Dr. Omaida C. Velazquez Honored with Distinguished Graduate Award from University of Pennsylvania

Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., professor of surgery and David Kimmelman Endowed Chair in Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the Miller School of Medicine, was honored recently by the University of Pennsylvania as one of its most distinguished former trainees (residents).

Velazquez received the Julius A. Mackie Distinguished Graduate Award and presented a lecture on “Surgical Innovators: A Revolutionary Force in Medicine” in a May 21 ceremony at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Velazquez, who is Chief of the Miller School’s Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, was the UPenn hospital’s chief resident in 1997-98.

“Dr. Velazquez is one of our most exceptional faculty members and richly deserving of this honor,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School of Medicine, and CEO of the University of Miami Health System. “She probably is the most sought-after 21st century surgical leader.”

Velazquez joins a select group of prior award winners including C. Everett Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General. “It was very special for me to return to the University of Pennsylvania, where I taught for eight years before coming to Miami,” said Velazquez.

An outstanding clinician and researcher, Velazquez is a member of the American Surgical Association, an elite group composed of the nation’s most prominent surgeons from the leading academic medical institutions. Her current research focuses on further understanding and advancing new treatments for lower extremity arterial occlusive disease and diabetes-related wound healing defects.

In addition to her roles as a surgeon and scientist, Velazquez serves as the Executive Dean for Research, Research Education and Innovative Medicine. Under her leadership, investigators across the Miller School campus have seen the clinical research infrastructure enhanced, administrative processes refined and interdepartmental communications and grants increased.

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