Sarah LaGrece has been selected as the new manager of the School of Medicine’s Medical Education Media Center. She will also serve as a senior operations technician at the Clinical Training Facility.
A graduate of UMKC, LaGrece will oversee the media center that serves as the School of Medicine’s instructional resource lab with anatomical models, and audiovisual and computer-based learning materials.
The media center will be open from noon to 5 p.m. during the week. Students can contact LaGrece to make arrangements to use the facility outside of the normally staffed hours. School administration is exploring options to provide additional staffing to expand these daily hours, she said.
In the meantime, LaGrece will be working on taking inventory, updating and repairing the models, and updating the computer software available for students, residents and faculty.
Her morning hours will be spent in the Clinical Training Facility, assisting with administrative duties, simulations with the facility’s mannequins, and helping with the standardized patient program.
A life-long resident of Kansas City, LaGrece graduated from Bishop Miege High School before attending UMKC and earning her bachelor’s degree in communications.
“I was thinking about being a teacher before I went into communications, so education was something I was always interested in,” LaGrece said. “So this seemed to mesh well with my interests.”
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.
Really listening to patients and providing empathetic, compassionate care have always been a big part of the UMKC School of Medicine’s physician education. Next week those elements will get an extra boost from National Patient Solidarity Week.
The week, Feb. 12-16 this year, is sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes patient-centered care. UMKC has had a chapter for 15 years and last month inducted more than three-dozen new members.
National Patient Solidarity Week activities are designed to strengthen the bond between patients and their physicians, nurses and other care givers. By increasing such engagement with patients, the program aims to enhance patient and staff satisfaction and improve health care outcomes.
For several years, members of the school’s Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter also have delivered roses and Valentines to Truman Medical Center patients on or near Valentine’s Day. And for the past three years, a “Tell Me More” activity during the week has emphasized medical students’ conversations that engage patients on important non-medical aspects of their lives.
Answers to some of the questions (such as “How would your friends describe you?”) are written on posters and hung at the head of each patient’s bed, so that everyone on the health care team has the opportunity to relate to patients in ways other than their clinical diagnoses.
The School of Medicine’s Gold Humanism Honor Society welcomed the 2018 class of inductees during its annual induction ceremony on Jan. 20 at Diastole.
It is the 15th consecutive year that the UMKC chapter has recognized students with induction into the national organization. More than three-dozen new members were chosen — 17 students and 20 who are residents, fellows or faculty members.
The students were selected from nominations made by colleagues and faculty based on their excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service. Members are selected for their exemplary care of patients and their humanistic approach to clinical practice. Dr. R. Stephen Griffith, M.D., and Dr. Glenn E. Talboy Jr., M.D., were this year’s faculty inductees.
With funding support from the Gold Foundation, the School of Medicine established its chapter of the honor society in 2004. A Graduate Medical Education chapter was added in 2014 specifically for School of Medicine/Truman Medical Center residents.
Established in 2002 by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the Gold Humanism Honor Society today has 30,000 members nationally in training or practice. It recognizes 149 undergraduate medical education and 14 graduate medical education chapters at medical schools throughout the country.
Members are viewed by their peers as role models for humanistic care within their communities. The society also provides educational events, supports research, promotes professional growth and creates networking opportunities.
2018 Gold Humanism Honor Society
Dr. R. Stephen Griffith, M.D.
Dr. Glenn E. Talboy, Jr., M.D.
Mir Fahad Faisal
Shubha Deep Roy
Apurva Bhatt and Claire Smith received their Doctor of Medicine degrees, and Deborah Montgomery received her Master of Science in Bioinformatics degree.
The combined mid-year ceremony honored graduates from the Conservatory of Music and Dance, Henry W. Bloch School of Management, School of Biological Sciences, School of Computing and Engineering, School of Education, School of Law, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy and the School of Graduate Studies.
The School of Medicine’s spring graduation ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. on May 21, at the Kauffman Center.
Two medical students, a man and a woman, are asked why they wanted to study medicine.
“Because doctors can save lives and help heal wounds,” he replies. For her, being a doctor “means I will be able to take care of my family, both financially and physically.” They add that social status and family pride will be nice side benefits, too.
