All posts by Joseph Cook

School of Medicine Alumni Award winner stresses importance of immunization

Global Health panel
Karen Remley, M.D. ’80, center, discussed vaccination and other topics at a panel with fellow UMKC Alumni Award winners Alex Garza, M.D., left, and Bernard Beall, Ph.D.

A School of Medicine alumna who leads an organization of 64,000 pediatricians reiterated the safety and effectiveness of immunization at a panel discussion at UMKC.

Karen Remley, M.D. ’80, MBA, M.P.H., received the School of Medicine’s Alumni Achievement Award at a luncheon on April 21. Later that day, she participated in a panel discussion on global health. Raymond Cattaneo, M.D. ’03, M.P.H., president of the UMKC Alumni Association and assistant dean for years 1 and 2 medicine, moderated the discussion.

Remley became chief executive officer of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2015. She said one of the organization’s objectives is to provide accurate and timely information to the public.

Last September, when Remley had been on the job only a few days, she reacted quickly when false statements about immunizations were made during a Republican presidential debate. Within hours, she issued a statement that vaccines are “one of the safest, most effective and most important medical innovations of our time.”

Remley also spoke out after the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City scheduled the showing of anti-vaccine film. The film was eventually dropped from the lineup.

“One of the most important roles that the academy has is to be the fair broker of honest information, because we are a trusted voice,” she said at the panel, which took place at the Student Union on the Volker campus.

Remley described her career as a “series of fellowships.” She has been a pediatrician, a pediatric emergency physician, an academician, a health plan medical director and a hospital’s chief medical officer. From 2008 to 2012, she was the commissioner of health for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Working as a state health commissioner required a wide range of expertise. Remley said she used to joke that regulating power plants and septic systems was not taught in medical school. But, she added, the six-year B.A./M.D. program had prepared her to meet a challenge.

“They did teach me at UMKC how to learn and how to keep moving forward and how to trust in your team,” she said.

Remley appeared on the panel with Alex Garza, M.D., M.P.H., and Bernard Beall, Ph.D., who also received awards from the UMKC Alumni Association Governing Board. Each year, the board and the campus recognize outstanding alumni at a luncheon event that also serves to raise funds for student scholarships.

Garza received the UMKC Alumnus of the Year Award. Beall was the School of Biological Sciences’ Alumni Achievement Award winner.

Garza was chief medical officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013. Now on the faculty of the College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University, he trained in emergency medicine at UMKC after receiving his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

During the panel discussion, Garza acknowledged Matthew Gratton, M.D., professor and chair of emergency medicine at the UMKC School of Medicine. Gratton was medical director of the Metropolitan Ambulances Services Trust, where Garza worked as a paramedic before starting medical school. Their paths crossed again when Garza began training in the emergency department at Truman Medical Centers. Both served in the Iraq War.

Garza echoed Remley’s comments about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. “The science is clear,” he said. “There is no doubt vaccines work and that they do not cause harm.”

Beall leads the Streptococcus Laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control, where he and his team study and characterize the bacterial strains causing strep throat, skin and blood infections and pneumonia. Conducting population-based surveillance of invasive pathogens, Beall said, “You get the opportunity to be a participant in the larger possible kind of experiment.”

School of Medicine’s role in developing leaders discussed

Dean Steven L. Kanter with former deans Betty Drees, M.D., Harry Jonas, M.D., and Richardson Noback, M.D., from left, at the Tradition of Leadership event.
Dean Steven L. Kanter withformer deans Betty Drees, M.D., Harry Jonas, M.D., and Richardson Noback, M.D., from left, at the Tradition of Leadership event

The UMKC School of Medicine marked its 45th anniversary celebrating the school’s rich tradition of developing leaders.

School of Medicine faculty members presented the preliminary findings of a research project at an April 8 event titled “A Tradition of Leadership.” The research project is a study of the factors that have led graduates of the B.A./M.D. program to leadership roles.

In his opening remarks, Dean Steven L. Kanter, M.D., said the study originated from his observation that the school had produced a substantial number of graduates who have ascended to leadership positions in patient care, research, education, the military, organized medicine, industry and government. “I was curious to know why this medical school is graduating so many individuals who achieved so much,” he said.

