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

Up Front

This unique CBD and NMDA antagonist compound will impact the CB2 and NMDA cell receptors (pictured), reversing the effects of concussion through a reduction of immune response, decreasing brain inflammation.

This unique CBD and NMDA antagonist compound will impact the CB2 and NMDA cell receptors (pictured), reversing the effects of concussion through a reduction of immune response, decreasing brain inflammation.

Could a Pill Treat Concussion?

UM Research Funded by $16 Million Grant Hopes to Provide First Real Treatment Option

The goal of finding a treatment for concussion may be one step closer due to a new study being launched by University of Miami researchers. As part of a $16 million research grant from Scythian Biosciences, researchers at the University’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and Miller School of Medicine will begin studying whether a simple pill could someday be a solution to the growing concussion epidemic.

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from neurology, neurological surgery and otolaryngology will embark on this five-year study to address the effects of combining CBD (a cannabinoid derivative of hemp), and an NMDA antagonist for the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion. Researchers believe the combination could reduce post-injury brain cell inflammation, headache, pain and other symptoms associated with concussion.

Read more about the research project »

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From left, Bruce Kirsch with Eduardo J. de Marchena, M.D.

From left, Bruce Kirsch with Eduardo J. de Marchena, M.D.

Cardiologists Seek Low-Risk Subjects for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Trials

A team of cardiology researchers led by Eduardo J. de Marchena, M.D., professor of medicine and surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is seeking low-risk subjects for the next phase of an ongoing series of trials comparing the outcomes of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) versus conventional open-heart surgery. In prior trials with high-risk and intermediate-risk patients, TAVR produced equivalent or superior patient outcomes.

TAVR surgery involves the placement of a medical device into the damaged heart valve using a catheter inserted into an artery in the groin or leg. The interventional cardiologist then implants the device, which takes over the task of pumping blood through the valve.

Read more about the TAVR procedure »

Lee Kaplan, M.D.

Lee Kaplan, M.D.

Lennar Foundation Medical Center to Offer Winning New Approach to Sports Medicine

The University of Miami Health System Sports Medicine Institute will bring all of its advanced specialists and the full range of diagnosis and treatment to The Lennar Foundation Medical Center when it opens in December. UM athletes, weekend warriors, professional athletes and everyone else with an injury will be seen in the spectacular new center on the Coral Gables campus.

What sets this sports medicine institute — and all of the Lennar center — apart will be its multidisciplinary approach, a new clinical delivery model that can truly only be supported by an academic medical system, said Ben Riestra, Chief Administrative Officer of the Lennar center.

Read more about sports medicine at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center »

Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

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Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

Researchers Develop Procedure for Standardized Pancreatic Islet Cell Production at Multiple Sites

The Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, in a collaborative study with seven other institutions around the world, has demonstrated the feasibility of large-scale production of pancreatic islet cells by multiple manufacturing sites using a standardized process.

Their report, “NIH-sponsored Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium Phase 3 Trial: Manufacture of a Complex Cellular Product at Eight Processing Facilities,” was published as the cover story in the November issue of Diabetes. DRI Director Camillo Ricordi, M.D., was first author of the article. A high-definition photograph of purified human islets used for transplantation in subjects with the most severe forms of diabetes was selected as the cover image of the prestigious journal.

Read more about the study results »

Mehdi Mirsaeidi, M.D., M.P.H.

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Mehdi Mirsaeidi, M.D., M.P.H.

Researchers Document Links between Climate Change and Outbreaks of Respiratory Illnesses

Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have conducted an historical study of the relationship between climate change and outbreaks of respiratory illnesses worldwide. Their documented findings indicate a strong, parallel relationship between the two events.

Mehdi Mirsaeidi, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of medicine and Director of the Sarcoidosis Program, and his collaborators tracked average monthly temperatures from 1800 through 2015, and infectious respiratory disease outbreaks from 2003 through 2015, overlaid with carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere during that same period. Their findings were published in an article, “Climate Change and Respiratory Infections,” in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Read more about the report »

From left, Bart Roep, M.D., Ph.D., Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., MACP, Alberto Pugliese, M.D., President Julio Frenk, Joshua Rednik and Valentina Pugliese (seated).

From left, Bart Roep, M.D., Ph.D., Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., MACP, Alberto Pugliese, M.D., President Julio Frenk, Joshua Rednik and Valentina Pugliese (seated).

