MEDICINE THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER SUMMER 2020
Leading the Way
“I feel so incredibly grateful for the support of my scholarship. It takes away the worry of how I’m going to pay for tuition, books, and living expenses, and allows me to focus all my energy on learning as much as I can in order to be the best doctor that I can be. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your gift. Because of your generosity, I can spend less time stressing about how to pay for school and more time learning for the good of my future patients.” Abigail Gardiner, M3
Scholarships help students like Abigail succeed. JOIN THE MISSION alumni.uthsc.edu/give | 901.448.5516 UTHSC Office of Development and Alumni Affairs
< Informing the Public
UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD
CoM leaders a trusted source of information on COVID-19.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operations Officer Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE
Robert Kaplan Executive Dean and Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs Scott E. Strome, MD, FACS Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs Love Collins, III, MBA Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Affairs Chandra A. Tuggle Senior Director of Development, College of Medicine Kelly Davis
Finding Solutions >
CoM researchers working to find treatments and a cure for coronavirus.
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing Sally Badoud Editor Peggy Reisser Designer Adam Gaines Writers Alan Burns Jackie Denton Amber Carter Peggy Reisser
< Selfless Service
Photographers Jay Adkins Alan Burns Natalie Brewer Brandon Dill Peggy Reisser David Roseberry
Medical students, faculty, residents volunteer for front lines of COVID-19 testing.
On the cover: College of Medicine students are shown at the COVID-19 drive-though testing site at the Mid-South Fairgrounds.
All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admissions without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status. Eligibility and other terms and conditions of employment benefits at The University of Tennessee are governed by laws and regulations of the State of Tennessee, and this non-discrimination statement is intended to be consistent with those laws and regulations. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the University. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), ADA (disability), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 910 Madison Avenue, Suite 826, Memphis, Tennessee 38163, telephone 901-448-7382 (V/TTY available). Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity. E073201(004210048)
Fighting Racism > CoM faculty, students, alumni stand in solidarity against racism.
21 <An Illustrious Career Scholarship honors Nelson Strother for dedicated service to CoM.
From the Executive Dean COVID-19 presents existential challenges to our College of Medicine — challenges to our educational missions, challenges to our research programs, challenges to our entire patient care infrastructure, and challenges to the communities we represent. I am incredibly proud that our entire team — built on the legacy and ongoing support of alumni — has risen to meet these challenges. Our educational leaders continue to work tirelessly to provide continuity in the preclinical and clinical experiences for all our learners, while also viewing COVID-19 as a unique “teachable moment” by incorporating students into our development and implementation of testing sites throughout Memphis. Our research teams are actively developing new testing platforms for COVID-19 and refining specific and sensitive assays for the detection, characterization, and functional evaluation of serum antibodies against COVID-19. In addition, our scientists are evaluating the therapeutic utility of compounds from across the globe in a variety of preclinical COVID-19 models, developing vaccine approaches, and have initiated a comprehensive and multifaceted collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory focused on COVID-19 — a collaboration that is hoped will serve as a platform for other integrative research. Clinically, our intensivists led the charge in bringing plasma therapy for the treatment of severe SARS-COV-2. We have also partnered in a leadership role with local, state, and federal officials to build an incredible new alternate-care hospital in Memphis for patients afflicted with this disease. As a College of Medicine dedicated to partnering with our communities to improve health, we created a comprehensive COVID-19 website to provide accurate and timely information to the public — translating it into Spanish to reach a broader audience. To inform this website and our public health officials, faculty in our Department of Preventive Medicine developed models to track the spread of COVID-19 and created a series of interactive maps for easy visualization and interpretation. We also created the first drive-through testing center in Memphis — a site that serves as a model for the development of our city/county wide outpatient testing. Recognizing the limitations of testing, we built a CLIA-certified test in house and now can test over 1,000 samples a day with less than a 24-hour turnaround time. Finally, we continue to work with the city and county to craft plans for reopening Memphis and Shelby County, have led the efforts to define the reopening plans for the UT System, and are partnering with numerous local and regional businesses to help them define a pathway to safely return to work. While this issue of Medicine magazine focuses on COVID-19, we as a school and as a society are confronting a perhaps more endemic and evil scourge — a scourge of inequity, racism, and hate — brought to the fore by the May 25 killing of George Floyd. Indeed, in Memphis, the majority of patients afflicted with COVID-19 are Black. The majority of patients dying from COVID-19 are Black. In order to combat this societal illness, the College of Medicine is the leader of a roundtable discussion with thought leaders from all areas of our community to foster dialogue. We are collating a set of readings and videos to inform small, on-campus discussion groups focused on race and racism. Finally, we are redoubling our efforts to grow our Diversity Inclusion Think Tank — initiated in January to inform college activities and policy. I am confident, with your support, that we will lead the local, regional, and national efforts to purge the diseases of COVID-19, racism, injustice, and hate from our world. Respectfully,
Scott E. Strome, MD, FACS Robert Kaplan Executive Dean of the College of Medicine
BATTLING A PANDEMIC As the state’s primary public academic medical institution, the College of Medicine has worked behind the scenes and on the front lines to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19) that became a pandemic. “This is what academic medicine is,” Dean Strome said. “We’re here to treat the sickest patients, to collaborate with health care providers, and to really step up in time of need.”
CoM Steps Up Jon McCullers, MD, senior associate dean for Clinical Affairs for the College of Medicine, along with hospital and community leaders, convened a press conference to reassure the public that steps were being taken to prepare for and combat the coronavirus. This was the first time that health care leaders in Shelby County addressed the virus and its increasing spread. FEB
The College of Medicine launched a website, uthsc.edu/coronavirus, a one-stop resource for the public with the latest information about the virus, as well as frequently asked questions, and links to national, state, and local organizations monitoring its spread. An interactive option allows the public to ask CoM experts questions and receive answers. The site is also available in Spanish at: uthsc.edu/coronavirus-es FEB
More than 1,500 people registered for a two-hour online coronavirus symposium hosted by leaders from the College of Medicine.
The CoM produced a training video detailing the proper protocol for collecting nasopharyngeal samples to test for coronavirus infection. It was distributed to hospitals, clinical care providers, and testing sites to ensure proper procedure is used at the various sites across the state. APR
CoM announced the opening of three new drive-through testing sites in areas of need in the Memphis community.
