Reception planned for retiring Education Team Coordinator Mary Pirotte

Senior Education Team Coordinator Mary Pirotte, a longtime staff member of the Office of Student Affairs, will retire from her role at the School of Medicine at the end of June.

Pirotte has served as ETC for the Blue unit for the last 14 years. She started as an education assistant for the Gold unit in 1989. During her time at the school, she has been a member of the curriculum council and the evaluation council. And she has worked with every dean of the medical school in some capacity.

A reception is planned from 3:30-5 p.m. on June 28 in the fifth-floor Biomedical and Health Informatics conference room, M5-103.

Going to the mat: Free yoga class Thursday

To celebrate International Yoga Day, the UMKC Health Sciences District will be offering a free class from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21. The class will be taught by a certified instructor and is open to all UMKC students, faculty and staff.

Come enjoy a gentle but effective hour of exercise. The class will be at the northeast corner of Holmes and 25th, in the green space south of the nursing and pharmacy schools.

The district asks that you sign up here or email leslie.carto@tmcmed.org. The first 25 yogis to sign up receive free yoga mats. You’ll also be able to register to win an exciting gift basket.

Missouri medical association awards scholarships to UMKC students

School of Medicine recipients of Missouri State Medical Association scholarships are: (front row, left to right) Rico Beuford, Austin Harris, Adele Souter, Elizabeth Robin, Paige Charboneau. (Back row) Fred Hahn, M.D., MSMA representative, Dylan Schwindt, Robert Johnson, Keaton Altom, Samuel Maples. Not pictured: Madeline Klaesner

The Missouri State Medical Association recently awarded scholarships to 10 students at the UMKC School of Medicine for the 2018-19 school year.

This year’s School of Medicine recipients are Keaton Altom, Rico Beuford, Paige Charboneau, Austin Harris, Robert Johnson, Madeline Klaesner, Samuel Maples, Elizabeth Robin,  Adele Souter and Dylan Schwindt.

Scholarship are given annually to fourth-year medical students who are graduates of a Missouri high school.

Missouri physicians formed the MSMA in 1850 to serve as a voice for the medical profession, physicians and their patients. The organization includes a Medical Student Section that addresses issues important to students of Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree programs.

Hospital Hill overcomes weather for another successful run

Nearly 2,900 runners outlasted the weather on June 2 to take part in the 2018 Hospital Hill Run that was sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences District.

From extreme heat on Friday to high winds and a menacing storm front early Saturday, the weather caused big worries just before the 2018 Hospital Hill Run, sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences District. But after the starting horn sounded at 7:30 Saturday morning, June 2, cloudy skies and temperatures in the 60s prevailed, making it a good day for the races.

Mid-90s heat caused the usual Friday evening 5K to be pushed to 7 a.m. Saturday, when the 7.7-mile and half-marathon races also were to begin. Because of lightning and a brewing storm, that start time was delayed an additional 30 minutes. But the big storm never materialized along the race routes, and all three runs started and finished in good order at Crown Center.

This was the 45th year for the race, which drew more than 2,800 entrants for its three distances, and the first year for the UMKC Health Sciences District to be the lead sponsor of the race.  Several of the dozen institutions that make up the district also provided the physicians, nurses, students and other health care professionals to staff the medical tent for runners in distress.

The cool weather helped, and just more than 30 runners ended up needing any medical help.

School of Medicine students, residents and faculty joined health care professionals from across Hospitall Hill to man the medical tent at the 2018 Hospital Hill Run.

“We had a very light day in the medical tent,” said Margaret E. “Meg” Gibson, M.D., medical director for the Hospital Hill Run and director of the UMKC Sports Medicine Fellowship. “The cool weather definitely was a big factor. However, we still had runners coming in with hyperthermia, high temperatures, and needed immediate treatment. Most presented with fatigue, muscle cramps, needing ice.”

