Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia and the first African-American woman to serve as U.S. poet laureate, is featured in TIME magazine’s “FIRSTS series,” which highlights 46 women who broke barriers across their fields.
Dove served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995. Among her 10 books of poetry and other publications, she won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for “Thomas and Beulah.”
TIME Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs writes, “We wondered if there is some common motive or muscle shared by women who are pioneers. They have been on journeys to places they could only imagine and frequently encountered people who said they would never get there. … Our goal with this extraordinary project … is for every woman and girl to find someone who moves them, to find someone whose presence in the highest reaches of success says to them that it is safe to climb, come on up, the view is spectacular.”
The FIRSTS project, including interviews, videos, portraits and a book coming next month, was featured in the Sept. 18 issue.
Student-Athlete Appointed to NCAA Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee
UVA women’s basketball player Jocelyn Willoughby has been appointed as a non-voting, student-athlete member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee.
Willoughby, a second-year student, joins the 15-member committee through June 2020. The goals of the committee are to advance the game and perception of women’s basketball, improve the student-athlete experience and put an emphasis on the personal growth of student-athletes.
Jocelyn Willoughby, a member of UVA’s women’s basketball team, will serve on the NCAA’s Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee. (UVA Athletics photo)
Along with the goals, it will also work to supervise qualifications and/or selection procedures for the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship and provide direction to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Rules Committee regarding playing rules.
“I truly value the opportunity to be the voice of student-athletes – particularly women’s basketball players,” Willoughby said. “It’s incredible to think that I get to provide a perspective to the committee that will influence long-term decisions, the direction in which the game progresses, and hopefully have a positive impact on the growth of the game and improvement of the student-athlete’s collegiate experience.”
Price Earns Inaugural Prize for Cancer Treatment Using Focused Ultrasound
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation announced that Richard Price, professor of biomedical engineering, radiology and radiation oncology, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the $75,000 Andrew J. Lockhart Memorial Prize.
Terry and Eugene Lockhart, the parents of the award’s namesake, presented the prize on Oct. 2.
The prize was established by Andrew’s family and friends with the hope that focused ultrasound research can contribute to new therapies for solid cancers. Andrew died in 2016 after a battle with cholangiocarcinoma, a particularly virulent cancer affecting the biliary system of the liver and gallbladder. Andrew’s mother, Terry Lockhart, said, “Our family, including Andrew, was excited about the potential of focused ultrasound as a breakthrough treatment for very difficult cancers like his. This prize is a way for Andrew’s death to have a lasting, positive effect on others.”
Biomedical engineer Richard Price is the winner of the inaugural Andrew J. Lockhart Memorial Prize for work that advances the use of focused ultrasound to treat cancer. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)
The prize is awarded to an investigator who has already made outstanding contributions to the advancement of cancer treatment using focused ultrasound and who demonstrates great potential for further achievements in the field. Price has led focused ultrasound research projects on drug and gene delivery across the blood-brain barrier, drug and gene delivery to skeletal muscle to promote new blood vessel growth, and the mechanical effects of ultrasound-activated microbubbles to ablate tumors. The potential impact of his work across multiple diseases and its capability to lead to future innovations in the focused ultrasound field exemplifies the purpose of this prize.
“Rich Price has been on the vanguard of focused ultrasound’s application in the fight against cancer and other elusive diseases,” said Dr. Richard P. Shannon, UVA’s executive vice president for health affairs. “Focused ultrasound can be transformational in a multimodality approach.”
“I am grateful to receive this award from the Lockhart family,” Price said. “This prize encourages the pursuit of new and exciting opportunities in the field of focused ultrasound and reminds everyone in my lab that people really care about the work we are doing and value our collective contributions.”
Law School Receives Legal Aid Justice Center’s Inaugural Champion of Justice Award
The School of Law received the inaugural Champion of Justice Award from the Charlottesville-based Legal Aid Justice Center at a Sept. 23 event celebrating the center’s 50th anniversary.
Legal Aid created the award “to recognize an extraordinary individual or group who has made a significant contribution to justice for all in Virginia over a significant period,” according to the association’s executive director, Mary Bauer, a 1990 graduate of the Law School.
The Law School community was not only integral to the center’s creation, but has facilitated its efforts to provide legal services to the poor ever since. Working with the center, students gain experience helping clients under the supervision of practicing attorneys through clinics and campaigns, with faculty and alumni often taking part in the efforts.
“The Legal Aid Justice Center would not be the program that it is without the extraordinary contributions of the University of Virginia School of Law,” Bauer said. “The Law School’s students, faculty and alumni have made LAJC the powerhouse that it is and have allowed us to serve so many low-income members of this community with excellence.”
Law Dean Risa Goluboff, in receiving the award, praised the partnership between the institutions. A large number of the center’s staff attorneys first gained experience working there as UVA law students.
The center’s founding, she noted, was the product of the legal advocacy of young lawyers influenced by the civil rights movement. She said that the Law School has a responsibility to carry that advocacy forward.
“As a professor, and now as dean, I feel deeply that we have to inculcate that sense of ownership, responsibility and power in our students – not just as passive recipients of law, but as active participants in the legal process and makers of its results,” Goluboff said.
