Tag Archives: Faculty

Alumni join School of Medicine’s anesthesiologist assistant program faculty

Three UMKC School of Medicine’s Master of Science in Anesthesia program alumni have been selected for faculty leadership roles. They all have served as preceptors for many years and bring diversity in their clinical and leadership experiences, expertise and advocacy for the anesthesiologist assistant (AA) profession.

Jonathan Chambers, a 2010 graduate, has been selected to serve as director of didactic education.

Chambers, an anesthesiologist assistant at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, has been a clinical instructor since 2011. He will be responsible for classroom teaching as well as coaching the School of Medicine’s basic medical science faculty in adapting courses to the anesthesiologist assistant profession. He also will serve as chair of the curriculum committee and ensure that the program’s curriculum meets the standards of accrediting and certifying bodies.

Adam Petersen, a 2012 graduate, is the new director of simulation education.

Petersen served as an anesthesiologist assistant at Ozark Anesthesia Associates in Springfield, then joined Saint Luke’s Hospital Kansas City in 2016. He will oversee the program’s simulation education, including “boot camp,” which involves intensive simulation training the first six weeks of the program. Students then receive a weekly curriculum of simulation and skills training throughout their first year. Petersen also will work to incorporate additional simulation training in the second year of the program.

Maggie Munn, who graduated in 2014, has been named director of clinical education.

Munn is an anesthesiologist assistant at Saint Luke’s Hospital Kansas City, and has served as a clinical instructor at the School of Medicine since 2015. As clinical coordinator, she will be responsible for scheduling all first-, second-, and third-year students at their clinical rotation sites, and will ensure students are on pace to meet their clinical requirements. She also will coach students, providing feedback and helping them set goals for each rotation. Munn is active in advocacy for the AA profession. She has served on leadership committees with the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants since 2016 and as president and vice president of the Missouri chapter.

Many School of Medicine AA graduates and faculty are involved nationally with leadership roles within the AA profession. Matthew Pinegar, M.D., program medical director, is a member of the board of directors for the Accreditation Review Committee for Anesthesiologist Assistant. Lance Carter, program director, is a member of the exam-item writing committee for the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants.

The School of Medicine’s AA program started in 2008 and was the first AA program located west of the Mississippi. It is now one of 15 accredited AA educational programs throughout the country.

Established to help address the shortage of providers in anesthesia care, the program accepts up to 16 new students each year for admission and boasts a 100% certification exam pass rate and employment rate for its graduates. While certified anesthesiologist assistants can practice in 19 states and in Washington, D.C., the majority of UMKC graduates are employed in Missouri, where they deliver quality anesthesia care to patients.

Prerequisites for the program are a bachelor’s degree with pre-medical sciences classes and passage of the Medical College Admission Test or Graduate Record Examination. The 27-month program begins each January, and students receive more than 2,000 hours of hands-on clinical training with patients. A highlight of the UMKC AA program is the intense skills and simulation instruction in the clinical training facility, as well as experience in the operating room that begins in the first semester.

 

School of Medicine alumna, faculty member Amy Patel is 2022 Chiefs’ Fan of the Year

The Kansas City Chiefs are on a roll in the National Football League and UMKC School of Medicine alumna and faculty member Amy Patel, M.D., is now part of the excitement surrounding Chiefs Kingdom.

Patel, a 2011 graduate and assistant professor of radiology at the School of Medicine, is celebrating the team’s success as its 2022 Fan of the Year. With that, Patel is now the Chiefs’ nominee for 2022 NFL Fan of the Year.

Patel learned of the honor earlier this year before the Chiefs’ home-opening game against the Los Angeles Chargers when she was awarded the game’s Lamar Hunt Legacy Seat that recognizes a community member who represents the spirit of Lamar Hunt, the team’s founder.

“I got to meet (Chiefs’ owner) Clark Hunt and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell who shared the news with me,” Patel said at the time. “I am still in shock! But I feel so honored to have my work recognized as well as my love of the Chiefs.”

As Chiefs Fan of the Year, Patel will receive two tickets to the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12 and will be invited to take in all of the game’s surrounding activities.

