Published on Thursday, January 15, 2015
Media Contact: Gary Pettus at 601-815-9266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. James E. Keeton, vice chancellor for health affairs and
dean of the School of Medicine, has announced he will step down from his role
at the end of current academic year, June 30, 2015.
Keeton has served in the position since July 2009, the first
six months on an interim basis.
“This is a bittersweet decision for me,” Keeton said. “Every
day I’ve worked at the Medical Center since 2002 has been a privilege.
“To be able to serve my alma mater in this way has been
pretty special. I’ve had opportunities to work with people – inside and outside
UMMC – that would never have come my way but for this job.”
The vice chancellor, who has a dual role as dean of UMMC’s
medical school, effectively acts as the chief executive of a $1.6 billion
enterprise engaged in health professions education, research and patient care.
The Medical Center encompasses six (including pharmacy)health sciences schools
with more than 2,900 students and employs more than 9,600 people.
Keeton, a Columbus native who turns 75 in 2015, graduated
from the University of Mississippi and earned his medical degree at UMMC. He
trained in surgery and pediatric urology at UMMC and in London, England. In
private practice as a pediatric urologist for 27 years, he also served two
years in the Medical Corps of the United States Navy at the rank of lieutenant
Keeton has led the Medical Center through some challenging
times, including the recession of 2008 and the rollout of the national
During his tenure, the Medical Center has seen the planning,
funding and groundbreaking for a new School of Medicine building, the
installation of a $90 million electronic health record system, and a
recruitment effort to fill more than 30 senior leadership positions.
A national search is underway
to determine Keeton’s successor. The process will yield two to three candidates
for final selection by Dr. Dan Jones, chancellor for the University of
Mississippi, with the approval of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher
Dr. William H. Cleland, who became UMMC’s first chief
medical officer in 2009, retired from the Medical Center on Aug. 31.
A professor of obstetrics and gynecology, he was honored for
his years of service during an Aug. 14 reception, where he was presented with a
wristwatch by Dr. James Keeton, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of
the School of Medicine.
Cleland, who earned his M.D. and did his residency at the
Medical Center, had returned to work at UMMC in 2003.
His plans during retirement include visiting his new
grandchild and spending time with his family at his second residence on the
Mississippi Gulf Coast.
“It’s been a pleasure. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” he
said of his time at UMMC. “And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Dr. Keeton
for his guidance and support in my work.”
Dr. Douglas Richard Bacon, professor and chair of
anesthesiology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, has joined the
Medical Center faculty as professor and chair of anesthesiology.
After receiving his B.A. in history cum laude and his B.S.
in medicinal chemistry cum laude from the State University of New York at
Buffalo (SUNY AB) in 1981, Bacon earned his M.D. in 1985 at the State
University of New York at Stony Brook. He had residency training in internal
medicine from 1985-86 at Millard Fillmore Hospital and in anesthesiology from
1986-88 at SUNY AB before serving a cardiothoracic anesthesia specialty year
from 1988-89 at SUNY AB. He earned his M.A. in history at SUNY AB in 1994.
Chief resident in anesthesiology at its affiliated hospitals
from 1988-89, Bacon joined the SUNY AB faculty in 1989 as a clinical instructor
in anesthesiology. He was promoted to assistant professor of anesthesiology in
1990 and associate professor of anesthesiology in 1996 before joining the staff
of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., in 2000. He served as an associate
professor of anesthesiology from 2000-03 and professor of anesthesiology and
history of medicine from 2003-12, and vice chair for faculty development at the
Mayo Clinic Department of Anesthesiology before joining the Wayne State
An active member of several professional organizations,
including the Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi honor societies, American Medical
Association, American Association for the History of Medicine and the American
Society of Anesthesiologists, Bacon has served on numerous editorial boards, is
a reviewer for 10 different anesthesiology or historical publications, and is
an associate editor for the journal “Bulletin of the History of
Anesthesiology.” He was named editor-in-chief of the “Journal of Clinical
Anesthesiology” on Oct. 1.
A highly sought speaker for national and international
symposiums and meetings, Bacon has given more than 170 invited presentations,
including 29 visiting professorships. He has authored or coauthored more than
70 articles in peer-reviewed professional publications, five books and 30 book
chapters, and more than 50 abstracts.
Dr. Charles S. O’Mara was appointed associate vice
chancellor for clinical affairs, effective May 1.
Since August 2013, O’Mara
has served as a special advisor to Dr. James Keeton, vice chancellor for
health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. This followed O’Mara’s long
and distinguished career as a vascular surgeon and leader in the private
medical community in Jackson.
In his new role, O’Mara reports to Keeton and will work
with UMMC’s clinical leaders in mapping the direction of the clinical
enterprise. He will continue efforts that focus on patient safety and
Dr. Kimberly Simpson, associate professor of medicine in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences, was selected to serve as the Medical Center’s director of assessment effective June 2, 2014.
The director of assessment monitors, measures and communicates UMMC’s effectiveness in meeting academic and administrative goals. Simpson will play a leading role in working with UMMC faculty and staff to coordinate and gauge the effectiveness of institutional efforts. This information will be used to guide opportunities for instructional enhancement and interprofessional education.
