Faculty and Staff News
Tucker Edmonds to serve in health equity positions for IU School of Medicine, IU Health
Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds, MD, MPH, MS, has accepted the positions of vice president and chief health equity officer (CHEO) for IU Health and associate dean for health equity research at IU School of Medicine. She will also hold an endowed chair for health equity research at the school.
In the newly created CHEO position, Tucker Edmonds will examine IU Health’s internal operations and clinical care through the lens of the diverse patients and communities the health system serves. She will focus on ensuring equitable levels of and access to care, treating people equitably and respectfully according to the IU Health values and addressing long-standing public health disparities that highlight inequities in healthcare. In this role, she will report to David Ingram, MD, executive vice president and chief medical executive, IU Health.
As the associate dean for health equity research, Tucker Edmonds will prioritize developing and implementing programs that focus on key aspects of health equity research. In this role, she will report to Tatiana Foroud, PhD, executive associate dean for research affairs, IU School of Medicine, and executive vice president, academic affairs for clinical research, IU Health.
Tucker Edmonds will continue in her roles as associate professor for IU School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as a practicing OB-GYN at IU Health and Eskenazi Health. She will be transitioning from her role as assistant dean for diversity affairs at IU School of Medicine, which she has served in since 2017.
Tucker Edmonds will begin serving in the new health equity positions on Thursday, July 1.
Carroll named IU’s chief health officer
Aaron Carroll, MD, distinguished professor of pediatrics and associate dean for research mentoring at IU School of Medicine, has been appointed IU’s inaugural chief health officer. In this new role, Carroll will be responsible for leading and coordinating IU's response to major health issues and long-term concerns like mental health and wellness.
Carroll is one of the leaders of IU's COVID-19 Medical Response Team.
Nominations for faculty awards due July 2
IU School of Medicine believes that honoring outstanding teaching, research and service is an important part of the school’s culture. To recognize faculty for these attributes, nominations are now being accepted for the following awards: Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Awards, Inspirational Educator Award, Outstanding Community Engagement Award, Scholar Educator Award and Volunteer and Adjunct Faculty Teaching Awards. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, July 2. Award descriptions and criteria are available.
Most restrictions on masks, physical distancing removed for fall 2021
All IU campuses plan to return to mostly normal operations in the fall. Read more about COVID-19 vaccine requirements and the lifting of most pandemic-related restrictions, including masking and physical distancing.
Look for next INScope on July 15
The next issue of INScope will hit inboxes on Thursday, July 15, due to the upcoming holiday. INScope will resume weekly publication following the Thursday, July 29, issue. Email news submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the blog: Dozens of women get free health screenings through See, Test and Treat event
Sara Patton arrived at Gennesaret Free Clinic in Indianapolis the morning of June 14 ready to take charge of her health. A previous patient of the clinic, she came to the See, Test and Treat event that day to receive free women’s health screenings.
“I’m a waitress. I don’t have great health insurance, and COVID hit me hard financially,” Patton said. “I got the full doctor experience here for no cost.”
Patton’s story is similar to that of dozens of other women who also attended the clinic that day. The event, hosted by the Indiana University National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, Gennesaret Free Clinic and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Foundation, provided free breast and cervical cancer screenings, mammograms, diabetes testing, HIV testing, genetic counseling and more. Patients were also able to receive personalized treatment plans and help with prescriptions or referrals to medical specialists, if necessary. The event also acted as a community health fair, providing services and education for patients who were interested.
Medical providers from IU, including OB-GYNs, nurses and genetic counselors volunteered to provide care at the event. Residents and medical students were on hand to help, as well.
“Many of the patients we saw are medically underserved people who often face barriers to health care, such as language, cultural, financial or transportation,” said Gail Vance, MD, Sutphin Professor of Cancer Genetics at the IU School of Medicine Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics. “This event allowed us to help bridge that gap for many women and provide them with potentially lifesaving care that might otherwise be difficult for them to receive.”
For more on the event, read the Indiana Health blog post.
