e-Update: News for University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Faculty and Staff

Up Front

Innovative Community-Based Health Screening Initiative Prepared for Launch

Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., and Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., and Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and other units of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine are collaborating in the launch of an innovative health initiative to screen hard-to-reach populations in Miami-Dade County for multiple conditions and help them connect with appropriate care. The collaborative population health management program involves a variety of community partners and is supported by a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

“To our knowledge, this will be the first multi-pronged screening strategy that tests for four distinct diseases in a community-based setting,” said Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and public health sciences and Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine. “By engaging community health workers (CHWs) we can deliver state-of-the-art, point-of-care screening services in non-clinical settings, including the privacy of one’s home, allowing us to connect with even the hardest-to-reach minority populations.”

Read more about the screening program »

More News

From left, Frank J. Eismont, M.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman, Department of Orthopaedics, Carole Ratcliffe and Mark Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

From left, Frank J. Eismont, M.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman, Department of Orthopaedics, Carole Ratcliffe and Mark Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Makes $3 Million Donation to Miami CORE

With an eye toward advancing leading-edge therapies in orthopaedic care, the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation recently made a generous pledge to support Miami CORE (Miami Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education) in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The $3 million pledge will be directed toward research and other academic endeavors at Miami CORE, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for those with musculoskeletal disease, find new methods of treatment through research, and train excellent health care professionals. Established in 1997 to support the work of the Department of Orthopaedics, Miami CORE will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.

Read more about the donation »

A model for patient care in the future, UHealth Coral Gables in The Lennar Foundation Medical Center has been carefully designed to meet the needs of patients, their families and staff.

A model for patient care in the future, UHealth Coral Gables in The Lennar Foundation Medical Center has been carefully designed to meet the needs of patients, their families and staff.
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An Extraordinary Patient Experience

In many ways, UHealth Coral Gables in The Lennar Foundation Medical Center is a model for patient care in the future. Along with the latest diagnostic and treatment technology, the new center has been carefully designed to meet the needs of patients, their families and staff.

“We looked outside the health care industry and incorporated amenities and services found in the upscale hospitality sector,” said Ben Riestra, chief administrative officer. “That includes offering concierge-like services to patients and family members throughout their visits.”

Read more about UHealth Coral Gables in The Lennar Foundation Medical Center »

Daniel J. Feaster, Ph.D.

Daniel J. Feaster, Ph.D.
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UM Study in JAMA: Patient Navigation, Even with Financial Incentives, Does Not Improve HIV Outcomes

A large study by researchers from 14 institutions, including the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has found that a short-term structured patient-navigation intervention, even with financial incentives, shows no long-term improvement in HIV viral suppression when compared with conventional treatment for substance-abusing HIV patients who require hospitalization.

The study report, “Effect of Patient Navigation With or Without Financial Incentives on Viral Suppression Among Hospitalized Patients with HIV Infection and Substance Use,” was published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Read more about the research findings »

From left, Karl H. Muench, M.D., with Michael Muench, M.D.

From left, Karl H. Muench, M.D., with Michael Muench, M.D.

Dr. Michael Muench Receives Chairman’s Award at Family Medicine Residency Graduation Ceremony

When Michael Muench, M.D., attended the June 25 graduation ceremony marking the completion of his three-year family medicine residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital, he had two additional reasons to be proud of his accomplishment.

First, his father, Karl H. Muench, M.D., a member of the Miller School of Medicine faculty since 1965, was there to congratulate him. Second, E. Robert Schwartz, M.D., professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, announced that Michael was the recipient of the Chairman’s Award, which is given to one graduate each year who has demonstrated outstanding performance and exemplifies the traits of an excellent family physician.

Read more about Dr. Muench's award »

Roderick K. King, M.D., M.P.H.

Roderick K. King, M.D., M.P.H.

