Although U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., smiled broadly and said visiting Miami, where he grew up, “felt like coming back home,” he was all business when it came to discussing the Zika virus threat when meeting with administrators, faculty, residents and students at the Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital on August 12. The two institutions’ chief medical officers — Michael Barron, M.D., of UHealth and Peter G. Paige, M.D., of Jackson — acted as moderators for the discussion.
“The reason I wanted to come back is that I’m very concerned about the Zika epidemic that is taking place in the Americas,” said Murthy. “I was in Puerto Rico yesterday, where there is an explosive spread of Zika virus, including many pregnant women, and we have a lot of work to do there. I’m also very concerned about Florida, because while we are nowhere near where Puerto Rico is, and while I hope we never reach those numbers here in Florida, we do have an outbreak with local transmission. The question now before us is how we prevent more cases in Florida and throughout the rest of the country.”
As the Olympics enter week two, the games are already over for some UHealth physicians who served as medical volunteers in Rio. But even as the first doctors to journey to Rio are now home – back with unforgettable memories and stories of amazing medical accomplishments — a second wave of UHealth clinicians has arrived at the games, ready to help the best athletes in the world should they be injured.
Todd Smaka, M.D., is looking forward to the opening of UHealth Coral Gables in The Lennar Foundation Medical Center. “This new facility will be a great place to work,” said Smaka, a board-certified anesthesiologist who will practice in the state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center opening later this year on the Coral Gables campus. “It will help create a highly collaborative environment for delivering excellent patient care.”
Adrian K. Reynolds, Ph.D., has joined the education team at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in a multidisciplinary role that involves building teaching and learning skills, and reaching out to middle and high school students in the community. Reynolds will also look closely at the varied learning styles and study skills of the Miller School’s students to help them flourish in a demanding academic environment.
A multidisciplinary team of Miller School of Medicine researchers has received a $3.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a study of Familias Unidas, a well-established, family-based intervention program for Hispanic families with children aged 12 to 17, in primary care settings. To date, the program has been tested for effectiveness only in schools.
The Mailman Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has received a $2.3 million federal grant to develop a digital toolkit to teach parents and teachers in child care centers how to use assistive technology devices to improve hearing, vision or communication skills of children with developmental disabilities.