She will consult with Medical Center leaders and designated committees and groups that put in place the institution’s strategic planning initiative and objectives to comply with the accreditation requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC), Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and other school- and program-specific accreditation bodies.
Simpson will be responsible for the timely collection, analysis and editing of various data and other tasks.
University Physicians (UP): Dr. Scott Stringer, professor and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, examines Allison Pitts, a physician’s assistant who is one of his patients.
The management structure of UMMC’s University Physicians is
being updated to ensure delivery of the best patient-centered, physician-led
“What we hope this will do is reorganize the clinical
enterprise in a way that there is truly a physician voice and leadership in all
of the areas that touch our patients when they walk into any clinical area –
and everywhere that our patients are cared for, and where our providers
practice,” said Dr. Diane Beebe, professor and chair of the Department of
The changes include formation of a new Council of
Clinical Chairs composed of the 17 clinical department chairs in the School of
Medicine. Representing the chairs as chief physician executive and serving as
their “managing partner” is Dr. Scott Stringer, professor and chair of the
Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences.
“Health care is changing so fast, and we have to adapt,”
Stringer said. “At this point, a new structure is the best way to have the best
patient-centered, physician-led, and professionally managed care.”
Stringer is a former associate vice chancellor for clinical
affairs and president of University Physicians when it was orgainzed as a
separate entity from UMMC. It was integrated into the Medical Center in 2013.
April Mann, who has spent much of her career working with
students and their families, became the new director of alumni affairs on Oct.
1, replacing Geoffrey Mitchell, who retired in May.
A Birmingham native who earned her undergraduate degree at
Mississippi State University, Mann arrived in Jackson from the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, moving here with Lily, her 9-year-old Yorkshire
“This is the closest I have lived to family and friends
since college,” said Mann, former director of UNC’s Office of New Student and
Carolina Parent Programs.
“It’s a great professional and personal move for me.”
She leads a six-member office, including Ginger Daniels,
long-time associate director. The staff’s goal is to keep former Medical Center
students connected and deeply engaged with their alma mater.
“For some folks, that may be speaking at an alumni luncheon,
or volunteering for alumni board, or serving as a student mentor or giving back
financially,” said Mann, who received her Master of Education degree at the
University of South Carolina and is pursuing her Doctor of Education degree.
Dr. Kim R. Geisinger, professor of pathology and laboratory
medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has joined the
Medical Center faculty as a professor of pathology.
After receiving his B.S. from Drexel University in 1972,
Geisinger earned his M.D. at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1976. He
was a house officer in the Department of Pathology at the University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor, from 1977-81, and was a cytology service fellow in the
Department of Pathology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York,
He joined the Wake Forest University-Bowman Gray School of
Medicine faculty, Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1982 as an assistant professor of
pathology and became an associate professor of pathology there in 1986. In
1991, he became professor of pathology and director of surgical pathology and
served in those positions for 21 years. He also served as professor of internal
medicine (gastroenterology) there from 2009-12. He served as director of
cytology at North Carolina Baptist Hospital from 1986-2012 before entering
private practice in North Carolina and becoming an adjunct professor at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012.
Senior associate editor of the journal Diagnostic
Cytopathology since 2008, Geisinger is the author or coauthor of 257 articles
and 11 invited review articles in peer-reviewed professional publications, 163
abstracts, four books and 41 book chapters, and is the book series editor of
five different volumes. An accomplished speaker, Geisinger is a highly sought
lecturer internationally who has given 246 invited presentations
internationally. He is an active member of several professional organizations,
including the American Medical Association, the American Society of Clinical Pathologists
and the College of American Pathologists.
His professional interests include diagnostic cytology,
gynecologic, gastrointestinal and orthopedic pathology, thoracic tumors,
general surgical pathology and tele-pathology, rapid on-site evaluation of
cytologic and histologic specimens and patient safety.
Dr. Uwe Blecker, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Centre
Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch in Luxembourg, joined the Medical Center faculty in
July as a professor of pediatrics.
After receiving the B.S. in medical sciences in 1986,
Blecker earned the M.D. magna cum laude at the Free University of Brussels,
Belgium, in 1990. He completed a pediatric residency from 1990-93 at Academic
Children’s Hospital in Brussels. From 1993-94, he was a fellow in pediatric
gastroenterology and nutrition at Hahnemann University Hospital in
Philadelphia, Pa. In 1994, he continued his fellowship in pediatric
gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Wyler Children’s Hospital at the
University of Chicago. In 1994, he returned to Academic Children’s Hospital to
complete his fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.
