All posts by Kelly Edwards

The Collective – UMKC DEI Updates

UMKC School of Medicine Clinical Training Facility

Simulation-based education is a vetted option for experiential learning, offering hands-on opportunities for students. UMKC School of Medicine’s Clinical Training Facility (CTF) recently expanded resources to include more inclusive approaches to medical simulation.

Since opening in 2014, the SOM CTF has used high-fidelity simulation manikins and training models — all of them white-skinned — for skill-based training of health care students. That’s about to change, thanks to increasing availability of manikins of color and an initiative to add them to reflect UMKC’s diverse student population and the patients they serve. New dark-skinned IV arms, a lumbar puncture model, OB/Gyn task trainers and a newborn baby manikin made their CTF debut in January, 2021.

“We recognize that diversity in manikins does not equal an anti-racist simulation program,” said Dr. Emily Hillman, Director of Simulation Education in the Clinical Training Facility.  “Beyond the color of our manikins, we must consider the cases we write. We must also explore simulation as an educational tool that can be used to train learners about racial and ethnic disparities in care, implicit bias and communicating with diverse patients.”

Those objectives are extending further to UMKC’s standardized patients, or real people who are trained to portray patients in scenario-based activities. With assistance from the School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, UMKC’s SP Program is evaluating strategies to continue recruiting diverse members of the community to join the SP pool .

For more information about inclusion in simulation education, please reference:

Conigliaro, R., Peterson, K. and Stratton, T., 2020. Lack of Diversity in Simulation Technology. Simulation in Healthcare: The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, 15(2), pp.112-114.

For a guide to revising material to eliminate racial/cultural stereotypes, please reference the following article and appendix:

Krishnan A, Rabinowitz M, Ziminsky A, Scott S, Chretien KC. Addressing Race, Culture, and Structural Inequality in Medical Education. Acad Med. 2019;Publish Ahead of Print(NA;):NA; doi:10.1097/acm.0000000000002589


UMKC School of Medicine STAHR Program

  • The STAHR Program created self-care packages for 120 student participants as a refreshing way to “kick-off” the spring semester. The packages included activities and items for de-stressing, school supplies, journals for reflection and snacks for their studying time. In addition, students received STAHR T-shirts and STAHR face masks.
  • STAHR is hosting a fun, virtual paint night for its participants in mid-March. This event is a casual get-together where students from the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy can connect outside of their courses.
  • STAHR has begun its planning for this year’s Summer Scholars Programs, which will begin on Monday, May 31, 2021. The programs offered this summer are: Traditional Summer Scholars which is for 2 weeks, the 6-week track for high school and undergraduate students interested in entering the fields of medicine, dentistry or pharmacy, and a 10-week track for undergraduate students interested in dentistry. All Scholars programs will be held virtually again this summer.


Additional Office of DEI Updates

  • Three abstracts were accepted for presentation at the 2021 American Association of Medical Colleges Group on Diversity and Inclusion and Health Workforce Research Group Joint Conference scheduled for May 5-7, 2021. Accepted abstracts were about STAHR, UNITED, and Summer Success Seminar Series Bridge program.
  • Panel Discussion – Hopefully you were able to view the documentary, Black Men in White Coats. The Offices of DEI and GME will host a panel discussion in March 2021 of Black men medical students, trainees, and attending faculty to discuss the low numbers of Black men in the medical profession and potential ways to mitigate this issue.
  • Social Media – As the Office of DEI and the SOM DEI Council strive to keep medical and graduate students, trainees, faculty, and staff informed, more content will be coming out about activities, programs, and initiatives through the UMKC SOM social media platforms. Watch for content in coming weeks. Thank you to our students Dumebi Okocha and Rachel Tran for volunteering to assist with this endeavor.
  • Office of DEI Leadership History Video – To archive the rich history of the Office of DEI in collaboration with our media and marketing departments, we are creating a history video of past and current leaders in the Office of DEI. This will allow for future generations and leaders to know the energies and work about DEI from the office.

