The request from cardiologist Alan Heldman, M.D., came on a Tuesday, March 19, just after 3 p.m., as Carlos E. Alfonso, M.D., was rounding at the VA: Could Alfonso mobilize a team and get to Panama right away? A 42-year-old diplomat at the U.S. Embassy had suffered a massive heart attack the day before, and without the mechanical pump UM doctors had helped prove effective in the U.S., he would likely die.
Arriving at Hospital Nacional in Panama City about six hours later, Alfonso, assistant professor of medicine, wasted little time threading a thin catheter with a tiny mechanical pump into the failing heart of Noel Zuniga. Rotating 60,000 times a minute, the pump took over the job of Zuniga’s heart and set the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Resident Agent in Charge in Panama on his long road to recovery, which culminated May 17 with a news conference at University of Miami Hospital. After nearly two months living at UMH, he and his wife wanted to express their gratitude for UM’s extraordinary response to the U.S. State Department’s urgent call for the equipment and expertise that had saved his life.
Motivated by its more than 21,000 volunteers, The Pap Corps: Champions for Cancer Research presented its annual gift – this time a check for $3.6 million – to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Miller School of Medicine. Presented at The Pap Corps May 9 President’s Meeting at the Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, the check is part of the group’s $25 million commitment to Momentum2.
With great exuberance and pride, and a huge sigh of relief, graduates of the Miller School of Medicine’s Class of 2013 took the Hippocratic Oath and were awarded their diplomas at commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 11, at BankUnited Center. The graduation program marked the end of four years of intense medical education, preparing the 187 graduates to be physicians.
Cleide Suguihara, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics, who dedicated her life to saving the tiniest newborns, mentoring trainees around the world and sharing her wealth of research expertise in neonatology with colleagues and students, passed away May 9 after a brief battle against the cancer she had conquered nearly a decade ago. She was 67.
The celebration of National Nurses Week at UHealth’s three hospitals reached a crescendo May 10, when Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez presented a proclamation with Miami-Dade Commissioner Javier Souto to “honor the folks that really make hospitals run." Drawing laughter at the festive ceremony at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Gimenez said, “I know doctors think they do, but we really know the truth."
Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., professor and Chair of Urology and the Dr. Victor Politano Endowed Chair in Clinical Urology, is the 2013 recipient of the American Urological Association’s prestigious Gold Cystoscope Award. Presented at the association’s annual meeting in San Diego May 8, the award recognizes urologists who have made outstanding contributions to the profession within 13 years of completing their residency training.