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The pandemic has accelerated the use of telehealth. To better understand the benefits and challenges of remote care, VCU researchers are studying how doctors and patients connect virtually.
As another strange term gets underway, students, faculty and staff offer advice and lessons learned over the past year, including how to stay healthy, succeed academically and combat loneliness.
Beginning Jan. 25, students and employees will need to log into the digital “fast pass” to enter four buildings on campus, vouching that they are in compliance with health checks and COVID-19 testing.
The U.K. variation is more infectious but likely not more deadly, and vaccination remains the best way to combat all forms of the virus.
VCU’s spring term will look a lot different. Here are key dates and changes to keep in mind.
More than 7 in 10 say they are likely to get a vaccine, according to a new statewide poll conducted by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.
Students in the clinical years of their training, in health programs that are involved in patient care and students in patient-facing environments will begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines Jan 12.
The university hopes to resume in-person instruction on or before March 8.
Meet the talented individuals who make the School of Medicine what it is.
LISA K. BRATH, M.D. [View Image]Outstanding Term Faculty Award, presented at 2019 VCU Convocation
Lisa Brath, M.D., is professor of medicine in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine division of the Department of Internal Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine. She is program director for the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellowship program, as well as medical director of both Respiratory Care and the Unique Pathogens Unit at the VCU Medical Center. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine and fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at the MCV Campus of VCU.
Her dedication has been apparent from the moment she joined the faculty. In her first year, she helped create a new asthma management program that focused on the underserved. She subsequently held a number of leadership roles in both education and administration.
[View Image]AMA’s Council on Medical Service
Alice Coombs, M.D., M.P.A., FCCP, associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, has been elected to the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Service. As part of this council, she will study and evaluate the social and economic aspects of health care and recommend relevant policy changes to improve health care delivery in a changing socioeconomic environment.
Stephanie Call [View Image]Enrique Gerszten, M.D. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award,
Distinguished Teaching Award
Professor and Associate Chair for Education, Department of Internal Medicine, and Program Director for the VCUHS Internal Medicine Residency Training Program is a renowned teacher of students and residents, as well as “teacher of teachers”, supporting continuing learning by colleagues. Dr. Call’s teaching skills are routinely described as “phenomenal,” “effective,” “motivational,” “enthusiastic,” and “a calling.”
[View Image]Enrique Gerszten, M.D. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award
When Virginia “Ginny” Pallante, MS, Instructor, Human and Molecular Genetics, began teaching medical and graduate students, it was not anticipated that in a few years there would be a Federally-funded Human Genome Project and consumers would be buying genetic testing kits on-line. Human genetics has rapidly become foundational knowledge and practice for nearly every clinical specialty. During this transformative time, Ms. Pallante has constantly updated her teaching content to be sure students have access to the most up-to-date information, while adopting new and more effective teaching approaches to support learning.
[View Image]Irby-James Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching
Dr. Phoebe Ashley, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, joined the VCU faculty in 2014, and serves as Assistant M3 Clinical Clerkship Director for Internal Medicine. Since 2015, she has also served as co-director of the VCU Pauley Heart Center Women’s Heart Health Symposium. Dr. Ashley came to VCU after experiences in private practice, as well as in academic medicine. Her talent for bedside teaching was recognized almost immediately. “(Her) teaching style is “old school”, and at the bedside. She is an amazing clinician and diagnostician. She is an outstanding patient interviewer and her physical examination skills are nothing less than excellent.” states Kenneth A. Ellenbogen, MD, Martha M. and Harold W. Kimmerling Professor of Cardiology and Chair, Division of Cardiology.
[View Image]Distinguished Mentor Award
A great mentor is like a pebble dropped into water – the impact creates ripples of activity that extend, with ever widening reach, far beyond the original source. Sarah Spiegel, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has formally mentored 73 pre- and post-doctoral students and fellows in addition to dozens of faculty in multiple departments – her impact extends far beyond VCU.