SOM’s Gold Humanism Honor Society Welcomes New Inductees

From its beginning, the School of Medicine has emphasized compassionate patient care, professionalism and humanism. The school’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society welcomed a class of 30 students, faculty and medical residents who embody those traits during a virtual induction ceremony.

This year’s class included 20 fifth-year students, four faculty physicians and six residents nominated by their colleagues. The inductees were selected based on demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion, and dedication to service.

The GHHS is a national honor society established in 2002 with sponsorship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Today, GHHS has more than 160 chapters in medical schools and residency programs throughout the country and more than 35,000 members who serve as role models in health care.

The School of Medicine chapter also welcomed two new faculty sponsors this year in Renee Cation, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, and Beth Rosemergey, D.O., associate professor and director of the Community and Family Medicine Residency program, who have taken on the role previously held by long-time faculty sponsor Carol Stanford, M.D.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Jan. 24th induction ceremony took place as a brief Zoom event led by chapter co-presidents Margaret Urschler and Charles Burke.

2021 GHHS Inductees

5th Year Medical Students:
Jessica Anyaso
Kartik Depala
Jason Egberuare
Annahita Fotouhi
August Frank
Adam Habib
Varsha Kandadi
Morgan Kensinger
Eshwar Kishore
Shruti Kumar
Jordan Longabaugh
Yen Luu
Tayyibah Mahmood
Mahnoor Malik
Madhavi Murali
Caroline Olsen
Nikhila Pokala
Casey Rose
Laraib Sani
Jake Williamson

Residents:
Dr. Rebecca Aguayo
Dr. Apurva Bhatt
Dr. Jasmine Haller
Dr. Gayathri Kumar
Dr. Rebecca Malstev
Dr. Johana Mejias-Beck

Faculty:
Dr. Douglas Burgess
Dr. Kavita Jadhav
Dr. Jennifer McBride
Dr. Judith Ovalle

Health Equity Grants to Aid Eight Research Projects

Supported projects aim to improve health throughout the community.

The UMKC Health Equity Institute has chosen eight collaborative research projects to benefit from “mini-grants” of $1,700 to $2,200.

Each project pairs a community organization and a UMKC researcher to explore ways to improve health care access for underserved communities. The research topics in this first round of grants include COVID-19 effects on family resilience and easing the trauma of shooting victims. The community partners range from a tenants’ organization and the Kansas City Housing Authority to Children’s Mercy and Truman Medical Centers.

“One goal with these mini-grants is to encourage the kind of research that results in sustainable initiatives, instead of efforts that can fade away after a big grant runs out,” said Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Medicine.

Berkley-Patton, the director of the Health Equity Institute, a UMKC initiative launched by Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal, added: “We received some great proposals from teams that include strong community partners. We also assigned research mentors to any grant recipients who didn’t already have an expert researcher on board.”

Here are descriptions of the projects receiving the mini-grants, along with their UMKC affiliated partner and community partner.

Refugees Raising Black Boys in the U.S.

To explore parental strategies of Congolese, Sudanese and Somali refugee parents raising sons in a racially hostile climate. The UMKC partner is Johanna Nilsson, Ph.D., professor of psychology. The community partner is Sarah Payton with Jewish Vocational Services.

A Qualitative Analysis of Patient Feedback on Early Mental Health Intervention for Nonfatal Shooting Victims

To conduct interviews with victims and tailor treatment approaches to better serve the needs of predominantly Black patients, whose voices have been historically underrepresented in the development of treatment approaches and care decisionmaking. The UMKC partner is Joah Williams, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology. The community partner is Rosemary Friend with Truman Medical Centers.

