Tag Archives: Announcements

School of Medicine seeks nominations for annual awards

The School of Medicine is accepting nominations until Aug. 1 for four faculty, staff and student awards. These will recognize achievements in diversity and health equity, mentoring, medical education research and teaching.

The Excellence in Diversity and Health Equity in Medicine Awards recognize an individual or organization that has demonstrated sustained and impactful contribution to diversity, inclusion and cultural competency or health equity. The award is given to a student or student organization, and to faculty, staff, resident and/or organization/department.

Nominees should be those who have made consistent contributions to diversity, inclusion, cultural competency or health equity through one or more of the following:

o Recruiting or retaining a diverse student or faculty body;
o Fostering an inclusive environment for success of all;
o Working to promote health equity and the elimination of health disparities;
o Strengthening efforts to develop or implement cultural competency strategies that improve health-care delivery.

Nomination materials should be sent to the attention of Dr. Nate Thomas, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at thomasen@umkc.edu

Two Betty M. Drees, M.D., Excellence in Mentoring Awards are presented each year. The Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award is for a faculty member with the rank of professor. The Excellence in Mentoring Award goes to a faculty member who is either an associate or assistant professor.

The awards recognize the significant contributions mentors make to enhance and develop the careers of our faculty and trainees. Characteristics of successful mentoring include generosity, listening, objectivity, and constructive feedback regarding career and professional/personal development.

The third annual Louise E. Arnold, Ph.D., Excellence in Medical Education Research Award will be given to a tenure track or non-tenure track faculty member who has contributed to innovation and scholarship related to medical education at UMKC School of Medicine for a minimum of five years.

The second annual Christopher Papasian, Ph.D., Excellence in Teaching Award will be given to a tenure track or nontenure track faculty member who has contributed to medical student pre-clinical education.

Nominations for the mentoring, medical education research and teaching awards should be sent to Dr. Rebecca R. Pauly, chair, selection committee, at paulyr@umkc.edu.

Winners of the awards will be announced on Sept. 13th during the annual Faculty Promotion and Awards reception at 4 p.m. in Theater B.

Past award recipients:

Excellence in Diversity and Health Equity in Medicine Awards
2015 Jim Stanford
2016 Fariha Shafi
2017 Briana Woods-Jaeger
2015 Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association
2016 Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association
2017 Gender Pathways

Betty M. Drees, M.D. Excellence in Mentoring Awards
Lifetime Achievement Awards:
2014 Vidya Sharma
2015 John Foxworth
2016 Agostino Molteni
2017 Julie Strickland

Excellence in Mentoring Awards:
2014 Simon Kaja
2015 Vincent Barone
2016 Pamela Nicklaus
2017 Brenda Rogers

Louise E. Arnold, Ph.D., Excellence in Medical Education Research Award
2016 Louise Arnold
2017 Stefanie Ellison

Christopher Papasian, Ph.D., Excellence in Teaching Research
2017 Christopher Papasian

School of Medicine announces key administrative appointments

School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter is pleased to announce several key appointments, as the school continues to align itself for the future.

The new appointments include:

  • Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D. MBA, Vice Dean;
  • Nurry Pirani, M.D., Associate Dean for Curriculum;
  • Stefanie Ellison, M.D., Associate Dean for Learning Initiatives;
  • Michael Wacker, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs;
  • Darla McCarthy, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Curriculum;
  • Jennifer Quaintance, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Assessment and Quality Improvement.

Cuddy will oversee associate deans for curriculum, learning initiatives, allied health and assessment and quality improvement, and he will continue as the Faculty Lead for the upcoming LCME site visit in April 2018. Prior to his new appointment, Cuddy served as senior associate dean for academic affairs and as chair of the coordinating committee since 2003. He has been member of UMKC faculty since 1981.

