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UMMC programs, Medical Center faculty members shine

Published on Monday, December 19, 2022

Medical Center faculty and staff often are recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for their academic or medical achievements. These accolades place UMMC among health science centers worldwide.

Bariatric Surgery program gains re-accreditation

The Medical Center's bariatric surgery program has received re-accredited by the American College of Surgeons as a Comprehensive Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Center.

American College Surgeons Logo

The national accolade comes from the college's Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. The honor signifies that a program meets essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity.

Centers receiving accreditation must ensure that their bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. Accredited centers offer preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for their severely obese patients.

The accreditation “formally acknowledges your commitment to providing and supporting quality improvement and patient safety efforts for metabolic and bariatric surgery patients,” the college said in a letter to Dr. Kenneth Vick, professor of general surgery and leader of UMMC’s adult bariatric surgery program.

“As an accredited program you have demonstrated that your center meets the needs of your patients by providing multidisciplinary, high-quality, patient-centered care,” the letter said.

'We are very proud of this accomplishment because it not only signifies a commitment to excellence, but our consistency in maintaining that standard,” Vick said. “Our goal is to offer high quality, outcomes-driven care to all Mississippians with a team that is passionate about education and true lifestyle change.

“This has been transformative for many people and can really be a second chance at living a healthier life for those who have struggled with obesity.”

Bariatric surgery offers the morbidly obese the option of weight loss that's more rapid than with conventional diets, and it can save the lives of patients who suffer from obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Life expectancy and the quality of life are dramatically improved, and other related conditions such as acid reflux and sleep apnea can disappear totally.

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SHRP Health Informatics master’s program gets national kudos

The Master of Health Informatics and Information Management degree at the University of Mississippi Medical Center is listed among the top 42 in the nation by, a research organization that helps students make decisions about pursuing higher education.


UMMC School of Health Related Professions

UMMC’s program in the School of Health Related Professions was ranked 27th. The top three are Boston University, Drexel University and George Mason University, respectively. identified top schools based on tuition costs, the number of credits required to graduate and the online coursework delivery format. Schools represented are either public or private accredited institutions, and for-profit schools are not included. used a methodology that ranks each institution on a scale from 0 to 100 across six categories, with SHRP’s program scoring 85.89. The scoring system compares each school to tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, reputation and the student resources provided The list also was compared to aggregated college rankings from publications such as U.S. News & World Report, among others.

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ACS recognizes four Medical Center faculty as ‘Champions’

The American Cancer Society honored four University of Mississippi Medical Center faculty at its annual awards luncheon, which celebrates the year’s mission, advocacy and fundraising successes.

Jennifer Myrick, senior manager of strategic partnerships, and Amy Ellis, strategic partnerships manager, presented the awards before an audience of volunteers during a Dec. 9 ceremony.  The winners:

Lung Cancer Champions

Portrait of Dr. Pierre DeDelva
de Delva

Dr. Pierre de Delva, director of thoracic oncology and program director of thoracic surgery residency, is also chair of the 206-member Mississippi Lung Cancer Roundtable formed in February. She thanked de Delva for his dedication to reducing the burden of lung cancer.

“Thank you, too, for representing us on the national stage and highlighting the magnificent work happening here,” Ellis said.

Portrait of Jonathan Hontzas

Jonathan Hontzas, a nurse practitioner, clinical programs director of the ACT Center for Tobacco Treatment, Education, and Research, and co-director of the Lung Cancer Early Detection Program, is also vice-chair of the MSLCRT Lung Cancer Screening Workgroup and a member of the tobacco cessation workgroup.

Said Ellis: “He has been instrumental in helping educate numerous clinicians across Mississippi on the importance of screening and cessation.”

HPV Vaccination Champion

Portrait of Sarah Jones

Dr. Sarah Jones, associate professor of pediatrics, joined the Mississippi HPV Vaccination Roundtable when it formed in 2019 and is chair of the provider education workgroup. Myrick applauded Jones for recommending the vaccine at age 9 and ordering that both doses be administered at the same time to ensure completion.

“She conducted a series of provider education and parent education activities (at UMMC) and has started to see an increase in the initiation of the vaccine,” Myrick said.

Breast Cancer Champion

Portrait of Barbara Craft

Dr. Barbara Craft, professor of medicine in the Division of Oncology and director of the Breast Cancer Treatment and Prevention Program and UMMC Cancer Center and Research Institute medical director for University Physicians, chairs the weekly breast conference where physicians discuss patient issues, work with clinical trials and research breast-cancer fighting drugs.

“She has been a longtime volunteer for ACS, serving in board positions, connecting her patients with ACS programs and securing UMMC as the survivor sponsor for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer from 2016-2020,” Myrick said.