Tag Archives: Residents

Leader in early language development to present 2019 Sirridge Lecture

Dr. Dana Suskind

Dana Suskind, M.D., a 1992 graduate of the School of Medicine and nationally recognized leader in early language development, will present to 2019 William and Marjorie Sirridge Annual Lecture on Sept. 19.

A professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Chicago, Susknid is the director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implantation Program and founder and co-director of TMW (Thirty Million Words) Center for Early Learning + Public Health.

As a surgeon performing cochlear implants in children, Suskind realized her patients’ language skills developed at far different rates. Through her research, she discovered that children who thrive hear millions of words during their early years and wrote a book on her work, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain.

Through her Thirty Million Word Initiative, she developed an evidence-based intervention program that is intended to reduce the language gap between children in lower-income families and wealthier households. The program combines education, technology and behavioral strategies for parents and caregivers to enhance the verbal interactions with their children.

Following medical school at UMKC, Suskind completed her residency at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and a fellowship at Washington University Children’s Hospital.

She has received many awards for her work including the Weizmann Women for Science Vision and Impact Award, the SENTAC Gray Humanitarian Award, the LENA Research Foundation Making a Difference Award, the 2018 Chairman’s Award from the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the John D. Arnold, M.D., Mentor Award for Sustained Excellence from the Pritzker School of Medicine.

William T. Sirridge, M.D., and his wife, Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D., two of the UMKC School of Medicine’s original docents, viewed the humanities as an essential part of a students’ medical training. In 1992, they established the Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics to merge the humanities with the science of medicine. Today, the school recognizes their dedication, compassion and advancement of patient care and medical education in Kansas City with the William and Marjorie Sirridge Lecture.

School of Medicine welcomes new class of 22 into AOA honor society

The School of Medicine Alpha Omega Alpha honor society inducted its 2019 class of students, residents, alumni and faculty during a banquet at Diastole on May 2.
Michael Bamshad, M.D., chief of genetic medicine at the University of Washington, presented the annual AOA lecture.

The School of Medicine chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha welcomed 22 new inductees into the medical honor society during a banquet on May 2 at Diastole.

This year’s list of new members includes 17 students, four junior members and 13 senior members, three residents, one alumna and one faculty member from the med school.

Two senior student members, Sara Pourakbar and Vidhan Srivastava, were elected this spring to join the class. Senior members elected to this year’s AOA class last fall include: Ahmed Elbermawy, Julia Esswein, Ella Glaser, Usman Hasnie, Cindy Jiang, Niraj Madhani, Raksha Madhavan, Grant Randall, Grace Rector, Kale Turner and Vivek Vallurupalli.

Junior student members who were elected this Spring are Karen Figenshau, Komal Kumar, Daniel O’Toole and Anthony Oyekan.

Also elected to the AOA this spring were School of Medicine alumna Emily Volk, M.D., a 1993 graduate; faculty member Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., chair of graduate studies; and residents/fellows Omar Abughanimeh, M.D., internal medicine, Mohamed Omer, M.D., cardiovascular medicine, and Katelyn Smelser, M.D., internal medicine.

Selection to AOA membership is considered an honor recognizing one’s dedication to the profession and art of healing. It is based on character and values such as honesty, honorable conduct, morality, virtue, unselfishness, ethical ideals, dedication to serving others and leadership. Membership also recognizes excellence in academic scholarship.

This year’s AOA student officers are Jonah Graves, Imran Nizamuddin, Taylor Carter and Miracle Amayo. Fohn Foxworth, Pharm.D., professor of medicine and associate dean, and David Wooldridge, M.D. ’94, internal medicine residency program director, serve as faculty officers.

Michael Bamshad, M.D., a 1989 graduate of the School of Medicine, was the keynote speaker at this year’s AOA lecture on May 3. Division chief and a professor of genetic medicine at the University of Washington, Bamshad spoke on the genetic basis of Mendelian conditions.

Discounted registration available for 2019 Hospital Hill Run

The UMKC Health Sciences District is once again pleased to serve as an event sponsor for one of the oldest and most-storied races in Missouri: the 46th Annual Hospital Hill Run, which returns to Kansas City on Saturday, June 1.