View the webinar: PHI makes progress combating childhood osteosarcoma
The second IU Grand Challenges webinar about the Precision Health Initiative (PHI) took place this month, focusing on progress in studying and treating childhood sarcomas—cancers that develop in the bones and soft tissues. This webinar featured Jamie Renbarger, MD, and Karen Pollok, PhD, co-leaders of the IU Precision Health Initiative pediatric sarcomas disease research team, as well as Tatiana Foroud, PhD, who leads the IU Precision Health Initiative. Kelly and Tony Trent, parents of the late Tyler Trent, also joined the conversation to share Tyler’s journey of fighting osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer. IU Vice President for Research Fred Cate served as the event’s host.
One of the most significant areas of progress within the PHI pediatric sarcomas program is a discovery the team made of an emerging drug combination therapy that significantly slows tumor growth in models, which includes a model established from cells taken from tumors donated by Tyler Trent. The team’s findings are published in the peer-reviewed, international oncology journal, Cancers. This was the first published manuscript that included Trent's tumor model and the team dedicated the research to Tyler.
Researchers develop human cellular model of visual pathway in a dish
IU School of Medicine scientists have created a new way to study how the retina transmits information to the brain, potentially providing a foundation to understand how the visual system develops and how its cells are damaged in diseases.
Researchers generated human pluripotent stem cell derived organoids modeling the major stages of the visual system. The study showed how multiple areas of the brain and different cell types interact in a dish.
Much of the research investigated how retinal ganglion cells—the sole connection between the eye and the brain—extend their axons into the brain and transmit visual information. When that connection is severed in disease or damage, it can result in vision loss and blindness.
“By pursuing these studies, we aim to develop a novel and powerful tool for future studies that allows researchers to investigate how nerve cells in the visual system extend toward downstream targets, leading to exciting new approaches for regenerative medicine,” Meyer said.
Former STEM student becomes a mentor through Indiana CTSI summer program
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, demand continues to skyrocket for the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) summer programs for high school students.
Mentors from the IU School of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology are joining the program for the first time this year, sponsoring 10 high school students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds for a summer internship, followed by ongoing one-on-one mentorship through the end of the calendar year. The gastroenterology and hepatology summer STEM programs are being led by Toyia James-Stevenson, MD, and Lauren Nephew, MD.
James-Stevenson was born and raised in Indianapolis. Originally thinking she would become a lawyer since writing came easily to her, she decided she wanted more of a challenge, so she participated in the SEED/STEM program through her high school, Arsenal Tech. Her first mentor was Lawrence Doolin, the first Black scientist with a PhD to have a lab at Eli Lilly and Company many years ago.
“He was teaching us to think at a higher level than what we were taught in the books,” said James-Stevenson. “He would bring stuff from his own lab so we could apply what we learned in the books to experiments being done at Lilly. When someone believes in you and sees potential in you, you start to believe in yourself as well. You see them as a role model and you see that’s it’s possible to be a PhD scientist, since he was an African American male who ran a lab at Lilly. I could do the same.”
For more on the program, visit Indiana CTSI.
Faculty and Staff News
Internal search underway for assistant dean, diversity affairs
IU School of Medicine is seeking a faculty member interested in taking part and establishing culturally relevant programming and initiatives that emphasize the school’s three pillars of diversity: representational diversity, creating an inclusive climate, and cultural competency and humility.
The person in this role will work with several key stakeholders; however, primary attention will be given to spearheading evidence-based programming to faculty from backgrounds underrepresented in academic medicine tailored towards their career goals, faculty advancement and leadership development. The assistant dean will also engage in organizational strategies to improve diverse faculty recruitment and retention. While there are ongoing faculty initiatives (i.e., PLUS, iDream) to be maintained, ideas for new initiatives are expected and welcomed.
The assistant dean will work in collaboration with other units (e.g., Medical Student Education, Graduate Medical Education, Graduate Division, IUSM departments, IU Health and IU Health Physicians).
Qualifications: The most important criterion is a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion work. The individual selected for this position must have excellent communication and organizational skills; ability to work collaboratively with many groups; be a proven leader and educator; and have a keen interest in conducting research about faculty, faculty diversity, faculty vitality and the impact of faculty development. Although some faculty development experience would be a plus, it is not essential.
To apply, email a CV and cover letter that describes interest in diversity initiatives and leadership experiences to Senem Guler, assistant director of faculty recruiting. Application deadline is Saturday, July 31.
