Tilly Clark, assistant director of Special Use Facilities at the University of Texas Medical Branch, was elected chair of the University of Texas Employee Advisory Council beginning in fiscal year 2020.

Clark, who has worked at the medical branch for more than 28 years, was elected to lead the group during the annual system-wide advisory council meeting, which was hosted at the medical branch June 4 and June 5 in Galveston.

The advisory council is a representative advisory group that meets with the board of regents to present information and make recommendations regarding issues of importance to employees. For more information about the employee advisory council, visit www.utsystem.edu/sites/employee-advisory-council.

NEW DOCTOR OF OT PROGRAM TO BEGIN IN FALL

Beginning in the fall, students in the School of Health Professions’ Occupational Therapy Department will be able to work toward a doctoral level degree. The Occupational Therapy program is already a top-rated program and with a well-respected master’s degree program. The class of 2020 will be the last to graduate with a master’s degree.

The new program will begin this fall with 60 students. Students of the entry-level Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program will be eligible to take the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and to apply for licensure that is required for practice in most states.

For more information, contact Michelle Conley, student affairs program manager, 409-772-3006 or maconley@utmb.edu.

VAGINAL RING STUDY NEEDS VOLUNTEERS

The medical branch’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is seeking healthy women ages 18-45 years for a research study. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the use of a vaginal ring that releases medications used to prevent HIV. The study includes about 13 gynecologic exams and two months of vaginal ring use. All participants will be compensated for their time and travel.

For more information, contact Lauren Dawson, 409-354-9792 or lndawson@utmb.edu.

EXCELLENCE IN CLINICAL TEACHING AWARDS

Five medical branch faculty members received the Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award. The award recognizes the fundamental concept, exemplified by Sir William Osler, that the development of outstanding physicians occurs primarily in clinical settings.

Each recipient will receive $7,000 for professional development and/or teaching programs and will be recognized during the John P. McGovern Academy’s Annual Oration in July. The 2019 awardees are:

• Dr. Aakash H. Gajjar, assistant professor in the Department of Surgery;

• Dr. Michael S. Miller, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences;

• Dr. Harold S. Pine, associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology;

• Dr. Dawnelle Schatte, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; and

• Dr. Maurice Willis, clinical professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

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