Eight community partners

A Pediatric Health and Community Partnership to Improve Family Resilience During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Beyond

To measure the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on trauma exposure and the physical, mental and emotional well-being of children and families from underserved communities in the Kansas City metropolitan area. This study will help inform the development of interventions to increase resilience in families during the COVID pandemic and beyond. The UMKC partner is Andrea Bradley-Ewing, who holds master’s degrees in public administration and psychology and is director of community engaged research at Children’s Mercy. The community partner is Gerald Douglas, director of resident services at the Kansas City Housing Authority.

Pastors’ Spouses Study

To explore the impact of COVID-19 on churches and pastors’ spouses and develop strategies and tools to support them as they support their churches and communities. The UMKC partner is LaVerne Berkel, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Education. The community partner is Nordia Ikner with the Linwood Boulevard SDA Temple.

Increase Health Equity by Improving Neighborhood Routes to Schools and Parks

To increase physical activity by Central Middle School students through built environment improvements to better connect the neighborhood to the school and Central Park. This project will allow students to have a voice in this collaborative process among schools, city services, non-profit organizations and researchers. The UMKC partner is Amanda Grimes, assistant professor of nursing and health studies. The community partner is Laura Steele, education director at BikeWalkKC.

Fruit and Veggie Connect
To explore the feasibility to connect fresh produce from a community garden to families with young children who are enrolled in a home visiting program. The UMKC partner is Laura Plencer, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics. The community partner is Sommer Rose, research program manager at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

What Do We Want? Housing! When Do We Want It? Now!

To analyze how Kansas City Tenants — a grassroots organization with the goal of organizing to ensure that everyone has a safe, healthy, accessible and affordable home in Kansas City, Missouri — was able to rapidly develop a robust membership base and gain traction among city, state and national government officials. To also identify where the organization has yet to make inroads and why, and how it is addressing new challenges brought about by the 2020 pandemic, which is aggravating the housing crisis. The UMKC partner is Michelle Smirnova, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and an associate faculty member in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. The community partner is Tara Raghuveer, founding director of KC Tenants.

Green Team Toolkit

The Green Team Toolkit brings local youth together with neighborhood residents to improve their parks, trails, and vacant lots. The project seeks to develop a process where neighborhood residents and youth can work together to create a plan to improve the natural and built environment in their community. The UMKC partner is Panayiotis Manolakos with the Department of Economics. The community partner is Brenda Brinkhous-Hatch with the Groundwork Northeast Revitalization Group (Groundwork NRG).

AMA Past-President Discusses Need for Leadership During Annual Lecture on Minority Health

The immediate past-president of the American Medical Association, Patrice Harris, M.D., said leadership is vital to properly address the persistent gaps and inequities in health care that have been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harris delivered the UMKC School of Medicine’s Dr. Reaner and Mr. Henry Shannon Lecture in Minority Health on Feb. 12 in a virtual event. She served as president of the AMA in 2020 during the onslaught of the pandemic.

View the 2021 Dr. Reaner & Mr. Henry Shannon Lectureship in Minority Health

“I think we can all agree that we have a lot on our to-do list, going forward, post COVID, and it’s going to require leadership,” said Harris, the first African American woman to serve as AMA president.

Harris said that as the coronavirus evolved, one of the AMA’s primary roles under her guidance was to ensure that the organization provided the most up-to-date, evidence-based resources and information in the midst of a public health crisis.

“You want to make sure that you are leading and providing accurate information,” she said. “Clearly it was also our priority to make sure that physicians, practices and health care systems had the resources needed to navigate through the disruption. It certainly has been a tremendous disruption and still is. We wanted to make sure that we were fighting for physicians and practices and health care institutions so that we could better serve our patients.”

Harris shared what she said was a 25-year journey to becoming the 174th president of the AMA. She recalled that it wasn’t until after she had completed her undergraduate years of college at West Virginia that she met her first African American female physician.

After earning her medical degree in 1992 and becoming a psychiatrist, Harris served in leadership roles with several psychiatric organizations including the American Psychiatric Association.

