Tag Archives: Alumni

First alumni dean making her presence felt

Dean Jackson greeted new students and their parents and siblings on move-in day.

A full schedule is nothing new for Mary Anne Jackson, M.D. ’78. Between seeing pediatric patients at Children’s Mercy, teaching at the UMKC School of Medicine and serving on national boards including the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Red Book Committee on Infectious Diseases and the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, Jackson has always set a fast pace.

Now, as the first graduate of the school to serve as its dean, she may seem even busier. She took over as interim dean July 1 and quickly became a familiar face to hundreds of students. New students were greeted by her on move-in day and again at their inDOCtrination ceremony, and she welcomed third-year students to the more-clinical phase of their education at their White Coat Ceremony. She also will be meeting regularly with various student groups throughout the year.

Dean Jackson showed UMKC’s new president, C. Mauli Agrawal, around the School of Medicine and the UMKC Health Sciences District.

Dean Jackson also showed C. Mauli Agrawal, UMKC’s new chancellor, the School of Medicine and its surroundings when he toured the UMKC Health Sciences District. And she has held town hall style meetings to get to know faculty and staff and hear their concerns.

She also is making a point of reaching out to her fellow alumni. She gathered with alumni in the St. Louis area in August and has a Sept. 25 visit to Chicago scheduled. Events in Kansas City and Springfield also are in the works. If you live in another area and would like her to visit, please get in touch with Fred Schlichting at schlichtingf@umkc.edu.

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.

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 recognizes Class of 2018

Members of the School of Medicine Class of 2018 line up to have their names called during the Commcencement ceremony on May 21 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

In his final commencement address as UMKC School of Medicine Dean, Steven L. Kanter, M.D., applauded the Class of 2018 for its accomplishments and welcomed the graduates to the health care profession on May 21 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The School of Medicine recognized more than 150 graduates with degrees for doctor of medicine, masters in anesthesia, bioinformatics, health professions education, physician assistants, and a graduate certificate in clinical research.

Kanter, who will assume the role of president and chief executive officer of the Association of Academic Health Centers and the Association of Academic Health Centers International (AAHCI) on July 1, reminded the graduates that they are now part of a rich legacy and long-standing tradition of outstanding alumni of the School of Medicine.

One of those alumni, Michael Hinni, M.D. ’88, spoke to the class as the 2018 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award winner. A renowned surgeon and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the May Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, recounted his time at the School of Medicine how it prepared him for his current role in medicine. Specifically, to the more than 110 new physicians, he encouraged them to trust themselves and their education.

He said he was more prepared than he imagined when began his residency  because of his vast training at the School of Medicine.

“And you will be, too,” Hinni said. “So, a shout out to the School of Medicine and all of your achievements and your careers.”

2018 Student Award Winners

Master of Science Anesthesia

Jennifer Nolan | Student Ambassador Award

Master of Science Bioinformatics

Carrie Kriz | Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics Award for Excellence

Krishna Patel | Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics Award for Excellence

Doctor of Medicine

Gaurav Anand | Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduate

Danielle Cunningham | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Medical Education; Richardson K. Noback, M.D., Founders’ Award for Clinical Excellence; Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D., Award for Excellence in Microbiology; Lee Langley Award

Dorothy Daniel | Merck Manual for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Bette Hamilton, M.D., Memorial Award for Excellence in Immunology

Sanju Eswaran | Merck Manual for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Lee Langley Award; Richardson K. Noback, M.D., Founders’ Award for Clinical Excellence

Ravali Gummi | Ratilal S. Shah Medical Scholarship Fund; Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Honor Recipient

Ahsan Hussain | J. Michael de Ungria, M.D. Humanitarian Award

Margaret Kirwin | Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D. Award for Excellence in Pathology

Brooks Kimmis | Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduate

Peter Lazarz | James F. Stanford, M.D. Patient Advocate Scholarship

Eric Dean Merrill | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Award for Research

Steven Philips | UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Award Association Outstanding Senior Partner

Omar Qayum | Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence

Nidhi Reddy | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation

Alexandra Reinbold | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation

Salvador Rios | Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award

David Sanborn | Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Honor Recipient

Meghna Singh | Friends of UMKC Harry S. Jonas, M.D., Award; Laura L. Backus, M.D. Award for Excellence in Pediatrics

Shikhar Tomur | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Basic Science Award

Sai Vanam | ACP Senior Student Book Award

Christopher Wester | Pat D. Do, M.D., Matching Scholarship in Orthopedics

Danielle Witt | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence

 

Surgical innovator Mike Hinni wins 2018 Take Wing Award

Michael Hinni, M.D. ’88, received the 2018 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award from School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., on May 21.