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers handed off a newly completed alternate-care hospital in Memphis to state and local leaders for use to treat COVID-19 patients in the Mid-South during a virus surge if hospitals are at capacity. Leaders from the College of Medicine and the College of Nursing will manage the facility. MAY
The College of Medicine, working with the Shelby County Health Department and the City of Memphis, opened a drive-through testing site for COVID-19 at Tiger Lane at the Mid-South Fairgrounds. One of the city’s first and largest public testing sites, Tiger Lane was staffed initially primarily by medical students and supervised by CoM faculty and residents. MAR
A team of UTHSC medical and nursing students also staffed a COVID-19 Call Center, triaging people and scheduling appointments at the Tiger Lane testing site.
The College of Medicine hosted a second coronavirus online symposium to provide updates and projections on the spread of the pandemic.
The College of Medicine opened a lab on campus in the 930 Madison Building to analyze COVID-19 test samples to speed up diagnoses in the community.
The coronavirus work continues in the CoM with testing, clinical care, and research to develop reliable antibody testing and therapeutics to treat the virus. UTHSC COLLEGE OF MEDICINE | SUMMER 2020
By The Numbers ~157 NUMBER OF STUDENT
VOLUNTEERS AT TIGER LANE TEST SITE. MOST WERE THIRD- AND FOURTH-YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS
6,000 NUMBER OF VOLUNTEER HOURS OVER SIX WEEKS AT TESTING SITE
48 NUMBER OF STUDENTS STAFFING
THE SITE DAILY, INCLUDING NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS
~200 APPROXIMATE NUMBER
OF TESTS PER DAY AT FULL CAPACITY
5,000 TOTAL NUMBER OF TESTS PERFORMED THROUGH APRIL 30, WHEN STUDENTS COMPLETED VOLUNTEER WORK
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NUMBER TESTED AT THE SITE TO DATE
401 NUMBER OF BEDS AT
THE ALTERNATE-CARE HOSPITAL
25,000+ NUMBER OF
VISITORS TO CORONAVIRUS WEB PAGE, UTHSC.EDU/CORONAVIRUS
NUMBER OF PAGE VIEWS TO WEBSITE
100+ NUMBER OF QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC ANSWERED BY CoM EXPERTS
UTHSC’s Dr. Jon McCullers speaks to the media at the city’s first coronavirus press conference, left, and Dean Strome addresses the media at the region’s alternate-care hospital.
College of Medicine a Trusted Source of Information on Coronavirus Since its initial coronavirus press conference in late February, the College of Medicine has taken the lead in informing the public in Shelby County and across Tennessee about the virus.
Dean Strome and Dr. McCullers have served as consistent and available resources to local, statewide, and national media for interviews offering expert opinions about the virus and best practices to keep the community safe.
College of Medicine faculty have served on panels locally and statewide to help leaders determine medical strategy for dealing with the virus and to establish protocols for the “new normal” as entities reopen locally and across Tennessee.
The college’s coronavirus website, uthsc.edu/coronavirus, which offers up-to-date information and resources about the virus, has attracted more than 25,000 visitors and 45,000 page views.
Sara Cross, MD, an associate professor of Medicine/Infectious Diseases and Medical Education at UTHSC, was named to Governor Bill Lee’s Coronavirus Task Force. Jon McCullers, MD, is a key member of the Mayor’s COVID-19 Task Force in Memphis, advising local leaders about response and steps in reopening the city. He serves on the COVID-19 Advisory Committee for the UT System, working in a similar capacity to design response and reopening strategies across all campuses for the state’s academic system.
To ensure children in the community are properly informed about the virus, a medical student organization produced an age-specific flyer, the UTHSC Coronavirus Fact Sheet for Kids. The document, created by Health Students Teach Memphis Youth, offers information from what a virus is to the importance of social distancing. It is available at the coronavirus website resources page and intended for distribution to schools. UTHSC hosted a free Coronavirus Online Symposium in April. It included speakers from UTHSC and university partners and attracted more than 1,500 registered for the Zoom conference. “As Tennessee’s Health Science Center, we have a responsibility to disseminate timely and accurate information to providers and the public across the state to facilitate optimal patient care and improve outcomes,” Dean Strome said.
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Tracking a Killer The fight against COVID-19 is also taking place in laboratories across the Memphis campus. Researchers in the College of Medicine are analyzing COVID-19 test results, evaluating possible therapeutics to treat the virus, and working to develop a reliable antibody test.
On-Campus Analysis of COVID-19 Tests
Seeking a Therapy
When results were slow in Shelby County for early COVID-19 testing, the College of Medicine took the initiative to set up a lab on campus to speed up test results for the community.
As the director of the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at UTHSC, one of roughly a dozen federally funded labs authorized to study deadly pathogens, Colleen Jonsson, PhD, is leading a team to find antivirals or drugs that might treat COVID-19.
In a little more than two weeks, Neil Hayes, MD, MS, MPH, Van Vleet Endowed Professor in Medical Oncology and the division chief of Hematology and Oncology; Mahul Amin, MD, chair of the Department of Pathology; and Tim Hodge, head of pathology for University Clinical Health, quickly repurposed an existing lab on the fifth floor of the 930 Madison Building to manufacture COVID-19 test kits and to analyze the samples from Tiger Lane and other sites. “We were happy to rise to this challenge,” Dr. Amin said. The lab has processed more than 12,000 tests; has a staff of 25 to 30 including, lab techs, MDs, PhD; operates three shifts a day; and generally has a same-day or next-day turnaround. “The goal is to process for anyone we can help,” Dean Strome said.
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Dr. Jonsson is an internationally known virologist and a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry in the College of Medicine. She is collaborating with Jeremy Smith, PhD, professor at UTKnoxville and director of the UT/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Center for Molecular Biophysics, on testing molecules identified by the supercomputer at ORNL as possible candidates to work against the virus. The UTHSC team is also testing candidates for industry. The RBL received live samples of the coronavirus in late February. Dr. Jonsson and her team began growing the samples so they would have enough to test against compounds (small molecules) that could prove to be treatments. With the RBL’s high-throughput screening capacity, many candidates can be tested rapidly.
