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

Up Front

Social workers perform a broad range of valuable services in Miller School of Medicine departments and centers.

Social workers perform a broad range of valuable services in Miller School of Medicine departments and centers.

Social Workers: Star Players on the Patient-Care Team

March is National Social Work Month, and this year’s theme is “Social Workers Pave the Way for Change.” Today, there are nearly 50 social workers on the medical campus. Some have worked here for decades and played very personal roles in the significant changes that have occurred in patient care and in the steady improvements in patient outcomes.

Rosa Caiseda, M.S.W., is one example. She has worked at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center since it opened in 1992. Today, as Director of Social Services at Sylvester’s Courtelis Center for Psychosocial Oncology, she and a staff of eight social workers — five on the medical campus and three in oncology departments at satellite facilities — are part of a team of mental health professionals who help patients and their families cope with cancer.

Read more about social workers on the Miller School campus »

More News

John L. Bixby, Ph.D., and Mary Bartlett Bunge, Ph.D.

John L. Bixby, Ph.D., and Mary Bartlett Bunge, Ph.D.

Miller School Researchers Collaborate in Use of Cancer Drug for Spinal Cord Repair

A team of Miller School of Medicine researchers, collaborating with investigators at other institutions, has demonstrated that the cancer drug epothilone promotes regeneration and locomotor recovery following spinal cord injury in adult rats. The research was recently published in Science.

“Epothilone offers a novel and exciting new possibility for spinal cord repair,” said Mary Bartlett Bunge, Ph.D., Christine E. Lynn Distinguished Professor in Neuroscience, and professor of cell biology, neurological surgery and neurology. “In one non-invasive step, scarring is reduced and axon growth and walking are improved. I would like to see more work in rat SCI models to test the combination of this agent with Schwann cells transplanted to fill the cavity that forms after contusive injury.”

Read more about the research »

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S.

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Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S.

Top UM Neurologist Honored with Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Chair of Neurology and the Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders, was one of this year’s recipients of the University of Miami’s coveted 2015 Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity.

UM Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc presented the awards at a ceremony Friday on the Coral Gables campus.
“Today we recognize and celebrate the scholarly promise and achievement of our faculty,” LeBlanc said. The award recognizes demonstrated excellence in research by either a single unique achievement or several years of scholarly productivity.

Read more about Dr. Sacco's award »

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Recognized as a Cancer Center of Excellence

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has been recognized as a Cancer Center of Excellence by the state of Florida – one of just four cancer centers in the state, and the only one in South Florida, to have earned this first-ever distinction.

In announcing the awards, Governor Rick Scott said, “These designations recognize our commitment to providing the best cancer care possible for Florida’s families and positions our state to become one of the foremost leaders in cancer care in the world.”

Read more about the Sylvester designation »

Nicholas Namias, M.D., M.B.A.

Nicholas Namias, M.D., M.B.A.

Dr. Nicholas Namias to Chair Florida Committee on Trauma

Nicholas Namias, M.D., M.B.A., Medical Director of the Ryder Trauma Center at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital and Chief, Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, was named the Chairman of the Florida Committee on Trauma (FCOT) by the American College of Surgeons.

Namias, who is also the Executive Vice Chairman for Clinical Affairs and professor of surgery in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the Miller School of Medicine, has a distinguished career leading the trauma service at Ryder, one of the world’s busiest and most renowned trauma centers. His clinical areas of expertise include trauma and acute care, surgical critical care, and burns.

Read more about Dr. Namias' new role »

Patricia Byers, M.D.

Patricia Byers, M.D.

Dr. Patricia Byers Accepts 2014 Injury Prevention Award

The Florida Department of Health Injury Prevention Section, in partnership with the Florida Injury Prevention Advisory Council (FIPAC), named Patricia M. Byers, M.D., F.A.C.S., professor of surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, as the 2014 Injury Prevention Award recipient. Each year the award recognizes an individual who demonstrates a commitment to injury prevention. Byers was recognized during a FIPAC webinar on Tuesday, March 24.