Kanter’s curiosity led to the alumni leadership research project. Two of the authors of the study, Louise Arnold, Ph.D., professor emerita of medical education and research, and Jennifer Quaintance, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical and health informatics and director of medical education support services, discussed the methodology and early results at the April 8 event.

For the purposes of the study, leadership was defined as documented achievement as administrators, clinicians, researchers or educators in substantial local, regional or national medical institutions, organizations or societies. The authors determined that of 213 of the 1,664 B.A./M.D. students who graduated from UMKC from 1976 to 1999 met the criteria.

The authors conducted interviews with 48 of the 213 graduates and asked them to identify the factors they believed had contributed to their leadership development. Many graduates indicated their experiences in medical school influenced their growth.

In interviews, graduates said the culture of the medical school was one of the key factors. Graduates described the learning environment as supportive, nurturing, friendly and encouraging. “No one told you that you couldn’t do something,” one respondent said.

Many graduates said the docent system was crucial in their development. They said the junior-senior partnerships and other aspects of the system taught responsibility, collegiality and other important concepts. The docent team, Arnold reported, “became a place for learning how to build and be part of an effective team.”

Three former deans and an alumnus participated in a panel discussion after Arnold and Quaintance presented the findings.

Founding Dean Richardson Noback, M.D., said the School of Medicine’s admissions process identified students who demonstrated a capacity for leadership. Noback said the school looked for students who had a “sustained record of application to a difficult task through time with excellence in performance.”

Noback’s successor, Dean Emeritus Harry Jonas, M.D., said UMKC medical students benefit from being exposed to patient care as first-year students. “The beauty of this program is the early, early clinical experience you have.”

Jonas said the School of Medicine’s skeptics focused on the accelerated curriculum. “They didn’t understand the docent system. They didn’t understand the integration of the humanities and medical education.”

Dean Emerita Betty Drees, M.D., agreed with the finding that the junior-senior partnerships and other aspects of the docent system are critical to UMKC graduates’ future success. “I think one of the reasons why they’re such effective clinicians is because they train in a team environment, and medicine is very much a team activity,” she said.

Michael Weaver, M.D. ’77, an alumnus and clinical associate professor of emergency medicine, said the phrase “patient-centered care” reminds him of his experience as a medical student at UMKC. “I would say that we had a student-centered learning approach at this institution.”

Stuart Munro, M.D., professor of medical humanities and social sciences, led the panel discussion.

Paul Cuddy, Ph.D., senior associate dean for academic affairs, and Susan Hathaway, Ph.D., assistant teaching professor of pediatrics, are co-authors of the research project, along with Arnold, Quaintance and Kanter.


Medical student to receive research award at spine conference

Kavelin Rumalla
Kavelin Rumalla

Kavelin Rumalla, a second-year B.A./M.D. student, is traveling to a spine conference sponsored by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons to accept an award.

On March 17, Rumalla will receive a Charlie Kuntz Scholar Award at Spine Summit 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Rumalla’s award is based on an abstract he submitted, “Spinal Fusion for Pediatric Spondylolisthesis: National Trends, Complications, and Short-Term Outcomes.”

Rumalla will present the research during a platform session for Charlie Kuntz Scholar Award winners. He will also receive a certificate of achievement and a $1,000 honoraria.

The presentation stems from a research experience Rumalla completed after his first year in the B.A./M.D. program. Rumalla worked with a neurosurgeon at Washington University who does spine surgery research.

Rumalla became interested in neurological surgery after watching his younger brother, who has epilepsy, benefit from a surgical procedure. “I saw what a difference it made in his life,” he said.

The spinal fusion paper was based on a retrospective database study. Rumalla combed the data to determine which spine surgery techniques have the fewest complications. “Surgeons won’t change their techniques until there is epidemiological evidence that it’s better,” he said.

Later this spring, Rumalla will present five other studies he completed at Washington University at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons scientific meeting in Chicago.

