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

Up Front

Steven M. Altschuler, M.D.

Steven M. Altschuler, M.D.

Dr. Steven M. Altschuler Named UM Senior Vice President of Health Affairs and CEO of UHealth

Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., a renowned physician and health care administrator who served as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and The Children’s Hospital Foundation for the past 15 years, has been named senior vice president of health affairs at the University of Miami and chief executive officer of UHealth-University of Miami Health System.

In his new position, Altschuler will be responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the University’s clinical delivery system, which includes the University’s hospitals, faculty practice plan, and clinics. He will report directly to UM President Julio Frenk and also fulfill an advising role to the executive vice president and provost of the University, the senior vice president of business and finance and chief financial officer of the University, and the Board of Trustees in order to provide strategic leadership to align clinical and research investments.

Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., founder of UHealth and dean since 2006, will continue to serve as the head of the school, providing academic leadership to its educational and research missions.

Read more about Dr. Altschuler's appointment »

More News

From left, Board members Lawrence Feldman, Ph.D., and Lubby Navarro, Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman, Marta Pérez Wurtz, Ph.D., J.D., Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, Romulo M. Cuy, M.D., Board member Raquel Regalado and Board Vice Chair Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall.

From left, Board members Lawrence Feldman, Ph.D., and Lubby Navarro, Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman, Marta Pérez Wurtz, Ph.D., J.D., Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, Romulo M. Cuy, M.D., Board member Raquel Regalado and Board Vice Chair Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall.

Miami-Dade School Board Recognizes Dr. Omaida C. Velazquez for Her Career Achievements

The Miami-Dade School Board on November 18 issued a proclamation recognizing Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., David Kimmelman Endowed Chair in Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, and Chair of the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, for her career achievements.

The proclamation was presented by Marta Pérez Wurtz, Ph.D., J.D., the board member from District 8. The School Board’s official announcement said:

“The Miami-Dade School Board today recognized the achievements of renowned physician and vascular surgeon, Dr. Omaida C. Velazquez, who is the first Hispanic woman to chair a department of surgery at a major medical institution.”

Read more about Dr. Velazquez's proclamation »

A tree bearing the American flag is hoisted to the uppermost section of The Lennar Foundation Medical Center for the “topping off” ceremony.

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A tree bearing the American flag is hoisted to the uppermost section of The Lennar Foundation Medical Center for the “topping off” ceremony.

UHealth at Coral Gables Marks Milestone: ‘Topping Off’ The Lennar Foundation Medical Center

Eleven months after The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, future home of UHealth at Coral Gables, broke ground on the University of Miami’s Gables campus, construction on the 200,000-square-foot facility came to a stop — but only briefly. The occasion was to observe the traditional “topping off” ceremony, held when the uppermost portion of a building is put into place.

On Friday, November 20, the large crane at the site of the five-story building hoisted a small pine tree and American flag up to the rooftop, “topping off” what will be the first presence of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System on the Coral Gables campus.

Read more about the “topping off” ceremony »

From left, Nagi Ayad, Ph.D., Bryce Allen, Saurabh Mehta, Ph.D., and Stephan C. Schürer, Ph.D

From left, Nagi Ayad, Ph.D., Bryce Allen, Saurabh Mehta, Ph.D., and Stephan C. Schürer, Ph.D

Sylvester Researchers Use Powerful Screening Tools to Identify New Cancer-Inhibiting Compound

Using “big data” sets and powerful computational screening tools, researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have identified a compound that inhibits two different cellular targets in cancer. In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, the researchers described the importance of finding the first-in-class dual inhibitor of the kinase protein EGFR, found in many cancers, and BRD4, a protein that controls the expression of oncogenes, or cancer-promoting proteins.

“The development of multi-target drugs may be a promising strategy to overcome tumor resistance and prolong the therapeutic benefits for patients,” said co-author Nagi Ayad, Ph.D., a member of the Cancer Epigenetics Program at Sylvester and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Miller School. “Inhibition of cancer-promoting kinases is an established therapeutic strategy, and targeting cancer-promoting pathways, such as BRD4, one of the bromo and extra-terminal (BET) proteins, also shows promise.” His research is supported by NIH grant R01NS067289.

Read more about the research »

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., left, with E. Robert Schwartz, M.D.

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Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., left, with E. Robert Schwartz, M.D.

Celebration Marks 50 Years of Family Medicine

Fifty years of medical achievements and memories were celebrated recently, as the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health marked a milestone.

More than 100 people gathered at the Life Science and Technology Park on November 12 to mark five decades since the department became the first academic family medicine department in the United States.