Today, Harris is a psychiatrist and recognized expert in children’s mental health and childhood trauma. She serves as an adjunct assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine and the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. In private practice, she consults public and private organizations on health service delivery and emerging trends in practice and health policy.

Along her journey to leading the AMA, Harris learned some lifelong lessons such as the importance of working together. The advocacy victories achieved in Washington, D.C., and at state levels don’t typically come through working in silos and without partnerships, Harris said.

Another vital learning moment in leadership came in realizing the need to embrace differing opinions.

“It is sometimes difficult if you are in the room and you’re the only one that has a disconfirming opinion,” she said. “But leadership requires us to make sure we voice appropriately, respectfully, strategically, disconfirming opinions.”

That, Harris added, includes having what can be tough discussions about issues including social and institutional inequities.

“We have to have the sometimes very difficult conversations about racism,” she said. “It is up to institutions, universities, the AMA, businesses, Fortune 100 companies, Fortune 500 companies to make sure they are having these conversations and make sure that the folks around the decision-making tables about to have these conversations are in contact with their stakeholders.”

The annual Dr. Reaner and Mr. Henry Shannon Lectureship in Minority Health creates an awareness about health disparities and provides medical professionals, students, residents and the local community information about timely issues that affect underserved and minority communities.

Grant Helps Take the Lead Out of KC Homes

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $700,000 to the University of Missouri-Kansas City to explore and evaluate best practices for identifying and removing lead paint hazards from Kansas City homes.

The grant is in partnership with the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and Lead Safe KC Project, which helps remove lead paint hazards in homes of families with young children; and Children’s Mercy Environmental Health Program, which has assessed more than 1,400 homes for environmental risks and supports allergen research.

Homes that were built before 1978 might contain lead paint, which could put residents, especially young children and pregnant women, at risk for lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can cause speech delays, brain damage and other health effects.

Using Kansas City and Children’s Mercy data, the UMKC Center for Economic Information will perform a comparative impact analysis of the specific lead hazard control treatments used in the intervention in terms of blood-lead levels and social costs.

“The goal will be to develop a data-driven quality improvement evaluation model that HUD-sponsored lead-hazard control programs will be able to use in the management and performance evaluation of their own programs,” said Doug Bowles, Ph.D., director of the UMKC Center for Economic Information, co-principal investigator on the grant.

“An additional goal will be to develop a data-driven, housing-based index that lead-hazard control programs can use to select the homes most in need of lead-based hazard remediation,” said Steve Simon, Ph.D., of the School of Medicine and co-principal investigator on the grant.

The study will examine data from the Kansas City Health Department, comparing lead poisoning information with home repair strategies to determine the most effective, sustainable and cost-efficient methods of protecting families.

Student Affairs changes announced at SOM’s Health Sciences District and St. Joe campuses

Top row: Nyia Duncan, Betsy Hendrick, Alex Luke. Bottom row: James Shackelford, Hilary Yager

The School of Medicine has announced a number of new staff appointments and changes in the Office of Student Affairs at both the Health Sciences District campus and the St. Joseph campus.

On the Health Sciences District campus, Betsy Hendrick has been appointed as a senior education team coordinator.

Hendrick has served as ETC for the past year and a half with the Blue Unit and interim ETC for teams on the Purple and Green units. She also serves as the school’s immunization coordinator, facilitates the health disparities elective and assists with Match Day planning.

Also joining the Health Sciences team will be Nyia Duncan, who recently joined the St. Joseph staff as education team coordinator. Duncan will be transitioning to the Health Sciences District campus as an ETC in February. She is recent graduate of Ottawa University with a master’s degree in business administration and human resourses. At Ottawa, she served as a resident director and student affairs graduate assistant.

At the School of Medicine’s new St. Joseph campus, based at Mosaic Life Care, Hilary Yager will serve as program coordinator and administrative assistant. Alex Luke, M.D., joins the staff as academic initiatives specialist. Also, James Shackelford will serve as senior student recruitment specialist and coordinator of special initiatives

Yager is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and brings a broad occupational history that includes teaching, working therapeutically with students, and overseeing summer camps and events. She has worked to streamline connections between School of Medicine faculty, staff and students with Mosaic Life Care.