Gibson, who has worked the race for nine years, said 50 to 100 people needing help on race day is more typical. She and her staff were ready for much worse. The medical tent was stocked with cots, ice packs, bandages and even an iced-down tub to treat the worst cases of overheating.

“We had an excellent team of volunteers that provided excellent care,” said Gibson, who practices in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Truman Medical Center Lakewood. “The medical tent would not be a success without their help. In total, we had 16 students, nine residents and fellows from TMC Lakewood and UMKC, 13 nurses from TMC and the community, and two physical therapists from TMC and one from Children’s Mercy Hospital.”

One of the residents, Cassie From, D.O., packed as much as she could into the morning. She ran the 5K before helping staff the tent.

“I have three kids at home, so I’m used to doing more than one thing at a time, fitting things in when I can,” she said Saturday right after the 5K and before any runners came to the tent needing help. “I wasn’t going to be able to do the race Friday evening because I had to work an overnight shift. But when they moved it to this morning, I had a friend sign me up yesterday. So I worked my shift, came here and ran the race, and now I can help in the tent. This also fills a community service requirement for my residency.”

The unique UMKC Health Sciences District is made up of UMKC; its Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies, and Pharmacy; Children’s Mercy Kansas City and Truman Medical Centers; the Kansas City (Mo.) Health Department; the Missouri Department of Mental Health Center for Behavioral Medicine; Jackson County Medical Examiner; Diastole Scholars’ Center; and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City.

The Hospital Hill Run was started by E. Grey Dimond, M.D. He also founded the UMKC School of Medicine, which in recent years sponsored the 5K. The UMKC Health Sciences district became the lead sponsor for all the races shortly after the district was founded a year ago.

The race weekend usually draws top runners from around the country, plus many local participants, often from fitness groups. That was the case Saturday for about 15 runners from the Sunday Runday North contingent. They met, stretched, chatted and watched the sky for a while at Crown Center before heading to the starting line.

One member of the group, Matt Kaspar, said this was his first Hospital Hill, and he chose the 7.7-mile race.

“I did a half marathon two weeks ago,” he said, “but this course is more challenging, hillier.”

Perhaps helped by the weather, the division winners in all three races turned in good times.

The first to cross the finish line in the 5K race was Zach Grover, 18, of Lee’s Summit. He won the men’s division in 17:17, followed 13 seconds later by his younger brother, Dylan Grover. Jennifer Butler, 29, of Overland Park, won the women’s division in 22:13. The race had 380 entries.

Zan Johnson, 20, of Olathe, won the men’s division of the 7.7-mile run in 45:12, and Jamie Martens, 42, of Mission, Kansas, won the women’s division in 54:53. That race had 1,004 entries.

An hour and 10 minutes (and 9 seconds) after the starting horn, the half marathon winner crossed the finish line: Austin Bogina, 24, of Arma, Kansas. The women’s division winner, Elle Meyer, 32, finished in 1:21:43. The half marathon had 1,487 entries.

Full race results, along with other information, are available online.

 

Sarah Morrison research award recipients announced

Sarah Morrison Student Research Award recipient for Spring 2018: (left to right, first row) Taylor Carter, Keerthi Gondi, Rishabh Gupta, Debolina Kanjilal; (second row) Shrusti Mehta, Nikitha Potturi, Hussain Rao, Alisha Shah; (third row) Garth Sherman, Siddhant Thukral, Jeremy Provance.

The School of Medicine Student Research Program has awarded 11 Sarah Morrison Student Research Awards for the Spring 2018 cycle. Recipients included 10 medical students and one graduate student.

Sarah Morrison awards of up to $2,500 are presented each year in April and October. More than 100 students have received an estimated $104,669 in financial support from the program to conduct research projects at the School of Medicine.

The deadlines for students interested in research who wish to be considered for one of the Sarah Morrison awards are March 1 and September. 1 each year. Applicants are reviewed by a committee of faculty judges and processed through the Office of Research Administration.

For complete application information, visit the student research website.

