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

Up Front

Robert J. Myerburg, M.D.

Robert J. Myerburg, M.D.

NIH Workshop Report Urges New Focus on Pulseless Electrical Activity

Led by the Miller School’s Robert J. Myerburg, M.D., a dozen experts in sudden cardiac arrest have issued a major report on pulseless electrical activity aimed at improving the dismal survival rate among the increasing number of people who suffer this mechanism of cardiac arrest that does not respond to defibrillation.

Published online in advance of print in Circulation, the official journal of the American Heart Association, the report, “Pulseless Electrical Activity – Definition, Causes, Mechanisms, Management, and Research Priorities for the Next Decade,” summarizes the findings of a June 2012 workshop the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute convened to identify the current knowledge, scientific gaps and research priorities for predicting, preventing, and managing the condition that has emerged as a more frequent mechanism for sudden cardiac arrest than ventricular fibrillation (VF) or other ventricular tachyarrhythmias (VT).

Read more about the report »

More News

The NASDAQ welcomes Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D., outside Times Square in New York City, as Heat Biologics makes its initial public offering.

The NASDAQ welcomes Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D., outside Times Square in New York City, as Heat Biologics makes its initial public offering.

U Innovation Celebrates First Public Offering of a University of Miami Spin-Off

U Innovation, home of technology advancement at the University of Miami, is celebrating the first initial public offering (IPO) by a company to evolve from its mission to bring life-enhancing discoveries made by UM scientists to the marketplace. The company, Heat Biologics (NASDAQ: HTBX), raised $27 million to fund clinical trials for its proprietary, unique off-the-shelf ImPACT (Immune Pan Antigen Cytotoxic Therapy) vaccines, aimed at harnessing a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer and infectious diseases.

Developed by Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology and immunology at the Miller School, ImPACT technology is designed to transform human cells into powerful weapons that continually secrete their own antigens to activate a patient’s immune system against a wide range of cancers or other targeted diseases.

Read more about Heat Biologics’ initial public offering »

More than 700 ophthalmologists from Latin America and the Caribbean attended Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s XXXV Annual Inter-American Course in Clinical Ophthalmology at the Intercontinental Miami.

More than 700 ophthalmologists from Latin America and the Caribbean attended Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s XXXV Annual Inter-American Course in Clinical Ophthalmology at the Intercontinental Miami.

International Ophthalmologists Gather in Miami for Bascom Palmer’s Annual CURSO

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute celebrated its XXXV Annual Inter-American Course in Clinical Ophthalmology (CURSO) at the Intercontinental Miami on November 24-27. The four-day course was a tremendous success with 720 ophthalmologists from more than 30 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in attendance. The legendary TV show host Mario Kreutzberger, aka “Don Francisco,” addressed the attendees during the opening ceremony with a rousing message about vision, light, hope, and the mission of ophthalmologists.

CURSO is the largest meeting in the United States held for Spanish-speaking ophthalmologists. The course is presented with simultaneous English-Spanish translation. CURSO is designed to provide maximum emphasis on practical approaches to clinical problems and is held every year in Miami immediately following the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting.

Read more about Bascom Palmer’s annual CURSO »

From left are Jamie Diamond, Sonjia Kenya, Ed.D., and Emily Ryon.

From left are Jamie Diamond, Sonjia Kenya, Ed.D., and Emily Ryon.

UM Hosts World AIDS Day Events in Overtown

Led by Sonjia Kenya, Ed.D., assistant research professor of medicine, Miller School M.D./M.P.H. students and staff from the Jay Weiss Institute for Health Equity at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center hosted several events in support of World AIDS Day December 2 at the Culmer Community Action Center in Overtown.

During the afternoon devoted to increasing HIV awareness and testing, Kenya kicked off a special “What’s Up Doc?” session discussing the growing number of HIV/AIDS cases among Florida adults over age 50. Usually held monthly, the “What’s Up Doc?” series established by Kenya four years ago addresses health issues of concern to Overtown residents, including HIV/AIDS.

Read more about UM's World AIDS Day events »

Lucas Martinez, center, is an inspiration to both his mother, Lynette Estrada, left, and sister, Naomi Martinez, right.

Lucas Martinez, center, is an inspiration to both his mother, Lynette Estrada, left, and sister, Naomi Martinez, right.

Faculty and Staff Support the U: Autism Counselor Rides for Sylvester, and Her Son

Lynette Estrada’s reasons for supporting the University’s treatment and research missions run deep: Her 17-year-old son Lucas Martinez, who has an autistic disorder and has struggled with brain tumors most of his life, receives coordinated care from UM. Have a story to share? Tell us why you support the U.

Read her story »

ICD-10 Transition Coming to UHealth

ICD-10 is a new and much more complex system to code medical diagnoses, which will take effect across the country on October 1, 2014. Every service provided by UHealth will require a valid diagnosis code from this new system in order to bill and get paid. We are committed to properly planning, testing and implementing the necessary changes to be ready for ICD-10 and the impact it will have across our organization.

Who is involved in the ICD-10 project?

The ICD-10 conversion project is led by Dr. David Lubarsky as Executive Sponsor, with Charlotte Barrett, RHIA, as Strategic Advisor and Tony Etzel as Clinical Department Liaison. Dr. Lubarsky will be joined by a Project Management Office led by Susan Davis and supported by Vivian Naiman and Marvin Katz as well as our consultants from PricewaterhouseCoopers and HCI, to assist our physician and administrative leadership with the required changes.

Read more about the ICD-10 Transition Coming to UHealth »

A Note on UHealth and the Health Insurance Marketplace

Having recently completed our 2014 Benefits Open Enrollment, the University of Miami continues to offer employer-sponsored healthcare to all eligible employees. Faculty, staff and their family members who are eligible for the UM/Aetna plans need not look to the Health Insurance Marketplace for health coverage.

For many others in our community, including friends and extended family members, the launch of the Affordable Care Act and its new Health Insurance Marketplace poses many questions about choosing the right health coverage. Members of the community who want access to UHealth’s top-ranked physicians and state-of-the-art facilities should be aware that UHealth has relationships with several insurance providers.

Read more about UHealth and the Health Insurance Marketplace insurance providers »

Olympia Snowe, former U.S. Senator and Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center.

Olympia Snowe, former U.S. Senator and Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center.

The Business of Healthcare: Bending the Cost Curve

As the second phase of the Affordable Care Act takes effect next month, the School of Business Administration will host its third premier healthcare impact conference, featuring a keynote address by former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe. Faculty and staff can register for the January 17 conference at a reduced rate.

Read more about the conference »

Miller School Newsletter Holiday Schedule

This is the last issue of e-Update for 2014. The newsletter will not be published on Tuesday, December 23, or Tuesday, December 30.

Also, please note that the deadline for the January issue of MED is Tuesday, December 30, at noon.

Happy Holidays!