Shining Stars

William R. Elger, executive vice president and chief business and finance officer,(far right) accepted the award on behalf of UTMB from, left, V. J. Tramonte, chamber chairman and Gina Spagnola, chamber president.

UTMB Health received The Spirit of Galveston Award at the recent Galveston Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet in March. The award recognizes an individual or organization that “represents the soul of the Galveston Island business community.”

Dr. Don Powell, Steve Conner, Dr. Jerry Daniels and Dr. Randall Urban

The Department of Internal Medicine’s 21st Annual Essentials in Internal Medicine: Update on Principals and Practice and Alumni Society meeting was held at the Moody Gardens Hotel, April 13-14. Over 100 practitioners attended the scientific sessions. A wide array of topics was addressed including the presentation of the William P. Deiss, Jr. Lecture given by Dr.  Richard W. Goodgame, who presented a lecture entitled “Knowledge of the Invisible”.  Goodgame is Professor of Medicine, Vice-Chair for Educational Affairs in the UTMB Department of Internal Medicine, and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency. Another invited lecturer, Dr. Tom Hancher, an alumnus of UTMB, presented “The Small Town Internist” based on his experience over the past 35 years practicing medicine in Columbus, Texas.

On Friday night, the Department of Internal Medicine held its annual Alumni Society Dinner at Gaidos. Dr. Jerry C. Daniels former UTMB Associate Chairman of Medicine, was honored at the dinner. Also, Dr. Brock Harper received the Alumni-Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.
Dr. J. Marc Shabot, vice chair for Alumni Affairs and Development, Department of Internal Medicine said, “We are quite proud of our department’s history, and the collegiality that our Alumni Society has fostered. One of our department’s greatest strengths is our alumni and friends, and we look forward to building even stronger ties with them in the years ahead."


TMF Health Quality Institute recently announced that UTMB Health had won a Texas Health Care Quality Improvement Award by achieving gains in key clinical areas that align with national health care priorities.

TMF Health Quality Institute--the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Texas--established the awards program in partnership with the Texas Hospital Association, Texas Medical Association, Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals and Texas Osteopathic Medical Association. The award recognizes hospitals that undertake efforts to advance the quality of care in their facilities.

Hospitals voluntarily participate in the non-competitive program and agree to focus on making improvements in heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. Improvement in these areas has been designated a priority for U.S. health care by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission, an independent, non-profit, standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

For acute care hospitals such as UTMB, awards are calculated based on quality scores in 27 areas: 7 for heart attack, 4 for heart failure, 6 for pneumonia and 10 for surgical care measures.

UTMB’s improvement score, based on 12 months of data, earned a bronze medal. 167 Texas hospitals were recognized this year. For details on this quality improvement initiative, visit

The March of Dimes Foundation has chosen UTMB assistant professor Muge Kuyumcu-Martinez to receive a two-year, $150,000 Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Award. The grant will support her research on congenital heart defects, the most common type of major birth defect.

“I'm honored and privileged to receive this prestigious award,” Kuyumcu-Martinez said. “I'm very thankful to the March of Dimes, and I'm really excited to be able to pursue the research their generosity will make possible.”
Kuyumcu-Martinez's lab studies the heart's development from its earliest embryonic stages to adulthood. That process is controlled by changes in the way genes behave, which are themselves guided by complex biochemical signals.

Dr. Judith Rowen has been appointed to Associate Dean for Educational Affairs. In this new role, she will assume responsibility for oversight of UTMB’s medical student education efforts, including continuous improvement of the Integrated Medical Curriculum, ongoing innovation in approaches to teaching and assessment, and preparation for LCME accreditation in 2014-2015.
Rowen has served as Assistant Dean for Educational Affairs since 2005, providing leadership and ongoing improvement of the clinical aspects of student education throughout the curriculum. Her tireless efforts in securing clinical training sites for our third and fourth year students following Hurricane Ike resulted in all students graduating on time despite major disruptions in UTMB's clinical enterprise. This appointment will be effective September 1, 2012, following a search to fill Dr. Rowen's current position of Assistant Dean for Educational Affairs.

Congratulations to John Bullacher from Logistics who is the April winner of a new 7” Android Touch Tablet with Wi-Fi!

In an effort to increase early completion of the employee mandatory training and avoid end of the fiscal year rush, UTMB Health is offering an incentive contest. Complete your online training and be eligible for the drawing. Only two drawings remain - May and June - so complete your training soon. 

Click here for more information.

UTMB Records Management team hosted its first open house event to recognize and honor the national observance of Records and Information Management month and to heighten the awareness, importance and benefits of managing university records. 
Congratulations to Polly Nichols, left, the winner of an IPad and to Carol Luck and Steve Christensen for both winning an iPod.


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