Study Break | Study break: Meet, greet, and congratulate | May 25, 2017
May 25, 2017
Of course, the big highlight for last week was commencement for our medical school Class of 2017. I also was fortunate to be able to attend and celebrate the commencements for our School of Public Health and the MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. It was an honor being part of such joyous occasions with our students and their families and friends.
The last few weeks have been busy. I was delighted to hand out certificates for the 16 graduates of our Humanities and Ethics Certificate program, led by Dr. Nate Carlin. Nearly 200 students have graduated from the certificate program. The program is an important part of our McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics, directed by Dr. Tom Cole. The program’s reflective writing requirement helps to nurture our students in so many ways—deepens their self-awareness, increases their understanding of compassionate care, and hopefully enhances their ability to deal with the stresses of being a physician. I am pleased so many of our students take advantage of this program and the blue book electives.
I always enjoy meeting new people and over the past few weeks had the chance to meet quite a few, including: Bill McKeon, the new president and chief executive officer of the Texas Medical Center; Peter Rossky, Ph.D., the dean of the Wiess School of Natural Sciences at Rice to discuss enhance collaboration with his students and school; as well as several UTHealth donors and friends of the medical school. I was among the UTHealth deans welcoming the Robert Wood Johnson Summer Health Professions Education Program scholars— undergraduates who will be on our campus for a six-week intensive introduction to health careers and UTHealth.
We are fortunate to have experts in our midst and to attract experts from around the world to give amazing talks—I only wish I had time to attend more of these wonderful talks. Recently our own Dr. Jamie McCarthy, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, gave a House Calls presentation to the community on emergency and trauma care. Stanislas Dehaene, Ph.D., professor and chair of experimental cognitive psychology, College de France, our Distinguished Neuroscience lecturer, gave an intriguing talk on “Language and Mathematics: Investigating the Singularity of the Human Brain.” The annual IMMpact Symposium featured stimulating talks from three of the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine’s innovative researchers, Drs. Myriam Fornage, Kristin Mahan, and Kai Sun. Dr. Holly Holmes, associate professor of geriatrics, was the co-director of the Houston Medical Safety Symposium, sponsored by the UTHealth Consortium on Aging and hosted by the University of Houston College of Pharmacy and McGovern Medical School. The symposium addressed two topics of national importance – medication safety in older adults and the opioid crisis. The Women’s Faculty Forum hosted Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum, the Malcom Gillis University Professor and professor of bioengineering at Rice University, who recently made headlines when she became Houston’s first scientist to win a MacArthur Genius Grant.
The first March of Dimes-sponsored Center for Perinatal Safety, a collaboration between McGovern Medical School and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, was launched last week. The center, led by Dr. KuoJen Tsao, associate professor of pediatric surgery, will build upon evidence-based practices and promote a culture of safety to improve care for mothers and babies. Stacey Stewart, new president of the national March of Dimes, came to Houston for a press conference and lunch to announce the center—and event that made the front page of the Houston Chronicle.
We are surrounded by those who perform amazing feats every day. Some additional congratulations of note:
Matthew Greives, assistant professor of pediatric surgery, was honored at the Men of Distinction Annual Awards luncheon.
Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center was named among Becker’s Hospital Review 100 Great Hospitals in America for 2017.
Suzie Lopez, associate professor of pediatrics, was awarded Physician of the Year by Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Winners of the fourth annual Dean’s Excellence in Research Award Competition for Postdoctoral Fellows: first place: Anja Karlstaedt (mentor, Dr. Heinrich Taegtmeyer), second place: Dr. Sana Shaikh (mentor, Dr. Vasanthi Jayaraman); and third place: Dr. Yongqiang Fan (mentor, Dr. Lanny Ling).
As we approach summer, Dr. John Higgins, associate professor of internal medicine/cardiology, reminds us to think about our physical fitness and reach the goal of 15,000 steps per day. I’ve been inspired to walk more by reading his timely advice in the Houston Chronicle.
Distributed via email to all McGovern Medical School employees, students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows, Study Break is Dean Barbara J. Stoll's update of news and items of interest. She welcomes feedback via email.