e-Update: News for University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Faculty and Staff

Up Front

One of Lennar Center’s First Patients Experiences Full Spectrum of Care

Victoria Bassil is shown proper arm position for her CT scan by Diano Sebastian.

Victoria Bassil is shown proper arm position for her CT scan by Diano Sebastian. Photo GalleryView Photo Gallery

Victoria Bassil likes to joke that, at 86 years of age, she is only four years younger than the University of Miami itself. Her connections to UM date back to the 1970s and 1980s, when she was a volunteer fund-raiser. But in all those years, the long-time Westchester resident was never a patient of UM doctors.

“They were too far away,” she said. “It just wasn’t convenient.”

No more. The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, which opened on UM’s Coral Gables campus on December 5, is now providing an alternative for Miami-Dade County residents who want the world-class patient care provided by UHealth – the University of Miami Health System — but want it closer to home.

Read more about Victoria Bassil's patient experience »

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Tanya L. Zakrison, M.D., M.H.Sc., M.P.H., center, with medical students from Cuba, Chad and South Africa.

Tanya L. Zakrison, M.D., M.H.Sc., M.P.H., center, with medical students from Cuba, Chad and South Africa.
Photo GalleryView Photo Gallery

Miller School Surgeons Bridge Cultures through Trauma Training in Cuba

For nearly five years, small groups of physicians — primarily surgeons — from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have traveled to Cuba to participate in professional conferences, teach medical students and share clinical practices with peers from around the world.

The program was launched in 2012 by Tanya L. Zakrison, M.D., M.H.Sc., M.P.H., assistant professor in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery’s Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, in partnership with Marc A. de Moya, M.D., a former fellow in the trauma surgery program at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital, who is now associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, which also sends faculty. The two schools are occasionally joined by representatives from other U.S. medical schools.

Read more about trauma training in Cuba »

Michael Barron, M.D., Gustavo Fernandez, M.D., M.B.A.

Michael Barron, M.D., Gustavo Fernandez, M.D., M.B.A.

Two key positions filled at University of Miami Health System

The University of Miami Health System has filled two critical roles in its mission to advance health care in South Florida.

Michael Barron, M.D., professor of clinical anesthesiology, has been named the permanent chief medical officer (CMO) of the University of Miami Health System, a position he has filled since he was named interim chief in May. Gustavo Fernandez, M.D., M.B.A., has been named chief medical officer of The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, the University of Miami Health System’s new state-of-the-art facility, which opened on the University’s Coral Gables campus December 5.

Read more about the appointments »

From left, Christopher J. Salgado, M.D., with Lauren Foster.

From left, Christopher J. Salgado, M.D., with Lauren Foster.

LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health Opens at University of Miami Hospital

Building on its mission to cultivate inclusive health care, University of Miami Hospital, part of UHealth — the University of Miami Health System, has opened a new and innovative clinic to meet the comprehensive health and surgical needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community.

The LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health is one of the first of its kind in the southeast U.S., uniquely located in a hospital setting where a multidisciplinary team of UM physicians, including renowned gender affirmation surgeon Christopher J. Salgado, M.D., provide comprehensive medical and surgical services.

Read more about the LGBTQ Center »

From left, front row, Carlos Migoya, Dr. Irene Lipof, Secretary, Public Health Trust Board of Trustees, City of North Miami Councilwoman Carol Keys, Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A. From left, back row, a member of North Miami Fire Rescue; Christopher Wing, Associate Vice President of Urgent Care Development at Jackson Health System; Alberto Jacir, M.D., M.B.A., assistant professor of family medicine at the Miller School of Medicine and Medical Director of Urgent Care; Larry Spring, North Miami City Manager; William J. Heffernan, Treasurer, Public Health Trust Board of Trustees; and a member of North Miami Fire Rescue.

From left, front row, Carlos Migoya, Dr. Irene Lipof, Secretary, Public Health Trust Board of Trustees, City of North Miami Councilwoman Carol Keys, Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A. From left, back row, a member of North Miami Fire Rescue; Christopher Wing, Associate Vice President of Urgent Care Development at Jackson Health System; Alberto Jacir, M.D., M.B.A., assistant professor of family medicine at the Miller School of Medicine and Medical Director of Urgent Care; Larry Spring, North Miami City Manager; William J. Heffernan, Treasurer, Public Health Trust Board of Trustees; and a member of North Miami Fire Rescue.

