June 16, 2021 | Volume III, Issue 12

Sue Victory

A Look Back on 40+ Years in the Department of Pediatrics  

In 1977, during one of four interview rounds for her first Department of Pediatrics position, Sue Victory was asked if she could commit to staying for at least two years — now, “here I am, going on 44 years this November,” she laughs.
Over the more than four decades since joining the front desk team at University Pediatrics, Ms. Victory has seen many changes, most notably the significant expansion of the Department of Pediatrics and branding of Vermont Children’s Hospital (now UVM Children’s Hospital). She became associated with the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine in the late 1980s/early 1990s when she became administrative manager for the department in addition to her University Pediatrics duties. Up until 2002, she handled the medical group for pediatrics primary care and specialty care. In conjunction with the branding of Vermont Children’s Hospital, she transitioned from her work with the medical group to take on a more diverse role as a liaison and resource for inpatient and outpatient care. She has handled human resources tasks, including recruitments, often meeting with physician candidates, and sharing information about working for both a hospital and university, and budgeting for both the clinical and academic sides of the department. She was also responsible for internal and external promotion of the Children’s Hospital.
Ms. Victory’s skill in taking on numerous roles during her tenure has been recognized by her colleagues. “I was always curious, wanting to learn more,” she says.
Ms. Victory has worked for every single department chair, including the late R. James McKay, M.D., who was the department’s founding faculty member and first chair; the late Carol Lee Phillips, M.D.; former interim chair Richard Colletti, M.D., professor of pediatrics emeritus; and current chair, Lewis First, M.D.
“There is no job Sue will not take on if asked—and that is more appreciated than words can describe,” says Dr. First. “Her creative ideas have contributed to the strong morale and collaborative spirit between staff and providers, as well as helped us achieve the strong patient satisfaction ratings that we receive annually.”
Read the full article about Ms. Victory’s career at UVM here. 
Pictured above: Ms. Victory. Text reads: "Congratulations, Sue Victory!"


Chaarani, Garavan Publish Latest ABCD Study Findings

new study published June 7 online in Nature Neuroscience by Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Bader Chaarani, Ph.D., and colleagues, features youth brain activation data from the largest longitudinal neuroimaging study to date. Specifically, the findings—part of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD) Study—provide valuable new information on the cognitive processes and brain systems that underlie adolescent development and might contribute to mental and physical health challenges in adulthood.

Notable brain, cognitive, and emotional maturation—as well as the emergence of many mental health disorders—occur between the ages of 10 and 20, but most human neuroimaging studies to date have focused on adult functioning. Understanding neurodevelopment and how it is impacted by numerous risk factors emergent during adolescence is a critical area of interest.

“This study—likely the biggest task activation paper ever—shows the brain regions activated by each task, how well they capture individual differences, and will likely serve as a baseline for all the subsequent papers that will track the kids as they age,” says Hugh Garavan, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont, and a senior author on the study.

The brain activation maps and other findings from the study “will serve as a gold standard for the neuroscientific community and could help inform [future] study design,” says Dr. Chaarani.

Read the full article about the study.

Pictured above: A graphic featuring a computer screen with one of the tasks performed by ABCD Study participants on it, an outline of a child’s head with a brain inside it showing affected brain regions in different colors. Text reads: “Baseline Brain Function in the Pre-Adolescents of the ABCD Study. Chaarani et al., Nature Neuroscience 2021.” (Courtesy of Dr. Chaarani)


Alicia Poquette, Office/Program Support Generalist, Office of Primary Care and Area Health Education Centers Program

Helping to care for the community–either in person or behind the scenes–has been the focus of Alicia Poquette’s career for more than 10 years. She brought that commitment and experience to the University of Vermont when she joined the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) office in November 2019.

In her position, Ms. Poquette is responsible for collecting, entering, and maintaining data pertaining to programs delivered and/or coordinated by Vermont's AHEC network. 

“Alicia Poquette is a welcomed addition to our team,” says Colleen Safford, assistant director of the Office of Primary Care and AHEC Program. “As point person for all data entry, Alicia knows when and what questions to ask, and is knowledgeable about identifying data inconsistencies [that need to be] reconciled.”

