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Jan. 13 - Jan. 19  

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Former Gov. to speak at MLK remembrance

Gov WinterThe Medical Center family is invited to the annual observance remembering the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and celebrating cultural diversity at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the Norman C. Nelson Student Union.

Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter is scheduled to be the featured speaker. The ceremony is sponsored by the Division of Multicultural Affairs and the Department of Pastoral Services.

For more information, call chaplain Jeffery Murphy at 5-2106.

Critical shortage propels one-day blood drive

ms bloodThe recent cold weather nationwide has had a critical effect on blood donations and the ability to transport blood from other parts of the country, according to Renee Howard, chair of the Medical Center's Blood Drive Committee.

In response, Mississippi Blood Services will host a one-day blood drive from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, in the MBS donor coach at the University Hospital entrance.

All blood types are needed. Donors are asked to eat well and drink plenty of fluids before donating blood. Donors must present a valid photo identification to donate.

For more information, email Howard at

Renamed office to focus on population health

Beech_BettinaThe Office of Rural Health and Health Disparities has a new name - the Office of Population Health.

According to Dr. Bettina Beech, associate vice chancellor for population health, while the treatment of individual patients continues to be paramount, UMMC must also address comprehensive care and population health management.

Population health has been defined as "the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group." 

"Our strong partnerships and deep roots in communities across the state present an opportunity for us to intensify efforts to improve the health of all Mississippians," Beech said. 

She has developed a strategic framework for the office that encompasses all three of UMMC's academic missions:  education, health care and research.  Reducing health disparities, which is inherent in population health, will continue to be a major focus of the office.

More information about the Office of Population Health can be found on the web at

Quality leaders select pediatrician for Q Award

Dr. Benjamin C. Dillard, right, associate professor of pediatrics, receives the Q Award from Dr. William Cleland, chief medical officer.

Dillard was nominated for the award by Jennifer Stephen, clinical director of pediatric emergency and lab services, who wrote that Dillard emphasizes quality in many aspects of his role at the Medical Center.

According to Stephen, "Benji has accepted committees, councils and task force appointments to supplement pediatric knowledge and emphasis," but she said the greatest demonstration of his quality service lies "through the teaching of students and residents in the pediatric ER."

"For many years, he has worked hard to deliver a robust teaching and learning experience. His commitment to teaching extends past his hours as attending physician in the pediatric ER. His preferred group for teaching are second-year medical students . . . Dr. Dillard is dedicated to their education and worthwhile learning experience."

The Q Award is presented quarterly by Quality Administration to a Medical Center physician who promotes quality and improves patient safety. To nominate a physician for the award, select the "Q Award" link under the UMMC Yellow Pages on the UMMC Intranet.

AWHONN taps Rowzee as ‘Emerging Leader’

Rowze_KimberlyKimberly Rowzee, nurse educator in the Winfred L. Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants, has been accepted to a yearlong leadership development program by a national organization that fosters the nursing profession and the care of women and newborns.

Rowzee was one of 10 people chosen by the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) for the Emerging Leaders Program from a nationwide pool of 42 candidates.

Designed to recruit future AWHONN leaders and enhance leadership and business skills among a diverse group of nurses, the program accepts applicants based on their skills, experience and zeal for women's health and perinatal nursing.

A UMMC employee for almost 11 years, Rowzee coordinated programs for pregnant women and their families and supervises the breastfeeding program at Wiser. She also served as a part-time faculty member in the School of Nursing last fall.

Her training will begin in February with a two-day trip to Washington, D.C. that will feature legislative visits on Capitol Hill.

Gandy receives first quarterly nursing honor

Amanda Gandy, center, receives the first Nurse of the Quarter Award from Retention Council co-chairs Amy Kittrell, left, and Valerie Wright-Brunt during the Nursing Leadership Meeting Jan. 9.

Gandy, a charge nurse on 5 North, was nominated by Jennifer Hargett, 5 North educator, for helping to create and revise the 5 North practice plan, helping work through important issues on the floor, such as staff scheduling and recognition efforts, and helping to "make 5 North a better place to work, which makes us better able to provide care to our patients."

An RN at UMMC for 11 years, Gandy is a member of 5 North's Practice Council and has been a participant in UMMC's Professional Development Program since it was first launched as the Clinical Ladder Program.

The Nurse of the Quarter Program was developed by the Nursing Retention Council to  recognize and promote professionalism among UMMC nurses. To nominate a nurse for the second quarter of 2014, visit

Medical Center alum joins pediatrics faculty

Farah_NourelhodaDr. Nourelhoda Farah, a UMMC alum, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of pediatrics.

After receiving the B.S. in cytotechnology from UMMC in 2005, Farah earned the M.D. at UMMC in 2010. She had residency training in pediatrics at UMMC from 2010-13.

The author or coauthor of one article in a peer-reviewed professional publication, three poster presentations and three oral presentations, Farah is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Mississippi Muslim Association. 

Medical Center staff receive service recognition

The Medical Center is proud to acknowledge those employees who will celebrate service anniversaries this week:

20 Years

* Cheryl Jones, dental assistant, School of Dentistry (Advanced General Dentistry)

15 Years

* Vera Mallard, billing specialist, Patient Financial Services

* Anne Martin, director of the Office of Research and Scholarship, School of Medicine

* Juanita Prezasjones, Epic application coordinator, Information Systems

10 Years

* Tihira Anderson, patient care technician, 5 North

* Marina Baldwin, nurse manager, 3 North

* Darlene Keyes, project administrator, Jackson Heart Study

Strick to explain why rats don’t play the violin

Strick_PeterDr. Peter Strick, professor and chair of neurobiology, co-director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, director of the Systems Neuroscience Institute and VA senior research career scientist at the Pittsburgh, Pa., VAMC, will present "Old and New M1: A Tale of Two Motor Areas, or Why Rodents Don't Play the Violin" from noon-1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, in room N617(A)-6A in the School of Medicine.

All Medical Center faculty, staff and students are invited. The seminar is presented by the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences.

For more information, call Lisa Boyd at 4-1640.

Tune in to discuss obesity's cardio impact

Tune_photoDr. Jonathan Tune, associate professor of cellular and integrative physiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, will present "Cardiovascular Effects of Glucogen-like Peptide 1 in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes" from noon-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 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 seminar is presented by the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. For more information, call Courtney Graham at 4-1820.

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

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