[View Image]Educational Innovation/Educational Research Award
Without people developing new ideas and bringing the energy and courage to try them out, we would never improve our work. Steven Bishop, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine (DOIM), began improving our teaching programs during his residency, and has continued to be a catalyst for change in medical education since joining the faculty in 2014. In 2016, Dr. Bishop was appointed the M3 DOIM Clerkship Director and he serves as Chair of the Educational Research Group in the DOIM Office of Educational Affairs. Just this summer, Dr. Bishop was recognized for his dedication, expertise, and productivity in numerous aspects of medical education with appointment as DOIM Associate Chair for Education.
[View Image]Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award,
VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education “LGME” Award
Since coming to VCU in 2015, Dr. Joel Moll, Associate Professor and Residency Program Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, has had a significant impact on our residency training, our support for residents, and in strengthening our commitment to inclusiveness and compassionate care for all members of our community. His Department Chair, Joseph Ornato, M.D., Professor of Emergency Medicine, describes him as an “educational, moral, and humanistic powerhouse.” In the words of another colleague, he “personifies humanism in medicine.”
[View Image]Women in Science, Dentistry, and Medicine Professional Achievement “WISDM” Award
Dr. Huiping Zhou joined VCU in 1999 as Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Internal Medicine, and joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the MCV-McGuire VA Medical Center Lipid Research Group in 2004 as a Research Assistant Professor. She earned a tenure-track position in 2007 with joint appointments in Microbiology and Immunology and Internal Medicine. Her exceptional academic achievements led to promotion as a GS14 Research Scientist position at McGuire VA Medical Center in 2014, and promotion to full professor with tenure in Microbiology and Immunology in 2016.
[View Image]MCV Physicians Distinguished Clinician Award
Dr. Wes Shepherd is Professor of Interventional Pulmonology, Associate Professor of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, Internal Medicine and has an appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery. He earned his M.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his residency, including service as Chief Resident, and a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at VCU. He then completed a year-long fellowship in Interventional Pulmonology at the Lahey Clinic before coming back to VCU in 2004 as the first fellowship-trained interventional pulmonologist in Virginia. Dr. Shepherd is board-certified in Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine, and Interventional Pulmonology. He provides clinical services in the Medical Respiratory ICU, the Interventional Pulmonology (IP) procedure consult service, the general Pulmonary Clinic, and as part of the multidisciplinary Chest Tumor Clinic in Massey Cancer Center.
[View Image]VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education “LGME” Award,
Fellowship Director Award
Associate Professor and Fellowship Program Director, Dr. Ravi Vachhani, is this year’s fellowship director winner of the Leadership in Graduate Medical Education award. From medical college in Ahmedabad, India to residency and two fellowships at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Dr. Vachhani has pursued excellence in the specialized field of advanced therapeutic endoscopy. He came to VCU in 2008, following his second fellowship in ERCP and Endoscopic ultrasound. Four years later, he took over the reins as Fellowship Program Director for Gastroenterology. In 2017, Dr. Vachhani was made Associate Professor.
[View Image]VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education “LGME” Award,
Program Coordinator Award
Residency and fellowship coordinators are a special group. They are the front office and back office of the program. They are often the cement the holds the many parts together and the oil that makes sure everything flows smoothly. They help to oversee the personal well-being of the program’s residents and fellows, attending to details like accreditation paperwork, individual evaluations, call room needs and countless other items. In addition, a coordinator must be attuned to the needs of the program’s director who is usually an exceptionally busy clinician. The success of a program’s recruitment is directly linked to the coordinator’s dedication, flexibility and people skills.
[View Image]University Award of Excellence
Arun J. Sanyal, M.D., is the education core director at VCU’s C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research and a professor in the gastroenterology division of the Department of Internal Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine.