Luke received his bachelor’s degree from Missouri Western State University, then worked as a medical scribe in the emergency department at Mosaic before joining the UMKC School of Medicine’s M.D.-only program in 2017. He has held multiple tutoring and academic support roles during his undergraduate and medical careers, and will begin a residency in neurology in July.

Shackelford previously worked in the School of Medicine Deans Office as executive assistant to the dean before leaving the university to run for public office. A graduate of the UMKC Bloch School of Management, he has a master’s degree in public administration.

 

SOM research office taking applications for SPiRe Grant

The School of Medicine Office of Research is seeking applications for the Sarah Morrison Pilot Research Fund (SPiRe), an internal grant for clinical and basic scientists. Application deadline is noon, March 1.

The grant provides support to develop preliminary data or pursue high-risk innovative research that will enable submission of highly competitive applications to national funding sources.

To be considered, research must either be performed at the School of Medicine or be in collaboration with faculty at the school where at least 50 percent of the research is performed. Tenure-track, tenured, research and clinical faculty are eligible to apply for the grant.

Standard awards are $15,000 to be spent during the course of two years. If a compelling case can be made for additional funding, up to $20,000 may be requested.

Full application guidelines and the application packet are available online.

Questions prior to preparing and submitting applications may be directed to Paula Monaghan-Nichols, associate dean for research, at nicholsap@umkc.edu or 816-235-6663. Questions about applications should be directed to Mark Hecker, director of research administration, at heckerm@umkc.edu or 816-235-6015.

Changes announced in Physician Assistant program, Department of Graduate Health Professions

Lindsay Abernethy
Lindsay Abernethy

Lindsay Abernethy, MMSc, PA-C, has been selected to serve as the interim program director of the School of Medicine’s Master of Medical Science-Physician Assistant program. The appointment is part of a recent restructuring within the Department of Graduate Health Professions in medicine and the PA program.

Abernethy takes over the role held previously by Katherine Ervie, who served as program director from the inception of the program in 2012 until January 2021. Abernethy will direct the clinical curriculum and provide overall leadership of the PA program.

She first joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2018 as an adjunct assistant professor. She previously served as assistant director of clinical education with the South University Physician Assistant Program in Savannah, Georgia.

Abernethy received her master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Emory University. Before joining UMKC, she was the first physician assistant to practice medicine on the island of Anguilla, where she provided family and emergency medicine care. Upon moving back to the United States, she found her niche in occupational and urgent care medicine. She continues to serve the Kansas City area through clinical practice one day a week.

Other staff and faculty changes include Laura Begley, Ph.D., serving as assistant dean for Gradate Health Professions; Sara Cox, MPAS, PA-C, as director of didactic education; and Stephanie Painter, MPA-PA-C, serving as director of assessment and student learning.

Begley joined the School of Medicine in 2009 as program assistant for the school’s Master of Science in Anesthesia program. She spent seven years as program coordinator for the Office of Allied Health and most recently was appointed associate director of the Department of Graduate Health Professions. She will provide leadership in accreditation and assessment, as well as supervision of student support personnel.

Cox has been part of the school’s PA program faculty since 2018 and will work to ensure that didactic curriculum content meets the program’s defined goals, student learning outcomes and accreditation standards.

Painter joined the School of Medicine in 2020. She will oversee the assessment needs across the program’s didactic and clinical curriculum to assess students for mastery of defined learning outcomes and competencies.

Two additional staff also have joined the department: Darlene Hirst as adjunct assistant professor in the PA program and Amber Blair as a student support specialist.

Edwin Kreamer, M.D., continues to serve as medical director for the physician assistant program and Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., will continue to serve as assistant dean and department chair for Graduate Health Professions in Medicine.