Cville Pride Honors UVA Doctor for Service to LGBTQ Community
Dr. Nancy McLaren, an assistant professor of pediatrics, clinician and medical director of the UVA Teen and Young Adult Health Center, has been named a winner of Cville Pride’s annual Cornerstone Awards, which honor local individuals whose work has benefitted and improved lives in the LGBTQ community.
According to the organization’s announcement, McLaren was instrumental in creating UVA’s Transgender Health Clinic for youth – the only one of its kind for the region. She is one of the originating members of the Transgender Health Alliance of Charlottesville, a group of medical and mental health providers as well as advocates, allies and members of the LGBTQ community whose mission is to provide health services to patients and families.
“Her values-driven work focuses on addressing health care disparities that fosters an environment of inclusiveness,” the announcement said.
Fast, Quality Heart Attack Care Earns UVA Two National Awards
For providing prompt, high-quality care for patients suffering heart attacks, the UVA Health Systemhas received two national awards from the American Heart Association.
UVA received the Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center-Bronze Plus achievement award and the Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI-Silver achievement award from the association for meeting national standards to improve care and outcomes for heart attack patients.
The association’s guidelines include quickly restoring blood flow to blocked arteries during a heart attack; providing counseling on how to quit smoking; providing recommended medications; evaluating how well patients’ hearts are functioning following a heart attack; and referring patients to a cardiac rehabilitation program.
When caring for heart attack patients, the UVA Heart and Vascular Center, Emergency Department and Pharmacy work closely with emergency medical service providers from across Central Virginia to provide fast, coordinated care.
Arriving patients are seen at the Chest Pain Center inside the Emergency Department for assessment. If treatment is needed, UVA has five specialized procedure rooms for heart attack patients. When patients are ready for discharge, UVA provides cardiac rehabilitation as well as a Heart Attack Recovery Clinic, where patients are scheduled for a follow-up visit one week after leaving the hospital.
Outcomes during the 2016 calendar year, the most recent timeframe with available data, show the benefits of this teamwork for patients with a serious type of heart attack called an ST-elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI. During this period, the median time for STEMI patients to have their blocked heart arteries reopened after arriving at the UVA Emergency Department was 48 minutes, placing UVA in the top 10 percent nationally.
UVA Named to National ‘100 Great Oncology Programs’ List
For the fifth consecutive year, national health care publication Becker’s Hospital Review has named the UVA Cancer Center at the UVA Medical Center to its list of 100 hospitals and health systems with great oncology programs. UVA is the only health system in Virginia named on Becker’s 2017 list.
“Receiving this honor from Becker’s highlights our efforts both to provide excellent patient care as well as discover research breakthroughs in better understanding and treating cancer,” said Dr. Thomas P. Loughran Jr., director of the UVA Cancer Center.
Health systems named to the list “lead the way in oncology expertise, outcomes, research and treatment options,” according to Becker’s.
In honoring UVA, Becker’s cited UVA’s participation in the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network, a national cancer research network seeking to better understand cancer at the molecular level and develop more targeted treatments for patients. Becker’s also noted UVA’s status as a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and that UVA is the only cancer center in Virginia ranked among the top 50 nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
Becker’s does not rank the hospitals and health systems named to its list; they are presented in alphabetical order.
UVA Earns National Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification
For providing high-quality care for stroke patients with complex health needs, the UVA Stroke Center at the UVA Medical Center has received national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.
UVA is just one of just three stroke centers in Virginia – and the only center in Charlottesville and the Shenandoah Valley – to earn Comprehensive Stroke Center certification from the Joint Commission, an accrediting group for hospitals, along with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. The certification follows a site visit where surveyors measure how well stroke centers comply with stroke care standards and use evidence-based guidelines to provide the best care. Approximately 3 percent of hospitals nationwide have earned this Joint Commission certification.
“This is a tremendous honor for our Stroke Center physicians and team that highlights their dedication to providing excellent care whenever it is needed, using the most advanced procedures and imaging,” said Pamela M. Sutton-Wallace, chief executive officer of UVA Medical Center.
Earlier this year, the UVA Stroke Center also received the Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll recognition from the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program for UVA’s commitment to quality stroke care.
Notes From the Nursing School
School of Nursing faculty members continue to rack up the honors. A few of note:
- Assistant professor Tomeka Dowling has been elected president of the Virginia League for Nursing, the state constituent league for the 124-year-old National League for Nursing, the country’s first professional nursing organization. She’ll assume this role in May. Dowling coordinates the Nursing School’s R.N.-to-B.S.N. program and teaches courses in leadership, nursing fundamentals, and community and public health courses to both undergraduate and graduate students.
- Kenneth R. White, the school’s associate dean for strategic partnerships and innovation, and UVA Medical Center’s Endowed Professor of Nursing, was elected to the board of directors for the American Academy of Nursing. For the last three years, White served on the academy’s nominating committee.
- Associate professor Beth Epstein was elected to the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities’ board of directors.
- American Nursing Association President Pam Cipriano, a research associate professor of nursing, was named one of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” for the third straight year.