ANNA AND BETH HANSEN SEIZE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP OTHERS AT COVID-19 VACCINE CLINIC
When UK began offering the COVID-19 vaccine in Kroger Field early in 2021, an
email went out to medical students asking for volunteers to meet the historic
challenge. Anna and Beth Hansen, who are identical twins, were among those
students who answered the call.
Beth, who was in her second year of medical school, saw the notice and immediately got in touch with her sister Anna, an MD/PhD student. Soon they were at the clinic registering the hundreds of people who arrived to receive the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine.
Although they weren’t called upon to administer vaccines at first, they weren’t disappointed. They saw an opportunity to serve the community at a critical time. Besides, Anna pointed out, “there was a physician who was helping people from their cars into the clinic. And he said, ‘I do procedures all day. Now I get to do this.’”
Soon enough the twins got their turn to administer the vaccine in the clinic. “I loved giving the vaccine,” Beth said. “There was something special about it. Most of the folks at first were elderly, medically vulnerable, and they were so grateful because they’d been so scared.”
For Anna, deep in her PhD program, it was an opportunity to reconnect with her identity as a future practitioner. She enjoyed the lively, bustling experience. “The folks running the clinic were incredible,” she said, “and it was great to get to talk to the folks who came in. COVID-19 is so isolating, and it was great to meet people in so many different situations.”
Beth agreed. “It was usually a seven- to eight-hour shift, full of small conversations, one after the other, all of them important.”
Once they started, the sisters were ready for every opportunity to volunteer. And they found that their fellow medical students were just as eager. “The email would go out,” Beth remembered, “and you had to answer right away, or you’d be too late.”
Anna depended on her sister to monitor the call for volunteers. “She’d tell me ‘we’re going tomorrow!’ and we’d sign up.”
Beth was delighted to organize their efforts. “I thought it was a huge privilege for the College of Medicine to ask us to volunteer. We’re so grateful. That’s what I’ve found out about UK. If you’re motivated to do something important, UK will give you the opportunity.”
“I thought it was a huge privilege for the College of Medicine to ask us to volunteer. We’re so grateful. That’s what I’ve found out about UK. If you’re motivated to do something important, UK will give you the opportunity.”
MEDICAL STUDENTS VOLUNTEER FOR VACCINE CLINIC
Through its COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Kroger Field, the University of Kentucky was able to expand its hours and increase its vaccination capacity thanks to volunteers from the University of Kentucky’s health care colleges, including the College of Medicine. Faculty, staff, and students from the college rose to the challenge, serving in roles from everything from immunizers to wayfinders.
NEW LEADERSHIP IN OFFICE OF MEDICAL EDUCATION BENEFITS MEDICAL STUDENTS
The Office of Medical Education restructured its leadership and added new, specialized roles. Together, they are attentive to all
student needs and help ensure holistic student success from orientation through graduation.
The Office of Student Affairs established specialized leadership roles to enhance the medical school experience for students at all campuses. The associate dean for student affairs (Michelle Lineberry, EdD) manages student affairs operations across campuses to provide excellent support services to students for success from orientation through graduation. Dr. Lineberry oversees three new student affairs deans who focus on student well-being (Angela Dearinger, MD, MPH), career counseling (Elizabeth “Berry” Seelbach, MD), and the house system (Anthony “TJ” Lile, MD).
In other leadership changes, Meredith Landorf, MD, began her tenure as assistant dean for the Northern Kentucky Campus, helping build upon the third- and fourth-year clerkships for the regional campus. Emily Scanlon, MEd, who previously served as a student affairs officer at the Northern Kentucky Campus, started a new role as director for student success.
And though this change didn’t occur officially until the 2022 fiscal year, Andy Ayoob, MD, associate dean for curriculum and assessment, led development of a new structure for his curriculum team including a newly-created assistant dean of curriculum integration position (Alan Hall, MD), a new assistant dean of competency assessment (Jagriti Chadha, MD), and a new assistant dean for curriculum administration (Helen Garces, MSEd).
THREAD LEADERS ENHANCE MEDICAL STUDENT CURRICULUM
The college appointed three faculty members to lead newly created curricular threads, the Health Equity and Advocacy Thread and the Health System Science Thread. Through these new positions, these individuals collaborate with course directors, clerkship directors, curriculum deans, and other faculty and staff to establish learning objectives, instructional strategies, and assessment methods for their designated topics. Jacqueline Pope-Tarrence, PhD, adjunct assistant professor for the department of behavioral science at the Bowling Green Campus, leads the Health Equity and Advocacy Thread along with assistant leader Anna-Maria South, MD, assistant professor of medicine. Andrew Harris, MD, assistant professor of urology, leads the Health System Science Thread.
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE LAUNCHES PLANS FOR NEW HEALTH EDUCATION BUILDING
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved the launch of plans for a new, state-of-the-art health education building, catalyzed by a generous $22 million gift from alumnus Michael D. Rankin, MD. Along with supporting the new building, the donation from Dr. Rankin will contribute to medical student scholarships, helping ensure all students in Kentucky have the opportunity to pursue a fulfilling career in medicine and research.
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS
718 Medical Students
In fiscal year 2021, there were 718 medical students attending the College of Medicine across four locations: Bowling Green, Lexington, Morehead, and Northern Kentucky.
Thanks to the help of student volunteers from UK’s health colleges, including the College of Medicine, the UK vaccine clinic was able to administer more than 100,000 doses of vaccines by the spring of 2021.
A $22 million commitment from Michael Rankin, MD, will help establish a new health education building, as well as medical student scholarships.