Group Led by Dr. Roderick K. King Releases Study Findings of Sea Level Rise and Public Health Risks

Communities from Palm Beach to Key West with the greatest risk for adverse health effects of sea level rise have been reported in a study by the Florida Institute for Health Innovation. Roderick K. King, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is also the CEO of the Institute.

“One of our findings represents an unexpected public health concern,” said King. “We normally think of populations with the lowest socio-economic status as being the most vulnerable to public health threats. In the case of sea level rise, however, the most vulnerable turn out to be the wealthier populations who can afford to live close to the ocean. They may also be older, with health issues that require regular treatment, and if they can’t access health care because the streets are flooded, it poses a significant problem.”

Read more about the study results »


Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute Awards Breast Cancer Grants to Sylvester Scientists

Three researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have been awarded new grants by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute, Inc. (FAMRI), to support novel, early-stage research into breast cancer. The researchers each will receive $50,000. The mission of FAMRI is to sponsor scientific and medical research for the early diagnosis and cure of diseases and medical conditions caused from exposure to tobacco smoke.

“Identifying new therapies for the treatment of breast cancer starts in the laboratory,” said Joyce Slingerland, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at Sylvester. “These grants will provide seed funding for new breast cancer research projects and will open new avenues for research that may yield high returns in the future. The support from FAMRI will allow us to make those new, promising discoveries.”

Read more about the research grants »

Aaron H. Wolfson, M.D.

Aaron H. Wolfson, M.D.

Sylvester Researchers Show Tumor Size Can Predict Vaginal Cancer Survival

Researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have shown that tumor size in women with stage I or II vaginal cancer can strongly influence their overall survival.

Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, the team found that the five-year overall survival rate for patients with stage I tumors that were 2 centimeters or smaller at time of diagnosis was 79.2 percent. However, in those with larger tumors, survival dropped to 66.1 percent.

Read more about the research findings »

Hansel Tookes, M.D., M.P.H.

Hansel Tookes, M.D., M.P.H.

Grant from M·A·C AIDS Fund Will Help Launch Needle Exchange Program

To help slow the spread of infectious diseases among intravenous drug users, the M·A·C AIDS Fund has awarded the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine a $100,000 grant to operate a needle exchange program that will be the first of its kind in Florida.

With the grant, the M·A·C AIDS Fund becomes a founding donor of the exchange since the passage of the Infectious Disease Elimination Act (IDEA), which was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott in March after a five-year legislative battle inspired by former Miller School students.

Read more about the needle exchange program »

Laura Barisoni, M.D.

Laura Barisoni, M.D.

Miller School Pathologist’s Latest Study Contributes to Standardizing Analysis of Kidney Disorder

A new study led and co-authored by a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researcher is helping to build the foundation for standardized analysis of nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disorder caused by damage to the small blood vessels that filter waste and excess water from the blood.

“Having accurate, reproducible and standardized data is vital for diagnosing and treating patients with kidney disease,” said Laura Barisoni, M.D. professor of pathology, and Division Chief of the Renal Pathology Service. She is also the chair of the pathology committee of the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE), a collaborative international group has developed a pathology scoring system designed to improve patient outcomes.

Read more about Dr. Barisoni's study »

Shaun Brothers, Ph.D.

Shaun Brothers, Ph.D.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Launches Drug Discovery Core

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has launched the Sylvester Drug Discovery Core (SDDC) — the next link in the chain of turning scientific discoveries into cancer drugs. The mandate of the new facility will be to bring this capability to Sylvester researchers.

The initiative is being led by Shaun Brothers, Ph.D., a Sylvester member and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Brothers moved to Florida in 2006 as an early member of the Scripps Research Institute in Florida, a drug-discovery-focused organization. He was recruited to the University of Miami in 2011 to help the institution with its drug development efforts.

Read more about the Sylvester Drug Discovery Core »

Francisco Vega, M.D.

Francisco Vega, M.D.

