Hundreds of student volunteers were recognized May 8 at the annual Sojourner Clinic Banquet, which was held at the Diastole Scholars’ Center. Students put in more than 1,500 volunteer hours each year treating more than 300 patients in more than 800 patient visits at the clinic, which offers free care to the homeless in downtown Kansas City.
This year’s award winners:
Top Year 1 Volunteer – Harshita Degala
Top Year 2 Volunteers – Madhavi Murali & Alaya Bodepudi
Top Year 3 Volunteer – Koral Shah
Top Year 4 Volunteer – Komal Kumar
Top Year 5 Volunteer – Jessica Wise
Top Year 6 Volunteer – Rahul Maheshwari
Top PA Student Volunteer – Emma Windham
Top Pharmacy Student Volunteer – Katie Tuck
Brook Nelson Award for Leadership – Michele Yang
Ellen Beck Award for Dedication – Imaima Casubhoy
Angela Barnett Award for Humanism – Koral Shah
Dan Purdom Award for Commitment – Eshwar Kishore
The clinic also has a new board for 2018-2019:
Executive Directors: Danielle Terrill and Adithi Reddy
Laboratory Director: Michele Yang
Patient Assistance Program Director: Priyesha Bijlani
Lead Clinic Manager: Elle Glaser
Financial Chair: Rose Puthumana
Clinic Managers: Seenu Abraham, Jessica Wise, Vishnu Harikumar, Antonio Petralia, Tony Cheng, Shipra Singh, Elizabeth Theng, Raga Kilaru, Vijay Letchuman
Main Operations Director: Kavelin Rumalla
Lab Managers: Alaya Bodepudi, Madhavi Murali, Imaima Casubhoy
PA Reps: TBA
Webmasters: Eshwar Kishore, Mrudula Gandham
PR Reps: Sriram Paravastu, Adnan Islam
Secretary: Angela Nwankwo
Pharmacy Liaison: Riddhi M. Ishanpara
Junior Financial Chair: Shruti Kumar
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.
Eight School of Medicine students, double the number from last year, will receive awards from the 2018 UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund.
Across UMKC, 67 women received support gifts totaling $78,212.
The School of Medicine winners, their field of study, and their projects:
— Kelly Anderson, anesthesiology, will attend the annual American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, with help from the Charles W. Nielsen Award in honor of Georgia Pierson Nielsen.
— Priyesha Bijlani, medicine, will present at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition, with help from the Presidents and Past Presidents General Assembly of Greater Kansas City Award II.
— Taylor Carter, medicine, received funding for her Step 2 Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills medical licensing exams through the Soroptimist International of Kansas City Award and the Clarence and Shirley Kelley Award.
— Frances Grimstad, bioinformatics, received support to compensate transgender patients participating in radiology imaging as a part of her master’s thesis project, through the Curtis J. Crespino Award and Dorothy A. Stubbs Charitable Trust Award.
— Anna Grodzinsky, cardiology, received support to attend the Cardiac Problems in Pregnancy Conference from the Mary Kay McPhee and Bill Pfeiffer Award.
— Jessica Kieu, obstetrics and gynecology, received support to present research at the 16th World Association for Infant Mental Health World Congress through the Women’s Council Annual Fund Donors Award and Planned Parenthood of Kansas City Award.
— Grace Rector, medicine, received support for an out-of-country elective to provide care to the African pediatric population, through the Zonta Club of Kansas City, Missouri, II Award and the Harriette Yeckel Friendship Across Borders Award.
— Nyaluma Wagala, medicine, received support for her Orthopedic Research and Abstract Presentation through the Marilyn McGuyre and Frances Nelson Office of Student Affairs Award.
Volunteers with the student-operated Kansas City Free Eye Clinic (KCFEC) are working to extend free eye care to the city’s refugee community. The plan took a national stage in October when Ravali Gummi, a sixth-year medical student at UMKC, pitched the idea to more than 1,200 college students from across the globe and national leaders at the Clinton Global Initiative University.
The annual meeting is an event of the Clinton Foundation that brings together young visionaries from across the globe to discuss and explore global challenges.
Gummi serves as student clinic director of the KCFEC. Imran Nizamuddin, a fifth-year medical student, is the organization’s communications director. Both were invited to attend this year’s Clinton Global Initiative University in Boston based on a Commitment to Action plan submitted on behalf of the KCFEC.
