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OSU Center for Health Sciences News

Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015

TSET awards grant to support OSU-CHS residency programs

Gov. Mary Fallin, right, speaks at the TSET grant announcement with Oklahoma Health Care Authority CEO J. Nico Gomez, OSU President Burns Hargis and medical students Drew Anthony and Jesse Arthur.
Gov. Mary Fallin, right, speaks at the TSET grant announcement with Oklahoma Health Care Authority CEO J. Nico Gomez, OSU President Burns Hargis and medical students Drew Anthony and Jesse Arthur.

TSET, the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, is partnering with OSU-CHS and OSU Medical Authority to support the launch of medical residency programs to place doctors in rural and medically underserved portions of the state with a new grant that began this summer.

The TSET Board of Directors has awarded a six-year, $3.8 million grant to OSU Medical Authority to address the critical shortage of physicians in Oklahoma.

“This grant will help ensure that Oklahomans in rural areas have better access to the doctors they need,” said Governor Mary Fallin. “This is an excellent example of state agencies and the higher education community working hand-in-hand to support the goal of improving health outcomes across Oklahoma.”

This grant will consist of bridge funding for the training of physicians in Oklahoma. At the end of the six-year grant, federal health care dollars will be used to support the program that seeks to add more doctors to Oklahoma’s health care system, especially in rural areas.

TSET’s grant will fund up to 118 osteopathic physician residents in six hospitals across the state, through a combination of TSET and matching federal funds via the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. Funding will be funneled through the OSU Medical Authority to the following OSU residency sites across the state: McAlester Regional Health Center; Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton; Norman Regional Medical Center; and Mercy Health System-Oklahoma hospitals in Ada, Ardmore and Oklahoma City. Each program trains physicians who treat patients from across Oklahoma.

To read the full story, visit the OSU-CHS website.

OSU-CHS president named to ‘50 Making a Difference’


Kayse Shrum, D.O., president of Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and dean of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been selected as one of The Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference.”

The award is part of the newspaper’s annual Woman of the Year award program, recognizing Oklahoma women who epitomize leadership in their profession and communities.

Shrum and the other honorees will be recognized at a gala on Thursday, Oct. 1 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The 2015 Woman of the Year will be selected from among the honorees and announced at the event.

A Coweta native, Shrum earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from OSU-COM in 1998, completed a pediatric residency at OSU Medical Center and started a private practice in Muskogee.

She joined the faculty at OSU-COM in 2002 and was named chair of the Department of Pediatrics in 2004. Shrum was promoted to interim vice president of academic affairs in 2009 and was named OSU-CHS provost and OSU-COM dean in 2011. In 2013, she was named president of OSU-CHS, becoming the youngest and first female president and dean of a medical school in the state of Oklahoma, as well as the first OSU-CHS graduate to lead the institution.

In addition to her role as president of OSU-CHS, she is also the George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair of Medical Excellence and Service and the Saint Francis Health System's Endowed Chair of Pediatrics.

To read the full story, visit the OSU-CHS website.

Research Spotlight: Effects of pesticides, heavy metals on human health


Prolonged exposure to some pesticides and heavy metals could impede brain development in children and support cancer growth. OSU-CHS scientist David R. Wallace, Ph.D., is researching how this exposure affects human cells to aid in the development of medical treatments to prevent these health issues.

“Low-level exposure to pesticides and heavy metals can cause profound health changes over a lengthy period of time,” said Wallace, an OSU-CHS professor of pharmacology. “Many of these chemicals can be naturally occurring or found in common chemical reactions from industrial plants or agricultural sources like fertilizers.”

Wallace’s research in environmental toxicology, the study of compounds found in the environment and their impact on biological organisms, focuses on two areas of study: brain development and tumor development.

In examining the brain, Wallace looks at how a mother’s exposure to pesticides and heavy metals affects neural development from fetal stages through eight years of age. Wallace’s cancer research explores how prolonged, low-level exposure to pesticides and heavy metals influences the growth of tumors in the brain, breasts and prostate.

To watch a video of Wallace detailing his research, visit the Research Spotlight website. To read the full story about the research, visit the OSU-CHS website.

First-year OSU medical students begin mentoring program with local seniors

Macey Casher, left, and Xuyen Ha have lunch with their senior mentor Donna Denney on Tuesday.
Macey Casher, left, and Xuyen Ha have lunch with their senior mentor Donna Denney on Tuesday.

First-year medical student Xuyen Ha has found another reason attending OSU-COM was the right choice for him – the Senior Mentor Program.

“As future physicians we need to know how to connect with our patients through human interaction,” he said at a Senior Mentor Program luncheon on Tuesday where he met his mentor, Donna Denney. “I believe this will be very helpful.”

The initiative, now beginning its third year, pairs healthy older adults with medical students to develop the interpersonal skills physicians need to build relationships with patients.

During the mentor program, students meet twice per semester to discuss topics such as mentor’s life history, nutrition and end-of-life issues. Students learn patient interview skills and professionalism.

The program is part of the Developing the Physician course, which includes service-learning activities, patient simulations, shadowing non-physician health care providers, interprofessional education with Southwestern Oklahoma State University and other activities that foster an understanding of the patient and the community.

A second Senior Mentor Program lunch will be at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 1 in Founders Hall at OSU Center for Health Sciences.

To read the full story, visit the OSU-CHS website.