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

Up Front

From left, Joan E. St. Onge, M.D., Paul E. Mendez, M.D., and Gauri G. Agarwal, M.D.

From left, Joan E. St. Onge, M.D., Paul E. Mendez, M.D., and Gauri G. Agarwal, M.D.

Medical Education Deans St. Onge, Mendez and Agarwal Receive Promotions

Three of the deans responsible for medical education at the Miller School of Medicine have received promotions in recognition of their service to the School’s education mission.

Joan E. St. Onge, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine, has been promoted from Associate Dean to Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education; Paul E. Mendez, M.D., associate professor of medicine and director of the Clinical Skills Program, has been promoted from Assistant Dean to Associate Dean for Clinical Curriculum; and Gauri G. Agarwal, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, has been promoted from Assistant Regional Dean to Associate Regional Dean for Medical Curriculum.

Read more about the deans' promotions »

More News

Felicia Knaul, Ph.D.

Felicia Knaul, Ph.D.

Researchers Suggest New Approach to Caring for Patients with Chronic Illnesses

Researchers from the University of Miami and Harvard University are addressing the challenges of effective universal health coverage in low- and middle-income countries, focusing on solving one of the most pressing issues — the care of chronic illnesses. Their suggestions, aimed at strengthening health care systems, include recommendations based on a “diagonal approach” for managing health care. Their report is published in the September issue of the journal Health Affairs.

The authors shared their findings on September 9, at the educational forum “Ensuring Patient Access in Latin America: Governance, Assessment Methodologies, and Evidence-Informed Decision Making in Health Policy,” held in Santiago, Chile, and at the Health Affairs briefing titled “Noncommunicable Diseases: The Growing Burden,” in Washington, D.C.

Read more about the research findings »

From left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Joshua W. Rednick, President and CEO, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Dora Berman-Weinberg, Ph.D., Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Wendy Peacock, Elina Linetsky, Ph.D., Rodolfo Alejandro, M.D., and David Baidal, M.D.

View Photo Gallery »

From left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Joshua W. Rednick, President and CEO, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Dora Berman-Weinberg, Ph.D., Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Wendy Peacock, Elina Linetsky, Ph.D., Rodolfo Alejandro, M.D., and David Baidal, M.D.

First Transplant Patient in BioHub Trial No Longer Needs Insulin Therapy

For more than two decades, Wendy Peacock went to bed every night fearful of not waking up. Peacock, a type 1 diabetic who suffers from severe hypoglycemia unawareness — an unfelt, and dangerous, drop in blood sugar that could send her into a fog or a faint — worried about slipping into a diabetic coma in her sleep.

No more. Peacock, the first transplant recipient in the clinical trial being conducted by the Diabetes Research Institute of its BioHub — a bioengineered mini-organ containing islet cells that mimics the native pancreas to restore natural insulin production in people with type 1 diabetes — now has normal glucose levels and has been taken off the supplemental insulin that she gave herself by injection several times daily for the past 26 years.

Read more about the first BioHub transplant patient »

Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D.

Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D.

‘Dr. Jay’ Named Interim Executive Dean for Research and Research Education

Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D. — known to everyone as “Dr. Jay” — has been named interim Executive Dean for Research and Research Education of the Miller School of Medicine.

Jayaweera has served as Associate Vice Provost for Human Subject Research since 2012, overseeing the activities of the Institutional Review Board committees and the Human Subject Research Office staff, and acting as a liaison between the IRBs and senior institutional leadership. He has focused on promoting greater communication and collaboration across the University’s Human Research Protection Program, which, through his leadership efforts, and for the first time in the School’s history, was recently awarded full accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs.

Read more about Dr. Jay's new role »

Clockwise, from bottom left, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Jesse Bailey, Senior Executive Director of Advancement, Vinessa Morgan, Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation Treasurer, Steven Levin, Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation Secretary, and Murray Levin.