Pirani now serves as the associate dean for curriculum. Pirani joined the faculty in 2011 as a docent, and served as associate program director and chair of the clinical competency committee for the internal medicine residency program. Before her appointment to associate dean, Pirani served as the vice-chair clinician to the Council on Curriculum.

Ellison will now focus on service learning and interprofessional education initiatives at the school. Ellison served as associate dean for curriculum from 2010-2017, and she will continue to support two subcommittees preparing for the 2018 LCME accreditation visit. She joined the faculty in 2000.

Wacker, in his new role, will work with Cuddy on key academic affairs and faculty affairs initiatives. Prior to this appointment, Wacker served as assistant dean for student research. He joined the faculty in Biomedical Sciences in 2007.

McCarthy will serve as the school representative to UMKC undergraduate degree committees and will serve as a Council on Curriculum liaison to the Year 1-2 advising staff. She will continue to direct the USMLE Step 1 readiness assessment program at the school. McCarthy joined the faculty in 2012 in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Quaintance served the past four years as director of the Office of Assessment and Quality Improvement. She will coordinate the efforts of a cadre of staff responsible for implementing and monitoring an ongoing series of assessment metrics that the schools’ councils will use to monitor the quality of our educational programs. She joined the faculty in 2005.

Match Day a time for joy, celebration at UMKC School of Medicine

Jasleen Ghuman was all smiles as she shared her Match Day letter with friends on Friday.

Jasleen Ghuman opened the white envelope in her hands, took a quick peek at the single page message inside, and exploded with screams of joy.

Ten years ago, Ghuman came to the United States from India with her mother and siblings. Her dream was to become a doctor.

Her dream took a big step toward becoming reality on Match Day, Friday, March 17. That’s when she learned that she will be headed to Northwestern University in Chicago this summer to begin a residency in internal medicine after graduating from the UMKC School of Medicine in May.

“It’s my number one choice,” Ghuman said. “I got it. I’m very, very pleased and surprised. I never thought I’d go this far. You have those moments when you aim really high and then you start to question your choice. And then it happens. I’m so excited.”

She wasn’t alone.

View the 2017 UMKC School of Medicine Match Day results and photo album

Nearly 100 students in the School of Medicine’s Class of 2017 participated in this year’s National Residency Matching Program. Before receiving their Match letters from the Education Team Coordinators, they received an encouraging buildup from School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D.

“I know what you have had to do to get to this day, and how hard you have had to work,” Kanter said. “You’ve done a magnificent job. I know how great a job you’ve done because I get to see the results just a little bit before you do, and I can tell you this is the best match this school has ever had.”

Nearly 40 percent of this year’s class matched to a primary care specialty. Internal medicine had the largest number of UMKC student matches with 21, followed by pediatrics with 10, and  family medicine with six. Twenty-three students will remain in Missouri for their residencies, 13 of them in the Kansas City area, including nine who matched to UMKC residencies and three who will stay in Kansas City for pediatrics at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

For Bilal Alam, the news was still sinking nearly 15 minutes after opening his envelope. At Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University had just one residency position available for an interventional radiologist.

The letter told Alam that position was his.

“I’m very humbled,” Alam said. “I can’t even describe the feeling I have right now.”

Looking on, Alam’s father, Mahmood, said, “I was praying for this and it happened.”

“I’m shocked,” Alam said. “I literally can’t believe it.”

Medical students at schools across the country were sharing in the excitement at the same moment. The NRMP embargoes the public release of its list of where students have matched until 11 a.m. Central time each year.

For students like Ghuman, it is a time of dreams coming true. Living in India, the family finances weren’t available for her to attend medical school. She earned a nursing degree instead. When the family moved to the United States, she began to support herself working at a nursing home. She later worked as a certified nursing assistant at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle before taking a chance and coming to Kansas City to attend medical school.

As a crowd around her celebrated, a friend held up Ghuman’s cell phone. Her mother was on the other end, watching by Skype back home in Seattle. Half a country apart, the two celebrated together for a few moments.