Cary and Hains named Evans Fellows
Clint Cary, MD, MPH, associate professor of urology, and David Hains, MD, Byron P. & Frances D. Hollett Professor of Pediatric Nephrology, were selected as the 2021-22 Evans Fellows in Health Care Leadership.
Named in honor of Daniel F. Evans, Jr., JD, president emeritus of IU Health, the Evans Fellowship in Health Care Leadership program is designed to optimize fellows’ extensive medical experience with insight into business and leadership, as they relate to health care. Cary and Hains will receive executive coaching and mentoring from Evans and system leaders. This two-year leadership fellowship also includes structured coursework leading to a master’s in business administration from the IU Kelley Business of Medicine program.
Read the Faculty News blog post for more information.
Faculty and fellows: Find out about FCP2 teaching opportunity
The Foundations of Clinical Practice (FCP) team is recruiting additional faculty to serve as FCP2 Small Group Clinical Skills Instructors (formerly titled “Master Clinicians”) for the 2021-22 academic year.
FCP2 small group instructors work with a co-facilitator to lead case presentation discussions, including the development of differential diagnosis, assessment and planning, with a small group of Year 2 medical students. Small groups meet weekly for 3-4 hours on a designated day between August and early February. All necessary teaching materials are provided before each session.
All faculty, including early career faculty and fellows, are invited to serve in this role. Compensation is provided for the commitment. Interested faculty should contact Amanda Benaderet, MD, or Marlita Kelly for more information or to sign up. Faculty may also sign up online at Teaching Opportunities in Medical Education.
Check out AMPATH leadership opportunities
IU School of Medicine has been a leader of the AMPATH partnership in Kenya for more than three decades with a full-time faculty team living and working alongside Kenyan colleagues and trainees. Is it time for you to join the team of physician leaders advancing AMPATH's mission to “Lead with Care” while supporting bidirectional educational opportunities and groundbreaking research? Learn more about the opportunities currently available:
AMPATH Fireside Chat on July 16 to feature Spencer and Einterz
Join Jesse Spencer, actor and star of NBC’s Chicago Fire, as he interviews Bob Einterz, MD, on the transition from AMPATH co-founder to leader of South Bend's Department of Health in northern Indiana. The enlightening conversation about how global health is local health is Friday, July 16, at noon (ET) via Zoom. Get more details and register.
June 30 “Simon Says” to focus on IU’s leadership in testis cancer research and care
This month’s virtual Simon Says Expert Series, “Keeping Our Eyes on the Ball: IU’s Leadership in Testis Cancer Research & Care,” will be held at 7 pm, Wednesday, June 30. The cure for testicular cancer was developed at Indiana University, and IU remains a world leader in testis cancer research and care.
Men diagnosed with testicular cancer face different treatment options including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Urologic oncologist Clint Cary, MD, MPH, and cancer survivor Steven Crocker will discuss these therapies, with a focus on nerve-sparing surgical techniques developed at IU. Crocker, a newscast director, has embraced his new "one-nut" identity, using humor to make others comfortable talking about their testicles. To connect with Steven, find him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @stevencrocker. Register now and submit your questions.
Apply for the Indiana Traumatic Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Program Grant
This application package is designed for all researchers wishing to submit proposals for programmatic projects/programs focused (solely) on traumatic spinal cord and/or brain injury. The overall objective of this award is to: 1) foster and encourage programmatic activities for the prevention, treatment and cure of traumatic spinal cord and/or brain injuries; and 2) support the infrastructure needed in traumatic brain and/or spinal cord injury research in order to translate health into practice.
The primary program should be Indiana-based. Collaborations are encouraged between Indiana-based programs, as well as those located outside the state of Indiana, including in other countries. Application details are available. Submission deadline is Thursday, July 29.
Riley earns distinction from U.S. News & World Report
Riley Children’s Health is ranked in nine pediatric specialties, according to the latest rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. Riley continues to be the only children’s hospital in Indiana ranked by U.S. News. Two of Riley’s programs ranked in the top five: Urology ranked 3rd and Cardiology & Heart Surgery ranked 5th. Riley also earned a new distinction as the Midwest’s best ranked hospital for children’s heart care. View the 2021-22 rankings.