Clockwise, from bottom left, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Jesse Bailey, Senior Executive Director of Advancement, Vinessa Morgan, Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation Treasurer, Steven Levin, Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation Secretary, and Murray Levin.

Esman Foundation Pledges $500,000 to Support Sylvester Research

With an eye toward finding leading-edge therapies to battle cancer, representatives of The Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation recently made a generous pledge to support the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Murray Levin, the Executive Director of the Foundation, signed the $500,000 pledge agreement July 29.

“The more we got involved with the cancer center and saw the work being done here, we knew Sylvester was one of the premier organizations in cancer research and we wanted to help them any way we could,” said Levin, who has lost four family members to cancer.

Read more about The Esman Foundation pledge »

Sylvester CEO Richard Ballard, right, with Isaiah Hazel, center, in campaign t-shirt, and his family.

Sylvester CEO Richard Ballard, right, with Isaiah Hazel, center, in campaign t-shirt, and his family.

Sylvester Partners with Miami-Dade County to Fight Childhood Cancer

Gabriella Coimbra, Isaiah Hazel and other childhood cancer patients were the center of attention at a press briefing September 8, when Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Hospital Administrator and CEO Richard Ballard joined Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and Commissioner Rebeca Sosa to launch the county’s “Be Bold. Be Gold.” campaign to raise funds for childhood cancer research.

Gabriella is an alert, friendly 8-year-old girl who, until recently, led a life typical of a child her age. When Gabriella’s father noticed a lump under his daughter’s arm a few months ago, however, he had it checked out by a doctor. The diagnosis — Gabriella had cancer — came as a shock to the entire family.

Isaiah is a shy 14-year-old who struggled with diffuse symptoms for more than a year until he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. After a few months in remission, Isaiah’s cancer returned earlier this year, and he is now scheduled for a bone marrow transplant this fall.

Read more about the new pediatric cancer campaign »

Nazanin Tondravi, J.D., M.P.H.

Nazanin Tondravi, J.D., M.P.H.

Nazanin Tondravi Named Associate Director of Regulatory Compliance Division

Nazanin Tondravi, J.D., M.P.H., is the new Associate Director of the Regulatory Compliance Division in the Department of Medical Compliance Services, under the direction and supervision of Gemma Romillo, Assistant Vice President of Clinical Billing Compliance and HIPAA Privacy Officer.

Tondravi, who was born and raised in Chicago, received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois and her Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is licensed in Illinois and Florida, and received numerous recognitions for academic excellence.

Read more about Nazanin Tondravi »

UM Launches United Way Campaign to ‘Strengthen the Quality of Life’

The University of Miami has launched its 2015 campaign for the United Way of Miami-Dade, with the goals of again raising more than $1 million, increasing faculty and staff participation and, as the “U” has for nearly four decades, doing its part to improve the education, financial stability, and health of children and families in our community.

“Since its founding 90 years ago, the University of Miami has immeasurably helped strengthen the quality of life throughout our community — and for nearly 40 years, it has channeled extraordinary support though the United Way,” said Larry Marbert, Vice President for Real Estate and Facilities, who is chairing the University’s campaign for the second consecutive year. “Each year’s United Way campaign is an opportunity to demonstrate your support for our UM mission of providing service that extends throughout our community.”

Read more about the United Way campaign »

Countdown to ICD-10 Tip of the Week - Laterality

The national transition to ICD-10 — the updated and expanded code sets used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures — is coming October 1. UHealth will provide a useful tip each week to help providers make the transition as seamlessly as possible. This week’s tip is about laterality.

Unlike the ICD-9 codes, specified laterality is an important ICD-10 documentation and coding concept. It is up to the provider to document Right, Left or Bilateral, ensuring the highest level of specificity. Best practice documentation is to avoid using unspecified laterality whenever possible. Claims may be denied or payment delayed for codes reported with unspecified laterality.

For additional information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Join Team Sylvester for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walks

Join your colleagues to represent the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, one of the largest breast cancer awareness events in South Florida. Invite your family, friends and coworkers to raise awareness, support physicians and researchers, salute survivors and honor those who have fought the battle.