Dr. Alberto Pugliese Celebrated as Inaugural Holder of the Dodson Chair in Diabetes Research

After watching her two brothers struggle with the devastating effects of diabetes, and after losing part of her own lung to cancer, Eugenia J. Dodson became determined to make a difference in the fight against both diseases. To that end, she made a multimillion-dollar donation to support cancer and diabetes research.

On October 13, a major part of her commitment was realized when Alberto Pugliese, M.D., a world-renowned researcher in diabetes and immunogenetics at the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was presented with the J. Enloe and Eugenia J. Dodson Chair in Diabetes Research. Pugliese, professor of medicine, and microbiology and immunology, and Deputy Director for Immune Tolerance Research at the DRI, was installed as the first holder of the chair before University of Miami and Miller School leadership, family and friends.

Read more about Dr. Pugliese's chair »

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

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

Dr. Ralph Sacco Receives 2016 World Stroke Organization Award

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Chairman of Neurology and Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders at the Miller School of Medicine, was recently honored with the World Stroke Organization’s President’s 2016 Award for Global Stroke Leadership. The prestigious award was presented on Thursday, October 27, at the WSO’s 10th World Stroke Congress in Hyderabad, India.

“I am extremely honored,” said Sacco, who is President-elect of the American Academy of Neurology, the world’s largest professional association of neurologists. “It’s an even greater honor to be recognized with fellow stroke experts who have made incredible strides to treat and prevent strokes around the world.”

Read more about Dr. Sacco's award »

Seth J. Schwartz, Ph.D.

Seth J. Schwartz, Ph.D.

Dr. Seth J. Schwartz’s New Book Inspires Others to Face Their Fears

Seth J. Schwartz, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, wanted to help people deal with fundamental challenges, as he has dealt with a speech impediment for most of his life, so he decided to write a book. In Reaching for Resilience: Developing Empowerment through Adversity, Schwartz urges readers to “face your fear” and beat it.

“For years I was ashamed and wanted to hide the fact that I had a speech impediment,” said Schwartz, who has struggled with a stuttering problem since he was 7 years old. “At a certain point I said, I’ve given talks all over the world and nobody has made it a big issue. I have a wonderful wife, and it didn’t bother her. My kids are not bothered by it. I stopped trying to hide it because I realized it was a losing battle.

Read more about Dr. Schwartz's book »

Nestor de la Cruz-Muñoz, M.D.

Nestor de la Cruz-Muñoz, M.D.

UM Hospital’s Bariatric Surgery Program Recognized Among Top 5 Percent by Healthgrades

The bariatric surgery program at University of Miami Hospital has received its sixth consecutive Healthgrades Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award™ and was honored for superior performance. The flagship hospital of UHealth – University of Miami Health System, UMH is the only hospital in Miami-Dade County to receive this top honor, as well as five stars for bariatric surgery for six consecutive years. Since 2012, UMH has also been recognized among the top 10 percent of hospitals evaluated for bariatric surgery nationally.

“Our number one goal at UHealth Bariatric Specialists is to provide the best possible and safest bariatric program possible,” said Nestor de la Cruz-Muñoz, M.D., Chief of the Division of Laparoendoscopic and Bariatric Surgery at UHealth and associate professor of clinical surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “We are extremely pleased to be honored by Healthgrades for the sixth year in a row with their Excellence Award. It means that we are succeeding in our goal to offer patients the safest possible experience, year after year.”

Read more about the Healthgrades report »

University of Miami and Heat Biologics Announce Zika Vaccine Collaboration

The University of Miami has entered into an agreement with Heat Biologics, Inc., the leader in the development of gp96-based immunotherapies that activate a patient’s immune system to fight cancer, to license and develop a portfolio of patents leveraging the gp96 platform to target the Zika virus and other infectious diseases. Heat has formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Zolovax, Inc., to focus on the development of gp96-based vaccines targeting Zika, HIV, West Nile, dengue and yellow fever.

The Zika program will be developed at the Miller School of Medicine under the direction of Natasa Strbo, M.D., D.Sc., research assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, who is focused on researching the immune system’s interaction with the placenta. Strbo is also a co-developer of Heat’s gp96 platform and has spent many years advancing the platform as a vaccine against malaria and HIV.

Read more about the Zika vaccine collaboration »

Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills shakes Justin Matias' hand after presenting him with a personalized team jersey.

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Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills shakes Justin Matias' hand after presenting him with a personalized team jersey.