Read more about the department's half-century celebration »

From left, David Zambrana, D.P.N., M.B.A., RN, Sebastian the Ibis, Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A.

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From left, David Zambrana, D.P.N., M.B.A., RN, Sebastian the Ibis, Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A.

UHealth Steps it Up for Miami-Dade Heart Walk

Wearing bright orange shirts emblazoned with the “U,” hundreds of people from UHealth – the University of Miami Health System showed their support for fighting heart disease in our community. More than 600 signed up to be part of Team UHealth and take part in the annual three-mile walk/run hosted by the Miami-Dade County chapter of the American Heart and Stroke Association (AHSA) at Museum Park in downtown Miami on Sunday, November 22.

The weather cooperated long enough for the participants to learn more about the importance of a healthy lifestyle that includes no smoking, healthy eating and regular exercise. Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in men and women in the nation, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

Read more about the Heart Walk »

Julio C. Barredo, M.D., with a small patient.

Julio C. Barredo, M.D., with a small patient.

DCC Funds at Work: Sylvester Researcher Making Progress against Childhood Leukemia

Why do some children with leukemia respond well to treatment while others do not? Noted cancer researcher Julio C. Barredo, M.D., professor and Toppel Family Chair in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, is making progress in finding an answer to that life-and-death question.

“Today, we can cure more than 80 percent of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia,” says Barredo. “By studying why treatments fail and why some patients relapse, our goal is to find strategies to save their lives.”

Read more about Dr. Barredo's research »

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, left, with Daniel Pelaez, Ph.D.

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, left, with Daniel Pelaez, Ph.D.

Bascom Palmer’s Dr. Daniel Pelaez Named Emerging Vision Scientist

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Daniel Pelaez, Ph.D., research assistant professor of ophthalmology, was named a 2015 Emerging Vision Scientist by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR/AEVR) for his novel work on stem cells and retinal regeneration.

Pelaez was one of 21 scientists selected from across the United States for the inaugural class of emerging vision researchers. During the NAEVR two-day Decade of Vision 2010-2020 event held in Washington D.C., he and other scientists presented their innovative work to members of Congress and their staffs at a reception held in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

Read more about Dr. Pelaez »

Mark Nash, Ph.D.

Mark Nash, Ph.D.

Grant Funds Study of Injuries to Caregivers of SCI/D Patients

Mark Nash, Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery, and physical medicine and rehabilitation at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, has been awarded a four-year $2.5 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research to study interventions for functional decline and secondary medical complications sustained by caregivers of people with spinal cord injuries and diseases (SCI/D).

“While clinicians and researchers often focus on the person with SCI/D, the caregiver can be left entirely out of the care plan, even as the health and functional reserve of the care recipient undergoes inevitable aging-related decline, and the reserve of the caregiver to satisfy essential daily needs of the care recipient is exceeded,” said Nash. “It’s thus not surprising that pain, anxiety and depression among caregivers of people with SCI/D are disturbingly prevalent, and worsening.”

Read more about the research grant »

David Seo, M.D.

David Seo, M.D.

UHealth Honored by HIMSS Analytics with Stage 6 Recognition

UHealth – the University of Miami Health System has been recognized by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for reaching Stage 6 on the Ambulatory Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (A-EMRAM). EMRAM is a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for ambulatory facilities in the HIMSS Analytics database.

“Stage 6 recognition is a distinct honor which recognizes our organization’s implementation of technology solutions that have the ability to improve patient safety, quality, and continuity of care across the care spectrum,” said David Seo, M.D., Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Chief Research Information Officer, and Associate Vice President for Clinical Applications, UMIT.

Read more about the recognition of UHealth »

From left, UMIT Enterprise Imaging Team members Shawn Clark, Dawn Cram and Rick Stratton.

From left, UMIT Enterprise Imaging Team members Shawn Clark, Dawn Cram and Rick Stratton.

UMIT Honored for Advancing Medical Imaging

The University of Miami Information Technology’s (UMIT) Enterprise Imaging Team recently won Merge HealthCare’s 2015 Visionary Award for the Acute Care Market for their work on UImaging, an industry-changing enterprise image archive and viewing solution.

“UImaging is a unique solution which goes beyond what is currently available in the industry. It facilitates the efficient and effective archiving and distribution of any medical image, regardless of its format or originating system,” said Dawn Cram, enterprise imaging manager. “This means we are able to store and archive any type of medical image, and that any provider, anywhere in the world, can be granted access to view it within our system.”

Read more about UMIT's award »

Karen Scanlon Henry, ARNP, AOCNP.

Karen Scanlon Henry, ARNP, AOCNP.

