UConn Health Awards Roundup October 2021

UConn School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine recipients continue to shine and are being recognized for their efforts!

Dr. Henderson speaking with trainees in clinical setting

Dr. David Henderson, chair of UConn Health's Department of Family Medicine, speaks with trainees. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health photo)

The AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education (ACE) Consortium has announced the addition of four new consortium executive committee members, including Dr. David Henderson, associate dean, multicultural and community affairs, and professor and chair of UConn Health’s Department of Family Medicine.

Dr. David Henderson (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health photo)

The Consortium was formed in 2013 with 11 medical schools – now it includes 37 schools. UConn School of Medicine joined the Consortium in the second request for proposals in 2016. Since that time UConn has been an active and engaged member. The Executive Committee includes nine principal investigators from participating schools who serve as the advisory body of the Consortium to the AMA, providing strategic input regarding Consortium activities aimed at transforming undergraduate and graduate medical education to create a workforce capable of providing high-quality care to the rapidly changing U.S. population. Committee members serve for two-year terms.

“The AMA ACE Consortium has provided a wonderful environment for development of innovative ideas through collaboration with very talented colleagues from medical schools across the country,” says Henderson. “My focus within the consortium has principally been diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Working with others from member schools we have developed a survey tool to measure students’ experience of inclusion in specific learning environments, which is currently being piloted here and at another institution. In my role as a member of the Executive Committee, I hope to continue to advocate for support of DEI initiatives across the consortium.”

Richard Fortinsky Receives 2021 Aging and Public Health Lifetime Achievement Award

Richard Fortinsky portrait
Richard Fortinsky is the Health Net, Inc. Endowed Chair in Geriatrics and Gerontology at UConn Health. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

Richard Fortinsky, professor and Health Net Inc. Endowed Chair in Geriatrics and Gerontology, UConn Center on Aging, Department of Medicine, and Department of Public Health Sciences, is being honored with the inaugural Steven P. Wallace Lifetime Achievement Award by the Aging and Public Health Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Fortinsky is being recognized for his many significant contributions to advancing scholarship related to public health and aging, and his important work translating research into practice.

The mission of the Aging and Public Health Section, established in 1978 as a formal constituent unit of APHA, is to promote the health and well-being of individuals as they age by improving their health, functioning, quality of life and financial security. A key focus of scientists in the Section is interpreting the meaning of research findings to inform public policy and clinical practice affecting older adults and their families.

According to an article in the Section’s newsletter, Fortinsky also is being honored for his many years of active contributions to public health leadership, as well as his kindness and generosity as a colleague. The awards ceremony is being held virtually October 25, 2021 during the APHA annual conference.

Dr. Thomas Regan receiveing a plaque
Dr. Alexis Cordiano, president of the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians, presents the CCEP’s Phil Stent Award to UConn Health’s Dr. Thomas Regan. (Photo provided by CCEP)

Emergency Medicine Community Honors Dr. Thomas Regan

The Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians recently presented its Phil Stent Award to Dr. Thomas Regan, the UConn School of Medicine’s assistant dean for admissions and student affairs. CCEP annually honors an emergency physician for his or her dedication, leadership, and overall contribution to the field, not only to recognize leaders’ achievements and contributions, but also to provide inspiration for future generations of emergency physicians.

UConn Dental Students Create Award-Winning Video

Students from the UConn chapter of the Student National Dental Association/Hispanic Student Dental Association (SNDA/HSDA) won third place for a video they created encouraging children to floss their teeth. Winning videos in the annual Orgullo contest, which is sponsored by Oral B, were posted by the Association on YouTube. SNDA and HSDA are combined into one chapter at UConn, though separate for many other chapters nationally.

According to Talia Staiger and Flaviah Muchemi, both third-year students and co-presidents of the UConn chapter, they chose flossing as their subject due to misconceptions among patients, especially youth, regarding the importance of using floss as part of a healthy dental regiment.

“We decided to focus on flossing because we realized that while most people brush twice a day, many do not floss,” they said. “Flossing is critical to our oral health, and since this can be accomplished using Oral B products that make flossing easier, we felt it would be an appropriate topic for this competition. We also recognized that our class is diverse and that this message should be something that would be representative of the multicultural backgrounds in the school. Members of UConn HSDA/SNDA and some of our classmates helped us make the video.”