Fundraising efforts are welcome, but not required to join our team. Those who register early also will receive a special Sylvester breast cancer awareness T-shirt.

Read more about the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks »

Health Executive MBA Discussion with Dr. Steven G. Ullmann – September 21

Join us on Monday, September 21, for a discussion with Steven G. Ullmann, Ph.D., professor and Director of programs in the Center for Health Sector Management and Policy at the School of Business Administration, to learn about the Executive MBA program in Health Management and Policy at the University of Miami.

The presentation will feature highlights of the Executive MBA program in Health Management and Policy, the admissions process and a Q&A session.

Read more about the information session »

Register Now for The Art & Science of Acupuncture for Physicians 2015-2016

Registration is open for The Art & Science of Acupuncture – a special course for physicians offered from November 2015 to May 2016 by the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health through iCamp. The program is designed to help physicians integrate acupuncture into their practice. Upon completion of the program, physicians will have the necessary background and clinical knowledge related to acupuncture treatment and therapeutic approaches to make more informed recommendations or even apply techniques themselves.

The in-depth program will be held at the Highland Professional Building on one Saturday and one Saturday/Sunday weekend each month, beginning November 14. Physicians will receive 140 CME hours, as well as 140 CE hours through the Florida boards of Chiropractic Medicine and Dentistry. Those registering by September 25 will receive a special rate, and UM, Jackson and VA employees will receive an additional discount. For registration or additional information, please call 305-243-4751, email iCamp@med.miami.edu,, or visit the program website.

Registration Open for Clinical and Translational Research Workshop

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) will be hosting a research orientation workshop for interested faculty September 28-29 at the Mailman Center for Child Development, eighth-floor auditorium.

The Foundations and Tools of Clinical and Translational Research Workshop acquaints participants with the culture, research resources, institutional opportunities for collaboration, and reporting requirements involved in conducting clinical-translational research at the University of Miami.

Read more about the workshop »

Sign Up Now for the 2015 Miami-Dade Heart Walk

What: A non-competitive three-mile walk/run.
When: Sunday, November 22, 2015.
Where: Museum Park, 1075 Biscayne Boulevard, Downtown Miami.
Why: To encourage people to take steps towards a heart-healthy lifestyle while raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke in our community.

UHealth’s goal is to sign up 1,000 walkers and raise $50,000.

Read more about the 2015 Miami-Dade Heart Walk »

The Fine Art of Health Care Series Continues

Studying art can improve your powers of observation. Can it also make you a better health care provider? The Lowe Art Museum on the Coral Gables campus is offering one more session in its three-part series of workshops, “The Fine Art of Health Care,” to help students in health care graduate programs learn the answer.

Participants will learn Visual Thinking Strategies, a method shown to improve important skills needed in all health care professions. Students will have the opportunity to collaboratively look at works of art in detail to hone their observation, listening and communication skills.

Read more about the workshops »

Registration Open for Clinical Nutrition 2015-2016

The University of Miami iCamp’s Clinical Nutrition Conference Series is bringing experts and leading physicians to Miami once a month this October 2015 through June 2016, presenting evidence-based research that will provide you with a framework for weaving nutrition-related medicine into treating and preventing disease. Network with physicians and professionals in an energetic and inspiring environment.

The Series will be held one Saturday per month, starting on October 3. UM, Jackson and VA employees receive a discount upon registration. Topics will include: the Gut-Brain Axis, Menopause as a Condition of Inflammation and Oxidation, an Integrative Approach to Auto-Immune Disease, and much more.

Read more about Clinical Nutrition 2015-2016 »

Join Team UHealth for the Out of the Darkness Walk to Prevent Suicide

Every 60 seconds someone in the U.S. tries to commit suicide. Every 13 minutes, one of them succeeds. It’s tragic, and it’s preventable with treatment.