Born in Burlington, Vt., and brought up in Waitsfield, Vt., she worked first in finance at Ben & Jerry’s and then later worked as a health assistant at Folsom Education Center in South Hero, Vt., prior to joining UVM. For nearly a decade, she provided direct health care for a school of more than 130 students and 20 staff, and served as a liaison between families, primary care clinicians, and the school. 

“I find my current role really rewarding, as it offers me the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people, helping to support workforce development and education so that all Vermonters have access to quality healthcare, including those who live in Vermont’s most rural areas,” says Ms. Poquette.  

“Alicia understands our mission and the importance of her role and work,” says Elizabeth Cote, director of the Office of Primary Care and AHEC Program. “Through her attention to detail and accurate data entry we are able to show the collective impact of the VT AHEC Network.”

Pictured above: Ms. Poquette (courtesy photo). Text reads: “Meet the Staff.”


Larner Receives a B+ on LGBTQ+ Equity Report Card

Through a new initiative called the “LGBTQ+ Equity Report Card,” the National Medical Student Pride Alliance (MSPA), seeks to “survey current medical students to collect and share information about safety and support for LGBTQ+ individuals at medical schools in the United States.”

When the Report Card was launched in 2020, MSPA indicated that while survey responses from participating schools were limited, each of the 35 schools had at least two student respondents. Larner was one of five schools that received a B+ grade, meeting expectations for eleven criteria. Only one school, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, received a higher grade (A-).

Learn more about the MSPA 2021 LGBTQ+ Equity Report Card.

[Graphic description: Horizontal bars in green, yellow, orange, and blue arranged in rainbow order with grade scale from A - D in background. B+ horizontal bar is highlighted in white and B+ is circled. Text reads: “Report Card 2021 LGBTQ+ Equity:”]

Newsletter Feature(1)

Save-the-Date: July 9 at 5:00 PM 

Join the UVM Larner Med Social Justice Coalition Book Club on July 9 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM for a guided discussion of Edward Said’s “The Question of Palestine.”

 All Larner faculty, staff, alumni, graduate students, and medical students are welcome to attend.

 Sign up for more information.

 [Image description: Class of 2024 med student and SJC member Erik Zhang sits under a tree reading Edward Said’s book “The Question of Palestine.” Text overlaid on top of image reads “Join the UVMLarnerMed Social Justice Coalition Book Club July 9, 2021 | 5:00 - 7:00 PM”]

Accolades & Appointments

Professor of Medicine Philip Ades, M.D., received the Department of Medicine’s Distinguished Mentor Award. This honor is bestowed upon “the most accomplished and widely-recognized practicing physicians based on their recognition as an outstanding clinician, reputation as a ‘physician’s physician,’ and their exceptional contributions in education, scholarship, administration or community service.” Sherrie Khadanga, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, presented Dr. Ades with the award during the June 11 Medicine Grand Rounds.   

Mark Morrison joined the UVM Foundation and the Larner College of Medicine as the director of major gifts on June 1, 2021. Mr. Morrison comes to UVM with notable development experience gained as the director for development at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Va., and as the vice president of development at HumanKind in Lynchburg, Va. He also has an extensive background in journalism. In his new role, he will be responsible for securing philanthropic support for initiatives and priorities at Larner, including the Firestone Medical Research Building, the SOAR Campaign for UVM medical student education, and the soon-to-be-launched UVM Research Campaign.

Vitor Mori, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine and Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation-funded Quantitative Biology Fellow, was highlighted in the Damon Runyon News regarding his efforts to help address the COVID-19 crisis in his home city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Read the article.

Caspar Schiffers, M.S., defended his Ph.D. thesis, titled “The NADPH DUOX1 in chronic lung diseases” on May 11, 2021, at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. As a doctoral student, Dr. Schiffers worked in the laboratory of Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, for the past five years.

Michael Upton, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and faculty development liaison in the Larner College of Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has been appointed vice chair of the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DACDEI). DACDEI’s primary mission is to advance the strategic diversity, equity and inclusion goals of the College by identifying, advising on and evaluating initiatives for the College to ensure alignment between the organization's overall strategic vision and institutional practices that accelerate DEI goals.

Cheryl van de Wetering defended her Ph.D. thesis, titled “Redox regulation of metabolism in asthma,” on May 10, 2021, at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. As a doctoral student, Dr. van de Wetering worked in the laboratory of Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, for the past 5 years.



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The Larner College of Medicine
at The University of Vermont
Copyright 2021