April 20, 2022 | Volume IV, Issue 8
Senator Sanders and VA Secretary McDonough Visit Larner
During a special Town Hall held in the Larner College of Medicine’s Sullivan Classroom on April 14, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former chair and current member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough, discussed opportunities for physicians with the VA.
McDonough was in Vermont at the invitation of Sanders as part of a two-day tour of Vermont’s VA medical facilities and face-to-face meetings with Vermont veterans.
UVM President Suresh Garimella and Larner Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education Christa Zehle, M.D., joined Sen. Sanders and Secy. McDonough for a meeting with six medical student Veterans/Health Professional Scholarship (HPS) recipients prior to the Town Hall.
Of his Vermont host, McDonough said, “There is no bigger champion for Veterans Affairs than Senator Sanders.” He told students that the VA is the largest integrated health care system in the U.S., with 170 hospitals across the country, and a leader in research examining causes and treatment for long COVID.
One of the VA physician benefits McDonough mentioned was the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which in return for 10 years of public service forgives physicians’ medical school debt.
Pictured above (left to right): Dean Zehle; President Garimella; Senator Sanders; Secretary McDonough; and medical students Edward Simon, Bradford Clark, Jacob Cappiello, John Fernan, Tonya Conley, and Justin Schulz. (Photo: David Seaver)
Cowan and Young Help Improve Clinical Trials Access for Rural Pediatric Patients
The University of Vermont is one of 18 sites in a state-of-the-art pediatric clinical research network to improve access to clinical trials for children in rural and underserved areas. Together, the sites constitute the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN).
Supported by funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the project, led by Associate Professors of Pediatrics and 2007 UVM Larner College of Medicine alumni Kelly Cowan, M.D., and Leslie Young, M.D., aims to address disparities in pediatric research and build pediatric research capacity in states where success rates for research grant applications is historically low. ISPCTN research focuses on ECHO’s five areas of child health: airways, obesity, neurodevelopment, pre-, peri- and post-natal outcomes and overall child health.
Dr. Young is a lead investigator for the Advancing Clinical Trials in Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (ACT NOW) Collaborative, a collaboration between the ISPCTN and the neonatal research network (NRN). As part of the ACT NOW Collaborative, Young is principal investigator for a network study examining practices in caring for infants who have neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS). Dr. Cowan is preparing new research to investigate recovery of infants hospitalized with bronchiolitis.
Pictured above: Dr. Leslie Young (left) and Dr. Kelly Cowan (right) pose for a photo in the corridor outside of Dana Medical Library. (Photo: David Seaver)
Women Who Made History at Larner & Beyond
In 1920, 98 years after the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine held its first official lectures, Dorothy Lang, M.D.’24, became the first woman to enroll as a UVM medical student and graduated as the only woman in a class of thirty-three.
Lang's legacy set the stage for the women that came after her including Bertha Chase, M.D.’26, Estelle Foote, M.D.’26, Doris Sidwell, M.D.’27, Eloise Bailey, M.D.’28, and Harriet Dustan, M.D.'44, a pioneer in the field of cardiology for her groundbreaking research in the detection and treatment of hypertension.
During Women's History Month, in alignment with the 2022 “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” theme, we revisited the stories of four women who made history as alumni of and faculty at what is now the Larner College of Medicine.
Pictured above: Eloise Bailey, M.D.’28, Bertha Chase, M.D.’26, Naomi Lanou, M.D.’25, Estelle Foote, M.D.’26, and Doris Sidwell, M.D.’27.
University Distinguished Professor and Chair of Pharmacology Mark Nelson, Ph.D., who was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2019, will take part in a formal presentation ceremony April 29, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
Watch the ceremony livestream at nasonline.org.
Ann Howard, Graphic Designer, Medical Communications
Ann Howard joined the Medical Communications team as a graphic designer in September 2016. She designs publications and digital assets for the Larner College of Medicine community, ensuring all communications are on-brand and represent Larner and UVM. Her work enhances newsletters, websites, posters, social media and periodicals including Vermont Medicine, The Red Wheelbarrow, Academic Health Science’s Philanthropy Highlights, and the UVM Medical Center’s annual wall calendar.
“I love the variety of work that comes my way,” Howard said. “I enjoy putting together strong messaging that can excite people to do something or make something more clear. It’s a privilege to work with my team to elevate the people and programs at Larner.”
An avid cyclist and cross-country skier, she moved to Vermont from Boston in 2004 after meeting her future husband, Bob, during a bicycle trip in the Northeast Kingdom with Bike Vermont. Prior to joining UVM, Howard worked for several publishers designing custom and newsstand magazines.
“Ann is a key member of the Larner communications team,” said Editorial and Creative Director Ed Neuert. “Her exceptional design skills and strategic thinking help us present the work of people from across this institution as they fulfill the College’s missions.”
Howard looks forward to working on Larner’s bicentennial this summer, promoting 200 years of the College’s history.
Pictured above: Ann Howard
Accolades & Appointments
E.L. Amidon Chair and Professor of Medicine Polly Parsons, M.D., who has led the Department of Medicine since 2006, has been named the next president and CEO of the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM).
Dr. Parsons will begin her new role part-time in July, while still retaining her duties as chair, and will fully transition to her new position with AAIM on October 1, 2022. In addition to her accomplishments at UVM, Dr. Parsons has served many national organizations in her field, and is a past president of the American Thoracic Society and a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the latter of which awarded her a Mastership in 2021. Dr. Parsons is the author of more than 170 published articles, chapters, and reviews, and has edited 10 textbooks. Her National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported research focused on biomarkers in acute lung injury. She has served as a member of the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Scientific Advisory Council, and is the Scientific Council Director of the Parker B. Francis Fellowship Program of the Francis Family Foundation. In 2021 the American Thoracic Society awarded her the Edward Livingston Trudeau Medal, given by the society to those who have made "lifelong contributions to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of lung disease through leadership in research, education, or clinical care."
Professor of Medicine Richard Galbraith, M.D., Ph.D., will serve as interim senior associate dean for research (SADR) beginning July 1, 2022, when current SADR Gordon Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., retires. Dr. Galbraith joined the College of Medicine faculty in 1995, serving as associate dean for patient oriented research and director of the UVM General Clinical Research Center from 1995 to 2012. He was associate dean for research from 2012 to 2014, and interim senior associate dean for research during 2014. From 2014 to 2020, he was UVM vice president for research, following which he served as interim co-director of the UVM Cancer Center until July 2021.
Abbie Chapman Johnson, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurological sciences, has been awarded her first R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute on Aging. The $1.6 million-dollar grant, titled “The Role of the Hippocampal Vasculature in Vascular Cognitive Impairment and Dementia,” will fund Dr. Johnson’s research for five years, during which she’ll investigate how chronic hypertension, age, and sex effect the function of hippocampal arterioles to contribute to cognitive decline. Learn more.
In December 2021, the Staff Subcommittee of the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion partnered with the LCOMCares Service Corps to host a holiday collection in support of Vermont’s Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) and the individuals and families for whom the organization provides emergency shelter, services, and housing. Recently, the subcommittee received a letter of thanks from Romy Theisen, communications and outreach specialist at COTS. “From everyone at COTS, please accept our heartfelt thank you for the very generous donation of bed linens, coats, hats, socks, toiletries, and Hannaford gift cards through a holiday drive. It makes a different to the individuals and families we serve, and our staff to have these types of donations available,” Theisen wrote.
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