This year’s race event will take place on one day, with the starting and finishing lines for all three race distances – 5K, 10K, and half marathon – set up at Kansas City’s Crown Center.

Through the sponsorship, all UMKC running enthusiasts, faculty, staff, students and alumni may receive a 20 percent discount on registration for any race distance. Just use the code: UMKCDISC19. Register here.

Over the years, more than 170,000 athletes of all levels from across the world have participated in this event. Originated by UMKC School of Medicine founder Dr. E. Grey Dimond, M.D., the Hospital Hill Run served as host to the first USATF National Championship half marathon in 2002. In 2013, the race was recognized by Runner’s World Magazine as the 11th best half marathon in the United States.

UMKC faculty, staff, students and alumni who aren’t participating in the races may serve in one of many volunteer roles. Volunteers are the backbone of the Hospital Hill Run. Individuals and groups are needed to help unwrap medals; pack post-race food packets; sort, stack, and pass out t-shirts; distribute race bibs; set up and staff aid stations; cheer and steer participants on course; award medals; hand out wet towels, food, and hydration at the finish line; and help with event clean up. Volunteers may register here.

It’s an active spring in the Health Sciences District

The warm weather is here – and the UMKC Health Sciences District has a number of upcoming healthy initiatives for staff, students and faculty. Whether it’s an e-bike rental or a walking group, the District is working to get everyone active and outdoors.

The Health Sciences District Run/Walk club has begun again this year. Each weekday over the lunch hour, you can join fellow students, faculty, staff and friends from throughout the district to run or walk the 2.5-mile route. If you’re interested in participating, the group meets at 24th St. and Charlotte – just look for the Run/Walk sign. New this year: the group is putting together a team to participate in the Hospital Hill Run.

Unlike past year’s, this year’s race will take place on Saturday, June 1. The starting and finishing lines for all three race distances – 5K, 10K, and half marathon – will be set up at Kansas City’s Crown Center. All UMKC running enthusiasts, faculty, staff, students and alumni, may receive a 20 percent discount on registration. To sign up for any of the day’s races, use the code UMKCDISC19. Register at  hospitalhillrun.com. If you’re not participating as a runner but would still like to get involved, the event is looking for volunteers. Contact Alison Troutwine at alison.troutwine@tmcmed.org for more information.

On April 24, the District will be host to a free pop-up yoga class. Start time is at 5:15 pm. The class will be held outdoors in the green amphitheater space on the NE Corner of 25th St. and Holmes Rd. All registered participants will be entered to win a free yoga mat and a gift card from Ruby Jean’s Juicery. If interested, bring your own mat and register at umkchealthsciencesdistrict.org.

And if you need help getting around to all these fun activities, the District has you covered. RideKC Bike has released a new fleet of smart, electric-assisted bikes housed in the district for bike share users. They are already available just outside the UMKC Health Sciences Bookstore, and you can start or end your trip at any RideKC Bike hub around the city. To. Get started, download the Drop Mobility app to find bikes and hub locations near you. Your first ride is free.

The district is committed to encouraging a healthy lifestyle throughout our District community. It’s a perfect time to enjoy this beautiful weather and take advantage of these great offerings.

GHHS students lift patients’ spirits with Valentine’s Day visit

Members of the School of Medicine’s Gold Humanism Honor Society delivered roses and Valentine’s Day cards to patients at Truman Medical Center. See more photos on our Facebook page.

A Valentine’s Day visit from a group of nearly a dozen UMKC School of Medicine students brought smiles, and often tears, to patients at Truman Medical Center on Thursday, Feb. 14.

The fifth and sixth-year medical students are members of the school’s Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS). They and their faculty advisor, Carol Stanford, M.D., professor of medicine a School of Medicine docent, spent a portion of their morning presenting roses and Valentine’s cards to throughout the hospital.

“This is one of the few times of the year where we stop what we’re doing and just take some time to appreciate the patients,” said sixth-year med student Ami Purohit, a member of the GHHS.

