Volunteer work gives sixth-year student great satisfaction and earns him the first Amit J. Patel Extra Mile Scholarship

Amit J. Patel, M.D.’05, congratulates sixth-year medical student Luke He, the first recipient of a scholarship Patel financed to recognize students committed to helping others through volunteering.

Luke He, heading into his sixth year at the UMKC School of Medicine, says he does volunteer work “because I’m motivated by the impact it has made, not for my own recognition.”

But now He has been recognized for that work, and in a big way, as the first recipient of the Amit J. Patel Extra Mile Scholarship.

Patel, a 2005 School of Medicine graduate and docent for the Green 8 unit, started a scholarship aimed at students who volunteer for many reasons: because he knows of the great commitment students make; because “serving others, particularly those in need, is our greatest duty”; and because “it’s important for the students to know that alumni are proud of them and want them to succeed.”

For He, service to others has always been a top value in his family. He has lived that by volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Gold Key International Honour Society, Camp Cardiac and Harvesters.

“Before I was born, my parents immigrated here from China seeking better opportunities for their future kids,” said He, whose brother, James He, is also a UMKC School of Medicine student. “My parents are highly educated and had great jobs in China, yet they chose to leave all of their friends and family for their own future family. They’ve made huge sacrifices in their lives so I could have the opportunity to get a great education and a productive career.”

He is co-president of the School of Medicine’s Class of 2019 and previously received a Missouri State Medical Association Scholarship, which has helped him get on his way to a great career. And he said the Extra Mile Scholarship will be a great help, too.

“This is a significant amount of money and has a huge impact on my financial situation,” said He, whose wife, Breanna, is a recent UMKC School of Education graduate just starting to teach second grade. “I have held a part-time job every year in medical school, and I plan to continue working the same amount of hours. But the scholarship means I will be able to take out less in loans this year, though I am anticipating more expenses with residency applications and traveling for interviews.”

He also plans to keep up his volunteer work with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“It’s an organization in which you are matched with an elementary or high school student who may qualify based on the family’s financial situation, or a variety of other challenges that they may face,” He said. “Together, my ‘little’ and I cook, fish, hike, go to sporting events and much more.”

Rather than a burden, He said, volunteering should be something one enjoys – and he definitely enjoys hanging out with his “little brother.”

“I usually try to assist him in school and recently helped him get a job. We are doing more and more career planning as he gets through high school,” He said. “My biggest goal is to have him explore different career fields and start taking the right steps toward his future.”

He, who is interested in emergency medicine, also said he was inspired by his benefactor and impressed that Patel, in mid-career, “is so passionate about investing in students that he is awarding this huge scholarship.”

For his part, Patel said He was “more than deserving.”

“I truly believe that being a physician is an honorable profession if approached with a selfless attitude,” Patel said. “I wanted to give back to my school, but moreso the students directly because I was a student here not too long ago. I feel really happy to see our students succeed.”

School of Medicine Alumni Achievement Award Goes to Wes Stricker

Wes Stricker, M.D. ’79, has been selected as the 2018 UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Achievement Award recipient.

William E. “Wes” Stricker, M.D. ’79, founded and manages Allergy & Asthma Consultants, which has been treating patients in central Missouri for more than 35 years. Additionally, he is the sole shareholder of Ozark Allergy Laboratory and Clinical Research of the Ozarks.

Stricker’s other passion is aviation. He owns Ozark Management, an aviation management company he has used to support academic and athletic departments at Mizzou, charitable missions for Veterans’ Airlift Command and the Special Olympics.

Stricker’s strong allegiance for the U.S. military comes from having served on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Harry S. Truman Commissioning Committee and with the Greenland Expedition Society, an organization dedicated to the discovery and recovery of a flight of WWII fighters lost on the Greenland cap. An active member of the community, Stricker serves on the board of trustees for The Julliard School; as a board member for “The MASTERS,” an emergency relief fund for families of fallen Missouri State Troopers; and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Because of his contribution to health care and serving Missourians, the UMKC Alumni Association will present Stricker with the 2018 School of Medicine Alumni Achievement Award.

Stricker recently discussed his career and community service with UMKC:

Where does your passion for medicine come from?

The passion came from watching my father’s caring approach to his patients and observing the respect he earned from an entire community for his efforts. Our parents instilled the desire to succeed academically in all four of their sons, each of whom earned an M.D. including two from UMKC. Mom was valedictorian of her high school class at age 16, earning a college degree from Washington University before the age of 20 at a time when very few women obtained higher educations.

