The School of Medicine announced that Steven D. Waldman, M.D., JD, has been appointed vice dean for strategic initiatives and stewardship. In this role, he will be involved in all initiatives with a major strategic importance to the School of Medicine.
The appointment, announced by School of Medicine Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., took effect on April 15.
Waldman is a 1977 graduate of the School of Medicine. His roles will include developing new strategies for increasing student enrollment and furthering collaborations with regional partners. He will also coordinate new innovative infrastructure projects within the school.
As physician liaison to the UMKC Foundation, he will facilitate closer relationships with School of Medicine alumni and increase opportunities to enhance UMKC branding and fundraising in surrounding areas. He will also serve as the School of Medicine partner to the newly appointed president of the UMKC Foundation.
“All of these functions will serve to elevate the academic reputation of the medical school,” Jackson said.
Waldman previously served as associate dean and chair of the Department of Medical Humanities and Bioethics and professor of anesthesiology. He was also part of an integral team that led the school’s preparation for a successful 2018 LCME survey visit.
A prolific writer and author of more than 36 books and numerous scientific publications, he will continue to maintain his clinical practice in pain management.
Brian Carter, M.D., an international expert in neonatal intensive care outcomes, medical bioethics and pediatric palliative care presented the 25th annual William T. Sirridge, M.D., Medical Humanities Lecture on March 28 at the School of Medicine.
An author of three textbooks on neonatal intensive care and palliative care, Carter shared his observations of how physicians can help parents deal the reality of a young child facing life-altering challenges.
He talked about helping them learn to adjust and accommodate the realities of a child’s condition that they can’t change.
He said parents and family of children in a NICU typically are fearful and anxious, maybe even desperate as they realize their dreams for their children are being shattered. He said parents go through a process of grasping the situation, trying to understand what decisions need to be made, who can help make them, and understanding all the facts they need to learn.
“If all I’m doing is providing more information and not tending to where they are in the process, they’ll be stuck,” Carter said. “They need to move forward. We need to recognize where they are in the process as we speak to them and try to usher them through.”
Carter joined the School of Medicine and Children’s Mercy Hospital in 2012 as a Professor of Pediatrics and Bioethics. He serves as co-director of the Children’s Mercy Bioethics Center’s Pediatric Bioethics Certificate Course and practices at Children’s Mercy Hospital as a neonatologist.
The recipient of numerous NIH grants, he has published extensively in the areas of neonatology, neonatal intensive care, palliative care, and bioethics.
He said that while clinicians in the NICU have the benefit of experience and understanding the outcomes of children in intensive care, they need to be cognizant of the needs of parents and families of these children.
“Let’s move away from information overload,” he said. “We ourselves need to sit down with the family and find out where they’re at, if they need someone to help them move forward.”
Four teams of students from the UMKC health sciences schools took part in the third-annual UMKC Interprofessional Education (IPE) Healthcare Reasoning competition on March 2 on the health sciences campus.
The team of pharmacy student Anthony Spallito, nursing student Becca Stockhausen, and medical students Louis Sand and Dylan Schwind took home the first-place award. The second-place team was made up of pharmacy students Ashley Ragan and Andrew Yates and medical students Diana Jung and Sahaja Atluri.
This year’s event had teams manage a patient case in which they had to decide what tests to order, then use the test results to answer clinical questions. The teams were judged on interprofessional teamwork, communication, case progression/problem-solving, diagnosis and treatment.
“It was a close competition and every team did very well,” said Stefanie Ellison, M.D., School of Medicine IPE coordinator. “I was impressed with their ability to manage the patient case interprofessionally.”
Deans from the UMKC health sciences schools, Russ Melchert, School of Pharmacy, and Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., School of Medicine, served as judges in the final round. Faculty members from the health sciences schools also served as judges throughout the competition.
The event is planned each year by a group of UMKC pharmacy and medical students. School of Pharmacy students Michael Scott and Joseph Bredeck, and School of Medicine students Jordann Dhuse and Paige Charboneau planned this year’s event and the patient cases.
Organizers work to modify the competition each year to improve the overall experience for students. The group modified this year’s cases and developed Google Classroom as an electronic medical record for students to receive test results and images.
At least two different schools were represented on each team in the two-round, case-based competition. Eight medical students, seven pharmacy students, one nursing and one dental student took part in the competition.
One team from Washington University in St. Louis withdrew at the last minute because of weather concerns. Ellison said event organizers hope to expand the competition into a local and even a regional event in the future with local teams from outside of UMKC as well as beyond Kansas City.
The environment children are brought up in plays a large part in their eventual mental and physical well-being as they get older. Mental health expert Altha J. Stewart, M.D., president of the American Psychiatric Association, drove home that fact as she gave the annual Dr. Reaner and Mr. Henry Shannon Lecture in Minority Health on Feb. 22 at the UMKC School of Medicine.
