Tag Archives: Faculty

In Memoriam: Dr. Louise Arnold

One of the School of Medicine’s earliest and long-time faculty members, Louise Arnold, Ph.D., who served as associate dean for medical education and research until her retirement in 2012, died on Dec. 17.

Arnold joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1971 after hearing about the new School of Medicine serendipitously when she, her son Conrad, and her husband, Wilf, came to Kansas City as Wilf was joining the staff at the University of Kansas. Hired as education researcher and ultimately as the associate dean, Arnold spent more than 40 years helping refine the school’s curriculum and touting its key elements to medical educators nationwide.

She received her doctorate in sociology at Cornell University. Arnold and Richardson K. Noback, the UMKC School of Medicine’s founding dean, regularly discussed the many values, beliefs and enthusiasm they shared for their alma mater. As a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell’s Sloan Institute of Hospital Administration, Arnold studied the qualities that were most important for hospitals to provide compassionate care of patients. Thus began her storied career in promoting the role of professionalism and the importance of the development of professional identity for UMKC School of Medicine students.

A respected national and international scholar, Arnold was the founding chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges National Group on Combined Baccalaureate-M.D. Programs. She continued throughout her career to be an active participant at AAMC meetings.

She helped the City University of New York develop a seven-year combined degree medical school. The University of New Mexico established a combined baccalaureate-M.D. program with her help. Arnold encouraged faculty at the University of Washington to use learning communities patterned after UMKC’s docent system to deliver part of their clinical curriculum.

By 2011-2012, more than 60 medi­cal schools had incorporated some form of learning communities similar to those at UMKC. Many are members of the national Learning Communities Institute that Arnold and other leaders infor­mally organized.

In 2012, Arnold received the Ron Arky Award, named for the professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who founded the Learning Communities Institute, for significant contributions to the development in learning communities in medical education.

“Dean Emerita Betty Drees remembers Dr. Arnold as a role model and as a strong woman faculty member and I would agree,” said School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, MD. , ’78. “Through the months of the pandemic as Dr. Arnold worked from home, she continued to actively work on projects and curriculum, mentoring junior faculty and connecting with others as she has always done. Having known Dr. Arnold as a student who started here in 1972, I greatly valued the opportunity to work with and learn from her during the last several years. She was truly one of the warmest, most gracious and smartest colleagues and she will be dearly missed.”

School of Medicine leaders will be planning a special event in the coming weeks to celebrate Arnold’s life and contributions to the school.

Dr. John Lantos answers question, ‘Do we still need doctors?’

Dr. John Lantos

Doctors have been around since the beginning of human civilization. But are they still necessary today?

John Lantos, M.D., director of the Bioethics Center at Children’s Mercy Kansas City Hospital, broached the subject on Dec. 10 as keynote speaker at the School of Medicine’s annual Noback-Burton Lectureship.

For much of early civilization, doctors offered little more than a caring bedside presence, Lantos said. Advanced medical science, however, changes the way people think about doctors and what they can do.

School of Medicine founding dean Richardson K. Noback, M.D., for whom the annual lectureship is named, once described the doctor as a morally responsible problem solver on behalf of people experiencing difficulty.

Lantos asked to imagine what would happen if artificial intelligence could be used to remove from doctors the moral responsibility of making decisions. Similarly, he asked, if algorithms can be developed to solve many of the problems that doctors use their minds to discern, will we still need doctors?

He quoted Eric Topol, noted cardiologist and former head of the Cleveland Clinic and Scripps Institute for Translational Research, with the answer.

“We will still need doctors to give the human touch,” Lantos said. “We still need doctors to provide empathy.”

Lantos said doctors still need to learn how to have difficult conversations with their patients. Where the tools to keep people alive were previously not available, doctors today can keep people alive while their bodies are failing.

“The result is that almost every decision about death is preceded by a decision made by doctors, patients and family members about when and whether to withhold or withdraw potentially life-prolonging medical treatment,” Lantos said. “That is a skill that doctors didn’t used to have, didn’t use to need. Now it is a crucial part of medicine.”

Patients still want their doctors to know them as individuals, Lantos said. And doctors, in many cases, want to know their patients as individuals.

“To imagine that we will always fail seems like it might be a pessimistic view, but it’s not,” Lantos said. “It doesn’t negate the remarkable achievements of medicine. It does, however, suggest that the role of the doctor has changed dramatically. Maybe the doctor’s expectations about the role and nature of their work no longer aligns with the work they actually do.”