The pursuit of knowledge began for Rumalla before he entered the UMKC School of Medicine. In the summer of 2014, he took part in education program at Washington University that enabled him to work alongside an otolaryngologist. They published a paper on the effect of hearing aids on postural stability.

Upon arriving at UMKC, Rumalla found a mentor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. In February, Rumalla traveled to Los Angeles to present several of their studies at the International Stroke Conference.

Rumalla would like to become a neurosurgeon. He aspires to join the faculty at a university hospital and divide his time between clinical practice and research. The clinical practice, he said, will “guide me as to what these patients need, what types of things are deficient right now in the literature, and what can I contribute.”

According to Raymond Cattaneo, M.D. ’03, M.P.H., assistant dean for years 1 and 2 medicine, “Kavelin has proven himself a successful student and is well on his way to becoming an influential researcher and educator.”

UMKC Student receives Sarah Morrison Scholarship for “Neuroradiologic Characteristics of Astroblastoma” research project

October 2015 Sarah Morrison Student Research Award recipients with Dr. Agostino Molteni, Director of Student Research. (L-R: Tarana Gill, Brooks Gimmis, Ravali Gummi, Danielle Cunningham, Dr. Molteni, Omar Qayum, Nidhi Reddy, and Megan Lilley)
The Office of Student Research has selected seven students to receive the October 2015 Sarah Morrison Student Research Awards. Among the recipients is Danielle Cunningham, who completed a month of research working on a project with UMKC faculty members Lisa Lowe, MD, and Natasha Acosta, MD. The project entitled “Neuroradiologic Characteristics of Astroblastoma and Systematic Review of the Literature: 2 New Cases and 125 Cases Reported in 59 Publications,” was presented at the Society for Neuro-Oncology by Ms. Cunningham and has been accepted for publication in the journal, Pediatric Radiology. Sarah Morrison awards of up to $1,500 are given to UMKC School of Medicine students twice a year to provide funding to help students learn the value and application of research in the study of medicine. Students who receive awards are expected to present results of their research at the UMKC Student Research Summit and may be invited to present at other similar venues. For further information on this year’s awardees, or if you are interested in applying for the award (April 1 and Oct. 1 deadlines each year), visit the Office of Research Administration’s student research website at

UMKC hosts meeting of Missouri medical students

Students at Missouri's medical schools met for a day at the UMKC Health Sciences Campus.
Students at Missouri’s medical schools met for a day at the UMKC Health Sciences Campus.

UMKC School of Medicine hosted for the first time the Missouri 1st Year Medical Student Conference, an annual meeting of students who attend the six medical schools in Missouri.

The conference took place Saturday, Jan. 16, and attracted nearly 100 students from the state’s allopathic (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O.) medical schools. It featured speakers, workshops and breakout sessions. The event was geared toward medical students in their first year of a four-year program or the third year of UMKC’s six-year program.

UMKC fourth-year medical students Sree Balusu, Lakshmi Katta and Nilbhi Patel organized the conference. As third-year B.A./M.D. students, they attended last year’s “MO-M1” conference, as it’s known, at the Kirksville campus of A.T. Still University. There, Balusu, Katta and Patel successfully presented the case for UMKC to host the 2016 event.

The organizers said the conference allows students at different medical schools to interact early in their education. “A main goal of this conference is to be able to network with people in Missouri, because these will be our colleagues in the future,” Patel said.

Chaitasi Naik attended the conference as part of a group of students from A.T. Still. “I was hoping to meet first-years and get more of an appreciation for being a first-year, to learn more about how different schools work and gain hands-on experience,” she said.

In addition to UMKC and A.T. Still, institutions in Missouri offering medical degrees include Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri-Columbia and Washington University.

The conference took place in UMKC’s Health Sciences Building. In the morning, Jennifer Martin, Ph.D., adjunct professor of medical humanities and social sciences, and Caroline Dawson, adjunct instructor of medical humanities and social sciences, led a discussion about patient-centered interviewing. Martin and Dawson stressed the importance of active listening. “Your patient is going to tell you what to do at every step of the way,” Dawson said.

