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

Up Front

Govindarajan Narayanan, M.D.

Govindarajan Narayanan, M.D.

University of Miami Creates Pioneering Department of Interventional Radiology

In an historic move, the University of Miami has created a Department of Interventional Radiology, demonstrating its leadership in this versatile therapy. The approval comes after nearly eight years of monumental growth in the field, both in research and clinical applications, at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and UHealth – the University of Miami Health System.

Govindarajan Narayanan, M.D., who has built the Division of Interventional Radiology at the Miller School for the past 11 years, has been named chairman of the inaugural department. A professor of interventional radiology, Narayanan has been a pioneer in the minimally invasive therapy and has led many of the specialized clinical applications in interventional radiology (IR) that are now offered to patients at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and UHealth.

Read more about the new department »

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In center, Rodrigo M. Vianna, M.D., Ph.D., with judging panel.

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In center, Rodrigo M. Vianna, M.D., Ph.D., with judging panel.

Dr. Rodrigo M. Vianna Achieves Perfect Scores in Evaluation for Prestigious Academic Designation

Following several months of preparation and two grueling days of evaluations by some of the world’s top medical academicians, Rodrigo M. Vianna, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery, Director of Transplant Services and Chief of Liver and GI Transplantation at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital, has been granted the prestigious Livre-Docência designation.

Vianna, who was evaluated by a panel of five reviewers on October 3 and 4 in the Department of Surgery at the University of São Paulo in his home country of Brazil, received a perfect score — a 10 from each reviewer for every portion of the evaluation. A 7 is considered good enough to pass; Vianna is believed to be the first surgeon in five decades to achieve a perfect score.

Read more about Dr. Vianna's evaluation »

Blood vessels infographic from cardiovascular system module.

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Blood vessels infographic from cardiovascular system module.

’Cane Academy ‘Flips the Classroom’ on Learning

Greater student-teacher interaction, self-paced learning and improved educational outcomes are among the benefits of the innovative ’Cane Academy program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, according to faculty members who have integrated new concepts into their courses.

“Medical education continues to evolve, and our ’Cane Academy is leading the way in leveraging new technologies and strategies to engage students with different learning styles,” said Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., Bernard J. Fogel Chair in Medical Education and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. “An alternative to the traditional lecture format, ’Cane Academy ‘flips the classroom’ with an interactive approach to learning and retaining new content that gives the faculty more time to be a coach and mentor.”

Read more about ’Cane Academy »

Miller School of Medicine, Schoninger Research Quadrangle

Miller School of Medicine, Schoninger Research Quadrangle

Miller School of Medicine Excels in Annual Fundraising Survey

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine made impressive gains in fundraising performance among medical schools, placing in the top 16 percent in the newest Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Development Survey.

After analyzing data from 129 public and private institutions for the 2015 fiscal year, the survey showed that the Miller School moved up four spots from 2014, ranking 21st with total private support of $116.5 million.

Read more about the fundraising survey »

The Miller School of Medicine Class of 2020.

The Miller School of Medicine Class of 2020.

Miller School’s First-Year Class is Most Diverse Ever

Diversity is the hallmark of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s first-year class of 2020.

“Our incoming ‘class with perfect vision’ is the most diverse in our school’s history,” said Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., Bernard J. Fogel Chair in Medical Education, Professor of Medicine, and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education.

The 198 first-year students, including 48 in the school’s M.D./M.P.H. program, are noteworthy for their racial, ethnic and gender diversity, said Mechaber.

Read more about the Class of 2020 »

Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.

Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.

NIH Leader to Speak at Miller School Today

Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will speak at Grand Rounds held jointly by the Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Public Health Sciences today, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Don Soffer Clinical Research Center, room 989.

The NCCIH is the leading federal agency for research on integrative and complementary health practices. Briggs’ presentation will be “Complementary and Integrative Medicine: Challenging Questions from Outside the Mainstream.”

Read more about the NIH leader's presentation »

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.