The Noback-Burton Lectureship was established in 2016 to honor Noback, the school’s inaugural dean and Jerry Burton, M.D. ’73, who is recognized as the first graduate of the medical school.

UMKC Trustees honor SOM’s Peter Koulen for distinguished work in research

Koulen, PeterThe UMKC Board of Trustees has selected UMKC School of Medicine’s vision and neuroscience researcher Peter Koulen, Ph.D., as the recipient of the 2020 UMKC Trustees’ Faculty Fellow Award.

Dr . Koulen is the school’s Felix and Carmen Sabates/Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research and serves as director of basic research at the Vision Research Center. Under his guidance, the research center and the UMKC Department of Ophthalmology have secured millions of dollars in grants from the National Institutes of Health and other recognized sources for their groundbreaking work in developing technology and therapies to recognize and treat chronic diseases of the eye and brain.

He has been awarded more than 50 extramural grants totaling over $15 million, and he recently was the recipient of two R01 NIH/NEI awards totaling over $4 million. With a focus on the retina as part of the central nervous system, he has peer-reviewed publications in more than 100 prestigious journals including International Journal Molecular Science, Journal of Cell Science, Cellular Molecular Neurobiology, and Neuroscience. He also has been awarded three patents.

A member of an NIH study section committee, and active reviewer for prestigious scientific journals, he has been the recipient of more than 20 awards and honors since joining our School of Medicine, including recognition as the NT Veatch Award for Research and Creativity in 2013. Dr. Koulen’s work has been acknowledged worldwide. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, a global organization of researchers, honored Koulen as a member of its 2018 Fellows Class.

He also serves as a mentor and sponsor for students involved in research and he has effectively launched the careers of the next generation of physician scientists. His mentorship has placed graduates in highly competitive research environments such as NIH, FDA, Harvard Medical School, Alcon Laboratories, Fresenius and numerous others.

“I am impressed that Dr. Koulen contributes with passion, grace and enthusiasm and that he truly represents what a faculty scholar should exemplify,” said School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D.. “It is my pleasure to call him a colleague and to work with him at our University.”

Each year, UMKC’s Board of Trustees selects an established faculty member for the Faculty Fellow Award to honor a nationally and internationally recognized record of research and creative achievements at UMKC.

Yusheng Liu, Ph.D., vice chancellor for research in the Office of Research and Economic Development, said the award helps the university enhance and pursue its goal to be a major urban research university with excellence, creativity, and scholarship across all disciplines.

 

 

SOM faculty recognized with annual awards, promotions

School of Medicine faculty took the spotlight during an Oct. 28 program to honor those receiving the school’s annual faculty awards and the recognition of 73 faculty members who received promotions and tenure.

The list of honorees included 58 faculty members who have been promoted to the rank of associate professor and 15 who were promoted to professor. Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony took place as a virtual celebration.

This year’s event recognized eight faculty with special honors for their outstanding contributions, including two new awards.

Clinical Affiliate Teaching Award
Emily Hillman, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine, received the first Clinical Affiliate Teaching Award. The honor celebrates a faculty member who is recognized for clinical teaching of medical students, graduate program students and/or graduate medical education residents and fellows at one of the school’s major clinical affiliates.

Hillman serves as director of simulation education at the school’s Clinical Training Facility as well as associate director of the emergency medicine residency program and director of the emergency medicine medical education fellowship.

Faculty Researcher Award
John Q. Wang, Ph.D., professor and endowed chair for research, received the school’s first Faculty Research Award. The honor recognizes faculty for clinical and/or bench research that contributes to the advancement of medicine, demonstrates collaboration and mentoring of medical students, residents/fellows, and/or graduate students and faculty, and also enhances the research reputation of the School of Medicine.

Excellence in Diversity & Health Equity in Medicine Award
Molly Uhlenhake, D.O., assistant professor of medicine and Red 7 Docent, receive the award that recognizes faculty engaged in efforts to create a more inclusive institutional culture that promotes success for all. It also recognizes efforts to advance the understanding of health equity, health disparities, cultural competence in medicine, and greater access and opportunities for our surrounding community.

Christopher Papasian, Ph.D., Excellence in Teaching Award
Darla McCarthy, Ph.D., associate professor of basic medical sciences and assistant dean for curriculum, received the honor for a faculty member who has contributed to medical student pre-clinical education innovation at the School of Medicine.