School of Medicine faculty among those to be honored at university-wide event

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas spoke at the 2019 faculty recognition celebration

Six School of Medicine faculty will be among more than 60 UMKC faculty recognized in a university-wide virtual event to honor promotion, tenure, endowed chairs, distinguished professorships, and unique UMKC and UM System awards throughout 2020.

These recognitions occur throughout the year and are typically celebrated together at an annual event. They have taken on special meaning this year as all members of the university community have faced unprecedented challenges in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, instead of a live event, faculty will be recognized at a virtual event on Feb. 12, where they will be honored in a special video celebrating their accomplishments. Following the event, the video will be posted on the Provost’s website for the remainder of the year.

“The effort, flexibility and patience our faculty have put into this difficult year have not gone unnoticed, and it is especially important to recognize the significant contributions of our faculty this year,” said Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “Many of our students say their relationships with our faculty are some of the biggest reasons they love being a Roo.”

Last October, the School of Medicine recognized 73 faculty members who received promotions and tenure, and special School of Medicine awards.

Medical school faculty recognitions featured in the video include:

New Endowed Chairs:      

  • Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., James B. Nutter, Annabel Nutter and Harry Jonas M.D. Professorship, School of Medicine
  • Mamta Reddy, M.D., Vijay Babu Rayudu Endowed Chair of Patient Safety, School of Medicine

Chancellor’s Award for Career Contributions to the University:
This is one of the highest honors for a UMKC employee who has made significant contributions to higher education at UMKC over the course of their career and has significantly enhanced the mission of the university.

  • Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., vice dean and professor, School of Medicine

Chancellor’s Award for Embracing Diversity:
This award recognizes and celebrates UMKC faculty, staff and registered student organizations that embrace diversity by celebrating diversity in all aspects of university life, creating inclusive environments, culturally competent citizens, and globally oriented curricula and programs.

  • School of Medicine Summer Scholars Program, School of Medicine

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching:
This is the university’s highest honor for excellence in teaching. It recognizes and celebrates UMKC faculty who are consistently superior teachers at the graduate, undergraduate or professional level over an extended period of time.

  • Mike Wacker, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Medicine

Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching:
This award recognizes and celebrates teaching excellence among UMKC clinical and teaching faculty.

  • Monica Gaddis, Ph.D., associate teaching professor, School of Medicine

Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Awards:
These are awarded annually to outstanding teachers in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, and the Schools of Dentistry, Law and Medicine.

  • Jennifer Quaintance, Ph.D., assistant dean, School of Medicine

Trustees Faculty Fellows Award:
Through this award, trustees recognize the very best faculty who distinguished themselves through scholarship and creativity.

  • Peter Koulen, Ph.D., professor, School of Medicine

AMA past president to deliver 2021 Shannon Lectureship

Patrice Harris Bio PicThe UMKC School of Medicine will welcome Patrice Harris, M.D., immediate past president of the American Medical Association, as keynote speaker at the 2021 Dr. Reaner and Mr. Henry Shannon Endowed Lecture in Minority Health. This year’s lecture will be a virtual event at noon Feb. 12.

Harris, a psychiatrist and recognized expert in children’s mental health and childhood trauma, will discuss the persistent gaps and inequities in health care highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role of organized medicine and physician leaders in bringing greater equity.

A private practice physician, county public health director, patient advocate and medical society lobbyist, Harris became the AMA’s first African American woman president in 2020. Before that, she developed a deep understanding of health care issues through several AMA leadership roles. She previously served as a member of the AMA Board of Trustees and has led the AMA Opioid Task Force since its origin in 2014.

Harris has also served in leadership roles with psychiatric organizations including the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, the Medical Association of Georgia and the Big Cities Health Coalition.

She also is an adjunct assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine and the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. In private practice she consults public and private organizations on health service delivery and emerging trends in practice and health policy.

Harris is a graduate of West Virginia University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in counseling psychology before receiving her medical degree in 1992.