ENT Patient Dubbed Rookie of the Y(ear)

When 6-year-old Justin Matias left the hearing exam room at University of Miami Health System, he got the shock of a lifetime. Having just been fitted with his first pair of hearing aids — his first comment was, “This is awesome! I can hear better!” — he was surprised by family and friends as well as players, alumni and cheerleaders from his favorite team, the Miami Dolphins. Wide receiver Kenny Stills knelt to the floor and presented Justin with his first official personalized Dolphins jersey. He was then swept up into the celebration as family and friends cheered, doctors clapped and flashbulbs lit the room.

Justin first came to the Children’s Hearing Program at the University of Miami Health System after being referred for a suspected hearing loss that was caught by a school hearing evaluation. Pediatric audiologist Chrisanda Sanchez, Au.D., welcomed her new patient and confirmed that Justin did have significant hearing loss and would need hearing aids. But what she quickly also recognized was Justin’s fear of losing out on the one thing he loved most — football.

Read more about Justin and the Dolphins »

Luis E. Vazquez, M.D., Ph.D.

Luis E. Vazquez, M.D., Ph.D.

Bascom Palmer’s Dr. Luis E. Vazquez Named Emerging Vision Scientist

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Luis E. Vazquez, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology, was named a 2016 Emerging Vision Scientist by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research for his innovative glaucoma research.

Vazquez was one of 22 young scientists from across the United States selected to participate in the second annual Emerging Vision Scientists Day, hosted by the Alliance’s Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiative on September 14-15.

Read more about Dr. Vazquez's recognition »

From left, Rene Barro-Soria, Ph.D., Catherine Garcia Serje, M.S., Derek Dykxhoorn, Ph.D., H. Peter Larsson, Ph.D., Marta Perez-Rodriguez, M.S., and Michael Paonessa.

From left, Rene Barro-Soria, Ph.D., Catherine Garcia Serje, M.S., Derek Dykxhoorn, Ph.D., H. Peter Larsson, Ph.D., Marta Perez-Rodriguez, M.S., and Michael Paonessa.

$2.2 Million Grant to Fund Drug Development for Cardiac Arrhythmia and Sudden Cardiac Death

H. Peter Larsson, Ph.D., professor of physiology and biophysics, and Derek Dykxhoorn, Ph.D., associate professor in the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, have been awarded a $2.2 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to develop drugs to prevent cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death.

Mutations that decrease the activity of certain proteins in the heart, called voltage-gated potassium channels, cause Long QT Syndrome, which predisposes people to cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. Currently, there is no FDA-approved drug to restore the function of mutated potassium channels that cause Long QT Syndrome. Patients who display cardiac arrhythmia are prescribed beta blockers and have a cardioverter defibrillator implanted to restore proper beating of the heart and prevent sudden cardiac death.

Read more about the drug development grant »

From left, Nadia Cheri Abouhana, Osamoje Imoohi and Marzhan Kumarovna Rakhimzhanova.

From left, Nadia Cheri Abouhana, Osamoje Imoohi and Marzhan Kumarovna Rakhimzhanova.

Public Health Sciences Students Broaden Their Horizons in Israel

Exposure to international field experiences is one reason why students enroll in the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences. Three of its students recently returned to Miami after spending three months in Israel as Miami Israel Science and Health (MISH) Fellows.

“The MISH experience is an opportunity to integrate ourselves in a completely different culture,” said Osamoje Imoohi, a student in the M.P.H. program. “It gives us the chance to heighten our awareness of global matters and lays the path towards ‘global citizenry.’”

Read more about the MISH Fellowship »

Sonjia Kenya, Ed.D., M.S., M.A.

Sonjia Kenya, Ed.D., M.S., M.A.

Elton John AIDS Foundation Funds Miller School Project to Increase HIV Testing in South Florida

Sonjia Kenya, Ed.D., M.S., M.A., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine in the Department of Medicine, has been awarded $200,000 by the Elton John AIDS Foundation to increase HIV testing of black immigrants in South Florida. Kenya proposes to adapt and implement a promising strategy to increase HIV testing rates among blacks in South Florida, a community with one of highest rates of HIV infection in the U.S.

One in three black residents in Miami is an immigrant, with Haitians and Jamaicans representing the majority of all black immigrants in Miami. Though cultural and linguistic norms among African Americans and black immigrants are often quite distinct, most HIV/AIDS disparities research in the U.S. has targeted African Americans.

