Inside IM
News from the Department of Internal Medicine - May 2021

Debra Romberger, MD, Chair of Internal Medicine, shares a department message with important updates for all faculty and staff.

Welcome Ruxana Sadikot, MD, new Division Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep Medicine
Ruxana Sadikot, MD, will join the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine on June 1 as chief of the division of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.

Dr. Sadikot has served as a professor in Emory University's Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine section since 2014. She also is section chief of pulmonary and critical medicine at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.

"We are looking forward to Dr. Sadikot joining us in a few months as our new division chief," said Debra J. Romberger, MD, Henry J. Lehnhoff Professor and chair of the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine. "She has great clinical experience, a passion for education and mentoring and a strong research background. She will be a wonderful asset to the department and UNMC."
ICE-Guided LAAO - First completed in Nebraska in April
In April, the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) Program performed the first Watchman procedures in Nebraska to be guided by intracardiac echocardiography (ICE). Andrew Goldsweig, MD, shared "this is a terrific advance for our patients, making procedures possible for the first time under conscious sedation (instead of general anesthesia) with much greater procedural efficiency. We are thrilled, honored, and humbled to have reached this milestone today."
Tremendous thanks are due to the entire team for making the launch of ICE-guided LAAO successful. The cath lab staff, the Division, and the administration all came together to make this possible. We look forward to sharing continued successes together. (Keep an eye out for the CHAMPION-AF study launch in 4-6 weeks!).
Dr. Kelly Cawcutt to receive prestigious National Humanism Award
Congratulations to Kelly Cawcutt, MD, on being honored by UNMC as a Gold Foundation Champion of Humanistic Care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Cawcutt will be recognized at the Gold Foundation's virtual gala on June 10, 2021, alongside our three esteemed National Humanism in Medicine Medal recipients:
  •       Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden.
  •        Dr. Wayne Riley, 17th President of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the New York Academy of Medicine.
  •      Dr. Eric Topol, Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, and Professor of Molecular Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute.
This is an extraordinary tribute to you and your humanistic care. The words shared by your colleagues about your compassion and courage were poignant and inspiring. UNMC Today Story
UNMC Research Awards 2021
The annual UNMC research awards for 2021 were announced in January with a virtual award ceremony on Feb. 23rd. To learn more about the awards and list of winners click here. Congratulations to the following IM faculty members who received these prestigious awards:

Ted Mikuls, MD - Research Leadership
Vijaya Bhatt, MBBS - Distinguished Scientist
Sarah Holstein, MD, PhD - Distinguished Scientist
Diana Florescu MD - Distinguished Scientist
Bryant England, MD, PhD - New Investigator
UNMC Recognizing faculty for leadership during May 8th commencement ceremony
The University of Nebraska Medical Center will honor three individuals and Nebraska’s public health directors during its May 8 Omaha commencement ceremony. 

Longtime UNMC faculty member Philip Smith, MD, of Omaha, will be honored with the J.G. Elliott Award for his foresight and leadership that helped make the medical center one of the world’s shining lights in the field of biopreparedness. Dr. Smith developed the concept of a biocontainment unit at UNMC, helped lead the establishment of the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit team and tirelessly oversaw its efforts during the 2014-15 Ebola crisis.  
Welcome Sarah Matya, Gastroenterology Division Administrator
Sarah Matya will be joining the department as the Gastroenterology division administrator in the near future. Sarah is presently employed at UNMC as the Educational Programs Administrator for the Department of Anesthesiology. Prior to her current position she held the role of Residency Program Manager for the UNMC OB/GYN Department as well as several past roles within Nebraska Medicine and Children’s Hospital. Sarah brings to the GI division and Internal Medicine department a broad knowledge base of both the UNMC and NM organizations. 
She holds a Master’s of Health Care Administration from Clarkson College and a Bachelor of General Studies degree in Public Administration, Psychology and Gerontology from UNO.  