Each of the NFL’s 32 teams selects a Fan of the Year. Through a combination of fan voting on the league’s web site that began this week and scoring by a panel of judges based on the individual’s enthusiasm, team fandom, inspirational story and community spirit, the NFL will select and announce its Fan of the Year at the Super Bowl.

Patel is a breast imaging specialist and medical director of the Breast Care Center at Liberty Hospital. With a primary focus on breast radiology and research in breast health equity, artificial intelligence, and digital breast tomosynthesis, she helped to build a comprehensive breast care program in Liberty.

Her love for the Chiefs began at an early age growing up in Chillicothe, Missouri. After earning her medical degree, she went to Harvard University, where she helped build a comprehensive breast care program at a local hospital. In 2018, Patel returned to Kansas City, where she is recognized as a champion of helping women achieve equitable access to breast care and a loyal fan of the Chiefs.

 

Hospital Hill Run organizers need medical volunteers

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 alison.troutwine@uhkc.org.

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.

UMKC honors School of Medicine faculty for achievements in diversity, teaching

Tyler Smith, M.D., and Theodore Cole, Ph.D.

UMKC honored School of Medicine faculty members Tyler Smith, M.D., and Theodore Cole, Ph.D., with special awards during the annual Faculty Recognition Event on May 18 at the Student Union.

Smith, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, received the Chancellor’s Award for Embracing Diversity. Cole, professor of biomedical sciences, received the Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award.

The Chancellor’s Award is given annually to university faculty, staff and student organizations engaged in fostering an environment of multiculturalism, globalism and diversity and inclusion.

An assistant professor of pediatrics, Smith is the first physician to serve in her DEI role. She is a key strategist and supervises related to recruitment and retention of underrepresented or marginalized students, staff, and faculty. Her efforts promote a culture of inclusion and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard in a safe space. She has been recognized at Children’s Mercy with an Early Career Advocacy Achievement Award in 2019 and 2021 and with the DEI Achievement Award.

The Elmer Pierson Good Teaching Award recognizes creative and innovative teaching methods and skills, and educational leadership. Cole has been a School of Medicine faculty member for more than 24 years. He is the gross anatomy co-director for the Human Structure Function series.  Since 1998 he has taught anatomy in the HSF I, II, III courses and as course director for the HSF IV course since 2003, he directs coursework for thorax and abdomen anatomy.

In 2018, Cole received the Christopher Papasian, Ph.D., Excellence in Teaching Award from the School of Medicine. In addition to teaching medical students, he has served as course faculty in Human Gross Anatomy I for dental students since 1999.

School of Medicine celebrates 9th annual Quality Patient Safety Day

Mamta Reddy, M.D., endowed chair of patient safety (left), and Betty M. Drees, M.D., dean emerita, present a quality and patient safety lifetime achievement award to Lawrence Dall, M.D.,assistant dean of student research.

Quality care and patient safety took center stage as Julia Snodgrass and Wes Weske received the top honors from among students and Drs. Erica Wee and Jeremy Beyer earned the top resident/fellow awards with their research abstract submission at the UMKC School of Medicine’s 9th annual Vijay Babu Quality and Patient Safety Day.

Judges selected the winners from among 23 medical student and 17 resident/fellow research submissions. The four were chosen to give oral presentations of their research during the day-long event.

The annual patient safety day program provides students, residents and fellows an opportunity to display their work in quality improvement and patient safety to the entire medical school community.

Thirty students, residents and fellows also participated in a poster presentation showcase. A panel of judges selected presentations by Snodgrass and Fahad Qureshi as the top student posters, while Drs. Thomas Cochran and Rueben Joaquim Ricardo De Almedia were recognized for the top poster presentations among residents and fellows.

School of Medicine faculty members Lawrence Dall, M.D., and Rana El Feghaly, M.D., were also recognized for their contributions to quality improvement and patient safety mentorship. Dall, who a docent who also serves as assistant dean of medical student research, received the QIPS Lifetime Achievement Award. El Feghaly, associate professor of pediatrics, received the QIPS Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.

