UMMC research, education, health care shine in 2022Published on Tuesday, January 3, 2023By: Lindsay McMurtray, firstname.lastname@example.orgAfter more than two years of intense focus on the COVID-19 response, 2022 was full of milestones for the University of Mississippi Medical Center.From celebrating decades of specialized health care and the 3,000th transplant at UMMC to plans for telehealth expansion and clinic renovations at Children's of Mississippi, it was a year of growth for all three of the Medical Center's missions: health care, education and research.Not only did 2022 mark a new era of transplant history at UMMC since Dr. James Hardy performed the first lung transplant in 1963, but the Jackson Free Clinic, Bone Marrow Transplant program, and the dental hygiene program at the School of Dentistry celebrated decades of service for Mississippians. In May, nearly 1,000 students graduated from six health sciences schools, including students receiving bachelor's degrees from the nationally recognized School of Nursing programs.It was another record-breaking year for Children's of Mississippi, which reached its milestone of raising $100 million for the Campaign for Children's of Mississippi with a $2.5 million gift from the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation. This campaign funded the Joe and Kathy Sanderson Tower, a seven-story expansion that opened in 2020.Other significant support for Children's of Mississippi came from Century Club Charities, the host organization for the Sanderson Farms Championship; the Junior League of Jackson; and community supporters that stepped forward during the Mississippi Miracles Radiothon. In addition to introducing a new concussion clinic, Children's of Mississippi also announced plans to renovate the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, located in Batson Tower.Other highlights for the Medical Center include increased community outreach and recruitment activities, continued COVID-19 response, new specialized training programs for health care professionals and innovative procedures to improve health outcomes in Mississippi. Read more about these milestones and other accomplishments from 2022 below.JanuaryOmicron surge creates unprecedented staff shortages as hospitalizations riseAs Omicron cases surge in Mississippi and nationwide, the Medical Center is navigating the challenges it brings, namely staff shortages and rising hospitalizations. But there’s hope for the future, with a downward trend in cases hoped for by late January or early February.Registered nurse Amy Green cares for a COVID-19 patient in UMMC's Medical Intensive Care Unit. UMMC awarded $3M grant to address employee stress, burnout from COVID-19UMMC's Office of Well-being works tirelessly to help faculty, staff and students live their best and healthiest lives. The office has secured a prestigious federal grant to expand programs so that anyone in the Medical Center family can get help in coping with the emotional rigors of the pandemic.Century Club Charities breaks record with Children's donationThe host organization of the Sanderson Farms Championship announced a $1.5 million gift to Friends of Children’s Hospital from proceeds of the PGA TOUR event. Topping the $1.45 million gift made last year, the gift will go toward the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi, the philanthropic drive that made the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower possible.February‘Care’ has double meaning during Dental Mission WeekWhen the School of Dentistry’s annual Dental Mission Week rolls around, dental students are just as excited about it as the patients who receive procedures ranging from teeth cleaning to extractions. The purpose of the week is twofold: provide care for veterans and others who don’t have the means to pay for it, and give students not just hands-on clinical experience, but life lessons in servant leadership.Jackson Free Clinic marks two decades of ‘wellness magic’In the beginning, and like many of those who depend on it for free medical care, the Jackson Free Clinic didn’t have a home of its own. But the students who have volunteered there span a generation now. They persevered, added health care services and are reaching out beyond the clinic’s boundaries. Those who have supported them, including the clinic’s founder, will be celebrated this week in Jackson.Rachel F. Hill, left, and Jenna Dunaway, fourth-year dental hygiene students, provide Willie Nolan of Port Gibson with a dental cleaning. (Photo courtesy of JFC/JoJo Dodd)$17.6M grant expanding UMMC telehealth to more Mississippi studentsMore students in the state will benefit from telehealth services offered through the University of Mississippi Medical Center thanks to a $17.6 million federal grant administered through the state Department of Education.MarchMississippi Miracles Radiothon raises $441,544 to ‘power Children’s of Mississippi’Grateful patients and their families took to the airwaves March 2-4 to help central Mississippi radio stations raise funds for Children’s of Mississippi and the state’s only children’s hospital. The marathon broadcasts let listeners know the importance of children’s health care.Two-plus years later, UMMC remains leader in COVID-19 responseWhen COVID-19 crept toward Mississippi in early 2020, Medical Center leaders and infectious diseases specialists were already preparing for a virus that would soon become a global pandemic. The Medical Center brought its full resources to bear as an early leader of the state’s COVID-19 response, contributing greatly to the body of knowledge about an elusive and menacing virus. And as it always will, UMMC continues to care for the sickest of the sick as the state’s only academic medical center and safety net hospital.