Please welcome Sarah to the department!
Clinical trial to test if COVID-19 vaccine prevents infection, spread
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center are part of the nationwide COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), which recently launched a clinical trial called Prevent COVID U. The study will evaluate SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission among college students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) who receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273. Read more
Post-COVID clinic opened April 1st
A year after COVID-19 first emerged in the United States, we are still gaining a better understanding of the virus and its effects, both immediate and long term. You have likely heard about lingering symptoms from the virus, which some people experience even after they recover. These can be referred to as long COVID, long haulers or post-COVID symptoms. If you had COVID-19 previously, this might apply to you. Read more
Research News & Updates
Rebekah Gundry, PhD, receives NHLBI award
Rebekah Gundry, PhD's, fascination with cardiovascular research grew out of her personal encounters with family members who suffered from heart disease, and an overall interest in the technological innovations that improve the lives of patients suffering from advanced heart failure.
She recently received the prestigious R35 Emerging Investigator Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The award is a seven-year, $5.3 million grant that will fund her latest project -- "Harnessing Glycoproteomics and Glycomics to Understand Cardiac Biology and Disease." Read more
National COVID data repository available to researchers
Internal Medicine nephrologist Roslyn Mannon, MD is working in the Immunosuppressed/Compromised Clinical Domain Team to gain a better understanding of how COVID-19 affects patient populations with suppressed or compromised immune systems. One subdomain, the Solid Organ Transplant working group, has three presentations at upcoming national transplant meetings and is developing several manuscripts using a team approach, including work by UNMC biostatistician Ran Dai, PhD. Read more
Rheumatoid arthritis research eyes role of agricultural dust
Farming is one of the most dangerous professions, not only because of accidents, but exposure to organic dust that becomes airborne and inhalable, particularly in large animal farming.
Jill Poole, MD, professor and chief of the UNMC Division of Allergy and Immunology, has been studying these exposures, and their effects on lung disease, for more than a decade. She said it's well known that agriculture workers have high rates of airway inflammatory diseases including asthma-like disorders and chronic bronchitis as well as high rates of musculoskeletal diseases, including bone fractures. Read more
Scientist Development Award - Awardees proposal highlights
The following are proposal highlights from the Scientist Development Award winners. Congratulations again to the awardees.

Internal Medicine Notable Publications reported via ADIS and Scopus for the 1st Quarter of 2021. Publication of the Quarter has been awarded to Bryant England, MD, and the Honorable Mentions to both Drs. Karuna Rasineni/Carol Casey and Dr. Tom Porter Please email Shannon Thomsen to request the list used from SCOPUS and ADIS.
View the latest Internal Medicine faculty publications (in descending order by publication year and title) on Research Nebraska [].
UNMC Today & Other News
Lecture to explore IBS in women
Kathryn Hutchins, MD, assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, discussed "Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in Women: Today's Approach," at the April 20th Olson Center for Women's Health Brown Bag Lunch and Learn event.

IBS is a common condition that can cause many uncomfortable symptoms. Sometimes individuals may think they have IBS but have not yet been diagnosed. Dr. Hutchins defined IBS and its subtypes, described how it is diagnosed clinically and explain the common treatment and management approaches. If you have any questions please reach out to Dr. Hutchins via email.
In March of 2020, Jim O’Dell, MD received the distinguished service award from the Alumni Association for UNL, where he completed his undergraduate studies. Although the award was originally given to him last March, they cancelled the awards recognition until this spring. Unfortunately , they still could not do it in person but they had a ceremony in April where he was recognized. Congratulations!
Live multidisciplinary Twitter chat re: COVID Vaccinations
Faculty members of the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine held a live COVID-19 vaccine chat in April on the department's Twitter feed (@UNMC_IM).
Using #AskUNMCIM, UNMC experts fielded questions from the public on various aspects of the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination facts in general.