Researchers Develop Highly Accurate Technique for Predicting Effect of Antidepressants

An international team of researchers that included an investigator from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has developed a technique that will predict with 80 percent accuracy whether antidepressants will help patients recover from depression. Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and researchers from four other institutions in the U.S. and Australia used brain scans combined with a personal history of any early life trauma, such as abuse or neglect, to evaluate the impact of antidepressants on 80 study participants who had been diagnosed with depression. Their findings were published October 10 in an article, “Human amygdala engagement moderated by early life stress exposure is a biobehavioral target for predicting recovery on antidepressants,” in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

Read more about the research findings »

Gordon Center and Bascom Palmer staffers discuss an emergency response training exercise.

Gordon Center and Bascom Palmer staffers discuss an emergency response training exercise.

Gordon Center Helps Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Lead the Way in Responding to Emergencies

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute/Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital is improving patient safety through ongoing staff training in responding to medical emergencies. With support from the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, Bascom Palmer has initiated the Rapid Response Team, First Five Minutes training, and critical event learning simulations.

“Training to respond to emergencies as an effective team is critical to ensuring best patient outcomes,” said Ivette Motola, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the Division of Prehospital and Emergency Healthcare, Assistant Director of the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, and Director of Simulation Education for the UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital emergency medicine residency. “The collaboration between Bascom Palmer and the Gordon Center has brought innovative, high-impact training to help health care providers be as prepared as possible for these types of situations.”

Read more about emergency response training »

From left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., and Spencer Eth, M.D.

From left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., and Spencer Eth, M.D.

Hundreds Walk Out of the Darkness for Suicide Prevention

Under cloudy skies and a steady drizzle, hundreds of people — men, women and children, young and old — participated in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Miami-Dade County “Out of the Darkness Walk” on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus Sunday, following a 5-kilometer trail to shed light on what Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, describes as “a war we are not winning.”

“With suicide being the only top ten cause of death in the United States that is not decreasing, it is imperative that we bring all possible and available tools at our disposal to achieve our goal of eliminating this clearly preventable cause of death,” said Nemeroff. “This includes research to identify risk factors, novel treatments and education of health care professionals and educators, as well as clergy.

Read more about the Out of the Darkness walk »

The blue dots show amyloid bodies within the cells.

The blue dots show amyloid bodies within the cells.

Researchers: Cancer Cells Have Alzheimer’s Disease, Too

A study published by researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine describes that certain proteins playing a role in cancer progression and metastasis are stored as amyloid bodies in dormant cancer cells. Once the amyloid bodies disaggregate, the cancer cells become active again. The findings were published in the journal Developmental Cell.

Amyloid bodies are known to play a role in the development of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease but their contributions to the progression of cancer have been largely unknown. This discovery points to a new avenue for the treatment of various types of cancers by applying knowledge we have gained from neuroscience to tumor biology.

Read more about amyloid bodies in cancer cells »

Daniel J. Feaster, Ph.D., center, at the Mailman School of Public Health with his collaborators.

Daniel J. Feaster, Ph.D., center, at the Mailman School of Public Health with his collaborators.

Researchers Receive $8.3 Million NIH Grant to Study HIV Testing Linkage to Care

Daniel J. Feaster, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences’ Division of Biostatistics, along with colleagues from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University, has been awarded an $8.3 million National Institutes of Health grant to test implementation strategies to improve the rates of HIV testing and linkage to care in 51 opioid treatment programs around the country.

The large multidisciplinary team — also led by Lisa Metsch, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia, and Jemima Frimpong, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins — recently held a kick-off meeting for the project in New York. The team will test practice coaching approaches to facilitate creating systems to support routine HIV testing in opioid treatment programs (OTPs).

Read more about the research grant »

From left, Diana D. Cardenas, M.D., M.H.A., Elizabeth R. Felix, Ph.D., and Mark S. Nash, Ph.D.

From left, Diana D. Cardenas, M.D., M.H.A., Elizabeth R. Felix, Ph.D., and Mark S. Nash, Ph.D.

Miller School Researchers Receive Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Grant

A team of Miller School researchers will be studying neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injuries after receiving a $2.4 million five-year grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

“Our goal is to combine clinical activities with research to make a difference in the lives of people with spinal cord injuries,” said Elizabeth Roy Felix, Ph.D., research associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, and research health scientist with the Miami VA Healthcare System.

Read more about the research grant »

Physical therapy students and faculty bring spirit to their work in the pro bono clinic.

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Physical therapy students and faculty bring spirit to their work in the pro bono clinic.