“She is a world-class virologist with lots of experience working with viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2,” Dr. Smith said of Dr. Jonsson. In 2019, Dr. Jonsson was awarded more than $21 million to establish a Center of Excellence for Encephalitic Alphavirus Therapeutics program at UTHSC aimed at advancing the discovery and development of antiviral drug candidates targeting several harmful viruses spread to people by infected mosquitoes.
Developing Antibody Testing for COVID-19 Other researchers in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry are working on various aspects of antibody testing, as the next step to track the trajectory of the virus and facilitate community reopening. Researchers have developed several prototype assays to test for antibodies for COVID-19 and measure prior exposure to the virus. The expectation is that an assay, once validated, could be used in the UTHSC COVID-19 laboratory on campus to begin community testing for potential exposure and immunity. Researchers are also working on a rapid virus neutralization test that will be a critical confirmatory part of the UTHSC antibody testing plan.
Colleen Jonsson, PhD, is leading a team in the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory to find therapeutics to treat COVID-19.
“We are going to get the best assay we can develop out there as soon as possible,’ said Associate Professor Maria Gomes-Solecki, DVM. She and her team have developed a prototype ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), a blood test that could be used to mass-test antibodies.
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UTHSC COLLEGE OF MEDICINE | SUMMER 2020
UTHSC has been charged with managing the region’s alternate-care hospital to be used in case of a surge in coronavirus cases. From left, Dr. Ricard Walker, the chief executive officer, is shown in the hospital with Dean Strome and UT President Randy Boyd. Dr. Amik Sodhi, below, is the chief medical officer.
College of Medicine Leaders Helm Region’s Alternate-Care Hospital By Peggy Reisser Richard Walker, MD, chair of emergency medicine and director of the emergency medicine residency program at UTHSC, watched on a Monday in mid-May as the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers handed off the newly completed alternate-care COVID-19 hospital in Memphis to state and local leaders for use to treat COVID-19 patients in the region if the need arises. UTHSC has been charged with running the 401-bed hospital in the former Commercial Appeal Building in the Memphis Medical District. Leaders from the College of Medicine and Nursing will direct the facility. Dr. Walker serves as the chief executive officer for the hospital. “In my mind, we’ve gone from being aware and unprepared to being aware and prepared as best we can be as a community,” Dr. Walker said. The Army Corps of Engineers worked around the clock for roughly a month to transform the former newspaper building into a hospital. It is designed for low- and moderate-acuity COVID-19 patients, those who do not need the higher-level care that hospitals can provide. It is intended to handle hospital overflow in the event of a surge in cases, freeing up hospitals for the most-severe cases. One of 37 alternate-care facilities commissioned across the country by the federal government, the site represents 140,000 square feet of space for medical care across five stories. In addition to spaces equipped to provide care for non-acute patients who require some
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oxygen support, there are 33 acute isolation units for patients whose condition may necessitate transfer back to a hospital. Pulmonologist Amik Sodhi, MD, interim chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, is the chief medical officer for the site. Terri Stewart, MSN, RN, a nursing instructor in the College of Nursing, is the chief nursing officer. Drs. Sodhi and Walker said they hope the site is never needed, however, they are confident that it is ready if it is. “We’re assembling the best group of people humanly possible,” Dr. Walker said. “While it is a temporary hospital, it is one we’ve all made absolutely every effort to make as safe as possible. This facility would be a place we would feel comfortable putting our own mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters.”
UTHSC Medical Students on Front Lines of COVID-19 Battle By Peggy Reisser Third-year medical student Sarah Steele said it was an honor to be one of roughly four dozen medical students from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center who staffed a drive-through testing site for COVID-19 at the Mid-South Fairgrounds from mid-March to the end of April. “As students, we feel so honored to have the opportunity to step up and serve the community,” she said. “While these times are scary and filled with uncertainty, we are compelled to serve the people and to continue to be present every day going forward, both to test and treat every Memphian.” The College of Medicine, working with the Shelby County Health Department and the City of Memphis, opened the drive-through testing site at Tiger Lane at the Fairgrounds March 20. The site was initially staffed primarily by UTHSC medical students under the supervision of physician faculty and residents. College of Nursing students, as well as some dental students, later volunteered at the site, which could test up to 200 people a day at capacity. “Our medical students have been the beating heart of our testing center,” said David Schwartz, MD, the medical director of the site. Dr. Schwartz, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and director of the Center for Health Equity in the Department of Radiation Oncology in the CoM, was tasked with establishing and running the site. “They displayed nothing less than complete selflessness, professionalism, kindness, intelligence, and dedication at every moment,” he said. “After looking at other sites across the country, it is clear we are a model program
setting the highest standard. It is all because of our students. I have been left humbled and in awe.” Medical student Austin O’Connor, class of 2021, said it was a great opportunity to help organize this testing for the city. “On March 17, all medical students were pulled from our clinical rotations across the country to help decrease the spread of COVID,” he said. “Many of us were looking for other ways to get involved and help our community during this time. The next day, Andrew McBride, Hannah Allen, Chloe Hundman, Lydia Makepeace, and myself (all medical students) were pulled in by Dr. Schwartz to help establish and organize this testing initiative. When I was called about it, I was eager to get involved. I viewed this opportunity as a great way to put my training to good use during this time and a great opportunity to give back to the Memphis community.” Within a week, the site was up and running. O’Connor said he and the other student organizers worked almost every day for weeks getting the site established. Dean Strome cannot contain his pride in the student body across all years in the college. “The students wanted to give back in this crisis,” he said. “It wasn’t something with the school saying, ‘we want you to do this.’ They said they want to help. It was amazing.” The dean said students have thanked him for giving them this opportunity. He believes their participation helped them learn vital lessons about their profession. “We look at everything as a teachable moment,” he said. “We want our students to really have an opportunity to learn, because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime situation.”
Helping Kids Stay Mentally Healthy The University of Tennessee Health Science Center hosted a series of activities in recognition of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 3-9. Altha Stewart, MD, senior associate dean for Community Health Engagement in the College of Medicine, led the observance designed to call attention to the importance of children’s mental health, which demands even more focus during the pandemic. “We are hoping that this campaign around Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week reminds people, even with the pandemic and the things that go along with coping with it, of the importance of paying attention to children’s mental health every day,” Dr. Stewart said.