Read more about Dr. Kenya's grant »

Maria T. Abreu, M.D.

Maria T. Abreu, M.D.

Dr. Maria T. Abreu Receives Minority Digestive Health Award

Maria T. Abreu, M.D., professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, and Chief of the Gastroenterology Division, has been named the 2016 recipient of the American College of Gastroenterology’s Minority Digestive Health Care Award. The award recognizes physicians who have improved the digestive health of minorities and other underserved populations in the United States through their research or clinical practices.

Abreu’s research focuses on the rising incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in immigrants to the United States from Latin America and in Hispanic-Americans. She was most recently awarded an NIH grant to study the genetic basis of IBD in Hispanics. As a native Spanish speaker, Abreu regularly lectures on the topic of IBD in Latin America and hosts Latin American physicians in mentoring programs. She is also dedicated to encouraging interest in gastroenterology in minority students by hosting them in her laboratory and providing them with tools for success.

Read more about Dr. Abreu's award »

Department of Neurology Hosts 2016 Bugher Center of Excellence in Stroke Meeting

The Miller School of Medicine Department of Neurology’s American Stroke Association-Bugher Center of Excellence in Stroke Collaborative Research hosted the 2016 Annual Bugher Center of Excellence Meeting October 20 and 21. The event celebrated the center’s third year of funding from the Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation.

Participating in the meeting were collaborators from the University of California, Los Angeles and University of Colorado at Denver. Each presented updates on ongoing projects and center collaborative research toward regeneration, resilience and secondary prevention of stroke, the second leading cause of death worldwide.

Read more about the Bugher Center »

Michal Toborek, M.D., Ph.D., left, receiving the doctor honoris causa degree from Adam Zajac, President of the Academy of Physical Education.

Michal Toborek, M.D., Ph.D., left, receiving the doctor honoris causa degree from Adam Zajac, President of the Academy of Physical Education.

Dr. Michal Toborek Receives Honorary Degree from Polish Academy

Michal Toborek, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Vice Chair for Research, received an honorary degree of doctor honoris causa from the Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Poland, on October 7.

The degree was awarded by the Senate of the Academy of Physical Education in recognition of Toborek’s scientific achievements, with emphasis on research related to impact of exercise, his service and activities in promoting international research collaboration, and his long-term collaboration with the Academy of Physical Education.

Read more about Dr. Toborek's honorary degree »

From left, Jonathan R. Wolpaw, M.D., W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., Ozcan Ozdamar, Ph.D., and Daniel S. Rizzuto, Ph.D.

From left, Jonathan R. Wolpaw, M.D., W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., Ozcan Ozdamar, Ph.D., and Daniel S. Rizzuto, Ph.D.

University of Miami Hosts First Neural Engineering Symposium

The University of Miami hosted its first Neural Engineering Symposium on October 13 to promote collaborations among research, educational, and industry programs for this rapidly growing discipline. Ozcan Ozdamar, Ph.D., professor and chair of the College of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, and W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., Scientific Director of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery, Senior Associate Dean for Discovery Science, and professor of neurological surgery, neurology and cell biology, served as co-directors of the symposium, which was organized by the Department of Biomedical Engineering and The Miami Project with support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

More than 100 attendees from various departments and schools participated in the one-day event, held in the Lois Pope LIFE Center. Researchers discussed more than 50 posters, and a number of invited speakers from the University of Miami, University of Pittsburgh, University of Central Florida, University of Florida and Florida International University presented their most recent work.

Read more about the symposium »

From left, Roderick King, M.D., M.P.H., Alberto Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H, and Steven G. Ullmann, Ph.D.

From left, Roderick King, M.D., M.P.H., Alberto Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H, and Steven G. Ullmann, Ph.D.

UM and de Beaumont Foundation Launch Business Certificate Program for Public Health Workforce

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, the University of Miami School of Business Administration, and the de Beaumont Foundation have announced the establishment of a unique certificate program aimed at training public health professionals in business fundamentals and skills.

A 2015 study using the results of the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS) prompted the development of the program. Study findings published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice revealed that just under half of the 10,246 members of the public health workforce reported proficiency in budget skills. Those skills and others are significantly associated with increased yearly compensation.

Read more about the business certificate program »

Kendal Harr, D.V.M., M.S.

Kendal Harr, D.V.M., M.S.