PT Doctoral Students Apply Lessons to Real World Needs at LAGO Clinic

The Miller School of Medicine’s dedication to community involvement is flourishing in the Department of Physical Therapy. The Local and Global Outreach clinic (LAGO) opened a year ago as a pro-bono clinic that offers physical therapy services to underserved patients in Miami-Dade County. The clinic uses physical therapy doctoral students to strategize operations and deliver clinical care — all supervised by the University of Miami’s expert team of physical therapy practitioners.

Teresa K. Glynn, D.P.T., M.B.A., Vice Chair for Clinical Services for the Department of Physical Therapy, is proud of the students and their hard work. She explained that the seeds for the clinic were planted in 2010, after PTs from the department became members of the team of early responders to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Because students were not able to participate in the relief efforts in Haiti, they were eager to create their own global outreach experience. So they began planning, and in 2014 went on a partnered mission trip to Costa Rica’s poorest communities — and LAGO was born.

Read more about the pro bono clinic »

Sylvester’s Hockey Fights Cancer Partnership with Florida Panthers Kicks Off with 5k Race

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Florida Panthers will officially kick off this year’s Hockey Fights Cancer partnership with the Viktor E. Dash 5k race on Saturday, October 22. The race will take place at 8 a.m. at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

Shortly after the start of the race, at 8:45 a.m., families can participate in the 1 Mile Family Fun Run. All 5k runners will receive a ticket to a Panthers game, a special Viktor E. Dash t-shirt, and a finisher’s medal.

Read more about Hockey Fights Cancer »

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Bascom Palmer’s Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital Recognized at Quality and Patient Safety Summit

The Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital of the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth was among 11 Florida hospitals recently recognized for improving patient safety at the Florida Hospital Association’s Hospital Engagement Network Quality and Patient Safety Summit for Achievements in Improving Patient Care.

The hospitals took part in the association’s Hospital Engagement Network program in which they prevented at least 5,283 instances of patient harm while saving $28.7 million in costs overall, according to the latest annual results released at the summit, held September 15-16 in Lake Mary. The program, part of the national Partnership for Patients initiative, is aimed at significantly improving health care quality nationally.

Read more about the quality and patient safety summit »

José Szapocznik, Ph.D.

José Szapocznik, Ph.D.

Marrying Health Care with Public Health Interventions

One of the University of Miami’s top public health researchers, José Szapocznik, Ph.D., recently spoke before more than 100 physicians and health care executives at the Sixth Annual Broad and Cassel Public Health Forum at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood.

There was a good reason why he was invited: A greater focus on public health concepts, especially prevention and service delivery re-engineering, is one way the Affordable Care Act seeks to reduce health care costs. Accountable Care Organizations and other groups now assume risk for patient care costs. “We are seeing a dramatic transformation in our country from ‘volume-based fee-for-services’ to ‘value-based reimbursement,’ which requires the whole range of the health care industry, from doctors to health systems, to re-engineer how care is delivered,” Szapocznik said.

Read more about the public health forum »

From left, top row, Eduardo Lopez, M.D., Karina Jordan, M.D., Opal Prevatt, M.D., and Cody Adkinson, M.D. From left, bottom row, Joan E. St. Onge, M.D., Lisa C. Martinez, M.D., and Stacy Rubin, M.D.

From left, top row, Eduardo Lopez, M.D., Karina Jordan, M.D., Opal Prevatt, M.D., and Cody Adkinson, M.D. From left, bottom row, Joan E. St. Onge, M.D., Lisa C. Martinez, M.D., and Stacy Rubin, M.D.

Dr. Lisa C. Martinez Named ‘Hispanic Woman of Distinction’

Lisa C. Martinez, M.D., a medical education leader at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been honored as a “Hispanic Woman of Distinction.” She was one of a dozen South Florida women to receive the recognition during the 15th anniversary celebration for Hispanic Women of Distinction, a Broward County nonprofit organization.

“Hispanic Women of Distinction does great things to support Latina women in our South Florida community, and it was an honor to be selected for this award,” said Martinez, who is assistant professor of clinical medicine and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Holy Cross Hospital, a partnership with the Miller School.

Read more about the Hispanic Women of Distinction program »

From left, Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D., Ashutosh Agarwal, Ph.D., Jae K. Lee, Ph.D., and Emmanuel Thomas, M.D., Ph.D.