The panel of experts included:
  • Karina Bishop, MD, assistant professor of geriatrics
  • Nicolas Cortes-Penfield, MD, assistant professor of infectious diseases
  • Sarah Holstein, MD, PhD, associate professor of oncology/hematology
  • Kelsey Klute, MD, assistant professor of oncology/hematology
  • Kathryn Hutchins, MD, assistant professor of gastroenterology/hematology
  • Tina Mahajan, MD, assistant professor of rheumatology
  • Ryan Mullane, DO, assistant professor of nephrology
  • Amol Patil, MBBS, associate professor of pulmonary
  • Grant Turner, MD, pulmonary house officer
  • Joel Van De Graaff, MD, assistant professor of allergy/immunology
  • Poonam Velagapudi, MBBS, assistant professor, cardiovascular medicine

"We wanted to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccination and answer any questions as vaccinations are being rolled out to the community," said Dr. Velagapudi, who also chairs the internal medicine social media taskforce.
Antibiotic Use Ran High In Early Days Of COVID-19, Despite Viral Cause
NPR: Heard on All Things Considered
Doctors treating COVID-19 patients early in the pandemic often reached for antibiotics. But those drugs were not helpful in most cases, and overuse of antibiotics is a serious concern.
Here's the scene doctors confronted. "You have a patient in front of you with this potentially lethal illness," says Dr. Susan Swindells, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "They have a fever and a cough, and they have difficulty breathing. So, the overwhelming desire is to do whatever you can." Read more
Grand Rounds Wigton Lectureship & Inaugural Lane lectureship

Wigton Visiting Professorship talk on March 26th
Valerie Weber, MD, was the guest speaker for the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine's Robert S. Wigton Visiting Professorship of Medicine held on March 26.
"Leadership in the Eye of the Storm," was held in the morning and "Into the Lifeboats: The closure of Hahnemann University Hospital and the Implications for Academic Medicine," was featured during Grand Rounds. Read more
Lectureship to honor James Lane, MD
The UNMC Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism is establishing the annual James Lane, MD, Memorial Grand Rounds. The inaugural event was held on April 2rd3. It featured Robert Abraham Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, who spoke on "Improving Diabetes Care: A Roadmap to Better Chronic Care." Read more
C-STARS holds inaugural biocontainment care course
The Center for Sustainment of Trauma Readiness Skills (C-STARS) Omaha, a collaboration between UNMC, Nebraska Medicine, and the Air Force Research Laboratory's School of Aerospace Medicine, recently conducted its inaugural Principles of Biocontainment Care course.
C-STARS Omaha trained a class of five, including three active-duty Air Force infectious diseases physicians, the infectious disease consultant for the Air Force, and the infection prevention consultant for the Air Force. Read more
UNMC McGoogan Library event April 29th explored how medical 'quackery' evolved over time 

The recent University of Nebraska Medical Center McGoogan Library Speaker Series event, featuring Lydia Kang, MD, UNMC assistant professor of internal medicine, discussed the historical breadth of how medical treatments -- both well-intentioned and not -- have evolved over time, and why they are still so stubbornly alive today. Dr. Kang, a Nebraska Book Award-winning and best-selling author, spoke on the topic of "Quackery Through the Ages" at the April 29th event. Read more
Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) - Initiations
Congrats to Bernadette Lamb, MD, on her initiation into AOA as a resident.

Dan Anderson, MD, on his initiation into AOA as faculty!
Education News
The UNMC College of Medicine Class of 2023 is proud to present the
2021 Golden Apple Award to Dr. Sara Bares
Serving as one of the Block Directors for the Multi-Systems block and with her involvement in Blood, Defenses, and Invaders block, Dr. Bares plays a vital role in the education of first- and second-year medical students. Asked to describe why Dr. Bares should be granted this award, student responses were far reaching. Repeatedly, students talked about what a phenomenal educator Dr. Bares is and they highlighted her passion for teaching as well as her well-organized, comprehensible, and memorable lectures. There was consistent admiration for the way that she was able to distill complex topics into information that would actually be retained, rather than just repeated during an exam, especially while doing so in the online-learning format.