“For many medical students, usually the specialty picks the person, and not the other way around,” said Michael Hinni, M.D. ’88, the 2018 winner of the E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award.

If that’s the case, surgery made a great choice with Hinni, a pioneer in performing and then teaching innovative head and neck surgery, all while building an academic department.

“I needed to fix things, so surgery attracted me,” Hinni said.

“When I was on an otolaryngology rotation and first walked into an OR and observed a middle ear reconstruction – using a microscope, and all its precision, so cool – I was hooked!”

School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., presented the award to Hinni on May 21 in Theater A as part of the annual Take Wing Award lectureship.

After Hinni graduated from UMKC’s B.A./M.D. program, his internship in general surgery and residency in otorhinolaryngology were at Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota. After that, he was hired at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, where he now is a professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery and head of the Department of Otolaryngology.

He also had a year’s fellowship in Germany studying transoral laser microsurgery — surgery that removes head and neck tumors through a patient’s mouth rather than cutting through the neck and jaw. Hinni brought the technique back in 1994 and became one of the first two U.S. surgeons to use it extensively.

“There was great resistance, because head and neck tumors had always been removed by opening people up,” Hinni said. “But I ran with it, and eventually we had a record of success.”

Hinni said the surgery offers great benefits to a patient, cutting hospital stays from 10 days or two weeks to three days, greatly reducing the difficulty of recovery and allowing patients to eat and speak by avoiding a tracheostomy and extensive reconstructive surgery.

“I’m proud to have stuck it out and helped bring a less-invasive way of treating cancer to the public,” Hinni said. “Now there are minimally invasive surgeons in most academic centers throughout the country.”

Along the way has treated some well-known patients, including U.S. Sen. John McCain and Buddy Bell, the former Major League third baseman and Kansas City Royals manager.

“Senator McCain is a great man, and I know Buddy Bell is known and loved by a lot of baseball fans,” Hinni said. “It has been an honor to care for them, and all my patients.”

Hinni also built the otolaryngology program at Mayo in Arizona, which had little research or academic offerings when he first was hired.

“Building a program from scratch has been gratifying — and humbling. You don’t build something like that without great collaboration and motivated partners, but we did it.”

He built the Arizona location’s thyroid surgery practice, and Mayo Rochester residents came for some of their thyroid surgery experience. He also trained residents from the military, first from the U.S. Air Force and then the Army and the Navy.  Eventually that meant he had two residents training year-round.

In 2006 the Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery/Audiology launched an independent otolaryngology residency program with Hinni as its founding director.

“If I retired tomorrow,” Hinni said, “starting that residency is what I would be most proud of.”

Along the way, Hinni helped design the instruments needed to accomplish better, safer surgery; contributed 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 presented the evidence for these medical advances at local, national and international forums.

Hinni also looked forward to returning to UMKC to receive his Take Wing Award, give the annual lecture at its presentation and address the 2018 School of Medicine graduating class.

“I made the best friends of my life,” Hinni said, ticking off names from his Class of ’88. “Jimmy Hartman and Tom McGinn, John McKenzie and Marty Emert. I had the good fortune to be roommates and hallway buddies with them on 1 North at the old 5030 Cherry Street dorm. They’re just wonderful people and caring doctors all at the top of their field.”

He also credited “my great senior support partner,” Cindy Chang, M.D. ’85, “and more great faculty members than I can name.”

“I’ve been very blessed in my career at Mayo,” Hinni said. “But UMKC was my launching pad. The camaraderie and the education were phenomenal.”

School of Medicine unveils new Student Wellness Wing

Niloofar Shahmohammadi, School of Medicine wellness program coordinator, shows off the new Wellness Wing for students.

Note to students entering the UMKC School of Medicine’s new fifth-floor Wellness Wing: Studying is off limits.

