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News for BCM Faculty, Oct. 15, 2020
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From the Labs: October’s image of the month shows the distribution of myelin-associated glycoprotein (green) on mouse oligodendrocytes, which produce and assemble myelin sheaths around nerves to maintain rapid and precise neural communication. Image courtesy of Chih-Yen Wang in Dr. Hyun Kyoung Lee’s neurology laboratory.

Faculty Senate: Dean Jennifer Christner described the work to-date of the faculty groups involved in the Liaison Committee on Medical Education Self-Study at the Oct. 8 meeting. With the LCME site visit set for September 2021, she is pleased with their progress to identify and remediate issues in the School of Medicine.

  • Dr. Christner cited the Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire results as an indicator of Baylor College of Medicine's continuing quality improvement and LCME compliance as perceived by fourth-year medical students. She encouraged faculty to “not let up or backslide” since the 2021 results will be released a month before the site visit. The dean also spoke at Academic Council.
  • Senate Chair Christie Lincoln addressed constituent concerns about obtaining alternative masks to the N95 and managing unexpected patients under investigation at affiliates. She opened the floor for discussion and took senators’ questions on the Defining Pathways & Possibilities staff leveling project for lab staff, the workflow for influenza testing and the possibility of streamlining the credentialing process among affiliates. The new business has been referred to senate committees.

Academic Council: President Paul Klotman announced at the Oct. 12 meeting that the College is recruiting for two leadership positions at Ben Taub Hospital: Chief of Staff/Chief Medical Officer and Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs. Applications are due to the President's Office by Oct. 30. Dr. Klotman thanked Dr. Ken Mattox for his six decades of service to Ben Taub and Baylor. He will continue as chief of staff until a successor is found.

  • Mission leaders provided updates on the College’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical Affairs Dean Jim McDeavitt reported that Baylor Medicine’s clinical volume would be back to 100% of pre-COVID rates by November. Research Dean Mary Dickinson said work was underway to improve and simplify core lab and building access. The schools are looking at ways to liberalize campus access for students as well, according to Provost Alicia Monroe.
  • Chief Operating Officer Joe Doty reminded the council that Open Enrollment for employee benefits is in its final week. Medical premiums will increase by 4% in 2021. However, the medical plans have added a new program for obtaining second opinions and the dental plan includes services for eight chronic conditions. Bright Horizons is offering additional family support including tutoring providers and learning pods.
  • The council voted to approve amendments to the Faculty Bylaws required by the LCME Self-Study. The bylaws go to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

Faculty Kudos

image The Academy of Distinguished Educators has awarded Norton Rose Fulbright Educational Grants to four faculty members. Recipients are Dr. Ali Abbas Asghar-Ali, associate professor of psychiatry, for “It Stops with Me: Empowering BCM to Speak Up Against Racism;” Dr. Zulfi Haneef, assistant professor of neurology, for “EEG studio: a web-based interactive platform for electro-encephalogram (EGG) teaching;” Dr. Rajeev Raghavan, associate professor of medicine - nephrology and a faculty senator, for “Kidney Diet Challenge;” and Dr. Kanta Velamuri, associate professor of medicine, for “Faculty Development Program to Increase Knowledge, Attitude and Skills in Medical Education Research Based on Social Theory of Learning.” Award winners will submit poster abstracts to the Academy’s Showcase of Educational Scholarship in 2021.

Dr. Juan Botas, professor of molecular & human genetics and molecular & cellular biology, has published Virus: The Billion Years War in Spanish with co-author Juan José Gómez Cadenas. The book, written for a lay audience, describes the composition and function of viruses and explains why humans are easy prey to pandemics.

image Dr. Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby, Cullen Professor of Medical Ethics and associate director, Center for Medical Ethics & Health Policy, and Dr. Kristin Kostick, staff scientist, were awarded a five-year $1.9 million from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to develop an integrated clinical decision support platform for LVAD therapy for heart failure, combining a patient decision aid with a computer-based personalized risk prediction tool.

Dr. Joslyn Fisher, associate professor of medicine and medical ethics, has been appointed section chief of general internal medicine at Ben Taub Hospital. She serves as chair of the Harris Health Ethics Committee and as medical director of the HHS Adult Forensic Nursing Program.

