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Hospital Week activities offer busy slate

Hospital Week

 Some of the activities scheduled to recognize Medical Center employees as part of the institution's Hospital Week activities this week include:

* In appreciation of UMMC employees, the Mississippi Braves minor league baseball team in Pearl is offering discounted tickets at Trustmark Park for its Thursday, May 10 contest against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Employees may bring their ID badges to the Mississippi Braves ticket office in Pearl to purchase tickets at $5 each.

 * The Quick Care Clinic will host a drawing for a Kindle Fire from Monday-Friday, May 7-11. UMMC employees may register for the drawing at the clinic’s front desk in Suite H of the University Physicians Pavilion by noon on May 11. For more information, call Quick Care at 4-6745.

For more information about Hospital Week promotions, call Cammie Breedlove at 4-4181 or e-mail or visit

CMN names Richland’s Peña state champion

Christopher Peña Jr., 4, of Richland pauses in front of a familiar face at the Mississippi Children’s Museum after a Children’s Miracle Network ceremony May 2 in which he was named Mississippi’s “champion” ambassador for CMN hospitals.

Peña and other CMN champions who represent the 17 million children treated at CMN hospitals annually will travel to Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C. to highlight the vital work taking place at those hospitals. 

Critical care staff earns ‘watchdog’ accolade

The University of Mississippi Medical Center received an honorable mention in the 2011 HAI (Healthcare-Associated Infections) WATCHDOG Awards, sponsored by Kimberly-Clark. This recognition was in the 300 beds or more category for the program, “Intervention to Reduce CLABSI in the Adult Critical Care Hospital.”

Elham Ghonim, director of infection prevention, said the Wallace Conerly Hospital for Critical Care has reduced the amount of central line-associated bloodstream infections, or CLABSIs, by 50 percent.

“Reduction on bloodstream infections has many effects, including shortened length of stay, financial savings for treatment and improved reimbursement rates,” Ghonim said. “My department and I are very proud of the good job done by the critical care staff and physicians.”

Kimberly-Clark created the HAI WATCHDOG Awards to recognize health-care facilities that are making a difference in reducing and preventing serious, often life-threatening infections. The awards help publicize these HAI prevention initiatives and empower health-care providers to share and learn from each other.

Graduate School honors top students

School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences students who received awards during the school’s 2012 Honors Day luncheon May 3 include, front row from left, Scoty Hearst, who received the Trustmark-Randall Graduate Research Award; Dr. Shama Moktan who received the Regions Graduate Research Award; and Dr. Aihua Tang, who received the “Ike” Ho Research Award; and back row from left, Fouad Zouein, who received the Excellence in Pharmacology Award; and Dr. Venkat K.R. Mannam, who received the Robert A. Mahaffey Jr. Memorial Award.

Not pictured are Brianne Ellis, who received the Fundamentals of Physiology Award, and Daniel Lyons, who received the Rowland Medical Library Award.

Of the school’s 81 graduates this year, 62 will earn master of science degrees and 19 will receive Ph.D.s.

MPB, deShazo examine teen pregnancy crisis

DeshazoA new five-part television series, with segments shot on location at UMMC, takes an in-depth look at Mississippi’s alarming teen pregnancy rate.

"Southern Remedy: Premature Parenthood” will air at 7 p.m. May 14-18 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

The documentary, airing on consecutive nights, provides a comprehensive look at the crisis through profiles of teen moms, information on sex education legislation, a discussion of the role of religion and related topics.

Dr. Richard deShazo, professor of medicine and pediatrics and former chair of the Department of Medicine at UMMC, hosts the program and speaks with teen mothers, legislators, educators, physicians, community leaders and, notably, Mississippi’s governor. Gov. Phil Bryant, who has made teen pregnancy a focus of his administration, provides his perspective on the problem through a one-on-one interview with deShazo.

“Mississippi has the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the United States,” said deShazo. “This is no minor problem. Teens have more complications of pregnancy and their babies are less healthy.

“Children of teen moms have a higher drop-out rate and do poorly in the job market. The results of all of this are lost opportunities for healthy living. Everyone loses in this scenario: the moms, the children and this state.”