Krishnaiah and Miller Win Excellence in Teaching Awards College of Medicine faculty members Balaji Krishnaiah, MD, (left) assistant professor in the Department of Neurology, and Mark Miller, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry, received Excellence in Teaching Awards from the Student Government Association Executive Council (SGAEC). Two Excellence in Teaching Awards for each college are presented by students annually to faculty members. They are among the highest honors given to faculty on campus.
UTHSC Gold Humanism Honor Society Nets Exemplary Ranking The Arnold P. Gold Foundation has recognized the UTHSC Gold Humanism Honor Society with its “Exemplary” award. The award is the highest given by the Gold Foundation to a chapter that continuously strives to increase engagement and empathy within its community, encourages resilience and team building, teaches advocacy and leadership skills, and highlights compassionate patient care.
Freeman Named Chair of Surgery at UT Graduate School of Medicine Michael Freeman, MD, has been named chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville. Dr. Freeman, who served as interim chair since October 2018, was chosen by Paul Hauptman, MD, after a nationwide search. Dr. Freeman is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia and completed residencies at Barnes Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He has served multiple roles at the University of Tennessee, including program director for the Vascular Surgery Fellowship Program and chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery.
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Fulton Named Interim Assistant Dean for Admissions Dustin Fulton, EdD, has been named interim assistant dean for Admissions in the College of Medicine. Dr. Fulton most recently served as associate director of Student Affairs and student conduct officer for the university. He previously held positions as senior equity assurance administrator and deputy conduct and compliance officer in the Office of Equity and Diversity. He has been with UTHSC since 2014. Dr. Fulton will be responsible for directing and managing the admissions and recruitment efforts of the College of Medicine, including managing the operations of the College of Medicine’s Office of Admissions. He will direct all communications to applicants regarding the admissions process, manage and participate in the selection process for student members of the Committee on Admissions, and direct the recruitment programs for the college.
Le Bonheur Named a Best Children’s Hospital Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital was named a Best Children’s Hospital for 2020-2021 by U.S. News & World Report. This is the 10th consecutive year Le Bonheur has been included in the prestigious list, receiving recognition in eight specialties. Le Bonheur serves as a primary teaching affiliate for UTHSC and trains more than 350 pediatricians and specialists each year. The annual Best Children’s Hospitals ranking recognizes the top 50 pediatric facilities across the country in pediatric specialties. Le Bonheur was recognized in cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology and GI surgery, neonatology, neurology and neurosurgery, nephrology, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology.
Chattanooga’s Burns Honored by American College of Surgeons R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACS, professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at the UT College of Medicine, Chattanooga, was awarded the American College of Surgeons’ highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. The award stated that he is “a role model to surgeons everywhere to always do the right thing for patients.” Dr. Burns is a founding partner of University Surgical Associates in Chattanooga and practices there and at Erlanger Medical Center. He is a member of multiple advisory committees and subcommittees in the UT System and at Erlanger Medical Center.
UTHSC Distributes Hand Sanitizer to Community Partners UTHSC provided hundreds of cases of hand sanitizer manufactured in its Plough Center for Sterile Drug Delivery Solutions to the university’s core teaching hospitals and the Shelby County Health Department. The gift of this highdemand item is an extension of the university’s comprehensive work to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) locally and statewide. “The university, through its many faculty, students, and staff offers our fullest support to Memphis, Shelby County, and the state of Tennessee during the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways,” said Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer for UTHSC. Dr. Brown led the development of the Plough Center and has overall responsibility for its operation. “Through this particular effort, the production of hand sanitizer, it is our hope that this is another small contribution in helping to take care of the front-line caretakers in our overall effort.” Boxes of the UTHSC-manufactured hand sanitizer went to Regional One Health, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, and Methodist University Hospital, as well as to the Shelby County Health Department.
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Students Develop Crisis Management Course
Students Work at COVID-19 Testing Call Center UTHSC medical and nursing students have also worked behind the scenes in the fight against COVID-19. At the COVID-19 Call Center, third-year medical students and nursing students triaged the public for testing at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at the Mid-South Fairgrounds. “This call center has been critical, as it allows us to screen and prioritize our first responders, health care workers, and vulnerable public members for testing,” said medical student Michael Brunner. “Every single individual who is scheduled for testing is spoken to by a member of our team to confirm their eligibility, inform and obtain consent, update demographics, schedule them at the site, instruct them on important information regarding their appointment, take questions, and enter their information and orders into the EHR (electronic health record) for the testing site staff.”
SNMA Mentors Young Students The Student National Medical Association hosted its annual Dream BIG event in February, a free conference for 50 Shelby County middle school and high school students. The conference, held at the Student-Alumni Center, is designed to help participants develop leadership, professionalism, cultural competency, and more through fun workshops and educational activities. The middle school and high school students participated in workshops on cultural competency, obesity and exercise, goals and professionalism, team building, and safe sex and health practices. A clinical workshop allowed them to practice taking blood pressure.
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Social distancing has required students to get creative in how to continue to learn the critical skills they need as physicians navigating a new landscape in patient care. Students and the Clinical Sciences Subcommittee in the College of Medicine created a course to help. Ramie Mansberg, M4, and Unsa Shafi, Class of 2020, collaborated with Amanda Miller, MD, director of the Family Medicine Clerkship, to create and launch Emergency and Crisis Management, a four-week online elective that trains students on the competencies needed to navigate health care during a pandemic. The curriculum covers essential skills, including the different methods of screening, prevention and risk management, epidemiological mapping, the role of telemedicine, as well as where to get resources to maintain wellness.
New Assistant Deans of Student Affairs Named Sara Cross, MD, left, Deirdre James, MD, and Andrew Olinger, MD, have been named assistant deans of Student Affairs in the College of Medicine. They will assist in Medical Student Performance Evaluations and help with recruitment and fundraising. In addition, they will provide guidance at new student orientations and graduations, develop and execute student-focused programs including MPOWER and the Financial Literacy Program, and provide mentorship and career counseling for all students. Dr. Cross, an associate professor of Medicine/Infectious Diseases and Medical Education, teaches infectious disease courses to first- and second-year medical students. Dr. James, an assistant professor of Medicine, specializes in endocrinology. Dr. Olinger, an assistant professor in Internal Medicine, specializes in primary care and medical education.