Byers is the principal investigator for the Motorcycle Education and Injury Prevention Program: Survive the Ride. She has more than 30 years of experience as a trauma surgeon and is the Chief of Trauma at Jackson South Community Hospital. She is also the Chief of Surgical Nutrition at Jackson Memorial Hospital and Jackson South. She has served as both the Florida State Trauma Medical Director and as Chairperson of the American College of Surgeons Florida Committee on Trauma.

Read more about Dr. Byers' award »

From left, Ben Silver, Shannon Glenn, Reshma Muppala and Deepa Luka enjoy gelato pops at the Medical Alumni Association Ice Cream Social.

From left, Ben Silver, Shannon Glenn, Reshma Muppala and Deepa Luka enjoy gelato pops at the Medical Alumni Association Ice Cream Social.

Ice Cream Social Provides a Taste of Medical Alumni Association Support

After crunching her way through a handcrafted strawberry gelato bar, coated with semi-sweet chocolate and crumbled Oreo cookies, fourth-year medical student Catherine Gordon sang the praises of the second annual ice cream social, which was hosted recently by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Medical Alumni Association (MAA).

Gordon, a Class of 2015 M.D. candidate, said it was the perfect way to connect with the MAA, which provides a link to about 7,200 Miller School alumni.

Read more about the ice cream social »

From left, Lynn W. Miskiel, M.A., Kari Morgenstein, Au.D., and Ivette Cejas, Ph.D.

From left, Lynn W. Miskiel, M.A., Kari Morgenstein, Au.D., and Ivette Cejas, Ph.D.

Hearing Assistive Technology is Focus of Growing Child Conference

The Annual Medical Issues and the Growing Child Conference took place on March 20 and was attended by audiologists, speech and language therapists, and teachers of the deaf from throughout Miami-Dade County. Titled “Hearing Assistive Technology for the Growing Child,” the conference aims to provide attendees with tools they need to improve the academic performance and everyday functionality of hearing-impaired children.

Starting with the basic questions “What is hearing assistive technology and why do we need it?” a group of UM hearing specialists focused on how listening devices may optimize outcomes and facilitate learning at school. The conference is a collaborative initiative organized by The Debbie School of the Mailman Center for Child Development and The Ear Institute of the Department of Otolaryngology.

Read more about the conference »

M.D./Ph.D. Student Research Symposium Takes Place April 9

The Miller School of Medicine’s 7th Annual M.D./Ph.D. Student Research Symposium will be held from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 9. Keynote speaker Dan Rudolph Littman, M.D., Ph.D., Helen L & Martin S. Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology and professor of pathology, microbiology and molecular pathogenesis at New York University, will present “Dialogue of the Commensal Microbiota with the Host Immune System.”

Read more about the upcoming symposium »

Ruby Natale, Ph.D., Psy.D., left, and Sarah E. Messiah, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Ruby Natale, Ph.D., Psy.D., left, and Sarah E. Messiah, Ph.D., M.P.H.

USDA Awards UM Grant for Childhood Obesity Prevention Program

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded $584,661 to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Ruby Natale, Ph.D., Psy.D., and Sarah E. Messiah, Ph.D., MPH. The funds will be used for the first year of their three-year childhood obesity prevention programming. In total, they will receive almost $1.6 million for the three years of their study.

Messiah, a research associate professor at Miller, said that Phase I of their USDA-funded research was dedicated to a three-year trial in local early care and education centers that tested multiple components of obesity prevention, including education, menu and physical activity changes for parents, teachers and children. “After reviewing the results of Phase 1 of our program, we saw a positive effect on healthy eating habits and changes in body mass index (BMI),” she said.

Read more about the USDA grant »

Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Spencer Eth, M.D.

Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Spencer Eth, M.D.

UM Professors Address Prosecutors Against Gun Violence

Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., professor and Chairman of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Spencer Eth, M.D., professor and Director of the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at the Miller School and Chief of Mental Health at the Miami VA, joined members of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence (PAGV) last Tuesday for a summit that focused on management of mental illness and gun violence. The event highlighted issues such as mass shootings, trauma’s role in mental health, enhanced veterans’ services and reforms to the public mental health system.

PAGV, an independent, non-partisan coalition founded and co-chaired by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, worked to identify prosecutorial and policy solutions based on the best practices of prosecutors across the country. Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle hosted the conference, the group’s second summit since last fall.

