October 21, 2020 | Volume II, Issue 20
Metz and Team Aim to Keep North Country Children Safe
As a new medical student graduate just beginning a pediatric residency at Seattle Children’s Hospital in 2006, James Metz, M.D., never imagined that 12 years later, he’d return to his alma mater and home state as one of only two board-certified child abuse pediatricians in Vermont.
Now an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Larner College of Medicine and the sole child abuse specialist at UVM Children’s Hospital, Dr. Metz, along with his team at the UVM Medical Center’s Child Safe Program, are making a positive impact on health care for mistreated children in the state.
“We are so fortunate to have James with us,” says Lewis First, M.D., M.S., professor and chair of pediatrics and UVM Children’s Hospital chief. “He recognizes that we’ll only succeed if we continue to connect and build partnerships with state agencies, organizations, schools, and all those interested in advocating for the health, safety, and wellbeing of children across Vermont and upstate New York. His efforts to build a truly collaborative program is helping our state become a national leader in child abuse prevention and treatment.”
Pictured above: Dr. Metz (left) with Child Safe Program team members Tracey Wagner, R.N., and Mary-Ellen Rafuse, M.S.W.
Praise for UVM's Coronavirus Response
Deborah Birx, M.D., coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, visited the University of Vermont on October 10 during her national information-gathering tour of higher education coronavirus responses and best practices. Prior to a press conference at the end of her visit, Dr. Birx held separate meetings with UVM President Suresh Garimella, students, and faculty from different colleges around the university.
Larner’s Jan Carney, M.D., M.P.H., associate dean for public health and health policy and senior advisor to the dean, Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., chair of microbiology and molecular genetics and director of the Vaccine Testing Center, Deborah Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., chair of pathology and laboratory medicine, met with Birx for 45 minutes to discuss the need for community surveillance–testing some asymptomatic people in the community on a regular basis to get a barometer of disease in various communities, including rural. They also spoke about vaccine development, infection risk in small family holiday gatherings, the need to prepare for COVID-19 surges, and the continued importance of universal mask wearing, handwashing, and physical distancing.
“She had high praise for Vermont, and we took the opportunity to listen to her perspective from her more than 25 recent campus visits and discuss some important current and upcoming aspects of the pandemic,” said Dr. Carney.
Dr. Kirkpatrick said the discussion included UVM, the UVM Medical Center and Network, and the State of Vermont. “Reflecting current trends in COVID transmission, she also emphasized the importance of surveillance for people under 35 years of age,” said Dr. Kirkpatrick.
“She was very impressed that the UVM Health Network had worked with the Vermont Department of Health and our clinicians to stop doing pre-procedure testing when airway manipulation would not be involved for asymptomatic patients,” said Dr. Leonard. “Dr. Birx thought this could be a model for other states with low prevalence of COVID-19.”
In the student discussion, Larner Class of 2024 medical student Than Moore spoke about the initiative he founded, Gowns4Good, collecting new and used graduation gowns for donation to medical facilities lacking appropriate personal protective equipment. He said Dr. Birx “was curious to compare the strict measures here on campus to our families back home. She asked if our families took similar precautions or if we were the role models for their social distancing behavior.”
Social Justice Coalition Educates Colleagues & Patients about Voter Registration
In late summer, with Election Day 2020 drawing closer, medical students in the Social Justice Coalition, including Bradley Blansky, Reed Hausser, and Mark Oet, launched the Social Justice Coalition Voter Registration Project. Initially created to raise awareness about upcoming elections among their classmates and colleagues, and provide resources for determining voter registration status and how to register to vote, the project has gained momentum and grown to include colleagues and patients at the UVM Medical Center and the UVM Health Network.
In a recent post on the UVM Larner College of Medicine Blog, Mr. Hausser wrote “As medical professionals, participating in the voting process is not only a privilege, it is a responsibility. We believe it is possible to significantly empower our communities to support their health and well-being by electing officials who will hear their needs and address concerns.”
Debora Kamin Mukaz, M.S., Ph.D., (top, second from left) postdoctoral associate in the Department of Medicine, has teamed up with Black scientists and clinicians across the U.S. & the U.K. to put together the first annual #BlackInCardio Week from October 19 - 25.
Accolades & Appointments
Gaalema DE, Bolívar HA, Khadanga S, Priest JS, Higgins ST, Ades PA. Current smoking as a marker of a high-risk behavioral profile after myocardial infarction. Prev Med. 2020 Sep 8:106245. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106245. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32910931.