Culinary Medicine Course Moves Online The pandemic has taken the College of Medicine’s Culinary Medicine course out of the kitchen on campus, where it is traditionally taught, but the cooking and nutrition instruction continues. Susan Warner, MD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Medical Education, is continuing the course remotely with the help of technology. The class traditionally has been offered as an elective to medical students, and recently was expanded to groups of UTHSC faculty and staff. The professional student series is taught to second- and fourth-year medical students and residents. The course for faculty and staff consists of two series of six healthful culinary lessons. As the pandemic swept across the nation, the class, which was held in the kitchen in the Student-Alumni Center, had to adapt to the new social distancing measures on campus.
of the Health meets Food™ course material was already online, she and the other instructors began teaching via Zoom from their home kitchens. Those enrolled in the course joined the Zoom class, preparing the meals at home, having discussions, and enjoying their prepared dishes together remotely, creating a sense of community and togetherness. “The challenge of making Culinary Medicine classes work remotely for the medical students and residents also is an opportunity for the Culinary Medicine classes to be expanded to other UTHSC campuses from our College of Medicine program in Memphis,” she said. The Culinary Medicine course uses the Health meets Food™ curriculum governed by the Culinary Medicine Specialist Board. The program raises awareness of healthy cooking principles and of how food, health, and wellbeing are interconnected.
Dr. Warner said the biggest challenge was how to offer meaningful culinary skills classes virtually. Since most
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College of Medicine Hosts Dialogue on Structural Racism in Health Care System By Jackie Denton “We are all going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” said Altha Stewart, MD, as she moderated a virtual community conversation hosted by the UTHSC College of Medicine titled, “Why Aren’t We All Mad? A Dialogue on Structural Racism in the Health Care System.” More than 400 joined the Zoom dialogue, the first in a series to better understand the role of the college to make necessary changes to improve a system of structural racism that has created inequities in health care. The roundtable discussion was led by community and faith leaders including Scott Strome, MD, executive dean of the College of Medicine; David Schwartz, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and director of the Center for Health Equity in the Department of Radiation Oncology; Claudette Shephard, MD, an associate professor and incoming interim chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Marie Chisholm-Burns, PharmD, MPH, MBA, FCCP, FASHP, FAST, dean of the UTHSC College of Pharmacy; Rev. Charlie Caswell, executive director, Legacy of Legends, CDC; Rabbi Micah Greenstein from Temple Israel; and Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings. Altha Stewart, MD, senior associate dean for Community Health Engagement in the College of Medicine, moderated the discussion. The College of Medicine and the Office of Equity and Diversity supported the discussion. “Anger leads to emotion that moves you to action,” said Rev. Caswell. “We need to begin to address and have these deep conversations as we are doing today, and then move a plan into action so that we aren’t paying for them 20 and 30 years from now.” The discussion addressed the social inequities that affect different races as being a key contributor to the success and outcomes in health care.
“Going into medicine, we want to take care of everybody, but if we start valuing one person over the other, for whatever reason, then we violate the Hippocratic Oath. We violate what we went into medicine for,” Dr. Shephard said.
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Social justice as part of a fundamental component of health care is now seen as the norm and not the exception. Police Director Rallings said local law enforcement is a partner in this work. “Caring needs to be a global responsibility of the entire health care community,” Dean Strome said. “We need all of our colleagues to do their fair share and that this should be a blessing, not a hardship. It’s part of who we are as medical professionals. As a community of physicians, we all have to look in the mirror and say we need to care for every single patient. We have to pledge to do better and have a structural conversation to ensure everyone has access to care. Everyone needs to be welcomed into our systems.” Dr. Schwartz said there are simple things we can do each and every day as we do with life with one another. “Walking down the hallway of a hospital and looking into the eyes of Black faces and saying ‘Hello, How can I help you,’ That is a very big step for a lot of people and it starts to change your perspective and it starts to make you look as a citizen of the world that includes all,” he said. The simple act of listening is an act of attentiveness and the beginning toward healing, according to Rabbi Greenstein. “We need radical empathy,” he said. The college urged the audience to learn about the experiences of others and to meet people where they are, physically and mentally, from every perspective. Dr. Chisholm-Burns encouraged the audience to make their daily decisions through the lens of others, and to use that filter when providing care. “We are more similar than we are different,” she said. “Each of us has privilege that we can use to bring forth liberation.” Dr. Stewart closed the discussion by saying, “We are setting on this journey of looking for ways to improve the care we provide and the relationship we have with our community. I want everybody to commit to staying engaged in the conversation. Don’t let anger, the fear, the frustration, or the worry stop you.” A recording of the discussion, along with a list of valuable resources is available at uthsc.edu/medicine/ roundtables/racism-healthcare.php.
“White Coats for Black Lives” Demonstration of Solidarity Held at UTHSC Several hundred students, physicians, health care and hospital workers, and community supporters gathered at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at noon on June 5 for a display of solidarity themed “White Coats for Black Lives.” The demonstration was organized by UTHSC medical students and residents and the Bluff City Medical Society. It began with the crowd kneeling silently for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to commemorate the time George Floyd was pinned down by police and unable to breathe before he died on Memorial Day in Minneapolis. “That 8 minutes seemed like a long time, but it was a lifetime,” observed Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer for UTHSC. “Today, you have begun the fight toward the biggest health pandemic of our lifetime, which is racism,” said Keith Norman, vice president of Government Affairs for Baptist Memorial Health Care in Memphis. “Racism is a public health crisis. Give yourself a hand for being a part of the solution.” He led the gathering in a prayer. “I pray you will turn to your faith and allow your faith to lead you,” he said. “We may not have the same practice of faith, but we all believe racism is wrong and what we witnessed 11 days ago must be stopped.”