In addition to being selected to attend the national meeting, their action plan, “A Vision for Our Refugees: The Efforts of a Free Eye Clinic,” was one of just five chosen for presentation on the main stage during the meeting’s opening session.
“The opportunity to speak on stage prompted many conversations through the rest of the weekend, as students approached us to ask more about our free eye clinic or to share their own efforts,” Gummi said.
In her presentation, Gummi explained how the KCFEC has treated more than 3,100 patients and distributed more than 1,000 pairs of free eye glasses since its inception eight years ago. Five years ago, the clinic moved to a location densely populated with homeless shelters to target local underserved populations.
“This year, we are seeking to reach the increasing number of refugees entering the Kansas City area and enhance their access to eye health care,” Gummi said.
During the Clinton Global Initiative University program, Gummi and Nizamuddin networked with other students, met with national leaders and learned about the diverse array of global challenges facing the world.
In 2009, KCFEC began in part as a commitment from Clinton Global Initiative University with a grant from the foundation. About 30 volunteers, including UMKC medical and physician assistant students, and Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences students, actively participate in the KCFEC.
In addition to the initiative to expand eye care to the refugee community, Gummi said the clinic is working toward starting a new mobile eye clinic to better serve patients for whom transportation is a barrier.
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.
The School of Medicine is accepting nominations for three upcoming faculty, staff and student awards in the areas of diversity and health equity, mentoring and medical education research.
The Excellence in Diversity and Health Equity in Medicine Awards recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated sustained and impactful contribution to diversity, inclusion and cultural competency or health equity. The award is given to a student or student organization, and to faculty, staff, resident and/or organization/department.
Nominees should be those who have made consistent contributions to diversity, inclusion, cultural competency or health equity through one or more of the following:
Recruiting and/or retaining a diverse student or faculty body;
Facilitating an inclusive environment for success of all;
Working to promote health equity and the elimination of health disparities;
Strengthening efforts to develop or implement cultural competency strategies that improve health-care delivery.
Nomination materials should be sent to the attention of Cynthia Ginn in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at email@example.com.
Two Betty M. Drees, M.D., Excellence in Mentoring Awards are presented each year. The Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award is for a faculty member with the rank of professor. The Excellence in Mentoring Award goes to a faculty member who is either an associate or assistant professor.
The awards recognize the significant contributions mentors make to enhance and develop the careers of our faculty and trainees. Characteristics of successful mentoring include generosity, listening, objectivity, and constructive feedback regarding career and professional/personal development.
Two prominent figures from the UMKC School of Medicine were introduced into the new Hospital Hill Run Hall of Fame on June 1 during a VIP reception just prior to race weekend.
The inaugural class of inductees includes the two founding fathers of the Hospital Hill Run, UMKC School of Medicine founder E. Grey Dimond, M.D., and retired faculty member Ralph Hall, M.D. Mark Curp, a local two-time Hospital Hill Run winner who held U.S. and world records in the half marathon from 1985 to 1990, was also part of the inaugural Hall of Fame class.
During the past 44 years, the race has grown from a single, 6.8-mile race with fewer than 100 runners to an annual event that boasts thousands of athletes competing in three different distances. Annually, it includes the UMKC School of Medicine 5K on Friday night, followed by a 10K and a half marathon on Saturday morning. Runner’s World magazine has touted the Hospital Hill Run as one of the top 25 road races in the United States.
The 2017 races were held June 2 and 3 with each beginning and ending on Grand Boulevard directly in front of Crown Center.
Jordann Dhuse, a fourth-year student at the UMKC School of Medicine, won the women’s division of the School of Medicine 5K event in 23-minutes, 11-seconds, more than 40 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher in the women’s race.
Dimond (1918-2013) was a devoted physician who dedicated his life to the practice of medicine, medical education and physical fitness. He scheduled a symposium of physical fitness to be held in May 1974 with the intent to combine the symposium with a running event. Dimond approached Hall, a UMKC faculty member and an endrocrinologist at Saint Luke’s Hospital, with the idea and together they created the Hospital Hill Run. For many years, Dimond experienced a great surge of happiness standing on the southwest corner of 25th and Holmes, cheering on thousands of runners as they competed in the event.
