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Jan. 16 - Jan. 22  

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In memoriam

Dr. A. Wallace Conerly, vice chancellor emeritus for health affairs and dean emeritus of the School of Medicine, died Jan. 10 from complications of Parkinson’s Disease. He was 76.

Conerly was in general practice in Jackson from 1966 -70 when he took a fellowship in medicine in the Section of Cardiology at Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans. He returned to Mississippi and the Medical Center in 1971 to take a residency in internal medicine and then a pulmonary fellowship.

Conerly joined the Medical Center faculty in 1973 as an instructor in medicine and then held a variety of administrative positions, including director of continuing education, director of respiratory care and medical director of the Intensive Care Unit.

In 1981, Conerly’s predecessor, Dr. Norman C. Nelson, appointed him assistant vice chancellor for health affairs. Conerly served as vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine from 1994-2003. In 2005, the Medical Center designated its new critical care hospital the Wallace Conerly Hospital for Critical Care.

A memorial service took place Jan. 13 in the Norman C. Nelson Student Union. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Medical Center’s General Scholarship Fund, care of the Office of Development, or a charity of choice.

For more on Conerly’s career at the Medical Center, see this week’s issue of CenterView.

  • Reading group discusses the incredible sustainability of Henrietta Lacks
  • Otolaryngologists use robotic surgery to treat some head, neck cancers
  • UMMC experts weigh in on successful resolutions for the new year 

Dzielak selected to helm Medicaid Division

Dr. James Keeton, second from right, vice chancellor for health affairs, presents a certificate of appreciation to Dr. David Dzielak, second from left, director of strategic research alliances, for his 29 years of service to the Medical Center, while Dr. John Hall, left, Arthur Guyton Professor and Chair of Physiology and Biophysics, and Dr. LouAnn Woodward, associate vice chancellor for health affairs, look on. Dzielak has been appointed executive director of the Division of Medicaid by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.

The certificate reads, “For his skillful leadership of the process that led to the construction of the magnificent Arthur Guyton Research Center; for his commitment to teaching the next generation of scientists and heath care professionals for our state; for his thoughtful and significant contributions to advancing the research enterprise at UMMC; and for conducting himself with dignity, professionalism, collegiality and grace during his tenure here, the Medical Center expresses its sincere gratitude and every good wish for the years ahead.”

Online survey no longer required for physicals

According to the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, the online HealthQuotient exam is no longer required of state employees to access their annual Wellness/Preventive Benefits. For more information, call 1-800-709-7881 or visit

Neurosurgeon recognized for quality service

Dr. Mason Shiflett, right, assistant professor of neurosurgery, receives the Q Award from Dr. William Cleland, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and UMHC chief medical officer, Jan. 4. Shiflett was selected for exemplifying UMHC’s standards for quality, integrity, innovation, diversity and teamwork.

According to his nomination, Shiflett “always sets a great example to residents in the areas of hand washing, infection prevention and overall safe surgical practices. His belief in promoting quality through education rises above others. He loves to share experiences and stories that further promote learning and quality.”

One Q Award recipient is selected each quarter by the Quality Board. All Medical Center employees are encouraged to nominate a physician for the award by visiting the UMMC Intranet, scrolling over the “Support” link on the left-hand toolbar, selecting “UMMC Yellow Pages” and choosing “The Q Award.”

Gu to speak at angiogenesis conference

Dr. Jian-Wei Gu, assistant professor in the UMMC Cancer Institute Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Program, has been invited to serve as a distinguished faculty member at the Angiogenesis Foundation’s 10th international M. Judah Folkman Conference, “Antiangiogenesis: New Frontiers in Therapeutic Development,” scheduled for Oct. 6-7 in Cambridge, Mass. Gu will present “Obesity-induced Angiogenesis and Increased Cancer Risk.” The conference focuses on new therapy targets, markers and clinical development in the angiogenesis field.

Otolaryngology faculty welcome Evans

Kimbrell S. Evans has joined the Medical Center faculty as an instructor in otolaryngology.

After receiving the B.A. in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Mississippi in 2009, Evans earned the M.S. in communication sciences and disorders at Ole Miss in 2011. While in Oxford, she served as a graduate clinician at the University of Mississippi Speech and Hearing Clinic from 2009-10. Evans had served as a speech-language pathologist for Mississippi Methodist Rehabilitation Center since July 2011.

A member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Evans received numerous awards while in college and was admitted into the National Society for Collegiate Scholars.

Villani joins anesthesiology faculty

Dr. Juan P. Villani has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of anesthesiology.

After completing medical school in 2004 at the Universidad del Salvador - Facultad de Medicina in Argentina, Villani did an internship from 2006-07 and had residency training in anesthesiology from 2007-10 at the Louisiana State University Health Science Center in Shreveport. He then had fellowship training in cardiac anesthesia from 2010-11 at Tufts Medical Center, Boston.

The coauthor of two publications in peer-reviewed professional journals, Villani is fluent in four languages, including English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

Bayne to present Dental Grand Rounds

Dr. Stephen C. Bayne, chair and professor of cariology, restorative sciences and endodontics at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, will give the Dental Grand Rounds presentation, "Clinical Research and Evidenced-based Dentistry," at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in classroom R153 (lower amphitheatre). For more information, call Deborah Hayes at 4-6025.



