Alumni and community leaders honor successful past and promising future
The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine celebrated its rich 50-year history as a leader in innovative health care education and delivery in the urban core of Kansas City, and its future potential during the school’s Golden Jubilee event on June 4.
Event chairs Rachael and Nelson Sabates, M.D., ’86, and honorary chairs Charlie Shields, president and CEO of University Health, and the Honorable Brenda Shields welcomed more than 800 alumni and community supporters to the event.
Mary Anne Jackson (MD ’78), dean of the medical school, recognized Lucky Chopra (BA,’91, MD ’92), as the recipient of the 2022 UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Award.
“Dr. Chopra’s entrepreneurial career began while he was still in his final year of radiology residency,” Jackson said. “Working out of his garage, he purchased an old milk truck and converted it to carry a ‘barely portable’ radiology X-ray machine and began contracting with local Houston nursing homes to provide imaging services without the patient having to travel. His company, Advanced Diagnostics Healthcare, was born.”
"Four thousand alumni strong, we are the backbone for health care in a multitude of communities, serving as innovators and leaders in clinical care, as educators, department chairs, section chiefs and medical school faculty, as leaders in diversity and advocacy, and national leaders in research.” -
Jackson celebrated the school’s outstanding legacy beginning with the first dean, Richardson K. Noback, M.D., who will be 99 years old this year, and the late E. Grey Dimond, M.D., who developed the accelerated curriculum and docent concept that is now a part of medical programs across the county.
Jackson acknowledged the tight connection between the school and Kansas City.
“We are the anchor to healthcare in the urban core and beyond,” Jackson said. “Teaching students how to use information, how to approach ambiguity and uncertainty and to think critically about challenges in medicine and biomedical science, continues to be part of our DNA. Four thousand alumni strong, we are the backbone for health care in a multitude of communities, serving as innovators and leaders in clinical care, as educators, department chairs, section chiefs and medical school faculty, as leaders in diversity and advocacy, and national leaders in research.”
Jackson noted the significant contribution of the school’s clinical affiliates and their dedication to student education by providing opportunities for students to participate in care for diverse patient populations and to see cutting edge medical care and its affects.
“We are grateful for the strong partnerships with University Health, Children’s Mercy, St. Luke’s Health System, Research Medical Center, the Center for Behavioral Medicine, the Kansas City VA, Advent Health and Liberty Hospital.”
New partnerships have led to the student opportunities and advancement of health care statewide.
“In 2021 we launched our additional campus in St. Joseph, Missouri and welcomed our newest affiliate, Mosaic Life Care, to recruit, prepare and encourage these students to become part of the primary health community in rural Missouri counties,” Jackson said.
After highlighting the outstanding successes of alumni, UMKC chancellor Mauli Agrawal recognized the event chairs for their untiring leadership and support of the School of Medicine.
“This spectacular event is much more than a party,” Agrawal said. “This evening represents and celebrates generations and decades – literally five decades – of students, graduates, critical health care providers and their teachers. Just as the UMKC School of Medicine was launched with an innovative vision of healthcare education five decades ago, we move into the next fifty years with an exciting vision for the future of the school.”
The UMKC School of Medicine returned to Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on May 13 to celebrate the graduating class of 2022, following a two-year absence due to the COVID pandemic.
Almost 150 students participated in the Achievement Ceremony that recognized nearly 100 doctor of medicine graduates and those earning their master’s degrees or graduate certificates in the anesthesia assistant, bioinformatics, health professions education and physician assistant programs.
Two days later, School of Medicine graduating students were part of the more than 2,300 UMKC graduates who participated in the university’s Commencement ceremony at the Kansas City Royals’ Kauffman Stadium.
During the Achievers Event, School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., ’78, congratulated and sent the class off with encouragement to make difference in the lives of those they will be caring for.
“I know from experience that the investment you make in caring for patients, engaging in research and service will fuel and inspire you throughout your careers,” Jackson said. “The world needs you. Go out and change the world.”
Jackson also recognized Scot Ebbinghaus, M.D., ’79, this year’s recipient of the prestigious E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award. Ebbinghaus, the vice president of clinical research at the pharmaceutical manufacturing company, Merk, said the graduates entering the health care professions have a unique opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of their patients.
