Tag Archives: Staff

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.

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.

Jennifer Ramsey joins School of Medicine as STAHR program coordinator

Jennifer Ramsey
Jennifer Ramsey

Jennifer Ramsey recently joined the staff at the School of Medicine as coordinator of the school’s $3.2-million Students in Training, in Academia, Health and Research (STAHR) pipeline grant program. She will support the grant leadership team and the senior program coordinator once those positions are filled.

Ramsey is a certified health education specialist. As such she brings to her role excellent skills in program support and coordination, data management, and reporting on analysis results for reports and strategic decision making.

In addition, she has worked in higher education at the UMKC School of Dentistry, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, and in secondary health, math, and science education while living in Arizona.

Her office will be located between the dean suite and admissions. Her contact information is:  ramseyjm@umkc.edu and 816-235-6169.

The STAHR program is a two-pronged initiative to increase the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds entering healthcare programs and better prepare them for success.

Sirridge Office taking submissions for next issue of medical humanities magazine

The Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities is currently seeking submissions for a new edition of the medical humanities magazine, The Human Factor.

The magazine recognizes the important connection between medicine and the arts and their significant roles in strengthening physician-patient relationships. It also supports the “art” of medicine by showcasing creative works and sharing human experiences.

School of Medicine students, faculty and alumni are encouraged to submit original, unpublished essays, poems, short stories, drawings, photography and other art work. Past issues also have included shared experiences from classes, field trips and concerts.

The submission deadline for the next issue is April 30. Submissions should be sent to the Sirridge Office at 2411 Holmes St., Kansas City, MO 64108, Attn: Sarah McKee, or emailed to hallse@umkc.edu.

School of Medicine welcomes two new staff members

The School of Medicine recently welcomed two new staff members.

Kelli Delaney has joined the Office of Research Administration as a new grants support specialist. Cynthia Flanagan is a new Clinical Medical Librarian in the Health Sciences Library.

Kelli Delaney

Beginning in 2019, the school’s research administration department will also be supporting the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies for grant proposals and awards. Delaney joins the department as it transition to supporting both schools.

Delaney comes to UMKC from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she worked in the Northwestern Materials Science and Engineering department for 10 years. Her previous experience includes research administration, event planning and general assistance to grant project principal investigators.

A graduate of UMKC with a bachelor’s degree in English, Delaney is located in the Research Administration Department in the School of Medicine 4th floor, Blue unit.  She can be reached at kvdq2x@umkc.edu  or at 235-6453.

Cynthia Flanagan

Flanagan comes to UMKC with many years of experience in teaching, instruction, and outreach from a variety of library settings. She has a wealth of library skills including interlibrary loan, reference, cataloging, storage, retrieval, research assistance, and assessment.

Most recently, she worked as the Science, Nursing, and Allied Health faculty liaison, Reference and Instruction Librarian, at Harrisburg Area Community College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  While there she was recognized for her keen focus on both virtual and classroom instruction, and her dedication to student development.

Flanagan graduated with her MLIS from the University of South Carolina. She subsequently worked in many diverse library settings including the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency.

She began her work as a CML at the School of Medicine in January and will be working with the Red & Green teams. She can be reached at flanagancd@umkc.edu or 235-1884.

Student Affairs welcomes new Education Team Coordinators

Krisana West, Nick Dean

The School of Medicine recently welcomed two new Education Team Coordinators to the Office of Student Affairs staff.

Krisana West will serve as the New ETC for the Gold Unit and Nick Dean has joined the staff as ETC for the Purple Unit and the allied health students.

West joins the School of Medicine after 15 years at the University of Central Missouri as an advisor for teach education students. She and her husband, John, who also works near Hospital Hill are relocating from Warrensburg to Kansas City with two Siberian huskies and a rat terrier.

West said she looks forward to working with students, faculty and staff at the School of Medicine, exploring Kansas City’s many cultural activities and trying new restaurants.

In addition to working with medical students on the Purple Unit, Dean will also advise students in the Master of Science Anesthesia, Master of Science Bioinformatics, Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant and the Master of Science Health Professions Education programs. He has worked in higher education for the past five years as an academic coach and academic counselor at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, before that. He received a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Arkansas and a bachelor’s in history from Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. He will be entering a Master of Library Science program at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, this winter.