UMKC medical students facilitated a breakout session in which students interviewed standardized patients. Following the session, UMKC School of Medicine former Dean Emerita Betty Drees, M.D., spoke about the evolution of the patient-physician relationship, including the increasing respect for the patient as a person. “People are more than the sum of their lab values and their X-ray studies,” she said.

Students spent the bulk of the afternoon participating in intubation, ultrasound and physical exam workshops. The sessions were led by Jared Keeler, M.D. ’94, assistant professor of medicine; emergency medicine resident Adam Stuppy, M.D.; and Clinical Training Facility simulation intern Clay Ritchey, M.D. ’14. UMKC medical students Jacob Arnold, Peter Lazarz, Grace Ortman and Hima Veeramachaneni assisted with the workshops, along with other students who volunteered throughout the day, ensuring the event’s success.

At the end of the day, Sara Gardner, M.D. ’02, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics; Sara Reynolds, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology; Charlie Inboriboon, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine; and James Butterworth, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at University of Kansas Medical Center, answered students’ questions about specialty choices and residency training.

Researcher studies obstacles in HIV care continuum

Mary Gerkovich, Ph.D.
Mary Gerkovich, Ph.D.

A UMKC School of Medicine researcher is working to understand why people diagnosed with HIV may not stick with their treatment.

An estimated 1.2 million Americans live with HIV infection. The disease is treated with antiretroviral therapy, a combination of medicines that reduces the amount of HIV in the bloodstream, which helps the body fight off infections and cancers. It also reduces the risk of transmitting the virus.

“We’ve gotten to the point where in some respects being HIV-positive is a chronic condition,” said Mary Gerkovich, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical and health informatics. “We now have HIV-positive patients who are developing all the naturally occurring aging conditions.”

Gerkovich works with the Infectious Diseases Clinic at Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill to identify participants in her research. “How do you get people to make behavior changes and then stick with them, is the question I keep going back to,” said Gerkovich, who collaborates with colleagues in the departments of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Medicine and Psychology.

According to Gerkovich, people who are diagnosed with a chronic condition first have to come to terms with it. “Often when people get a diagnosis that’s a serious diagnosis, they can sometimes shut down and say, ‘I can’t deal with this right now. I’m not willing to acknowledge it and accept it,’” she said.

In one instance, Gerkovich interviewed a patient who was diagnosed with cancer around the time he found out he was HIV-positive. “He spent a lot of time just trying to figure out what in the heck is going on in terms of, ‘What can I do and what can I look forward to?’” she said. “It took him a while to get to the point where he was able to say, ‘OK, I’m now ready to do something to fight these or address these.’”

Helping patients with HIV find reasons to stay healthy increases the likelihood they will follow the prescribed treatment, Gerkovich said, noting that many chronic conditions require people to take medications for the rest of their lives. “You can get to a point where you’re just sick and tired of it,” she said. “Every time you take these pills, it reminds you that you have a condition that you’re having to deal with.”

Peer systems may also help patients find the motivation they need to stay on track. Gerkovich said that in her studies, patients have talked about how important it was to see someone else with the same condition living well. It allowed them to see their diagnosis was not a death sentence.

Still, the stigma around HIV weighs on patients. In one study, Gerkovich and colleagues interviewed hospitalized patients who had not been receiving care for their HIV status. Some said they did not take their medication or failed to keep clinic appointments to avoid questions from loved ones and employers.

Mental health issues and substance abuse also present obstacles to treatment. “They may fall out of care because they’re not managing their life,” Gerkovich said.

One positive development in HIV care has been the advancement of drug treatments. Some patients may need to take only one pill once a day. “The medications now have much reduced side effects,” Gerkovich said. “They’re much easier to take in terms of the timing and the regimen.”

Gerkovch’s HIV research is not limited to patients at Truman Medical Center. Along with Kathy Goggin, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and director of health services and outcomes research at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, and Karen Williams, Ph.D., Olson Professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics, she contributed to a study to evaluate the safety of a plant widely used in South Africa to treat people infected with HIV. The study appeared in the journal PLOS One earlier this year.

Medical students curate TEDxUMKC event

Now in its fourth year, TEDxUMKC has been organized primarily by medical students.
Now in its fourth year, TEDxUMKC has been organized primarily by medical students.