LaTonya Washington, MD, MBA, CPE, FAAP FACP, FHM, president of the Bluff City Medical Society said, she was encouraged to see the diversity of the crowd. “This is the beginning,” she added. “Our work has just begun. So, this is a call to action. If you see injustices, please stand up, say something and call it out. There is no way we can overcome this alone.” Second-year medical student Raven Okechuku-Wachuku said the Black population is facing two deadly pandemics, COVID-19 and police brutality. “As a medical student, I can’t help but feel powerless. As a Black woman, I can’t help but to feel a mixture of fear and despair. But in this gathering in support of White Coats for Black Lives, it is very inspiring. While inspiration is nice, the Black community needs and deserves more.” People are looking for change, said Elizabeth Clayton, also a second-year medical student. “We have to break down institutional racism that exists through prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behaviors in our justice system, health care system, educational system, and all forms of media,” she said. “This does not stop at this protest. We must continue to examine our own hearts and minds. We must continue to hold each other accountable and continue to have uncomfortable conversations, if we’re to create new systems that benefit everyone.”
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NEW FACES Dr. Finkel takes leadership roles at UTHSC, Le Bonheur, St. Jude Terri H. Finkel, MD, PhD, a nationally known pediatric rheumatologist and immunologist, has joined UTHSC, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in several leadership positions. Dr. Finkel was recruited to serve as a professor and associate chair of the UTHSC College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and vice chair of Clinical Affairs at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, with an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatric Medicine at St. Jude. “I am thrilled to be joining Le Bonheur Children’s, UTHSC, and St. Jude to be part of the innovation and collaboration happening across Memphis,” Dr. Finkel said. “These three organizations are leading the way in pediatrics nationally and I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute my experience and expertise to these groundbreaking endeavors.” She will work in conjunction with Jon McCullers, MD senior executive associate dean of Clinical Affairs and chief operating officer for the College of Medicine, and pediatrician-in-chief at Le Bonheur. Dr. Finkel will lead clinical, administrative, research and educational efforts at UTHSC in collaboration with Le Bonheur. She will work at St. Jude to expand and manage partnerships with UTHSC and Le Bonheur, facilitating joint visioning for programmatic growth. She received a medical degree and a PhD in biochemistry/biophysics from Stanford University. She then completed pediatric and pediatric rheumatology training at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “Dr. Finkel’s recruitment is a wonderful addition to our team,” Dr. McCullers said. “She truly is one of the very best in the country and brings with her a wealth and depth of knowledge that will help move us forward quickly and collaboratively.”
Dr. Cowan Returns to UTHSC as Chair of Psychiatry Ronald Cowan, MD, PhD, has been named the Harrison Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Cowan has served as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine for the last six years, along with secondary appointments with the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Department of Psychology at Vanderbilt University. At UTHSC, Dr. Cowan will oversee all activity in the department, including developing the vision for growth for both the clinical and academic aspects of the department. “I am delighted that we have recruited Dr. Cowan as our next chair of the Department of Psychiatry,” Dean Strome said. “Dr. Cowan has the clinical, research, and educational expertise to considerably expand the scope of all three of these missions at UTHSC. It is an exciting time for Psychiatry at UTHSC.”
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Dr. Cowan has nearly 20 years of funded research, primarily focusing on neuroimaging, depression, drug abuse, and pain processing in aging and dementia. He is currently the principal investigator on two National Institute on Aging grants. Dr. Cowan has served as the director of the Residency Training Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences for the past six years, as well as an attending psychiatrist for the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital for the past 18 years.
Dr. Cowan grew up in West Tennessee and obtained his undergraduate degree in biology from Christian Brothers University. He earned a PhD in neuroscience in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at UTHSC in 1990, as well as his medical degree from Weil Cornell University Medical College in New York City in 1994. He completed his internship in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston and his residency in general adult psychiatry at the McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Belmont and Boston.
Dr. Griffith to Direct Research Andrew Griffith, MD, PhD, has been named the senior associate dean of Research for the College of Medicine. Dr. Griffith has served in multiple roles at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the last 14 years, primarily in the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). These include multiple roles at NIDCD’s Division of Intramural Research, including as a senior investigator, the chief of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Section, the chief of the Otolaryngology Branch, and the scientific director. In his role as scientific director, he served as the scientific and administrative leader of the NIDCD Intramural Research Program on the NIH campus. He has also been serving in the NIH Office of the Director as the deputy director for Intramural Clinical Research across the entire NIH Intramural Research Program. Dr. Griffith has been an adjunct professor of neuroscience and cognitive science at the University of Maryland for 11 years and an adjunct professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for the last seven years. “I am thrilled to be joining the College of Medicine at UTHSC,” he said. “It is a perfect fit for my hopes and goals to help build their research enterprise in a way that advances the mission of the college, as well as the health and well-being of the people and communities of Memphis, Tennessee, and surrounding areas.” Dr. Griffith will oversee and coordinate the growth of the college’s research enterprise between departments and across campuses. Dr. Griffith received his medical degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University. He completed his internship in general surgery and his residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.
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First Virtual Match Day Held On March 20, UTHSC medical students and students across the nation participated in the first virtual Match Day due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Members of the College of Medicine administration and assistant deans counted down virtually with the students, before addressing them online to congratulate them on their placements. The fourth-year students were encouraged to share their photos of Match Day parties online. “This Match Day was different from normal years, since we were not able to be with our students,” said Catherine Womack, MD, associate dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. “We loved being able to participate with them virtually, but I am most proud of our students’ work at the COVID-19 testing site during that time and the maturity they showed under these circumstances. I know that they will be great physicians, and they will always be able to look back at how they stepped up and handled this pandemic. They missed their Match Day, but they are still going to fantastic places to train in their chosen fields.”
BY THE NUMBERS • 1 57 matched in PGY1 positions; 3 are doing a prelim year prior to residency; 1 is doing a post-graduation research year •~ 97% Matched in the first round, the rest in the supplemental match • 37% Remaining in Tennessee (86% in UT System) •3 7 of those in Tennessee will be in Memphis, 6 in Chattanooga, 4 in Knoxville, and 4 in Nashville (Saint Thomas Hospital system) • 51% Chose Primary Care specialties
THE RESIDENCIES INCLUDE: • 34% Medicine/Internal Medicine • 26% Peds/Med-Peds •2 1% Surgery (includes Neurosurgery, 3; Plastic Surgery, 2; and Orthopedic Surgery, 9) • 12% Family Medicine • 10% Emergency Medicine • 8% Diagnostic Radiology • 6% Anesthesiology • 6% OB • 5% Psychiatry • 5% Neurology/Child Neurology • 1 % (each) Dermatology, Pathology, Physical Med & Rehab, Radiation Oncology
The Physician Assistant Program was able to hold its White Coat Ceremony in February, before the pandemic prohibited in-person gatherings.