‘Trusted colleague,’ ‘wise counsel’ retires from role in academic affairsFrom medical student to surgeon to education leader and more, Dr. Ralph Didlake has been a part of, or associated with, the Medical Center in some way for almost three decades. Now, some nine years after taking on the job he thought he would fill for less than half that time, he’s ready to call it a day. “It’s been a great run,” he said.AprilNew Children’s of Mississippi concussion clinic offers follow-up care quicklyPatients who get post-concussion care quickly have better chances of a full recovery. With this in mind, Children’s of Mississippi now offers a weekly clinic dedicated solely to providing post-concussion follow-up care quickly.Breathing new life into health care diversity: Choctaw students recruited at UMMCAlmost two dozen Choctaw high school juniors and seniors took a 90-minute bus ride to the Medical Center last week for a morning of discovery. For several UMMC schools, it was a new recruiting opportunity; for the visitors, it was a chance to learn more about themselves and their health care dreams.Junior League of Jackson gives $500,000 for cancer center renovationThe Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders opened in 1991 thanks to the hard work of the Junior League of Jackson. The Junior League is now helping fund renovations of the center with a $500,000 gift announced April 19.MayService commemorates ‘nobility, courage’ of ‘first and most important patients’The 145 names called out in the UMMC Cemetery one day last week represented people with a variety of abilities, backgrounds and personal stories. But their contributions to science carry equal weight. Their gifts were acknowledged during the Medical Center tradition known as a Ceremony of Thanksgiving.Innovative dental scan helps providers find root of problemWhen Carol Hoover experienced jaw pain and headaches, she saw several doctors and dentists in her quest to find the source of her discomfort. That journey led her to the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry, where her specialty team used a unique CT scan to confirm her jaw disease – and just as importantly, to rule out more serious issues.Brown catches 2022 Regions TEACH PrizeThe 2022 Nelson Order induction ceremony celebrated 20 of UMMC's best educators. The Regions TEACH Prize went to Dr. David Brown, professor of cell and molecular biology.UMMC celebrates 959 May 2022 graduates across six health sciences schoolsHundreds of UMMC graduates earned degrees in the health sciences Friday during a ceremony at Mississippi Coliseum. The number of degrees conferred this year showed an increase of 97 from 2021, reflecting the Medical Center’s efforts to meet the state’s health care needs.Wearing the colors of their fields of study, UMMC graduates await the start of commencement ceremonies.JuneCustom-fitted 3D stent gives patients route to easier breathingWhen a buildup of scar tissue in her airway made breathing difficult for Elizabeth King, she sought an innovative procedure at the Medical Center that would open up that area with an unexpected tool. She was fitted for a stent custom-made for her on a 3D printer, a procedure that has a greater chance of success because it's so personalized.Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi surpasses $100M goal with Gertrude C. Ford Foundation giftThe Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi raised $101.5 million to make dreams of a seven-story children’s hospital expansion a reality. The six-year campaign, brought to a successful conclusion with a $2.5 million gift from the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation, included donations from thousands of Mississippians from all walks of life.JulyUMMC’s landmark 3,000th transplant: Only child gives mom a kidneyWhen Tawanna Davis a quarter-century ago bore her son, Quinten Hogan, she gave him the gift of life. On June 28, Hogan returned the favor, giving his mom, who coped with end-stage renal failure, his left kidney. Hogan explains his selfless gift this way: My kidneys are her kidneys. Their “living donor” surgery made UMMC’s history books as the Medical Center’s 3,000th transplant since Dr. James Hardy in 1963 performed the world’s first lung transplant.From left, Tawanna Davis, son Quinten Hogan and Hogan's stepdad, Spencer Davis, savor a group hug before Hogan was taken to surgery for removal of his left kidney to be donated to his mom.‘The best day of my life’: Rural-focused outreach captivates the future hope of health careIt has been an eventful summer of enrichment for young learners in Mississippi, thanks to several Medical Center outreach programs. The latest, Mosaic, concentrated on high school students from the state’s rural areas, where the need for improved access to care is profound.AugustEver-inspiring and ‘never forgotten’: Physicians swell honor roll of Medical Center elitePioneers in pediatric care, a groundbreaker in gastroenterology, stalwart surgeons, prototypes in public health, accomplished figures in family medicine, and others accepted awards, applause and medals during the 2022 UMMC Medical Alumni Awards Dinner. Eight outstanding School of Medicine alumni and/or former faculty members were in the limelight, sharing it with an accomplished contingent from the Class of 1972.STORK training critical when lives of moms, babies in jeopardyIt’s not an unusual scenario: A rural Mississippi mom goes into labor at home. She’s bleeding and her baby is at just 26 weeks. Emergency responders with no training in OB-GYN emergencies arrive to a scene where both mom and baby are in peril. That’s one reason why a Medical Center team is training rural EMS and emergency medicine providers on how to recognize danger signs and stabilize patients until they can receive a higher level of care.Education, information at fingertips for children’s hospital families thanks to MyChart BedsideMedical information, schedules, video games and movies – all are options with MyChart Bedside, a tablet-based app