Have you always wanted to be a doctor? What attracted you to UMKC’s six-year med-school program?

I was always torn between becoming a physician, pilot or musician, but determined early in life the best option to remain engaged in all three was to pursue a career in medicine. I played keyboards for the Mizzou studio jazz band while an undergrad along with some gigs as a paid performer in jazz clubs around the city, and also enjoyed part time jobs flying aircraft on weekends during medical school.
I joined the six-year med program at the Year-2 level after spending two years in undergraduate study at Mizzou. The energetic leadership of Dean Richardson Noback and Provost for the Health Sciences, E. Grey Dimond, the hands-on approach with early integration of clinical rotations and the new facilities on Hospital Hill collectively attracted me to the program and away from the traditional—and longer—4 + 4 year programs.

You’ve been treating patients in rural Missouri for more than 35 years. Why are you dedicated to bringing care to rural communities? And why are you an allergist?

I grew up in a rural community (St. James, Missouri), and UMKC’s original mission was to accept students from rural communities in the hope they would return to practice. So I accepted their challenge to return home, as it never made sense to practice in a large city with an allergist on every corner when one could be the only allergist within a hundred miles in every direction.

I suffered from an allergic disease as a child, so becoming an allergist was the best way to “get even” and ease the suffering of my allergic patients. My mentor was T. Reed Maxson, an allergist in rural (at the time) Warrensburg, where I took one of my first clinical electives from UMKC.

Mid-Missouri ranks among the top 10 states in the USA for the highest levels of pollen and mold, exposure which contributes to the development and progression of allergic disease. Farmland, pasture and the “100-acre woods” produce a lot more pollen and mold than the concrete and buildings found in urban areas.

UMKC’s Gold Humanism chapter recognized nationally

Graduating chapter members and adviser Carol Stanford, M.D. ’79, proudly displayed their award banner at graduation.

The School of Medicine’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society was one of three nationwide to win this year’s Distinguished Chapter Award.

The med school chapters at Vanderbilt and Georgetown also were recognized. The awards recognize advancement in patient-centered care, sustaining a humanistic learning environment and demonstrating leadership.

The UMKC chapter has been led for several years by Dr. Carol Stanford, who earned her M.D. at UMKC.

The School of Medicine’s 15-year-old chapter has been a leader in the national society, particularly advancing ideas for National Patient Solidarity Week. The week, in February each year, is filled with activities that encourage stronger bonds between patients and their physicians, nurses and other care givers. Those activities include making Valentine’s Day cards for patients at Truman Medical Center and distributing them along with roses, and Tell Me More, a program that encourages learning more about patients so they are known as individuals beyond their medical conditions.

Interim Dean Appointed at School of Medicine

Mary Anne Jackson, MD
Mary Anne Jackson, MD

Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., has been appointed interim dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. Her appointment will begin July 1.

Jackson is a 1978 alum of UMKC’s innovative six-year degree program and has been a faculty member since 1984. She is a professor of pediatrics with a specialization in infectious diseases, holding a clinical appointment with Children’s Mercy, one of the school’s partners in the UMKC Health Sciences District.

Jackson is internationally respected for her impressive record of scholarly achievement. She serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Red Book Committee on Infectious Diseases, a publication that provides guidance on the diagnosis, treatment, manifestations and epidemiology of more than 200 childhood conditions. She is a journal reviewer for American Journal of Infection Control, Journal of Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal and JAMA Pediatrics, among many other research publications.

Jackson has won numerous awards for her mentorship including the Children’s Mercy Department of Pediatrics Excellence in Mentoring award in 2015, and Golden Apple Mentoring Awards in 2012 for mentoring fellows and 2013 for residents. In 2012, she received a Take Wing Award, presented annually at the School of Medicine to one who has demonstrated excellence in his or her chosen field and exceeded the expectations of peers in the practice of medicine, academic medicine or research.

In 2017, Jackson was selected to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee. She also serves on the American Heart Association’s Committee on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young as well as numerous additional national, regional and local committees.

Steven L. Kanter, M.D., who served as dean since 2014, is leaving UMKC this summer for an international leadership opportunity in academic health in Washington, D.C. He will be president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Association of Academic Health Centers and the Association of Academic Health Centers International.

School of Medicine inducts new members to AOA honor society

The School of Medicine welcomed its 2018 class of Alpha Omega Alpha members during a banquet on May 3.

