May 18, 2022 | Volume IV, Issue 10
Janssen-Heininger Receives University Distinguished Professor Honors
University of Vermont Provost and Senior Vice President Patty Prelock has announced that Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the UVM Larner College of Medicine, is the recipient of the 2022 University Distinguished Professor Award. The title is a career appointment and the highest academic honor UVM bestows upon members of its faculty.
The University Distinguished Professor recognizes faculty members who have achieved international reputations as top scholars within their respective fields of study and made transformative contributions to the advancement of knowledge. No more than five percent of full professors may hold an active appointment as a University Distinguished Professor at any one time. They serve as an informal advisory body to the leadership of the university.
Dr. Janssen-Heininger is the only new University Distinguished Professor this year and will be honored at the University Commencement Main Ceremony on May 22, 2022 starting at 8:30 a.m. Her scientific discoveries over the past three decades include major contributions to the fundamental understanding of how altered oxidative/metabolic processes lead to chronic environmental lung diseases. Since joining UVM in 1993, after receiving her Ph.D. from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, Dr. Janssen-Heininger has been a leader in facilitating UVM’s collaborative research program and affiliation agreement with Maastricht University, directing the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Master of Science graduate program, co-founding and helping establish the internationally recognized Redox Biology and Pathology Program, and serving as vice chair for research in her department.
Pictured above: Dr. Janssen-Heininger
Medical Students named 2022-2023 NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows
The New Hampshire/Vermont (NH/VT) Schweitzer Fellows Program selected five pairs of Larner College of Medicine Class of 2025 medical students as 2022-23 Schweitzer Fellows. Their fellowship projects focus on addressing existing health disparities throughout the region in solidarity with community partners.
Founded in 1996, the NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows Program is one of 13 currently active Albert Schweitzer Fellowship program sites across the U.S. dedicated to developing emerging professionals who enter the workforce with skills and commitment necessary to address unmet health needs.
The following medical Class of 2025 members were selected for the 2022-23 year:
- Hunter Myers and Kae Ravichandran (Community Partner: Outright Vermont)
- Kadi Nguyen and Ellen Mats (Community Partner: Winooski Middle/High School)
- Clara Maxim and Rachel Thompson (Community Partner: Here to Help)
- Tyler McGuire and Elizabeth Kelley (Community Partner: The Nulhegan Band of the Cooksuk Abenaki Nation and Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi)
- Vennela Pandaraboyina and Shea Bellino (Community Partner: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants)
Larner Hosts Vermont Geriatric Conference
May marks the 59th anniversary of Older Americans Month, established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living "to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country."
In April, healthcare professionals from across Vermont gathered for the Vermont Geriatric Conference in Burlington, Vt., presented by the University of Vermont Center on Aging. The annual conference provides the latest information on clinical care of aging adults and supports education and skills development to improve care for older patients. It also provides attendees an opportunity to network and exchange ideas, says course director Isaura Menzies, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics.
This year, for the first time, the conference offered a creative teaching session called “Ask the Expert,” which Dr. Menzies hosted, using audience-generated questions to query Holly and Bob Miller Chair in Memory and Aging Michael LaMantia,
M.D. M.P.H., associate professor of medicine, chief of geriatrics, and a specialist in cognitive impairment.
In response to the question, “Should primary care providers make a diagnosis of dementia in the office?” Dr. LaMantia replied, “Diagnoses of dementia can be made in the office through history reported by a close informant who has observed cognitive decline over a specific period of time, along with completing a cognitive screen. The literature has informed us that 85 percent of patients are diagnosed by a non-dementia specialist and 36 percent of patients saw a dementia specialist within five years of diagnosis.”
Pictured above: An older woman (left) and man look at a document together, as the woman points to something on the page. (Pexels stock photo by Rodnae Productions)
As the risks of climate change are further elucidated, the voices of health professionals are critical in policy-making that protects people."
--Stefan Wheat, M.D.'18, Instructor/Fellow, Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine, in a UVM Larner Med blog post, titled "Climate Medicine: Inspiring a New Generation of Climate Conscious Clinicians"
Pictured at left: Dr. Wheat
Sunday, May 22, 2022, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Go to https://www.uvmcommencement.com/ and scroll down to “Larner College of Medicine Ceremony” to link to the livestream.
