Baylor College of Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine

Lectures focus on ‘Compassion and the Art of Medicine’

Dana Benson


Houston, TX -

The annual Compassion and the Art of Medicine series, hosted by the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, will begin this August.

The series is directed Dr. Jo Anna R. Fields-Gilmore, assistant professor of family and community Medicine at Baylor, and is free and open to the public. All presentations begin at 12:10 p.m. and are held in Baylor’s Cullen Auditorium, unless otherwise noted.

Compassion and the Art of Medicine encompasses the annual Matthew Carter Lecture, which features individuals in the healthcare field who dedicate their careers to helping the less fortunate of the world. Named for former Baylor medical student Matthew Carter who was killed in September 2000, the lecture is followed by a day of service by Baylor students at Houston nonprofit organizations.

The series is supported by grants from the Community Hospital Foundation and the Alan Lambert Family Medicine Endowment. The 2019 series includes the following lectures:

“Eyes – Windows to the Soul”
Dr. Linda Chiou Epner

Epner, assistant professor of ophthalmology, joined the Baylor College of Medicine faculty in 1994. She sees patients in a clinical setting at Northwest Health Center, part of the Harris Health System. She’s also involved in teaching Baylor medical students and residents at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where she specializes in teaching house staff small-incision cataract surgery.

She enjoys teaching medical students and residents a holistic approach to comprehensive care for outpatients with eye disorders. Epner has a strong interest in fostering improved communication and bedside manner skills in medical students and residents. She has served as a faculty small-group facilitator in Baylor’s pre-clinical elective, “The Healer’s Art,” for the past 5 years and believes medicine is a higher calling that requires a physician to maintain self-wellness to avoid early burnout.

Sept. 6
Dr. Sophia Banu
Matthew Carter Lecture

Banu, associate professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, is a board-certified adult, child and adolescent psychiatrist.

She has extensive experience working with torture survivors and refugees in Nepal, Greece, Bangladesh and the United States. She worked at the Bellevue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture, initially as a volunteer, then as a fellow and later as an attending physician.

In 2012, Banu founded the Clinic for International Trauma Survivors at Baylor and Harris Health System, treating refugees and survivors of torture in Houston. She trains residents and medical students on how to perform culturally appropriate psychiatric evaluations and ongoing care for refugees. For the past 5 years, she has continued to conduct the annual mental health training for case managers from resettlement agencies in Houston. She also helped coordinate the first Refugee Mental Health Conference in Houston in 2018 and recently co-founded the Global Mental Health Division in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Sept. 13
“What’s in a Name?”
Dr. Michelle Barratt

Barratt is professor of pediatrics at UT Health, where she cares for patients and trains residents at a long-term juvenile detention facility as well as other clinical sites. She emphasizes communication with her patients, and with their parents, and finds meaning in her medical career from those relationships as well as relationships with learners of all levels.

Barratt also stresses finding balance in life; her hobbies include reading, cooking and traveling as well as spending time with her family, including her husband, five adult children and one grandchild.

Sept. 20
“Using Stories to Learn about Grief, Redemption and Forgiveness”
Dr. Daniel Epner

Epner is a palliative care physician at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He practiced medical oncology for several years before moving to the Department of Palliative Care in 2012. He began his career at Baylor College of Medicine as a principal investigator in a basic science lab, but he now focuses on psychosocial aspects of oncology.

His primary academic interest is communication skills-training for palliative care fellows and a variety of other providers. He uses narrative medicine techniques to teach communication skills. Such techniques include reflective writing, close reading of medically-themed stories and discussing films relevant to clinical practice. He contributes reflective pieces about his own experiences as a doctor to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA Oncology and other journals to serve as enduring educational resources.

Oct. 4
“Compassion in End-of-Life Care”
Dr. Phyllis Chappell

Chappell practices supportive and palliative medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital and co-directs the combined McGovern Medical School and Baylor College of Medicine pre-clinical elective, “The Healer’s Art.”

She has authored presentations and exhibits at regional and national meetings, including the Center to Advance Palliative Care National Seminar, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Annual Assemblies, the Conference on Medicine and Religion, the Texas Geriatrics Society, the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Neuroradiology, the Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, and the Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly of the National Medical Association.

Oct. 18 and Oct. 25
“Care of the Homeless, Part I”

Dr. Fabrizia Faustinella
“Care of the Homeless, Part II”
Dr. Dana Clark

Faustinella is associate professor of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and a Laureate of the American College of Physicians. Her work is focused on access to healthcare by racial and ethnic minorities, healthcare disparities, patient advocacy and medical narrative.

She also has an interest in film writing and producing and has developed short movies and documentaries to address social problems, ethical issues and inner biases and prejudices. Her productions have received several national and international awards. Her recent film, a documentary titled “The Dark Side of the Moon,” dispels some of the myths about the homeless and uncovers the main causes and possible solutions to the issue.

Clark will continue the discussion on providing healthcare to the homeless in her talk. Also an assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor, she has provided healthcare through the Harris Health System and has been involved in Healthcare for the Homeless Houston and the H.O.M.E.S. Clinic, the student-driven clinic that provides healthcare to the homeless population in Houston.

Nov. 1
“Water Shortage and the Health & Economic Impact in Rural Communities in Kenya”
Drs. Leonide & Sherrie Onyiego

Dr. Sherrie Onyiego is an assistant professor in family and community medicine at Baylor and her husband, Leonid, is a financial advisor. In 2012, they started a nonprofit, MAJI 4 Life (‘maji’ is Swahili for water), focusing on providing clean water access to the people of Kenya. They started this effort after realizing that rural Kenyans today face many of the same challenges accessing clean water sources as Leonid did many years ago when he grew up there.

With a population of 40 million people, about 17 million in Kenya lack access to clean drinking water. Rural communities suffer the most because of pervasive poverty and subsistence economies. Since water and sanitation go hand-in-hand, waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery are rampant.

Nov. 8
“Finding the Meaning of Medicine – Developing Compassion from Within”
Dr. Kenneth Sapire

Sapire, an anesthesiologist, has worked in an academic medical environment at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he developed a strong interest in process improvement, enhanced efficiency and computer systems integration in the perioperative environment. His interests in integrating the perioperative records have been formative in his practice. Currently, his emphasis is on enhancing the electronic health record application to the hospital community.

For more than 10 years, he has been teaching “The Healers Art” to students at Baylor College of Medicine and the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, addressing humanity in medicine. Additionally he is involved with the American Society of Anesthesiologists where he has been teaching a workshop seminar on mindfulness with his friends and colleagues, Joel and Michelle Levey.

Nov. 15
“Inclusion Revolution”
Dr. Cynthia Peacock
Kleberg Auditorium

Peacock, associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, trained in the field of medicine-pediatrics and serves as medical director of Texas Children’s Hospital-Baylor College of Medicine Transition Medicine Clinic and section chief of transition medicine in the Department of Medicine at Baylor.

The Transition Medicine Clinic is one of a handful in the U.S. that specifically offers a medical home for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her experience with the Transition Medicine Clinic has helped her identify and define the numerous barriers that adolescents and young adults with significant chronic childhood conditions encounter. She has worked with the Arc of Texas, Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, Disability Rights and with Texas Department of State Health Services on several initiatives to address numerous healthcare issues that these individuals face on a daily basis. Because of her advocacy work, she received the 2010 Houston Mayor’s Disability Advocate of the Year Award.

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