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Working Wonders

May 22, 2017, 07:56 AM by KirstiAnn Clifford
Nurses, surgical technologists
and physicians from the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery represented UTMB at the Marfan Foundation’s Walk for Victory in Houston on March 25. Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. Connective tissue holds all the body’s cells, organs and tissues together and also plays an important role in helping the body grow and develop properly. Marfan syndrome affects 1 in 5,000 people. UTMB is one of two designated Marfan Centers of Excellence in Texas. The UTMB group raised about $4,500 for the Marfan Foundation, which works to advance research, serves as a resource for families and health care providers, and raises public awareness.
Joan Nichols, PhD, professor in Internal Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology, was named a 2017 Outstanding Woman of Texas by the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce. Nichols also is associate director of research and operations at the Galveston National Laboratory. The award was presented April 6 at the chamber’s 10th annual Celebrating Women: Mind, Body, Spirit conference. In 2016, Nichols, an expert in infectious diseases, was one of 10 professors in Texas to be selected by the Minnie Piper Foundation as a Piper Professor. Nichols and Dr. Joaquin Cortiella have successfully grown lungs in a laboratory in a project aimed at helping transplant patients and people with respiratory problems.
Bonnie Webster, RN, assistant professor in UTMB’s School of Nursing, received this year’s SON DAISY Faculty Award. The award recognizes Webster for her integrity, compassion and commitment to nursing education. The DAISY Foundation, an organization that gives grants and awards to outstanding nurses, established the DAISY Faculty Award to provide colleges/schools of nursing a national recognition program that they may use to demonstrate appreciation to their nursing faculty for their commitment and inspirational influence on their students.

UTMB’s Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Maternal Fetal Medicine joined forces to train midwives and physicians working in remote areas of the Cusco region in Peru. Drs. Miguel Cabada, Gayle Olson Koutrouvelis, Mauricio La Rosa and Camille Webb presented a two-day workshop titled “Obstetric Emergencies in Global Health.” The workshop was sponsored by the UTMB Collaborative Research Center in Cusco and was directed to midwives and general physicians working in health centers around the region. A total of 33 attendees from health centers as far as 20 hours away participated in training on pre-term labor prevention, pre-eclampsia and post-partum hemorrhage management, and bacterial and parasitic infections during pregnancy. Practical demonstrations followed the lectures including techniques to stop post-partum hemorrhage in the field using readily available materials like condoms and intravenous lines. These activities were part of ongoing efforts to establish a research collaboration between UTMB faculty, the Collaborative Research Center and the Ministry of Health to improve maternal fetal outcomes in the region.
Dennis Bente, DVM, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, received an Innovations in Health Science Education Award from the University of Texas System’s Kenneth Shine, MD, Academy of Health Science Education. Bente was honored for his development of the scenario-based Infectious Disease Outbreak Response course, an intensive three-day, one-hour elective course for students focused on applying theoretical knowledge of infectious diseases to real-life situations. The course addressed where the biomedical scientist “fits” in the public health issues and crisis situations that arise when there is an emerging virus or infectious disease epidemic. Bente developed the course after being inspired by the Scholars in Education program of the Academy of Master Teachers at UTMB.
Jill Bryant-Bova, RN, senior quality management specialist, and David Marshall, JD, DNP, RN, chief nursing and patient care services officer, recently took part in emergency response training in Texas City as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System, or NDMS. There are more than 5,000 NDMS personnel nationwide who respond to large-scale natural and man-made disasters. Bryant-Bova and Marshall joined other local medical professionals for the March 11 training including physicians, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, firefighters and veterinarians. Team members set up a base of operations similar to a MASH unit and became more familiar with specific emergency medical equipment they would be provided during a response. NDMS members have been deployed to assist with emergency responses including Hurricanes Matthew and Sandy, and the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.
Dr. Courtney Townsend, professor and Robertson-Poth Distinguished Chair in General Surgery in the Department of Surgery, received the Academy of Master Clinicians’ inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes a clinician who has 20 or more years of contribution with most of that time at UTMB, and has provided outstanding clinical care over the years of their career. He was honored during the Academy of Master Clinicians guest lecture and new member induction ceremony on April 12

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  • Day in the Life

  • Leader Spotlight

  • Working Wonders