Spring 2018 Sarah Morrison Research Award
(Recipient / Faculty Mentor / Project title)

  • Taylor Carter, MS 5 / Miranda Huffman, M.D., associate professor of community and family medicine / The Need for Diversity: Narrative Review of Learning and Social Environment of Underrepresented Minority Medical Students at an U.S. Medical School
  • Keerthi Gondi, MS 4 / Sean Gratton, M.D., assistant professor of neurology / Prevalence, Treatment, and Outcomes of Asymptomatic Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension in a Pediatric Population
  • Rishabh Gupta, MS 3 / Peter Koulen, Ph.D., professor of basic medical science, Sabates Endowed Chair in Vision Research / Disease-mediated changes in Ca2+ channels during optic neuritis
  • Debolina Kanjilal, MS 3 / Gary Sutkin, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Endowed Chair in Women’s Health / The Pursuit of Error-Free Surgery
  • Shrusti Mehta, MS 3 / Paula Nichols, Ph.D., professor and chair of basic medical science / Molecular and Cellular consequences of Necrotizing Enterocolitis on neurodevelopment
  • Nikitha Potturi, MS 5, David Mundy, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology / Fetal Structural Cardiac Disease: Maternal & Neonatal Outcomes
  • Hussain Rao, MS 3, / Peter Koulen, Ph.D., professor of basic medical science, Sabates Endowed Chair in Vision Research / Pharmacological control of oxidative stress-mediated effects on endocannabinoid signaling
  • Alisha Shah, MS 3 / Peter Koulen Ph.D., professor of basic medical science, Sabates Endowed Chair in Vision Research / The role of MAPKs in innate immune system signaling in age-related macular degeneration pathogenesis
  • Garth Sherman, MS 5 / Fariha Shafi, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine / The effectiveness of BCG after local radiation therapy for Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer
  • Siddhant Thukral, MS 4, Paul Reicherter, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine / Serum Zonulin levels as measured during a Psoriasis Flare
  • Jeremy Provance, I.Ph.D. student / Kim Smolderen, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical and health informatics / Studying Amputations in the Cerner Health Facts Database: Overlap with Peripheral Artery Disease, Diabetes, and Prognostic Outcomes

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.

Stacey Algren, M.D., appointed chair of Council on Evaluation


Stacey Algren, M.D.

The School of Medicine has announced that Stacey Algren, M.D., clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, will serve as the chair of the Council on Evaluation.

Algren, a 2001 graduate of the School of Medicine, begins her new role as council chair in June, 2018. The appointment is for a seven-year term that will run through 2025.

The Council on Evaluation develops and applies policies and procedures to assess the academic and professional development of medical students as they progress through the School of Medicine. Its decisions affect the careers of our students, and the Council strives to render decisions that are consistent and in the best interests of our students and the medical program.

In 2009, Algren joined the Council on Evaluation, and most recently served as the vice-chair. She also serves as associate program director for the School of Medicine’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program and maintains a busy clinical practice at Saint Luke’s Hospital on the Plaza.

After receiving her medical degree in 2001, Algren completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at UMKC. She successfully completed fellowship training in pelvic surgery at Emory University. She returned to Kansas City in 2007 and joined the staff at Saint Luke’s Hospital, where she is the medical director of the Women’s Care Clinic.

The School of Medicine also recognizes the conspicuous service of Sara E. Gardner, M.D., who completed a seven-year term as Council on Evaluation chair.

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.

SOM researchers recognized for outstanding journal article

Shui Qing Ye, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics, and Daniel Heruth, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, are co-authors of a paper published in Cell and Bioscience that was selected as one the journal’s outstanding papers published in 2017.

The paper, “Epigenetic regulation of Runx2 transcription and osteoblast differentiation by nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase,” was published in the May 23, 2017 edition of Cell and Bioscience. It was chosen for the 2017 Ming K Jeang Award for Excellence in Cell & Bioscience.

Ye also serves as the William R. Brown Endowed Chair in Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the School of Medicine.

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.