College Spotlight: The UTHSC College of Medicine; Making an Impact on the Health of the City of Memphis

Students in the College of Medicine tour the Mobile Stroke Unit and learn what makes it the most comprehensive vehicle of its kind.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine wants to make an impact on the health of the city of Memphis.

The college has been focusing on its clinical, research, educational and service mission to the community with a focus on care to support health and wellness.

“We are adding talent to the community with the physicians we are recruiting,” said David Stern, MD, Robert J. Kaplan Executive Dean of the UTHSC College of Medicine. “Our faculty drive everything. If we recruit and focus on world-class faculty with first class work and research funding, it will move everything forward. It positions the college to add medical value to the city.”

David Stern, MD

In the past year alone, the college has made advances to providing care to the city of Memphis. The Mobile Stroke Unit was launched last March, providing advanced CT capabilities, diagnostics and treatment in a mobile setting, previously only available in a hospital setting. This is a major advance for treating patients in a region where stroke incidence is 37 percent higher than the national average. The Mobile Stroke Unit is led by Andrei V. Alexandrov, MD, chair of the Department of Neurology in the College of Medicine.

Another milestone achieved by the college is being recognized for its Center for Addiction Science as the first addiction medicine center in the country to be named a Center of Excellence in Addiction Medicine by the Addiction Medicine Foundation. It received this recognition for being the first in the country to treat addiction and deadly substance use by combining clinical care, research, education and community outreach. The Center for Addiction Science is led by College of Medicine faculty, Daniel Sumrok, MD, assistant professor in Family and Clinical Practice.

In September, the College of Medicine became part of an initiative that would address the effects violence and trauma has on children in Shelby County. The UTHSC’s Center for Health In Justice Involved Youth is focused on preventing violence and trauma to children in our community while providing resources to those exposed, and training educators, law enforcement, families, and the health care workforce to collaborate to provide care and support. The program is led by Altha Stewart, MD, associate professor of psychiatry in the College of Medicine.

All these programs are also helping shape and train the future of health care in Tennessee and beyond. Among those are the students and residents of the UTHSC College of Medicine. “We are creating the future doctors for Tennessee.” said Dr. Stern.