Tag Archives: Students

School of Medicine grads selected as Student Honor Recipients

UMKC celebrated more than 800 Fall 2022 graduates on Dec. 18 at the T-Mobile Center in downtown Kansas City.

Two graduating School of Medicine students have been honored as Dean of Students Honor Recipients for the 2022 fall semester.

Francesca Moisson, who will graduate with her M.D. degree this month, and Turquoise Templeton, who will receive her master’s in Bioinformatics, were recognized for their scholastic performance, community leadership and service.

Moisson and Templeton are two of five School of Medicine students who graduated in December. They are joined by Molly Pasque, also receiving her M.D. degree, Zhiheng Zhang, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in biomedical and health informatics, and Jennifer Dutton, master of medical science-physician assistant.

Each semester, the Dean of Students Honors program distinguishes honors graduating students who maintain high scholastic performance and actively participate in university and community leadership and service activities outside of the classroom. Seven UMKC recipients were recognized at a special breakfast celebration in their honor.

“Our students embody the values of UMKC with their dedication to their academic success and service to the university and surrounding communities,” said Michele D. Smith, Ph.D., vice provost for student affairs and dean of students. “As the dean of students, I am proud to recognize their achievements and know without a doubt they all have successful futures ahead of them.”

UMKC recognized its 2022 mid-year graduates at the annual mid-year commencement on Dec. 18 at Kansas City’s T-Mobile Center. Bob Carpenter, a UMKC alumnus and announcer for Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals, was the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

Med students organize a big gift from Santa

Rohan Chakrabarty (top left) and Dylan Hailey (middle) are surrounded by volunteers who helped purchase toys for Operation Santa’s Sleigh.

Santa drives a Lamborghini.

That was the case on December 11 when a couple of UMKC School of Medicine students who also happen to be car enthusiasts organized Operation Santa’s Sleigh, a parade of more than 30 exotic cars with police and fire department escort that delivered nearly $11,000 of toys and gifts to Children’s Mercy-Kansas City Hospital.

“Many kids get sick and find themselves in the hospital during the winter holidays, which is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year,” said UMKC medical student Rohan Chakrabarty. “We work closely with Children’s Mercy Hospital, so we chose to partner with them in a toy-drive project with a car-enthusiast twist.”

Chakrabarty and classmate Dylan Hailey are self-described car fanatics. Earlier this year the two decided to put their passion for cars to work organizing car shows and related charity events to benefit causes related to health care.

The pair organized their first event, a car show with the theme Cars Beyond the Boulevard, last May to benefit Care Beyond the Boulevard, a mobile medical clinic that serves the homeless and poverty stricken in downtown Kansas City. With the help of some of Kansas City’s leading car clubs, their show drew nearly 300 cars and raised more than $12,000 for the clinic.

“We had some goals in mind about how many cars we wanted and how much money we wanted to raise and we smashed all of them,” Hailey said. “It was awesome. We were just so stoked by how successful it was.”

It was enough that the pair went a step further in September, working with a lawyer the pair created their own non-profit organization. The 0-to-60 Foundation partners with some of Kansas City’s top car clubs, such as KC Exotics & Supercar Club and the Dream Team Car Club KC, to organize charity events.

“They have been super welcoming of us and, honestly, they really have become our friends and the community people we can turn to if we have questions about things,” Chakrabarty said. “We just used our passion and started networking with a bunch of these people. Obviously, they have a shared passion with us with cars and they liked hearing our story.”

Chakrabarty and Hailey put together an executive board for the 0-to-60 Foundation and with the help of medical students Lara Makhoul, Shelby Soukup and Isabella Boedefeld and others, assembled teams of nearly 50 students from throughout the UMKC community to help the cause.

The next idea was to create one big event that anyone – car enthusiast or not – could get involved with. That became Operation Santa’s Sleigh. Reaching out to local companies and doing fundraisers, the foundation raised $10,832 dollars. More than 20 UMKC students and car club members then met to participate in two toy buying events at local Target stores. The first event filled more than 12 shopping carts with purchases.