UHealth Jackson Urgent Care Center Opens at Keystone Point

Leaders with the University of Miami Health System and Jackson Health System recently cut the ribbon for the new UHealth Jackson Urgent Care Center in Keystone Point. The center officially opened on Tuesday, January 10, and will provide residents in the North Miami area and surrounding communities with world-class medical care from two of South Florida’s most trusted and experienced health care systems.

The center, located in a shopping center at 13120 Biscayne Boulevard., is the second of what will be six UHealth Jackson Urgent Care Centers conveniently located throughout Miami-Dade County.

Read more about the new urgent care center »

From left, Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., Peggy Katz and David Roth, M.D.

From left, Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., Peggy Katz and David Roth, M.D.

Extraordinary Gift Names Division of Nephrology and Hypertension

Members of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine gathered together recently to recognize longtime supporters whose generosity promises to transform the treatment of kidney disease.

Peggy and Harold Katz recently committed $10 million to ensure long-term progress in research, education, and clinical achievements in the division, which has been named The Katz Family Division of Nephrology and Hypertension in their honor and with approval by the Executive Committee of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Read more about the Katz gift »

Marjana Tomic-Canic, Ph.D.

Marjana Tomic-Canic, Ph.D.

Discovery about the Effects of Glucocorticoids in Wound Closure Could Open Wider Possibilities

Even after years of careful research pointed investigators toward a novel pathway involved in wound healing, Marjana Tomic-Canic, Ph.D., and her team were still surprised. The specific molecule and the potential scope of applications to other autoimmune and inflammatory processes beyond the skin were both unexpected.

Glucocorticoid hormones are naturally synthesized in a body and have important biological roles including stress-response. In addition, many dermatologists and other physicians commonly prescribe glucocorticoids for their anti-inflammatory effects, but unanswered questions remain. Their specific mechanism of action and ways to mitigate potential side effects with prolonged use, including impaired wound healing, are unknown.

Read more about the research »

JoNell Potter, Ph.D.

JoNell Potter, Ph.D.

UHealth and Jackson Tackle Human Trafficking Prevention and Treatment

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention month. The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, in collaboration with Jackson Health System, is making groundbreaking strides in filling a critically unmet need in the area of human trafficking.

Throughout the month the health system will also collaborate with various partners to host events geared at educating and spreading human trafficking awareness among the general public and the health community.

Read more about the human trafficking program »

Dab2 (red)-positive pre-adipocytes accumulating lipid droplets (green).

Dab2 (red)-positive pre-adipocytes accumulating lipid droplets (green).

The Strange Double Life of Dab2 — the Cancer Protein that Also Plays a Role in Fat Storage

Sometimes proteins do a lot more than we expect. Dab2, for example, has long been linked to cancer. The molecule is associated with a chain of signaling proteins called the Ras-MAPK pathway. In many cancers, elements of Ras-MAPK mutate and start telling cells to grow uncontrollably.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher Xiang-Xi Michael Xu, Ph.D., who is also a professor of cell biology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, discovered Dab2 more than 20 years ago and has been studying its relationship to cancer ever since. But now he’s found that Dab2 has been living a secret life all along — one that could have public health implications for fighting obesity. In a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, the Xu lab has shown that young mice without Dab2 don’t gain weight when given excessive food.

Read more about Dr. Xu's research »

John C. Beier, Sc.D.

John C. Beier, Sc.D.

University of Miami Collaborating on $10 Million Center to Address Zika and Other Diseases

Supported by a $10 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of Miami (UM) and three other Florida universities will collaborate on a newly formed research center focused on stopping diseases such as Zika before they spread farther into the United States.

The Southeast Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Disease: The Gateway Program, will be led by the University of Florida (UF). The effort is part of the nearly $184 million in funding the CDC announced Thursday to states, territories, local jurisdictions, and universities to support efforts to protect Americans from the Zika virus infection and associated adverse health outcomes, including microcephaly and other serious birth defects. These awards are part of the $350 million in funding provided to CDC under the Zika Response and Preparedness Appropriations Act of 2016.

Read more about the center of excellence »

Shayna Jefferson.

Shayna Jefferson.

Teens Get Compassionate Care from Winner of HIV Counselor of the Year Award

Shayna Jefferson, project coordinator in the Division of Adolescent Medicine in the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, received the HIV Counselor and Tester of the Year Award from the Test Miami initiative of the Florida and Miami-Dade County health departments.

