News from Dean Spann | May 2024
05/24/2024, 09:30:02 AM
Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine Dean's Newsletter May 2024 Edition

Dean’s Message about Commencement
The May 11th Commencement Ceremony for our inaugural class of medical students marked a major milestone for the UH Tilman J. Fertitta College of Medicine. It was the culmination of almost 9 years of work for me, and it was a joy to witness the graduation of 22 of our amazing students! They started their medical studies at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic on July 19th, 2020, and most of their classes during their first year were held online. They were willing to take a risk and enroll in a new medical school with a different kind of mission and curriculum. I have been fond of saying that “we are building the airplane as we are flying it”, and they have had major input in helping our faculty adjust and improve our curriculum and teaching during our first four years. They have demonstrated perseverance, grit and resilience, traits that will help them through their years of residency training. All did well in the residency match: 57% matched in primary care residency programs (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics), and 52% matched in residencies in the state of Texas. I am very proud of our graduates, and excited to follow their careers over the years to come. I am grateful to our faculty, both full-time and voluntary, who taught them, and to our staff, who played key roles in our educational process. Congratulations Class of 2024, we wish you every success throughout your careers as physicians!

Read more about the Class of 2024 Commencement Ceremony.

May 2024 Commencement Group Photo

Student News

Match Day students

Match Day statistics

Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine celebrated its inaugural Match Day. Each year, on the third Friday of March, thousands of graduating medical students across the country are placed into residency programs through the National Resident Matching Program, referred to as the MATCH. For the Fertitta Family College of Medicine, this year’s Match Day marked a major milestone not just for the students, but for the college itself. This year, all students in the College of Medicine’s first class matched with a residency program, including Houston native Jalyce Taylor who matched with the pediatrics program at the U.S. Navy Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, the country’s first naval hospital.

Read more about the Match Day event.

  • Jasmin Ali, MS2, Alejandra Duque, MS1, Cassie Leissner, MS1, Ashlynn McCall, MS2, Jessica Medrano, MS2, and Matthew Mendoza, MS1, were all accepted into the next class of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship of Houston Galveston.
  • Kelly House, MS1, and Tra’Von Manning, MS2, partnered with Emily Paul to demonstrate an acute emergency situation to the UH Football players and staff. They demonstrated the AHA protocol for identifying someone in need of CPR, how to clear the scene, how to ask for EMS and for instructing a bystander to obtain an automated external defibrillator (AED).
  • Zainab Jimoh, MS2, won Best Poster and Presentation in the Mental Health category presented at the 2024 AMHP National Public Health Conference on Building Bridges to Advance Health Equity & Social Justice held at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD.
  • The Medical Student Research Association (Shreya Desai, MS1) received the Outstanding New Student Organization Award.
  • Isabella Martingano, MS2, Jessica Medrano, MS2, and Yole Odharo, MS2, won the Meritorious Award, which is granted by the Society of Behavioral Medicine conference reviewers and program committee. This award is given to student-authored submissions of exceptional quality.
  • Members of our Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Chapter attended the SNMA Annual Medical Education Conference in New Orleans. Students participated in workshops, presented their research, and networked with medical societies, residency and fellowship programs, and fellow medical students.
  • The Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) at the College had the opportunity to attend the LMSA Southwest Regional Conference at McGovern Medical School. Members had the opportunity to make connections between future and present Latino and non-Latino doctors and health care professionals. Activities included guest speakers, hands-on workshops, and the research symposium that many of our members participated in. We had two poster winners: Kaylah Perez, MS2, who won in the category of best translational poster, and Iliana Oberkircher, MS3, who won in the categories of best basic science and best overall research poster.

Faculty News

  • Maureen Grissom, Ph.D. won the prestigious 2023-2024 University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award in the fourth category of Instructional/Clinical.
  • Steven Starks, M.D., M.B.A., DFAPA, began his one-year term as the Speaker of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Assembly of District Branches at the close of the organization’s 2024 Annual Meeting in Manhattan.
  • Winston Liaw, M.D., M.P.H. led a student trip (13 first-year medical students) to Santa Ana, Honduras where they provided medical treatment and care to the local population. Stephen Spann, M.D., M.B.A. and Donald Briscoe, M.D. were the two other College of Medicine faculty who accompanied the group and provided clinical teaching and supervision to the students.  The group provided care for 255 patients with medical problems, and the students assisted an optometrist who is a graduate of the UH College of Optometry who provided care for 184 patients with vision problems.
  • Lola Adepoju, Ph.D., M.P.H. received the Outstanding Advisor Award at the University of Houston’s 39th Annual Campus Leaders Ceremony.
  • Jacqueline Levesque, A.Ed. was asked by the AAMC Group on Resident Affairs to Chair the GME Leadership Competencies committee.
  • Mahbub Hossain, M.D., M.P.H., DR.P.H. received the 2024 Population Health Publication Award for his paper titled “Living with ‘Long COVID’: A systemic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative evidence”.

