April 11, 2019

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SOPH students selected for cohort; Jackson Free Clinic earns GIVE Award

Scholars program selects SOPH students for cohort

Five students from the John D. Bower School of Population Health have been selected as members of the inaugural cohort of the Robert Smith, M.D. Graduate Scholars Program as part of the Jackson Heart Study’s new Graduate Training and Education Center at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Robert D. Smith Graduate Scholars Program Members
(clockwise from top left) Harris, Gholar, Musshafen, Teng and Tyrone

Kisa Harris, biostatistics and data science student, and Victoria Gholar, Leslie Musshafen, Fei Teng and Rachel Tyrone, population health science students, will join three other graduate students to embark on the research opportunity beginning with a summer institute scheduled for June 24-28, 2019.

UMMC GTEC is a two-year research training program designed for doctoral and health professional students who are considering careers in cardiovascular health sciences. The program allows students to participate in the research process – from idea generation to publication – alongside mentors from leading research institutions.

Scholars commit to attending a five-day summer training institute both summers, one mid-year meeting and quarterly webinars, and traveling to a Jackson Heart Study Vanguard Center at Johns Hopkins University. Scholars will have regular interaction with senior researchers and mentors throughout the program who will help them prepare peer-reviewed manuscripts, conduct analyses and make scientific presentations.

“Our scholars are going to be able to work with and be mentored by some of the top biomedical researchers in the nation who will be committing time and energy over the next two years to introduce them to the wonderful world of research,” said Dr. Bettina Beech, founding dean and professor of population health science in the School of Population Health and principal investigator of UMMC-GTEC. “They will learn more about health disparities research, not just that the fact that health disparities exist.”


Volunteer MS honors JFC with Governor’s Award

Dr. Loretta Jackson Williams, vice dean for medical education, and Logan Ramsey, M4, hold the GIVE Award presented to the Jackson Free Clinic by Volunteer Mississippi.
Dr. Loretta Jackson Williams, vice dean for medical education, and Logan Ramsey, M4, hold the GIVE Award presented to the Jackson Free Clinic by Volunteer Mississippi.

The Jackson Free Clinic is the winner of the 2019 Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Healthcare Access.

The Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (Volunteer Mississippi) presented a total of 13 GIVE awards to organizations or individuals during an April 8 ceremony in Jackson. This is the 25th year of Volunteer Mississippi and of the awards ceremony.

Launched through the Office of the Governor and Volunteer Mississippi, the GIVE Awards recognize outstanding contributions to communities through service, advocacy and outreach to benefit Mississippians.

The nonprofit Jackson Free Clinic is operated by students in the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Medicine with the support of local physicians and community leaders.

Established for Jackson-area residents who do not have adequate access to medical care, the clinic offers free, non-emergency care, including examinations, treatment, education, referrals and other services.

Licensed dentists supervise students from the School of Dentistry who provide oral cancer screenings, oral hygiene instruction, extractions, X-rays and more.

Occupational therapy and physical therapy students from the School of Health Related Professions, overseen by licensed therapists, provide rehabilitation care.

Dr. Joyce Olutade, UMMC assistant professor of family medicine and medical director of Student and Employee Health, first proposed a student-run health clinic for the poor and homeless in Jackson in 2000.

Past UMMC recipients of the GIVE Award include the School of Nursing (2014), the School of Dentistry (2017) and Dr. Rick deShazo, professor emeritus of medicine (2018).