Sylvester’s Dr. Francisco Vega speaks at Karolinska Institute in Sweden

As part of a research collaboration, Francisco Vega, M.D., Ph.D., a lymphoma expert at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was recently invited to speak at the Department of Oncology-Pathology at the renowned Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. During his presentation on June 17, Vega spoke about “Cross-Talk Between Hedgehog and NF-kB Pathways: A Novel Finding in the Pathobiology of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma with Potential Therapeutic Implications.”

“It was a true honor to be invited to speak to world-class cancer researchers at such a renowned organization,” said Vega, who is also professor of pathology. “One of our goals at Sylvester is to form more collaborations with colleagues across the nation and around the world to accelerate our research. I’m excited to work with our esteemed colleagues at Karolinska to characterize the genomic and transcriptomic landscape of lymphomas.”

Read more about Dr. Vega's presentation »

Enrique Ginzburg, M.D.

Enrique Ginzburg, M.D.

Dr. Enrique Ginzburg Named Vice Chair of Florida Board of Medicine

Enrique Ginzburg, M.D., professor of surgery, Chief of Surgery at University of Miami Hospital and Trauma Medical Director at Jackson South Community Hospital, has been named Vice Chair of the Florida Board of Medicine. Ginzburg was appointed to the board by Florida Governor Rick Scott in 2013, and the board recently selected Ginzburg to serve as Vice Chair. The Florida Board of Medicine plays a leading role in keeping the citizens of Florida safe in the ever-changing health care environment through dialogue with the public, the legislature, academia and the medical community.

Since he joined the board, Ginzburg and his colleagues have been able to achieve three important objectives: promoting rules allowing physicians to communicate with patients using telemedicine, creating awareness that had a major impact on the over-prescription of opioid medications by physicians for financial gain, and disseminating recommendations to make office surgery safer for patients in Florida.

Read more about Dr. Ginzburg's appointment »

From left, Alexander Ocampo Tuazon, M.D., M.D.E., with Andrew R. Colin, M.D.

From left, Alexander Ocampo Tuazon, M.D., M.D.E., with Andrew R. Colin, M.D.

Dr. Andrew Colin Receives President’s Award of the International Congress of Pediatric Pulmonology

Andrew Colin, M.D., Batchelor Professor of Cystic Fibrosis and Pediatric Pulmonology and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, was honored in June with the President’s Award of the International Congress of Pediatric Pulmonology (CIPP). The award recognizes his exceptional contributions to his field and its worldwide reach.

“I have been very involved with the International Congress of Pediatric Pulmonology for many years and was pleased to be acknowledged with the President’s Award,” said Colin. “CIPP has achieved so much, and we have been instrumental in training specialists internationally. Even more than the personal recognition, I am proud of the organization’s important impact on children across the globe.”

Read more about Dr. Colin's award »

Joshua M. Hare, M.D.

Joshua M. Hare, M.D.

Dr. Joshua M. Hare Participates in White House Organ Summit

Joshua M. Hare, M.D., Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine and Founding Director of the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was among health care professionals, government officials, and industry leaders invited to participate in the White House Organ Summit on June 23. This special invitation was extended to Hare for the work ISCI has completed in organ regenerative medicine and stem cell research.

The summit convened to announce a new set of initiatives that will build on the Obama administration’s efforts to improve outcomes for people waiting for organ transplants and support for living donors, with a focus on kidney donations and transplants.

Read more about the White House Organ Summit »

Sophia George, Ph.D.

Sophia George, Ph.D.

Dr. Sophia George Awarded Grant from Colleen’s Dream Foundation

Sophia George, Ph.D., an obstetrics/gynecology expert at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was recently awarded a $10,000 grant to help discover new methods of detecting and treating ovarian cancer.

The award comes from the Colleen’s Dream Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers seed funding to young investigators who are performing cutting-edge research in ovarian cancer. One of the foundation’s primary goals is to develop an accurate, early-detection test for the disease, which is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer deaths among women in the United States.

