Faculty and Staff News
Multimillion-dollar gift to create child and adolescent psychiatry center in Evansville
A pair of Evansville natives are building on their continued support of health sciences in southwestern Indiana with a major gift to IU School of Medicine.
William C. and Mary R. (O’Daniel) Stone announced a $34.2 million gift to establish the Mary O’Daniel Stone and Bill Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at IU School of Medicine—Evansville.
The center will seek to fundamentally alter and improve the standard of care for people with bipolar disorder, and dramatically increase access to psychiatric care for the children and adolescent youth of southwestern Indiana.
This gift, one of the largest in IU School of Medicine history, follows the 2018 gift of $15 million the Stones made toward a multi-institutional health sciences collaboration between the University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana and Indiana University.
“As natives, we are committed to Evansville’s growth. Key to quality growth is a healthy populace. Mental health is one of the least understood maladies, is often debilitating to individuals, and very difficult for families and communities,” said Bill Stone. “This center will allow researchers to make Evansville a center of groundbreaking scientific discovery, while simultaneously training physicians to address the communities’ very real needs.”
For more on the Stones’ gift, visit the Newsroom.
Cultural Awareness Town Hall is January 27
IU School of Medicine will welcome Kali Cyrus, MD, MPH, as the keynote speaker for the Cultural Awareness Town Hall on Thursday, January 27. Cyrus, a faculty member at Johns Hopkins Medicine, is a nationally known psychiatrist and strategist, specializing in issues of race, identity, medical practice, public health and conflict stemming from differences. Register for the town hall, which will begin at noon.
Registration now open for LGBTQ+ Health Care Conference
Register for the LGBTQ+ Health Care Conference, a three-day virtual event on March 24-26. The annual conference is designed for healthcare professionals, learners, researchers, patients, community organizations and interested community members who seek to understand the unique health considerations and barriers to health care in the LGBTQ+ population.
Education Day proposals due next week
There’s just one week left to submit proposals for IU School of Medicine’s third annual Education Day, which will be held on Thursday, April 28. The deadline to submit proposals for the event—"Building Bridges in Medical Education”—is January 14. Submissions related to the following topics are encouraged:
- Assessment and evaluation
- COVID-related educational initiatives
- Cultural competence
- Critical thinking and clinical reasoning
- Curriculum development
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
- Effective feedback
- Instructional techniques, including online tools
- Innovation in education
- Point of care ultrasound
- Preclinical instruction
- Procedural competence
- Professional identity formation
- Teaching development for residents and faculty
Session formats will include oral platform presentations, small group discussions and workshops. Questions? Contact Komal Kochhar, MD, MHA.
Fort Wayne campus marks 40 years of training future physicians
When Kathleen Rocco, MD, graduated from IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne in 2017 and headed to Toledo, Ohio, for residency training, she knew she’d be back.
Four years later, Rocco is beginning her career at Fort Wayne’s Lutheran Hospital—the very place she discovered her love of emergency medicine. Her first day on the job, Rocco saw the familiar faces of three of her former IU School of Medicine preceptors.
“It’s a super surreal feeling running into people I trained with as a medical student and coming back as a full colleague,” she said.
Rocco’s story is exactly what the visionaries behind Indiana’s statewide system of medical education had in mind 50 years ago when they charted a course for tackling a predicted physician shortage by expanding IU School of Medicine’s reach throughout the state. Today, about 43 percent of IU’s current medical students receive their education at a regional campus.
As the Fort Wayne campus marks its 40th anniversary, the success of the system is evident. Read more about IU School of Medicine’s history in Fort Wayne in this Spirit of Medicine blog post.
On the blog: Physician mentors offer meals, support and wisdom to first-year students
A hearty welcome and a home-cooked meal can go a long way to encourage a new medical student.
When Nicole Frey first met her IU School of Medicine physician mentor, Christine Huang, MD, it wasn’t in an office—or anywhere on campus. It was at Huang’s home, where Frey was pleasantly greeted by the savory smell of smoked ribs and chicken, prepared by Huang’s husband. Meanwhile, the couple’s toddler was curious and excited about the small group of medical students arriving at his family’s home.
“We talked with Dr. Huang in her living room while her husband cooked, and then we continued our conversations over lunch,” Frey recalled. “They even had brownies and cookies for dessert and sent us all home with leftovers.”
At IU School of Medicine, every first-year student is assigned to a physician mentor who volunteers to provide one-on-one and group mentoring through all four years of the medical school journey. Physician mentors serve as positive role models and support medical students as they navigate through course work and clerkships.
Learn more about the program, which earns high praise from medical students, on the Spirit of Medicine blog.
Opyrchal named inaugural Vera Bradley Foundation Chair in Breast Cancer Discovery
Mateusz Opyrchal, MD, PhD, is beginning his first full week as the inaugural Vera Bradley Foundation Chair in Breast Cancer Discovery in the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research at IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Opyrchal will also co-lead the cancer center’s Experimental and Development Therapeutics research program with Xiongbin Lu, PhD, and serve as director of the solid tumor Phase I program.
