Rebecca Castro, LCSW,
was named Social Worker of the Year by the Gulf Coast Branch of the Texas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. The annual award honors a member who exemplifies the best of the profession’s values and achievements through specific accomplishments. Castro has been at UTMB for more than 20 years, spending 13 years in the Emergency Department before moving to the Community Health Program. She is currently working to reintegrate the practice of social work at UTMB, bringing together social workers from across the institution to promote and support interdisciplinary, coordinated patient care.
Dr. Selwyn O. Rogers,
vice president and chief medical officer, was recently named by Becker’s Hospital Review to its list of “100 Hospital and Health System CMOs to Know.” The list comprises of physician leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to improving and innovating patient safety and quality endeavors. Since joining UTMB in 2014, Rogers has also served as assistant dean for clinical affairs in the School of Medicine. A surgeon and public health expert, he is a strong collaborator and advocate for patient-centered care and the elimination of health care disparities.
Two UTMB faculty members were honored by the Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine at the group’s annual meeting at Texas A&M University in College Station. Elena Volpi, MD, PhD,
director of the Sealy Center on Aging, was presented with the Honor Award, given for her outstanding contributions to exercise and sports medicine. Elizabeth Protas, PhD,
dean of the School of Health Professions, received the Service Award for her significant service to the Chapter. She has served as the group’s president and executive director.
Alan Barrett, PhD,
professor of Pathology and of Microbiology and Immunology, and director of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, has been elected to the 2016 American Academy of Microbiology Fellowship, a leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology. Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. Barrett will be recognized at the Fellows Reception in Boston this June.
UTMB recently achieved “2016 Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” status from the Human Rights Campaign and will be featured as an Equality Leader in the Healthcare Equality Index 2016 report. The Healthcare Equality Index is the national LGBT benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBT patients, visitors and employees. The 2016 report evaluates more than 1,500 health care facilities nationwide. UTMB’s Diversity Council
provides oversight and implementation accountability for the various aspects of our diversity and inclusion strategic plan.
Abbey Berenson, MD, MMS, PhD,
has been awarded more than $1.4 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute to increase the number of teens and young adults vaccinated against HPV, which is linked with several cancers. The research team will use several strategies to achieve this goal, including counseling patients or their parents, providing vaccinations at no cost to the patient, conducting cervical cancer screening on women 21 years of age and older, educating providers to increase their knowledge and comfort level with recommending the HPV vaccine, and community outreach.
Partha Sarkar, PhD,
has been awarded more than $2.3 million from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to investigate how the genetic mutations responsible for Huntington’s Disease drive the loss of muscle function and neurons characteristic of this degenerative, fatal disease. The mechanistic insights obtained from these studies may identify molecular targets to develop therapeutic strategies for Huntington’s.