Read more about Dr. George's award »

Nicole Wilson

Nicole Wilson

Neuroscience Ph.D. Candidate Nicole M. Wilson Wins Women in Neurotrauma Research Award

Nicole M. Wilson, a neuroscience Ph.D. candidate, won the Women in Neurotrauma Research (WiNTR) Award after competing in the trainee poster competition at the 2016 National Neurotrauma Society Symposium. The WiNTR award is given annually to recognize the top poster presentation by a woman. The trainee poster competition consisted of the top 22 (out of 377) graduate students and post-doctoral associates, based on ranked abstract scores.

“It is an honor to have received the WiNTR Award, and to be in the company of so many accomplished women in neurotrauma research,” Wilson said. “It is especially rewarding given that I have had the pleasure of working with two WiNTR award recipients, Meghan Blaya, Ph.D., and Helen Bramlett, Ph.D., and I am thrilled to have been handed the torch.”

Read more about Nicole Wilson's award »

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Florida Cancer Data System at Sylvester Recognized as One of the Best in the Nation

The Florida Cancer Data System, the State of Florida’s legislatively mandated population-based cancer registry located at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, recently received three national distinctions for the quality of its cancer registry data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries recognized the Florida Cancer Data System (FCDS) as a Registry of Excellence, one of only 22 nationwide. The FCDS was also designated as a U.S. Cancer Statistics Registry for Surveillance, which certifies registry data for inclusion in official federal statistics on cancer incidence and mortality.

Read more about the FCDS awards »

Miami Model programs 2016 participants.

Miami Model programs 2016 participants.

Miami Model Program Investing in Future Physicians

After losing one of the most influential people in her life to Crohn’s disease, Chelsea Tate was certain that medicine was the right path for her. “I wasn’t able to save my grandmother, but if I can lend a helping hand to another individual through medicine, then it will be just as rewarding,” said the biology major at Xavier University of Louisiana.

Tate is among the 75 college students participating in one of three Miami Model programs, coordinated by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs under the direction of Nanette Vega, Executive Director of Programs, and the Coral Gables campus Office of Academic Enhancement.

Read more about the Miami Model program »

Happy dancers toss their berets at the end of the flash mob.

Happy dancers toss their berets at the end of the flash mob.

Marketing Teams Take Home National Awards

The marketing departments of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and UHealth – the University of Miami Health System are celebrating after taking home eight recognitions from the 37th Annual Telly Awards, including best online videos for a hospital, health and fitness project and viral video, and best commercials for a hospital under 200 beds. The big winners were Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Project Pink, which included the follow-up video capturing Sylvester’s flash mob at the University of Miami Hurricanes football game, and UHealth’s 60-second Breathe commercial.

The Telly Awards honor film and video productions, groundbreaking web commercials, videos and films, and outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs. The Telly is one of the most sought-after awards by industry leaders, from large international firms to local production companies and advertising agencies.

Read more about the marketing awards »


UMIT Service Desk Updates Call Menu

To better serve the UM community, University of Miami Information Technology (UMIT) has recently updated the UMIT Service Desk’s call menu. Now, when faculty or staff call the UMIT Service Desk at 305-284-6565 or 305-243-5999, they will hear the following menu options:

• To report an issue or submit a new request, press 1

• For status on an existing request, press 2

• To get help via online resources, press 3

Read more about the new call menu »

*** Reminder: Submission Deadline for the Next Issue ***

The next issue of e-Update will be published on Tuesday, August 2. The deadline for submissions will be the prior Wednesday, July 27, at noon.

Upcoming Grand Rounds

Thursday, July 28, 2016Anesthesiology Grand Rounds: Considerations for Transgender Surgery

Tuesday, August 2, 2016Pediatrics Grand Rounds: Hydrocephalus in Children

Wednesday, August 3, 2016Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Grand Rounds: What Every Physician Needs to Know

Thursday, August 4, 2016Anesthesiology Grand Rounds: Surgical Support for the War on ISIS in Northern Iraq

View more Grand Rounds »

Upcoming Events

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