Niloofar Shahmohammadi is the school’s wellness program coordinator who brought the Wellness Wing to life. She calls the space a special area where students can step away from the rigors of schoolwork for a short while.

“This is our official wellness place where you can take a break, step away and then get back to what you need to do,” Shahmohammadi said.

The School of Medicine officially opened the space on May 9 with a grand opening event that included food and drawings for door prizes.

A massage chair sits discreetly in one corner of the room. Large bean bags on the floor along one wall allow students to stretch out and relax while soft music fills the area. Tables loaded with puzzles, coloring books and arts and crafts, sports equipment that can be checked out, and a small library of books on wellness are just some of what the area offers as an escape from the rigors of study and work.

Two computers loaded with meditation software are available. Students can also step in for a drink of tea, or to check out a Fitbit to count their steps while they’re active.

The area once housed the school’s curriculum office. Now, Shahmohammadi said, it is intentionally designed not to look or feel like any other room in the building.

“You are in the library studying all day. You are in the clinic and you’re working all day,” she said. “This is a little oasis where you can step away in the middle of your day, maybe during your lunch break, maybe in a break between classes, step in here and get rejuvenated.”

The room will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to provide students a place to get away after class hours. Student members of the wellness council will fill shifts manning a front desk to help those who want to check out equipment or need help with the meditation software.

Shahmohammadi applauded School of Medicine advancement director, Fred Schlichting, for obtaining support and funding from the school’s alumni association to make the area a reality. The two met about a year ago to talk about student wellness needs. That’s when she shared her ideas for a physical space at the medical school where students can escape the stresses of schoolwork.

“He said, ‘I think we can make that work,’” Shahmohammadi said. “Because he works with the alumni, he was able to allocate some alumni association funds for this project. All of a sudden, in one year, it’s here and we’re very excited.”

Vision crucial for improving U.S. health care, AOA lecturer says

Steve Miller, M.D. ’88, delivered this year’s AOA Lecture.

Improving U.S. medical care while holding down costs will require vision and innovation. Short-sighted adjustments that perpetuate longstanding ways of practicing medicine won’t bring about the changes needed.

That was the message delivered May 4 by Steve Miller, M.D. ’83, in the 2018 AOA Lecture at the UMKC School of Medicine. Miller is senior vice president and chief medical officer of Express Scripts, a large pharmacy benefits manager based in St. Louis.

Miller used St. Louis to illustrate the importance of vision — and the peril of lacking it. At the turn of the 20th century, St. Louis was the Gateway to the West and a city on the rise. It had the first U.S. skyscraper, the Wainwright Building, and in 1904 the largest World’s Fair ever. But the city was about to be eclipsed because of its decision backin the mid-1850s against building a railroad bridge over the Mississippi River, betting on river travel remaining more important than the promise of a transcontinental railroad.

St. Louis had violated an important principle, letting existing resources limit its vision. And, Miller said, “When you don’t have the right vision, others are going to do something about it.”

Today, Miller said, U.S. health care has the same problem of limited vision, spending far more than other developed countries but without better outcomes. A system designed by physicians for their own convenience has limited innovation, to the point where examining rooms look much as they did 100 years ago, and physicians see about the same number of patients as they did in the early 1900s.

Against that stagnant productivity, he said, 12,000 minute clinics have sprung up, but not with any evidence of better results or lower costs. There’s evidence that, for example, they overprescribe antibiotics and don’t produce better health care. But they are growing, he said, because their hours and convenience are what people want.

Medicine has improved greatly in other ways, Miller said, often involving his company’s area of expertise, pharmaceuticals. For example, he said, better medicines have virtually eliminated operating on peptic ulcers, once among the most common surgeries, and also have greatly reduced the number of heart bypass surgeries.

Miller said his company, Express Scripts, besides managing pharmacy benefits, is also the third largest pharmacy company in the U.S. Its automated pharmacies, he said, have improved convenience and greatly reduced errors in the dispensing of medicines. And as a large benefits manager, his company works to hold down drug prices by increasing pharmaceutical makers’ bidding for its business.

Working to hold down prices is becoming even more important, he said, because the pharmaceuticals being developed now are mainly specialty drugs, with the promise of effectively treating relatively rare illnesses.

So the possibilities are exciting, he said, but vision will be crucial to finding innovative ways to make breakthroughs affordable and accessible for everyone.

 

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