The group also reached out to the Kansas City police and fire departments, which agreed to get involved and provide an escort for an exotic car parade that totaled nearly 50 vehicles from Kansas City’s World War I Memorial to Children’s Mercy to deliver the toys.

Many of those went to the hospital’s Snowflake Shop, which will allow families and patients to pick up gifts at no cost. Others will go to units throughout the hospital that can be used communally, Chakrabarty said.

“I can’t imagine being a kid during Christmas and having to be in a hospital, not to mention the other struggles those families are experiencing during this time,” said Chakrabarty, who had his own hospital experience as a child who underwent an open-heart surgery. “You put all that together and it made me feel like this would be something good for us to do.”

Chakrabarty and Hailey say they already have their next event in mind, organizing another car show to help Care Beyond the Boulevard raise funds to purchase and equip a new clinic bus.

“We think we could definitely blow some of the donations that we’ve had so far out of the water,” Chakrabarty said. “We’re thinking really big and want to make sure we make a really big impact. We have the gears turning in our heads.”

Of course, Chakrabarty is willing to admit that there may be a little more than altruistic motives behind their efforts.

“Some of these events are selfish for us because we get to see all the cars, and in some cases get to drive some of these cool cars,” he said. “That’s really awesome. It kind of comes full circle.”

Rural medicine program expansion leads to School of Medicine renovation projects

A rendering of  the School of Medicine’s new second-floor learning space. Rendering by Odimo, LLC.

Missouri is getting help with its rural physician shortage from the UMKC School of Medicine.

In addition to planning a major expansion of its rural medicine campus at Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, the medical school is making renovations to its Kansas City building in the Health Sciences District (HSD).

“Ensuring top-notch education and training at both of our campuses starts with creating learning spaces that are state-of-the-art,” said School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D. “These renovations are key to our mission.”

The updates will provide new high-tech teaching areas for students in rural medicine as the school continues to expand its medical education program with a goal of ultimately increasing the number of physicians practicing in rural Missouri and surrounding areas.

“These HSD renovations are intimately tied to the program at St. Joseph to provide the same pre-clinical training for rural medicine on the Kansas City campus as what students are receiving at Mosaic in St. Joseph,” said School of Medicine Vice Dean Paul Cuddy. “We’re training students in St. Joseph to practice in these rural areas. As part of that training operation, some of what we’re trying to do is improve the educational spaces for our students.”

Currently underway in Kansas City is a fourth-floor renovation and expansion of an existing classroom space into an area that will accommodate up to 30 students. The room will house three 85-inch display monitors, two high definition cameras for video conferencing and white boards for group collaborations. The project also includes construction of a new student study area for HSD-based students with an interest in rural medicine.

Rendering of the new fourth-floor study area. Rendering by Odimo, LLC

After the construction on the fourth floor is complete, another renovation project is scheduled to begin early next year on the school’s second floor. That project will combine the current Graduate Medical Education office suite with an adjoining area to create a large, state-of-the-art educational space.

The new second floor educational spaces in Kansas City, while big enough to accommodate a large number of students, will also be set up to allow for small-group learning, using multiple study-group tables of up to six students, as opposed to typical classroom or auditorium seating. Each workstation will have a 65-inch display monitor for remote learning and lectures. The room will also have an 86-inch multi-touch display monitor and high-definition cameras for video conferencing.

The classroom is being designed to create an intimate setting that mimics the classroom setting planned for the new medical school building that will be constructed soon on the St. Joseph campus. The goal is an active learning environment intentionally designed to merge the two campuses.

The construction taking place in Kansas City and St. Joseph is part of the School of Medicine’s ongoing efforts to meet the medical needs of rural Missouri. Nearly half of Missouri’s rural counties are facing physician shortages according to a Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services report.

The School of Medicine opened its rural medicine program in St. Joseph in January 2021. Now it is working to extend those educational experiences to students on the Kansas City campus.