Tickets are on sale for TEDxUMKC. Speakers at the event, to be held Dec. 5 at the National World War I Memorial and Museum, include Mark Hoffman, Ph.D., director of the UMKC Center for Health Insights, and Sly James, the mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.

TEDx events are offshoots of the TED conferences, which started in California 26 years ago.

UMKC medical students Rahul Maheshwari and Ryan Sieli are co-curators of this year’s event, themed “Big Challenges, Small Solutions.” Harika Nalluri, a sixth-year medical student, organized the first TEDxUMKC event in 2012.

In addition to Hoffman and James, speakers at the 2015 TEDxUMKC event include Reza Derakshani, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering at UMKC; Terri Friedline, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas; and Dakota Rosenfelt, a UMKC pharmacy student, hemophilia advocate and entrepreneur.

In a press release, the organizers of the 2015 TEDxUMKC event explained why they chose the “Big Challenges, Small Solutions” theme:

Although our society has made much progress, there are still major challenges facing us today. Some of these challenges are well known, while many are not. However, there are those among us that recognize, react and resolve those problems. These pioneers, acting in the spirit of ingenuity and altruism, have paved a path to help make the world a better place. They bring awareness to unseen obstacles, and offer creative solutions to tackle them. Innovational in nature and quick in thinking, these individuals strive to expand our horizons by breaking the facade for others to follow and demonstrating that one individual can make a difference.

Tickets to TEDxUMKC cost $5 for UMKC students and $10 for the general public and usually sell out. Visit for more information.

Research and education included in design of new outpatient center

Nelson Sabates, M.D. '86, chair of ophthalmology, spoke at the University Health ribbon cutting ceremony.
Nelson Sabates, M.D. ’86, chair of ophthalmology, spoke at the University Health ribbon cutting ceremony.

A new outpatient specialty and surgery center on Hospital Hill will expand and enhance the learning experiences for UMKC School of Medicine students and residents.

Truman Medical Centers will provide the services at University Health, a 90,000-square-foot facility at 2101 Charlotte St. In addition to clinic space and operating rooms, University Health will house the Vision Research Center, the research arm of the UMKC Department of Ophthalmology, and a 50-seat theater with a 3-D projection system.

“We are excited that our students and residents will have additional opportunities to learn while participating in state-of-the-art outpatient care,” UMKC School of Medicine Dean Steven L. Kanter said. “Resources in the new building that support experiential learning include teaching lab space, an ophthalmology library, a 3-D microscope and work areas for our faculty, residents and students.”

University Health opened Oct. 28 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. Services provided at University Health include ophthalmology, orthopaedics and sports medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, urology, otolaryngology, pain management and outpatient surgery.

Mark Steele, M.D. '80
Mark Steele, M.D. ’80

“We’re all very excited and energized by this beautiful new building and the more customer-focused and efficient care it brings to our patients,” Mark Steele, M.D. ’80, chief medical officer and chief operating officer at Truman Medical Centers and executive medical director of University Physician Associates, said at the ceremony. “It also will serve as a model practice for our many learners.”

Nelson Sabates, M.D. ’86, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and president and CEO of Sabates Eye Centers, said University Health would elevate training as well as the level of health care in the community. “We are going to produce — we are producing — the best doctors that will serve our community for decades to come,” he said. “And that is our legacy here, at Truman Medical Center, Hospital Hill and the UMKC School of Medicine.”

Charlie Shields, president and chief executive officer of Truman Medical Centers, said University Health would provide “specialty care right where people live and work in absolutely state-of-the-art facilities.”

Shields said the University Health name was chosen to emphasize Truman Medical Centers’ status as a teaching hospital. “One of the things we are most proud of is our connection to the UMKC School of Medicine,” he said.

UMKC School of Medicine partners with Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Children’s Mercy Hospital, the Center for Behavioral Medicine, the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Research Medical Center, in addition to Truman Medical Centers.

