Three UTHSCT employees recently achieved recognition in their respective fields

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Three employees of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler have achieved recognition in their respective areas of expertise. They are Chiagozie Nwasuruba, MD, professor of medicine; Kris Kavasch, director of internal audit; and Chris Herrick, clinical research coordinator.

Dr. Nwasuruba has been named a Fellow in Hospital Medicine by the Society of Hospital Medicine. He is a hospitalist at UTHSCT, caring for patients while they are in the hospital.

To become a Fellow, a physician must have been a hospitalist for five years and have demonstrated his or her dedication to quality improvement, teamwork, and lifelong learning and education.

Dr. Nwasuruba is board certified in internal medicine and has been designated a specialist in clinical hypertension – high blood pressure – by the American Society of Hypertension. He joined the Health Science Center in 1996.

He is also board certified in hospice and palliative medicine, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Palliative care relieves the symptoms of serious diseases – both physical and psychological – without curing the disease. Hospice care is end-of-life care that includes medical, psychological, and spiritual support. Hospice care includes palliative care, but palliative care can be provided at any stage of a disease to provide comfort and improve quality of life.

Ms. Kavasch was awarded a William S. Smith Certificate of Honor Award by the Board of Directors of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). The award recognizes her outstanding performance on the certified internal auditor exam. Her exam was among the 50 best exams of 2010.

Internal auditors evaluate risks that an organization could face relating to the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations; the reliability and integrity of its financial information; the safety of its assets; and its compliance with laws, regulations, and contracts.

Established in 1941, the IIA is an international professional association with more than 170,000 members. It is based in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Ms. Kavasch joined UTHSCT in 2008.

Mr. Herrick has received his clinical research coordinator certification from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), which is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

Clinical research coordinators organize and coordinate medical studies that involve people, such as testing the safety and effectiveness of a new drug. They recruit, screen, and enroll study participants; schedule tests and procedures; and collect study data, among other tasks.

To receive certification, Mr. Herrick had to demonstrate job-related knowledge and skills, as well as pass a comprehensive exam administered by the ACRP. He joined UTHSCT in 2009.

For more than 60 years, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has provided excellent patient care and cutting-edge treatment, specializing in pulmonary disease, cancer, heart disease, primary care, and the disciplines that support them. UTHSCT’s annual operating budget of $125 million represents a major economic impact of over $287 million to the Northeast Texas region. In FY 2010, scientists in the Center for Biomedical Research were awarded 75 competitive grants and contracts totaling more than $14 million. As the academic medical center for Northeast Texas, its graduate medical education program – with residencies in family medicine and occupational medicine – provide doctors for many communities throughout the region and beyond.

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