“We’re trying to set up these classrooms to make the two campuses as seamless as they can possibly be through technology and educational spaces,” said Mike Wacker, associate dean for academic affairs. “Students taking classes in the Health Sciences District will have an opportunity to have exposure to the activities that are really geared to students with a rural medicine mindset. The fourth-floor classroom will be set up so students feel as if they are sitting in the classroom at St. Joseph. We’re being very intentional about making that experience very consistent.”

Renovations on the School of Medicine’s fourth floor are expected to be completed by the end of the year, with classes to be held in the new learning space as early as January 2023. Work on the second-floor project is projected to begin in January, and is expected to be completed in time to be used for classes in the 2023 Fall semester.

Earlier this year, the school completed a renovation of the second-floor medical education media center. The area was transformed to serve as an extension of the school’s Clinical Training Facility, offering additional simulation-based training with the use of high-fidelity simulation manikins and training models.

Journey begins for UMKC School of Medicine Class of 2028

The UMKC School of Medicine Class of 2028 participated in the annual InDOCtrination Ceremony.
Second-year medical student Samuel Kim received the 2022 Richard T. Garcia award from Bridget Jones, M.D., assistant academic dean for student affairs.

Samuel Kim, a second-year medical student at the UMKC School of Medicine, spoke from experience when offering words of advice to the incoming Class of 2028 Friday morning during the school’s annual InDOCtrination Ceremony.

People need people, Kim said, reflecting on his time as a first-year medical student.

“Even if you forget everything else from day to day, remember you need each other,” Kim said.

Kim shared his message as this year’s recipient of the annual Richard T. Garcia Award. The honor is given annually to a second-year student for outstanding leadership, compassion toward fellow students and first-year academic performance.

With a packed auditorium of family and friends looking on, the School of Medicine introduced a class of 105 new students who are beginning their journey toward becoming physicians. One of the morning event’s highlights was the introduction of the annual Garcia Award winner.

In receiving the award, Kim related how instrumental his classmates were during his first year of medical school.

“You all voted me as this award recipient because you thought I was the best in you, but honestly, you’re the best in me,” Kim said, speaking to the second-year class. “Every day I can smile, I can fail, I can succeed and I can study because you make it worth it. You remind me what goodness, patience, intelligence, prudence, love and wisdom look like. You’re my support.”

School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., echoed Kim’s encouragement for the first-year students to look to one another and others around them for the support they will need in navigating the school’s six-year program.

“Your friends, your family, your medical school peers and all of the staff and faculty here today and those you meet along the way will bring you support in times of distress and rejoice and celebrate with each of your accomplishments,” Jackson said. “It will be a wild ride at times.”

The first-year class is comprised of students from across the United States, from Massachusetts to California and come from small towns of 2,000 to metropolitan areas of more than 9 million people. It is also a diverse group with nearly one-fourth of the class made up of racial groups underserved in medicine.

Each of the students was introduced with their Year 1 docent units. The class then listened to a reading of the Oath of Physicians. It is the same oath the class will recite in six year upon graduation.

Jackson left the group with one final encouragement.

“Keep your passion, keep your focus and boundless energy. That is my hope and my vision for you today as you start your medical school journey,” Jackson said. “I promise you, the time is going to fly by.”

Student National Medical Association welcomes UMKC student to BOD

Fifth-year medical student Josephine Nwankwo has joined the Student National Medical Association Board of Directors (SNMA) as academic affairs co-chair.

She was elected to the role this spring during the 2022 SNMA Annual Medical Education Conference, the largest gathering of minority medical students in the nation. In her new position, she will work to further the SNMA mission of supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students by helping provide academic resources and opportunities to members.

Nwankwo has been active in the SNMA throughout her medical school career. She previously participated the organization’s National Future Leadership Program that provides training in leadership skills, networking and project development.

At the School of Medicine, Nwankwo has served as a mentor and assisted with the Saturday Academy and Summer Scholars programs. She is also is a member of the school’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council and serves as vice president of the UMKC chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association.

The SNMA is the nation’s oldest and largest independent student-run organization. With more than 7,000 members, it serves to focus on the needs and concerns of medical students of color.