Christopher Moriates, M.D., assistant dean for Health Care Value at the Dell Medical School, University of Texas in Austin, gave a keynote address, speaking “Leading for Where You Stand.” Moriates created a Choosing Wisely STARS program that has spread throughout the United States to generate student-led initiatives in advancing health care value in medical education. He also oversaw the creation of the Del Med Discovering Value-Based Health Care online learning platform used by medical professions throughout the United States.

To view a complete list of student, resident and fellow oral and poster presentation, go online to Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day.

Betty M. Drees, M.D., honored for efforts to advance the careers of women in medicine

Betty Drees, M.D., F.A.C.P., Dean, UMKC School of Medicine

The American College of Physicians has recognized former UMKC School of Medicine Dean Betty M. Drees, M.D., F.A.C.P., for her distinguished contributions to women in medicine.

Drees was presented the Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell Award for Outstanding Contributions to Advancing the Careers of Women in Medicine at the ACP’s national meeting in Chicago. The award recognizes an individual who has furthered the careers of women medical students, residents and/or physicians through mentoring and leadership development.

A board-certified endocrinologist with 30 years of experience in clinical practice, research, education and administration, Drees has played a major role in advancing the careers and career opportunities for women physicians.

She served as dean of the UMKC School of Medicine from 2001-2014 and established the school’s Excellence in Mentoring awards that recognize faculty members for significant contributions to enhancing and developing the careers of faculty and trainees. In 2018, she was appointed president of the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, a program offers education and training that leads to a doctorate in biology. She also currently serves as a professor at the UMKC School of Medicine’s Departments of Internal Medicine and Biomedical and Health Informatics and continues to teach endocrinology to medical students, residents and fellows.

Among her many leadership roles, Drees is the immediate past president of the Kansas City Medical Society. She was named one of Kansas City’s Most Accomplished and Successful Women and an icon of education by Ingram’s Magazine. She remains passionate about community well-being and diabetes prevention with a research focus on improving metabolic health and diabetes prevention.

The ACP is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with 161,000 internal medicine physicians, related subspecialists and medical student members in more than 145 countries worldwide.

School of Medicine’s Steven Go receives NBME distinguished service award

Steven Go, M.D., (right) received the received the Edithe J. Levit Distinguished Service Award from the National Board of medical Examiners.

Steven Go, M.D., professor of emergency medicine, received the Edithe J. Levit Distinguished Service Award at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) in Philadelphia. The award recognized Go for his more than 20 years of dedicated service to the NBME.

Go has been a member of the UMKC School of Medicine faculty in the emergency medicine department since 1994. An active member of the NBME since 1998, he was selected as a member of the NBME board NBME in 2014. He has served on numerous test material development, computer case simulation, interdisciplinary review, and forms review committees, task forces, and the USMLE Management Committee.

Established in 1983, the Distinguished Service Award is named in honor of former NBME president and CEO Edithe J. Levit, who served from 1977 to 1986. Recipients are selected from individuals retiring from NBME membership and others who have served the NBME exceptionally in their dedication to research related to the evaluation of health professionals.

UMKC professors study the impact of sound on operating room safety

Faculty donation leads to collaboration between professors in the School of Medicine and UMKC Conservatory to yield safer surgeries

Medicine and music aren’t an obvious pair, but in a discussion between colleagues at the UMKC Surgical Innovations Lab, experts in each field realized an interesting link between the two topics.

Gary Sutkin, M.D., professor of surgery and associate dean of women’s health at UMKC, has focused much of his research on surgical safety and mitigating errors in the operating room. Today he’s working to expand that research by teaming up with his colleague – and composer – Paul Rudy, MM, DMA, Curators’ Distinguished Professor and coordinator of composition at the UMKC Conservatory, to study the effects of sound on patient safety in the operating room.

Studies have shown that reducing hospital noise levels has a direct impact on improving patient safety, but in operating rooms, in addition to conversations among the surgical team, the equipment required for surgeries makes noise. Though some sounds are necessary ­– such as the noise of the oxygen saturation monitor, which creates the rapid high-pitched beep people may recognize from medical shows on television — the noise created by people in the room often is not.