“It’s been a long exciting journey,” Ghuman said. “I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family.”

2017 UMKC School of Medicine
Match Facts

Primary care specialties:
Internal Medicine — 21
Pediatrics — 10
Family Medicine — 6
Medicine-Pediatrics — 2
Primary Medicine  — 1
Total — 39 = 40%

General surgery & subspecialties:
Obstetrics/Gynecology — 5
General Surgery — 4
Orthopedic Surgery — 3
Otolaryngology — 2
Oral Surgery —  2
Total — 16 = 16%

Metro Kansas City area matches:
UMKC — 9
Children’s Mercy — 3
Univ. of Kansas — 1
Total — 13 = 13%

Missouri matches:
Kansas City metro — 13
Washington Univ. — 6
Missouri-Columbia — 2
St. Louis Univ. — 2
Total — 23 = 23%

Other top states:
California — 7
Illinois — 7
New York — 6

Notable residency programs students matched into:
Mayo School of GME-Rochester
Stanford University
Harvard University
Brown University
Duke University
Emory University
Northwestern University

*includes categorical/advanced positions only

Purple Unit settles into new home at Saint Luke’s

School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., and Saint Luke’s Hospital CEO Jani Johnson shared in the ribbon-cutting for the new medical education unit and Purple Unit docent offices at Saint Luke’s Hospital with Diana Dark, M.D., (far left) associate dean for medical education and director of medical education at Saint Luke’s, and Julie Quirin, (far right) senior vice president of hospital operations.

Students on the Purple docent unit at Saint Luke’s Hospital have a new place to call home.

School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., and Saint Luke’s Hospital CEO Jani Johnson, RN, MSN, shared the honor of the official ribbon cutting on Monday, Sept. 12, on the hospital’s renovated fifth-floor medical education department, the new location of the Eleanor N. and Mary N. Little Purple Docent Unit. The Littles are sisters who, through their estate, made a charitable gift to the Saint Luke’s Foundation in support of medical education and patient care at Saint Luke’s.

In his remarks, Kanter said the docent program is a living symbol of the close relationship between Saint Luke’s Hospital and the School of Medicine.

Purple Unit docents with Dean Kanter are Doug Cochran, M.D., Jamie Lawless, M.D, Richard Lustig, D.O., and Slawomir Walewicz, M.D.

“This wonderful new unit, the Eleanor N. and Mary N. Little Purple Docent Unit, which is the home for purple docent teams, is clear testimony to what a wonderful partnership we have had,” he said.

The fifth floor of the hospital also houses the administrative offices for the medical education department, a health sciences library and house staff quarters for residents.

Docent offices for the Purple Unit were previously located in the hospital’s Medical Plaza building. Doug Cochran, M.D., docent for the Purple 2 team, said that moving the education offices to one site has been a convenience for students and docents.

“We have several options for conference rooms, immediate access to the library, unlimited access to the electronic resources in the library and multiple places for students to gather in small groups,” Cochran said.

This past spring, the School of Medicine added a fourth docent team to the Purple Unit. With the renovations at the hospital complete, two students now share each of the 24 offices in the new docent unit. The area also has a multifunctional media center that allows students to access patient lists, obtain evidence for rounds, and scan and send documents from the unit.

“The best and most valued asset for me, and for the students, is a private space where I can close the door and have some time for focused study,” Cochran said. “The new unit is well-designed, well-resourced, and extremely functional in our first DoRo experience.”

Kanter said the docent system is key to making the medical education program at the School of Medicine function properly, and that it is critical for docent teams to have the right space in which to work and learn.

“I want to extend my thanks to the Saint Luke’s Health System, to Saint Luke’s Hospital, the Saint Luke’s Foundation, and, of course, to all of you who have so generously supported Saint Luke’s and the School of Medicine in our shared mission of educating the next generation of physicians,” Kanter said.

