New chief builds framework for diversity, inclusion

New chief builds framework for diversity, inclusion

Throughout her career, Dr. Juanyce Taylor has answered the call of improving diversity and inclusion in the education and health care landscapes of Mississippi. Now she wears the title. Taylor was appointed as the University of Mississippi Medical Center's chief diversity and inclusion officer effective May 2.

Since that day, she has been on a listening tour, meeting people and taking in information from every aspect of the Medical Center's operations, at the Jackson campus and community locations.

“The energy has been very positive since I've been in the role,” Taylor said. “I have been talking to the leaders who will be instrumental in seeing our diversity goals come to light, meeting with them to hear about their ideas and plans.”

Taylor joined the Graduate School at the University of Mississippi in 2000 as statewide project coordinator for the Alliance for Graduate Education in Mississippi, leading a consortium of Ph.D.-granting institutions in the state in an effort to increase the number of underrepresented Ph.D.s in STEM fields to enter the professoriate.

That program, under Taylor's leadership, saw graduation rates for minority Ph.D.s grow from a baseline of 13 in five years to 39 in three and one-half years once the program started. She attributes that improvement to implementing evidence-based strategies designed to prepare graduates for careers in academia and the biomedical workforce, and programming that involved faculty mentors and students learning about each other through engagement, communication and “cross-cultural exchanges.”

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Unique surgery gives Mississippi man second chance

Pain led John and Linda Cook on a fearful, frustrating journey that started in a hospital emergency room and ended in a 12-hour surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Cook said he gave in to abdominal pain the third time it struck, seeking help in his Columbus hometown.

What doctors found confounded them. Multiple tumors and mucous filled his belly, obviously the cause of the pain.

“They told me 'We don't know what that is and don't know how to deal with it,'” Cook recalled.

His medical condition is rare, said Dr. Shannon Orr, assistant professor of surgical oncology in the UMMC Division of Transplant Surgery, who saw similar cases during his fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The weight gain and pain came from tumors growing in his abdomen, attached to the peritoneum, a membrane that lines the abdominal cavity.  Over months those tumors grew, secreting a thick mucous and filling his belly.

When he arrived at UMMC, Dr. Kirsten Gambrell, then chief resident for surgery and now a fellow in surgical critical care, realized he might be a candidate for a unique surgery.

On May 12, Cook became the first patient at UMMC to undergo cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy or HIPEC, a fancy name for a process in which Orr, Gambrell and a team of others remove the tumors and mucous, any other malignant tissue they find, then flood his abdominal cavity with a heated saline and chemotherapy solution to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

“We take out everything, give him the chemo, then put him back together again,” Orr said. “That way, there's no closings or sutures for tumor cells to hide behind.”

It probably started with appendix cancer, said Orr, who led the surgical team. “About nine months before he presented, he remembered having a lower right quadrant pain and fever. His appendix most likely ruptured because of the cancer.”

But Cook didn't go to the hospital then. When the pain subsided, he figured he'd had a virus or food poisoning.  A few months later after eating out with his brother in law, he again experienced abdominal pain. Again, he blamed it on food poisoning.

Tumor cells spread, grew and secreted mucous.

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Unique surgery gives Mississippi man second chance

In memoriam: Sigurds Krolls, D.D.S.

In memoriam: Sigurds Krolls, D.D.S.

UMMC leadership extends its sympathy to the families of former members of the Medical Center family in appreciation for their loved ones' contributions to the academic health sciences center.

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Anesthesiologist, residents among new UMMC faculty

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

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Anesthesiologist, residents among new UMMC faculty

UMMC July-Sept. grants exceed $26.3 million

UMMC July-Sept. grants exceed $26.3 million

Medical Center faculty and students garnered $26,277,907 from 23 grants and awards from July through September 2016.

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