Stewart spoke of the social determinants of health and health disparities as they relate to children such as childhood trauma, exposure to violence in the community and other adverse childhood experiences. Those events in children’s lives, she said, are things that are driving them into the juvenile justice or child welfare systems.
“When we don’t create an environment where children can be healthy and thrive and have a sense of well-being, we consign them to these things and put them on the path to a system that is out of their home and frequently out of their community, which is not the best thing for them.”
Stewart supported her statement with statistics that showed 70 percent of children entering juvenile justice our child welfare have experienced one episode of a traumatic event that has impacted their psychological development, physical health and ability to relate to others in a socially appropriate way. She added that 30 percent of those children have a history of physical or sexual abuse and have some diagnosed learning disability.
“Remember, these are children,” she said. “They still have the ability to change. And we have the ability to positively impact them before they get to this silhouette.”
Stewart has spent decades as chief executive officer and executive director of large public mental health systems in Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan. She currently serves at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center as associate professor and chief of social and community psychiatry. She is also director of the school’s Center for Health in Justice Involved Youth.
Before going to the University of Tennessee, Stewart was the executive director of a federally funded system of care program in Memphis for children with serious emotional disorders and their families.
An experienced health care administrator and nationally recognized expert in public sector and minority issues in mental health care, Stewart also worked as executive director of the National Leadership Council on African-American Behavioral Health.
She said that the current health care system is filled with disparities and a lack of cultural awareness. Unequal treatment, she added, points to glaring disparities that must be addressed ranging from differences in language to different understandings of illness and wellness.
“Health care is a right, not a privilege. Unless we do some of those things, we will not address the needs of man people in the population,” Stewart said.
The Shannon Lectureship takes place each February to create awareness about health disparities. It has welcomed such distinguished national speakers as former U.S. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis Sullivan, as well as noted local leaders in minority health.
Long-time UMKC School of Medicine faculty member and docent Lynn DeMarco, died on Feb. 15 in Leawood, Kansas. He was 85.
Dr. DeMarco joined the School of Medicine and the internal medicine staff at Truman Medical Center in 1977. He served as a docent for 10 years and continued on the School of Medicine faculty as a professor of medicine.
Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., was a member of Dr. DeMarco’s docent unit as a student at the School of Medicine.
“As one of the first students on his docent unit in 1977, I remember him as positively engaged with students, a wonderful clinician who always had a smile on his face.”
Jim Wooten, Pharm.D., said he remembered how years ago Dr. DeMarco helped him fit in as a new member of the School of Medicine faculty.
“At least once a week, when he used to have a clinic at TMC, I would drop by for a visit,” Wooten said. “I would get lots of clinical questions from him when he had a clinic here and at TMC Lakewood although I believe many questions were more to make me feel good about myself rather than me helping him much. He was a good man and extremely bright. I have no doubts that his patients will miss him and so will I.”
Before coming to Kansas City, he was in private practice at the Donahoe Clinic, later Central Plains Clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
A graduate of Creighton University and the Creighton University School of Medicine, Dr. DeMarco interned at Harbor General Hospital in Torrance, California. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Dianne Markell DeMarco, daughters, Gini Collins, Theresa DeMarco, Paula (Fritz) Long, Sons, Romano (Melissa), Lynn (Nick), John (Erika) and 10 Grandchildren, Virginia, Laura, John, Dianne, and Maria Collins, Henry, Walter, and Veronica Long, Oscar and Andrew.
Music and a festive atmosphere filled Pierson Auditorium in the UMKC Atterbruy Student Success Center on Saturday night, Feb. 16, when nearly 200 people enjoyed the fifth annual UMKC Health Sciences Harmony Gala.
The event is sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Council. It serves as a scholarship fundraiser to support underrepresented minority students enrolled in the UMKC health sciences schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies, and Pharmacy.
In addition to dinner and dancing, the event included a presentation of the 2019 Health Care Provider Diversity Awards. This year’s awards were presented to Children’s Mercy, the Sojourner Health Clinic, Saint Luke’s Health System and Truman Medical Centers.
The award acknowledges and honors health care professionals of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds for their outstanding commitment to provide health care to underserved populations in the Kansas City metro area.
A Valentine’s Day visit from a group of nearly a dozen UMKC School of Medicine students brought smiles, and often tears, to patients at Truman Medical Center on Thursday, Feb. 14.
The fifth and sixth-year medical students are members of the school’s Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS). They and their faculty advisor, Carol Stanford, M.D., professor of medicine a School of Medicine docent, spent a portion of their morning presenting roses and Valentine’s cards to throughout the hospital.
“This is one of the few times of the year where we stop what we’re doing and just take some time to appreciate the patients,” said sixth-year med student Ami Purohit, a member of the GHHS.
For a number of years now, Stanford and her honor society students have delivered roses and cards to patients on Valentine’s Day as part of the GHHS Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care.
Deven Bhatia, president of UMKC’s GHHS chapter, said the organization purchased 250 roses. Earlier in the week, the students invited others throughout the med school to join them in creating more than 200 hand-made Valentine’s cards.