provided to patients and their families in pediatric intensive care and in the medical-surgical units of Children’s of Mississippi. When patients go home, their parents can still access their hospital details through MyChart.September‘Endless possibilities’: In academic affairs, Rodgers revels in new roleDr. Scott Rodgers, who has taught everything from middle-school science to medical school psychiatry, is now responsible for thousands of teachers and students as the Medical Center’s new associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. The former department chair is bringing to bear his qualifications as an educator, administrator, long-time leader and student of human behavior.School of Nursing tops Mississippi rankings by U.S. News & World ReportRanked 67th in the country, the School of Nursing is near the top 10 percent of baccalaureate nursing programs nationally. The ranking includes traditional and accelerated BSN programs at UMMC and the accelerated BSN program in Oxford, spotlighting the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing's work to become the state’s flagship nursing program.Nursing student Quinn Chandler inserts a nasogastric tube during a training exercise at the School of Nursing.OctoberPGA golfer, Children’s of Mississippi patient bond on the Sanderson Farms Championship fairwayAn autograph exchange with PGA TOUR golfer Sam Burns led to a day at the Sanderson Farms Championship for Mary Mosley Pickering, a patient at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Mississippi, and her family.SOD pilot program a culture change for patient needsDental school is hard, with a lot of boxes to check. It can leave students focusing on the numbers instead of their patients, something driven by culture and systems. A pilot program for integrated patient care, however, puts the patient first by allowing students to take care of multiple issues crossing departmental lines in a single visit, creating efficiencies for both.'Coach Prime,’ My Special Aflac Ducks win over Children’s of Mississippi patientsJackson State University Coach Deion Sanders and Virgil Miller, incoming president of Aflac U.S., surprised patients and families at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Mississippi with My Special Aflac Ducks designed with cancer and sickle cell patients in mind.NovemberSignificant renovations coming for Children’s of Mississippi’s Center for Cancer and Blood DisordersUpdates that will add more space, privacy and comfort to the infusion area and will increase the number of exam rooms will add up to a better experience for patients of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Mississippi and their families.The renovated waiting area of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders is shown in this architectural rendering from CDFL.Screen time: Health checks meant for those ‘who need it the most’If they came for peace of mind, they may have left instead with a piece of advice: See a doctor soon. Over the past few months, hundreds of Mississippians learned their blood pressure, blood glucose and other numbers from members of a medical student group offering free health checks to the state’s residents, many of whom may not have been to a doctor recently.‘An amazing day’: Pre-Med students flock to UMMC event at JSUA crew of Medical Center students, staff and physicians, along with faculty from several campus schools, packed up their expertise and took it a few miles across town last week for a first-ever event. From the UMMC contingent, students at Jackson State University learned, among other things, the ins and outs of getting into medical school; along the way, they got a taste of medicine – as a career.School of Nursing partners with Mississippi State for dual-degree programUMMC and Mississippi State are working together to increase the number of nurses in the state through a new dual-degree program. Students completing the program will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from MSU and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UMMC.DecemberDental hygiene at UMMC turns 50In 1972, the first graduating class of dental hygienists left the School of Health Related Professions with certificates in hand. A half-century later, these oral health practitioners earn their baccalaureate degrees at the School of Dentistry, learning alongside dental students who share their passion for patient-centered care.Project ADAM provides Mississippi Schools for the Deaf and Blind with lifesaving trainingThe Children’s Heart Center at Children’s of Mississippi is helping schools in Mississippi become heart-safe by providing training in hands-only CPR and using defibrillators. Project ADAM officials say the goal is to prepare administrators, faculty and staff members to provide emergency care should a student, parent, employee or visitor experience cardiac arrest.Nurse educator Martha Holmes coaches LaQuandra Jones and Myisha Jenkins in performing CPR and using an AED through Project ADAM.Medical students turn Santa’s helpers for Children’s Safe CenterThe School of Medicine child advocacy group UMMC CARES networked around the state and throughout the country to collect more than 800 toys for Children’s of Mississippi Safe Center patients. CARES, an acronym for Child Advocates Relentlessly Empowering Survivors, is working to raise awareness of the impact of adverse childhood experiences and the need for trauma-informed care.Celebrating its 30th anniversary, BMT at UMMC is nationally recognizedWhen bone marrow transplant was being pioneered in this country, it didn’t take long for UMMC to build its own program, with the early team being trained by the best of the best. Thirty years and more than 1,700 transplants later, the Medical Center is extending the lives – and quality of life – for patients whose blood cancers make bone marrow transplant their route to survival.