Congratulations also goes out to Dr. Nate Anderson for being recognized for his teaching excellence and receiving the UNMC Medical School Class of 2021 Hirschmann Golden Apple award!
Resident & Fellow Research Poster Winners
Fellow Poster Winner
Dr. Kara Stout
Title: "Poor glycemic control portends an increased risk of atrial arrhythmia and cardiovascular hospitalizations among morbidity obese patients undergoing atrial fibrillation ablation"
Resident Poster Winner
Dr. Peter Maloley
Title: "Post-traumatic stress disorder and serum cytokine and chemokine concentrations in patients with rheumatoid arthritis"
U.S. News & World Report ranks UNMC primary care,
rural practice in top 10 

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Nebraska Medical Center's College of Medicine among the nation's top 10 best primary care programs. 
In its 2022 Best Graduate Schools rankings released in, the college's primary care program is sixth out of 123 institutions, up from 12th last year. Primary care is considered family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics or internal medicine pediatrics. Read more
Each quarter the junior (M3) students get an opportunity to choose which of the residents were the best teachers and mentors during the recent quarter. The following were chosen by the students for:
Best Intern Resident Teacher and Mentor - Drs. Alexandra Sorrick and Helen Song
Best Supervisory Resident Teacher and Mentor - Drs. Kyle Wilson and Tyler Gallo
2021 Intern Class is welcomed in the Department!!

