A new School of Medicine video looks at two important research projects addressing health disparities among African Americans. These projects are spreading the gospel of good health … at church.
The research is led by Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., associate professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics, who works with area churches and pastors to bring health education and screening to African-American congregations. Attention is given to issues of HIV, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Research plays a critical role at the UMKC School of Medicine – for students, faculty, residents and fellows. Today, nearly 100 faculty are involved in research projects with some, like Berkley-Patton’s, awarded significant federal grants and national foundation funding. Medical students are encouraged to engage in research and scholarship activities, and the school supports residents and fellows looking to embrace research as part of their medical careers.
To highlight its leadership role in research, the School of Medicine is producing a research video series. The first film features Berkley-Patton and her National Institutes of Health grants: Faith Influencing Transformation and Taking it to the Pews.
The UMKC Health Sciences District is the presenting sponsor for the 2018 Hospital Hill Run – one of the most storied races in Missouri history – on June 1-2, 2018.
Race weekend begins with a 5K run on Friday night – where strollers are welcome and families of all sizes are encouraged to take part. The next morning, runners hit the pavement in the 5K rerun, 7.7 mile and half marathon.
All UMKC staff, faculty, students and alumni may register at a discounted rate or serve as volunteers. Participating staff and faculty can also earn points toward their wellness incentive programs. When registering for the Friday night or Saturday morning race events, use the code SOM2018DISC for 20 percent savings.
In addition to improving your health and wellness, your participation in the Hospital Hill Run supports many local charities, including the School of Medicine’s Sojourner Health Clinic, a student-run, free safety-net clinic helping the adult homeless and medically indigent in Kansas City. And volunteers are needed at all events, from handing out race packets, to cheering on athletes, to handing out medals at the finish line.
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.
Dr. Corey Iqbal ’03
Dr. Diana Dark ’80
Dr. Tracy Stevens ’90
Dr. Ahmed Awad ’89
Dr. Valerie Rader ’05
Team Sponsors Dr. Susan Storm ’85
Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick ’92
Dr. Steven Waldman ’77
Dr. Julie Brown-Longly ’00
UMKC Charter Schools Center
Truman Medical Center/University Health
Truman Medical Center Lakewood
Department of Community and Family Medicine
The UMKC Health Sciences District has agreed to serve as presenting sponsor for the 2018 Hospital Hill Run scheduled for June 1 and 2 in downtown Kansas City.
Hospital Hill Run has a long history with many of the health care providers and facilities that comprise the UMKC Health Sciences District. Partnership in the city’s oldest running event is a natural extension of those existing relationships.
“The UMKC Health Sciences District includes a dozen health institutions along the Hospital Hill Run race routes,” said Margaret Gibson, the event’s Medical Director. Gibson, a UMKC School of Medicine assistant professor of community and family medicine, is affiliated with Children’s Mercy and Truman Medical Centers, and serves as team physician for UMKC Athletics. “Both district partners and the run also share a long history of promoting health and wellness in our community, so it’s a strong, natural partnership.”
Formed in 2017, the UMKC Health Sciences District is a partnership of 12 neighboring health care institutions on Hospital Hill: the 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 (Mo.) 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. The district collaborates on research, grants, community outreach and shared wellness for employees, faculty, students and surrounding neighborhoods.
Now in its 45th year, Hospital Hill Run has been host to world-class runners, Olympians and more than 170,000 athletes of all levels from across the globe. This new partnership ensures that Hospital Hill Run will continue to enhance its legacy as one of the premier endurance events in the United States.
“The Hospital Hill Run was founded by Dr. E. Grey Dimond, founder of the UMKC School of Medicine, to promote health and fitness in Kansas City,” said Beth Salinger, race director. “This exciting partnership with the UMKC Health Sciences District will continue his vision of bringing health and wellness to the Kansas City Region.”
The Hospital Hill Run began in 1974 with 99 athletes paying a $1 registration fee to run a 6.8-mile course at Crown Center. Today, it has evolved into a weekend event that hosts thousands of athletes over two days and three different event distances.
The event now includes three distances: a Friday night 5K fun run, followed by a 7.7-mile and a half marathon on Saturday morning. Those who wish to challenge themselves further can compete in both the 5K on Friday night and either the 7.7-mile or half marathon on Saturday, called the Hospital Hill Run Re-RUN. All events begin and end on Grand Boulevard directly in front of Crown Center.
A two-day health and fitness expo at the Crown Center Exhibit Hall, a Pasta Party, and two post-race parties open to all will round-out race weekend. In 2017 The Hospital Hill Run Foundation made a $25,000 donation to the Kansas City Police Action League, the 2018 donation will be announced soon.
