Faculty recognized for global health in Dean’s Awards

Two Global REACH Faculty Associates have been honored with Dean’s Awards for their extensive work in global health.

Professor of Otolaryngology and Interim Chair of Head and Neck Surgery Mark Prince (center, right) leads a training session in a simulation lab at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, in Kumasi, Ghana where Otolaryngology faculty have been collaborating since 2013. 

Congratulations to Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Vladimir Ognenovski, MD, and Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Mark E.P. Prince, MD, both recipients of the Global Community Service Award in the 2017 Dean’s Awards Program, which recognizes Medical School faculty and staff for accomplishments in teaching, research, clinical care, community service, innovation, and administration.

A native of Macedonia, Dr. Ognenovski has worked for a nearly a decade to established and strengthen collaborations between the UMMS Division of Rheumatology with counterparts at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia’s largest university. Since 2009, he has led a sustained project to improve rheumatology care in the cities of Skopje and Bitola, working to train – and involving other UMMS  colleagues in the training of – Macedonian faculty members.

Thanks in part to Ognenovski’s efforts, a new rheumatologist has been fully trained and is practicing in Bitola, where the population previously had no access to specialized rheumatology care. His work helped paved the way for a new institutional agreement between UMMS and Ss. Cyril, and 15 medical students from Macedonia to date have enjoyed clinical rotations at UMMS, in addition to more than 20 faculty members who have visited for observerships and other educational opportunities over the years.

Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Vladimir Ognenovski

“I have had the privilege of accompanying Dr. Ognenovski (to Macedonia) on two occasions. I have been struck by his remarkable ability to assess health needs at a local, regional and national level, develop a global strategy to bring about change and progress, and form relationships to achieve change and progress,” said UMMS Rheumatology Division Chief David Fox, MD, who nominated Ognenovski for the Dean’s Award. “His accomplishments tell us that a dedicated individual with the right skills, knowledge, vision and drive can accomplish transformative change.”

RELATED: Macedonian faculty foster partnerships back home

Interim Chair of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Mark Prince has been leading a team of department colleagues in a long-term project to bolster ear, nose and throat surgery capacity in Ghana. Since 2013, the otolaryngology team has developed an extensive partnership with the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi.  Dr. Prince and others in the department, including Jeffrey Moyer, MD, David Brown, MD, and Gregory Basura, MD, PhD, have traveled nine times to KATH, leading training sessions in the clinic, as well as in operating rooms and a simulation lab which UMMS has helped to outfit. The collaboration expanded this year to include epidemiological research into pediatric hearing loss and the partnership’s successes have been documented in multiple journal publications.

“We have a number of teams who are active in low-resource settings, particularly in Ghana. I am impressed with the authentic and selfless efforts coming from this team in otolaryngology and the impact they are having,” said Associate Dean of Education and Global Initiatives Joseph Kolars, MD, in one of several nominations for Dr. Prince and his colleagues. “They are raising awareness of the role institutions such as ours have in partnering in low-resource settings, and they are learning lessons which are powerful for all of us as we seek to develop collaborative relationships overseas.”

While Drs. Ognenovski and Prince represent the only faculty to garner awards specifically for global health-related work, several other Global REACH Faculty Associates were also honored with 2017 Dean’s Awards:

Health Services Research Award
Professor of Internal Medicine Michele Heisler, MD, MPA

Innovation and Commercialization Award
Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine Shaomeng Wang, PhD
Professor of Emergency Medicine and Biomedical Engineering Kevin R. Ward, MD

Clinical Research Award
Professor of Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry Daniel J. Clauw, MD

Basic Science Research Award
Associate Professor of Human Genetics and Neurology Anthony Antonellis, PhD

Congratulations to all of the honorees.