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UMMC faculty, staff, students achieve local, national acclaim

Published on Monday, August 1, 2016

Published on August 01, 2016

Faculty and staff in the Department of Infectious Diseases, the Department of Preventive Medicine, the Department of Surgery and AirCare; students in the School of Dentistry and the School of Medicine; and the institution itself have distinguished themselves locally and nationally.

Assistant profs earn faculty development awards

Batson, left, and Espinoza
Batson, left, and Espinoza

Dr. Shuntaye D. Batson, assistant professor of surgery, and Dr. Ingrid Espinoza, assistant professor of preventive medicine, have each been awarded scholarships to attend the Minority Faculty Professional Development Seminar to be hosted by the Association of American Medical Colleges in September.

The Office of Faculty Affairs sponsors up to two faculty annually to attend the seminar. The recipients are selected from among those nominated by department chairs and school deans every spring.

For more information about the scholarships and how to receive consideration, call Vickie Skinner at 5-0135, email her at or click here.



AirCare pilot receives presidential distinction


Miles Dunagan, an AirCare pilot based at the emergency helicopter transport service's Columbus base, has been chosen president of the Association of Air Medical Services.

An EMS pilot for more than 20 years, Dunagan is also a member of the association's safety council. He is a certified medical safety transportation professional and is a graduate of the association's safety academy. Dunagan also has had safety management systems training.

AAMS provides recognition of the emergency medical transportation industry, promotes the provision of quality emergency medical services to patients, provides education and information services to EMS personnel, and develops standards of operation and performance.



Infectious diseases prof garners achievement award


The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association has selected Dr. Leandro Mena, professor of infectious diseases and director of the Center for HIV/AIDS Research in the Myrlie Evers Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities, for its 2016 GLMA Achievement Award.

A national group of health professionals, the GLMA's mission is “to ensure equality in health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and health-care providers.”

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the LGBT community, exemplary commitment to improving the quality of health-care services for LGBT people and demonstrated improvement of the health-care environment for LGBT health-care workers. It also honors those "who have significantly contributed to gains made by the LGBT civil rights movement."

According to a letter from Michelle Easley, GLMA president and executive director, Mena “is one of the most influential LGBT health activists over the past decade, creating visibility for LGBT health in a very socially conservative environment. His creative approaches, community engagement and charm have brought him the respect of medical and public health authorities locally and nationally.”



SNDA taps dentistry students for national posts

The Student National Dental Association has selected four School of Dentistry students to serve the organization in various capacities.

Amadia Giles was named SNDA treasurer; Alexa Lampkin was selected as the SNDA representative to the Mississippi Dental Association House of Delegates; Clora Evans was named SNDA Corporate Round Table Representative 1; and Jiman Nelson was named SNDA Corporate Round Table Representative 2.

Nelson also received a second-place award at an SNDA conference for his study, “Modification and Characterization of Anodized Titanium for Dental and Orthopedic Implants.” Nelson's faculty mentors are Dr. Michael Roach, Dr. Scott Williamson and Dr. Amol Janorkar.

The School of Dentistry's SNDA representatives also received a first place award in the organization's scrapbook competition.

The SNDA's stated goal is to “promote, aid and support the academic and social environment of minority students.”



Humanism society inducts 26 UMMC student leaders

During the July 21 Gold Humanism Honor Society induction ceremony, more than two dozen UMMC senior medical students, residents and others were recognized for their leadership, clinical care, dedication and caring relationship with patients.

Receiving their Gold Humanism medallions during the observance at the Norman C. Nelson Student Union are, front row from left, Ashton Davis, Tara Lewis, Jesse Xie, Mary Ruth Windham, Eric Merkle, Janeanne Shell, Brock Banks and Laurel Lackey, and back row from left, Ashley Villarreal, Hudson Frey, Taryn Green, Lauren Williamson, Maggie Wester, Lauren Schober, Daniel Lyons, Daniel Krebs, Sean McCleary, Ben Carroll, Jeremy Archer, John Caleb Grenn, Richard Whitlock, Josh Norman and Blythe Bynum.

Other honorees not pictured include Joel Fahling, Ian Mallett and Stephen Morgan.

The New Jersey-based Arnold P. Gold Foundation, started by Dr. Arnold Gold, Dr. Sandra Gold and others, was created in 2001 to “perpetuate the tradition of the caring doctor.”

In 2005, UMMC's first class was installed in the Dr. D. Jeanette Pullen Chapter, named for the longtime faculty member who established the Medical Center's Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.



MORA honors UMMC organ transplant success

Henderson receives her Spero from Kevin Stump, MORA CEO
Henderson receives her Spero from Kevin Stump, MORA CEO

The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency has honored UMMC for its organ transplant program's success with a pair of 2016 Spero Awards.

MORA annually recognizes hospital partners, medical professionals, corporate partners and donor ambassadors who work to promote organ, eye and tissue donation to ultimately save and heal lives.

Fifteen Spero Awards were presented to individuals and organizations from across the state. The word Spero is Latin for “hope.” The name was chosen to reflect the hope that organ and tissue donation brings to those in need of a lifesaving organ or a life improving tissue transplant.

Butts, left, and Stump
Butts, left, and Stump

Megan Butts, a nurse practitioner in the Department of Neurology, was named Spero Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year. Dr. Carrie Morgan Henderson, assistant professor of pediatric critical care, was honored as the Spero Physician Champion.

UMMC also received MORA's Hospital Excellence Awards in recognition of achievement of national organ donation performance standards set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. UMMC and UMMC Grenada were among 36 hospitals recognized for enrolling in the Mississippi Hospitals for Hope Campaign, which raises awareness of the need for organ, eye and tissue donation and increase registrations.



MBJ lists UMMC among 'healthiest workplace' finalists

Mann and Brea Cole, integrated wellness program manager, display the MBJ honor.
Mann and Brea Cole, integrated wellness program manager, display the MBJ honor.

The Medical Center has been named a “Healthiest Workplace” state finalist by the Mississippi Business Journal and a collaboration of health agencies and organizations.

UMMC and 22 other Mississippi employers were recognized July 27 for promoting best practices in health and wellness to their employees and in their communities. UMMC was honored for initiatives that range from developing a comprehensive employee wellness program to ramping up low-calorie drinks in vending machines.

"We're very excited about being recognized as one of Mississippi's healthiest workplaces, and even more excited about the progress it represents,” said Dr. Joshua Mann, professor and chair of the Department of Preventive Health. “It reflects a commitment on the part of Dr. LouAnn Woodward and other leaders at UMMC to foster a culture of health, not just for patients, but also for employees.”

The Medical Center's employee wellness program is led by a special wellness committee that meets regularly to identify opportunities to improve health in the workplace. The committee's progress includes completing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online workplace health scorecard and conducting onsite wellness education sessions by UMMC faculty.