Miller School of Medicine Accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is still making the rounds at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, after Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth, accepted the challenge on August 20.

After dousing himself with ice water, Goldschmidt also made a commitment to donate to the cause and then challenged television host Don Francisco, who completed the challenge on August 23, and UM President Donna E. Shalala, who accepted the challenge at the August 21 `Canes Kickoff event in front of hundreds of students gathered at the BankUnited Center. She then nominated Joe Natoli, Interim Chief Operating Officer at the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth and Senior Vice President for Business and Finance & CFO, who also accepted the challenge on August 21.

More recently, Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Olemberg Chair of Neurology, took the challenge and nominated Walter G. Bradley, M.D., D.M., professor and chair emeritus of neurology, as did David Seo, M.D., Associate Vice President of Information Technology for Clinical Applications and Chief Medical Informatics Office, who, along with his entire clinical applications team formed a giant “U” of orange in the Schoninger Research Quadrangle and completed the challenge in orchestrated succession.

After being nominated by Stuart Miller, Chair of the Board of Trustees at the University of Miami, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, also accepted the challenge and nominated Sylvester/UMHC CEO and Administrator Rich Ballard, Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D., Medical Director of Sylvester at Deerfield Beach, and Alan Pollack, M.D., Ph.D., professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology.

The challenge, which involves pouring a bucket of ice water over your own head, was created to help raise awareness of the neurodegenerative disorder, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and generate donations to ALS research.

Those who accept the challenge and douse themselves with freezing water must then challenge others to do the same within 24 hours or make a donation to fight ALS. The first person on the Miller School campus to be challenged was Michael Benatar, M.D., Ph.D., Walter Bradley Professor of ALS Research and Chief of the Neuromuscular Division.

In turn, Benatar — who had been challenged by Kevin Packman, Esq., UM alumnus (LL.M. ’02) and Chairman of the ALS Recovery Fund, which has donated millions to ALS research at the Miller School — passed the challenge on to Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth, who readily accepted. Together the foundation and the Miller School have already raised more than $30,000 since the challenge took off.

On the Coral Gables campus, Hurricanes coaches Al Golden, Jim Larranaga and Katie Meier; Norman C. Parsons, Jr., Executive Director of the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center and the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center; and Dean of Students Ricardo Hall have already accepted the challenge. Watch all the videos here and see who’s next.

You can help raise funds for ALS research at the Miller School by making a donation at

Kevin Packman Challenge

Dr. Michael Benatar Challenge

President Shalala Challenge

Dr. Ralph Sacco Challenge

Dr. Stephen Nimer Challenge

Dr. David Seo Challenge

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