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!
Newly Endowed Chair
Congratulations to Dr. Ozlem Tulunay-Ugur, Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, on her investiture last week in the Patricia and J. Floyd Kyser, M.D., Chair in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. This is a well-earned honor for an exemplary colleague. A member of our faculty since 2008, Dr. Tulunay-Ugur directs UAMS’ Laryngology Program and is nationally known for her expertise in geriatric laryngology, including voice and swallowing disorders. Among many national and statewide leadership roles, she is immediate Past President of the American Society of Geriatric Otolaryngology and Past President of the Arkansas Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, for which she currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer.
Welcome, and Thank You
This week we welcome Dr. William Steinbach as he begins his service as Professor and Chair of Pediatrics and Associate Dean for Child Health in our college and Pediatrician-in-Chief for Arkansas Children’s. Dr. Steinbach brings extensive leadership experience in pediatric care, research and education to Arkansas and will be a driving force in UAMS and Arkansas Children’s initiatives to enhance the health and wellbeing of the children of our state. (Read more about Dr. Steinbach here.) We look forward to working with you, Bill!
I want to express my gratitude to Dr. Renee Bornemeier for doing an outstanding job as Interim Chair for more than a year. Dr. Bornemeier has led faculty initiatives on many fronts, and she will now focus on her new role as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development. (Read more about Dr. Bornemeier here.) Thank you for your ongoing leadership and service to our college, Renee!
Spotlight on Excellence
If you haven’t had a chance yet, be sure to check out the newest video in our Spotlight on Excellence Series. I had a great conversation with Dr. Brian Koss, an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and researcher in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Dr. Koss is Arkansas’ first recipient of the prestigious Director’s Early Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health. Brian and I discussed his innovative approach to cancer research and his goals for making the most of the award. Well done, Dr. Koss. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish!
Dr. Rosalia C.M. Simmen, Professor in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, has been named to the new position of Deputy Editor of Endocrine Connections for a three-year term. Dr. Simmen will oversee the Reviewer Board’s makeup and mentorship and contribute to overall strategies to expand the journal’s emphasis on innovative research and scientific quality. Endocrine Connections is an open-access official journal of the Society for Endocrinology (UK) and the European Society of Endocrinology. The journal publishes basic, translational and clinical research and reviews in all areas of endocrinology.
Pediatric Sedation Insights
Dr. Deepak Choudhary, Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, is the lead author on a study into pediatric procedural sedation (PPS) practices among pediatric emergency medicine practitioners in the United States. The article was published in Pediatric Emergency Care. In a nationwide survey, Dr. Choudhary and collaborators at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital/University at Buffalo, New York, and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, found wide variability in several aspects of pediatric procedural sedation and low adherence to national PPS guidelines.
Tops in Brain Surgery, Stroke Care
A shout-out to our colleagues in Neurosurgery and the Stroke Program on UAMS’ latest recognitions from Healthgrades. UAMS ranked in the top 10% of hospitals nationwide for cranial neurosurgery, earning a 2022 Cranial Neurosurgery Excellence Award. Healthgrades also named UAMS a Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Stroke. Kudos to Neurosurgery Professor and Chair Dr. J.D. Day, neurosurgeons Drs. Viktoras Palys, Erika Petersen and Analiz Rodriguez, and Ebonye Green, APRN, for their world-class neurosurgical care. Special thanks also to the Department of Neurology’s Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy Onteddu, Medical Director, and Marzella Backus, MNSc, RN, Director of the Stroke Program, for ensuring the very best stroke care for Arkansans.
Radiation Oncology Reaches APEx
Congratulations to Professor and Radiation Oncology Chair Dr. Fen Xia and the Radiation Oncology Center team on leading UAMS to become the first health care institution in Arkansas to achieve full accreditation from the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx). APEx is the society’s highest honor, recognizing centers that meet the most rigorous standards for safety and performance. A tremendous amount of multidisciplinary work went into the accreditation process. Kudos to Medical Director Dr. Sanjay Maraboyina, Clinical Operations Director Greg May, Chief Physicist Dr. Zhong Su, Melissa Peterman, RN, and Radiation Therapist Ashly Cummings.
Service and Compassion in the Wake of the Storm
And finally this week, I’m sure all of us remember the devastating tornadoes that hit northeastern Arkansas on the evening of Dec. 10, destroying the Monette Manor Nursing Home and taking the life of one of the nursing home’s residents. The resident physicians of the UAMS Northeast Family Medicine Residency are the primary care providers for those who lived at Monette Manor. Residency Program Director Dr. Scott Dickson recently wrote to let me and other UAMS leaders know about the residents and a student who truly put patients first that night.
Two second-year residents, Dr. Andrew Bryson and Dr. Logan Bevill, took it upon themselves to travel to Monette to help authorities triage and treat patients, while the program’s other residents and faculty responded to St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro. Meanwhile, fourth-year medical student Anna Brickell was at home with her family in nearby Caraway when the news hit. She, too, went to Monette to help out.
“It makes me immensely proud that our residents responded so quickly and selflessly, and particularly proud that Drs. Bryson and Bevill went that extra mile to help where needed,” Dr. Dickson wrote. “Anna also should be commended for her dedication to her community and her selflessness.” I couldn’t agree more. Kudos to these outstanding members of the UAMS family!