Veterinary Pathologist to Speak on Oil Spill Health Implications Thursday

Do you know it is likely that more 100,000 turtles and 50,000 birds were killed following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010? It is also estimated that it will take 39 years for the dolphin population to recover due to exposure to the oil. Furthermore, oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon disaster affect the entire ecosystem, including people.

You can hear about it from an expert, Kendal Harr, D.V.M., M.S., a veterinary clinical pathologist, when she speaks at the Miller School of Medicine two days from now. Harr will be the guest speaker for the Department of Pathology Grand Rounds on Thursday, November 3, from noon to 1 p.m., at the Lois Pope LIFE Center 7th floor auditorium. She will present “Oiled Wildlife: The Bigger OneHealth Picture,” an overview of the impressive data that was gathered during the Natural Resources Damage Assessment after the Deepwater Horizon event. For more information, contact Carolyn Cray, Ph.D., professor of clinical pathology, and microbiology and immunology, at ccray@miami.edu.

Preventing Workplace Violence Seminar

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is offering a lunchtime seminar for those interested in understanding the source of workplace violence, and exploring ways in which violence may be prevented. A healthy workplace environment should always be free from the threat of violence. While there is no sure way of knowing when someone will resort to a violent act, there are frequently signs which indicate an individual is on the road to violence. Workforce members have an intrinsic responsibility to protect themselves and their fellow co-workers to contribute to a healthy work environment, free from harm or threat of violence. This seminar will help those wishing to sharpen their capacity to detect troubled workers and discuss options for accessing help. It will be facilitated by a UM FSAP employee assistance professional.

The seminar will be held on the Miller School campus on Wednesday, November 9, from noon to 1 p.m., at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, room 1301.

Read more about the workplace violence prevention seminar »

Open Enrollment Ends Today

Your annual opportunity to make changes to your ’Canes Total Rewards package ends today. Unless you log in to Workday and make changes by then, all current elections, with the exception of flexible spending account elections, will roll over to 2017. Visit the Open Enrollment website to learn more and download the 2017 ’Canes Total Rewards Guide.

Engagement Survey Underway

Faculty and staff have received an email invitation from Gallup to participate in the 2016 engagement survey. In just 10 minutes, employees can share their thoughts about the UM experience. Results will provide leadership with insight into the current workplace culture. All survey results will be maintained under strict confidentiality by Gallup. Analyses will be reported in summary form, and individual responses will never be shared. UM credentials will not be required to access the survey. For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, visit www.miami.edu/2016survey.

Business Plan Competition First Deadline is November 30

Do you have a great idea for a new business? The University of Miami School of Business Administration’s annual Business Plan Competition has more than $50,000 in prize money just waiting for great ideas. The competition is open to all UM students and alumni, but your first deadline is coming up soon; concept papers are due by November 30. For more details visit miami.edu/bplan or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Fine Art of Health Care Program Starts Up Again November 10

The Lowe Art Museum’s Fine Art of Health Care workshop series begins again on Thursday, November 10 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The purpose of the workshops is to teach students in all UM health care programs art observation techniques that will help them better interact with patients. Participation in the workshops includes free entry into the Lowe After Hours event, normally a $10 charge. There will be food, drink, music and an art activity. For more information or registration, contact Hope Torrents at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 305-284-8049.

Share Your Thoughts about Religious and Spiritual Diversity

The Culture Transformation Project team is sponsoring a series of focus groups for employees to share ideas about religious and spiritual diversity in the workplace. These lunchtime focus groups will be held at the Gables, RSMAS, and Medical campuses (lunch will be provided). Employees from the same unit will be scheduled in separate focus group sessions. All focus group sessions will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Medical campus sessions are listed below:

• November 15 – Mailman Center, Room 3023

• December 9 – Mailman Center, Room 3023

Read more about the focus groups »

Fee Waiver Deadline for Miami Winter Symposium is November 7

A fee waiver is immediately available to any eligible applicant who will be presenting a poster at the 50th annual Miami Winter Symposium, to be held January 22-25, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. The theme is “Diabetes: Today’s Research – Tomorrow’s Therapies.” The deadline for poster submissions is Monday, November 7. One waiver is provided per poster. Those not presenting a poster should also apply ASAP. They will be placed on a waiting list, in order of application, that will open after November 7. For more information and to apply via the University of Miami portal, visit www.miamiwintersymposium.com.

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 »

*** 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.