Jefferson was singled out from more than 300 counselors and testers in Miami-Dade. The Test Miami awards are given to community agencies, counselors, volunteers and peers for exceptional performance in responding to HIV/AIDS.

Read more about Shayna Jefferson's award »

Joshua A. Boxer, Esq.

Joshua A. Boxer, Esq.

Joshua A. Boxer, Esq., Named Executive Director of Regulatory Compliance for UHealth

Joshua A. Boxer, Esq., has been named Executive Director of Regulatory Compliance for UHealth – the University of Miami Health System. In this new role, which began Monday, January 9, he will be part of the UHealth compliance, risk and quality team, and will work under the direction of Michael Barron, M.D., UHealth Chief Medical Officer, and Helenemarie Blake-Leger, Esq., Chief Privacy and Data Security Officer and interim Assistant Vice President for Compliance.

“Josh will play an important role in ensuring that the health system, including the hospitals, is in compliance with regulations, including Stark Law, Place of Service, Anti-Kickback, Conflict of Interest, Hospital Licensure, and other federal and state rules,” said Blake-Leger. “He will provide system-wide oversight and resolution of regulatory and hospital licensure matters, including process changes, new requirements, and compliance with all regulatory standards required for patient safety and quality of care and services.”

Read more about Joshua Boxer's appointment »

Steven J.Gedde, M.D.

Steven J.Gedde, M.D.

Bascom Palmer’s Dr. Steven J. Gedde Receives Prestigious Award

Steven J. Gedde, M.D., professor of ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, received the 2016 Straatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago. The award recognizes and celebrates an outstanding residency program director in ophthalmology.

During Gedde’s 17 years as director of Bascom Palmer’s residency program, the residency has consistently ranked as the nation’s top ophthalmology training program in peer surveys by Ophthalmology Times and Doximity. During Gedde’s tenure, graduating residents have achieved a pass rate of 100 percent in the examinations given by the American Board of Ophthalmology, the organization that certifies ophthalmologists in the United States.

Read more about the award »

From left, Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., with Brett Scotch, D.O., President of the Hillsborough County Osteopathic Medical Society.

From left, Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., with Brett Scotch, D.O., President of the Hillsborough County Osteopathic Medical Society.

Dr. Joshua D. Lenchus Receives Osteopathic Medical Society’s Achievement Award

Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., associate professor of clinical medicine, anesthesiology and radiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, received the annual President’s Achievement Award from the Hillsborough County Osteopathic Medical Society.

Lenchus, who also serves as Associate Director of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital Center for Patient Safety and President of the Jackson Health System Medical Staff, was presented the award at the December board meeting of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association.

Read more about Dr. Lenchus’ award »

Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D.

Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D.

Department of Surgery Hosting Research Organ Recovery Workshop

The DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery’s Minimally Invasive Surgical Training & Education Center and Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency are hosting a national Research Organ Recovery Workshop January 24 and 25.

The bi-annual workshop, sponsored by the International Institute for the Advancement of Medicine (IIAM), is expected to bring organ/tissue procurement staff from at least 12 organ procurement organizations to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Read more about the organ recovery workshop »

Barbara Ronda, M.H.S.A.

Barbara Ronda, M.H.S.A.

Barbara Ronda Named to Board of Directors of Health Foundation of South Florida

Barbara Ronda, M.H.S.A., Associate Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Health Foundation of South Florida.

She joins three University of Miami Miller School of Medicine faculty members already on the board: Roderick K. King, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of public health sciences and Assistant Dean for Public Health Education, who is its incoming chairman; Philip Grossman, M.D., voluntary professor of medicine, epidemiology and public health sciences, and attending physician at University of Miami Hospital, who is one of its founders and a past chairman; and Ivette Motola, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the Division of Prehospital and Emergency Healthcare, and Assistant Director of the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education.

Read more about Barbara Ronda's appointment »

Megan Schwarte, CIA.

Megan Schwarte, CIA.

Megan Schwarte Recognized as ‘Rising Star’ by Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors

Megan Schwarte, a senior auditor in the Office of Audit and Advisory Services, received the Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors’ Rising Star Award, which honors an AHIA member who embodies the future of the profession through excellence in health care internal auditing. A professional association with almost 1,600 members, the AHIA is dedicated to the advancement of the health care internal auditing profession.