School of Medicine research administration announces staff changes

Courtney Drerup

Courtney Drerup has joined the School of Medicine as the grants support specialist in the Office of Research Administration. She replaces Patricia Weary, who retired in May.

Drerup will help coordinate the annual Health Sciences Student Research Summit for School of Medicine students. She will also maintain research records for students’ and residents’ projects, provide grant support assistance for managing award expenditures, and provide monthly financial reports.

A graduate of Columbia College, Drerup has experience in the travel industry and has also worked in South Korea.

The research office also welcomes Laurie Ray as its new work-study student. Ray is currently enrolled in the UMKC School of Biological Sciences. She takes the place of former work-study student, Jessica Olson, who graduated from the School of Nursing and Health Studies last May and is now a graduate nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Ray will provide administrative support, help maintain the School of Medicine Central Lab and equipment and also prepare dry ice for laboratory shipments.

University of Pittsburgh scientist, educator appointed associate dean of research

A. Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D.
A. Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D.

The School of Medicine has announced the appointment of A. Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D., as the new associate dean of research. She will serve as a professor in the school’s Department of Basic Medical Science.

Dr. Nichols is an expert in the fields of genetics and neurobiology and has served on the faculty of the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She has been the director of courses in human genetics and neurobiology and has lectured in many medical and graduate courses. Dr. Nichols served as the vice chair of that school’s curriculum committee and has received numerous teaching and research achievement awards for teaching and mentoring graduate and medical students.

“The School of Medicine is fortunate to have recruited a scientist and educator with Dr. Nichols’ vast experience,” said Steven Kanter, M.D., School of Medicine dean. “We look forward to her leadership and expertise in growing our existing programs and in developing new areas of research strength.”

Before joining the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Nichols was a post-doctoral fellow, research associate and staff scientist at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, Germany. Her research has focused on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the development of the nervous system and form the basis of emotion and cognition.

Dr. Nichols earned her undergraduate degree in genetics at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She received a Ph.D. in genetic engineering and molecular biology and did a post-graduate fellowship in molecular genetics and development at the Medical Research Council in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Dr. Nichols’ appointment is effective on August 1.

Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies announce joint research appointment

Mark Nichols, Ph.D.

The UMKC School of Medicine and School of Nursing and Health Studies are pleased to announce the joint appointment of Mark Nichols, Ph.D. Dr. Nichols will serve as the associate dean of research for the School of Nursing and Health Studies and will serve as an associate research professor in the Department of Basic Medical Science at the medical school.

Dr. Nichols has served as scientist administrator in the Office of Research for the six health sciences schools at the University of Pittsburgh.

Before joining the Office of Research, Dr. Nichols worked at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.  His research laboratory focused on the study of steroid hormone receptors to identify therapies for breast and other estrogen-responsive cancers.

After completing his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of California-Berkeley, Dr. Nichols received his doctorate in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in RNA polymerase II transcription at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. He served as a visiting research associate in the gene expression program at the European Molecular Biology Lab, also in Heidelberg.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Nichols to the faculty of the UMKC School of Medicine,” said Steven Kanter, M.D., dean of the medical school. “His background and expertise align well with our school’s mission and goals and he has much to offer to our students, residents and faculty.”

Said Ann Cary, dean of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies: “Dr. Nichols brings an impressive portfolio as a researcher and a mentor. He will contribute as a strategist to our scholarship endeavors to accelerate our programs of scholarship and interprofessional collaboration in our school. We welcome him and his family to Kansas City.”

Dr. Nichols will begin work at UMKC in late summer.

School appoints Dr. Steven Waldman as Associate Dean for International Programs

Steve Waldman, M.D.
Steven Waldman, M.D.

The School of Medicine has announced the appointment of Steven D. Waldman, M.D., a 1977 graduate, as its new Associate Dean for International Programs.