Faculty, alumni featured on ‘Best Doctors Kansas City’ list

UMKC-SOM-LogoMore than 170 School of Medicine faculty members and alumni have been identified by their peers as the top physicians in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The Kansas City Business Journal publishes a “Best Doctors Kansas City” list. The list is excerpted from the “Best Doctors in America 2015-16” database, which is compiled and maintained by Boston-based Best Doctors Inc. Founded in 1989, Best Doctors asks physicians to identify the doctors they consider the leaders in their field. The company says it is the largest ongoing, peer-reviewed survey in the medical industry.

UMKC School of Medicine faculty members and alumni ranked by specialty are (alumni are noted in boldface; ^ denotes alumni-faculty):

Allergy and Immunology: Jay M. Portnoy, Children’s Mercy; Lanny J. Rosenwasser, Children’s Mercy

Cardiovascular Disease: Timothy M. Bateman, Saint Luke’s Health System; Andrew C. Kao, Saint Luke’s Health System; James H. O’Keefe Jr., Saint Luke’s Health System; Barry D. Rutherford, Saint Luke’s Health System; Ibrahim M. Saeed, Saint Luke’s Health System; John A. Spertus, Saint Luke’s Health System; Tracy Stevens^, ’90, Saint Luke’s Health System

Colon and Rectal Surgery: Lina O’Brien, Saint Luke’s Health System

Dermatology: John C. Hall, Saint Luke’s Health System

Endocrinology and Metabolism: Leland Graves III, ’83, University of Kansas Medical Center; Mitchell S. Hamburg, Saint Luke’s Health System; Richard Hellman, North Kansas City Hospital; Lamont G. Weide, Truman Medical Centers

Family Medicine: Jane L. Murray, Truman Medical Centers; Gary A. Thompson, Saint Luke’s Health System

Gastroenterology: Mark J. Allen, Saint Luke’s Health System; Wendell Clarkston^, ’84, Saint Luke’s Health System; John H. Helzberg, Saint Luke’s Health System; Sreenivasa Jonnalagadda, Saint Luke’s Health System

Geriatric Medicine: Peter S. Holt, Saint Luke’s Health System

Geriatric Medicine/Hospice and Palliative Medicine: Richard E. Butin, Truman Medical Centers

Hepatology: Bradley L. Freilich, ’88, Kansas City Gastroenterology & Hepatology; John H. Helzberg, Saint Luke’s Health System

Infectious Disease: Micharl R. Driks, Baptist Medical Center

Internal Medicine: James B. Bautz, Saint Luke’s Health System; Richard E. Butin, Truman Medical Centers; C. Douglas Cochran^, ’88, Saint Luke’s Health System; Sam D. Hoeper Jr., Research Medical Center; Richard W. Lustig, Saint Luke’s Health System; James A. Maliszewski, Research Medical Center; John J. May, Saint Luke’s Health System; Robert E. Neihart, Saint Luke’s Health System; Rebecca Pauly, Truman Medical Centers; J. Chris Perryman, Saint Luke’s Health System; Stephen C. Salanski, Baptist Medical Center; Carol Stanford^, ’79, Truman Medical Centers; Matthew B. Sutton^, ’92, Saint Luke’s Health System; Ann E. Warner, Saint Luke’s Health System

Internal Medicine/Hospital Medicine: Sally Ling, Saint Luke’s Health System; David Wooldridge^, ’94, Saint Luke’s Health System

Medical Oncology & Hematology: Verda J. Hunter-Hicks, Research Medical Center; Kelly B. Pendergrass, Research Medical Center; Timothy J. Pluard, Saint Luke’s Health System

Nephrology: Walter L. Bender, Research Medical Center; Robert E. Golder^, ’91, Menorah Medical Center; Jim I. Mertz, Saint Luke’s Health System; Richard S. Muther, Baptist Medical Center

Neurology: Richard J. Barohn, ’80, University of Kansas Medical Center; Charles L. Weinstein, Saint Luke’s Health System

Obstetrics & Gynecology: Verda Hunter-Hicks, Research Medical Center; Frederick B. Lintecum, Saint Luke’s Health System; Timothy J. Martin, ’85, Women’s Healthcare Group; M. Kathleen Stone^, ’80, Overland Park Regional Medical Center; Tom G. Sullivan, Truman Medical Centers; John D. Yeast, Saint Luke’s Health System