PA Program Holds White Coat Ceremony The Physician Assistant Program in the College of Medicine welcomed 30 students to the Class of 2021 during its White Coat Ceremony in February. Kristopher Maday, MS, PA-C, DFAAPA, associate professor and program director, was the keynote speaker and briefed the students on the history of white coats in medical practice.
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“The practice of medicine is equal parts humanism and professionalism,” Dr. Maday said. “Our students already have an innate humanistic nature by their desire to pursue a lifelong journey to help other human beings. The white coat signifies their inclusion into the profession of medicine and reminds them of their responsibility to their mentors, peers, and patients.”
• 3.57 Average GPA
• Average age of the class is 25; the oldest member is 37 • 77% Of the class is female • 47% From Tennessee (14) • 23% From contiguous states • 305 Average GRE score • 4,283 Average clinical hours
“As in all professions, there is a uniform that signifies members of the team. With putting on the white coat, the PA student is recognized as an important member of the health care team,” said Stephanie Storgion, MD, FAAP, FCCM, chair and professor of the UTHSC Physician Assistant Program. “The feeling of that very first donning of the white coat is never forgotten. It is an awesome feeling of pride and humility, of service and knowledge, and of tremendous responsibility, which continues throughout an entire career in caring for others.” UTHSC COLLEGE OF MEDICINE | SUMMER 2020
Nelson Strother Retires After 35 Years at UTHSC, Scholarship Established in His Name By Alan Burns Each student who has passed through the UTHSC College of Medicine over the last 35 years has had the experience of interacting with Nelson Strother, assistant dean for Admissions and Student Affairs. Strother, who has been with the college since 1985, is well known for his work with aspiring medical students, the Admissions Committee, student orientation, the annual White Coat Ceremony, Parents Appreciation Day, and more. He retired at the end of June. Strother, who began working at UTHSC in the College of Medicine under the direction of Dr. Pat Wall, has served in multiple roles at the college including coordinator for Admissions, director of Admissions, and his most-recent role as assistant dean for 27 years. He also served for five years in the Central Admissions Office. Over his career, Strother has worked with nearly 5,500 medical students in the college and thousands of students seeking admission. “I had the great joy of working with wonderful students throughout the years and helping to create a family atmosphere in our college,” he said. “We had to work hard and be honest with each student to create a real, authentic family in our college and a humane program that fosters great physicians.” Strother said the White Coat and graduation ceremonies were among his favorite experiences each year. “I would get to meet these students when they came to interview with us, understand their strengths and opportunities, and then watch them grow as people over the four years and graduate as physicians dedicated to service,” he said. “Each year, the freshmen would show up at the White Coat Ceremony with their parents and I was there to call them to the stage to receive their coat, symbolizing their commitment to the Hippocratic Oath. Then four years later, I would do the same for that graduating class, it was my great privilege and truly amazing to see their progress.” Even with 2020’s graduation ceremony taking place virtually, Strother had the chance to read each student’s name for the video production of graduation. His career has been full of moments such as these, going the extra mile for the college’s medical students. “Our ceremonies will not be the same without him,” said Catherine Womack, MD, associate dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. “College of Medicine students and graduates who have come through this institution for decades have heard their names called at the start and finish of medical school by Nelson Strother.”
“We cannot say enough about how he has influenced our lives and shaped medical practice in the state of Tennessee and around the country in his role as assistant dean for Admissions,” Dr. Womack continued. “Our students, alumni, state, and the medical community have benefited from his care and leadership over the last 35 years, as he has diligently worked with campus leadership to select the finest applicants for admission to our medical school. I personally am one of those physicians, and I am forever grateful to him and his team. We will miss him, but hope he enjoys his retirement. His impact on our lives could never be forgotten.” “I had the great fortune of doing what I love for 35 years, working with students and watching them grow to become physicians,” Strother said. “You can’t ask for more than that.”
E. Nelson Strother Scholarship Established To celebrate Strother’s career and well-deserved retirement, the College of Medicine has partnered with alumni, colleagues, and friends to establish the E. Nelson Strother Scholarship Endowment to aid UTHSC medical students and serve as a perpetual tribute to his exceptional legacy. Growing the Strother Scholarship will be a focal point for the college in the coming year, both to further recognize his impact and increase funding to offset medical student debt. “This is such a great honor and it is stunning to have this created in my name,” Strother said. “We’d love for people to contribute, as this scholarship will provide help to those exemplary students who need it to become physicians to serve people.”
Congratulations to the Class of 2020! The Class of 2020 experienced a first in UTHSC history, as they graduated with an online commencement ceremony. The ceremony, which was live streamed on YouTube, contained all of the traditional pieces of a formal commencement ceremony, including speeches from the associate dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, the executive dean of the College of Medicine, the chancellor, and the class president. Mark Miller, PhD, associate professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry, served as the keynote speaker for the event. The event stream had over 380 concurrent viewers with 1,500 views since the release.
BY THE NUMBERS • 158 Received MD degrees • 3.58 Average GPA • 14 Achieved a 4.0 GPA • 1 2 Matriculated with an earlier class and took a Scholar’s Year for research or a Master’s in Public Health • 1 Entered the PhD program and earned an MD/PhD • 1 Earned a dual Oral Maxillofacial Surgery/MD degree
If you would like to make a gift or pledge to the Strother Scholarship, you can do so at giving. uthsc.edu/Strother or by contacting Kelly Davis in the College of Medicine Development Office at 901.448.4949 or email@example.com. Additional information about the Strother Scholarship will be shared over the next several months.
BOARD PASS RATES •9 3% USMLE Step 1 first-time pass rate with average score of 228 •9 9% USMLE Step 2 CK first-time pass rate (above national average of 98%) •9 7% USMLE Step 2 CS first-time pass rate (above national average of 95%)
Strother, pictured earlier in his 35-year career at UTHSC.