Please join Team UHealth, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in the annual Out of the Darkness Walk to raise money and awareness to help prevent suicide. The walk takes place on Sunday, October 11, from 10 a.m. to noon, beginning at the Stanford Rock on the Coral Gables campus.

Read more about the Out of the Darkness Walk »

Run 4-LIFE to Benefit Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation

The Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency at the Miller School of Medicine will hold Run 4-LIFE on Sunday, October 11 to benefit organ, eye and tissue donation education efforts. The 5K run/walk will start at 7:30 a.m. at Charnow Park, 300 Connecticut Street, Hollywood, Florida, following a 3.1-mile course along the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk and back to the park.

To register, view the course, or for more information visit Run 4-Life 2015.

Miami Valves 2015 Conference October 29-31

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Division of Continuing Medical Education will host Miami Valves 2015 from Thursday, October 29, to Saturday, October 31. The conference will be held at The Alexander Resort on Miami Beach, 5225 Collins Avenue. A maximum of 19.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits and Nursing Credits will be offered.

Organized by Eduardo de Marchena, M.D., professor of medicine and surgery and Associate Dean for International Medicine, the conference will showcase the latest in transcatheter valve replacement. As part of the natural progression of the Masters in Repair of Structural Heart Disease Conference, which has a long history of excellence, Miami Valves is expected to draw hundreds of scientists and clinicians in the field.

Read more about Miami Valves 2015 »

Synergy 2015 Early Registration Extended

The Synergy 2015 conference will take place from November 5-8 at the Eden Roc Hotel Miami Beach. Early registration to receive the best pricing has been extended to October 30.

This annual symposium offers attendees a review of a variety of oncological diseases combined with the latest developments in medical, interventional and surgical therapeutic options across multiple disciplines.

Read more about Synergy 2015 »

Miami Neonatology 2015 Open for Registration

Miami Neonatology 2015 will be held November 11-14 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The conference strives to provide medical professionals with comprehensive knowledge of the leading trends and best practices in neonatology. Presentations will highlight the most current concepts in the pathogenesis, management and prevention of problems in the newborn infant.

Miami Neonatology 2015 will provide attendees with an extensive educational program featuring new developments in treating conditions that are causally associated with morbidity and mortality in the neonate. Participants will understand the importance of the preventive approach in minimizing medical complications and optimizing developmental outcome.

Read more about the conference »

Register for Dermatology 2015 – November 21-22

The Dermatology 2015 conference will take place November 21-22 at The Alexander Hotel on Miami Beach. Those interested in attending should register before October 23 to receive early bird registration pricing.

This certified CME course will review the current methods available to diagnose skin cancers as well as potential diagnostic tools. In addition, the course will offer a comprehensive review on some of these technologies, dermoscopy and confocal scanning laser microscopy. Faculty will illustrate with didactic lectures, case studies and a workshop with hands-on practice in reading diagnostic images of selected cases.

Read more about Dermatology 2015 »

2016 Winter Symposium, January 24-27

The University of Miami’s 2016 Miami Winter Symposium will be held January 24-27 at the Hyatt Regency Miami. This year’s theme is “Inflammation: Causes, Prevention and Cures.” The annual event highlights advances in science discovery and brings together hundreds of scientists from the academic and industrial worlds.

Renowned scientists from institutions across the U.S., U.K., Switzerland, Israel and other countries will be featured. While registration fee waivers have been exhausted, discounts are available for Miller School of Medicine faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. A limited number of session passes are available for purchase.

Read more about the Miami Winter Symposium »

MyUHealthChart Patient Sign-up Campaign Continues through September 30

MyUHealthChart is much more than an electronic medical record (EMR) system. It’s an innovative way to improve the lives of our patients. MyUHealthChart offers patients access to their medical records, lab tests and imaging results, and lets them manage their appointments, order prescription refills and connect with their doctors via private messaging.

In order to continue improving our patients’ experiences, the University is sponsoring an incentive campaign for Patient Access and UHealthConnect employees so that we can sign patients up to access their medical information easily through MyUHealthChart.

Read more about the campaign »