For a number of years now, Stanford and her honor society students have delivered roses and cards to patients on Valentine’s Day as part of the GHHS Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care.

Deven Bhatia, president of UMKC’s GHHS chapter, said the organization purchased 250 roses. Earlier in the week, the students invited others throughout the med school to join them in creating more than 200 hand-made Valentine’s cards.

This was Purohit’s second year to join Stanford and her GHHS classmates on their Valentine’s Day rounds. She said she found the experience rewarding.

“A lot of times our patients are sick and they may or may not have family members coming to see them,” she said. “When you give them their rose and Valentine’s card, I think they feel that the love is mutual and we are here to take care of them. We want to treat them like people and not just a patient room number. They appreciate that.”

Many patients responded with more than smiles. They broke down in tears as members of the group delivered a rose, a card and encouraging words, “Get well soon.”

“They were crying,” Purohit said. “You can see how touched they feel when we hand them a rose and a card. That’s what has made this tradition last. I think it’s going to be around for a long time, just knowing the impact it has on our patients.”

Last year, the School of Medicine received the Gold Humanism Honor Society’s Distinguished Chapter of the Year award. The honor recognizes the chapter’s impact, leadership, service activities and humanistic learning environment.

Stanford said the chapter received the award for its program excellence, which included a national “Thank A Resident Day” that started just two years ago at UMKC.

The GHHS has 150 chapters in medical schools and nearly a dozen residency programs throughout the United States.

Local Wall of Respect coming to UMKC campuses

The Wall of Respect, a 12-foot yurt representing the diversity of cultures in Kansas City, is coming to the UMKC Health Sciences campus Feb. 4-8.

Fifty-one years ago, a group of Chicago artists created a community mural called the Wall of Respect that revitalized the neighborhood in the city’s South Side. Last year, in the same spirit, Kansas City’s Jewish Community Center created its own Wall of Respect to celebrate the diversity of cultures in the community.

That project, a 12-foot yurt decorated by local artists, will be on display in the third-floor atrium of the UMKC Health Sciences Building for one week beginning Feb. 4. The following week, Feb. 11-15, the yurt will be set up at UMKC’s Student Union.

Wall of RespectA yurt is a circular tent typically made of felt or animal skins mounted on a collapsible frame. The local Wall of Respect project was decorated by artists representing the African American, Jewish, Asian American, Latinx/Hispanic and Native American cultures that enhance the diversity of Kansas City. Murals are painted inside and outside the yurt as well as on the roof.

Tamica Lige is chair of the Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Council that is bringing Kansas City’s Wall of Respect to the university’s two campuses. The council is made up of representatives of the UMKC schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies, and Pharmacy, Children’s Mercy, Saint Luke’s Health System and Truman Medical Center.

“This is a good way for us to be involved with not only spreading the message of diversity, but also an appreciation of the arts,” Lige said. “It’s exciting that we can bring this community piece that represents diversity and inclusion in Kansas City to our campuses.”

Lige said cutout handprints will be available for visitors to decorate and hang inside the yurt to share their own ideas and stories of culture.

Jill Maidhof, director of the Jewish Community Center, will lead a walking tour and give a presentation on the yurt at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Health Sciences Building.

The yurt display is coming to UMKC as a leadup to the Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Council’s annual Harmony Gala event on Feb. 16. The annual dance event is a scholarship fundraiser for underrepresented minority students at the health sciences schools. Registration is still available online at umkcalumni.com/harmonygala.

“This is the perfect time to bring the yurt to campus, in conjunction with the Harmony Gala,” Lige said. “It’s about diversity, it’s inclusion, it’s recognizing disparities and trying to address them. It’s a way to visually represent where we want to go in representing the various cultures of our community within our schools.”

Lige said this will be the first time the yurt has visited UMKC.

“It’s exciting to have it at both campuses,” she said. “We’re looking forward to sharing it with the Volker campus. The majority of what we do is focused on students here on the health sciences campus. This gives us an opportunity to serve the greater student population of UMKC and that’s really rewarding.”