A lover of documentaries, food, especially Thai and Chinese, and travel, Dean said his favorite place to visit has been Montreal, Canada. He hopes to make Quito, Ecuador, his next international trip. He moved to Kansas City with his husband, Thomas, and a cat.

Staff Council plans Harvesters service project

The UMKC Staff Council Outreach Committee will sponsor a “Family Friendly” Harvesters Service Project from 8:30-10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Volunteers ages 10 and older are needed to assist with sorting and repacking donated food items. Each volunteer is asked to bring one donated food item.

Volunteers must sign up at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090B4BA9AC2DAB9-harvesters1 by 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 30.

Harvesters’ mission is to feed hungry people today and work to end hunger tomorrow. Harvesters provides food and related household products to more than 620 not-for-profit agencies including emergency food pantries, community kitchens, homeless shelters, children’s homes and others. We also offer education programs to increase community awareness of hunger and teach about good nutrition.

For more information on this service project, or future projects, please contact: Sandra at staffcouncil@umkc.edu.

School of Medicine welcomes new staff

Rachel McCommon, Allan Davis

The School of Medicine has recently welcomed two new staff members in the offices of Diversity and Inclusion, and Admissions.

Rachel McCommon is coordinator of diversity and strategic initiatives. She will focus on multicultural affairs to support student and resident success and strategic planning to support faculty and staff working with a diverse student population.

Allan Davis serves as coordinator of diversity programs and recruitment. He will coordinate the school’s high school pipeline programs, Summer Scholars and the Saturday Academy.

McCommon joins the School of Medicine with more than 10 years of experience addressing areas of multicultural programing, student success, recruitment and community outreach. Her efforts have also focused on issues that impact access to higher education for underrepresented K-12 students and supporting current college students.

McCommon graduated from Emporia State University with a degree in rehabilitation service education and a minor in leadership. She received her master’s degree in higher education administration from UMKC and previously worked in the university’s undergraduate admissions office as the multicultural recruiter. She also taught college prep and life-after-college classes at Alta Vista Charter High School in Kansas City.

She has been particularly involved in issues that impact the success of women and Latinx students. McCommon actively participates in Cuerpo de Areito, a Puerto Rican folkloric dance group to support and educate others on Puerto Rican culture and traditions.

McCommon said she is excited to add to the culture and environment of the School of Medicine and values the importance of supporting students with an open-door policy. She can be reached at 235-6251 or at mccommonr@umkc.edu.

Davis joins the School of Medicine with experience as a recruiter and instructor. A graduate of Brigham Young University with degrees in American studies and theater history, he also received a Ph.D. in theater and performance study from the University of Maryland with a research focus on whiteness in the United States.

He served as a course instructor for eight years at BYU, American University in Washington, D.C., and at Maryland, and has served as a recruiter for undergraduate and graduate programs. He also managed a living-learning community at the University of Maryland. After moving to Kansas City, Davis worked at the Office of Academic Affairs at the UMKC School of Pharmacy before joining the School of Medicine.

Dedicated to cultivating a diverse student body, Davis will lead the School of Medicine’s pipeline programs to provide enriching experiences for the next generation of medical professionals. He can be reached at 235-5434 or davisall@umkc.edu.

UMKC School of Medicine receives full, eight-year LCME accreditation

The UMKC School of Medicine on Oct. 22 received an official letter from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education announcing a full, eight-year accreditation. It is the highest level and the maximum accreditation term granted by the committee.

An LCME survey team visited the School of Medicine last spring, reviewing 93 elements of the school and its programs.

“The comprehensive evaluation of our school by the LCME allows us to continue to improve and to focus on opportunities to enhance our curriculum and support for students,” said School of Medicine Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., ‘78 “The full accreditation for the maximum term clearly reflects the vitality of the school and underscores the programmatic excellence achieved by our faculty, staff and students.”

Jackson said she is committed to ensuring that School of Medicine culture is dedicated to maintaining a curriculum that enhances the program, advancing diversity among students, staff and faculty, and promoting a supportive and professional environment for all students.

The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association as the accrediting body for academic programs throughout the country leading to an M.D. degree.

LCME accreditation indicates that the M.D. degree program meets the appropriate national standards for educational quality and that graduates of the program are sufficiently prepared for the next stage of medical training.