Welcome the following new faculty members to our college:
Sara R. Elkins, Ph.D. Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology
Jasna Marjanovic, Ph.D. Clinical Professor, Pharmacology
Maryam Vasefi, Ph.D. Clinical Associate Professor, Neuroscience

  • Adepoju OE, Singh M, Tipton M, Peperone G, Trujillo M, Ojinnaka C. Access to technology, internet usage, and online health information-seeking behaviors in a racially diverse, lower-income population. Frontiers in public health. 2024;12:1328544. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2024.1328544
  • Al-Dossari R, Kalra M, Adkison J, Nguyen BM. Non-Surgical Management of Urinary Incontinence. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2024.
  • Gilbert LR, Tawiah N, Adepoju OE. Exploring racial and secondary substance use differences in route of administration of opioid drugs: Analysis of the 2015-2019 treatment admission data. Journal of substance use and addiction treatment. 2024, in press, doi:10.1016/j.josat.2024.209365
  • Gilfoyle M, Bosworth KT, Adesanya TMA, Chisholm A, Ohioma M, Ringwald B, Warpinski CL, Kueper JK, Liaw W. Exploring Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Primary Care. Annals of Family Medicine. 2024;22(2):174-175. doi:10.1370/afm.3112
  • King B, Berg L, Koenig J. Popular Musician Occupational Stress and Psychological Ill-Health: An Exploratory Factor Analysis. Medical Problems of Performing Artists. 2024.
  • Novick T, King B. Addressing Housing Issues Among People with Kidney Disease: Importance, Challenges, and Recommendations. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2024, in press, doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2024.01.521
  • Pham C, Govender R, Tehami S, Chavez S, Adepoju OE, Liaw W. ChatGPT's Performance in Cardiac Arrest and Bradycardia Simulations Using the American Heart Association's Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Guidelines: Exploratory Study. Journal of medical Internet research. 2024;26:e55037. doi:10.2196/55037
  • Ventres WB, Stone LA, Shah R, Carter T, Gusoff GM, Liaw W, Nguyen BM, Rachelson JV, Scott MA, Schiff-Elfalan TL, Yamada S, Like RC, Zoppi K, Catinella AP, Frankel RM, Prasad S. Storylines of family medicine II: foundational building blocks-context, community and health. Family Medicine & Community Health. 2024;12(Suppl 3):e002789. doi:10.1136/fmch-2024-002789
  • Ventres WB, Stone LA, Abou-Arab ER, Meza J, Buck DS, Crowder JW, Edgoose JYC, Brown A, Plumb EJ, Norris AK, Allen JJ, Giammar LE, Wood JE, Dickson SM, Brown GA. Storylines of family medicine IX: people and places—diverse populations and locations of care. Family Medicine & Community Health. 2024;12(Suppl3):e002826. doi:10.1136/fmch-2024-002826. PMID: 38609086 PMCID: PMC11029404
  • Gandy S T., Zimmerle, Maldonado S., Lall J., Sadacharan C. (March 03, 2024) A Triad of Intricacies: An Exploration of Concomitant Codominant Coronary Artery Pattern, Patent Foramen Ovale, and Chiari Network in a Cadaveric Study. Cureus 16(3): e55434. DOI 10.7759/cureus.55434
  • Nash, Woods. (2024) Love and Other Erlenmeyer Flasks. Medmic: conversations, culture, and creativity from the health care community.

UH Health Family Care Center Ready to Serve You

Neena A. Arora - Assistant Vice President and CEO

The UH Health Family Care Center welcomed Neena A. Arora, M.H.A./M.B.A., our newest Assistant Vice President and CEO. Neena brings a wealth of health care management experience to her current role, having held positions at Vecino Health Center, Legacy Community Health Services, San José Clinic, and Houston Methodist. She is dedicated to helping the underserved community receive access to quality health care and is excited to be part of a team and organization that carries the same values and mission.

Kind regards,

Stephen J. Spann, M.D., M.B.A.
Founding Dean
Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine
Vice-President for Medical Affairs
Humana Endowed Dean's Chair in Medicine
Phone (713) 743-0875

Mission - To Improve health and health care in Houston, Texas, and beyond.
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