Kansas City Marathon offers UMKC School of Medicine discount

The UMKC School of Medicine is serving as a Gold Sponsor of the 2018 Kansas City Marathon, and race organizers are excited to offer a 15 percent discount on race registration fees to all  faculty, staff, students and residents. This year’s event will take place on Oct. 20 with four race distances to chose from — 5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon.

The discount code can be used for any of the KC Marathon’s race distances. The event is open to walkers as well as runners.

To get the discount, simply copy and paste or enter 15OFF2018KCM in the “Got a discount code?” box near the end of the online registration process at www.kcmarathon.org. Please note that this discount code is case sensitive. It must be entered exactly as it appears.

Why should you participate in the Kansas City Marathon on October 20?

  • This is Kansas City’s largest and most exciting race. It gives runners a tour of the city’s most beautiful landmarks and interesting neighborhoods, including the World War I Memorial, the Country Club Plaza, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Waldo, Westport, 18th & Vine and more.
  • The race has distance options for all fitness levels with a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon.
  • There are fireworks to kick off the race and a huge after party with live music, free food and free beer!
  • All runners will receive a participant shirt, a large finisher’s medal, free downloadable race photos and more.
  • After you conquer the Kansas City hills, you’ll be rewarded with a lightning-fast downhill finish that includes a breathtaking view of the Kansas City skyline!
  • Still not sure? Click here to check out their 2017 recap video to learn what the Kansas City Marathon is all about.

Resident presentation selected for special session at 2018 Experimental Biology

Farnaz Khalafi, M.D., pathology resident, presented a research posted during a special session of the 2018 Experimental Biology conference.

Third-year pathology resident Farnaz Khalafi, M.D., presented a research poster at a special session of the 2018 Experimental Biology conference that took place in San Diego.

Khalafi’s poster was one of the top 20 posters selected from more than 200 submitted to the American Society for Investigative Pathology for presentation during a session on Next Generation Scientists: New Discoveries of Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows and Rising Stars.

She is the first-author of “Minimal effect of Aliskiren on mast cells count and renal vascular damage in acute rat model of Triolein induced pulmonary fat embolism.” Co-authors include Elizabeth Onishchenko, Mohammad Pour, Dauod Arif, Paula Monaghan, Alan Poisner and Agostino Molteni.

Six medical students from the School of Medicine are co-authors of research abstracts or posters accepted for presentation at the conference. The students include Ariana Fotouhi, Thomas Haferkamp and Taylor Lind, Elizabeth Onishchenko, Abigail Spaedy and Michael Van Dillen.

Experimental Biology is an annual invitation-only meeting of five scientific societies made up of more than 14,000 scientists who focus on anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, investigative pathology, pharmacology, and physiology.

Video series offers training tips for the 2018 Hospital Hill Run

Organizers of the 2018 Hospital Hill Run and presenting sponsor, UMKC Health Sciences District, are providing a series of video training tips to help participants prepare for the Friday and Saturday event on June 1-2 in Kansas City.

One of the most storied road race events in Missouri, it includes a Friday night 5K run and the Saturday 5K rerun, 7.7-mile run and half-marathon.

Go to the Hospital Hill Run YouTube page each Tuesday from now until race weekend for a new video with tips from local sports medicine doctors and trainers on a wide variety of topics. These will look as topics such as running and exercising as a family, staying hydrated during and after training, and preventing running injuries.

In addition to improving your health and wellness, participation in the Hospital Hill Run supports many local charities. This year’s run will benefit the School of Medicine’s Sojourner Health Clinic, a student-run, free safety-net clinic helping the adult homeless and medically indigent in Kansas City.

Volunteers are needed at all events, from handing out race packets, to cheering on athletes, to handing out medals at the finish line. Learn how you can get involved by visiting the Hospital Hill Run web site.

All UMKC staff, faculty, students and alumni may register at a discounted rate or serve as volunteers. Participating staff and faculty can also earn points toward their wellness incentive programs. When registering for the Friday night or Saturday morning race events, use the code SOM2018DISC for 20 percent savings.