The 2020 issue the UMKC School of Medicine publication, Human Factor, is now available online. Human Factor celebrates the connection between art, humanities and the practice of medicine.
The publication showcases the creativity, imagination and talent of our students, alumni, residents, faculty and staff. All of the printed words and images featured in this publication make the important link between an appreciation of art and compassionate patient care — illustrating the significant role of medical humanities.
This year’s issue features poetry, short stories, photos, drawings and and other original artwork including the cover image created by fifth-year medical student Rachana Kombathula.
Watch for a call for submissions to the 2021 edition of the Human Factor early next next fall.
Three sixth-year medical students from the School of Medicine this past fall were the first to participate in a unique elective experience bringing together the medical school and a leading baby food manufacturer.
The Infant and Toddler Nutrition Experience is a collaboration between UMKC and Nestle Nutrition North America, which produces Gerber baby foods and formulas.
Emily Haury, M.D., docent and chair of the School of Medicine Docent Council, is one of the faculty members overseeing the course elective. She said one goal of the program is to expose students to the corporate world of health care. It also offers a glimpse of how corporations work with the medical field to produce the best products for their customers.
“In addition to gaining clinical knowledge and studying evidence-based guidelines, the students also gained practical knowledge and resources that they can use to counsel families about nutrition as they continue their training in pediatrics,” Haury said.
Madeline Harris, Valerie Hummel and Brandon Trandai began the class with reading assignments and participating in small group discussions on basic and clinical sciences related to infant and toddler nutrition.
After completing the preliminary work, the students spent 10 days at the Nestle facilities in Michigan and the company’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Their travel took in tours of a baby food factory, a farm and a consumer testing center. They also attended sessions with marketing, human resources and regulatory staff to learn about the business side of the industry.
“It was unique and a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Trandai said. “I was able to see another facet of pediatrics. We don’t typically focus on nutrition as much as treating illnesses and disease.”
Trandai said the experience enlightened the students about the amount of research done at Gerber and the innovation taking place to promote infant and toddler nutrition.
Hummel said, “This rotation was incredibly rewarding. I would highly recommend it for any students interested in learning more about nutrition and the intricate world of the business industry surrounding nutrition.”
The elective is overseen by Haury, Darla McCarthy, Ph.D., assistant dean for curriculum, and Joel Lim, M.D., adjunct professor pediatrics, who now serves as vice president of the Medical and Scientific Regulatory Unit at Nestle Nutrition North America. Funding for the students’ travel and lodging was provided by Nestle.
Haury said the elective will be offered again during several blocks in the 2020-21 academic year, providing students unique learning opportunity that they can share at their residency interviews.
The School of Medicine’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) inducted 21 new members on January 25 during a ceremony at Diastole.
This year’s GHHS induction class includes 19 students and two faculty physicians. Each was chosen for their exemplary care of patients and their humanistic approach to clinical practice. Students and faculty make nominations each year based on the individual’s excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.
Carol Stanford, M.D., Gold 5 docent and GHHS faculty sponsor, welcomed the new members and presented each with a certificate of induction during the program.
The GHHS began in the late 1990s. It now has more than 160 medical school and residency program chapters across the United States. The program is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Berry Foundation.
Medical students: Suma Ancha
Paramdeep Baweja, M.D.
Jignesh Shah, M.D.
Through a previous medical outreach journey to Nicaragua, Subhjit Sekhon saw first-hand the dire need for health care services in some of the remote and underserved areas of the world.
The UMKC School of Medicine sixth-year medical student recently received a travel fellowship award from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene to go back to Latin America to study the risk factors and sociodemographics associated with women suffering from cervical cancer.
“During a medical outreach trip to Nicaragua, I had the privilege of serving more than 900 patients from several remote and under-resourced villages,” Sekhon said. “For many it was their first experience with a health care professional. A majority wanted help for common complaints. By meeting basic health care needs, I developed a passion to help medically underserved areas and create sustainable health care solutions.”
Guatemala suffers one of the highest rates of cervical cancer among women in Latin America with more than 22 in every 100,000 women diagnosed and more than 12 in every 100,000 women who die of the disease each year.