Louise E. Arnold, Ph.D., Excellence in Medical Education Research Award
Gary Sutkin, M.D., professor and associate dean of women’s health, received the award that acknowledges and celebrates a faculty member who has contributed and influenced the advancement of medical education innovation through scholarship and research.

Betty M. Drees, M.D., Excellence in Mentoring Awards
Fariha Shafi, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Gold 6 and Gold 7 Docent, received the 2020 Excellence in Mentoring Award. Peter Koulen, Ph.D., professor, endowed chair and director of basic research at the Vision Research Center, was honored with the Lifetime in Mentoring Award.

The mentoring awards are given annually to celebrate both a junior and a senior faculty member who have made significant contributions to enhancing and developing the careers of faculty trainees as a mentor through their generosity, listening, objectivity and by providing constructive feedback regarding career and professional and personal development.

UMKC Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award
Jennifer Quaintance, Ph.D., associate research professor and assistant dean for assessment and quality improvement, was honored with the university-wide award recognizing outstanding teachers in the Black School and the schools of medicine, dentistry and law.

School of Medicine announces academic appointments

The UMKC School of Medicine has announced four recent appointments to academic leadership positions: John Borsa, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiology; Adam Algren, M.D., chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine; Jennifer Elliott, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Anesthesiology; and Molly Uhlenhake, D.O., director of the Continuing Care Clinic clerkship.

Borsa adds the role of the school’s academic chair of radiology to his current position as department chair at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City. A board certified vascular interventional radiologist, he is a national expert in procedures related to percutaneous treatment of venous thromboembolic disease.

A fellow of the Society of Interventional Radiology, he also is a peer reviewed author and international lecturer in his field. He has been honored three times as teacher of the year by residents and five times as a distinguished faculty presenter.

Borsa completed medical school and an internship at the University of Manitoba, and his radiology residency at the Mayo Clinic. He also completed an interventional radiology fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle before joining the staff of Saint Luke’s Hospital in 2011.

Adam Algren, M.D.Algren, a 2001 graduate of the UMKC School of Medicine, has served as interim chair of emergency medicine since January. He is also chair of the University Health Physicians Board of Directors.

A member of the UMKC departments of emergency medicine and pediatrics since 2007, Algren has served as the chair of the School of Medicine’s Council on Selection and on the Truman Medical Centers Board of Directors.

He completed his emergency medicine residency and served as chief resident at TMC. Fellowship trained in medical toxicology at the Emory University/CDC program, Algren also served as a clinical instructor in the Emory University emergency medicine department.

Elliott, JenniferIn addition to her new role as interim chair of anesthesiology, Elliott currently serves as medical director of the Pain Management Clinic at Saint Luke’s Hospital. A 1996 UMKC School of Medicine graduate, she has served for many years as a member of the residency education committee in the radiology department.

After completing her anesthesiology residency and a fellowship in pain management at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Elliott joined the staff at Saint Luke’s Hospital. She has been a member of the hospital’s Institutional Review Board, a member of the UMKC School of Medicine Physician Promotions Committee, and the physician chair of the Saint Luke’s Health System Opioid Stewardship Committee. She completed the UMKC Physician Leadership Development Program in 2018.

Elliott has also written numerous articles and chapters on topics in pain medicine and is the primary editor of an acute pain management handbook published in 2011.

Uhlenhake, MollyUhlenhake takes on her director’s role in the school’s Continuing Care Clinic, having previously served on the Council of Selections as vice chair and the scholarship selection committee as chair. She is currently working to develop a multidisciplinary LGBT+ clinic at TMC, where she directs primary care services.

A member of the School of Medicine docent team, Uhlenhake is also medical director of Refugee and Immigration services at the Kansas City Health Department and medical director of community outreach for TMC. She is a core faculty member for the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency program at TMC and for Teen Primary Care at Children’s Mercy Kansas City.

After graduating medical school at Des Moines University in Iowa, Uhlenhake completed her internal medicine-pediatrics residency the UMKC School of Medicine, where she also served chief resident. Before joining the staff at UMKC and TMC, she served at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and was the medical director of adolescent medicine at the High Street Clinic in Denver.

In place of KC Marathon, Million Mile Challenge makes every mile count with free and discounted entries for SOM

The Garmin Kansas City Marathon is not alone in canceling its fall event because of the coronavirus, but its organizers are challenging runners and supporters in a new way.

UMKC School of Medicine and its hospital affiliate Truman Medical Centers are gold sponsors of the MILLION MILE CHALLENGE, KC Marathon’s running alternative for 2020. School of Medicine has 10 FREE entries available on a first-come, first-served basis, and all UMKC students, staff and faculty who register can receive a discounted entry fee.