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Endowment Helps Train Future Rheumatologists By Jackie Denton A newly funded endowment honors two rheumatologists and longtime faculty members of the Division of Connective Tissue Disease (Rheumatology) in the College of Medicine. The Andrew H. Kang/Stanley B. Kaplan Fellowship in Rheumatology Endowment is now fully funded, thanks to generous gifts from Dr. Kang; Sue Kaplan, Dr. Kaplan’s widow; and Dr. Michael Cremer, a colleague of Drs. Kang and Kaplan; as well as support from many other colleagues and friends. The fund will benefit students who are pursuing a subspecialty in rheumatology and who demonstrate success in academic and research performance. Students who hold the Kang/Kaplan Rheumatology Fellowship will have the distinction of being called Kang/Kaplan Fellows and will have preference in receiving funding in subsequent years. “The College of Medicine is grateful for the generosity of the Kang and Kaplan families as well as all those who made the Andrew H. Kang/Stanley B. Kaplan Fellowship in Rheumatology Endowment possible,” said College of Medicine Dean Scott Strome, MD. “I’m excited that this endowment will be used to support the education and training of future rheumatologists and grow the fantastic legacy built by Dr. Kang and Dr. Kaplan.” Both Drs. Kang and Kaplan are recognized as role models for their mentorship of countless trainees in the field of medicine and rheumatology. Andrew Kang, MD, Goodman Professor of Medicine, professor emeritus of MedicineRheumatology, and director of the Research Center of Excellence for Diseases of Connective Tissue, was recruited to UTHSC in 1972 as a professor and chief of Rheumatology for the Memphis VA Medical Center. He is credited with leading a multidisciplinary team of researchers in the discovery of processes of disease 22
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in autoimmune disorders, advancing the knowledge of collagen molecules, most notably types I, II, and III collagens. His work led to the development of several immunotherapies in treating autoimmune arthritis and rheumatic diseases. Dr. Kang is a 1962 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Medical School. His work is cited in more than 24,000 scientific and clinical journals. For recognition of his outstanding contributions to research and education, he received numerous awards and honors including Master by the American College of Rheumatology, the Founders Medal by the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, the William Middleton Award, the highest research award bestowed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Ho Am Award in Medicine, known as the “South Korean Nobel Prize.” Stanley B. Kaplan, MD, joined the faculty at UTHSC in 1961 with continuous service to the university until three weeks before his death in 2008. Patients from across the country traveled to receive treatment for arthritis from Dr. Kaplan. He was honored with numerous awards including the Tennessee Rheumatology Society’s first President’s Award; the Memphis Business Journal Health Care Heroes Award in 2006; the Myron Halle Distinguished Service Award from the Arthritis Foundation, and the Bernard J. Alper, MD, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arthritis Foundation. Dr. Kaplan was highly esteemed and was named by Memphis Magazine in its Top Docs listing, a peer-ranked list, consistently throughout his career. Dr. Kaplan is a 1954 graduate of the UTHSC College of Medicine and served in the United States Army, attaining the rank of captain. To give to the fund visit: giving.uthsc.edu/give
Golden Graduate Homecoming 2019 The 2019 Golden Graduate Homecoming was a great success, with the largest number of attendees to date. Alumni from all six colleges, including 35 from the College of Medicine, attended the three-day event last October to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation from UTHSC. In addition to those graduates of 1969, two graduates from 1955 and 1957 also joined in the celebration! Everyone was greeted on Wednesday at the historic Peabody Hotel with a welcome reception, followed by dinner at the iconic Rendezvous Restaurant. The alumni and their guests enjoyed a breakfast together on Thursday morning, and then headed to the UTHSC campus for individual College Open Houses and a tour of the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS). We continued to celebrate Thursday evening with the Golden Graduate Ceremony and Dinner at the Peabody Hotel, and concluded the homecoming on Friday morning with a farewell breakfast. It was a wonderful reunion for everyone!
Leave Your Legacy Have you thought about the legacy you will leave behind? With a Planned Gift, you can: • Simplify your estate for your family • Reduce the tax burden applied to your assets • Benefit causes you hold dear
Legacy donors become members of the Hershel “Pat” Wall Legacy Society Dr. Wall’s more than 50 years of dedication to UTHSC as a student, faculty member, and administrator are unsurpassed. His legacy will live forever, as will the impact made by our donors. For more information about planned gifts to UTHSC and Legacy Society membership, contact Bethany Goolsby at 901.448.5516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
POINT OF PRIDE!
Everyone who passes the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Dunlap Street can now see UTHSC’s pride in being part of the UT System of academic institutions displayed in 35-foot bright orange and white letters. UTHSC is the site of the third mural in the system’s “Everywhere you Look, UT” awareness campaign. The campaign emphasizes the statewide reach and impact of the UT System’s contributions through a series of murals proclaiming those words and located in prominent spots across Tennessee that have been donated by friends and alumni of UT.
In addition to showcasing the UT System, the Memphis mural calls attention to UTHSC’s status as the state’s public, academic health care institution, responsible for educating and training a majority of Tennessee’s health professionals, dentists, pharmacists, physicians, and doctorally prepared nurses. For more information about the “Everywhere You Look, UT” campaign or to submit recommendations for future sites, please visit everywhere.tennessee.edu/murals.
Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Memphis, TN Permit No. 4026 Office of Development and Alumni Affairs 62 S. Dunlap, Suite 500 Memphis, TN 38163 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
2020 GOLDEN GRADUATE HOMECOMING
UPDATE Due to the uncertainty related to COVID-19, and to ensure the safety and health of all alumni and their families, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Development and Alumni Affairs leadership team has made the decision to postpone the Golden Graduate Homecoming scheduled for October 2020. The Office of Alumni Affairs is in the process of developing a strategic plan for Golden Graduate Homecoming in October 2021. We recognize the importance of celebrating with your classmates, and we will share some new and exciting updates with you in the next few months. For more information, contact Terri Catafygiotu, Assistant Director for Alumni Programs, at email@example.com or 901.448.8580. alumni.uthsc.edu/golden