Dr. Carolina Jorgez, assistant professor of urology, is featured in From the Labs in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. An alumna of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, she came to Baylor from Venezuela. She now conducts research in congenital defects in reproductive organs and male infertility.

Dr. Tor Savidge, associate professor of pathology & immunology, is co-principal investigator on a Texas Medical Center-wide collaboration to study multidrug-resistant infections and the gut microbiome in immunocompromised and critically ill patients. The project received an $11 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

College (Virtual) Events

Health Equity Grand Rounds: The Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research presents “Community Engaged Scholarship in Underserved Communities,” at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, featuring Dr. Norma Perez Raifaisen, associate professor of medicine, director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence and assistant dean of student affairs at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Register online to attend.

Professionalism Seminar: Dr. Marsha Holleman, a Baylor alumna who has published papers in JAMA, Lancet, and the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine along with chapters in the Textbook of Family Medicine, Essentials of Family Practice, and Case Files: Family Medicine, discusses “The Joy of Practicing Medicine” at noon Friday, Oct. 16, via Zoom, meeting ID: 920 7868 6312, passcode: 075583.

Wellness 5K: The Baylor race/walk goes virtual Saturday, Oct. 17, with proceeds supporting student-led healthcare outreach initiatives in the community. Sign up to join the event.

Cancer Webinar: The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center hosts “Need to Know: Young Adults & Cancer” with Dr. Kent Osborne, founding director of DLDCCC, Dr. Joseph Petrosino, director of the Center for Metagenomics & Microbiome Research, and Dr. Jihye Yun, assistant professor of molecular & human genetics, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20. Reserve your spot online.

Datathon: The Office of the President and the Faculty Senate present the Datathon at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, via Zoom. The event features 13 projects submitted by clinical and research faculty that use Baylor’s and Baylor St. Luke’s data to answer intelligent questions in healthcare.

Faculty Opportunities

Health Disparities Grant: Baylor’s Maternal and Infant Environmental Health Riskscape (MIEHR) Research Center, a P50 Center of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research, is pleased to announce the availability of pilot project funding. All BCM post-doctoral fellows, clinical fellows or junior faculty from health disparities populations are invited to apply. Please see Faculty Opportunities for more information. Submit your letter of interest to MIEHR by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Moore Inventor Fellows: The College may submit two nominations to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's competition to identify outstanding early-stage inventors who harness science and technology solutions to enhance scientific research, strengthen environmental conservation or improve the experience and outcomes of patient care. Fellows receive $200,000 a year for three years. More information about the award is available online. Applications are due to the limited submissions award portal by 5 p.m. Oct. 30.

Faculty Resources

Why Doctors Write: The Office of Professionalism invites you to attend the world premiere of the documentary “Why Doctors Write,” followed by a panel discussion with producer Ken Browne, Dr. Rita Chaon, a narrative medicine pioneer at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Dr. Danielle Ofri, a physician-author at New York University School of Medicine, at noon today, Oct. 15, via Zoom. Register to receive the link.

Health Equity Forum: Texas Doctors for Social Responsibility hosts its virtual health policy forum, "Integrated Care: Social Determinants of Health in the Care of the Uninsured in the Time of COVID," starting today, Oct. 15, as part of the San Antonio Health Literacy Conference. Program details and free registration are available online.

Benefits Update: Monday, Oct. 19, is the deadline to change or renew your employee benefit coverage for 2021 in Employee Self-Service. If you need assistance, schedule a virtual consultation with a benefits representative.

Blood Drive: Baylor hosts a Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, in the BCM Gym on the 8th floor of Garage 6. Appointments are required and can be made online.

Early Voting for the Nov. 2 elections continues through Oct. 30 in a number of locations, including the McGovern Commons, Texas Medical Center. Find a convenient place to cast your ballot with the Voter’s Guide.

Questions or Comments?

Faculty Senate: Please contact your senator for faculty-related questions or suggestions.

Institutional Policy Committee: Contact the Policy Committee to learn more about College policies and procedures.

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