A message from Dean Jackson

Greetings, alumni! As we wrap up 2022, I want to spotlight some of our amazing faculty at the School of Medicine. I’ll start with an important national honor for Dr. Betty Drees, dean emeritus of the School of Medicine. Dr. Drees received the 2022 Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell Award for Outstanding Contributions to Advancing the Careers of Women in Medicine from the American College of Physicians. This award recognizes an individual who has furthered the careers of women medical students, residents and physicians through leadership development and mentoring.

The faculty and friends of the School of Medicine came together on Oct. 28 to celebrate those who were promoted in 2022 and those who were recognized as recipients of the School of Medicine Faculty Awards.

Faculty award recipients include:

  • Jannette Berkley-Patton – Excellence in Diversity & Health Equity
  • Willard Morrow – Christopher Papasian, Ph.D., Excellence in Teaching
  • Karl Kador – Betty M. Drees, M.D., Excellence in Mentoring
  • Jacqueline Walker – Clinical Affiliate Teaching Award
  • Peter Koulen – Faculty Researcher Award

In addition to these awards, for the first time ever, we also recognized a faculty member engaged in service to the community with the Faculty Community Service and Engagement Award. This year’s recipient was Dr. Alie Scholes. Dr. Scholes is an assistant professor of emergency medicine and has served as a year 1 and 2 docent for more than a decade. She has established a culture where students are empowered to serve, take responsibility for their patients and put to practice the knowledge they have amassed in their education.

It was a big year for promotions at the School of Medicine. We celebrate 75 faculty promoted this year: 50 to the rank of associate professor and 25 to professor, including the first two Black women faculty in Children’s Mercy’s 125-year history. In academic medicine, underrepresented minority women are scarce, and few are in positions of leadership. I am proud to congratulate Dr. Amy Beck and Dr. Bridgette Jones, assistant academic dean of students.

The School of Medicine continues to support and encourage the success of all of our faculty. Mentorship and faculty development happen when diversity champions are invested and accessible. Our associate dean of DEI, Dr. Tyler Smith, and assistant dean, Doris Agwu, are formidable leaders. Under their leadership, the School of Medicine was nationally recognized as a 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) awardee based on our school’s commitment, programs and initiatives in diversity.

Meeting with our talented students and faculty, working with our staff who keep us on a steady path and connecting across the country to promote our university and medical school continue to fuel us at the School of Medicine. In the next year, we are looking to continue work that allows us to construct a new building at our campus in St. Joseph. We also look forward to progress on the new Health Sciences Building, which will allow the dental school and the medical school to enhance the educational environment for all our students. The excitement coming in 2023 will carry the school forward and bring with it more research initiatives, student-facing programs, innovations in our curriculum and the additional recruitment of faculty who elevate our national academic reputation.

Mary Anne Jackson, M.D. ’78
Dean, School of Medicine