“It was a tough call, but canceling the race was best for the safety of race participants, partners, staff and volunteers,” said Dave Borchardt, director of corporate and community relationships at the Kansas City Sports Commission, the non-profit organization that organizes the Garmin Kansas City Marathon. “Now, we are excited about the Million Mile Challenge and encouraged by the interest it’s received.”

The Million Mile Challenge is a fun and engaging way to support your local community while staying fit through training and running. Between now and Oct. 17, participants can track and log miles anytime and anywhere they walk or run, both as they train and complete their race miles (5k, 10K, half marathon or full marathon). The goal is to reach one million cumulative miles among all registered in the challenge, with key mileage benchmarks celebrated with randomly selected gift winners announced along the way.

The event concludes with a two-day, drive-through Finishers Fest Oct. 16-17 with fun photo opportunities, sponsor booths and other activities. There, participants can pick up their participant items in person, including a race-branded shirt, finisher’s medal, commemorative race bib and finisher’s certificate, Million Mile Challenger finisher item and the ultimate KC swag bag. Registrants may also have their race packets mailed directly to them (additional fees apply).

If interested in a FREE entry, contact Lisa Mallow (lmallow@umkc.edu). Registration is open through Oct. 15, and the cost is $40. UMKC students, staff and faculty save 10 percent when using the discount code UMKCMED10.

To sign up and start logging your miles today, click here.

GME office welcomes new assistant deans

Gregory Howell, M.D., and Brook Nelson, M.D., have been appointed associate deans in the School of Medicine’s Office of Graduate Medical Education.

School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., and Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education Sara Gardner, M.D., announced two additions to the schools’ Office of Graduate Medical Education. Gregory Howell, M.D., ’00, associate professor of medicine and program director for the critical care fellowship, and Brook Nelson, M.D., ’07, assistant professor of surgery and general surgery residency program director, have been appointed as assistant deans for Graduate Medical Education.

Howell and Nelson will work directly with Gardner interacting with and supporting the school’s Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and non-ACGME programs, residents and fellows.

Each brings to their new positions extensive experience in graduate medical education. They will enhance the representation of our surgical and fellowship programs on the Graduate Medical Education Council. In addition, they will oversee the central line training course.

After graduation from medical school at UMKC, Howell completed his internal medicine and pulmonary/critical care training at UMKC.  Nelson also completed her general surgery residency at UMKC as well.

White Coat Ceremony Signifies Important Next Step for Class of 2024

Her father had the honor of coating third-year medical student Nadie Elkady during the UMKC School of Medicine’s virtual White Coat Ceremony.

The physician’s white coat is one of the most recognizable symbols of the medical profession. It signifies a relationship between physicians and their patients, and the obligation to practice medicine with clinical competence and compassion.

For the class of 125 third-year medical students who took part in the UMKC School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony this year, it also signified an important next step in the journey to joining the rank of physicians.

“Soon, you will be part of this distinctive group,” said Jill Moormeier, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.

Moormeier served as emcee for this year’s event, which shifted from its usual campus location to a virtual format because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Students participated by watching online with family and friends. In many cases, students traditionally “coated” by their new docent during the ceremony shared that honor with parents instead.

Jennifer Allen, third-year student, in her white coat.

Following the online presentation, the newest students to graduate to the UMKC Health Sciences District campus enjoyed a Zoom reception with new docent team members.

Moormeier explained that the White Coat Ceremony represents a shift in the student’s education from a focus on classroom work to bedside care. She and School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., underscored that transition by reminding the class members of the professional responsibilities they will have as physicians.

Jackson said that six months into the pandemic, as they enter the intensive clinical phase of medical training that includes regular contact with patients, students must embrace those professional and personal responsibilities of health care providers working on the front lines of patient care. That, she said, includes following and promoting the safety precautions necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

Steven Nguyen was all smiles after particpating in the White Coat Ceremony and joining his new docent unit.

She also spoke of the school’s commitment to racial justice in the community and throughout medical care. She encouraged students, as they don their white coats, to embrace the call to action.

“Lessons you learn along the way will guide your path to growing and developing as a healer who cares for patients with compassion and empathy,” she said. “Your white coat is a daily reminder of your commitment to patients, learning and understanding that struggle and reward are an opportunity to grow.”

