Two finalists named for vice chancellor post

Two finalists named for vice chancellor post

It's down to two.  Two final candidates under consideration to become UMMC's next vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

They include an internal candidate, Dr. LouAnn Woodward, who has served as associate vice chancellor for health affairs and medical school vice dean for the last five years, and a candidate from outside the institution, Dr. Stephen J. Spann, a family medicine physician who is chief medical officer for the Johns Hopkins Medicine-affiliated hospital in the United Arab Emirates.  

Their names have been submitted by the search committee for final consideration by University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones.

Both candidates will be at UMMC next week for final meetings and for town-hall style presentations for members of the campus community - Spann on Monday and Woodward on Thursday.  Both town halls will be in the lower amphitheater, R-153, from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., and both will be videoed for posting on the campus Intranet.

Biosketches and curriculum vitae of each candidate can be found here.

Members of the Medical Center community who would like to submit their impressions of the candidates may do so at the following links:

www.umc.edu/vcsearch_woodward

www.umc.edu/vcsearch_spann 

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Tupelo pediatric clinic offers subspecialty care near home

The community collaboration that has made possible a new specialty pediatric clinic in North Mississippi will allow the region’s children to stay close to home for higher levels of care.

The clinic at Tupelo’s Journal Business Park, which formally opens Friday, is staffed by three pediatric specialists through a partnership between the University of Mississippi Medical Center and North Mississippi Medical Center. Children will be able to receive care in subspecialties including cardiology and endocrinology – and even more subspecialty pediatricians are being recruited to practice there.

“It’s so much more than a clinic,” Dr. Rick Barr, the Suzan B. Thames professor and chair of pediatrics, told more than 100 people gathered Wednesday for the clinic’s ribbon-cutting. “Our focus is to touch the lives of every child in Mississippi, and to make sure kids get the best care, at the best time, at the best location. 

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Tupelo pediatric clinic offers subspecialty care near home

Research as a career? Teens try it on for size

Research as a career? Teens try it on for size

Students from Clinton High and Madison Central High are getting to observe biomedical research in a variety of areas including kidney disease, high blood pressure, neuroscience and cell biology as part of the annual Discovery U high school program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

“Students spend a semester on our campus, coming once a week, rotating through different labs to get exposure biomedical research,” said Michael Ryan, associate dean of student affairs in the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences, associate professor of physiology and biophysics, and Discovery U program director.

Discovery U, a Graduate School initiative, encompasses multiple outreach programs that seek to interest K-12 and undergraduate students in biomedical research and health-science careers.

It’s Clinton High’s third year to take part in the Discovery U high school program and the second year for Madison Central teens. Most participants are graduating seniors. 

“We’re hoping to expand it to other schools in the future,” Ryan said.

Before the program begins, students take part in an orientation session led by Graduate School faculty and staff and campus safety experts. Madison Central students going through orientation in January were fingerprinted in the Human Resources Department – standard for UMMC employees and a learning opportunity for the students – and got an overview of the program before taking a campus tour.

Because their time will primarily be spent in laboratories, students got a thorough lesson in the potential hazards involved in research. During their visits, they won’t be allowed to use equipment or take part in actual research, but they’ll learn their way around a lab while observing scientists at work.

“In some of the labs, you’ll have compressed gas cylinders,” Yolanda Griffin, UMMC’s biological safety officer, told the students. “Make sure you don’t turn them over.”

Biohazards they could potentially see include blood and body fluids and certain chemicals used in research, she said. Researchers wear gloves and protective glasses as part of what’s known as personal protective equipment, Griffin said.

“The take-home message from this is don’t go into areas where you are not authorized,” she said.

Paige Hart, 17, said she’s in the program because “it sounded like a really good opportunity.” Most of the eight students from her school are enrolled in a biomedical research class, she said.

The chance to observe researchers also was too good to pass up for 16-year-old Kayla Lovitt.

The junior previously enrolled in her school’s biomedical research course she said she quickly understood it would be beneficial to see how labs actually worked. “I’m looking at going to medical school, but (Discovery U) is a great opportunity for me to check out all my options.

“It’s going to be a struggle to balance this with all my classes, but I’ll be able to balance it all.” 

Said 16-year-old junior Anne Carrie Swoope: “I want to see what they do, and how they do the procedures. Observing is so cool.”

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Pain management specialist, longtime ob-gyn among new faculty

The Medical Center is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff:

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Pain management specialist, longtime ob-gyn among new faculty
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