The Southern Remedy documentary series is supported in part by grant from UMMC.

Treasurer bequeaths unclaimed taxes to UMMC

Lynn Fitch, center, Mississippi state treasurer, presents a check for more than $29,000 to Jim Wentz, left, UMMC chief financial officer, and Dr. David Powe, UMMC chief administrative officer, May 3 for unclaimed property taxes. The funds will be used to bolster the institution’s threefold mission of clinical care, education and research in Mississippi.


Microbiology faculty welcome Tandon

tandonDr. Ritesh Tandon has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of microbiology.

After receiving a degree in veterinary medicine from India in 2000, Tandon earned his PhD from the Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Georgia, Athens, in 2005.

During his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., from 2005-06, and at Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., from 2006-12, Tandon studied maturation pathways of human herpes viruses.

He has published his findings on a regular basis in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Virology, the top-ranked journal in the field of virology. He was recently asked to summarize the advances in studies on herpes virus maturation from the Cell Press, a manuscript that will appear in Trends in Microbiology later in May.

An active member of several professional organizations, including the American Society for Virology, the American Society for Microbiology and Sigma Xi, Tandon has been an invited speaker at numerous scientific meetings, academic conferences and at biopharmaceutical companies in the United States, Canada and India.

SOD students recognize top faculty

Medical Center faculty who received awards at the annual Hembree Honors Banquet April 19 include, from left, Dr. Bill Boteler, part-time clinical teacher of the year; Dr. Scottye Lee, all-star; Dr. Sara Jane McCrary, all-star; Dr. Susan Warren, all-star; Dr. John Smith, all-star; Dr. Max Metcalf, all-star; Dr. Roger Johnson, basic science teacher of the year; and Dr. Buford Gilbert, clinical science teacher of the year.

Not pictured is Dr. James Lott, full-time teacher of the year.

In Memoriam

Dr. E. E. “Tad” Thrash, executive secretary for the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning in Mississippi from 1968-87 and later director of continuing education at UMMC, died May 1.

A 1947 graduate of Hinds Community College, Thrash attended Louisiana State University, where he was a standout athlete and coach. He was named Hinds’ Alumnus of the Year for 1968 and was inducted into the charter group of the Hinds Sports Hall of Fame class in 1985.

Thrash is survived by his wife, Jessie, son, George Thrash, daughters Janie Tetmeyer and Catherine Thrash, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation and service was May 4 at Raymond United Methodist Church with burial at Pine Ridge Cemetery in Lake. Memorials may be made to the Raymond United Methodist Church or the Hinds Community College Foundation.

Davis to present pharmacology seminar

DavisDr. Michael J. Davis, Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor in Medical Research and Medical Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Missouri, Columbia, will present "Regulation of Calcium and Potassium Channels in Vascular Smooth Muscle by Signals from the Extracellular Matrix" at noon on Monday, May 7, in room CW 106 of the Classroom Wing.

For more information, call Pamela Banks at 4-1690.


Pagano to give physiology presentation


 Dr. Patrick J. Pagano, professor of pharmacology and chemical biology and graduate program director at the University of Pittsburgh, will present "The Vascular Media: Nexus of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation," from noon-1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 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 presentation is sponsored by the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

For more information, call Courtney Graham at 4-1820.

Guyton to present Freeland lecture


 Dr. Gregory Guyton, an orthopedic surgeon on faculty at Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, Md., and son of the late Dr. Arthur C. Guyton, will present “Brief History of Workers Compensation in Orthopedics” as part of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation's 2012 Alan E. Freeland Research Lecture Series and Resident Research Day at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, May 15, in room CW106 in the Classroom Wing.

Following the presentation, chief residents Dr. Austin Barrett, Dr. Patrick Powell, Dr. Bradley Kellum and Dr. Scott Wingerter will present their final research from 8-10 a.m.

All Medical Center faculty, staff and students are invited. The presentation is sponsored by the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation in conjunction with an educational grant from the Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation.

For more information about the event, call Susan Alexander at 4-5153.

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

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