Hall was a runner in high school and college but had never managed a running event. He used his running network to secure a race organizer. For the first few years, Hall managed the medical tent to ensure that all runners would receive proper care if needed. In addition, he worked with various physicians to incorporate medical education courses before moving from Kansas City.
When word reached Divya Shroff, M.D., ’00, F.H.M., that she had been selected as winner of the 2017 UMKC School of Medicine E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award, tears filled her eyes.
“I’m not worthy,” Shroff said. “That was my first response.”
Her colleagues would beg to differ.
Having worked at two of the largest health care systems in the United States, Shroff has grown into a nationally recognized leader in bringing together medicine and technology to improve the quality of patient care.
Today, she is also responsible for the strategic leadership and oversight of a staff of nearly 1,800 physicians and advanced practitioners as chief medical officer of TriStar Centennial Medical Center, in Nashville, Tennessee. With that comes the duty of maintaining the highest standard of quality and clinical excellence for the flagship hospital of the nation’s largest for-profit health care corporation, Hospital Corporation of American (HCA).
It’s a goal that Shroff and her team have consistently met since she took on the physician leadership role in 2013. For the past five years, the hospital has earned an A+ rating for quality and safety from the Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization that reports on hospital performance.
“It’s a very busy clinical facility and we want to make sure we’re meeting the quality standards,” Shroff said.
Shroff received this year’s Take Wing Award at the annual Take Wing Lectureship on Monday, May 22, at the School of Medicine.
Before her appointment at TriStar Centennial, Shroff joined HCA’s clinical services group as chief clinical transformation officer and vice president. The role made her responsible for implementing electronic health records systems throughout the corporation’s more than 170 hospitals. Only a small fraction of those were using electronic health records when she arrived. Within a few years, all HCA hospitals across 20 states were on board.
Shroff began building a resume as a physician leader and medical technology innovator at the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C. She said she honed her skills by knowing and working closely with the folks in the IT department. Developing those relationships were important, as she played a vital role in projects such as using a Blackberry — before the days of the iPhone — to transmit EKGs to off-site cardiologists, developing an electronic providers hand-off tool, and implementing an interactive bedside TV for patients that communicates with the hospital’s electronic medical records system.
She said her time at the UMKC School of Medicine helped her build the skills necessary to be successful.
“I think it’s because of the core competencies the school teaches,” said Shroff. “We were put in the hospital environment at such a formative point in our careers. It allowed us to look at things innovatively. As a student, you are empowered in a way that many medical schools don’t allow.”
She said the experience teaches young physicians to take ownership of becoming outstanding patient care providers.
“What has allowed me to be successful in my role today is the foundation that I got from the UMKC School of Medicine,” Shroff said.
Now, part of Shroff’s task is to share that charge of maintaining the highest quality of patient care with the medical staff of a large, full-service community hospital that’s about to embark on a $120-million expansion. Leaders at TriStar Centennial are also exploring the idea of adding a graduate medical education program.
“We want to be the hospital of choice for Nashville,” Shroff said. “I’m honored to be part of that vision.”
Each Sunday since October 2004, students from the UMKC School of Medicine have volunteered the afternoon to care for the homeless and underprivileged living in the downtown area of Kansas City.
Today, the Sojourner Health Clinic continues to provide free health care for some of the city’s most vulnerable patients. Those volunteers have grown to include students from UMKC’s pharmacy, physician assistant, dental and dental hygiene programs. In the past year, students from Rockhurst College’s occupational therapy program have joined the effort.
Executive director of Sojourner, Peter Lazarz, said volunteers devoted more than 1,500 hours of service to treating patients in the past year.
The event also brings together faculty volunteers, financial supporters and community partners in celebration of the services provided to about 250 patients throughout the school year.
Several students were recognized for their individual dedication and service in the past year.
2017 Sojourner Clinic Awards
Top Year 1 Volunteer: Shruti Kumar
Top Year 2 Volunteer: Michele Yang
Top Year 3 Volunteer: Tong Cheng
Top Year 4 Volunteer: Bhavana Jasti
Top Year 5 Volunteer: Margaret Kirwin
Top Year 6 Volunteer: Eri Joyo
Top Physician Assistant Volunteer: Daniel Beck
Brook Nelson Award for Leadership: Priyesha Bijlani