BCM Family NewsLink, Aug. 5, 2011

Please submit items for the weekly BCM Family Newslink to Dana Benson.

Awards and Recognitions

Saving Lives at Birth awards

Dr. Kjersti AagaardDr. Heather MachenTwo BCM faculty members were awarded USAID Saving Lives at Birth awards. Saving Lives at Birth is a program that seeks innovative prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in rural, low-resource settings across the globe.

Dr. Kjersti Aagaard, assistant professor of obstetrics/gynecology, was awarded for a low-cost initiative to improve the rate of preterm labor in global underserved communities by using chewing gum to reduce periodontal disease, which is linked to preterm labor.

Dr. Heather Machen, assistant professor of pediatrics – emergency medicine, was a co-recipient along with Rice University colleagues on an inexpensive and portable device to help babies with underdeveloped or weakened lungs breathe naturally.

Learn more at Saving Lives at Birth.

Grant to fund norovirus research

Dr. Robert Atmar, professor of medicine, and Dr. Mary K. Estes, professor of molecular virology and microbiology, are among a consortium of researchers benefiting from a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to study human noroviruses.

The grant was awarded to investigators at North Carolina State University with BCM as one of the contributing institutions, to study how human noroviruses move across the food supply chain and how to effectively reduce the number of virus-caused food-borne illnesses. Human noroviruses are the most common cause of food-borne disease, responsible for more than 5 million cases in the United States each year.

Witz elected president of PA group

Barbi WitzBarbi Witz, PA-C, an instructor with the division of abdominal transplantation in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, was elected president of the Texas Gulf Coast Physician Assistant Association for 2011-2013.

The TGCPAA is a regional constituent of the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants.

Med student award

BCM medical student Ryanne Brown was selected for the American Society of Hematology's 2011 Minority Medical Student Award Program, which encourages minority medical students to pursue an interest in hematology research.

As part of the program, Brown will receive support from a research mentor and a career-development mentor, travel stipends to attend the ASH annual meeting and a subscription to Blood, the official scientific journal of ASH. The American Society of Hematology is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders.


Pink Street at White Linen Night

The Smith Breast CenterThe Smith Breast Center will have a booth on Pink Street at White Linen Nights in the Heights Saturday, Aug. 6. The booth will offer free pink popcorn, custom-made jewelry for sale and educational material about early detection. Pink Street can be found on White Oak between Oxford and Columbia.

White Linen Nights is a popular neighborhood-wide shopping and entertainment event held annually in the Heights. Pink Street is a new addition to the event and will feature various grassroots and well-known cancer awareness and survivor groups. For more information visit White Linen Nights.

Alzheimer's walk

Registration has begun for the Baylor College of Medicine & Friends team taking part in this year's “Walk to End Alzheimer's” on Oct. 22. The 3K walk is organized by the Alzheimer's Association and raises awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research. This year the walk will take place at Minute Maid Park. BCM employees and their family and friends are welcome to join the team. Those who sign up, or those who are interested in learning more about the walk, are invited to a kick off party hosted by the Alzheimer's Association on Aug. 11. For more information, to make a donation or to join the team, log onto Walk to End Alzheimers or e-mail Deborah Taylor at dtaylor@bcm.edu.

White Coat Ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony for the 186 members of the Class of 2015 will be held Friday, Aug. 12, at 6 p.m. at the Bayou City Event Center, 9400 Almeda Road. This event is a rite of passage for first-year medical students as they don their coats and take an oath affirming their commitment to the highest standards of ethics and patient care. The class receives sponsorship of their white coats from The Office of Alumni Affairs and Student Connections, which has established the White Coat Fund.

Also during the ceremony, Dr. Marcia Katz, associate professor of medicine and director of BCM’s Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center, will be awarded the 2011 Ben and Margaret Love Foundation Bobby Alford Award for Academic Clinical Professionalism. The award recognizes a BCM physician for professionalism in patient care, clinical research and/or education with humanism and characteristics that include altruism, caring, compassion, empathy, cultural sensitivity and respect for the individual.

College News

Express Care for employees

As a member of the BCM family, you have access to the Express Care Center at Baylor Clinic. The Express Care Center offers timely treatment for minor ailments.

Benefits of the Express Care Center:

Express Care hours are Monday and Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - noon to 4 p.m. Look for new, extended hours coming soon!

Call 713-798-WELL (9355) for appointments.

Faculty in the News

BCM faculty members are regularly featured or cited in news and media outlets. Check out this week's faculty in the news.