The School of Medicine chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society has added 21 new students and three residents/fellows to its roster. The new AOA members were inducted during a reception on May 3 at Diastole.

Two sixth-year senior students recently selected for membership are Sean Bonanni and Mitchell Solano. Fifth-year junior students Miracle Amayo, Taylor Carter, Jonah Graves and Imran Nizamuddin, were also recently elected.

Senior students who were elected in the Fall of 2017 for induction include: Gaurav Anand, Tiffany Bland, Dorothy Daniel, Michael Kiersey, Brooks Kimmis, Margaret Kirwin, Nidhi Reddy, Shiva Reddy, Alexandra Reinbold, Elina Sagaydak, David Sanborn, Sumita Sharma, Ryan Sieli, Meghna Singh, Christopher Tomassian.

Hanna Alemayehu, M.D., pediatric surgeon at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Samantha Heretes, M.D., chief ophthalmology resident, and Shuba Roy, M.D., internal medicine resident, were also elected to the AOA in April.

Selection to AOA membership is considered an honor recognizing one’s dedication to the profession and art of healing. It is based on character and values such as honesty, honorable conduct, morality, virtue, unselfishness, ethical ideals, dedication to serving others and leadership. Membership also recognizes excellence in academic scholarship.

Steve Miller, M.D. ’83, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Express Scripts, Inc., gave the annual AOA lecture on May 4 at the School of Medicine. Miller spoke on “A new vision for health care,” describing the business and changes that are needed in the pharmaceutical industry.

This year’s AOA student officers include Danielle Cunningham, Sanju Eswaran, Carlee Oakley and Vishal Thumar. Fohn Foxworth, Pharm.D., professor of medicine and associate dean, and David Wooldridge, M.D. ’94, internal medicine residency program director, serve as faculty officers.

Michael Hinni takes wing

Michael Hinni, M.D., ’88, a pioneer in head and neck surgery, is the 2018 winner of the E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award.

Hinni is professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and head of the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Otolaryngology at Mayo Scottsdale. He is known for being in the forefront of developing minimally invasive procedures for surgical removal of head and neck tumors.

Those efforts included designing instruments to accomplish better, safer surgery; contributing to the published medical literature on such topics as how much tissue needs to be removed to completely clear malignancy from the throat and surrounding areas; and presenting the evidence for this medical advances at local , national and international forums.

In letters nominating him for the award, his colleagues praised him for displaying substance, purpose, courage, care for and loyalty to followers, integrity and self sacrifice.

As Take Wing winner, Hinni is scheduled receive his award and deliver the annual Take Wing lecture on May 21 at the School of Medicine and to speak as part of the School of Medicine’s commencement ceremony later that afternoon.

Golf outing raises more than $9,000 to support Sojourner Clinic

A benefit golf event put on by the School of Medicine National Board of Alumni and Partners raised nearly $9,000 to support the school’s Sojourner Clinic.
Mrudula Gandham, a second-year Sojourner Clinic student volunteer, addressed the audience at a banquet for the Swinging for Sojourner golf tournament.

More than 100 people showed up on a warm February afternoon to take part in a golf outing that raised more than $9,000 to support the UMKC School of Medicine’s Sojourner Health Clinic.

Sponsored by the school’s National Board of Alumni and Partners, the Swinging for Sojourner event on Feb. 25 drew a broad group of supporters and golf enthusiasts.

“Our School of Medicine Alumni Board did a fantastic job creating this event,” said Fred Schlichting, School of Medicine Director of Advancement. “It was great to see UMKC alumni, students, friends and family swinging the clubs and having fun. It was a picture perfect day for an incredible cause.”

Participants filled 19 playing bays at the Top Golf facility in Overland Park, Kansas, and the banquet room after the golf competitions. A number of individuals and community partners, as well as UMKC athletics, UMKC Foundation and UMKC Charter Schools, pitched in to host teams or serve as event sponsors.

Tracy Stevens, M.D., president of the School of Medicine alumni association, welcomed the participants during the banquet. Merriam Massey, program assistant for Sojourner Clinic, also addressed the crowd. Second-year student Mrudula Gandham, one of the more than 200 student volunteers who help to operate the clinic, also spoke about the impact of Sojourner Clinic on the community and the education of UMKC students.

Sojourner Clinic opened in 2004 in downtown Kansas City to provide free health care for the inner-city homeless population. Each year, volunteers provide more than 1,500 hours of service to treat some of the city’s most vulnerable patients.

