News and Events

 

A Celebration of Scholarship

Over the fall quarter, first year WWAMI students presented their work at each Foundation sites’ 2018 Medical Student Poster Session. This celebration of scholarly work included hypothesis-driven research, literature reviews, Rural Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP), and Global Health Immersion Programs (GHIP) projects. Students presented meaningful and impressive work on topics such as: 

  • Peer-Based Intravention: Bidirectional healing as primary prevention for youth opioid addiction in Ketchikan
  • Postoperative Outcomes Following Colorectal Surgery for Patients with Crohn's Disease Managed with an Enhanced Recovery Protocol
  • Targeted Liposomal TRP-2 Peptide Immunotherapy for Melanoma in Mice
  • Prevalence of Helicobacter Pylori, Gastric Cancer, and Ulcerative Disease Among American Indian and Alaska Native Peoples 2001-2014
  • Depression and Suicidality in Naivasha, Kenya: Investigating the Intentionality of Poison Ingestion and Providing Clinical Tools for Those Caring for Suicidal Patients
  • Preserving Cognition in Elders with Mild-To-Moderate Dementia using Cognitive Stimulation Therapy in Homer, Alaska 

And many others! The wide range of topics and scholarly approaches reflect the diverse interests of members of the E17 UWSOM student body, who are well poised to innovate and move medicine forward in an equally wide range of domains. We are proud of what they have accomplished in this short time and very much appreciate the faculty mentors who guided the process. 

In addition to presenting their work at their regional sites, seven Alaska WWAMI students, representing UWSOM, presented at the annual Western Student and Resident Medical Research Forum (WSMRF) in Carmel, CA. on January 24-26, 2019.  Student and resident presenters are fully integrated into sub-specialty sessions moderated by faculty from academic medical centers in the western region. All accepted student and resident abstracts are published in The Journal of Investigative Medicine.  In recent years, WSMRF has evolved to become the largest faculty mentored student and resident research meeting in the U.S., with over 450 abstracts presented by students, residents, and faculty each year. Two Alaska WWAMI student were among Conference Award Winners, Congratulations

  • Rachael Carricaburu received the Western Section of the American Federation Medical Research/Western Association of Physicians/Western Society for Clinical Investigation Student Subspecialty Award Winner for her Data Gathering/Hypothesis-Driven Inquiry, Use of non-invasive serologic markers and FibroScan® to determine severity of liver disease in patients with Chronic Hepatitis B: Can non-invasive testing approximate liver fibrosis and determine which patients need treatment: A population-based cohort study
  • Erik Wortman received the Best Presentation Award for his work, 'Grandpa Speaks, Nobody Listens' A Change in Mindset of Elders in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands 

WWAMI Interim Director Announced

Megan Ritter, M.D.  has been appointed the WWAMI Foundation Interim Director.Megan Ritter photo

Before assuming the WWAMI directorship, Dr. Ritter served as UAA's Assistant Clinical Professor of Pathology.

In addition to her new duties with WWAMI, she is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area and serves as the medical director for the Blood Bank of Alaska.

Dr. Ritter received her medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Alaska PreMed Summit

Do you want to become a doctor, or know someone who does?  If you missed the 2018 Alaska PreMed Summit or just want a refresher, attend the Summit on March 30, 2019 and find out what it takes to become a physician.  You’ll learn how to prepare for and apply to medical school, and you’ll hear all about the medical education process.  High school and undergraduate students, counselors and parents are invited to attend this FREE event. 

First Alaska WWAMI Medical Student from Barrow Advances in Medical Program, Receives Award

Twenty medical students attending the University of Washington School of Medicine at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)/the Alaska WWAMI program, have successfully completed the Foundations of Clinical Medicine phase of their training, marking the first milestone on their path to becoming physicians. During a ceremony this on December 11, 2017, the students were presented with personalized white coats that signal the end to their time studying basic science curriculum, and the beginning of their practical/clinical study in hospitals and clinics.

Among these students is WWAMI Alaska’s first-ever student from Barrow, Nicole Jeffery. Nicole is Yup’ik Eskimo, originally from Bristol Bay. She grew up in Barrow and graduated from Alyeska Central School. Nicole graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Human Biology. In addition to successfully completing the first phase of her medical education, at the ceremony Nicole received the 2017 Director’s Award for Academic Excellence, for her ability to share rich and diverse experiences and perspectives with her fellow students in the WWAMI program.

“We are very fortunate to have such a high-quality medical school experience in Alaska,” said Jane Shelby, Ph.D., assistant dean for the Foundations Phase at UAA. “The transition ceremony represents the successful completion of a very rigorous curriculum, and these students and our state should be very proud of their accomplishment. Through this state-supported program, Alaska medical students are given the opportunity to realize their dreams of becoming physicians. This is especially important for rural communities such as Barrow, Chugiak, Kasilof, Kenai and Talkeetna, in dire need of physicians.”

Selkregg Award mobile foot clinic project helps UAA students reach out to homeless

The Selkregg Community Engagement & Learning Award encourages, rewards and inspires UAA faculty to creatively engage their students in learning and research that benefits the students and the community at large. Jamie Elswick, term instructor of anatomy in WWAMI, was selected as the 2017 award recipient for her project, “Mobile Foot Clinic for Anchorage’s Homeless Population.”  Read more about the project.

Jordan Lewis to serve as director of UAA National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders

Dr. Jordan P. Lewis, Aleut from the Native Village of Naknek, has agreed to take the helm of the UAA National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders as the incoming director. Dr. Lewis is an associate professor of medical education with the University of Alaska Anchorage, WWAMI School of Medical Education. 

Alaska WWAMI student found path to health career at UAA

A high school anatomy class sparked Sofia Infante's interest in health, leading to UAA's Della Keats program and college Outside. Now she's studying medicine at Alaska WWAMI, with plans to help underserved populations as a doctor. Read more about Sofia's journey. 
 

Alaska WWAMI’s 2018 Della Keats Programs: 

Building a Pathway to Medicine for Alaskan Students

Della Keats Lab StudentsEvery July, the Alaska WWAMI School of Medical Education, offers a small group of talented Alaskan High School students from under-served and under-represented backgrounds the opportunity to prepare for college and their future careers through the Della Keats Summer Programs.

These programs, named after an inspirational Inupiat healer who dedicated her life to the provision of health services and health education in rural Alaska, provide students with pre-college training, medical job-shadowing and the opportunity to experience life on campus before coming to college. 

In the 15 years that Alaska WWAMI has been responsible for these programs, every student has successfully continued on into college and, in most cases, these students have continued on into the health professions – allied health, nursing, medicine, dentistry and medical research.

This year’s program is both shorter and smaller than normal but will still run for four weeks – from July 15 to August 10 – and serve 10 students. Eight students will take part in the core pre-college preparation program and two will complete research internships funded by the Alaska Kidney Foundation. 

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