Oct. 22, 2018

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Pathology, family med faculty earn leadership posts

An assistant professor of pathology gets tabbed for national committee service; an assistant professor of family medicine becomes the first African-American MPA president-elect; and several UMMC faculty and staff members claim the moniker "Health Care Hero" from a statewide business journal.

National organization taps UMMC pathologist for committee


Dr. Lisa Stempak, assistant professor of pathology and director of clinical pathology, has been appointed to the College of American Pathologists’ Continuous Compliance Committee.

In that position, she will be part of the effort to improve the quality of lab testing in medical laboratories nationwide.

“Serving on this committee, Dr. Stempak will help ensure that patients throughout the country will continue to receive lab test results they can count on to be accurate,” said Dr. Timothy C. Allen, professor and chair of pathology and a CAP governor. “Without the right test, performed at the right time, giving the right result, appropriate treatment cannot be determined.”

An organization of board-certified pathologists, CAP “serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide,” according to its website.

“Dr. Stempak is highly qualified to serve on the committee,” Allen said. Beyond her role as director of clinical pathology, she has a subspecialty in clinical laboratory medicine, “with a particularly specialized understanding of infectious disease,” he said.

Stempak contributes a blog to Lablogatory, labmedicineblog.com, a site for medical lab professionals.


State psychological group selects UMMC faculty president-elect


Dr. Kristen Alston, assistant professor of family medicine, is the new president-elect of the Mississippi Psychological Association.

The MPA is the “organized voice of psychology in Mississippi” as it pursues the advancement of psychology as a science and a profession, according to its website.

“What is so special about [Alston’s] election to this position is that she is the first African-American president-elect of this organization, a first that was well overdue,” said Dr. Molly Clark, associate professor of family medicine and director of the Health Psychology Fellowship in Family Medicine.

Alston, a North Carolina native, has worked to bring early-career members to the MPA, Clark said.

“In doing so, she found herself in a position to say yes to the potential leadership opportunity. The psychologists in the state of Mississippi also said yes to her and her leadership.”

Alston said her election was a “blessing” and an “honor.”

"That I will be the first African-American individual to hold this office makes this accomplishment even more meaningful, especially as an early-career psychologist,” Alston said. “I feel that this milestone speaks to a spirit of growth and to the forward momentum of the organization.

"I consider this to be a shared accomplishment, and I would like to thank my family, friends, colleagues and mentors for their unwavering motivation and support.”

Alston has served as chair of MPA’s Early Career Psychologist Committee.

“As president-elect, I look forward to continuing to focus on increasing membership within the association,” she said, “especially through early career/trainee/student presence, as well as continuing to create opportunities for members to display their work and discuss areas of interest and specialization to contribute to the field of psychology.”

Her term begins Jan. 1 and will last one year before she will assume the role of president.

“I have no doubt that Dr. Alston will bring the same excellence to MPA that she brings to us at UMMC,” Clark said. “I am so proud of her, not only for her professionalism and quality of service she provides, but also because of her willingness to step up to the next level, to go the extra mile.”


Business journal names nine UMMC staff ‘Health Care Heroes’


Dr. Mary Taylor, professor and chair of pediatrics; Jolyn White and Rona K. Huey, nurse practitioners; Elizabeth Carr, associate professor of dental hygiene; Dr. Rick deShazo, professor emeritus of medicine and former Southern Remedy health broadcaster; Edward Holman, imaging supervisor; Dr. Jolanta Roskowska, associate professor of medicine; and Patrice Donald, director of patient and family advocacy, have different jobs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, but they share one mission: improving the health of Mississippians.

The eight were named “Health Care Heroes,” awards the Mississippi Business Journal bestows each year on those who work to improve the well-being of the community. The group were among those honored by the publication at a breakfast Sept. 27.