Sekhon will travel with colleagues from Washington University in St. Louis to work at La Liga Nacional Contra el Cancer (INCAN) in Guatemala City, the largest cancer referral center in the country. It is the only comprehensive cancer treatment center in the region for the poor and underserved and provides care for more than one-fourth of all cancer patients in the country.
She said her research study will explore characteristics associated with noncompliance to treatment or follow up among women with a diagnosis of cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer. She will also assess barriers to treatment and analyze outcomes of treatment in patients treated at INCAN.
Sekhon was one of 26 students from 21 medical schools across the country to receive the 2019 Benjamin H. Kean Travel Fellowship in Tropical Medicine. The annual award is the only medical student fellowship dedicated to promoting a career path in tropical medicine.
“My primary interest in tropical medicine is to understand the disease in totality of circumstances,” Sekhon said.
An exact time frame for her travel has yet to be worked out, but Sekhon said wants to learn more about the intersection between infection, biology, the patient and society.
“As a future physician-scientist, tropical medicine appeals to me because it equally weighs social determinants of health with the microbiological basis of disease, which I believe is the true way to treat a patient, conduct meaningful research, and implement health care change,” she said.
Keerthi Gondi, a fifth-year medical student, and Kathryn Kyler, a bioinformatics student, were selected as the School of Medicine’s winners of the 2019 Health Sciences Student Research Summit. This year’s research event on April 17 at the UMKC Student Union drew a record 66 student posters from the medical school.
A panel of faculty judges selected the top three poster presentations among BA/MD students and chose the top two presentations from School of Medicine graduate students.
Gondi presented the winning poster, Symptomatic Versus Asymptomatic Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension in Children. The second-place award for BA/MD students went to Nikhil Havaldar, fourth-year student, with a poster presentation on Epidemiology of Human Rhinovirus in School-Aged Children and Adolescents with Medically Attended Acute Respiratory Infection. Yicheng Bao, fourth-year student, was the third-place winner with a poster on Visual Field Loss in Patients with Diabetes in the Absence of Clinically-Detectable Vascular Retinopathy.
In the graduate student category, Kyler presented the winning poster, The Association of Weight with Drug Dosing Variation in Children Hospitalized with Asthma. Second place went to Poghni Peri-Okonny, a graduate student in cardiovascular outcomes research, with the poster presentation, Blood Pressure Variability and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction.
This year’s faculty judges included Sarah Nyp, MD; Jessica Markham, MD; Maria Cole, PhD; Jennifer Qayum, MD; Amanda Montalbano, MD; Sean Riordan, PhD; Janelle Noel-Macdonnell; PhD; Jennifer Dilts, MD; Nilofer Qureshi, PhD; Alain Cuna, MD; Peter Koulen, PhD; Bridgette Jones, MD; Jared Bruce, PhD; Dan Heruth, PhD; Rosa Huang, PhD; Kamani Lankachandra, MD; Xiangping Chu, PhD; Wail Hassan, PhD; Jannette Berkley-Patton, PhD; and Mike Wacker, PhD.
The research summit also included students from the health sciences schools of dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and health sciences, as well UMKC’s School of Biological Sciences. This year’s summit drew a record 100 research posters.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Third-year medical student Yicheng Bao has co-authored two recent journal articles related to research on a link between Type 1 diabetes and autoimmune disease.
He was the first author of an article published in the September issue of Wiley Journal of Diabetes, “High prevalence of comorbid autoimmune diseases in adults with type 1 diabetes from the HealthFacts database.” He also is a co-author of an article published in October on the American Diabetes Association web site, “Diabetes Care, titled, Late-Onset T1DM and Older Age Predict Risk of Additional Autoimmune Disease.”
Bao began his research during a summer medical student research program at Washington University in St. Louis. The program was sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Bao continued working on the study when he returned to school at UMKC for the fall semester.
The study showing that adults diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are at greater risk of developing additional autoimmune conditions has been reported in a number of health care and diabetes-related media outlets.
Yicheng Bao, a third-year medical student at the UMKC School of Medicine, conducted a research study that shows adults diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are at greater risk of developing additional autoimmune conditions.
Bao received an Endocrine Society Outstanding Abstract Award for his work. He was then invited to give an oral presentation of his results at the March annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago. This was a special and rare opportunity, as most selected abstracts are designated for poster presentations.