The School of Medicine’s innovative curriculum has long offered international medicine programs to foster a greater understanding of global health. Many of the school’s students participate in clinical electives in other countries, while international students experience academic training at the School of Medicine, as well. In his new role as associate dean, Dr. Waldman will oversee and continue the development of those programs for students and residents.

“The School of Medicine, and especially our students, are fortunate to have someone of Dr. Waldman’s caliber serve in this key role,” said School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D.

Dr. Waldman will continue to serve in his present role as interim chair of the Department of Medical Humanities and Bioethics and as the Docent for students in the school’s M.D. Program. His past roles at the school have included Director of Statewide Outreach Programs. In this position, he developed strategies for recruitment of regional students, and formed partnerships with Missouri hospitals and practices for the recruitment of UMKC postgraduate trainees into Missouri practices.

After earning his M.D. from the UMKC School of Medicine, Dr. Waldman completed his postgraduate training at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He maintained an active and successful clinical practice in pain management in the greater Kansas City area. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1996.

Dr. Waldman has received numerous awards and honors, and has written extensively for scholarly publications in his area of clinical expertise.

Dean’s Visiting Professor series will debut on Jan. 15

Dr. John Mahoney
Dr. John Mahoney

Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., has established a new Visiting Professor program that will bring to UMKC School of Medicine renowned speakers from around the country who will explore important issues in academic medicine and health care.

The first speaker in the new Dean’s Visiting Professor series will be John F. Mahoney, M.D., M.S., associate dean for medical education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He will speak at the UMKC School of Medicine at noon on Jan. 15 on “Establishing a Curriculum Vision for 2020 and Beyond.”

An associate professor in emergency medicine, Mahoney has been a leader in curriculum advancement at Pittsburgh. He helped design the school’s integrated clerkships, and spearheaded methodology and content changes that have enhanced the curriculum. He has also developed innovations in simulation, public health preparedness and technology.

Mahoney has served as director of the school’s Office of Medical Education since 1999, and is also a member of Pittsburgh’s Academy of Master Educators.

“We are excited to bring this new Visiting Professor program to UMKC to focus on key issues in academic medicine, as well as to learn from a broad group of key leaders,” Kanter said. “I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Mahoney to Kansas City as our inaugural speaker. His success in medical education makes him an ideal visitor to engage with our faculty and students.”


Dennis Palmer, D.O., returning to School of Medicine to speak on global health

Former docent Dennis Palmer, D.O., who now serves as a physician in Cameroon, will return to the School of Medicine to deliver the 2015 William Goodson Jr., M.D., Lecture.
Former docent Dennis Palmer, D.O., who now serves as a physician in Cameroon, will return to the School of Medicine to deliver the 2015 William Goodson Jr., M.D., Lecture.

Former faculty member Dennis Palmer, D.O., a medical missionary in Cameroon who currently serves as program director for the Christian Internal Medicine Specialization Residency at Mbingo Baptist Hospital, will return to the School of Medicine on Oct. 30 to deliver the annual William Goodson Jr., M.D., Lecture.

Palmer was a docent at the School of Medicine from 1991 to 2004 and also served for a time as deputy assistant dean for years 1 and 2 medicine. He will speak on “The Role of Internal Medicine in Global Health.”

In 2004, Palmer left UMKC and the United States to take on the roles of medical director for the Cameroon Project and field director for the North American Baptist Conference in Bamenda, Cameroon. He now also serves as  medical director of the HIV/AIDs Care and Treatment Program at Mbingo Baptist Hospital.

Palmer and his wife, Nancy, served two tours in Cameroon as medical missionaries before he joined the School of Medicine in 1991. While a member of the faculty, he continued to travel to Cameroon on mission trips, and even wrote a 300-page guide, “The Handbook of Medicine in Developing Countries,” that listed medical procedures and protocols, as well as a list of widely-found medications to help physicians serving in underdeveloped regions.

Palmer received a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from UMKC before attending the University of Health Sciences Kansas City and earning his D.O. degree.