Gary Sutkin, M.D.

Rudy and Sutkin are working together to develop training and surgical methods that reduce some of the noise and related risk.

“People have been trying to solve the problem of miscommunication in the operating room for 20 years and there hasn’t been any meaningful progress,” Sutkin says. “What I know is that we need brains other than those of researchers, surgeons and nurses to study the problem.”

Sutkin’s interest in collaborating with people who have expertise in areas outside of medicine, coupled with Rudy’s curiosity and ability to hear the operating room with fresh ears is already leading to interesting results.

By observing surgeries, Rudy recognized that surgeons’ work entails very fine motor movements and unwavering focus that requires them to keep their heads down. He also observed other members of the surgical team are focused on their own tasks and responsibilities.

“People have been trying to solve the problem of miscommunication and errors in the operating for 20 years and there hasn’t been meaningful progress. What I know is that I need other brains than only researchers, surgeons and nurses.”
 Gary Sutkin, M.D.

“No one’s looking at the surgeon’s body language to figure out what’s needed,” Rudy says. “For example, the anesthesiologist is reading a screen. Much of the communication [the team receives] is coming through sound.”

But despite the importance of verbal communication, he observed a lot of the noise people make in the operating room is not critical to the surgery.

“Everyone is doing something necessary,” Rudy says. “But sometimes someone has to unpackage something in a hurry, and they can’t throw it in the trash can, so it ends up on the floor. Or someone picks up that big wad of plastic to get it out of the way and you can’t hear anything else over the noise. This has to be done – someone could trip over it – but if the surgeon needs to communicate something important to the anesthesiologist at that moment, the noise will mask the communication.”

Because of Rudy’s background as a musician, the amount of residual noise in the operating room came as a surprise.

“In rehearsals and in performances, no one makes any extra sound anywhere for any reason,” Rudy says. “Musicians carefully turn pages of sheet music so that the binder doesn’t make any noise.”

He’s aware of the differences between the disciplines, but still notes there is room for improvement when it comes to eliminating some unnecessary noise in operating rooms. Rudy’s research has identified solutions to common disruptions that OR teams may not even notice.

“For example, in the operating room there are really heavy metal step stools,” Rudy says. “People tend to scoot them across the floor with their feet and it makes this really intense grating sound that may mask any kind of communication that is going on in the room.”

Paul Rudy, Ph.D.

Rudy understands that the medical professionals in the operating room move the stools with their feet because they need to keep their hands sterile, but he wonders if manufacturers are aware of the ramifications of production decisions.

“This research could lead to that awareness, and maybe even influence manufacturing standards.”

Observations like this that lead to opportunity for innovation and increased safety is at the heart of the mission of Surgilab and are why Sutkin wants colleagues like Rudy in the operating room.

“There’s value in having insight from brains other than researchers, surgeons and nurses. Paul brings a wealth of knowledge and creativity. And, surprisingly, to be honest, a scientific mind that contributes very well with this research.”

A gift from UMKC professor emerita, Elizabeth Noble, Ph.D., helped fund this research collaboration. Noble supports research that reaches across different fields of study because she thinks it makes the outcomes more reliable and more transferable.

“Today most researchers would agree that cross-disciplinary research is valuable,” Noble says. “It stimulates new ways of thinking about different issues, especially when we’re talking about music and medicine which are not always assumed to go together.”

“This research is exactly what I hoped would occur. I’m very happy that Dr. Rudy has had this kind of success,” she added.

Army skills come to the physician assistant program

Major David Walker announced as faculty member in the PA Program

Major David Walker has been added as a new faculty member to the Physician Assistant (PA) program at the UMKC School of Medicine. Walker’s path to UMKC was a bit unique.

Initially, Walker came to the department for an internship through the Army Career Skills Program, which sponsored his time at UMKC. The Army initiative helps veterans transition to civilian careers. During the internship, Walker worked closely with the PA faculty on day-to-day delivery of the curriculum, while he was involved in all aspects in the classroom including skills instruction and assessment.

