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

Up Front

Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D.

Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D.

UM Researchers Find U.S. Hispanics at High Risk for Heart Attack or Stroke in JAMA Study

A multicenter study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has found important differences in risk factors for heart attack and stroke among Hispanics of different origins living in the United States. According to the study of a large and diverse group of Hispanic adults conducted in Miami by UM researchers and by collaborators in three other U.S. cities, the risk is highest in men and older people who were born or have lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years, prefer to speak English, are lower income, or never finished high school.

“Before the study, most of what was known about the extent of heart attacks, strokes and risk factors in Hispanics came primarily from studies of Mexican-Americans, who are the largest group of Hispanics living in the U.S.,” said the Principal Investigator of the study’s Miami Field Center, Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D., the James L. Knight Professor of Psychology, who is also professor of medicine and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Miller School. “The findings reported in JAMA show that there are some important differences in risk factors among people from diverse Hispanic backgrounds.”

Read more about the study »

More News

Daniel Lichtstein, M.D.

Daniel Lichtstein, M.D.

Dr. Daniel M. Lichtstein Designated ‘Master’ by American College of Physicians

Daniel M. Lichtstein, M.D., professor of medicine and Regional Dean for Medical Education, has been elected to Mastership in the American College of Physicians for his role as a citizen physician, educational innovator, humanist, and teacher-learner who inspires those around him and sets high standards for the practice of internal medicine.

Bestowed on highly accomplished Fellows of the prestigious national organization of internists, Masterships are conferred on elite physicians who have distinguished themselves through clinical care, educational leadership or medical research and have made notable contributions to the field of medicine.

Read more about Dr. Lichtstein »

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., left, and Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., lead the 2012 Out of the Darkness walk on the Coral Gables campus.

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., left, and Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., lead the 2012 Out of the Darkness walk on the Coral Gables campus.

Miller School’s Team Iacino Leads Hundreds at Out of the Darkness Community Walk

Members of the Miller School’s Team Iacino joined nearly 1,400 other “beacons of light” for the Out of the Darkness Walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Sunday on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus. The Veterans Day walkers joined to remember friends, family members and colleagues they had lost, and to raise awareness of suicide and strengthen efforts to prevent it.

Someone attempts suicide every 40 seconds, said Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Miller School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a member of the national Board of Directors of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “There will be 35,000 to 40,000 suicides in the U.S. this year,” he said. “In the military, there are now more deaths by suicide than from combat.”

Read more about the walk »

Susan Estabrooks Hahn, M.S., C.G.C.

Susan Estabrooks Hahn, M.S., C.G.C.

Miller School Geneticist Named President-Elect of the American Board of Genetic Counseling

Susan Estabrooks Hahn, M.S., C.G.C., an instructor in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics at the Miller School, has been named President-elect of the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC).

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve my profession,” said Hahn. “While genetic counseling has always been a dynamic profession, the increasing and expanding utility of genetic information will continue to usher us into a new era that is not yet well defined. Never before has there been such an opportunity for genetic counselors to further expand their scope and impact on health care.”

The ABGC, which is the credentialing organization for the genetic counseling profession in the United States and Canada, certifies qualified professionals to protect the public and promote the ongoing growth and development of the genetic counseling profession.

Read more about Dr. Hahn »

Susan Halloran Blanton, Ph.D.

Susan Halloran Blanton, Ph.D.

New Executive Director Named at John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics

Susan Halloran Blanton, Ph.D., has been named Executive Director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the Miller School.

The primary function of this new role is to support Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., Institute Director, in implementing the Institute’s integrated strategic and financial plan, which includes research, talent development and recruitment. Blanton will report to Pericak-Vance, whose efforts will concentrate on the scientific direction of the institute. She also will report to Jack Lord, M.D., Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Medical Administration.

Read more about Dr. Blanton »

Discussing ethical dilemmas outside the nursing school are, clockwise from bottom right, DNP students Dennis Stevens, Siwei Liu,  Marlene Velasquez Sedito, Marcia Dodo, Hector Mercado, Karen McNeely, Rebecca Lee, Diane DeJesus, M.D. student Brett Van Leer-Greenberg, and DNP student Jorge Valdes.

Discussing ethical dilemmas outside the nursing school are, clockwise from bottom right, DNP students Dennis Stevens, Siwei Liu, Marlene Velasquez Sedito, Marcia Dodo, Hector Mercado, Karen McNeely, Rebecca Lee, Diane DeJesus, M.D. student Brett Van Leer-Greenberg, and DNP student Jorge Valdes.