David Richstone, Audit Director for UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, said, “I regularly receive comments from UHealth leadership on Megan’s ability to work professionally and collaboratively with all levels of staff and management in the course of our work, which leads to very positive results on our audits and projects, along with being a goodwill ambassador for the department.”

Read more about Megan Schwarte's recognition »

Improvements Coming to Miller School and UHealth Newsletters and Websites

In the coming weeks, we will be making some important changes to our news reporting and our websites at the Miller School of Medicine and the University of Miami Health System, in order to serve you better.

Our goal is to report as much useful, informative news as possible, but in a more visual and engaging way — sharing the research, clinical care, and educational distinctions of our academic medical center. With that in mind, the e-Update newsletter will appear less frequently as we introduce new formats designed to reach different audiences, including faculty and community physicians, our medical staff and health care consumers.

Read more about changes to newsletters and websites »

Miller School Registration Open for Take Our Children to Work Day

Registration for the February 2 Take Our Children to Work Day is now open through Friday, January 13, space permitting, on the Miller School campus. The event is offered on a first-come, first-served basis to 100 children, ages 8 to 14.

The cost is $10 per child and must be paid by check. Parents are required to fill out the registration and model release form and deliver them in a timely fashion to Cristy Salgado on the third floor of the Dominion Tower (Suite 302) between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The last day to register your child is January 13.

Read more about Take Our Children to Work Day »

From left, Michael Gittelman, M.H.S.A., Maikel Bacallao, RN, Kymberlee J. Manni, Ph.D., Rogerio G. Carrillo, M.D., M.B.A., Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, Barbara Ronda, M.H.S.A., Thinh H. Tran, M.D., M.B.A., Alexander Jonusas, PA-C, and Mario Caballero, PA-C.

From left, Michael Gittelman, M.H.S.A., Maikel Bacallao, RN, Kymberlee J. Manni, Ph.D., Rogerio G. Carrillo, M.D., M.B.A., Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, Barbara Ronda, M.H.S.A., Thinh H. Tran, M.D., M.B.A., Alexander Jonusas, PA-C, and Mario Caballero, PA-C.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Rebeca Sosa Recognizes UHealth Team for Patient Care

Miami-Dade Commissioner Rebeca Sosa paid a holiday season visit to the executive offices of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System on December 21 to present a commendation to Rogerio G. Carrillo, M.D., M.B.A., professor of clinical surgery and cardiothoracic surgeon at University of Miami Hospital (UMH), for his lifesaving work treating county residents over a career spanning nearly four decades.

Upon hearing of the pending honor, however, Carrillo was reluctant to be singled out. “I couldn’t do what I do without the support of my surgical team and our hospital leadership,” he said. He insisted that the honor be shared.

Read more about Commissioner Sosa's commendations »


RIDE. RUN. WALK. for Cancer Research

You’re invited to join Team Hurricanes for the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC) on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Every dollar raised during DCC directly funds cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System.

Since its inception in 2010, DCC has raised $16.5 million for cancer research at Sylvester, and it’s one of our cancer center’s most important fundraising initiatives.

Read more about the Dolphins Cancer Challenge »

Graduates of Neonatology Fellowship Program and current faculty.

Graduates of Neonatology Fellowship Program and current faculty.

40th Anniversary Neonatology Conference Draws a Global Audience of Pediatric Professionals

Pediatricians who care for newborn infants from all over the world gathered in November at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach for the 40th Anniversary Miami Neonatology Conference, sponsored by the Miller School of Medicine and presented by the Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Neonatology. Four keynote speakers addressed the historical perspectives of neonatology over the past 40 years. In addition, this year’s conference featured eight of the field’s leading experts sharing the latest research and clinical knowledge in a series of presentations and panel discussions.

“We had 1,177 attendees from 53 countries, and our guest faculty came from six countries,” said Charles R. Bauer, M.D., professor of pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology and psychology, Associate Director of the Division of Neonatology and Director of the Early Steps Program, who is one of the conference’s co-directors. “Many of our attendees come every year. Some group practices trade off among their members so everyone has a chance to attend. This has become one of the largest and most respected conferences on newborn medicine in the country and in the world.”

Read more about the Miami Neonatology Conference »

50th Miami Winter Symposium is January 22-25

The 50th Miami Winter Symposium will take place January 22-25 at the Hyatt Regency Miami. Once again, it will showcase one of the Miller School of Medicine’s centers of excellence, in this case the Diabetes Research Institute. The topic is “Diabetes: Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Therapies.”

