UMMC’s culture of caring, commitment clinches Best Place to Work win

UMMC’s culture of caring, commitment clinches Best Place to Work win

It's the thrill of research and teaching the next generation of physicians at the University of Mississippi Medical Center that gets Dr. Thomas Adair up and going each day. 

Keisha Forrest heads to her desk at the adult hospital admissions office focused on helping patients.

For Carla Gill, a nurse manager in the neonatal intensive care unit, it's all about the babies.

There are more than 10,000 reasons why working at UMMC is a dream job, each as unique as every employee, but Jackson Free Press readers made it official. UMMC beat out finalists Mangia Bene, Mississippi Children's Museum, Soulshine Pizza Factory and St. Dominic Hospital to win the title of “Best Place to Work” in Jackson Free Press' annual Best of Jackson survey.

Best of Jackson, the publication's annual reader poll, seeks nominations from Jackson Free Press readers in more than 100 categories, including people, restaurants, retail shops and businesses. Readers then vote on finalists to pick the best.

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Researchers put heads together, study brain changes in depression

Depression is more than just sadness. You may lose interest in favorite activities or lose motivation to complete routine tasks. You may also lose some brain cells, say University of Mississippi Medical Center neuroscientists.

According to a study in the March issue of Neuroscience, people with major depressive disorder (MDD) may have fewer glial cells called astrocytes in some parts of the brain's hippocampus. 

Glia, from the Greek for “glue,” were long thought to be just structural cells keeping everything stuck together. But Dr. Grazyna Rajkowska, professor of psychiatry and human behavior, was one of the first scientists to show the connection between fewer glia and depression.

“People thought depression had to do with neurons. No one thought about glia,” Rajkowska said. “The decrease in glial density is much more dramatic than the changes in neurons.”

“She's the grandmother of glia and depression,” joked Dr. Craig Stockmeier, professor of psychiatry and human behavior.

But Stockmeier is also serious about studying the brain.

“Seeing the struggles and tragedy of mental illness in acquaintances and extended family is a deep personal motivation for my work,” he said.

For more than 15 years, Rajkowska, Stockmeier and Dr. Jose Miguel-Hidalgo, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior, together have studied the brain's cellular and biochemical changes in mental illness, including this recent study.

The team collected brain tissue from 17 recently deceased people with a history of MDD symptoms, then matched each sample with a non-MDD control by age and sex.

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Researchers put heads together, study brain changes in depression

New office to track service learning, community outreach

New office to track service learning, community outreach

UMMC's Office of Community Engagement and Service Learning was born from a conversation between Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, and Dr. Ralph Didlake, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and chief academic officer.

“This was a vision of Dr. Woodward's,” said Didlake. “We were conversing about the fact that all of our schools were either requiring or offering service learning, and the students have embraced and found fulfillment in participating.”

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UMMC welcomes cardiothoracic anesthesiologist, orthopaedist, nursing instructor

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

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UMMC welcomes cardiothoracic anesthesiologist, orthopaedist, nursing instructor
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