UNTHSC physicians and researchers honored as Fort Worth HealthCare Heroes

March 8, 2013

Four from the UNT Health Science Center were honored as HealthCare Heroes for creating healthier communities by the Fort Worth Business Press, two earning special awards. Here they are:

Lifetime Achievement Award

W. Paul Bowman, MD, Professor and Chair, Pediatrics, for the Health Science Center and “Life After Cancer” Medical Director at Cook Children’s Medical Center, was recognized for a lifetime of contributions to children’s health. Bowman conducted the first pediatric bone marrow transplants for acute lymphoblastic leukemia almost 30 years ago, and today he is professor and chair of pediatrics for the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM), as well as director of academic pediatrics at Cook.

He believes in preventive medicine, telling the Business Press, “The future of health care depends on not focusing entirely on patching up the sick, but also in working with patients as partners in promoting their health and longevity.”

Research in Medicine Award

Meharvan “Sonny” Singh, PhD, professor and chair, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, earned the honor for his research on how hormones affect the brain and the role they play in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The National Institutes of Health endorsed his research recently with a $5.8 million grant from the National Institute of Aging. He also serves as interim director for UNTHSC’s Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Research, research director for the Center FOR HER and vice president of the North Central Texas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Board of Directors.

Singh believes in collaboration, and said to the Business Press, “Together, we will make fundamental new discoveries that in turn can lead to new or improved evidence-based practices in the delivery of high quality health care to our citizens.”

HealthCare Heroes

Nicoleta Bugnariu, PhD, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy, was noted for her research into ways to improve physical rehabilitation as well as understanding human posture and movement throughout life in healthy and neurologically impaired populations. She helped build a virtual reality laboratory, the only one in a non-military setting, that aids in her research. Bugnariu helped build research collaborations with the University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas and Texas Health Resources, among other institutions. She chairs the City of Fort Worth’s Falls Prevention Task Force.

Bugnariu said she draws inspiration from “real people from all walks of life who have a passion for something (whatever it may be) and, consequently, they invest themselves in pursuing that dream, making a difference, creating something new – not because they want fame but because they follow an internal drive to contribute and have a positive impact.”

G. Sealy Massingill, MD, Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, was recognized for his mentoring of students and residents, particularly emphasizing the importance of engaging patients in medical decisions and ensuring they receive the highest possible care. He is a longtime leader in the Continuous Quality Improvement programs at JPS and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, and he encouraged the use of drills and simulations to improve patient safety at both hospitals. His leadership extends to professional organizations as well. He is president of the Tarrant County Medical Society,  vice president of the Texas Medical Association Foundation and member of the TMA’s Committee for Maternal and Perinatal Health.

He credits his high school science teachers with sparking his interest in the life sciences field and advises others interested in health care careers to “follow your passion.”

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