Their answers may be typical. But the students, Zhang Qiming and Gao Yufei, are not — at least not in the halls of the UMKC School of Medicine. They recently wrapped up a month-long exchange visit from the Peking University School of Medicine, seeing how one American school educates the next generation of U.S. physicians.
Some differences between their school and UMKC are obvious. One is the Hospital Hill campus, “which is like a park,” Zhang said, with green space between the med school and the Health Sciences Building, in contrast with the walled area of their university and hospital. Another is UMKC students’ individual offices in their docent unit. Compare that to much tighter, shared study spaces at Peking University.
And then there is UMKC students’ freedom — and much greater expense — to live and eat where they want to.
“At our school, the majority of students live in the dormitories, all eight years,” Zhang said.
“And we take all our meals in the canteen on weekdays,” Gao added.
To do otherwise would simply cost too much, Zhang said, especially in Beijing, where already high rent and other living expenses have risen rapidly in the past 10 years.
But there also are similarities between UMKC and Peking University, including how difficult it is to get into medical school.
Zhang and Gao, both 23 years old, had to be top students to study medicine at Peking University, regarded as “the Harvard of China.” Zhang was in the top 50 of 200,000 high school seniors who took a university placement exam in his province of Fujian, on China’s southeast coast. Gao faced a similar challenge in her province of Yunnan, in southwest China.
Peking University’s medical program is eight years, like most traditional U.S. medical schools that follow four years of undergraduate work to earn a bachelor’s degree. And like UMKC’s six-year B.A./M.D. program, their medical school takes students straight from high school. The last two years are known as a residency, and emphasize patient care. After graduation, Chinese medical students still must get further training, similar to U.S. residency programs.
Zhang and Gao have completed their fifth year. “We have taken many classes to prepare us, including basic sciences and medical sciences,” said Gao. “We have not spent much time yet seeing patients, as students here have, but we will in our final three years.”
In China, Gao and Zhang also have been exposed to various branches of medicine, and each has settled on a specialty — ophthalmology for Gao and urology for Zhang. During their UMKC visit, they have been able to see those specialties taught and practiced at the School of Medicine, Truman Medical Center-Hospital Hill and the Eye Foundation of Kansas City.
“My first years at university were a bit overwhelming; there was so much information to learn,” Gao said. “But when I found ophthalmology, I knew what I wanted to do. I believe interest is the best teacher, and I am very interested in learning everything about how our eyes work. Because I have myopia and must wear glasses, I understand how terrible it is to have bad vision.”
Zhang is similarly excited about his chosen area.
“This is a very strong area at our medical school—urology and urological cancer,” he said. “I also want to be a surgeon, and some of the best cancer surgeons are in urology.”
Zhang and Gao are the first students to visit UMKC under a new cooperation agreement between the School of Medicine and Peking University. The universities hope for further exchanges of students and faculty, along with research collaboration. UMKC’s leadership in bioinformatics and other research was one reason the Chinese school was interested in adding UMKC to its U.S. partners.
The agreement came at the right time for Zhang and Gao, because after their fifth year, students in their program are eligible to do an international rotation.
Their stay, which ran through Dec. 10, began with a welcoming reception at the Diastole Scholars’ Center and a meeting of the board of the Edgar Snow Foundation. The foundation carries on the legacy of Snow, an American journalist who was the first Westerner to report extensively on China under Mao Zedong. Snow and School of Medicine founder E. Grey Dimond were friends, and Gao said one highlight of the trip was seeing Snow’s papers, which are housed at UMKC’s Nichols Library.
Zhang and Gao said they enjoyed meeting faculty and students, and were eager to share what they had learned about the docent system and other aspects of the UMKC School of Medicine.
“I like how each third-year student has one-to-one help from a fifth-year student,” Gao said, “and they continue as fourth-year and sixth-year students. There is so much support.”
On Dec. 5, more than 100 third-year medical students presented research findings at the UMKC School of Medicine as part of their coursework in medical neuroscience.
Students, in teams of four, used data from the Cerner HealthFacts database to try to answer a unique question they identified related to various disease and conditions. Those examined included Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke, obsessive-compulsive disorder, epilepsy and diabetes. After analyzing the data and drawing conclusions, each team made a poster displaying its question and hypothesis, telling how the team members went about testing their hypothesis, explaining their findings, and identifying questions for further study.