From left, Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D., Ashutosh Agarwal, Ph.D., Jae K. Lee, Ph.D., and Emmanuel Thomas, M.D., Ph.D.

Request for Applications for Internal Competition to Attend Eureka Institute Certificate Program

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is requesting applications for an internal competition to sponsor up to four faculty to attend the Eureka Institute 9th International Certificate Program in Translational Medicine, April 23-29 in Siracusa, Italy.

Attendees of the program will analyze the business, scientific and regulatory aspects of translational science; develop communication skills for presenting complex scientific ideas; and analyze effective manuscript preparation and begin to apply the concepts to their own work.

Read more about the Eureka Institute »

Mailman Center Innovation and Connection Conference, October 26

The Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will host “Strategies for Promoting Positive Behavior in Children with Disabilities” on Wednesday, October 26, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

One of the most common concerns that professionals have is managing the behaviors of children they treat. This seminar will address practical strategies for engaging participation of caregivers and managing challenging behaviors in children with developmental disabilities.

Read more about the conference »

New FLSA Overtime Regulations Take Effect December 1

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor announced changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that will impact a number of University of Miami employees and their supervisors beginning December 1, 2016. View this short video to understand the new FLSA ruling and how it impacts UM.

The new ruling expands the number of employees eligible for overtime pay, when more than 40 hours are worked in a week. Affected employees will move from exempt (monthly-paid) to non-exempt (hourly-paid). Supervisors, along with their Human Resources partners, will begin communicating with employees affected by the changes during the week of October 24.

Read more about the new FLSA overtime regulations »

The Family Fest includes a kids’ bicycle ride.

The Family Fest includes a kids’ bicycle ride.

Kids Can #TackleCancer at Fall Family Fest

Kids and their families are invited to the Second Annual Fall Family Fest for family-friendly activities that are fun and help support cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Register to participate at one of two Family Fest Halloween-themed events — on the Coral Gables campus and at Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale — on Saturday, October 29, for a day of fun to support the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC). Proceeds go to the DCC, which has raised more than $16 million to advance lifesaving cancer research at Sylvester.

Read more about the Fall Family Fest »

Register Now for 2017 Miami Winter Symposium Career Fair

A career fair for Miller School of Medicine graduate and postdoctoral students will take place during the 50th Miami 2017 Winter Symposium, “Diabetes: Today’s Research Tomorrow’s Therapies,” which will be held January 22-25, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Miami.

The career fair, organized by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, is a forum for introducing Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. and postdoctoral students to representatives from life sciences academia, industry, consulting firms, clinical research, scientific journals, hospitals, and sales and regulatory agencies. It is scheduled for January 23 and 24, 2017, from noon to 3 p.m., also at the Hyatt Regency Miami.

Read more about the career fair »

Executive MBA for Health Care Professionals Class Begins January 6

The School of Business Administration’s next Executive MBA for Health Care Professionals class begins January 6, 2017. Contact Catherine Garrido at 305-284-3710 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

‘Smoke Out’ Exhibit Continues through November 25

Art MD, a nonprofit organization formed by colleagues from University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital to create health promotion campaigns through art, invites you to see “Smoke Out.” It will be on display at the Louis Calder Memorial Library through November 25.

“Smoke Out” is an art exhibit that focuses on tobacco cessation. All the art pieces presented in this exhibit seek to inspire the viewer in a different way to quit smoking. Some are made from recycled cigarette butts that have been collected from prior clean-up events. In a way, we are healing our environment by picking up cigarette butts contaminating our beaches and streets, and turning something ugly into something beautiful to give people the courage needed to quit a habit that damages their health.

Read more about the "Smoke Out" exhibit »

Medical Compliance Services - October Tips of the Month

Hospital Billing Compliance Tip

Observation

There must be medical necessity of observation services documented in the medical record. Observation is not to be used as a substitute for recovery room services. The need for observation care should be determined by the patient’s condition during the postoperative recovery period, not prior to surgery. General standing orders for observation services following all outpatient surgery are not recognized.

Read more about medical compliance services tips »

Remember These Decorating Tips for the Holidays

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 or prior to the University’s annual holiday closure.

Read more holiday decorating tips »

*** 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.