[View Image]Distinguished Scholarship Award
Paul H. Wehman, Ph.D., is a professor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at VCU’s School of Medicine. He holds a joint position in the College of Health Professions’ Department of Rehabilitation Counseling and the School of Education’s Department of Counseling and Special Education. He also serves as director of the VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment and director of the VCU Autism Center for Excellence.
Kimberly W. Sanford [View Image]
Enrique Gerszten, M.D. Faculty Teaching Excellence Award
“Dr. Sanford was made for teaching,” states colleague, John A Svirsky, D.D.S. M.Ed., professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, VCU School of Dentistry. Her students agree enthusiastically: “One of the most kind and passionate professors we have had this year.” “There are not enough words in the English language for me to describe how amazing Dr. Sanford is,” and “Her enthusiasm and teaching excellence made Pathology come to life.”
Duane C. Williams, M.D [View Image]Irby-James Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching
“Dr. Duane Williams is my role model as a human being.”
Dr. Duane Williams, Assistant Professor, Interim Division Chief, Pediatric Critical Care, joined our faculty in 2013, and in a short time has demonstrated his consummate skills as an extraordinary clinical teacher. He was selected for the Pediatric Housestaff Teaching Award after his fi rst year at VCU. “Residents adore his kind, compassionate demeanor as well as his ability to provide them with as much autonomy as possible in a busy and often stress-filled PICU,” states Clifton C. Lee, M.D., FAAP, SFHM, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Richmond (CHoR) at VCU.
Alpha A. (Berry) Fowler, III, M.D. [View Image]Distinguished Mentor Award
In his 35 years of service at VCU, Alpha A. “Berry” Fowler, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Director, VCU Johnson Center for Critical Care and Pulmonary Research, has had a profound influence at VCU and beyond. Considering his robust grant support and over 300 publications and abstracts in clinical areas including adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and sepsis, he might well be lauded for that alone. Likewise, with over 16 years as Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine (PDCCM) Division Chair, with numerous “Top Doc” awards and other honors, his pursuit of excellence in clinical care, impacting thousands of patients and their families, might well be the highlight of most careers. Today, we honor Dr. Fowler for the countless students, residents, fellows, and interdisciplinary colleagues he has mentored and continues to mentor.
S. Murthy Karnam, Ph.D. [View Image]Distinguished Mentor Award
Brilliant. Accomplished. Dedicated. Smiling. Warm. Generous. Humble. These are the words you hear over and over from those describing S. Murthy Karnam, Ph.D., currently Professor of Physiology & Biophysics. Dr. Karnam came to VCU as a postdoctoral scholar in 1988. He also holds an appointment in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology. He is universally known for his open door, welcoming smile, and willingness to make time to discuss a question, concern, or discovery.
Michael Joyce, M.D. and Sammy Pedram, M.D. [View Image]Educational Innovation Award/Educational Research Award
“Coolest class ever.”
Point of care ultrasound allows us to be able to see inside a patient without scheduling them for X-Ray, moving them from their room, or worrying about ionizing radiation exposure. Images are obtained in real time, allowing quicker assessment and improved patient care. It has rapidly been incorporated into patient care in nearly every specialty, so it is important for our medical students to learn this skill. Introducing any curricular innovation, especially one that requires hands-on training, is challenging with a medical school class size of over 200 students. Even more daunting can be coordinating this new material with the rest of the curriculum to enhance and reinforce student learning.
Harold F. Young, M.D. [View Image]Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award
Dr. Harold F. Young’s name is synonymous with excellence and humanism. He came to MCV as an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery in 1972, and served as Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery from 1985 to 2015. He is currently Professor of Neurosurgery, and Director of the Harold F. Young Neurosurgical Center. Dr. Young’s exceptional career has been dedicated to service to patients, service to his students, and service to improving health care through applied scholarship. As Chair, Dr. Young assembled a team recognized nationally for its research and clinical care. The VCUHS Neurosurgical Center, named for Dr. Young, trains young clinicians and scientists to work together to provide evidence-based and compassionate patient care; in fact, the stated mission of the Center is the commitment “to providing exceptional and compassionate patient care.”
