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Faculty, student earn national, state posts

Published on Thursday, December 22, 2016

Published on December 22, 2016

UMMC's population health science chair receives a U.S. Health and Human Services appointment; an associate professor of family medicine and a fourth-year medical student each make HEADWAE with awards; and UMMC's chief of staff overcomes a runoff challenge to take a PERS board post.

HHS taps population health chair for advisory position


Sylvia Burwell, U.S. Health and Human Services secretary, has appointed Dr. Leandro Mena, director of UMMC's Center for HIV/AIDS Research, Education and Policy in the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities, to a four-year term on the Advisory Committee for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The committee also reports to the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

The honor positions Mena to be a part of advising national health agencies in setting policies that address HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases.

Professor and chair of population health science in the John D. Bower School of Population Health, Mena will advise the CDC, HHS and HRSA “regarding the goals, objectives, strategies, and policies of each agency in their missions of providing prevention and treatment services for HIV, hepatitis and other STDs,” said Dr. Bettina Beech, professor of population health science, pediatrics and family medicine and dean of the school.

“Only by addressing critical health challenges, in the context of accessing health care, with innovative strategies will we be able to eliminate health disparities in our communities,” Mena said.



Family med faculty, medical student earn HEADWAE nod

The Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities has nominated a School of Medicine faculty member and a fourth-year medical student at UMMC for its Higher Education Appreciation Day - Working for Academic Excellence Award.


Dr. David R. Norris, an associate professor of family medicine, and Benjamin (Ben) Wesley Carroll, who is expected to receive his M.D. from UMMC in 2017, will be recognized at the Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning's 29th annual Higher Education Appreciate Day luncheon on Feb. 21 at the Jackson Marriott Hotel. The program will begin at the State Capitol, with the luncheon to follow.

HEADWAE honors one outstanding faculty member and one outstanding student from each participating member institution of the MACU. HEADWAE is sponsored by the Mississippi Legislature and coordinated by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in the Mississippi IHL.


A 2003 cum laude graduate with honors of Millsaps College, Norris earned his M.D. at UMMC in 2007. He completed residency training in family medicine here in 2010 amd joined the UMMC faculty as an assistant professor of family medicine. He was promoted to associate professor in 2014. A member of the Golden Key Honor Society, Norris is working toward a Masters of Arts in Higher Education and Student Services, which he anticipates receiving from the University of Mississippi in 2017.

A 2006 cum laude graduate with honors of Rhodes College, Memphis, Carroll received his Master of Divinity in 2011 from Suke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina. He entered the School of Medicine in 2013, has been a member of the Carl G. Evers Society since then, and is a 2016 Gold Humanism Honor Society inductee.



Chief of staff emerges victorious in PERS board runoff


Dr. Brian Rutledge, chief of staff, defeated Porter Richard Swann, Mississippi State University Extension Service fiscal administrator, for a representative position on the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi Board of Trustees.

“I am pleased to have Dr. Rutledge join the PERS Board,” said Pat Robertson, PERS executive director. “From his work as a fellow to Sen. Thad Cochran to his commitment to excellence at UMMC, Dr. Rutledge has dedicated his career to serving the people of Mississippi.

“We are fortunate to have him share his values and experience with those served by PERS.”

Rutledge's term will run from December 2016 to December 2022, which includes the remaining two weeks of a term left vacant by the death of Dr. Cecil L. Hill, associate professor of accounting at Jackson State University.