Diversity celebration to honor King

The Department of Pastoral Services and the Division of Multicultural Affairs will host a "Celebration of Diversity and Inclusion: An Observance of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 18, in the Norman C. Nelson Student Union. The event will include performances by the UMMC Choir and an original play by local playwright Katrina Byrd. Lunch will be provided on a first-come basis. For more information, call Jeffery Murphy at 5-2106.

Zimmerman to present physiology seminar

Dr. Matthew Zimmerman, assistant professor of cellular and integrative physiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, will present "Oxidants and Antioxidants in Angiotensin II Intra-neuronal Signaling and Neurogenic Hypertension" from noon-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, in room CW308 of the Classroom Wing. All Medical Center faculty, staff and students are invited. Refreshments will be available on a first-come basis. The seminar is presented by the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. For more information, call Courtney Graham at 4-1820.

Panel discussion to probe 'immortal' life

The Division of Student Affairs and the Division of Multicultural Affairs will host a group and panel discussion of UMMC's Common Reading Project, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," at noon on Friday, Jan. 20, in R153 (lower amphitheatre). Dr. Rick Boyte, professor of pediatrics, will moderate; Dr. Bill Cleland, professor of ob-gyn, Dr. Ralph Didlake, director of the UMMC Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, Nancy Olson, Institutional Review Board director, and Dr. Herman Taylor, professor of cardiology and principal investigator of the Jackson Heart Study, will serve as panelists. All Medical Center faculty, staff and students, particularly those who have read the book, are invited. Lunch will be available on a first-come basis. For more information, call 4-5012 or 4-1340.

Patel to discuss electronic clinical tools

Dr. Neal R. Patel, co-medical director of critical care services at Vanderbilt University's Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital and chief medical information officer for inpatient services at the VU Medical Center, will present "Electronic Tools Help Enhance Teamwork and Clinical Care Processes" during Pediatric Grand Rounds at noon Friday, Jan. 20, in room 308 of the Classroom Wing. The visit is part of the Department of Pediatrics series on quality improvement. Patel earned his medical degree at the University of Southern California and his master of public health degree in preventive medicine and biostatistics at Vanderbilt. He completed a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric critical care medicine at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. For more information, call 4-5214.

DIS to upgrade 3M software Jan. 23

The Division of Information Systems has scheduled a 3M (SoftMed) upgrade for Monday, Jan. 23. The upgrade will affect the way providers, coders, billers, case managers and others use the application. Because of 3M's purchase of the system, SoftMed will now be referred to as 3M. Notifications will be sent to all affected users concerning the outage and operational changes prior to the upgrade. For more information, visit

Flanigan to give distinguished research talk

Dr. Timothy Flanigan, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases for the Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals and Dean's Professor of Medical Science and professor of medicine at the Brown University School of Medicine, will give the distinguished lecture, "Hope and Despair: Lessons Learned from the Global HIV Epidemic," from noon-12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, in room R153 (lower amphitheatre). All Medical Center faculty, staff and students are invited. Lunch will be available on a first-come basis. The distinguished lecture is sponsored by the Office of Research, the Collaboration for Research in Communicable Diseases and the Delta Region AIDS Education and Training Center. For more information, call Margie West at 5-5000.

UMMC staff receive service recognition

The Medical Center is proud to acknowledge those employees who will celebrate service anniversaries since Jan. 1:

35 Years

* Dr. Michel Rivlin, professor of obstetrics and gynecology

25 Years

* John Beasley, inpatient nurse in the Emergency Department

20 Years

* David Daniels, inpatient nurse in the Children’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit

* Dr. Jonathan Fratkin, professor of pathology

* Sherry Garner, dental assistant in Orthodontics

* Donna Pickel, health information services technician for University Physicians

* Rebecca Sebren, administrative assistant in Medicine

* Diane Walters, inpatient nurse in the Newborn ICU

15 Years

* Mary Barnes, patient services coordinator in the Batson Primary Clinic

* Caroline Birchett, administrative assistant in Medicine

* Phyllis Britton, patient services coordinator in Ambulatory Nursing Services

* Sandra Horne, associate professor of dental hygiene in the School of Health Related Professions

* Tonya Moore, chief learning officer in Executive Leadership

* Charles Nelson, general clerk in the Office of the Dean of the School of Medicine

* Kyoko Rule, nurse in the Newborn ICU

* Linda Williams, medical technologist in the After-hours Lab

10 Years

* Alicia Alexander, respiratory therapist in Respiratory Therapy

* Lonnie Benton, administrative assistant in the Adult Rehabilitation Center

* Mary Byrd, administrative assistant in Orthopedic Surgery

* Diann Colton, pharmacy tech in Pharmacy

* Melissa Conlee, ophthalmic surgical technician supervisor for University Physicians

* Beverly Cunningham, administrative assistant in Pediatric Public Health Dentistry