The idea behind the exercise was to give students an early research experience, and for many it was their first medical research.
By all accounts, the assignment was a success. Several students said that before the exercise they were worried about how difficult it would be to do research, but now they looked forward to being able to do more.
Shafaa Mansoor, whose team studied possible seasonal effects on strokes, said she is interested in community health and now sees research as a way to further that interest, identify the real effects of medical conditions and test possible treatments.
Her teammates Rebecca Kurian and Tom Matthews agreed that the project was a good, hands-on way to learn how to do research.
“The process was as important as the results,” Matthews said. “Learning how to do this and present our findings was valuable.”
More than 40 faculty members collaborated to make the project a reality, including several who judged the presentations. Each team also had a faculty mentor and a supporting biostatistician from the Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics, Children’s Mercy Hospital or the School of Nursing and Health Studies.
One of the judges, Maria Cole, M.Ed.L., Ph.D., an associate professor in biomedical sciences, very much liked what she saw.
“I had these students in class in January and it’s something to see how far they have come since then,” she said. “Their ability to analyze data and explain their findings, and to link their results to what they learned in class, is impressive.”
The exercise was devised by Jennifer Bickel, M.D. ’01, associate professor of pediatrics and chief of the headache section at Children’s Mercy Hospital; Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., BCPS, professor and interim chair of the Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics, professor and associate dean for graduate studies; and Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and associate dean for research.
“There was no model for this, so we’re learning as we go,” said Bickel, who talked with the teams about their experiences. “We will make improvements and hope this is something we can eventually share with other programs. It’s exciting to be doing something completely new.”
The teams were judged for poster content, clarity, appearance and organization; their oral presentations; and demonstration of critical thinking.
The top three teams were announced Dec. 6:
First place: Jonathan Jalali, Chidera Okafor, Jacob Perera and Amudha Porchezhian, “Is Patient Sex Linked to Pharmacologic Agents that Induce Acute Dystonic Reaction?”
Second place: Caleb Spencer, Grace Arias, Debolina Kanjilal and Kyla Mahone, “Correlation Between Elevation in Inflammatory Markers of ESR and CRP in Patients Diagnosed with OCD and OCPD and Age.”
Third place: Saniya Ablatt, Vijaya Dasari, Gauri Kaushal and Andrea Pelate, “Stroke Incidence at a Young Age in Rural vs. Urban Populations.”
The vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management takes nominations for the honor from each academic unit to recognize graduating students who have excelled in academic achievement, leadership and service to UMKC and the community.
Baghdikian was nominated by School of Medicine Education Team Coordinator Brent McCoy.
Robynn Shines, a student in the School of Nursing and Health Studies working in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics’ community health lab, is also among the recipients.
Recipients are invited to attend an annual awards breakfast to celebrate their achievements. This year’s breakfast will take place on Dec. 15 at the Student Union.
In Kansas City, nearly one in five residents live below the poverty line — a harsh reality shared by many patients UMKC students see on Hospital Hill and beyond.
To better understand the challenges and frustrations of those living in poverty, students participated in a large-scale poverty simulation, part of the Interprofessional Education (IPE) program on the UMKC Health Sciences campus.
In November, more than 100 UMKC medical, nursing, pharmacy and dental students, along with faculty and volunteers, joined to experience the virtual realities of poverty and its effects on patients. The simulation was designed to incorporate IPE, an emerging teaching approach addressing the future of health care, in which a close-knit team of dentists, physicians, nurses and pharmacists provides personalized, integrated attention to patients.
In the simulation, one of five such sessions this fall, students role-played living for a month in poverty, with each “week” lasting 15 minutes. The goals were to keep their home, pay all bills, hold down jobs and feed their family and children each day – all while managing issues such as an illness in the family, a stolen car and expenses to repair their plumbing.
Students could rely on stations around the room, such as employers, a grocery store, a health care center, social services, a pawn shop and a quick cash outlet, to help them meet their goals. Following the simulation, the group members spent time sharing their experiences and discussing lessons learned.
”It was sad to realize that all my time was spent thinking about just getting the minimum needs taken care of, and that sometimes even the minimum isn’t enough,” one student said.
