Dr. Bettina Beech can't forget being told of a visit by a young girl to a University of Mississippi Medical Center physician.
“They asked her, 'What did you have for dinner last night?' said Beech, professor and dean of the John D. Bower School of Population Health. “She said, 'Last night, it wasn't my turn to have dinner.'"
The child wouldn't pass the “hunger vital signs” screen performed by Dr. Sadhana Dharmapuri, assistant professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine, and the other two physicians at the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Clinic in the Jackson Medical Mall.
Beginning in June, patients seen by adolescent medicine identified as living with food or housing insecurity will be seen also by the nurse practitioner staffing the new EversCare clinic tucked into the Myrlie Evers Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities.
The goal: Identify social, economic and environmental factors that leave children hungry, sick or continuously unwell and give the family resources to address that and the lack of adequate housing.
When Stephanie Sollis leaves for residency after graduation, she will bring with her the leadership skills she honed in the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy as well as the discipline developed by participating in competitive cheerleading.
Sollis, a Corning, Arkansas, native, was voted class secretary/treasurer during her first year of pharmacy school before being elected to a two-year term as Pharmacy student body president.
“My first year was spent in Oxford, and then I moved to Jackson and became School of Pharmacy student body president,” she said. “As student body president for the SOP, I was also one of our ASB representatives. Through this role, I was able to connect our students to happenings on the UMMC campus so that more students became informed and involved. At the same time, I could organize events within our school, so I think I had the best of both worlds. I'm also glad to see that the SOP is becoming more involved on the UMMC campus as more and more students pursue leadership roles!”
Dr. Leigh Ann Ross, associate dean for clinical affairs in the School of Pharmacy, has watched Sollis' leadership abilities grow during her time at UMMC.
Lovel Lockhart has a plethora of reasons why she studied humanities, with specialties in history, religion and ethics, and then became a nurse.
It's partly because the care of nurses has made all the difference in the world for her older sister, who suffered severe injuries in an accident that left her unable to use her left side. It's because another sister is a nurse practitioner.
And it's because she came to this country from the Commonwealth of Dominica intent on getting an excellent education and helping those whose struggle to find access to affordable health care.
“My angle was always to be a nurse,” said Lockhart, 22, a Jackson resident who has just earned her bachelor of science in nursing.
Dominica, she said, is “15 degrees above the equator in between the two French-speaking islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean.” English is the primary language in Dominica; Creole is the secondary language.
University of Mississippi Medical Center faculty and staff garnered 46 new and renewed grants and awards from January to March totaling $4,982,773.
The following individuals obtained the largest new awards during the quarter. (note:award amounts are shown as annual figures):