Much of Bao’s research took place during his summer medical student research program at Washington University in St. Louis. The program was sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Bao continued working on the study when he returned to school at UMKC.
Following his presentation in Chicago, Bao’s results have been reported in a number of health-care and diabetes-related media outlets.
“I came to work on this particular project because of my interest in diabetes and its complications,” Bao said. “Diabetes is a growing public health concern, and it is very debilitating for patients. It has multifaceted complications that confound their care, and this area in particular requires more research.”
His study found that people with type 1 diabetes can develop multiple autoimmune diseases. And, those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an adult run a greater risk of developing them.
Bao’s study collected patient data on 29 autoimmune conditions. He found that the overwhelming majority of additional conditions developed in adults after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
These results of could lead health-care providers to give closer attention to symptoms of autoimmune diseases in diabetes patients diagnosed with the disease as an adult.
Bao said he developed skills from the experience that have lead him to continue his research efforts. He now intends to pursue a career in academic medicine and research.
“I learned to ask scientific questions that have significant clinical implications, and to answer these questions with biostatistics and data analysis,” he said. “Using these skills, I am working on several other studies about diabetes and its complications that will be submitted for publication soon.”
Links to media reports of Yicheng Bao’s research study on type 1 diabetes in adults:
Usman Hasnie knows well the importance of clean and adequate water supplies. As a high school student, he saw it first-hand while serving in Pakistan as a volunteer with SOS Children’s Village, an organization that provides care and resources to abandoned, destitute and orphaned children.
Hasnie is also from Flint, Michigan, and watched as a water crisis has thrown that community into a state of chaos for the past three years.
The images of both have prompted Hasnie to seek ways to make a difference. His latest effort will be as a member of the American Medical Association Medical Student Section Committee on Global and Public Health. He was selected to be part of the committee at the AMA national meeting in June.
“The issue of water sanitation is something that is very personal to me,” Hasnie said. “It’s a global issue that I hope to tackle and the AMA is giving me the opportunity to do that with other students around the country.”
Hasnie joined the AMA’s student section two years ago.
“The American Medical Association was an opportunity to advocate for my patients and to be part of the nation’s largest and most influential physician organization striving to increase access to healthcare for everyone,” he said.
Last year, Hasnie served on the student section’s committee on Long Range Planning. Now, he will serve a one-year term with 13 other medical students from across the country working to educate the AMA on public health topics and to organize public health initiatives.
Some of the agenda items for the year are providing educational programming at the AMA interim and annual conferences, and creating a campaign for National Public Health Week in April 2018.
At the same time, Hasnie hasn’t forgotten the people of Flint or the children in Pakistan. He said he plans to focus some of his committee’s attention on the Flint Water Crisis, firearm violence and water sanitation.
Fifth-year medical student Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan spent nearly two months exploring the histories of stroke patients and the effects of the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). The result was a research poster she recently presented at the 2017 American Academy of Neurology conference in Boston.
Her presentation showed that patients treated with tPA within the first 24 hours of a suffering a stroke have significantly fewer early onset seizures.
Vaidyanathan began her study last September while completing a neurology rotation at Saint Luke’s Hospital. Under the guidance of Saint Luke’s neurologist Harold Morris, M.D., and Angela Hawkins, M.S.N., R.N., stroke program manager, Vaidyanathan reviewed the histories of nearly 1,300 stroke patients.
“They allowed me to write it up and go through process with their guidance,” Vaidyanathan said. “I learned so much from that, literature searching, how to write up an abstract, doing bio-statistics. It was a great learning opportunity.”
The annual neurology conference in Boston drew an international audience of nearly 14,000 physicians and scientists.
“This conference was a great experience,” Vaidyanathan said. “I got to meet people who are celebrities in the neurology field. They’re very well-known. I had the opportunity to listen to talks about the latest research that’s going on in neurology and hear all the great innovations that are happening. It was an awesome experience.”
Vaidyanathan said she already has ideas for future studies that look at the effects of tPA and other intra-arterial interventions on the incidence of post-stroke seizures.
“I hope to do further investigation of these patients and get more results that I can write up and present,” she said.