Since its founding, the clinic has expanded to include volunteers and services of students from the School of Medicine’s physician assistants program, the UMKC dental school, the physical therapy program at Rockhurst College and others.

“One of the major assets of Sojourner is collaboration. Our School of Medicine students had the foresight to include other schools and community partners to create and sustain a first-class clinic,” Schlichting said. “We need to take this same approach to this event. It will be a point of emphasis to invite all of our partners in the UMKC Health Sciences District to get involved with Swinging for Sojourner next year.”

Schlichting and tournament organizers offered a special round of thanks to tournament and team sponsors.

Tournament Sponsors
Dr. Corey Iqbal ’03
Dr. Diana Dark ’80
Dr. Tracy Stevens ’90
Dr. Ahmed Awad ’89
Dr. Valerie Rader ’05
Blue KC

Team Sponsors
Dr. Susan Storm ’85
Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick ’92
Dr. Steven Waldman ’77
Dr. Julie Brown-Longly ’00
UMKC Foundation
UMKC Athletics
UMKC Charter Schools Center
Truman Medical Center/University Health
Truman Medical Center Lakewood
Department of Community and Family Medicine
Polsinelli

He Wrote the Book on That

Waldman’s wealth of textbooks fills needs in practice, education

“HE WROTE THE BOOK ON THAT” usually is a figure of speech. But when it comes to diagnosing, treating and managing pain, Steve Waldman, M.D. ’77, did write the book — dozens, in fact.

His “Interventional Pain Management,” published in 1996, was the first textbook on the new subspecialty of interventional pain management, said Waldman, the School of Medicine’s associate dean of international programs and chair of the Department of Medical Humanities & Bioethics. Other groundbreaking works followed.

Waldman coined the term interventional pain management, for treating pain as the primary focus instead of as a symptom, like fever.

“That was a big shift in pain management,” said Waldman, a clinical professor of anesthesiology at the School of Medicine since 1992. “There were great advances in medical knowledge in the field but the literature really lagged. There was a need and I wrote the book.”

Steven Waldman and book collection.

Steven Waldman, M.D. ’77, has published 29 medical textbooks, in addition to hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

For more than 20 years, Waldman has kept seeing such needs and writing books to meet them, on pain management and on his other area of expertise, diagnostic ultrasound. His published writings have grown to 29 leading medical textbooks, chapters in dozens of others, and more than 240 articles, reviews and other contributions to peer-reviewed journals.

Several of his books have gone into multiple editions, a sign that they are filling vital medical needs and that Waldman is committed to keeping them up to date. Besides topping medical-text sales charts, the books have won awards such as the 2016 British Medical Association Book Award for the third edition of “Physical Diagnosis of Pain: An Atlas of Signs and Symptoms.”

How does an author become so prolific, while also teaching and fulfilling two key administrative posts at the School of Medicine? His longtime editor at W.B. Saunders Co., Michael Houston, said Waldman combined practical knowledge with a keen focus on thoroughness and maximum efficiency.

“Dr. Waldman is one of our most productive and dependable authors,” Houston said. “He is very much aware of what the practicing pain management physician needs to know day to day.”

One physician who values Waldman’s deep knowledge and ability to explain and display medical concepts is Commander Ian M. Fowler, M.D., the head of pain medicine and anesthesiology for the U.S. Navy.

“The anatomic illustrations, radiographic and ultrasound images and detailed explanations in Dr. Waldman’s procedural and comprehensive pain management textbooks have improved my care of patients and improved the learning of my trainees,” Fowler said. “He has kept these informative textbooks up to date with frequent new editions and text on emerging technologies such as ultrasound guided procedures.”

On many of his books, Waldman’s productivity has been enhanced with the help of his three sons and daughter. They’ve done everything from acting as a sounding board for ideas and models for photo illustrations to co-writing, editing and proofreading.

Waldman’s efforts are far from finished. His latest project is a textbook on the use of technology in medical education, which he is writing with a professor at Trakya University in Turkey. Several faculty at UMKC also are contributing.

How much Waldman’s texts have helped medical education and practice is impossible to measure. But his books have been translated into a dozen languages, so their reach is global.

“When I was in China last year representing UMKC at the Edgar Snow Symposium, we toured the hospital at Peking University,” Waldman said. “It was gratifying to see a copy of one of my books, in Chinese, being used in a procedure there.”