Dean's Update

January 26, 2024 - Aron Sousa, MD


Aron, in his post-COVID isolation mask, Krishna Yelleswarapu, DO, PhD, Joshua Rabotnick, MS2, Kazi Russell, DO, and Karuna Rayamajhi, MD.
From the left: Aron, in his post-COVID isolation mask, Krishna Yelleswarapu, DO, PhD, Joshua Rabotnick, MS2, Kazi Russell, DO, and Karuna Rayamajhi, MD.


This week I have been rounding with our internal medicine service, and I think you all know how much I enjoy that. I had to take a bit of a break to deal with COVID, but I am back on service, with my mask. My thanks to Supratik Rayamajhi, MD, who covered for me while I was isolating. Mostly, I want to thank my team, led by senior resident, Kazi Russell, DO, who has been great with patients and patient with me. Junior residents, Karuna Rayamajhi, MD, and Krishna Yelleswarapu, DO, PhD, have both taken wonderful care of our patients and their families. And our intrepid second-year medical student, Joshua Rabotnick, is in the Navy and appears to have correctly called sarcoid on our hypercalcemia case. Josh wrote an excellent explication of his prioritized differential back when the other services were chasing myeloma and cancer. Strong work.

Seeing patients is an anchoring experience for me and certainly helps reset my priorities after too many spreadsheets and too much university politics. I get to see how the hospital systems work from the inside, and I can contribute to and delight in the great work of our students and residents. More than anything, the work with patients is a pleasure and an honor. Sometimes we can prevent or fix a problem. Every day we, like all of our MSU teams, help patients and families make the best of a life changing disease or health problem.

My second, and much lighter, COVID experience limited my week to some degree, but I did have the chance to attend Governor Whitmer’s State of the State address thanks to an invitation from Senator John Cherry of Flint. Over the last year, the senator has sponsored $16.5 million in state funding for Rx Kids as well as helping arrange the $3.4 million in MEDC funding for the expanded former Flint Journal Building, which will house the expansion of our Flint team.

During the reception before the speech, I had the chance to catch up with East Lansing Senator Sam Singh, Representative Carol Glanville and Representative Rachel Hood, both of Grand Rapids, and Representative Jenn Hill of Marquette among many other partners in and outside of government. You should know that Senator Cherry’s other guest was Mona Hanna-Attisha, and everyone in the Capitol knows Mona. Attending a reception with Mona is like traveling with a rock star, if that rock star is a pediatrician trying to improve the health of our kids.

As of this week, more than 600 mothers have applied for Rx Kids, the health equity cash prescription program Mona and her colleague Luke Shaefer brought to life January 10. Mona is, of course, MSU faculty, and Luke is UM faculty. Fittingly, Rx Kids will get the spotlight at the MSU-UM basketball game in East Lansing next Tuesday. But wait, there is more. Next week’s Town Hall will catch up with Mona and Rx Kids on Friday, and you can join the free Launch Bash to celebrate Rx Kids on Valentine’s Day in Flint. And as a teaser, the college and Rx Kids are getting a very special MSU honor next week! Cliffhanger!

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD, FACP
Dean, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

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