Read more about the summit »

Ticket Distribution for Family Day with the Miami Marlins Begins This Week

In appreciation of the dedication and outstanding work of its employees, the University of Miami will host Family Day with the Miami Marlins on Saturday, May 2, at Marlins Park in Little Havana. The Marlins will take on the Philadelphia Phillies, which will be preceded by a lineup of special pregame activities.

Beginning this week, each regular employee, as well as contract employees, can pick up one complimentary ticket and purchase up to two additional tickets for $1 each; extra tickets will be available for $9 apiece. Children under 3 do not require tickets. Each ticket comes with a food voucher for a hot dog, chips, and a fountain drink or bottle of water.

Read more about the Miami Marlins ticket offer »

University of Miami to Host Mental Health Summit

In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month this May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will host “STOP the Stigma: A Mental Health Summit” on Saturday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at University of Miami Hospital’s Seminar Center. The event is free and open to families, professionals and those living with mental illness.

Read more about STOP the Stigma: A Mental Health Summit »

Free Head and Neck Cancer Screenings April 16 and 17

Physicians from the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology will offer free head and neck cancer screening examinations to the public at three locations April 16-17.

On Thursday, April 16, exams will be performed at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Room DTC 270, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Friday, April 17, exams will be performed at University of Miami Hospital, Seminar Room C, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Room 1301, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Read more about free head and neck cancer screenings »

First Annual Faculty Showcase to Focus on Technology

The first annual Faculty Showcase will be held on Friday, April 10, at the BankUnited Center (Hurricane 100). This event will showcase ways that technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning, and will give faculty and staff the opportunity to share how they network with other colleagues, use technology in unique ways and generate new project ideas.

Read more about the Faculty Showcase »

Summer Volunteer Program Applications

Would you like to have volunteers work in your department this summer? The University of Miami’s Summer Volunteer Program starts on June 8 and runs through August 7, 2015. Eligible volunteers are encouraged to complete at least six weeks of the nine-week program, committing to a minimum of 100 hours. The Office of Human Resources encourages departments to submit their completed applications by April 30. Applications will be accepted beyond this date on a rolling basis.

Read more about the Summer Volunteer Program »

Register Now for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Annual Walk May 2

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s Take Steps walk is the nation’s largest event dedicated to finding cures for digestive diseases. It is a casual 2-3 mile stroll to raise money for crucial research, bringing us closer to a future free from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Over 1.6 million American adults and children are affected by these digestive diseases. While many suffer in silence, Take Steps brings this community together in a fun, energetic and supportive atmosphere.

Read more about the Take Steps walk »

Have You Completed Your Workday Checklist?

Did you log in to Workday? Have you completed your checklist? If not, click on your role — Faculty, Staff, or Student Employee — now to access your checklist and complete the important tasks outlined for you. The tasks vary by role, but will include updating personal information, beneficiaries, payment elections, and more. Have questions or comments about Workday? Email a Workday expert at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Workday HR will be implemented at University of Miami Hospital on June 18.

23rd Annual Florida Bioethics Conference Set for April 17

The University of Miami’s Bioethics Program will host its 23rd annual spring conference in conjunction with the Florida Bioethics Network on Friday, April 17, at the Miami Biscayne Bay Marriott.

This educational program – one of the oldest and largest conferences in the country dedicated to ethics in healthcare – will feature presentations on the Ebola crisis, hospital ethics committees, gender identity, the Indian Health Service, social-worker proxies and a special retrospective discussion on the Terri Schiavo case: “Schiavo:10 Years Later.”

Read more about the bioethics conference »

Brigadier General William Salamanca, center, with a group of Colombian youth.

Brigadier General William Salamanca, center, with a group of Colombian youth.

Presentation on the Colombian National Police and the Security of Children

Brigadier General William Salamanca, Director of Protection and Special Services for the Colombian National Police, will visit the University of Miami School of Communication on April 2, at 1 p.m. to present on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children. The presentation will be held in Shoma Hall on the third floor of the Communication International Building on the Coral Gables campus. Salamanca’s presentation, titled “Prevention, Intervention, and Action: The Colombian National Police and the Security of Children,” will highlight the Colombian police’s introduction of creative methods to tackle critical societal issues that affect the country’s children.

Read more about the presentation »