Blecker served as director of the Sleep Lab and Pediatric
Gastroenterology Admission Unit at the Free University of Brussels from 1995-96
before joining the Louisiana State University School of Medicine as associate
professor of pediatrics and medical director of the LSU Medical Center
Pediatric Weight Management Program. In 1998, he joined the faculty at Thomas
Jefferson University as associate professor of pediatrics and director of
nutrition support services at the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in
In 2000, he became professor of pediatrics and chief of the
Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the University of
Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson. In 2001, he joined the staff of the
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Drexel University in Philadelphia
as professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology,
Hepatology and Nutrition. He returned to Tucson in 2002 as director of the
Pediatrics and Gastroenterology Program at Tucson Medical Center and director
of Pediatric Gastroenterology, P.C. He became professor of pediatrics and chief
of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the West
Virginia University Health Sciences Center in 2008.
He is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric
gastroenterology and nutrition.
Blecker has served as co-principal investigator or principal
investigator for numerous studies, most recently “A Multi-Center, Randomized,
Double-Blind Study of the Safety, Tolerability and Clinical Outcomes of Two
Doses of Oral Pantoprazole in Children with Symptomatic GERD.”
Dr. James Q. Sones has joined the Medical Center faculty as
a professor of medicine and has been appointed chief of the Division of
Digestive Diseases. He was formerly in private practice in Jackson.
In 1972, Sones earned his M.D. at UMMC, where he also did
his internship and residency in internal medicine. His gastroenterology
fellowship was at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, where he was
also an Upjohn Fellow in clinical pharmacology.
Board-certified in internal medicine, he has served on the
staff of several Jackson-area hospitals, where he was also a consulting,
courtesy or attending physician.
Sones is a member of several professional organizations,
including the American Gastroenterological Association, the American College of
Gastroenterology and the American College of Physicians.
His research projects date back to 1977 and embrace the
treatment of such ailments as Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C virus infection,
diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis and many more.
Sones has authored or co-authored several articles published
in the New England Journal of Medicine and Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
Dr. James Wynn, vice-chair of the Department of Surgery and
Mason Distinguished Chair in Transplant Surgery and Immunology at the Medical
College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, has joined the Medical Center
faculty as a professor of surgery in the Division of Transplant and
A Davidson College undergraduate, he earned his M.D. at the
Medical College of Georgia in Augusta in 1980, where he also did his internship
and residency in general surgery.
Wynn completed his fellowship in transplantation surgery at
the University of Florida School of Medicine in 1987.
A diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, he also has
served at the Medical College of Georgia as chief of the section of general
surgery, chief of the section of transplant surgery and program director of the
General Surgery Residency Program.
In 2013, he was honored with the Medical College of Georgia
Exemplary Teaching Award.
Wynn was a visiting assistant professor of surgery at the
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine for six months in 1992.
He is the former president of the United Network for Organ
Sharing and is former chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the
Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
Wynn has served in leadership positions for a multitude of
other professional organizations and committees and is ad hoc reviewer for a
variety of publications, including the American Surgeon, the American Journal
of Transplantation, Surgical Endoscopy and the New England Journal of Medicine.
He has been published by Vox Sanguinis, Transplantation, the
International Journal of Artificial Organs, the American Journal of Surgery,
Critical Care Medicine, the New England Journal of Medicine and many more
publications as lead author or co-author.
Wynn has been principal investigator, primary investigator
or co-investigator for an array of research projects.
He is a member or fellow of multiple scientific and professional
societies, such as the American College of Surgeons, the Southern Surgical
Association, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the American Society
of Transplantation, the American Society of Nephrology and the National Kidney
His primary clinical interests include kidney and pancreas
transplantation and hemo- and peritoneal dialysis access.
Dr. Daniel Castillo, an anesthesiologist at the University
of Florida at Jacksonville, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an
associate professor of anesthesiology. He will serve as director of
cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia.
Castillo is an intensivist and a cardiac anesthesiologist,
and his clinical interests are echocardiography, ultrasonography and the
perioperative management of patients with cardiovascular diseases.
After receiving the M.D. from the Colombian School of
Medicine, Bogota, in 1995, Castillo had postdoctoral training at Harvard
Medical School (excitation – contraction coupling) from 1995-98, an internship
in general surgery from 1998-99 at Boston University, an anesthesia residency
from 1999-2002, including service as chief resident from 2001-02, and a
critical care medicine fellowship from 2002-03 at Harvard Medical School’s
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. He also was an anesthesia fellow from
2003-04 at the University of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital.
He joined the University of Miami faculty in 2004 as an
assistant professor of anesthesiology and served as staff anesthesiologist at
the VA Medical Center, Miami, where he directed the Anesthesiology Simulation
Center at the Center for Patient Safety. In 2009, he joined the University of
Florida at Jacksonville faculty as an assistant professor of anesthesiology and
residency program director.
Recipient of the 2013 University of Florida College of
Medicine Exemplary Teacher of the Year Award, Castillo has authored or
coauthored 15 articles in peer-reviewed scientific publications and is an
active member of several professional organizations, including the American
Society of Anesthesiology, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the Society
of Education in Anesthesia and the Society of Cardiac Anesthesiologists.
Castillo has been invited to speak at grand rounds and as a
visiting professor at numerous institutions in Florida, Arizona, Mississippi,
Colombia and Jamaica. His research interests include improving patient safety
through simulation research.
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