Ophthalmology: William A. Godfrey, University of Kansas Medical Center

Orthopaedic Surgery: Timothy M. Badwey, Saint Luke’s Health System; Dan M. Gurba, Saint Luke’s Health System; Howard G. Rosenthal, University of Kansas Cancer Center

Otolaryngology: Terance T. Tsue, University of Kansas Medical Center

Pediatric Allergy & Immunology: Chitra Dinakar, Children’s Mercy; Paul Dowling Jr., Children’s Mercy; Jay M. Portnoy, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Cardiac Surgery: James O’Brien Jr., Children’s Mercy; James D. St. Louis, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Cardiology: Mark C. Gelatt, Children’s Mercy; Girish S. Shirali, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Clinical Genetics: Holly H. Ardinger, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Critical Care: Geoffrey L. Allen, Children’s Mercy; Erica A. Molitor-Kirsch, Children’s Mercy; John F. Sommerauer, Children’s Mercy; Kelly Tieves, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Dermatology: Kimberly A. Horii, Children’s Mercy; Amy Jo Nopper, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Emergency Medicine: Gregory P. Conners, Children’s Mercy; M. Denise Dowd, Children’s Mercy; Laura S. Fitzmaurice, Children’s Mercy; Milton A. Fowler Jr., Children’s Mercy; Lisa Schroeder^, ’89 , Children’s Mercy; Thomas W. Tryon, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Endocrinology: Jill D. Jacobson, Children’s Mercy; Wayne V. Moore, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Gastroenterology: Ruba Abdelhadi, Children’s Mercy; James F. Daniel, Children’s Mercy; Craig A. Friesen, Children’s Mercy; Joel D. Lim, Children’s Mercy; Charles C. Roberts, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology: Keith J. August, Children’s Mercy; Shannon Carpenter, Children’s Mercy; Alan S. Gamis, Children’s Mercy; Maxine Hetherington, Children’s Mercy; Karen B. Lewing, Children’s Mercy; Brian M. Wicklund, Children’s Mercy; Gerald M. Woods, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Infectious Disease: Denise Bratcher, Children’s Mercy; Christopher J. Harrison, Children’s Mercy; Mary Anne Jackson^, ’78, Children’s Mercy; Jason Newland, Children’s Mercy; Douglas S. Swanson, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Medical Genetics: Holly H. Ardinger, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Nephrology: Uri S. Alon, Children’s Mercy; Douglas Blowey, Children’s Mercy; Bradley A. Warady, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Neurological Surgery: Steven M. Shapiro, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Ophthalmology: Scott E. Olitsky, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery: John T. Anderson, Children’s Mercy; Richard M. Schwend, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Otolaryngology: Pamela J. Nicklaus, Children’s Mercy; Robert A. Weatherly, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Pain Management: Brian S. Carter, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: Ann Modrcin, Children’s Mercy; Robert J. Rinaldi, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Plastic Surgery: Jeffrey A. Goldstein, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Pulmonology: Robert C. Beckerman, Children’s Mercy; Philip Black, Children’s Mercy; Terrence Carver Jr.^, ’90, Children’s Mercy; Hugo Escobar, Children’s Mercy; Jane B. Taylor, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Rheumatology: Mara Becker, Children’s Mercy; Cara M. Hoffart, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Sleep Medicine: Robert C. Beckerman, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Specialist/Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine: Daryl A. Lynch, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Specialist/Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: J. Robert Batterson^, ’87, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Specialist/Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine: Brian S. Carter, Children’s Mercy; Linda Gratny, Children’s Mercy; Howard W. Kilbride, Children’s Mercy; Winston Manimtim, Children’s Mercy; Steven L. Olsen, Children’s Mercy; Eugenia K. Pallotto, Children’s Mercy; Jotishna Sharma, Children’s Mercy; William E. Truog, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Specialist/Neurology, Epilepsy: Ahmed T. Abdelmoity, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Specialist/Neurology, General: Jennifer Bickel^, ’01 , Children’s Mercy; Jean-Baptiste Le Pichon, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Specialist/Neurology, Movement Disorders: Jean-Baptiste Le Pichon, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Surgery: Richard Hendrickson, Children’s Mercy; George Holcomb III, Children’s Mercy; Shawn D. St. Peter, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Transplant Hepatology: James F. Daniel, Children’s Mercy