COM resident of the month

Neil Bhogal, MD, went from an internal medicine residency to a gastroenterology fellowship at UNMC.
In a recent issue of AAIM Connection our own Kristi Graybill, C-TAGME, Internal Medicine Residency Coordinator was featured. Great to see you recognized Kristi!! Read more
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Community News
- On April 22nd, UNMC’s chapter of White Coats For Black Lives hosted a meeting with the Union For Contemporary Arts to discuss the history of redlining in Omaha. The Union discussed their workshop series Undesign the Redline, which explores the systemic segregation of housing districts in Omaha. Redlining happens when lenders, insurers, landlords and real estate agents steer minoritized populations towards specific parts of a city that are informally or formally segregated. The history of North Omaha includes redlining starting during the 1920s, and being made illegal in the 1960. Read A History of Redlining in Omaha for more information.
“Always remember the privilege it is to be a physician.” ― Daniel P. Logan, MD
-       This quote resonated with me as I (Justin) will be graduating in a few days and reality is beginning to set in that what I have been working towards for nearly a decade is here. It is wild to me as it feels like I am still the clueless M1 just with better patient interaction skills. While being nervous, I am simultaneously very excited for the next chapter to begin. To begin to acquire stories of interesting cases, gain more knowledge of medicine, interact with people in need, and begin my life. I realize this next chapter will be full of highs and lows, but I hope during my lows I am able to think back to this quote and persevere.
Social Media:
-       Look no further than our very own Dr. Marcelin’s twitter account (@DrJMarcelin) if you want to stay informed about medicine, DEI, and many other things! Being a leader within the field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Marcellin is a great account to follow in order to help enrich your education!
-       Dr. Pugh, Dr. Valentine, and Dr. Mayes gave a Grand Rounds at Stanford about Delivering on DEI: Moving beyond pipelines to accountability and measurable change. Starting around the 6 minute marker and ending around the 19 minute mark allows for a concise, yet educational, presentation.
Scholars and antiracism activists, Drs. Rhea Boyd and Rachel Hardeman discuss the meaning of structural racism, the health impacts of police violence, the “say her name” movement, and the ways we can ensure our country’s current antiracist movement grows beyond a moment.
Faculty Education
Have you ever wondered how someone gets interactive polls inside a PowerPoint presentation? Are you looking for one more tool to help boost interaction with learners? Need a fun ice breaker to start a presentation or lesson? Well, then this month we have the resource for you! We break down exactly how to incorporate Poll Everywhere into a PowerPoint. The “Quick Look” section is the basics on how to make this happen. Then in the “Deeper Look” section, we break down those steps in a more detailed way. Allowing you to get the program integrated without spending your valuable time on steps you already understand. 
Remember login information is simply your UNMC credentials. 
Link to the post: Guide to using Poll Everywhere in PowerPoint: 
New Faces, Promotions or
Committee Involvement
The following IM department faculty have been re-elected to the UNMC Faculty Senate: Dr. Dan Anderson, Dr. Apar Ganti, and Dr. Geoff Thiele.
UNMC Today Faculty Spotlights on New Faculty
Daniel Brailita, MD - Division of Infectious Diseases
Read about Dr. Brailita here
New faculty - welcome to the department!!
Suleiman Al Ashi, M.D., Assistant Professor - Hospital Medicine
Chitra Palanivel, Ph.D., Instructor - DEM
Laura Tenner, M.D., Assistant Professor - Oncology
Karim El-Kersh, M.D., Associate Professor - Pulmonary
New staff - welcome to the department!!
Rica McLaren
Meredith Malson
Tonja Cejka
Ramesh Ramalingam
Maria Daniels
Luke Schmitz
Kimberly Shield
Ava Vacek
Cindy Cowardin
Ginnie Martin
Alicia Franksen
Devin Timberlake
Kathy Sova
Rachelle Carr
Akshay Kashyap
Sara Mantz
Kathleen Tinley
Autumn Nova
Infectious Diseases
Infectious Diseases
Infectious Diseases
Faculty Development - Dr. Shannon Boerner
Thankfully, many entities on and off campus have begun resuming more professional development activities, both in person and virtually. However, busy faculty often require support in identifying high quality educational and professional development opportunities; many activities and organizations provide crucial networking, boost creativity, and serve as a source of professional and personal support. These are all especially needed and welcome in 2021.
The department has a resource available to help connect faculty with educational efforts across a broad range of categories. By sharing your personal, specific areas of interest, we can connect you to opportunities curated specifically for you. Faculty can choose as many or as few areas of interest as they like; possibilities include Administration, Career Development, Research, DEI, Health Disparities, and Leadership, among many others. Click here to input your areas of interest. Faculty will receive emails approximately quarterly with links to upcoming opportunities (both on and off campus) in their specific categories of interest. 
Questions? Reach Shannon Boerner, Director of Faculty Mentoring & Development, If you have found yourself in need of connection, inspiration, and/or motivation, consider sharing your areas of interest today!
The division of Infectious Diseases is very pleased to announce the arrival of Oliver Rini Schnaubelt in the wee hours of the morning on March 18th! Vital statistics: 6 lbs/4 oz and 19 inches.
Dr. Elizabeth Schnaubelt and baby are doing well!

Congratulations to Elizabeth and Andy and welcome to the world for Oliver!
The Department of Internal Medicine is happy to announce that Erin Maxwell, Education Programs Administrator and Dr. Marcus Snow, Rheumatology, welcomed baby William Marcus on May 14th. William was 8lbs 2 ozs and 21.25 inches long. Everyone is doing great!
Thank you to the volunteers that helped at the North Omaha vaccination clinic. Clinic runs thru 5/16 with Girls Inc. and Nebraska Medicine, with partnership with Douglas County Health Department, for COVID-19 vaccination administration to eligible North Omaha community members.
Physician and staff volunteers may still be needed for the effort, which is be led by Andrea Jones, MD, of the UNMC Department of Family Medicine.
Help people register for appointments with this link.
COM employee of the month

Mark Law is the administrator for the division of Rheumatology in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine.
UNMC Department of Internal Medicine
983332 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-3332
402-559-6315 (phone)