“Patients are the center of everything we do,” he said.
2022 Senior Awards and Recognitions
Samar Azzaidani | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Avleen Kaur Bhandal | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Michael Ryan Brancato | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Anna Elizabeth Davis | James F. Stanford, M.D., Patient Advocate Scholarship; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Kartik Depala | Bette W. Hamilton Memorial Award for Excellence in Immunology
Courtney Dorris | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Lauren Gresham | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Anna Yung-hua Hwang | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Shubhika Jain | Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D., Memorial Award for Excellence in Pathology; Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D., Memorial Award for Excellence in Microbiology; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Anya Joyo | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Morgan Kensinger | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Valerie Rita Louise Kirtley | Outstanding Senior Partner
Eshwar Kishore | Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award; Richardson K. Noback Founders’ Award for Clinical Excellence
Caitlyn Marie Kohake | Master of Science in Anesthesia Program Student Ambassador
Vijay Letchuman | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Award for Research
Milan Ravidev Malhotra | Ratilal S. Shah Medical Scholarship Fund
Laura Katherine Mann | Laura L. Backus Award for Excellence in Pediatrics
LeiLani N. Mansy | Pat D. Do, M.D., Matching Scholarship in Orthopaedics; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Abigail M. Murphy | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Caroline Grace Olson | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Dakota James Owens | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Michael Adebowale Oyekan | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Basic Science Award
Andrew Michael Peterson | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Award for Research; Lee Langley Award for Academic Excellence; UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Association Endowment Fund: Excellence in Medical Education; Merck Manual
Geethanjali Rajagopal | ACP Senior Student Book Award; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Casey E. Rose | J. Michael De Ungria, M.D., Humanitarian Award; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Benjamin Spector, M.D. | Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics Award for Excellence
Elizabeth Hartanti Theng | J. Michael De Ungria, M.D., Humanitarian Award; Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Harry S. Jonas, M.D., Award
Sejla Turnadzic | Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence; Merck Manual
Isabelle Bruner Ulloa | Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics Award for Excellence
Megan Anne Weber | Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence
Jacob T. Williamson | Pat D. Do, M.D., Matching Scholarship in Orthopaedics
Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society
Valerie Rita Louise Kirtley
Milan Ravidev Malhotra
LeiLani N. Mansy
Caroline Grace Olson
Michael Adebowale Oyekan
Andrew Michael Peterson
Geethanjali M. Rajagopal
Megan Anne Weber
Jacob T. Williamson
Gold Humanism Honor Society
Frank Adam Habib
Shruti Rani Kumar
Jordan Jean Longabaugh
Caroline Grace Olson
Casey E. Rose
Jacob T. Williamson
Pi Alpha Honor Society
Molly Ray Arand
Stephanie Kathryn Rieger
School of Medicine students should sign up now to help race participants in the medical tent at the 49th annual Hospital Hill Run. Come rain or shine, the event is slated to take place on June 4 with the start and finish lines at Kansas City’s Crown Center.
Volunteers will be stationed at the finish line to watch for race participants that need medical attention. Some will help check participants into the medical tent and others will triage participants.
To help with the medical tent, go to the website at https://hospitalhillrun.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?id=60720, enter the password “medical,” and complete the requested information. Those wishing to volunteer may also contact Alison Troutwine, UMKC Health Sciences District program manager, directly at email@example.com.
All volunteers will receive a free race t-shirt and food.
The medical staff typically treats 50 to 100 race participants during the event that includes three different races – a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon. Meg Gibson, M.D., director of the UMKC sports medicine fellowship, serves as medical director for the race.
The School of Medicine honored Scot Ebbinghaus, M.D., ’89, a medical oncologist and health care pioneer, with the 2022 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award during a ceremony and lecture on May 13.
Ebbinghaus has a distinguished research career in immuno-oncology therapeutics. He currently serves as vice president and therapeutic area head of late-stage oncology clinical research for Merck Research Laboratories in North Wales, Pennsylvania.
He is directly responsible for the strategy and execution of multiple clinical trials that led to the development of pembrolizumab, a drug described as a game changer and one of the most important tools in the treatment of certain types of cancer.
