in 2017. Evaluators gave UAMS high marks in several areas and specifically noted the contributions of Dr. Kyle Kalkwarf, Associate Professor of Surgery and Trauma Medical Director, and Terry Collins, RN, Trauma Program Director. Kudos to them and the entire Trauma Team for their commitment to providing exceptional care for seriously injured trauma patients. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.
National Honors for Pediatric Trauma Leaders
I am also delighted to share good news about two of our pediatric surgeons this week. Dr. Todd Maxson, a Professor in the Division of Pediatric Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, has been named President of the Pediatric Trauma Society. The society is the leading organization in the development of optimal treatment guidelines, education, research and advocacy for injured children. Arkansas Children’s is the state’s only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center.
Dr. Deidre Wyrick, Assistant Professor and Trauma Medical Director at Arkansas Children’s, has been selected as a Future Trauma Leader by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. Only a small number of promising young trauma surgeons receive the honor each year. The two-year program includes travel to national meetings, mentorship from national trauma leaders and other opportunities.
Students Serve as Anatomical Scholars
The College of Medicine’s Anatomical Scholars program will kick off its sixth year in the fall with six students who were recently selected from a competitive pool to serve as teaching assistants in the M1 Human Structure module. Congratulations to Little Rock current M2s Drew McFall, Jade-Michael Matthews, Dane Richey and Brittany Montgomery, and M3 Asher Parvu, and current M2 Fayetteville student Kelly Fowler. The students were selected for their academic record and narrative application, and for having strong potential for an anatomically oriented field within medicine. All six will participate in a research-focused journal club and receive $5,000 scholarships along with elective credits. In recent years, previous scholars have devised and conducted education-related research projects that resulted in published conference abstracts and poster presentations at national meetings.
Congratulations also to the six students who have been serving as Anatomical Scholars for the 2023-2024 academic year: Little Rock M3s Evan Hicks, John Lee, John Norys, Humam Shahare and Vanessa Vyas, and Fayetteville M4 Russell Garner. Their research projects have been accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for Anatomy. The studies span a wide range of topics, including the intersection of medical education and advances such as artificial intelligence and ChatGPT. Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences faculty members Dr. Tiffany Huitt and Dr. David Davies served as faculty mentors.
National Psychiatric Research Colloquium
Third-year Psychiatry resident Dr. Wesley White has been selected by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to participate in its 2024 Research Colloquium in New York City on May 5-6. Dr. White will participate and present his research in sessions focusing on alcohol, pain and substance-use research. The program provides a travel stipend and opportunities for networking with senior researchers. Dr. White’s research focuses on substance use in pregnancy, psychiatric causes of maternal mortality and the laws surrounding drug use in pregnancy. His mentor is Dr. Jessica Coker, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Director of the Women’s Inpatient Psychiatric Unit and Co-Director of the Women’s Mental Health Program.
Finally this week, I want to highlight the extraordinary generosity of a longtime faculty member and leader, Dr. Michael Jennings, and Paula Jennings, M.A., who also has served UAMS in many volunteer and philanthropic leadership roles. The couple has supported our college in many ways, including the creation of a scholarship for medical students in 2018. Now, they have pledged $1 million to create an endowed chair in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, and $1 million in additional support for the endowed scholarship.
Dr. Jennings saw the power of endowments while serving as Chair of Physiology and Biophysics for 25 years, as an endowed chairholder himself, and as Executive Associate Dean for Research. He continues to help our college build philanthropic resources as a member of our Board of Advisors, in addition to teaching. Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.