UM Medical and Nursing Students Launch Joint Forum to Discuss Ethical Dilemmas, Build Relationships

The case of the newborn, conjoined twin girls presented a soul-searching medical dilemma: If surgically separated from her weaker sister, one twin would live. If not, both would die. Yet their devoutly religious and deeply conflicted parents refused to consent to the operation.

Resolving challenging dilemmas is never easy, but as medical students from the Miller School of Medicine and doctoral nursing practice students from the School of Nursing & Health Studies learned in the first joint medical/nursing ethics session held on the Coral Gables campus this month, inter-professional dialogue can enhance teamwork and improve decision making in morally distressing situations.

Read more about the session »

At the breakfast, longtime philanthropist Sue Miller, center, received the United Way Worldwide 2012 National Tocqueville Award from Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO of United Way of Miami-Dade, and Jayne Abess, board chair of United Way of Miami-Dade. The award recognizes Miller as a philanthropic leader and volunteer champion who has devoted time, talent, and funds to create long-lasting changes, and inspired others to do likewise.

At the breakfast, longtime philanthropist Sue Miller, center, received the United Way Worldwide 2012 National Tocqueville Award from Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO of United Way of Miami-Dade, and Jayne Abess, board chair of United Way of Miami-Dade. The award recognizes Miller as a philanthropic leader and volunteer champion who has devoted time, talent, and funds to create long-lasting changes, and inspired others to do likewise.

United Way Women’s Leadership Breakfast Delivers Stories of Hope

Little 5-year-old Hannah is filled with all the energy and exuberance of a typical child her age. Inside the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center on November 7, she darted about the arena floor just after the 12th Annual United Way Women’s Leadership Breakfast had ended, picking up items from tables and asking her mother, Naomi Samole-Prager, to look at them.

That Hannah is able to speak is a miracle. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with the motor speech disorder verbal apraxia and could communicate only in a rudimentary fashion, uttering syllables and pointing and gesturing at objects.

“The doctors didn’t know how to deal with it, and told me Hannah would never speak,” said Samole-Prager.

Refusing to believe the diagnosis, Samole-Prager took her daughter to the Miami-based Hearing and Speech Center of Florida, where speech pathologists taught Hannah sign language. “Soon, the words started coming out of her mouth,” recalled her mother.

At last Wednesday’s Leadership Breakfast, Samole-Prager shared her story with the 1,300 women in attendance, telling them that the United Way of Miami-Dade is a big reason Hannah is now able to speak. The nonprofit agency, she said, subsidizes her daughter’s speech therapy. “A dark chapter in our lives is over.”

Read more about the Women's Leadership Breakfast »

John Pepper

John Pepper

United Way Leadership Donor John Pepper is Proud to Give

John Pepper’s family lost nearly everything when their house burned to the ground when he was 14. But from tragedy grew inspiration. The young Pepper was so impressed with the first responders who helped his family that day he decided to become an explorer with his hometown’s Volunteer Fire Department.

“I loved everything about it,” said Pepper. “The opportunity to help others in their greatest time of need, coupled with the physical and mental challenges, made me realize it was the career track for me.”

Today, Pepper is the emergency manager for the Miller School, a role in which he is responsible for disaster and emergency mitigation, planning, response and recovery, as well as administering systems such as the Emergency Notification Network.

Read more about John Pepper and how to help the United Way »

Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Study Finds Social Networking Sites a Growing Factor in Medical Student and Resident Selections

In the largest study of its kind, Miller School researchers who queried hundreds of medical school admissions and residency selection professionals conclude that social networking sites will increasingly influence the selection of medical students and physician trainees in the U.S.

Published online November 8 in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, the study led by Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., associate professor of surgery and Director of the William Lehman Injury Research Center, suggests that formal guidelines for professional behavior on social networking websites, which the Miller School already has, might help applicants avoid unforeseen bias in the selection process.

Read more about the study »

Early Deadline for Submissions

Please note that the submission deadline for the December 2 issue of MED is Tuesday, November 25, at noon. Any requests received after the deadline will be processed the following week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Alumni Association Accepting Award Nominations

Do you know an outstanding individual? The University of Miami Alumni Association is now accepting nominations for this year’s Alumni Awards Ceremony, scheduled for Thursday, April 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Newman Alumni Center, Multipurpose Room.

Among the award categories are student of distinction, outstanding young alumnus, outstanding fundraiser and outstanding affiliate group.

Nominations can be submitted online and are due by December 1. For a complete list of the awards and descriptions, visit the Alumni Association website.