Inside IM
News from the Department of Internal Medicine
From the Chair
I think it is fair to say we are all anxious for spring to arrive. Spring brings more opportunities to be outside. Connecting with nature is a way many of us re-energize and are reminded of what is most important and good in our lives. Activities that don’t require being outside also help ground us. I was challenged a few years ago to start the habit of maintaining a daily gratitude list. Each day I make a list of three things for which I am grateful and looking back over that list intermittently has become a way I reflect on the many good things in my life.
UNMC Impact in Education Awards:Varner Educator Laureate Award
For James O'Dell, M.D., teaching is a family tradition -- a proud tradition he has continued and one that he will be honored for Thursday.

Dr. O'Dell, the Stokes Shackleford Professor and Vice Chair in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine, and Chief of the UNMC Division of Rheumatology, will be named one of the Varner Educators Laureate for 2018-19.The award for his excellence in teaching was presented at the Academic Affairs Impact in Education Awards Ceremony on February 7th in the Durham Research Center Auditorium.
UNMC Impact in Education Awards: Inspirational Mentor of Educators Award
Shannon Boerner, M.D., is one of the recipients of the Office of Academic Affairs' 2017 Impact in Education Awards. She will receive the Inspirational Mentor of Educators Award.

Dr. Vose to be inducted as fellow of Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh
Julie Vose, M.D., chief of the division of oncology/hematology in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine, has been elected a fellow in the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE). She will be inducted into the RCPE at a formal ceremony in June.

Gold Humanism Honor Society - 2019 Induction Ceremony
The University of Nebraska School of Medicine Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) was founded in 2015 with support from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. Members join together with the common aim of instilling a culture of respect, dignity, and compassion for patients and professionals at UNMC. Read more about the GHHS Society here.

During a formal induction ceremony on February 16th committee members made the final determination regarding membership into the GHHS UNMC Chapter. The following Internal Medicine Faculty and Residents were inducted as Class of 2019:
Faculty Advisor: Trek Langenhan, MD
Residents: Steven Ebers, MD; Abby Riese, MD
Faculty: Marwa Hegagi, MBBCH; William Lyons, MD, Khalid Sahak, MD
Left to right: Trek Langenhan, MD; Debra Romberger, MD; Abby Riese, MD; Steven Ebers, MD; Marwa Hegagi, MBBCH; William Lyons, MD; Khalid Sahak, MD
Distinguished Scientist: Matthew Lunning, D.O.
The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years. Dr. Matthew Lunning, DO, Associate professor, UNMC Department of Internal Medicine; medical director, lymphoma research was a recipient of the award.
New Investigator Award
New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions. Congratulations to Dr. Bin Duan and Dr. Saraswathi Viswanathan.

Saraswathi Viswanathan, Ph.D., Associate professor, UNMC Department of Internal Medicine
Bin Duan, PhD, Assistant Professor, UNMC Departmet of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiac Medicine

Bin Duan, Ph.D., to receive Gilmore Award
When Bin Duan, Ph.D., was in college, he saw a picture of an artificial human ear growing on the back of a mouse. That photo was a window into his future.

Dr. Duan assistant professor, cardiovascular medicine/Holland Regenerative Medicine Program, has devoted his research to making that day happen and on March 14th his research will be recognized with the presentation of the Joseph P. and Harriet K. Gilmore Distinguished New Investigator Award. Congratulations Dr. Duan. Read More
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
On Feb. 11, UNMC marked the International Day of Women and Girls in Science with a panel featuring four women faculty members including Jasmine Marcelin, M.D. , assistant professor, infectious diseases, associate medical director, Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, in the UNMC Division of Infectious Diseases. The event was held in the Durham Research Center Auditorium. The program, titled "UNMC's Women in Science: Our Voices, Our Stories," was sponsored by the McGoogan Library of Medicine in partnership with the Women's Mentoring Group and the UNMC Office of Faculty Development. Attendees listened to UNMC women scientists discuss their journey in the science professions, including the obstacles they faced along the way. Gain inspiration from their stories and also learn about the important work they are undertaking at UNMC. To read more click here and to view the actual event click here .
Legendary UNMC supporter, Virginia Grissom, dies at age 99
Virginia Grissom, the matriarch of one of the most important families in the history of UNMC, died Feb. 26 at an assisted living facility in Omaha. She was 99 -- less than five months short of her 100th birthday.

Grissom's husband, Robert Grissom, M.D., was the first full-time chair of the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine from 1956-1970 and is credited with being one of the key leaders who raised the bar and set the course for making UNMC the world-class medical center it is today. Dr. Grissom died in 2009 at the age of 92. Read More
UNMC in the News
On February 27th in the McGoogan Library of Medicine’s Rare Book Room, Dr. Lydia Kang, a physician at Nebraska Medicine and a professor of internal medicine at UNMC gave a reading from one of her books. She writes young adult fiction, adult fiction and non-fiction, and poetry. Her works include "Quackery," "A Beautiful Poison," and "The Impossible Girl." Learn more about her books here. (

Jane Potter, M.D., internal medicine - geriatrics, discusses how our voice changes as we age. Watch Ask UNMC video

A Reader's Digest article listing the top sleep doctors across the United States has selected Michael Summers, M.D ., director of the Nebraska Medicine Sleep Center, as the top sleep doctor in Nebraska. Dr. Summers, who is assistant professor, internal medicine -- pulmonary for UNMC, earned his top ranking as "patients consider him to be exceptionally thorough and value his ability to explain things in terms they understand." He is board-certified in sleep medicine and critical care medicine.

