The Magnificent Nine
The consumer guide America's Top Doctors named nine UTMB faculty members among the country's top specialists in their respective fields. The doctors listed are Karl Anderson and Pankaj Pasricha in gastroenterology; Gary Hankins in maternal and fetal medicine; Michael Malloy in neonatal and perinatal medicine; William Mitch in nephrology; Byron Bailey in otolaryngology; David Walker and Roberto Logrono in pathology; and Robert Hirschfeld in psychiatry.
Among the Talented Ten
Debra Pence, a nurse clinician in Labor and Delivery, was recognized by the Houston Chronicle in May 2003 as one of the top ten nurses in the Houston area. Pence has been employed at UTMB for twenty-two years and is described by co-workers as a person who ?gets it done, and gets it done right.?
High Five Nurses
Five nurses or nurse educators at UTMB have been ranked among the best in the nation by two separate entities. A critical care nurse, Scott Woodby, was named a 2003 Circle of Excellence Award winner by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. He received a 3M Healthcare Excellence in Clinical Practice Award, which is given to critical care nurses who are able to integrate into their practice high standards of care, patient advocacy, holistic care, collaboration and coordination of care, leadership, inquiry and critical thinking, values, and ethics. Earlier, Ron Griffin, a nurse clinician in General Medicine/Surgery; Edita Dabao, a nurse clinician in Family Medicine and Renal Medicine; Margaret ?Pegi? Pung, director of psychiatric nursing; and Ruth Marcott, School of Nursing associate dean for student affairs and admissions, were honored with Nursing Excellence Awards, sponsored by NurseWeek magazine. NurseWeek 's annual Nursing Excellence Awards for the South Central Region recognize outstanding nurses for their excellence in nursing care, professional achievements, teaching and patient advocacy.
Dollars for Diversity
Building on its leadership in recruiting and retaining minority students, UTMB received two grants totaling $4.5 million that continue to support academic, clinical, and mentoring programs for disadvantaged and underrepresented high school, college, and medical school students. The grants, from the federally funded Hispanic Center of Excellence and the Health Careers Opportunity Program, will benefit approximately 400 students annually for the next three years. Of the state's medical schools, UTMB ranks first in overall minority enrollment, with 24 percent of its 826 medical students coming from under-represented groups. UTMB also ranks first nationally in the numbers of Hispanic physicians graduated and seventh in African American physician graduates, according to the July 3, 2003, Black Issues in Higher Education.
The Suzuki Method
Japan's Zeria Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. contributed $325,000 to UTMB to support research on methods of controlling infections that thrive in patients with compromised immune systems. The grant will help Dr. Fujio Suzuki examine how to regulate infections that wear down the already weakened immune systems of patients, such as those with AIDS, cancer, or severe burns.
The Moody Medical Library recently dedicated the Charles A. Berry, M.D., Space Medicine Library as part of its special collections. The library will serve as a resource for the UTMB/NASA Johnson Space Center Aerospace Medicine Residency Program and for physicians, investigators, and historians involved with the space program. Berry was appointed UTMB's first chair of aerospace medicine in 1967. He also served as the director of medical operations and research at the Manned Spacecraft Center during the Gemini and Apollo programs.
Honored Graduate Programs
Two UTMB graduate degree programs were ranked among ?America's Best Graduate Schools? by U.S. News & World Report magazine. The national rankings appeared online and in a book that hit news stands in April 2003. Compared to similar graduate programs in health sciences nationwide, UTMB's Physician Assistant Studies program placed seventh, and the Master of Science in Nursing program ranked 58th.
As part of a groundbreaking telemedicine contract with the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, UTMB specialists have begun caring for prisoners in the Federal Bureau of Prisons system. Consultations between Galveston and Lexington occur regularly each month. Urology and orthopaedics sessions are ongoing, and cardiology and rheumatology visits are scheduled next. Digital Medical Services (DMS) in UTMB's Correctional Managed Care program uses the most advanced technology available in the field of telemedicine. DMS also is developing strategies to expand by offering this service to other federal and state correctional systems.
For the second year in a row, a medical resident team from UTMB won the national Medical Jeopardy contest at the annual meeting of the American College of Physicians/American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP/ASIM). The winners were Drs. Prashnat Kaushik, Hadi Mansoury, Anjali Ramaswami, and Helbert Rondon. The Medical Jeopardy competition is based on the television program ?Jeopardy,? and requires that the residents know all branches of medicine, from allergy to urology. In 2003, as in 2002, UTMB's team captured first place at the regional Southern Texas ACP/ ASIM conference and went on to win the national championship.
Led by Dr. William O'Brien, UTMB researchers Jana von Lindern, Daniel Rojo, Cheng Deng, Georges Herbein, Monique Ferguson, and Todd Pappas have identified a crucial link in the process that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, uses to get inside one kind of human white blood cell. The team's discovery, reported in the March 16, 2003, issue of the Journal of Virology, ultimately could lead to new therapies that researchers hope might block the entry of HIV into some white blood cells, thus slowing the reproduction of the virus.