DIRECCT Talk: Nurse’s Compassion Guides Patients on Their Cancer Journey

As a hematology-oncology nurse at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at Kendall, Karen Scanlon Henry, ARNP, AOCNP, touches people’s lives every day.

“It is very rewarding for me to be able to help patients at one of the most vulnerable points of their lives, and guide them and their family members through their cancer journey,” she said.

In her daily work, Henry focuses on the University of Miami Common Values of excellence, compassion and teamwork.

Read more about Karen Scanlon Henry »

A Holiday Safety Reminder

As the holidays approach, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety wants to remind the University community of some decorating “dos and don’ts”:

Do use UL-listed decorative lights, decorations and ornaments. Do use artificial holiday trees that are fire-resistant and place indoor trees away from traffic; do not block doorways. Do unplug all holiday lights when you leave the office for the day. Do remove all decorations, displays, lights and/or ornaments after the holiday event.

Read more about holiday decorating safety tips »

Sexual Assault Resource Team Seeks Volunteers

The UM Counseling Center’s Sexual Assault Resource Team (SART) is seeking dedicated, warm and empathic faculty, staff and graduate student volunteers from the medical campus to serve as advocates during the 2016 calendar year.

SART is often the first line of response for UM students who have been sexually assaulted, molested or battered, and has supported sexual assault survivors and concerned others since 1992. As an advocate, you will provide hotline callers with much-needed emotional support, information, and referrals, in addition to help accessing resources when appropriate. You will receive comprehensive training in taking calls from students in a variety of sexual assault-related situations, orientation to UM’s varied resources for those who have been sexually victimized, and ongoing support from licensed mental health professionals at the Counseling Center.

Read more about the SART volunteer opportunities »

The Executive MBA for Health Care Professionals Program Starts January 8

There’s still time to apply to the Executive MBA for Health Care Professionals program offered by the School of Business Administration. Designed for working professionals in the health care industry, the program starts January 8 and meets once a month on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Applications are still being accepted and UM employees may be eligible for scholarships based on merit. To apply, please contact Priscilla Ferreira at 305-284-3981 or at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). More information is available here.

Week of Well-Being Wants You in 2016

Lectures, fitness classes, financial workshops and other activities focused on advancing the well-being of UM’s faculty and staff will return for the fourth annual Week of Well-Being, April 4-8. Faculty, staff, students and alumni will have a chance to share their knowledge and expertise by becoming presenters during the one-week event, held on the Coral Gables, Rosenstiel School and Miller School of Medicine campuses, as well as our many satellite locations.

Become part of UM’s annual Week of Well-Being by completing and submitting the Presenter Proposal Form by Friday, December 11. Selected participants will be notified in January. If you have any questions, please contact HR-Benefits at 305-284-3004.

Jazz Up Your Lunch Hour!

Jackson Memorial Hospital, in partnership with The Miami Foundation and the Miami Jazz Cooperative, is holding “Jazz at Jackson” lunchtime concerts every Thursday through April 2016. Jazz bands will perform live at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. in Alamo Park.

Sign Up Now for Holistic Holiday at Sea 2016

Sign up now for Holistic Holiday at Sea 2016 and earn CMEs/CEUs while you enjoy the world’s largest, most comprehensive health and wellness program ever held on a ship at sea. Produced by the University of Miami’s Integrative and Complementary Academic Medicine Programs (iCamp), Holistic Holiday at Sea takes place from February 27 to March 5, 2016, aboard the MSC Divina.

The CME/CEU program features renowned speakers who will cover evidence-based research and its applications in modern clinical medicine. Topics will include cardiovascular disease, cancer prevention, diabetes, the function of the retina, what current research says about GMO foods and our health, nutritional supplementation, the gut-brain axis, and much more. Of the 135 classes offered, up to 40.75 CEU hours and 37.75 CME hours are obtainable.

For more information on the Holistic Holiday at Sea CME/CEU Program, click here or call 305-243-4751. For more information on first booking your cruise, click here.

UM Business Plan Competition Opens — Entries Due by November 30

The annual University of Miami Business Plan Competition — sponsored by the School of Business Administration but open to all undergraduate and graduate students, and alumni — is now soliciting entries. The submission deadline for concept papers is November 30.

Miller School teams have won in the Graduate Student Category for the past two years. This year’s competition is offering more than $50,000 in prize money. Access is available to executive coaching and mentors.

For more information, visit miami.edu/bplan.

Early Deadline for Submissions

Please note that the submission deadline for the December 1 issue of MED is tomorrow, Wednesday, November 25, at noon. Any requests received after the deadline will be processed the following week. Happy Thanksgiving!