School of Medicine celebrates faculty achievements, honors

Julie Strickland, M.D., second from left, received the UMKC School of Medicine’s Betty M. Drees, M.D., Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring award. She is pictured with School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, Betty M. Drees, M.D., former dean, and Rebecca Pauly, M.D., associate dean of faculty development.

The School of Medicine recognized members of its faculty who have recently received promotions and tenure and presented awards for faculty achievements at its annual reception on Sept. 7.

This year’s promotions included 59 faculty members, 16 of those promoted to the rank of professor and 43 promoted to the rank of associate professor.

School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., said that serving as a faculty member  is a special privilege because it provides a remarkable opportunity to shape the future of health care through teaching and discovery. He said faculty are responsible for making the school a model of medical education.

“It’s the caring, thoughtful and individualized approach that you use to mentor and advise learners here throughout the docent system and outside the docent systems,” Kanter said. “It’s the cutting-edge research by outstanding investigators among our faculty. It’s the way you take care of patients, the way you model that for students, and the way you embody professionalism.”

Special Recognitions

Dr. Betty M. Drees Excellence in Mentoring Awards

Julie Strickland, M.D., was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award given to a faculty member with the rank of professor. Her nomination letters for the award described her as an example of leadership, confidence and collegiality, and an outstanding role model for all women physicians for how to balance one’s personal and professional success. She is an expert in pediatric and adolescent gynecology and is instrumental in a fellowship program that has graduated many fellows. At the same time, she has also served as a mentor for residents, medical students and young faculty members.

Brenda Rogers, M.D., associate dean for student affairs, received the Excellence in Mentoring Award given to a faculty member with the rank of associate or assistant professor. For the past three years, Rogers, a 1990 graduate of the School of Medicine, has also received Children’s Mercy Hospital the Golden Apple Award that recognizes a faculty member identified by pediatrics residents as a mentor. Through her many different roles working with students, staff, residents and faculty colleagues, Rogers’ style of mentoring is frequently more informal and often based on establishing relationships.

Louise E. Arnold Excellence in Medical Education and Research

Stefanie Ellison, M.D., associate dean for learning initiatives, received the award presented for significant contributions to the School of Medicine in the area of medical education research. Ellison has been a key figure of support for two subcommittees in preparation for the school’s 2018 LCME accreditation visit. She served as associate dean for curriculum from 2010-2017 and was instrumental in bringing the school’s general competency objectives up to date and into alignment with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s established competencies. She also plays an integral role as one of the primary organizers for the UMKC health sciences schools’ interprofessional education program.

Excellence in Diversity and Health Equity in Medicine awards

  Brianna Woods-Jaeger, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics and a child psychologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital, received the individual award for effective and sustained contributions to promoting diversity, inclusion, cultural competency, or health equity. She is heavily involved in Operation Breakthrough, a non-profit organization that provides a safe, loving and educational environment for children growing up in poverty. She has studied the effects of trauma passed from one generation to the next and its heavy burden on the health and well being of disadvantaged communities, particularly in the African-American community. Seeing patients from 7-years-old to adulthood, Woods-Jaeger is described as treating each client as a unique individual, worthy of her close care and attention and a model of patience, respect and cultural humility in every patient interaction.

Gender Pathways Service and its medical director, Jill Jacobsen, M.D., received the diversity award for an organization. The service, based in the Children’s Mercy Hospital Division of Endocrinology, provides interdisciplinary and family-centered services for transgender, gender-variant, and gender-questioning patients. It is the only center of its kind in the Midwest, and one of only a few in the entire country. Specialists in endocrinology, psychology, adolescent medicine and social work are all part of the clinic. Psychological evaluation is provided to continuously meet the mental health needs of the patient and the family. Jacobsen and her team are active in community education, advocating at patient’s schools, churches and with families.