Tag Archives: Alumni

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

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.”

SOM announces interim chair of psychiatry

Dr. Stephen Jarvis

The UMKC School of Medicine has announced that Stephen Jarvis, M.D., will serve as interim academic chair of the UMKC Department of Psychiatry.

Jarvis received his medical degree from University of Missouri-Columbia, and completed residency and fellowship training from the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

As a UMKC faculty member, Jarvis has held multiple administrative positions at Truman Medical Centers and at the former Western Missouri Mental Health Center. He serves as the associate chief medical officer and clinical department chair for Psychiatry at Truman Medical Centers.

Jarvis assumed his new role on November 20, 2017.

He replaces Nash Boutros, M.D., who served as chair of the UMKC Department of Psychiatry and  medical director for the Center for Behavioral Medicine from 2014 to 2017. Boutros, a professor of psychiatry, holds tenure in the department of Biomedical and Health Informatics. Boutros will remain at UMKC to continue his research program.

Celebrating lives saved by TMC lung cancer screening

Dr. Justin Stowell, a radiology resident at Truman Medical Center, talked about the success of an early lung cancer screening program he leads.

The UMKC Health Sciences District marked Lung Cancer Awareness Month on Thursday with “Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer,” a midday event that outlined the district’s early lung cancer screening, treatment and prevention efforts, led by Truman Medical Centers.

TMC’s screening program emphasizes early detection and treatment for longtime smokers and ex-smokers. The event Thursday celebrated its patients’ and doctors’ success in committing to healthy living and saving lives. The screening program uses low-dose CT scans and is the only one in the nation to be driven by resident physicians, who are supervised by faculty from the UMKC School of Medicine.

Among the speakers at the event was Dr. Justin Stowell, the radiology resident who started the screening program and who has compiled statistics on its early success. When lung cancer is detected in its early stage, he said, cure rates of 70 to 80 percent are possible.

And besides catching lung cancer early, Stowell said TMC’s  program has had success in getting more than one-fifth of the people tested to quit smoking.

Lung cancer is responsible for 155,000 U.S. deaths a year, more than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined, which emphasizes the need for awareness events such as “Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer.” Stowell also noted that Medicare covers the early screening for many longtime smokers, and insurance companies have been adding coverage as the success of the screenings has been demonstrated.

The event, which included a barbecue lunch, was attended by some lung cancer survivors who had benefited from the screenings and subsequent treatment or surgery to remove their cancer. A video was shown that told the survival story of Thaddus Owens, who was at the luncheon.

The event also drew some smokers whose doctors had encouraged them to attend. One of them was 64-year-old Carl Kendall, who said he had tapered off in recent years but still smoked at least half a pack a day.

“I started smoking in 1968,” he said. “I have a doctor’s appointment next week, and I’m going to ask about this screening.”

Charlie Shields, TMC president and CEO, kicked off the presentations. Besides highlighting the screening program’s success, he noted that “Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer” was the first event sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences District—a newly formed, premier academic health district made up of collaborating health care institutions on Hospital Hill.

Representatives of the School of Pharmacy presented information on smoking and lung cancer.

 “Truman Medical Centers is proud to be part of this exciting partnership,” Shields said. “The UMKC Health Sciences District is proving to do what it was intended, and that is to improve the health of the community in a variety of ways.”

The UMKC Health Sciences District is a cooperative partnership formed by 12 neighboring health care institutions on Hospital Hill: University of Missouri- Kansas City and its School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Health Studies, School of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry; Truman Medical Centers; Children’s Mercy; Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department; Missouri Department of Mental Health Center for Behavioral Medicine; Jackson County Medical Examiner; Diastole Scholars’ Center; and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City. 

 

School of Medicine announces new chair of Biomedical and Health Informatics

Shui Qing Ye, M.D., Ph.D.

School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., has announced the appointment of Shui Qing Ye, M.D., Ph.D. as chair of the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics. The appointment will take effect January 1, 2018.

A professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine, Ye will continue to occupy the William R. Brown / Missouri Endowed Chair in Medical Genetics and Molecular Medicine.

As department chair, he will work closely with faculty, staff, and students to help position the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics as a catalyst of innovation and creativity. Ye is an expert in genomics and translational bioinformatics, which will help foster important collaborations with other units throughout the university and with School of Medicine clinical partners. He has a strong track record of using new-age tools to gather and explore Big Data, and of partnering with researchers locally and worldwide in an effort to pinpoint new diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for human diseases.

Ye is the author of two highly acclaimed books on bioinformatics and Big Data in addition to extensive research experience. He served previously as director of the Gene Expression Profiling Core at the Center of Translational Respiratory Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Additionally, he served at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine as director of the Molecular Resource Core.

Ye earned his medical degree from Wuhan University School of Medicine at Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in lipid metabolism at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City, and received his Ph.D. in molecular mechanisms of disease from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Fifteen selected to join UMKC chapter of AOA honor society

The UMKC School of Medicine’s Missouri Delta chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society recently announced its newest members. The society selected 15 sixth-year students who will be inducted into the society next May.

Students selected for induction are Gaurav Anand, Tiffany Bland, Dorothy Daniel, Michael Keirsey, Brooks Kimmis, Margaret Kirwin, Nidhi Reddy, Shiva Reddy, Alexandra Reinbold, Elina Sagaydak, David Sanborn, Sumita Sharma, Ryan Sieli, Meghna Singh, and Christopher Tomassian.

Selection to the organization 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.

In May, the School of Medicine AOA chapter also welcomes fifth-year students, alumni, residents and faculty inductees who are announced in the spring. One or two sixth-year students will be selected next spring to join the 2018 class of inductees.