September 20, 2021

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UMMC executives earn honors, resident cops first RPA award

Children’s, UMMC staff receive executive honors 

Karen Dowling, chief ambulatory operations officer for Children’s of Mississippi, and Daniel Enger, UMMC operational improvement director, have each recently received awards from the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Dowling was the recipient of a Regent’s Award as the college’s Senior Level Healthcare Executive of the Year, while Enger was the recipient of the college’s Early Career Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award.

The ACHE is an international professional society of about 40,000 health care executives who lead hospitals, health care systems and other health care organizations. The ACHE's mission is to advance its members and health care management excellence.

Med student collects RPA's first academic scholarship

Stephen D. Grado, a third-year student in the School of Medicine, is the first recipient of a $10,000 scholarship from the Washington, D.C.-based Rail Passengers Association.

He received a check during a June 4 presentation attended by his family: father, Stephen C. Grado, George L. Switzer Professor of Forestry at Mississippi State University; mother, Renee Grado; and sister, Lily Grado, all of Starkville.

RPA officials Jim Mathews, president and CEO, and Betsy Nelson, southeast field operative, both based in Montgomery, Alabama, presented the award in the medical education building in front of members of the medical school faculty and administration.

In January, the RPA invited students enrolled in U.S.-accredited colleges or graduate programs for the 2018-19 school year to submit entries for a chance to win the scholarship. By entering, the students became members of the RPA.

Grado, who will use the award to help pay for his medical education, said, “This takes a load off my mind.”

During his undergraduate years at the University of Virginia, Grado made several trips to Charlottesville and back to his family in Mississippi. He frequently rode an Amtrak passenger train, which he took either from Meridian or Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for a journey that averaged 19 hours.

Grado said he inherited his love of train travel from his father, a railroad enthusiast and supporter of public transportation.

“He is an ideal use-case for students,” said Mathews, whose organization “acts as a voice for Amtrak, commuter and transit passengers,” as stated on its website.

“We have a lot of students on Amtrak,” Mathews said, adding that many use it when they move into a dorm. “Try carrying 200 pounds of luggage on an airplane.”

As a trained paramedic, Mathews said he feels a connection to Grado in his pursuit of a medical education.

“I’m thrilled to have these two parts of my life come together for this deserving student,” Mathews said. “This is the first of what we hope will be many Rail Passengers Association scholarships.”