Also during the ceremony, Jesica Neuhart, professor of pediatrics and pediatric hospitalist at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, was honored as this year’s Outstanding Years 1-2 docent. Each third-year class nominates a Year 1-2 docent for the award based on their teaching pursuit of excellence in medicine.

Third-year student Anna Boda said Neuhart “embodies the qualities of a perfect docent doctor, going above and beyond to provide the best educational resources for her students.” She said this year’s winner also served as a role model for teamwork and respect with all members of the health care team.

After Corrine Workman, also a third-year student, read the Class of 2024 Philosophy of Medicine, Brenda Rogers, associate dean for student affairs announced the new docent team assignments for the 2020-2021 school year.

Jackson said, “Remember, medicine is a team sport and you are part of a team.”

The School of Medicine conducted its first White Coat Ceremony for third-year students in 2003. The program is sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to emphasize the importance of compassionate care for patients and proficiency in the art and science of medicine.

UMKC Student Volunteers Step Up to Help With COVID-19 Testing

Earlier this spring, the Kansas City Missouri Health Department received federal funding to provide COVID-19 testing. What the department lacked was the manpower to support the many testing sites across the city.

It didn’t take long for the UMKC Health Sciences Campus to fill the void. More than 80 students from the schools of dentistry, medicine and pharmacy answered the call for helpers. In May and June, they volunteered 28 three-hour blocks of time at 18 testing locations through the greater Kansas City area. Many of those were at schools and churches.

“This is a great example of a long-running collaboration with the health department,” said Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., director of the Health Equity Institute. “Especially since our students could help expand their capacity to conduct testing in communities hard hit by COVID-19.”

Stefanie Ellison, M.D., associate dean for learning initiatives at the School of Medicine, said students across the campus were eager to help.

“In 24 hours, I gave a group of students the chance to communicate the need across social media sites and get the word out,” Ellison said. “They stepped up to fill in the volunteer spots.”

UMKC students help with COVID-19 testing

The testing was offered at federally qualified health centers such as the KC Care Clinic, Swope Health and the Samuel Rogers Health Center.

Carole Bowe Thompson, project director for the Health Equity Institute, helped organize the volunteer efforts.

While workers at the testing centers did the actual COVID-19 testing, Thompson said the students worked in a supporting role, handling patient check-in and registration, providing patient education, labeling and securing specimen tubes and even directing car and walk up traffic up to the test sites.

“They did the pre-screening, going over COVID-19 symptoms and collecting health and other important intake information,” Thompson said. “The testing centers didn’t have the support they needed for taking care of traffic. They needed the students to help direct traffic.”

Many of the students said the experience helped them realize the importance of working with other health care providers and how community outreach can play a large role in public health.

“I learned that I am in a prime position to assist those in need,” said Rico Beuford, a sixth-year medical student. “I don’t necessarily need a medical degree to open up access to health care resources to vulnerable communities. I think it’s important for each us to realize how much we can impact those who are on the periphery of society and that are largely neglected by it.”

Sixth-year med student Emma Connelly was one of those who helped with the screening process, taking basic patient information and asking those being tested if they had experienced symptoms or been exposed to anyone with the coronavirus.

“Being a medical student, I am not technically on the front lines, so I thought this would be a small way to help out,” Connelly said. “I felt that it was important to help out no matter how small the task was. And if I could help prevent at least one COVID-19 positive individual from spreading it to their family or friends, it was totally worth the effort.”

Ellison said students found a wide variety of other ways to help those in need as well. Some spent time simply talking online with senior center residents to keep them company and help them feel less isolated. Students volunteered to tutor and check on grade school students who were suddenly faced with online school while their parents had to work. Others found their green thumbs to help with gardening, harvesting and distributing produce, while some provided babysitting for health care workers.

“I am so overwhelmed by our students’ efforts to help out,” Ellison said.

Thompson said she hoped the volunteer efforts would continue through the summer and pick up steam when students returned to campus for the fall semester.

“There will be plenty more opportunities,” she said. “The health department is not going to stop doing testing.”

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Charlie Keegan, KSHB-TV, talked with Janette Berkley-Patton and volunteers at a drive-through testing site. Read Keegan’s story and view the video about the testing and the Health Equity Institute.

UMKC Health Equity Institute Works to Halt COVID-19 Pandemic in KC

Charlie Keegan, KSHB, talked to Jannette Berkley-Patton and volunteers at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site

The UMKC Health Equity Institute facilitated volunteer efforts at drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites. The institute was formed four years ago to identify health care problems and offer solutions led by Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D. Read Keegan’s story about the testing site and the Health Equity Institute.