This was Purohit’s second year to join Stanford and her GHHS classmates on their Valentine’s Day rounds. She said she found the experience rewarding.
“A lot of times our patients are sick and they may or may not have family members coming to see them,” she said. “When you give them their rose and Valentine’s card, I think they feel that the love is mutual and we are here to take care of them. We want to treat them like people and not just a patient room number. They appreciate that.”
Many patients responded with more than smiles. They broke down in tears as members of the group delivered a rose, a card and encouraging words, “Get well soon.”
“They were crying,” Purohit said. “You can see how touched they feel when we hand them a rose and a card. That’s what has made this tradition last. I think it’s going to be around for a long time, just knowing the impact it has on our patients.”
Last year, the School of Medicine received the Gold Humanism Honor Society’s Distinguished Chapter of the Year award. The honor recognizes the chapter’s impact, leadership, service activities and humanistic learning environment.
Stanford said the chapter received the award for its program excellence, which included a national “Thank A Resident Day” that started just two years ago at UMKC.
The GHHS has 150 chapters in medical schools and nearly a dozen residency programs throughout the United States.
The Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities is currently seeking submissions for a new edition of the medical humanities magazine, The Human Factor.
The magazine recognizes the important connection between medicine and the arts and their significant roles in strengthening physician-patient relationships. It also supports the “art” of medicine by showcasing creative works and sharing human experiences.
School of Medicine students, faculty and alumni are encouraged to submit original, unpublished essays, poems, short stories, drawings, photography and other art work. Past issues also have included shared experiences from classes, field trips and concerts.
The submission deadline for the next issue is April 30. Submissions should be sent to the Sirridge Office at 2411 Holmes St., Kansas City, MO 64108, Attn: Sarah McKee, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fifty-one years ago, a group of Chicago artists created a community mural called the Wall of Respect that revitalized the neighborhood in the city’s South Side. Last year, in the same spirit, Kansas City’s Jewish Community Center created its own Wall of Respect to celebrate the diversity of cultures in the community.
That project, a 12-foot yurt decorated by local artists, will be on display in the third-floor atrium of the UMKC Health Sciences Building for one week beginning Feb. 4. The following week, Feb. 11-15, the yurt will be set up at UMKC’s Student Union.
A yurt is a circular tent typically made of felt or animal skins mounted on a collapsible frame. The local Wall of Respect project was decorated by artists representing the African American, Jewish, Asian American, Latinx/Hispanic and Native American cultures that enhance the diversity of Kansas City. Murals are painted inside and outside the yurt as well as on the roof.
Tamica Lige is chair of the Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Council that is bringing Kansas City’s Wall of Respect to the university’s two campuses. The council is made up of representatives of the UMKC schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies, and Pharmacy, Children’s Mercy, Saint Luke’s Health System and Truman Medical Center.
“This is a good way for us to be involved with not only spreading the message of diversity, but also an appreciation of the arts,” Lige said. “It’s exciting that we can bring this community piece that represents diversity and inclusion in Kansas City to our campuses.”
Lige said cutout handprints will be available for visitors to decorate and hang inside the yurt to share their own ideas and stories of culture.
Jill Maidhof, director of the Jewish Community Center, will lead a walking tour and give a presentation on the yurt at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Health Sciences Building.
The yurt display is coming to UMKC as a leadup to the Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Council’s annual Harmony Gala event on Feb. 16. The annual dance event is a scholarship fundraiser for underrepresented minority students at the health sciences schools. Registration is still available online at umkcalumni.com/harmonygala.
“This is the perfect time to bring the yurt to campus, in conjunction with the Harmony Gala,” Lige said. “It’s about diversity, it’s inclusion, it’s recognizing disparities and trying to address them. It’s a way to visually represent where we want to go in representing the various cultures of our community within our schools.”
Lige said this will be the first time the yurt has visited UMKC.
“It’s exciting to have it at both campuses,” she said. “We’re looking forward to sharing it with the Volker campus. The majority of what we do is focused on students here on the health sciences campus. This gives us an opportunity to serve the greater student population of UMKC and that’s really rewarding.”
Organizers of the annual UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit are encouraging students to submit their abstracts and posters to participate in this year’s event.
The 2019 summit will take place from 3-5 p.m. on April 17 at the UMKC Student Union, Room 401. Deadline for submissions is March 27.
The research summit fosters research collaborations across disciplines and school that will produce economic, health, education and quality-of-life benefits for the greater Kansas City community. It is an opportunity for students to present their research to School of Medicine faculty.
Students can also sign up for a time to practice their presentations by sending an email to the research office at email@example.com.
The School of Medicine sponsors individual awards for medical students and its graduate students.
This is the seventh year that the schools are participating in the program at one venue on the Volker Campus. Last year, 50 students from the School of Medicine’s M.D. and Allied Health programs presented 45 posters at the research summit.
Health Sciences Student Research Summit Important links