Following his graduation from the School of Medicine, Ebbinghaus completed his internal medicine residency and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He served as an associate professor of medicine at the University of Arizona before joining Merc.
In his Take Wing lecture, Ebbinghaus discussed the development of pembrolizumab, a therapeutic that has received 44 FDA approvals for use in multiple solid tumor types. His work laid the groundwork for the drug’s approvals and its production to scale with millions of doses having been delivered to patients throughout the world.
His research and work with the cancer treatment has been the topic of multiple New England Journal of Medicine publications and American Society of Clinical Oncology plenary sessions
The brisk morning wind couldn’t cool the excitement and enthusiasm of Match Day 2019 at the UMKC School of Medicine. Residencies were announced for 93 students who are headed toward graduation in May. Family and friends cheered them on as they learned where they will write the next chapter in their medical careers.
Just more than half of the class will be headed to a primary care residency. Interim dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., said this year’s class exceeded the national average of students matching to primary care positions. Many, she added, are headed to notable programs throughout the country.
The students won assignments in 28 states and the District of Columbia, from Vermont to Hawaii and California to Florida. Some are headed to the top names in medicine, including Mayo, Stanford, Emory, Baylor, Yale and UCLA. A baker’s dozen will stay at UMKC and its affiliate hospitals; 22 will be elsewhere in Missouri and Kansas.
Internal medicine was the top category with two-dozen placements, followed by 14 in pediatrics or medicine-pediatrics, eight in psychiatry, seven each in family medicine and anesthesiology, and six each in emergency medicine and general surgery.
Just minutes before 11 a.m., Ryan Lee stood at the back of Theater A surrounded by friends. He was trying to remain calm as everyone waited for the appointed time when students could receive their Match envelopes and discover their residency destinations.
“Right now, I’m just feeling relieved because I know I have a job somewhere,” Lee said.
Moments later, he learned that he would remain in Kansas City for a preliminary medicine year at the School of Medicine before heading to St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital for a three-year anesthesiology residency.
Meanwhile, Amaka Ofodu was still gasping for breath and accepting a long line of hugs after receiving her first choice of residencies — medicine-pediatrics at Greenville Health System, University of South Carolina, Greenville.
“I can’t believe it. I’m still freaking out,” Ofodu said. “It’s a blessing. My family is here and my friends are all here. There’s just so much love and some much appreciation.”
Chris Favier held a letter in his hands as his father recorded the moment with a cell phone. His brother, Ben, a 2012 graduate of the UMKC School of Medicine, stood nearby watching with friends and family.
“And the survey says,” Favier said as he opened the letter. “Oh my gosh, Mizzou!”
A St. Louis native, Favier will be heading closer to home for his first residency choice of emergency medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“At first you’re really nervous and anxious but as time progresses, you look around at your family and friends and the excitement keeps building,” he said. “This was one of the residencies I was expecting so I’m very happy to go. And, I’ve got a job for next year, so I’m pumped.”
To celebrate International Yoga Day, the UMKC Health Sciences District will be offering a free class from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21. The class will be taught by a certified instructor and is open to all UMKC students, faculty and staff.
Come enjoy a gentle but effective hour of exercise. The class will be at the northeast corner of Holmes and 25th, in the green space south of the nursing and pharmacy schools.
Alpha Omega Alpha Lectureship
The Alpha Omega Alpha Lectureship replaces noon conference the day after the AOA Annual Induction Dinner in May. The national AOA Honor Medical Society provides guidelines and activity requirements for the speakers each year. For example, the speaker may need to discuss clinical rounds, research discussions, teaching conferences or seminars and lead one or more sessions on leadership and/or medical professionalism. The featured AOA speaker attends the induction dinner, meets with AOA and Gold Humanism Honor Society members the next morning and presents the noon lecture.
The AOA was founded in 1902 and is dedicated to the belief that the profession of medicine will improve patient care by recognizing high educational achievement, honoring gifted teaching, encouraging the development of leaders in academia and the community, supporting the ideals of humanism and promoting service to others.