* Teresita Dupree, nurse on 5 Children’s

* Erica Flowers, inpatient nurse in the Cardiovascular Holding Area

* Kathy Goff, inpatient nurse on 2 Wiser

* Dolean Hoover, LPN in the Emergency Department

* Gloria Jarin, surgical tech in the Surgical Suite

* Lesley Keyes, nurse in the Pediatric ICU

* Cassandra Lewis, security guard in Campus Police

* Dr. Vikas Majithia, associate professor of medicine

* Brenda Martin, unit secretary on 3 North

* Sarah Mason, inpatient nurse in the Cardiovascular Holding Area

* Loretta Morgan, manager of end-user computing in Information Systems

* Wendy Mosier, nurse on 5 Children’s

* Dr. Christianne Pinelljansen, instructor in medicine

* Dr. Drazen Raucher, professor of biochemistry

* Debbie Robinson, medical technologist in the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Lab

* Dr. Mark Smothers, physician in the Emergency Department

* Tanika Spann, unit secretary in the Neuroscience ICU

* Ruby Windham, inpatient nurse in Pediatric Psychiatry

5 Years

* April Alday, surgical tech in the University Hospital Surgical Suite

* Stephanie Arrington, compliance analyst for University Physicians

* Jamie Beckman, researcher in Physiology and Biophysics

* Mildred Brazzle, surgical tech in the University Hospital Surgical Suite

* Latonya Britton, unit secretary in the Children’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit

* Kimberly Carter, respiratory therapist in Respiratory Therapy

* Cynthia Casey, inpatient nurse on 4 South

* Cynthia Conrad, administrative assistant in the School of Nursing at Oxford

* Sarah Cook, inpatient nurse in the CICU

* Tekelia Earls, biller-collector in Patient Financial Services

* Stephanie Farrior, inpatient nurse in the Neuroscience ICU

* Caroline Fortenberry, inpatient nurse in the Batson Newborn ICU

* Robert Garth, RRT in Patient Transport

* Casey Griffin, unit secretary in the MICU

* Philip Grisham, nurse on 2 North

* John Hammett, CRNA in Anesthesia

* Janet Harris, interim CEO of University Hospitals and Health System

* Mary Harvey, inpatient nurse on 2 South

* Kimberly Hayes, associate compliance analyst in Human Resources

* Elestine Howard, patient financial services manager for University Physicians

* Dexter Huff, nurse in the Batson Newborn ICU

* Otis Johnson Jr., surgical support tech in the Surgical Suite

* Katrina Jordan, unit secretary in Ambulatory Surgery

* Donna Katzenmeyer, ambulatory nurse in the Batson Specialty Clinic

* Carolyn Knight, inpatient nurse on 4 Children’s

* Judith Langley, purchasing manager in Purchasing

* Denice Lewis, nurse on 5 Wiser

* Melody Longino, program administrator in the Area Health Education Centers

* Markessa Mathis, nurse on 3 South

* Ramona Mawhorter, ambulatory nurse in the University Hospital Surgical Suite

* Kay McRee, development officer in the Office of Development

* Lisa Milner, inpatient nurse in Pre-anesthesia Testing

* Deborah Monroe, patient services coordinator in Medicine

* Erica Moore, patient services coordinator in Patient Financial Services

* Rebecca Moore, patient care technician in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit

* Regina Morgan, inpatient nurse in the Emergency Department

* Maleitha Nard, ambulatory nurse in the Child Development Clinic

* Herbert Nelson, security guard in Campus Police

* Willie Newell, environmental services technician in Environmental Services

* Jamesetta Nunn, inpatient nurse on 5 South

* Dr. Xiaoming Ou, assistant professor of psychiatry

* Jonathan Princiotta, inpatient nurse in the Batson Emergency Department

* Christen Quarles, nurse on 3 Children’s

* Janet Ricks, assistant professor in the Family Medicine Research and Teaching Center

* Karen Robbins, inpatient nurse on 2 North

* Lyle Ross, inpatient nurse in the Surgical Suite

* Stacey Roy, tobacco treatment specialist in Otolaryngology

* Georgia Simmons, nursing shift supervisor in the Surgical Suite

* Donnalisa Smith, cashier in Food Services

* Latasha Spencer, inpatient nurse in the Neuroscience ICU

* Cara Stafford, inpatient nurse on 3 Children’s

* Christi Steed, respiratory therapist in Respiratory Therapy

* Elizabeth Stephenson, inpatient nurse on 2 Children’s

* Felicia Stevenson, respiratory therapist in Respiratory Therapy

* Linda Summerlin, administrative assistant in the Family Medicine Research and Teaching Center

* Tiffany Thomas, transport nurse in Patient Transport

* William Thompson, chief financial officer of UMHC

* Althia Tribble, patient services coordinator in the School of Dentistry

* Christopher Turner, MRI technologist in University Hospital MRI

* Sandra Tyler, administrative assistant in Pediatric Clinical Research

* Candace Vance, assistant professor in Academic Information Services

* Deborah Webb, occupational therapist in Physical Therapy

For more news and information of interest to the Medical Center family, visit Medical Center News online

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