White Coat Ceremony marks next step for UMKC med students

Medical students at the UMKC School of Medicine’s campuses in Kansas City and St. Joseph participated in the annual White Coat Ceremony on August 6 and 7, an annual rite of passage as they begin a more intensive part of their clinical training.

The physician’s white coat, one of the most recognizable symbols of the medical profession, signifies a growing set of responsibilities such as the development of a formal relationship between physicians and their patients. It is also a reminder of the physician’s obligation to practice medicine with clinical competence and compassion.

“I encourage you to wear your coat with pride and integrity,” Jill Moormeier, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, said during the ceremony for students on the Health Sciences Campus in Kansas City.

During the ceremony, students entering their third-year of the School of Medicine curriculum were coated by their new Year 3-6 docents.

Sharing how medicine has evolved over the years, Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., School of Medicine dean, called this a remarkable time in medical history for students to receive their white coats and continue their quest to become a physician.

“There is a constant over time, and that is, you affirm your commitment to medicine and embrace your coat as a symbol of compassion, of your professionalism and the honor and privilege of caring for patients,” she said.

At Mosaic Life Care, home of the School of Medicine’s St. Joseph campus, Jackson shared her message as family and dignitaries looked on while 21 students received their white coats. The students were coated by individuals they had identified as a supportive mentor or loved one in their pursuit of a medical career.

In addition to Jackson, the class received encouragement from Mosaic Life Care Chief Executive Officer Mike Poore and Edward Kammerer, Chief Medical Officer and Clinic President at Mosaic Life Care.

James Shackelford, manager the school’s admissions office, presented a special School of Medicine St. Joseph Campus award for Outstanding Community Engagement to the Missouri Northwest Area Health Education Center. The award is given to an outstanding individual or entity that has dedicated efforts to the betterment of the future academic medical community in Missouri and to the medical school in St. Joseph.

On the Kansas City Campus, the school recognized Valerie Rader, M.D., ’05, as this year’s Outstanding Years 1 and 2 Docent. A cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Rader has served as a docent for first and second-year students for 11 years, is a lecturer for the School of Medicine’s physician assistant program and in 2020 received a teaching award from the Department of Internal Medicine.

School of Medicine alumni Michele Kilo, M.D., ’84, and Barry Gubin, M.D., ’84, also presented the Marilyn McGuyre scholarship to third-year student Krish Sardesai. The scholarship honors McGuyre, who served as long-time director of student affairs and career counselor.

Students at both campus ceremonies were read a compilation of their class reflections on the Philosophy of Medicine as well as the UMKC version of the Hippocratic Oath that they will recite when they graduate.

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.

School of Medicine celebrates 2022 graduates

UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal congratulates the School of Medicine’s Russell Brown during the university’s 2022 Commencement ceremony at the Kansas City Royals’ Kauffman Stadium.

SOM-50-YRS-1971-2021The UMKC School of Medicine returned to Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on May 13 to celebrate the graduating class of 2022, following a two-year absence due to the COVID pandemic.

Almost 150 students participated in the Achievement Ceremony that recognized nearly 100 doctor of medicine graduates and those earning their master’s degrees or graduate certificates in the anesthesia assistant, bioinformatics, health professions education and physician assistant programs.

Two days later, School of Medicine graduating students were part of the more than 2,300 UMKC graduates who participated in the university’s Commencement ceremony at the Kansas City Royals’ Kauffman Stadium.

During the Achievers Event, School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., ’78, congratulated and sent the class off with encouragement to make difference in the lives of those they will be caring for.

“I know from experience that the investment you make in caring for patients, engaging in research and service will fuel and inspire you throughout your careers,” Jackson said. “The world needs you. Go out and change the world.”

Jackson also recognized Scot Ebbinghaus, M.D., ’79, this year’s recipient of the prestigious E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award. Ebbinghaus, the vice president of clinical research at the pharmaceutical manufacturing company, Merk, said the graduates entering the health care professions have a unique opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of their patients.

“Patients are the center of everything we do,” he said.

