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Fourth-year medical students were inducted into the Mississippi Chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society in a March 12 ceremony at the Fairview Inn in Jackson.
A professional medical organization, AOA recognizes and advocates for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine. Its values include honesty, honorable conduct, morality, virtue, unselfishness, ethical ideals, dedication to serving others and leadership.
The top 25 percent of a medical school class is eligible for nomination to the society, and up to 16 percent may be elected based on leadership, character, community service and professionalism. Members may also be elected by chapters after demonstrating scholarly achievement and professional contributions and values during their careers in medicine.
Dr. Kristi A. Henderson, director, UMMC Center for Telehealth
UMMC's Center for Telehealth received the American Telemedicine Association's President's Award for Health Delivery, Quality and Transformation in May, during the organization's 20th annual Meeting and Trade Show, "ATA 2015," in Los Angeles.
The award recognizes substantial contributions toward the advancement of telemedicine.
Directed by Dr. Kristi A. Henderson, the Center for Telehealth won the award, sponsored by AMD Global Telemedicine, Inc., for working to improve the availability of medical services in Mississippi.
According to the ATA, since the program began in 2003, "UMMC services have helped more than half-a-million rural Mississippians in need."
Using online video technology, UMMC provides remote medical care, health education and public health services through telehealth. The Center for Telehealth offers telemedicine, wellness care, disaster response, workforce development, business development, research and education to people in all parts of Mississippi.
Dr. Leandro Mena
The Elton John AIDS Foundation announced in January that it would renew its financial support for building access to HIV-health services through a program based out of the Medical Center.
In an award letter to UMMC officials, the foundation stated one of its driving reasons for allocating additional funds to the area was based on the alarmingly high rates of HIV diagnoses in Mississippi and lack of education on the topic.
The foundation informed Dr. Leandro Mena, associate professor of medicine in UMMC's Division of Infectious Diseases, of its decision to fund his work with young African-American males. The grant award marks the second consecutive year Mena has won support for his vision of eliminating HIV in Mississippi.
"Young African-American men who have sex with men are one of the most disproportionate groups impacted by HIV in the United States," said Mena, who also serves as the director of the Center for HIV/AIDS Research Education and Policy at the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities.
The $60,000 in grant funds will go toward improving access to culturally and clinically competent health services across the state, specifically toward HIV-preventive services for Mississippians who are most at risk, said Mena.
Two television episodes of the medical series "Southern Remedy," produced by Mississippi Public Broadcasting with support from the Medical Center, have earned distinctions.
"Southern Remedy: Living with HIV" was accepted into the 2015 Crossroads Film Festival in April.
The TV series also received its first Bronze Telly Award from the Silver Telly Council for its program, "Southern Remedy: Childhood Immunizations." The award recognizes creative achievement in television broadcasting.
"Southern Remedy" is hosted and produced by Dr. Rick deShazo, UMMC distinguished professor of medicine and pediatrics.
Dr. Claude Brunson
UMMC faculty member Dr. Claude Brunson, who also serves as senior advisor to the vice chancellor, received the 2015 Diversity Educator of the Year award in February from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.
Brunson was selected for the honor from among nine other nominees from each of the IHL's campuses, the Medical Center and the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. The annual event coincides with Black History Month.
Brunson is known as the holder of several "firsts" at UMMC - the first African-American department chair and the first minority chief of staff, for example. In the summer of 2014, he became president of the Mississippi State Medical Association, the first African American to do so in its 159-year history.
He has also been instrumental in the success of programs such as Healthy Linkages, a seven-year-old partnership between UMMC, the Mississippi State Department of Health, and Mississippi's network of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) that finds a medical home for patients seeking primary care in the hospital emergency department.
In accepting the award, Brunson told the IHL trustees that their commitment to diversity in the state's public higher education system makes a positive difference.
Evers Awards recipients include, seated from left, Dr. Bela Kanyicska, M1 Professor of the Year; Dr. Davis Manning, representing the M1 Department of the Year: the Department of Physiology; Dr. Stephen Stray, M2 Professor of the Year and representing the M2 Department of the Year: Microbiology; and Dr. Savannah Duckworth, third-year Resident of the Year; and standing from left, Dr. Corey Jackson, M3 Attending of the Year; Jan Simpson, M3 Course Administrator of the Year; Dr. Michelle Horn, representing the M3 and M4 Department of the Year: the Department of Medicine; Dr. Lyssa Weatherly, Fourth-year Resident of the Year; and Dr. Lisa Didion, M4 Attending of the Year.
The Carl G. Evers, M.D. Society recognized the achievements of medical school educators, administrators and departments March 30 with the presentation of its 2015 Evers Awards.
Boshen Liu, a graduate student in the School of Medicine, has received a 2015 Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship worth $5,000 from the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society for the project, "Rapid Bone Density Screening of CT Images Using Color Enhanced Detection."
The competitive national award is presented for clinical investigation, basic laboratory research, epidemiology, social science/health services research, leadership or professionalism. The fellowship is named for a longtime administrator of Alpha Omega Alpha and an honorary member of the society who died in 2004.
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