Dr. W. Jarrard Goodwin Receives Chamber Lifetime Achievement Award
Two Miller School of Medicine faculty members were honored at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Health Care Heroes Awards at Parrot Jungle Thursday afternoon. W. Jarrard Goodwin, M.D., chief medical officer of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of otolaryngology, was presented the premier honor at the luncheon, the AXA Advisors Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is meant to honor someone who has made a significant contribution to the health and well-being of the South Florida community and by the sound of the applause given to Goodwin, there was no doubt he had earned the award. A brief video detailed how he decided to become a doctor after undergoing a tonsillectomy as a child. After a fellowship at M.D. Anderson and teaching at Yale University, Goodwin returned to UM to chair the Department of Otolaryngology.
It was his work as director of Sylvester that truly distinguished him, building the cancer center into a world class institution known for its research and clinical breakthroughs. Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., remarked that Goodwin “built the cancer center with his brains and his hands, but also with his heart – and that was the key ingredient.”
Accepting the award to a standing ovation, Goodwin humbly told the crowd it was “embarrassing” to hear so much about himself and not everyone else. Upon thanking his colleagues, and family, he said winning the award was a privilege, and that the medical school was making “miracles of discovery every day and in every corner.”
Winning the Bio-Medical Award, Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D., Martin Kleiman Professor of Surgery, microbiology and immunology, and biomedical engineering at the Miller School, reiterated a common theme, that “it takes a village” to achieve greatness in health care. Kenyon, who is also director of the Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research and director of the Executive Research Council at the Diabetes Research Institute, was recognized for her research in transplant immunology, specifically using biological replacement therapies for patients with type 1 diabetes. She said “in the end, it’s all about translating the discoveries we make to the bedside of the patient.”
Eckhard R. Podack, M.D., Ph.D., Sylvester Distinguished Professor of Medicine and chairman of Microbiology and Immunology, was a finalist for the Health Care Professionals category for his body of work in developing vaccines to help fight life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and HIV. Dean Goldschmidt described Podack as “deeply dedicated” and his work “truly amazing.”
In a nod to the future of health care, the Youth Volunteers Award went to Samantha DePriest-Capparelli of Coral Reef Senior High School, who developed swimming classes for children with special needs. Each of the finalists were acknowledged as “heroes” in their field, awarded certificates and $500 – among them Payton Liberto, of Gator Run Elementary in Weston, who donated her hair to the Locks of Love Foundation which benefits the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, for children who lose their hair to illness.
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