Hundreds Celebrate Department of Neurology’s 50th Anniversary

Some 380 guests from South Florida and beyond attended the 50th Anniversary Gala of the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology on Saturday, February 25, at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach.

Amid socializing, dining, dancing, and entertainment by comedian and television personality Jay Leno, attendees learned about the Miller School’s long legacy of neurological excellence.

Supporting the event’s theme, “Solving the Neurological Puzzle,” UM President Donna E. Shalala acknowledged the history of expert leadership and dedication to research that brought the department from its humble beginnings, even before its official formation in 1962, to its current position as a “national and international powerhouse providing excellence in 14 sub-specialties, robust science, and patient outreach.”

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., echoed Shalala’s praise of current Department Chair Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., and the “75 physicians and scientists, 42 residents, and 18 fellows committed to finding the cause and cure for neurological diseases in this lifetime.” Goldschmidt, UM’s Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and CEO of UHealth, also recognized the importance of those in attendance and the tireless efforts of event co-chairs Janet Levy and Cindy Feltenstein, who planned the evening’s “perfect event.”

“Tonight is about celebrating the Department’s history and about having fun, but more importantly, it’s about celebrating the fact that we have such world-class doctors and researchers and such a world-class facility, right here in our own backyard,” said Levy, a stroke survivor and long-time patient of Dr. Sacco. “Let’s get the word out!”

Physicians and scientists in UM’s Department of Neurology conduct cutting-edge clinical and basic science research and treat more than 2,500 patients each year in areas such as cerebrovascular disease and stroke; movement disorders and Parkinson’s disease; memory disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease; and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neuromuscular diseases. Long-term collaboration with the National Parkinson Foundation is helping Miller School physicians and researchers make great progress in treatment and research around Parkinson’s disease.

The Department of Neurology is home to two partners in finding a cure for neurological diseases and disorders: the Evelyn K. McKnight Brain Institute, one of only four such institutes in the country dedicated to conducting research on age-related memory loss, and the Brain Endowment Bank, which studies the human brain, Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, drug addiction, and aging.

“Cutting-edge treatment and breakthrough researchers and physicians are right here in South Florida. That is because of your generous support,” Sacco told guests. “We are here when and if you need us, and your generosity is what allows us to save lives!”

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