The University of Kansas Medical School celebrated the 25e anniversary of A Grand Affair on January 14 at the Kansas City Convention Center.
The official event is a celebration of the work of medical students, staff and faculty as well as an opportunity for medical students to show their appreciation to their educators and mentors.
“Each year, we set aside this night to celebrate our medical students’ commitment and passion to their chosen profession,” said Akinlolu Ojo, MD, Ph.D., MBA, Dean of the KU School. of Medicine.
The event returned to its traditional time of mid-January after being moved to mid-March in 2022. At that time, the change was due to concerns about the increase in the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the Kansas City area. A big deal was held as a virtual event in 2021 due to the pandemic.
A Grand Affair’s most prestigious award is the Rainbow Award, given to the faculty member who exemplifies professionalism in medicine and the willingness and ability to mentor others. The 2023 winner was Annabel Mancillas, MD, MPH, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology.
Mancillas practiced as a registered nurse for three years before entering KU School of Medicine and graduated in 2011. She completed postgraduate training at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita and then worked for five years as an obstetrician/gynecologist in the Kansas City area. She is fluent in Spanish and has participated in several medical trips to Latin America.
She joined the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2021. “I went into medical education because I felt like I was meant to do more,” Mancillas said. “Working with medical students, especially while fulfilling my passion for providing care to underserved communities, gives me hope that I can continue to foster that selfless calling that has brought so many of us into the medical profession. “
A student who nominated Mancillas for the Rainbow Award wrote, “I felt compelled to nominate Dr. Mancillas because of her exemplary traits which make her an incredible clinician and teacher. … With Dr. Mancillas, no question is silly. It puts students at ease and allows them to learn by doing.
Mancillas said the Rainbow Award was an honor. “To be nominated by medical students, the people who witness your direct patient/doctor interactions and the way you practice medicine, is such an honor because medical students see exactly who you are as a doctor at the daily,” she said.
Additional nominees for the 2023 Rainbow Award included:
- German Berbel, DO, Associate Professor of Surgery
- Meredith Gray, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Lyndsey Kilgore, MD, assistant professor of surgery
- Mike Rouse, DO, assistant professor of internal medicine
Many other awards have been given to A Grand Affair. Yegor Pashchenko, MD, a resident in the Department of Surgery at the KU School of Medicine-Wichita, received the Distinguished Residence Award. “His concern for medical students was evident not only in his personal interactions with us, but in his dedication to teaching,” his nominator wrote. “I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen Yegor sit with us students for a few hours going over oral cases and answering all of our questions.”
The Ad Astra Award is given to the physician who devotes time to the education of KU medical students and exemplifies excellence and professionalism. The 2023 recipient is David Grantham, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.
Locke Uppendahl, MD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at KU School of Medicine-Wichita accepted the Sunflower Mentoring Award. This honor allows students to recognize an outstanding part-time physician educator.
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