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Dermatology chair garners 'hero' status; billing specialist earns workplace wellness bronze

AAD names UMMC dermatology chair ‘Patient Care Hero’

Portrait of Dr. Robert Brodell

The American Academy of Dermatology has honored Dr. Robert T. Brodell, professor and chair of dermatology, as a “Patient Care Hero” for working with colleagues at the University of Mississippi in Oxford to open a dermatology clinic in the Mississippi Delta.

The area previously did not have a dermatologist for nearly 100 miles.

Brodell and his Department of Dermatology colleagues collaborated with an existing medical clinic in a Delta high school classroom to offer dermatology services once a month, with 12 dermatologists each serving once a year.

Another dermatologist augments the clinic by providing care at a university-run urgent care center in the Delta once a month. Dates are staggered with the classroom clinic to ensure dermatologic care is available every two weeks.

“When we realized the trouble Delta residents faced in accessing dermatology care, we knew we had to do something,” Brodell said. “Having a dozen dermatologists take this on together made it manageable for us to ensure consistent staffing and we are happy to work together to meet this need.”

Founded in 1938 and headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, the AAD is the largest, most influential and most representative of all dermatologic associations. It created the Patient Care Heroes program to recognize physicians who use their expertise and collaborate with other physicians to treat serious skin diseases and transform patients’ lives.


CBO billing specialist earns Workplace Wellness bronze

Makeba Smith-Harris, billing specialist at UMMC’s Clinton Billing Office, leads a group of colleagues on a wellness walk.
Makeba Smith-Harris, billing specialist at UMMC’s Clinton Billing Office, leads a group of colleagues on a wellness walk.

Active Health Management has recognized Makeba Smith-Harris, a billing specialist at UMMC’s Clinton Billing Office, as a bronze winner of its Workplace Wellness Warrior recognition program.

Active Health is an extension of the state’s health insurance plan that encourages employee wellness, said Brea Cole, manager of Everyday Wellness in the UMMC Office of Well-being.

Cole said in her role as the CBO’s lead wellness champion, Smith-Harris daily encourages her coworkers to live a healthy lifestyle.

“If she sees employees doing something healthy – a healthy lunch or taking a walk – she will give them a T-shirt or water bottle,” Cole said. “She recognizes things that people are doing to improve their lifestyle.”

Smith-Harris initiated a wellness kickoff and health fair last fall at the CBO and also organized the CBO’s recent spring fling, Cole said. Smith-Harris also coordinated a first-ever blood drive at the office.

“She also initiated a ‘Biggest Loser’ challenge with all of the CBO employees, and they had great results,” Cole said. “She’s an overall well-being leader, and she’s passionate about it.”