March 17, 2016
This week is Spring Break for many students in the Houston area, but for McGovern Medical School it’s been a week of celebrating accomplishments and will conclude tomorrow with a very special day for our fourth-year students.
Recognizing quality was the goal of the LBJ Hospital all-clinician meeting this week, where innovative quality improvement research was presented by outstanding residents and fellows. Congratulations to the winners of the resident/fellow competition, first-place winner Dr. Krislynn Mueck (surgery), for “Implementation of Evidence-Based Guidelines Provides High Value Care for Surgical Soft Tissue Infections;” second-place winner Dr. Veena Patel (internal medicine), “Stopping Waste on the Wards: Decreasing Unnecessary Daily Lab Draws;” and to third-place winner Dr. Tamika Cross (ob/gyn) for “A Novel Approach to Reducing Surgical Site Infection after Cesarean Delivery.” And hats off to the other speakers, Drs. Matt Breland (radiology), Mary Guirguis (radiology), Sidra Tayyab (radiology), David Hunter (neurology), Alisha Young (internal medicine – pulmonary), and Adam Antflick (anesthesia).
Congratulations are in order for our 41 new student members of AOA. Alpha Omega Alpha is a professional medical honor society that recognizes and advocates excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine. Election to AOA is an honor signifying a lasting commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism, and service. In addition to our student honorees, six residents, five faculty, and two alumni were honored with membership. The AOA Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award went to Dr. Toby Kirkwood. A special thank you to Dr. Eugene Boisaubin and student co-presidents Cameron McBride and Kishan Patel, who navigated inclement weather last week to put on a great event last evening.
Discussions with Rice University Provost Marie Lynn Miranda continue as we work toward solidifying a plan for a joint postdoctoral program between Rice and UTHealth and a joint program in maternal and child health biomedical engineering. I will keep you posted.
Last week I told you about the new Pulmonary Center of Excellence – and this week I want to spotlight a new program spearheaded by our Office of Alumni Relations. Working in conjunction with the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs, the alumni office piloted a new program to involve alumni in the admissions process this year. Led by Dr. Mark Chassay, associate dean for alumni relations, and Derrick Miller, director of the Office of Alumni Relations, alumni from around the state came to Houston for a day of training, which included student-led tours of the school and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. The participating alumni then interviewed applicants in their hometown, or closer to their hometown, instead of having students travel to Houston. I applaud this program, which is helpful to our applicants and is also a great way for our alumni to stay connected with us. You may know that our medical school receives more applications than any other public medical school in the state, so admissions is a big job! If you know alumni who would like to participate, please have them contact Dr. Chassay.
Budget meetings continued this week, which is a helpful way for me to better understand each of our 24 clinical and basic science departments. I also stopped in for the monthly Department of Pediatrics faculty meeting to stay in touch with my pediatric colleagues.
The first permanent chair of our Department of Dermatology, Dr. Robert Jordon, who served for 20 years as chair (1982-2002) recently retired from the medical school. After he stepped down as chair in 2002, Dr. Jordon continued to work part time in the department. According to current Department of Dermatology chair Dr. Ron Rapini, Dr. Jordon mentored by example and was a master at bringing out the best in faculty and trainees. We thank Dr. Jordon for his service and leadership and the strong foundation he created for dermatology.
I hope to see many of you tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Webber Plaza as we watch the excitement of Match Day. This is such an important step in our students’ futures as they heed the calling of a medical career. I am thrilled to be a part of their special day. As our school’s namesake, Dr. John P. McGovern once said, “We physicians are a privileged lot – privileged to serve, to share the human drama of our patients, and to contribute to their health and well-being.”