Pediatric Urology: J. Patrick Murphy, Children’s Mercy

Pediatrics/General: John D. Cowden, Children’s Mercy; Angela D. Etzenhouser, Children’s Mercy; Pooja T. French^, ’07, Children’s Mercy; Sara E. Gardner^, ’02, Children’s Mercy; Harvey M. Grossman, Children’s Mercy; Sarah E. Hampl^, ’92, Children’s Mercy; Amber M. Hoffman, Children’s Mercy; Keith Mann, Children’s Mercy; Bryan C. Nelson, Shawnee Mission Medical Center; Ross E. Newman, Children’s Mercy; Lien Pham Russell^, ’98, Children’s Mercy; Mary M. Tyson, Children’s Mercy; Jeffrey A. Waters, Saint Luke’s Health System

Pediatrics/Hospital Medicine: Amita R. Amonker^, ’96, Children’s Mercy; Lisa A. Carney, Children’s Mercy; Renee P. Cation, Children’s Mercy; Angela D. Etzenhouser, Children’s Mercy; Brian M. Pate, Children’s Mercy; Mary Ann J. Queen, Children’s Mercy; Judy A. Waldman, Children’s Mercy

Plastic Surgery: Jeffrey A. Goldstein, Children’s Mercy

Radiation Oncology: Vickie L. Massey^, ’85, Research Medical Center; Stephen R. Smalley, ’79, Radiation Oncology Center of Olathe

Radiology: Melissa L. Rosado de Christenson, Saint Luke’s Health System

Rheumatology: Kent A. Huston, Saint Luke’s Health System; Kent Kwasind Huston, Saint Luke’s Health System; Ann E. Warner, Saint Luke’s Health System

Surgery: Jameson Forster, Saint Luke’s Health System; Daniel Murillo, Research Medical Center; Glenn E. Talboy Jr., Truman Medical Centers

Surgical Oncology: Howard G. Rosenthal, University of Kansas Cancer Center; John W. Shook^, ’84, Saint Luke’s Health System

Thoracic Surgery: A. Michael Borkon, Saint Luke’s Health System

Urology: Mark Austenfeld, Saint Luke’s Health System

Also this month, Kansas City-based Ingram’s magazine published a “Top Doctors” feature. Each year, the magazine asks members of past “Top Doctors” classes to name the doctors they would seek out for treatment for themselves or a loved one. The magazine has recognized more than 200 physicians in the feature’s 19-year history.

Ingram’s identified 10 physicians in this year’s class of honorees. Four are School of Medicine faculty members: Michelle Dudzinski, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Saint Luke’s Health System; Alan Gamis, associate division director of oncology at Children’s Mercy; Kenneth Huber, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Health System; and Esmat Sadeddin, a gastroenterologist at Truman Medical Centers.

More information about the Ingram’s 2015 Class of Top Doctors is available at

Collier named Red Unit education team coordinator

Nikki Collier
Nikki Collier
Nikki Collier, a former senior support assistant in the Office of Student Affairs, has been named the education team coordinator for the Red Unit.

Collier started her new role June 15. She replaced Gladys Zollar-Jones, who recently retired after a lengthy career of service at the School of Medicine.

Collier received a bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing and management from Stephens College. She worked at a property management company in Springfield, Missouri, while completing a master’s degree in mental health counseling at Missouri State University.

Collier joined UMKC as an administrative assistant in the Blue Unit in December 2014. She became senior office support assistant in the Gold Unit earlier this year.

Education team coordinators assist medical students with academic scheduling and degree requirements. They connect students with services and resources, act as student advocates and can serve as a liaison between the student and faculty members or docents.

An education team coordinator is provided to medical students in their first two years on the Volker campus. Students are assigned a new education team coordinator when they arrive at the Hospital Hill campus for Years 3-6.