Julie Banderas, assistant dean, Graduate Health and Professions, said it’s the first time the Physician Assistant program has worked with the Army Skills Program. “We saw this as an excellent opportunity with mutual benefits,” she said.

Walker experienced many teaching opportunities in the military, teaching areas such as biology as well as training medics and mentoring fellow troops. “As you move up the ranks in the military, you’re always looking behind you to train your subordinates and bring them up as well,” he said. “Those opportunities gave me a great deal of experience with the student-teacher and mentor-mentee dynamic.”

According to Walker, there was much to like about UMKC and its PA program. “I was drawn to the mission at UMKC, how involved they are with the community,” he said. “The program’s emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion was important as well and their focus on recruiting students with diverse backgrounds.”

Walker enlisted straight out of high school, two weeks after graduation to be exact. “With my birthday in July,” he said “I wasn’t even 18 yet at the start of basic training.”

He originally served as a military intelligence technician. According to Walker, the job sounds like a big deal but adds, “I was basically an IT guy.” An “IT guy” with top security clearance nonetheless. He worked the first couple of years for the National Security Agency, deployed in Iraq. That’s where he met his wife and after their son was born, he began looking at his future after the military.

He landed on the physician assistant program through the military, an inter-service PA program accredited through the University of Nebraska. Through the program, military members train at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, then perform clinical rotations at a military treatment facility. Through the program, he not only received his bachelor’s degree but a master’s degree and then a commissioning to officer as a first lieutenant as well.

Walker was drawn to a physician assistant career for a number reasons, in particular the challenge the position would offer. “I like putting puzzles together,” he said. “My patient is telling me their symptoms, I’m performing the physical exam. I’m finding the pieces to put together to figure out a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan with them.”

According to Eric Johnson, program director for the PA program, Walker is a great addition to the team in the PA program.

“Major Walker’s military experience, while significant, is not the only contribution he brings to the PA program,” Johnson said. “He brings racial and gender diversity to the program faculty as well as a role model to all our students, but especially to those whose background and experience may be similar. Often overlooked is David’s correctional medicine experience, which presents unique complexities that few clinicians encounter.”

The UMKC Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program is a seven-semester program based in the UMKC School of Medicine and has been accredited since 2014, with more than 100 alumni PAs. Walker joins a faculty team of three other full-time PA faculty members and nearly 60 current students.

School of Medicine’s Peter Koulen honored for achievements, advocacy in vision research

Koulen, Peter
Peter Koulen, Ph.D.

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) has recognized Peter Koulen, Ph.D., director of basic research at the UMKC School of Medicine’s Vision Research Center, with a major honor, its 2021 Achievements in Eye and Vision Advocacy Award.

ARVO is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. As part of its annual Advocacy Awards, the Achievements in Eye and Vision Advocacy Award recognizes members who have dedicated the core of their careers to advancing eye and vision research.

Koulen, a professor of ophthalmology and biomedical sciences, is the School of Medicine’s Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research. He is an internationally recognized expert in biophysics, biochemistry and physiology of nerve cells with more than 50 extramural grants totaling more than $15 million. His focus on the retina as part of the central nervous system has resulted in peer-reviewed publications in more than 100 prestigious journals. He has also received three patents.

Koulen said the award from ARVO is an “amazing honor” that underscores the importance of his research efforts.

“The many opportunities ARVO has afforded me during my professional career taught me early on that service and giving back are not just integral to research, but are the key ingredients to growing research programs and maximizing their impact,” he said. “The award will also serve as a constant reminder to me that the important work of advocating and providing outreach opportunities for eye and vision research is never done.”

Koulen is a review panel member for national and international funding agencies including the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Health. While chair of ARVO’s Advocacy and Outreach Committee, Koulen participated in Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of increasing funding for the NIH and the National Eye Institute.

This is the latest major award Koulen has received for his research at UMKC. The university Board of Trustees also honored Koulen in 2020 with its Trustees’ Faculty Fellow Award given to an established faculty member for a nationally and internationally recognized record of research and creative achievements at UMKC.