University of Miami President Julio Frenk will welcome the visitors, who come from across the globe. There are seven awardees, five of them former colleagues of President Frenk from Harvard University.

Read more about the Miami Winter Symposium »


Miami Valves 2017 Takes Place January 29-31

Miami Valves 2017 will be held January 29-31 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay. The conference will showcase the latest systems, techniques and practices to ensure safe and effective transcatheter valve replacement, and is the natural progression of the University of Miami’s Masters in Repair of Structural Heart Disease Conference, which has a long history of professional educational excellence.

The faculty represents some of the foremost experts in the field of structural heart disease therapy. They will utilize interactive presentations, case presentations and symposia to appraise new and upcoming technologies in the management of valvular heart disease to determine their benefit for patients, evaluate the relative advantages and disadvantages of different strategies in complex cases involving valvular disease, and demonstrate how to start a transcatheter aortic valve replacement program.

Read more about the conference »

*** Reminder: Submission Deadline for the Next Issue ***

The next issue of e-Update will be published on Tuesday, January 24. The deadline for submissions will be the prior Wednesday, January 18, at noon.

Upcoming Grand Rounds

Thursday, January 26, 2017Anesthesiology Grand Rounds: Processed EEG Monitoring in Anesthesia

Thursday, January 26, 2017Ophthalmology Grand Rounds

Friday, January 27, 2017Department of Surgery: International Trauma Tele-Grand Rounds

Friday, January 27, 2017Mailman Center Grand Rounds: Current Models of Transition Clinics and Protocols Are Progressing toward the Wrong Goals

Wednesday, February 1, 2017Physical Medicine & Rehab Grand Rounds: Cardiometabolic Syndrome in Persons with SCI

Thursday, February 2, 2017Anesthesiology Grand Rounds: Perioperative Management of Patients Receiving Direct Oral Anticoagulants

Thursday, February 2, 2017Ophthalmology Grand Rounds

Friday, February 3, 2017Department of Surgery: International Trauma Tele-Grand Rounds

Thursday, February 9, 2017Ophthalmology Grand Rounds

View more Grand Rounds »

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, January 24, 2017Cell Biology Seminar Series: Coordinating Growth and Differentiation: bHLH Genes, Ribosomes, and Cell Competition

Tuesday, January 24, 2017Miami Winter Symposium Career Fair

Wednesday, January 25, 2017Research Pharmacy Weekly Meeting

Thursday, January 26, 2017Pharmacology Seminar Series: Protein-Modifying Enzyme Ate1 Controls Cellular Warburg Effects

Sunday, January 29, 2017Miami Valves 2017: Transcatheter Therapies for Valvular and Structural Heart Disease

Monday, January 30, 2017Miami Valves 2017: Transcatheter Therapies for Valvular and Structural Heart Disease

Tuesday, January 31, 2017Miami Valves 2017: Transcatheter Therapies for Valvular and Structural Heart Disease

Tuesday, January 31, 2017Cell Biology Seminar Series: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? Ephrins in Cell-Cell Adhesion and Cell Migration

Tuesday, January 31, 2017Office of Research Administration Brown Bag Discussion Group

Wednesday, February 1, 2017Research Pharmacy Weekly Meeting

Thursday, February 2, 2017Pharmacology Seminar Series: The Corticospinal Pathway Following Spinal Cord Injury

Friday, February 3, 2017Cornea 2017: Interactive Consultations in Cornea and Refractive Cataract Surgery

Friday, February 3, 2017The Art and Science of Acupuncture 2017: Multi-session Course Begins

Saturday, February 4, 2017Miller School of Medicine Students to Host the SunSmart 5K to Celebrate Heart and Skin Health

Saturday, February 4, 2017The Art and Science of Acupuncture 2017: Multi-session Course Begins

Sunday, February 5, 2017The Art and Science of Acupuncture 2017: Multi-session Course Begins

Wednesday, February 8, 2017Research Pharmacy Weekly Meeting

Thursday, February 9, 2017Neurology Update and Stroke Intensive 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017Pharmacology Seminar Series: Genome-wide Enhancer Remodeling Drives Adaptive Bypass Response

Thursday, February 9, 2017McKnight Vision Research Seminar: Anti-VEGF Combo Therapies - Evidence from Pre-clinical In Vivo Models

View more Events »

For Your Benefit

 

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program Seminar: Staying Sane in an Insane World

 

View more For Your Benefit Announcements »