Gupta DK, Viñuela A, Green PHR, Pitman MJ, Vonsattel JP, Fahn S. High- Frequency Palatal Tremor and Stimulus-Sensitive Leg Myoclonus with Degeneration of Inferior Olivary Nuclei in Celiac Disease. Mov Disord Clin Pract. 2020 Sep 29;7(Suppl 3):S93-S95. doi: 10.1002/mdc3.13079. PMID: 33015235; PMCID: PMC7525195.
Plante TB, Koh I, Judd SE, Howard G, Howard VJ, Zakai NA, Booth JN 3rd, Safford MM, Muntner P, Cushman M. Life's Simple 7 and Incident Hypertension: The REGARDS Study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020 Oct 20;9(19):e016482. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.016482. Epub 2020 Sep 15. PMID: 32928039.
Lackland DT, Howard VJ, Cushman M, Oparil S, Kissela B, Safford MM, Kleindorfer DO, McClure LA, Howard G. Forty-Year Shifting Distribution of Systolic Blood Pressure With Population Hypertension Treatment and Control. Circulation. 2020 Oct 20;142(16):1524-1531. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.048063. Epub 2020 Oct 5. PMID: 33016101.
Nowak SA, Chen C, Parker AM, Gidengil CA, Matthews LJ. Comparing covariation among vaccine hesitancy and broader beliefs within Twitter and survey data. PLoS One. 2020 Oct 8;15(10):e0239826. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239826. PMID: 33031405; PMCID: PMC7544030.
Odden MC, Rawlings AM, Arnold AM, Cushman M, Biggs ML, Psaty BM, Newman AB. Patterns of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Old Age and Survival and Health Status at 90. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 Oct 15;75(11):2207-2214. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glaa043. PMID: 32267489.
Joseph KB, Awadallah N, Delay ER, Delay RJ. Transient Effects of Cyclophosphamide on Basal Cell Proliferation of Olfactory Epithelia. Chem Senses. 2020 Oct 9;45(7):549-561. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjaa039. PMID: 32531016; PMCID: PMC7545251.
Darzi AJ, Repp AB, Spencer FA, Morsi RZ, Charide R, Etxeandia-Ikobaltzeta I, Bauer KA, Burnett AE, Cushman M, Dentali F, Kahn SR, Rezende SM, Zakai NA, Agarwal A, Karam SG, Lotfi T, Wiercioch W, Waziry R, Iorio A, Akl EA, Schünemann HJ. Risk-assessment models for VTE and bleeding in hospitalized medical patients: an overview of systematic reviews. Blood Adv. 2020 Oct 13;4(19):4929-4944. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002482. PMID: 33049056; PMCID: PMC7556144.
Turner-Evans DB, Jensen KT, Ali S, Paterson T, Sheridan A, Ray RP, Wolff T, Lauritzen JS, Rubin GM, Bock DD, Jayaraman V. The Neuroanatomical Ultrastructure and Function of a Biological Ring Attractor. Neuron. 2020 Oct 14;108(1):145-163.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.08.006. Epub 2020 Sep 10. PMID: 32916090.
Cohen JL, Schrier Vergano SA, Mazzola S, Strong A, Keena B, McDougall C, Ritter A, Li D, Bedoukian EC, Burke LW, Hoffman A, Zurcher V, Krantz ID, Izumi K, Bhoj E, Zackai EH, Deardorff MA. EP300-related Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome: Highlighted rare phenotypic findings and a genotype-phenotype meta-analysis of 74 patients. Am J Med Genet A. 2020 Oct 11. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.61883. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33043588.
Hahn S, Mackey S, Cousijn J, Foxe JJ, Heinz A, Hester R, Hutchinson K, Kiefer F, Korucuoglu O, Lett T, Li CR, London E, Lorenzetti V, Maartje L, Momenan R, Orr C, Paulus M, Schmaal L, Sinha R, Sjoerds Z, Stein DJ, Stein E, van Holst RJ, Veltman D, Walter H, Wiers RW, Yucel M, Thompson PM, Conrod P, Allgaier N, Garavan H. Predicting alcohol dependence from multi-site brain structural measures. Hum Brain Mapp. 2020 Oct 16. doi: 10.1002/hbm.25248. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33064342.
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