UNMC for the record

October 08, 2021

Image with caption: Susan Swindells, MBBS

Susan Swindells, MBBS

Dr. Swindells named to federal AIDS advisory board

Susan Swindells, MBBS, has been appointed to serve on the scientific advisory board of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for two-years. In the role, she will provide advice and guidance to Angeli Achrekar, DrPH, acting global AIDS coordinator. Through PEPFAR, the U.S. government has invested more than $85 billion in the global HIV/AIDS response, the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history. According to PEPFAR, it has saved more than 20 million lives, preventing millions of HIV infections, and accelerating progress toward controlling the global HIV/AIDS epidemic in more than 50 countries.

Dr. Strong recognized for community work 

Sheritta Strong, MD, recently was recognized by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Greater Omaha Chapter as a recipient of the 2021 Health Award for being an influential community builder with professionalism or volunteerism leadership skills whose contributions help create a community where everyone can thrive.  

Dr. Strong is assistant vice chancellor of inclusion at UNMC. An Omaha native, she is a UNMC College of Medicine alum and 13-year faculty member in the UNMC Department of Psychiatry.  

The award was presented Oct. 2 during the Annual Women of Color Leadership Conference & Legacy Awards Luncheon. 

UNMC graduate Dr. Wang honored for allied health education

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Zhuo Wang, DPT

Recent UNMC College of Allied Health Professions graduate Zhuo Wang, DPT, has been honored with the nationally prestigious 2021 Alpha Eta Lee Holder Award for Excellence in Graduate Allied Health Education. Dr. Wang, who has returned to her hometown of Sichuan, China, to practice as a physical therapist and a clinical instructor at the West China Hospital, was the sole graduate student in the U.S. selected for the honor by the Alpha Eta Allied Health Honor Society.

Nominees for the honor must excel in the areas of scholarship, collegiality and leadership. While at UNMC, Dr. Wang completed all of her DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) courses with high distinction and contributed to clinical research by publishing three top-tier peer-reviewed articles.

Blood drives scheduled for Nebraska Community Blood Bank, Red Cross

Two blood drives are set for this month at the medical center campus.

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank, which serves Nebraska Medicine, is holding on-campus blood drives on Oct. 26 and Oct. 28. The Oct. 26 event is from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in a bloodmobile outside the Durham Research Center. The Oct. 28 event is from 8 a.m.-noon in the Center for Healthy Living gym.

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank has an electronic scheduling system. Donors can schedule an appointment for the drive here. (Enter sponsor code NMRT for Oct. 26 and CHL for Oct. 28, or call 1-402-486-9414.) Appointments are requested, but walk-in donors will be accepted if scheduling allows. For assistance, contact Peter Pellerito at 402-559-5253 or via email. The Nebraska Community Blood Bank is the sole provider of blood for Nebraska Medicine.

In addition, the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists is partnering with the American Red Cross to​​​ host The Vampire Cup Blood Drive on Oct. 27 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the UNMC Truhlsen Event Center, Room 1001A in the Sorrell Center. This campaign is an international blood donation drive. Schedule an appointment.

See more information on criteria to donate.

Dr. Desa is listed among 2021 Top Dentists in Omaha Metro Area

Valmont Desa, DDS, MD, associate professor, surgery - oral and maxillofacial, is listed in the 2021 Top Dentists in the Omaha Metro Area. The complete listing appears in the October issue of Omaha Magazine. Dr. Desa is included in the oral and maxillofacial surgery category. He was one of only 10 oral surgeons in the metro area who were included in the listing. A total of approximately 110 dental health professionals in the metro area were listed among the 2021 Top Dentists. This marks the third consecutive year Dr. Desa has been included on the list.

A fellow in the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Desa is the Dr. Leon F. Davis Endowed Chair in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and has served as division chief since 2011. He has served as the residency program director for oral and maxillofacial surgery for the past 11 years. He earned his dental degree from Creighton University and his medical degree from UNMC. He currently serves as an examiner on the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Sodexo offering free food for a year for employee referrals

Sodexo is looking for help filling service positions with Nebraska Medicine, for all shifts and positions.

When you refer a food service or environmental service team member to Sodexo, you’ll be eligible for free food and beverages for a year. How it works:

  • A $10 daily allowance will be loaded to your employee badge beginning on the new hire’s New Colleague Orientation date
  • This credit can be used at any Sodexo food outlet, including Clarkson Café, Nebraska Café, Bellevue Medical Center Café, Starbucks in the Durham Outpatient Center, Buffett Café and The Restaurant at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and the C-Store in University Tower
  • The daily allowance will reload each day at midnight and will remain on your badge for one year, as long as the new hire remains employed by Sodexo
  • This referral bonus is available to any colleague from Nebraska Medicine, UNMC, Clarkson College, Sodexo and Cardinal Health. If you own a Nebraska Medicine or UNMC badge, you’re eligible

To refer a food service or environmental service employee:

  • Share this link with your friends and family
  • Ask the applicant to include your full name on their application
  • A Sodexo recruiter will also ask for a full name during the initial phone screening

University of Nebraska Foundation announces new board chair, chair-elect and directors

The University of Nebraska Foundation has announced the election of Don Voelte of Omaha as chair of its board of directors and Angie Muhleisen of Lincoln as chair-elect. The positions were announced at the foundation’s annual meeting of trustees on Oct. 1.

Voelte replaces Bill Jackman of Dallas, whose term as board chair has concluded.

Voelte is an alumnus of the UNL College of Engineering and is co-owner of VoKee Group of Companies. He began his career as a structural engineer at Mobil in 1975, ultimately becoming the CEO of several companies, the last being Seven Group Holdings, an Australian operating and investment group concentrated in industrial services, oil, gas and media. In 2013, he was awarded an honorary award of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his services to industry and philanthropic contributions to arts and education. He has been a foundation trustee since 2001.

Muhleisen is the president and CEO of Union Bank and Trust Company and will become the chair of the foundation’s board of directors in 2023. She has been a foundation trustee since 1998 and is a graduate of Avila University.

The foundation’s trustees also elected Julie Jacobson of North Platte and William Lester of Lincoln to the board of directors.