Saba W. Masho, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H. [View Image]Women in Science, Dentistry, and Medicine Professional Achievement “WISDM” Award
Passion and commitment. These words come up repeatedly when students and colleagues describe Saba Masho, M.D., MPH, DrPH. Dr. Masho is Professor of Epidemiology in the VCU Departments of Family Medicine and Population Health, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Psychology; her work focuses on maternal and child health epidemiology.
Dr. Masho came to VCU in 2001 and serves as PI for multiple federally funded research projects in the areas of perinatal health, youth violence prevention and provision of comprehensive care to underserved families. She has completed projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Richmond City Health Department, and Virginia Premier and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications, monographs, and book chapters. A popular speaker, Dr. Masho has given over 200 invited presentations at the local and national level.
Uma R. Prasad, M.D. [View Image]MCV Physicians Distinguished Clinician Award
What more could you ask of your doctor than to demonstrate, in the words of a colleague, “clinical excellence and effectiveness, efficiency, availability for patient care, compassion, and responsiveness to patients and referring physicians”? Dr. Uma R. Prasad, interventional radiologist, Associate Professor of Radiology and Director of Ultrasound and the Non- Vascular Interventional Radiology Service, has demonstrated exceptional commitment to providing the best possible patient care during nearly 30 years of service in the VCU Health System.
John Christian Barrett, M.D. [View Image]VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education “LGME” Award
This year’s Fellowship Program Director award is honoring Dr. Christian Barrett for his service as the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Director – a role he has occupied since 2011. In addition to managing the fellowship, Dr. Barrett is also the Associate Chair of Clinical Affairs for the Department of Internal Medicine, the Medical Director of the Anti-coagulation Clinic, Medical Director of the Central Virginia Center for Coagulation Disorders, and Co- Director of the M1 Marrow Course at the VCU School of Medicine.
Cindi Phares [View Image]VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education “LGME” Award
The work of this year’s award recipient Cindi Phares never goes unnoticed. Her contributions are key to the strength and growth of the General Surgery Residency Program. Strong letters of support and words of gratitude are just small tokens of appreciation from the Department of Surgery, who has benefited from Cindi’s dedication to resident education since 2012. Prior to working for the Surgery Department, she was the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology’s Education Administrator for 11 years. She is motivated and innovative. She helped implement a weekly resident feedback processes and individualized attention fostering resident wellness and work-life balance. Third-year resident, Jonathan DeAntonio, states that Cindi “epitomizes what a residency coordinator should be because she cares about us as residents” and “is truly vital to our success as residents and along our transition to fellows and attendings”.
Christopher Kogut, M.D. [View Image]VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education “LGME” Award
“Amazing” and “integral” are two of the descriptors recurring in multiple recommendation letters for this year’s LGME Residency Program Director Award. Since 2012, Dr. Chris Kogut has directed the Psychiatry Residency program responsible for training 44 new residents annually. His department chairman, Dr. Joel Silverman, effusively praises Kogut, describing him as “exceedingly effective” and an “outstanding leader.” During his tenure as program director, Dr. Kogut has re-designed the curriculum leading to rising exam scores and high quality competition for residency spots. Despite significant administrative duties associated with program directorship, he maintains an active presence on the psychiatry consult service and is highly rated as an attending by both residents and medical students. Numerous teaching awards and a designation as one of Richmond Magazine’s “Top Doctors” underscores Dr. Kogut’s commitment to teaching and service. In fact, writes Silverman, as “an outstanding measure of leadership, dedication and capability,” Chris was asked by the graduating School of Medicine class of 2015 to serve as commencement speaker.
Diversity is absolutely essential at a research university, just as it is in life. It is an indispensable part of the learning process. It shapes what we learn and how we learn it, how we solve problems, how we interact with one another, and how we think about ourselves and each other.Find out more about diversity