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Jarrell Kelli

Jarrell named national emergency medicine fellow of the year

Kelli Jarrell, MD, a fellow in the Department of Emergency Medicine, has been named Fellow of the Year by the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA).

EMRA is a national organization representing more than 16,000 fellows, residents, medical students and alumni members. The award recognizes a member who has demonstrated significant dedication in promoting EMRA goals and objectives at local, state and national levels and has a record of creativity, enthusiasm and accomplishment in addressing issues pertaining to emergency medicine.

“When I found out about the award, I was initially surprised, overwhelmed and very grateful. As the first Social Emergency Medicine fellow, I had tremendous departmental support in creating my dream fellowship and there’s been so much enthusiasm from our group since it started. This award means a great deal to me because it feels like an acknowledgement of the importance of leveraging our unique role in the Emergency Department to impact vulnerable populations,” Jarrell says.

After completing her emergency medicine residency at UC last summer, Jarrell began her fellowship, something she also is designing herself as the inaugural fellow.

“Dr. Jarrell is an amazing patient advocate with a genuine passion for the underserved. She is innovative and creative, having developed multiple programs from scratch including her own Social Emergency Medicine fellowship. Her dedication to the education of the residents, medical students and faculty drives her as she feels excellence is achievable and expected,” says Elizabeth Leenellett, MD, associate professor and vice chair in the Department of Emergency Medicine, who nominated her for the honor.

While a resident, Jarrell developed the Social Emergency Medicine/Public Health Interest Group, which she now serves as a faculty mentor. The group educates the emergency medicine department on public health, encourages community service and fosters interest and opportunity in public health and advocacy. Among recent activities, she organized a drive to distribute Narcan to physicians, hosted a Journal Club discussion on needle exchange and supervised injection sites, and volunteered at a local food garden.

Jarrell also created and piloted a two-week Social Emergency Medicine elective. She now serves as the faculty mentor for the elective, which has become one of the most popular resident electives. Jarrell, who is pursuing her master’s in public health, also has been invited to present on a quarterly basis at grand rounds on public health topics. She also is working to develop sequential electives to provide a comprehensive and customizable experience to prepare residents for careers in public health and social emergency medicine. After working in both Tanzania and Guatemala providing care to underserved patients, Jarrell now supports the Global Health Interest Group by mentoring residents interested in global health and who cannot travel due to the pandemic. She also has developed a two-week tropical medicine elective.

Recently, Jarrell was appointed the field team lead for the Test and Protect project, funded by the CARES Act to improve equitable access to COVID-19 testing across Hamilton County, especially in vulnerable populations.

Jarrell will be honored by EMRA during a virtual recognition ceremony on April 11.

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