Find more information about the Larner Commencement Ceremony and view the online program.
Accolades & Appointments
On May 13, Honors Night for graduating medical students at the Larner College of Medicine took place in the Grand Maple Ballroom in UVM’s Davis Center. Among the accolades presented at the event were the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society faculty, housestaff, and community physician awards; the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine faculty and student awards; the inaugural group of Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Scholars; department awards to students; and awards from the medical student Class of 2022. Read the full Honors Night article, for information about all awards and respective recipients.
At the Larner medical student Class of 2022 Honors Night event on May 13, Charles MacLean, M.D., associate dean for primary care and professor of medicine, announced the names of the inaugural class of Vermont AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) Scholars. According to Dr. MacLean, "the goal of the AHEC Scholars program at the Larner College of Medicine is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the social and cultural factors that influence an individual’s overall health as well as their access to healthcare." AHEC Scholars have supplemented their education and completed projects that have addressed such priorities as social determinants of health; interprofessional education and collaboration; integration of behavioral health into primary care; impact of opioid prescribing in our communities; cultural competence and cultural humility; and using quality improvement approaches to transform the way health care is delivered.
The following medical students who have been recognized as AHEC Scholars: Michael Barnum; Elizabeth Baumgartner; Richard Brach; Alexander Braun; Sara Brennan; Magalie Carey; Kelly Chan; Sally Clark; Julia Clemens; Marlijne Cook; Noorin Damji; Emily Eakin; Gia Eapen; Adam Fakhri; Faith Genereux; Catherine Gereg; Emma Hall; Ryan Harned; Luke Higgins; Seneca Hutson; Sylvia Lane; Kelly MacPherson; Rachel Madhur; Taylor Marquis; Colby McGinn; Collin Montgomery; Adessa Morano; Michelle Oberding; Alexa Pius; Megan Prue; Adam Ross; Claudia Russell; Lauren Struck; Irene Sue; Nikkole Turgeon; Allison Tzeng; Jenna Wells; Nicole Wershoven; Hakeem Yousef.
Larner medical students Dana Allison ’23, Vinh Le ’23, Richard Brach ’22, and Eileen CichoskiKelly, Ph.D., director of education instruction and scholarship and associate professor of family medicine, presented their work on the Larner College of Medicine's LHome project, a student-led initiative to support medical student experiencing food and resources insecurity, at the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) 2022 Healing the Heart of Healthcare conference May 5-7. Allison is the project's founder, Le is a GHHS member and student class president, and Brach is a GHHS member. (Pictured at left: (Top) Dana Allison; (bottom) Vinh Le.)
Jessica Heath, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and biochemistry, has been appointed the inaugural vice chair for research for the Department of Pediatrics and UVM Children’s Hospital, effective July 1, 2022. Dr. Heath, who was selected following an internal search, will be responsible for strengthening the department’s research mission and providing leadership and mentorship in the development of basic science, clinical, and translational research programs that foster that mission.
“Dr. Heath ... will be taking on this new role, but she is certainly not new to the many facets of pediatric research,” said Professor and Chair of Pediatrics Lewis First, M.D., M.S., in an announcement to his department. “Dr. Heath began her research career doing basic and translational research at Duke University as a fellow and faculty member, and she has continued to grow and develop her research career since starting as an assistant professor in our department and in the Department of Biochemistry in 2015.”
Currently the Department of Pediatrics’ Institutional Principle Investigator for the Children’s Oncology Group, Dr. Heath’s research focuses on the translational cancer biology of acute pediatric and adolescent leukemia. She oversees the clinical research program of the division of pediatric oncology and participates in clinical research projects locally and nationally, including the creation of a regional pediatric leukemia biorepository and a project to examine household hardship experienced by pediatric leukemia patients and their families.
Roz King, M.S.N., R.N., instructor in surgery and a doctoral degree candidate in the Clinical and Translational Science Ph.D. program, has been awarded an Emergency Nursing Diverse Voices Research (ENDVR) Fellowship. The ENDVR Fellowship seeks to support new researchers who are members of underrepresented communities. This grant provides professional development funding, including expenses, to attend research activities at two subsequent Emergency Nurses Association annual conferences and more.
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