2022 Senior Awards and Recognitions

Samar Azzaidani | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Avleen Kaur Bhandal | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Michael Ryan Brancato | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Anna Elizabeth Davis | James F. Stanford, M.D., Patient Advocate Scholarship; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Kartik Depala | Bette W. Hamilton Memorial Award for Excellence in Immunology
Courtney Dorris | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Lauren Gresham | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Anna Yung-hua Hwang | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Shubhika Jain | Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D., Memorial Award for Excellence in Pathology; Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D., Memorial Award for Excellence in Microbiology; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Anya Joyo | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Morgan Kensinger | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Valerie Rita Louise Kirtley | Outstanding Senior Partner
Eshwar Kishore | Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award; Richardson K. Noback Founders’ Award for Clinical Excellence
Caitlyn Marie Kohake | Master of Science in Anesthesia Program Student Ambassador
Vijay Letchuman | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Award for Research
Milan Ravidev Malhotra | Ratilal S. Shah Medical Scholarship Fund
Laura Katherine Mann | Laura L. Backus Award for Excellence in Pediatrics
LeiLani N. Mansy | Pat D. Do, M.D., Matching Scholarship in Orthopaedics; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Abigail M. Murphy | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Caroline Grace Olson | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Dakota James Owens | Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Michael Adebowale Oyekan | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Basic Science Award
Andrew Michael Peterson | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Award for Research; Lee Langley Award for Academic Excellence; UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Association Endowment Fund: Excellence in Medical Education; Merck Manual
Geethanjali Rajagopal | ACP Senior Student Book Award; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation
Casey E. Rose | J. Michael De Ungria, M.D., Humanitarian Award; Dean of Students Honor Recipient
Benjamin Spector, M.D. | Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics Award for Excellence
Elizabeth Hartanti Theng | J. Michael De Ungria, M.D., Humanitarian Award; Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Harry S. Jonas, M.D., Award
Sejla Turnadzic | Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence; Merck Manual
Isabelle Bruner Ulloa | Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics Award for Excellence
Megan Anne Weber | Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence
Jacob T. Williamson | Pat D. Do, M.D., Matching Scholarship in Orthopaedics

Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society
Alaya Bodepudi
Kartik Depala
Lauren Gresham
Rishabh Gupta
Shubhika Jain
Varsha Kandadi
Morgan Kensinger
Valerie Rita Louise Kirtley
Vijay Letchuman
Milan Ravidev Malhotra
LeiLani N. Mansy
Caroline Grace Olson
Michael Adebowale Oyekan
Andrew Michael Peterson
Geethanjali M. Rajagopal
Megan Anne Weber
Jacob T. Williamson

Gold Humanism Honor Society
Jessica Anyaso
Kartik Depala
Jason Egberuare
August James
Frank Adam Habib
Varsha Kandadi
Morgan Kensinger
Eshwar Kishore
Shruti Rani Kumar
Jordan Jean Longabaugh
Caroline Grace Olson
Nikhila Pokala
Casey E. Rose
Laraib Sani
Elizabeth Hartanti
Theng Kabir
Antonio Torres
Jacob T. Williamson

Pi Alpha Honor Society
Molly Ray Arand
Samar Azzaidani
Stephanie Kathryn Rieger

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.

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.

Eight inducted to SOM chapter of AOA honor society

The School of Medicine chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha welcomed eight new members into the medical honor society as the Class of 2022 inductees.

This year’s inductees include junior members Joe Bean, Sidharth Ramesh, Neal Shah and Kevin Varghese. The senior members are Alaya Bodepudi and Milan Malhotra. Two residents/fellows were also selected, Ain Ejaz, M.D., and Erin Murray, M.D.

The AOA officers include Andrew Peterson, student president, Kartik Depala, student vice-president, Madhavi Murali, student secretary, and Yen Luu, student treasurer. John Foxworth, Pharm.D., serves as the School of Medicine’s AOA counselor and David Wooldridge, M.D., is the faculty officer.

Selection to AOA membership is 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.