E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award Lectureship
The award recognizes an alumnus/a who has demonstrated excellence and surpassed the expectations of peers in the practice of medicine, academic medicine or research. Each May, during graduation week, the Take Wing recipient receives an engraved Take Wing statue, presents the annual E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Lecture, and makes a brief speech to the graduating class during the commencement ceremonies.
Mark Dodge, M.D. Lectureship
Mark Dodge, M.D., was a respected specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology. During his 29 years at Saint Luke’s Hospital, he was a teacher and clinician held in high esteem by both patients and the medical community. In 1978, two years before his death, the Saint Luke’s Foundation established the Mark Dodge Fund for Medical Education. Each year, this fund sponsors the Dr. Mark Dodge Lectureship, offering the opportunity for area health care professionals to hear a nationally recognized authority in the field of endocrinology.
William H. Goodson, Jr., M.D., Lectureship
William Goodson, Jr., M.D., practiced medicine in the Kansas City area for more than 45 years. Specializing in internal medicine, Dr. Goodson was associated with Trinity Lutheran Hospital for much of his career. His family, patients, colleagues and friends established the William H. Goodson, Jr., M.D., Annual Lectureship to honor him and his many contributions to the field of medicine in the community. The lectureship provides current and future practitioners scholarly perspectives and information related to internal medicine. Dr. Goodson died in 1985, and the first lecturer was in 1987.
He practiced as a consultant in the Arthritis Clinic at the Kansas City General Hospital (later to become TMC) until 1961 and was a member of the Arthritis and Rheumatism section at the University of Kansas for 25 years. He was a docent at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine, from 1980 to 1982.
W. Kendall McNabney, M.D., Lectureship
The W. Kendall McNabney, M.D., Lectureship recognizes McNabney, the founder of theDepartment of Emergency Medicine at Truman Medical Center (TMC) and the UMKC School of Medicine. McNabney was the first and longest serving chair of emergency medicine at the School and was the head of Trauma Services for many years.
Robert Schwab, M.D., TMC emergency medicine chair from 2000 to2006, started this lectureship, which began in 2006.
Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D. Outstanding Women in Medicine Lectureship
The UMKC School of Medicine, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Medical Society board of trustees, established the Marjorie S. Sirridge Outstanding Women in Medicine Lectureship in 1997 to recognize her dedication, compassion and advancement of patient care and medical education in Kansas City. This lectureship attracts high quality lecturers to the School each year to discuss issues affecting women in medicine and women’s health.
Dr. Sirridge was a founding docent and former dean of the School of Medicine. She and her late husband, Dr. William Sirridge, founded the Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities in 1992 to help students mature with both personal wellness and empathy toward their patients. The office coordinates courses that revolve around literature, art, and humanism in healing.
William T. Sirridge, M.D., Medical Humanities Lectureship
At the behest of Dr. William Sirridge, the William T. Sirridge, M.D. Medical Humanities Annual Lectureship endowment was established in July 1994 through an initial gift of $10,300 from the Hospital Hill Health Services Corporation, which was later renamed to the University Physician Association. Dr. Sirridge also forewent his salary in order for the money to go into this endowment. The first William Sirridge Lecture coincided with the Alumni Reunion Weekend that included the Humanities in Medicine Conference in September 1994.
Dr. Sirridge, who passed away in April 2007, and his wife, Marjorie Sirridge, M.D., founded the Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities in 1992 to help students mature with both personal wellness and empathy toward the patients they will be called upon to serve. The office coordinates courses that revolve around literature, art, and humanism in healing.
Dr. Reaner & Mr. Henry Shannon Lectureship in Minority Health
Former Associate Dean for Cultural Enhancement and Diversity Reaner Shannon, Ph.D., has a history of commitment to the School of Medicine and to the community by sponsoring minority health lectureships and coordinating programs for underserved students throughout the Kansas City area. When Dr. Shannon retired from the School in 2006, after more than three decades of service, she and her husband ensured the legacy of serving the minority community by establishing an endowment for the annual Dr. Reaner and Mr. Henry Shannon Lectureship in Minority Health to draw attention to disparities in health and health care. Through this lectureship, held the last Friday in February, medical professionals, students, residents and the local community gain access to information about timely issues that impact the underserved and minority communities.