School of Medicine celebrates faculty accomplishments at Faculty Dinner

Vidya Sharma, M.D., received the 2013 Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award award from School of Medicine Dean Betty Drees, M.D., and Rebecca Pauly, M.D.
Vidya Sharma, M.D., received the 2013 Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award from School of Medicine Dean Betty Drees, M.D., and Rebecca Pauly, M.D.

Four faculty members were recognized for their achievements and excellence in teaching, mentoring and contributions to promoting diversity and equality in medicine Wednesday, Jan. 29, during the 2014 UMKC School of Medicine Faculty Dinner at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center.

The Faculty Dinner has been an annual event since 2003, in which School of Medicine Dean Betty Drees, M.D., and faculty gather in celebrating the accomplishments of the previous year and looking forward at the School’s goals for the future.

Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., assistant dean for graduate studies and professor of internal medicine, was recognized for her selection as recipient of the School’s 2013 Elmer F. Pierson Teaching award, the longest standing faculty recognition award. The honor is given annually to an outstanding teacher in the Bloch School, and the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Law. Banderas will receive the award during the 2014 Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony on March 11 at Pierson Auditorium.

Fariha Shafi, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and Gold 7 docent, received the second Excellence in Diversity and Health Equity in Medicine award for her contributions to promoting health equity. Susan Wilson, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Diversity and Community Partnerships, presented the award.

“Dr. Shafi has been involved in multiple student, faculty and resident projects that promote culturally-appropriate care,” Wilson said. “In addition to working to develop a Faculty development web page for Cultural competency, Dr. Shafi was instrumental in piloting a medical education initiative for residents focusing on cultural competency.”

Shafi serves as vice-chair of the Diversity Council and has served as a co-chair of the Education Committee.

Two new mentorship awards were given to Vidya Sharma, MD., professor of pediatrics, and Simon Kaja, Ph.D., research assistant professor of ophthalmology. Sharma received the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award, awarded to a professor, and Kaja was honored with the Excellence in Mentoring Award, that is awarded to an associate or assistant professor among School of Medicine faculty.

The awards recognize significant contributions to enhance and develop the careers of faculty and trainees through generosity, listening, objectivity, and constructive feedback regarding career and professional/personal development. Rebecca Pauly, M.D., professor of medicine, presented the awards to Sharma and Kaja. Pauly joined the faculty last fall as a docent with a special appointment in the Dean’s office to develop a faculty mentoring program.

Drees, who announced last November that she will step down as dean later this year, was also recognized by the faculty in attendance with a special plaque in honor of her support of the faculty during her tenure as dean.

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