UHealth Sports Medicine Hosts Student Ambassador Seminar

Dozens of students from public and private high schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties attended a Student Ambassador Seminar on Friday at University of Miami Hospital. The leadership of UHealth Sports Medicine invited the students to attend the day-long event designed to help them develop leadership skills they can share with their classmates.

Lee Kaplan, M.D., chief of UHealth Sports Medicine, was inspired to host the seminar after seeing too many young people fall into trouble that, in some cases, cost them their lives. “We believe in the kids of South Florida,” Dr. Kaplan told the gathering. “One thing you can get out of today is to learn how to make the right decisions in life, so you can stay out of trouble.”

The students, all of whom excel in athletics as well as the classroom, heard a similar message from Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., who welcomed them to the Miller School. “Life is all about decisions. How do you make the right decisions to have a successful life?” the Dean asked. “Do you take the quick way or the longer road that will bring you success in the end?”

He also encouraged the students to strike a balance between athletics and academics. “By bridging the two you will be very successful,” the Dean said

Others inspiring speakers included Randy Shannon, head football coach of the UM Hurricanes; his assistant, Tim Harris; Lauryn Williams, a world champion sprinter who won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics; and the Miller School’s Vincent Scavo, director of sports medicine services; Lisa Dorfman, sports nutritionist; and Beth Zeldis, Psy.D., sports psychologist.

“If you can take something away from this program today, and then turn around and get your teammates to then change a behavior, you are a leader,’‘ Shannon told the students. “That is all it takes.”

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