School of Medicine docent Gary Salzman, M.D., chief and program director of respiratory and critical care medicine at Truman Medical Center, discussed the flu epidemic that has hit the United States in an interview with KCTV5 News in Kansas City. Salzman said the flu virus can be transmitted from person-to-person by simply breathing.
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.
“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.
Situated prominently on the corner of 21st and Charlotte is UMKC School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Research Center, a bustling center of excellence within the new UMKC Health Sciences District. Yet, even with the cutting-edge research and advanced academics taking place under its roof, many are unaware of the critical position it plays in improving the treatment of eye disease for people in our community and beyond.
Nelson Sabates, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and co-director of the Vision Research Center, is working to heighten the facility’s recognition and its continued efforts to offer the most advanced academic environment for teaching the next generation of ophthalmologists.
Two recent gifts from donors, one from the estate of Mary Adams and the other from an anonymous contributor, are helping to make this goal possible by supporting basic science research being conducted by UMKC faculty members, Peter Koulen, Ph.D., and Karl Kador, Ph.D.
“These gifts will have a significant impact on our ability to provide newer and longer lasting treatments for patients diagnosed with glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy,” Sabates. “We are grateful to have been chosen by these donors as the recipients of their generous contributions to our mission of ensuring patients receive the most advanced medical treatments available.”
Both researchers are working to develop new therapy approaches urgently needed by physicians worldwide to better diagnose, prevent, and treat eye disease and vision disorders.
Koulen, the Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research and Director of Basic Research at the Vision Research Center, focuses on therapy development for chronic diseases of the eye and brain. Kador’s research focuses on creating three-dimensional models of the retina that can be used to understand how retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) integrate and form synapses (the point at which a nervous impulse passes from one neuron to another) with their binding partners within the retina. He and his lab are working to develop a functional cell source and transplantation method to treat optic neuropathies such as glaucoma and optic nerve stroke.
“Having an endowed chair in vision research has been instrumental in our ability to conduct research at UMKC and, in order to continue moving forward, we need to raise additional funds for a second endowed chair,” Sabates said.
Sabates will join the UMKC Foundation Board of Directors in July and is resolute in seeing a new health sciences building become a reality.
“I, along with many others, am a true advocate for advancing UMKC’s combined health sciences with a modern, functional space where faculty and students can have access to the latest technologies,” he said. “I am excited to be a voice for the health sciences arena at UMKC.”
Built on a 50-year history, UMKC’s Department of Ophthalmology and the Vision Research Center look to opportunities for future growth in research, education, prevention, treatment and outreach.
July at the UMKC School of Medicine is a time for high school students to immerse themselves in the school’s annual Summer Scholars Program. The activity has been providing opportunities for minority and disadvantaged students in the Kansas City metropolitan area to get a head start on a potential career in health care for 37 years.
This summer’s class is the largest ever with 78 students signed up to take part, nearly 30 more students than a year ago.
Darius Jackson serves as coordinator of the School of Medicine’s diversity programs, including Summer Scholars. He said the growth is partly by design and partly out of necessity to meet a growing need.
“I was a little ambitious,” Jackson said. “We had around 300 applications for Summer Scholars this year. We kept seeing the number of applications increase and decided, let’s find a way to increase our numbers instead of turning away more students.”
The solution was to expand the program by adding a third two-week session and allowing in more first-time participants.
Previously, all students in the program for the first time were in the Summer Scholars group, and those returning for a second year were in the Advanced Summer Scholars program. This year, one class of first-year scholars was made up of high school juniors and the other consisted of high school seniors. Students returning for a second year of the program still participate in the Advanced Summer Scholars program.
Prior to starting the program, students and parents from all three groups participated in an orientation session. The full two-week session for juniors begans Monday, July 10, with seniors starting a week later and the Advanced Summer Scholars beginning the week after that.
Each year, Summer Scholars receive daily instruction in academic areas such as chemistry and language arts, and study anatomy and physiology in the school’s cadaver lab. Classroom experiences range from medical terminology and understanding health disparities to ACT and standardized test taking. Summer Scholars also experience different medical services such as emergency and outpatient medicine, rehabilitation, and nursing, as well as surgery.
The advanced program includes a research component and additional experiences in various clinical rotations.
Summer Scholars prepares students for a career in health care by helping them build a foundation for success in multiple areas including interview skills, study and test-taking strategies, and interpersonal and communication skills.
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.