Interim Chancellor and Provost Barbara A. Bichelmeyer addressed the participants after observing the simulation. She noted that the first place people went was the employer, and that many sought help from the pawn shop rather than turning to other resources. And the one station that didn’t get much business? The medical center, a point not lost on the room full of future health-care providers.
“Today’s program shows poverty is not about people not being well-intentioned, but about people not being well-resourced,” Bichelmeyer said.
The simulation, created by the Missouri Association for Community Action, was created to help people — such as future health-care providers — understand the challenges of living in poverty day to day. It lets participants look at poverty from a variety of angles and then discuss the potential for change within their communities.
The UMKC Health Sciences IPE program is directed by Stefanie Ellison, associate dean for learning initiatives at the UMKC School of Medicine and emergency physician at Truman Medical Centers; and Valerie Ruehter, director of experiential learning and clinical assistant professor for the UMKC School of Pharmacy.
According to Ellison, who coordinated the simulation with Ruehter, the day purposely included data about poverty in Missouri.
“The activity is very personal and designed to have students walk in the shoes of someone in poverty,” Ellison said. “The takeaway is to empathize with our patients and learn very specifically about the problems our patients face.”
“We sometimes get frustrated when our patients aren’t doing what we asked them to do or don’t show up for clinic appointments,” Ruehter said. “This is an opportunity for students to come together and wear the other shoe, to see that it’s not always as easy as we think it might be. We can create individual practitioners, but in health care today, it takes an entire team to create positive patient outcomes. With IPE, we give students the chance to become familiar with what every discipline brings to the table, which hopefully will make a more seamless health care system.”
That’s a goal of IPE, Ellison said. “If we have our students learning in silos, but they are expected on day one in practice to begin working together as a team, then we haven’t really done our job. At UMKC, we are breaking down those silos.”
At the conclusion of the simulation, students heard a call to action: to do more, learn more, go where the patients are and ask how you can help change the system, even a little bit.
“If what we do at UMKC is to help our health-care professionals in the future think about the humanness of the people they are working with, both their peers and their patients, then I think we will have made a really significant contribution,” Bichelmeyer said.
The School of Medicine Student Research Program has announced six medical students and two students from the biomedical and health informatics program as recipients of the Fall 2017 Sarah Morrison Student Research Award.
The awards support student research efforts and help fund presentations at conferences and scientific meetings.
Medical students who received the awards are Jonah Graves, fifth-year; Jonathan Jalali, third-year; Kelly Kapp, sixth-year; Landon Rohowetz, fourth-year; Subhjit Sekhon, fifth-year; and Mehr Zahra Shah, fourth-year. Two recipients, Yevgeniy Khartion and Krishna Patel, are graduate students in the school’s Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics.
Sarah Morrison awards of up to $2,500 are presented each year in October and April. 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.
Students interested in the Sarah Morrison awards are encouraged to apply prior to the April 1 and Oct. 1 deadlines each year. Applicants are reviewed by a committee of faculty judges and processed through the Office of Research Administration.
Fall 2017 Sarah Morrison Research Awards (Recipients, Project titles, Mentors)
Jonah Graves, MS 5, Mechanism for FGF23 induced mechanical alternans in mouse hearts, Mike Wacker
Jonathan Jalali, MS 3, Retinal blood vessel morphometry as a biomarker for progression of diabetic retinopathy to diabetic macular edema and neovascular complications, Peter Koulen
Kelly Kapp, MS 6, Glycocalyx Production by Viridans Streptococci Causing Endocarditis: Assessment of the Tryptophan Assay as a Marker to Predict Disease, Lawrence Dall
Landon Rohowetz, MS 4, The role of innate immune system signaling pathways in age-related macular degeneration pathogenesis, Peter Koulen
Subhjit Sekhon, MS 5, Identification of Gene Expression, Ferdaus Hassan
Mehr Zahra Shah, MS 4, The role of estrogen hormone signaling pathways in glaucoma pathogenesis, Peter Koulen
Yevgeniy Khartion, DBHI, Patterns of Intravenous Fluid and Diuretic Co-Administration in Acute De-Compensated Heart Failure: Insights from the Health Facts Registry, John Spertus
Krishna Patel, DBHI, Imaging findings associated with potential survival benefit with early revascularization in patients undergoing stress myocardial perfusion imaging using Positron emission Tomography for suspected coronary ischemia, Timothy Bateman