Opyrchal’s research focuses on novel therapeutic approaches and enhancing immune responses in triple negative breast cancer. His recruitment, made possible by Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer funding, expands IU’s leadership and knowledge base for the immunotherapy initiative with the goal of developing innovative approaches to help patients with this disease.
He was most recently at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he was an associate professor of medicine and an associate director of cellular and gene therapeutics program in solid tumors.
Researchers shed new light on damaging effects of standard heart attack treatment
A study led by IU School of Medicine is challenging standard treatment methods used to prevent muscle damage during heart attack.
In a paper published in the high-impact Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Rohan Dharmakumar, PhD asserts that a common treatment given to patients experiencing heart attack may not be as successful in halting muscle damage as once thought.
Heart attacks occur when the blood vessel supplying oxygen to the heart muscle—also known as the coronary artery—is suddenly blocked. In heart attack patients, the amount of heart muscle that is irreversibly damaged is directly linked to how much time elapses between the onset of heart attack symptoms and when the blockage is opened up. More damage means higher risk of complications like heart failure after a heart attack. Therefore, treating heart attacks focuses on opening up the coronary arteries as quickly as possible through a procedure called reperfusion—often with a stent.
The common belief in reperfusion therapy is that once the coronary arteries are opened, the damage to the heart muscle is stopped. However, according to Dharmakumar, that is not always the case.
“In our work, we demonstrate that if reperfusion results in internal bleeding—or, hemorrhage—within the heart muscle, the heart muscle can continue to die even after the culprit coronary artery is opened,” he said. “Hemorrhage is known to occur in the heart muscle of around half of all heart attack patients who undergo reperfusion. We sought to determine what effect that internal bleeding has on progressive heart muscle damage after reperfusion.”
Visit the Newsroom for more details on the study.
Faculty and Staff News
Dilly named new assistant dean of GME
Christen K. Dilly, MD, ME, assistant professor of medicine, is the new assistant dean of graduate medical education (GME) at IU School of Medicine. In collaboration with the senior associate dean for GME and continuing medical education, Dilly will lead a team of professional faculty and support staff to oversee the GME-initiated activities related to faculty and GME trainee professional development and scholarly work for all GME-accredited programs. She will continue to lead the Clinician Educator Training Pathway (CETP) and, in collaboration with IU Health, create the GME Trainee Leadership pathway.
Staff deadline for self-assessment is January 31; get the details
The performance feedback process at IU School of Medicine provides a framework for conversations throughout the year to foster open and honest two-way communication between the supervisor and employee. All school staff must complete their self-assessment of performance by January 31. Managers will meet with their staff members to discuss the assessment of performance by no later than March 31.*
You can access the performance feedback forms and other resources on the MedNetHR Performance and Feedback page. Refer to your manager with questions.
*Managers should refer to their HR Business Partner with questions on the performance feedback process.
Take note: askHR phone support hours temporarily reduced
Due to a temporary decrease in Customer Care Team staffing, askHR will operate with reduced phone support hours through January. askHR will now provide phone support Monday through Friday from 9 am to 1 pm.
Outside of these hours, employees may leave voicemails or email askHR for urgent needs and requests. A member of the Customer Care Team will respond as soon as possible. Email support remains available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.
DEI resource series: Kelley professor shares tips for communicating across cultures
To succeed in a cross-cultural business setting, it's important to understand the differences in how people communicate. Language isn't the only barrier. Pace, style and nonverbal cues affect how messages are received. In this course from LinkedIn Learning, IU Kelley School of Business professor and executive coach Tatiana Kolovou demonstrates simple techniques to build your cross-cultural communication skills: as a manager, peer or coworker. LinkedIn Learning is offered to IU faculty, staff and learners free of charge through One.IU (search “LinkedIn”).
Stepping Stones of Women in Leadership event is January 13
Toyia James-Stevenson, MD, MBA, will be the featured speaker at the Stepping Stones of Women in Leadership event at 11:45 am on Thursday, January 13. James-Stevenson currently serves as associate professor of clinical medicine at IU School of Medicine. She is a member of the school’s admissions committee and the IU School of Medicine Curriculum Council Steering Committee. James-Stevenson is also the medical director for GI Access, GI Quality and Women's GI Health and has an adjunct faculty position with the urogynecology pelvic floor fellowship. Register for the event.
Sundaram receives award from American Urological Association
Chandru P. Sundaram, MD, the Dr. Norbert M. Welch, Sr. and Louise A. Welch Professor of Urology, was selected for the 2022 Distinguished Contribution Award by the American Urological Association (AUA). These awards are presented annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the science and practice of urology. Sundaram’s areas of expertise are minimally invasive urology and robotic surgery. His areas of clinical and research interest include kidney, prostate and adrenal neoplasms and other renal pathologies. Michael O. Koch, MD, and James E. Lingeman, MD, in the Department of Urology are past recipients of this AUA award.