An article quoting Dr. Jennifer Harsh, an assistant professor and director of behavioral medicine for general internal medicine has been picked up by multiple news outlets. The article is titled " How hearing I love you helps children feel safe, connected with parents " and talks about being authentic with your feelings with your children. 
Honors and Awards
Working in the College of Medicine, where we have such diverse and active departments, allows for great opportunities to recognize those that make a difference. Please congratulate the following on their excellent work.

The Scientist Development Award is designed to support promising Department of Internal Medicine faculty making the transition from fellowship/post-doctoral training or as early faculty into a career as an independent researcher. We are pleased to share that Dr. Richard Hankins, one of the senior ID fellows has been awarded the UNMC Deptartment of Internal Medicine Scientist Development Award for 2019-2020. This award will allow Dr. Hankins protected time to study optimization of CHG patient bathing as a method to prevent HAIs/pathogen transmission and pursue additional opportunities for career development. He will also be taking patient safety and performance improvement courses and start work for a masters degree. Dr. Hankins shares his thoughts on this tremendous achievement here

The Student Senate annually honors mentors, teachers, and students of impact during a luncheon. The luncheon this year will occur on March 29th. Please congratulate Dr. Scott Westphal for being awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award for the 2019 academic year.

Each quarter the junior (M3) students get an opportunity to choose which of the residents were the best teachers and mentors during that quarter. The following were chosen by the November-January students as:
Best Intern Teacher and Mentor - Dr. Joseph Pachunka
Best Supervisor Resident Teacher and Mentor - Dr. Jill Wagoner

The National Board of Medical Examiners acknowledged the following faculty members for their dedication and contribution: 
  • Dr. Tammy Wichman as a member of the Step 3 IRC Interdisciplinary Review Committee.
  • Dr. Jay Moore as the Medical School Liaison Representative and Executive Chief Proctor. 

Dr. John Dickinson in the PCCMSA (pulmonary/critical care medicine/sleep/allergy) division received a local grant - the Eugene Kenney Memorial Fund for Asthma Research for the 2018-2019 academic year for $20,000.
Research Updates
UNMC College of Medicine faculty received 29 grant awards representing more than $5.9 million in new funding during the months of December and January including Drs. Saraswathi Viswanathan, Kelsey Klute, Muhamed Baljevic, Pavankumar Tandra, Richard Gumina, Jonathan Cramer, and Andrea Zimmer . Read More

Applications for the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) and Summer Undergraduate Alcohol Research Program (SUARP) for 2019 have been received. Invitations have been sent to those students selected and a final list will be complete soon. We look forward to seeing them on campus starting June 3rd.

Internal Medicine Research award nominations are due no later than March 18th. Please contact Shannon Thomsen if you need the form to include with the nomination.

Internal Medicine Notable Publications reported with ADIS and Scopus for the 4th Quarter of 2018.

View the latest Internal Medicine faculty publications (in descending order by publication year and title) on Research Nebraska.
Administration Staff News
Brian Boerner, M.D. , has been named the director of UNMC's Interprofessional Academy of Educators (IAE). Dr. Boerner, an assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine, received his M.D. from UNMC in 2006, then completed his internal medicine residency and endocrinology fellowship at UNMC. He was inducted as a member of the IAE in 2017. Read More

In December the Healing Arts Program presented The Nebraska Medical Orchestra (NMO) Inaugural Holiday Concert in the Durham Outpatient Center Atrium. The Music Director and Conductor was Matthew J. Brooks. The NMO's mission is to improve the quality of life in the medical community and community at large by using music as a healing art. Dr. Sarah Holstein (flute) and Dr Brett Van Briggle (Violin 2) are members of the NMO.

On March 7th, Erin Maxwell-Snow, Administrator, Educational Programs, and Vicki Hamm, GME Administrator, presented at the ACGME Annual Educational Conference in Florida. The title of the session was " Successfully Creating a GME Job Family that Leads to Coordinator Growth and Satisfaction”.

Mark Law accepted the Rheumatology Division Administrator position and started on February 18th. His office will be located in the Rheumatology Division on the 3rd floor of Wittson Hall. Mark has been with UNMC since 2002 and his current position is Director of Operations for CityMatCH overseeing the administrative, logistics, communications and planning. Prior being the Director of Operations, Mark was the CityMatcCH Organizational Effectiveness Manager and Project Coordinator. His experience encompasses contract and grant management, business operations, budgeting, and leadership skills which will be valuable for the division and the department. Mark has a PhD in Organization and Management from Capella University, a Master’s Degree in Management and Information Services from Colorado State University and Bachelor of Arts from South Dakota State University in Psychology.
Shannon Thomsen recently joined the administration staff. She will coordinate departmental publications, the Internal Medicine Research Council, and the Summer Undergraduate Research Program and Summer Undergraduate Alcohol Research Program. 
UNMC Department of Internal Medicine
983332 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-3332
402-559-6315 (phone)