Department News : 2013

Dressed as the “Public Health” Justice League of America are, from left, M.P.H. students Charles Chen and Henry Olano, David J. Lee, Ph.D., Director of Graduate Programs in Public Health Sciences, and Julie Kornfeld, Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Dean for Public Health, who competed in Push-Ups for PHSA.

Public Health Student Association Hosts Fourth Annual Push-Ups for PHSA

The Public Health Student Association hosted the fourth annual Push-Ups for PHSA competition at the Medical Wellness Center on October 28 to raise funds for community-based health initiatives in Overtown.

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Carl Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., seated, is surrounded by, from left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Alan Livingstone, M.D., and UM President Donna E. Shalala, as he receives the Eunice Bernhard Endowed Chair.

Burn Specialist Carl I. Schulman Honored with the Eunice Bernhard Endowed Chair

Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., one of the Miller School’s leading clinicians, researchers and educators, was honored October 29 with the presentation of the Eunice Bernhard Endowed Chair in the Division of Burns in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery.

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Daniel J. Feaster, Ph.D.

To Halt AIDS, Stop Brief Risk Counseling and Concentrate on Testing, National Study Finds

For decades, people seeking an HIV test have been counseled on realistic and achievable steps they could take to avoid infection. But a national study led by Miller School researchers has found that the resources devoted to pre-test counseling would be better spent on universal testing that could detect more HIV cases earlier, and link newly infected people to the care that could could halt the spread of the virus.

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Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., second from left, is surrounded by Col. Brodes H. Hartley Jr., President and CEO of Community Health Centers of South Florida, Jessie Trice’s daughter Valencia Batiste, Shelia McCann, Grants and Program Manager for Health Choice Network, and Kevin Kearns, President and CEO of Health Choice Network.

Community Health Leader Receives Prestigious Jessie Trice Hero Award

Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of public health sciences and Director of the Jay Weiss Institute for Health Equity at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Jessie Trice Hero Award for her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of underserved and minority populations.

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José Szapocznik, Ph.D.

Public Health Pioneer Among Top NIH-Funded Investigators

José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Public Health Sciences, is ranked among the top NIH-funded investigators, making him the third highest funded public health investigator in the world and No. 100 out of more than 36,000 investigators in all fields worldwide.

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Working with the Juanfe Foundation’s Teenage Mothers Program, M.P.H. student Daniella Orihuela holds 6-month-old Camila.

Inspired Student’s M.P.H. Project Takes Her to Colombia to Address Infant

Spurred on by a desire to create lasting change in her native South America, Daniella Orihuela recently spent a month in Cartegena, Colombia, as the first Miller School Master of Public Health student to team with the.Juan Felipe Gómez Escobar Foundation, which works to reduce infant mortality and teen pregnancy and break the cycle of poverty in some of Colombia’s poorest areas.

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Julie Kornfeld, Ph.D,. M.P.H., addresses the Miller School's newest - and largest - class of M.P.H. students.

Public Health Sciences’ Graduate Programs Welcome Largest Class

The Department of Public Health Sciences welcomed 70 new students – the largest class to date – into the department’s Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) graduate program last month. Also joining the graduate programs were nine new Ph.D. students, five in epidemiology and four in biostatistics. They join 48 members of the M.D./M.P.H. Class of 2017, who began their M.P.H. coursework in June as part of their dual-degree program.

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Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S.

Neurology Chair Joins NIH National Advisory Council

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Chair of Neurology and the Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders, has been appointed to the NIH’s National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council, the principal advisory body to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

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Panel and Brainstorming Session Aim to Make Miami a Healthier Place to Live

The UM Life Science & Technology Park will host a panel discussion and brainstorming session to inspire ways to improve health in Miami. The event, part of the Knight Foundation’s “Knight News Challenge” on health, will be held Thursday, August 29, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Life Science & Technology Park.

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Sarah Messiah, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Guillermo "Willy" Prado, Ph.D.

Researchers Awarded $2M Grant to Test Obesity Intervention for Hispanic Youths and Their Families

Public health researchers who developed the successful Familias Unidas intervention to prevent risky behavior among Hispanic youth are teaming up with obesity experts to determine if the program now operating in 24 Miami-Dade County middle schools can reduce obesity among Hispanic teens as effectively as it has reduced their sexually risky conduct and use of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.

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Doug Borst listens to AAFP board member Wanda Filer, M.D., M.B.A., at a Family Medicine Interest Group workshop. <em>Photo courtesy of the AAFP</em>

Medical Student Lobbies for Improved Primary Care Access at National Conference

At the American Academy of Family Physicians National Conference, fourth-year Miller School medical student Douglas T. Borst presented a successful resolution for improving patient access and was elected the national student delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates.

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Howard A. Liddle, Ed.D.

Substance Abuse Expert Receives National Distinguished Contribution to Family Psychology Award

Howard A. Liddle, Ed.D., professor of public health sciences who developed the leading treatment for adolescent substance abuse, is the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Family Psychology Award, bestowed by the American Psychological Association’s Society of Family Psychology.

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In one of the Miller School's public health initiatives, second-year M.D./M.P.H. student Adam Crosland poses with children in Haiti's Central Plateau, where he assessed the use of mobile clinics to address public health concerns in rural areas.

UM is Founding Member of Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

The Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences has signed on as a founding member of the new national Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH).

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Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo Named Director of Division of Health Services Research and Policy

Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and public health sciences, has been named Director of the Division of Health Services Research and Policy in the Department of Public Health Sciences.

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From left are Hilda Pantin, Ph.D., Lino Mauro Toscanini Segale, rector of Universidad Católica, Ana M. Palacio, M.D., M.P.H., and José Szapocznik, Ph.D.

Miller School Partners with Ecuadorian University to Advance Research and Education

The Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil in Ecuador to enhance the academic, research and educational activities of both universities. The partnership will help expand the Miller School’s global reach and strengthen its ties in South America.

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Scott C. Brown, Ph.D., left, and José Szapocznik, Ph.D.

Study Finds Neighborhood Walkability Encourages Recent Immigrants to Walk

A University of Miami study reveals that recent immigrants are more likely to walk if they live in a community that combines parks and businesses near homes. Research with recent immigrants is important because they tend to gain weight after arriving in the U.S., and over time become as overweight as many individuals who grew up here.

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From left are Hermes Florez, M.D., Ph.D.; Ailton Alves, M.D. (Brazil); Maria Cristina Escobar, M.D. (Chile); Alberto Barceló, M.D. (PAHO); Naydene Williams, M.D. (Jamaica); José Szapocznik, Ph.D.; Elisa Prieto, M.D. (PAHO); and Sandra Delon, Ph.D. (Canada).

Miller School Partners with Pan American Health Organization to Improve Chronic Health Care

Providing quality care for the millions who suffer of chronic non-communicable disease globally is one of the most prevalent public health concerns today. Yet the vast majority of people with chronic conditions do not receive appropriate care, only half are properly diagnosed, and among those, only a fourth receive treatment. These staggering statistics were the focus of the PAHO regional working group held July 9-11..

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Seth J. Schwartz, Ph.D.

Researcher Receives $2.5 Million Grant to Conduct First-of-Its-Kind Screening for Underage Drinking

Seth J. Schwartz, Ph.D., associate professor of public health sciences in the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, has been awarded a $2.5 million, five-year grant from the NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to test the validity of a two-question screening survey designed to identify underage drinking among children and teenagers.

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Robert S. Kirsner, M.D., Ph.D., accepts the Practitioner of the Year Award.

Vice Chair of Dermatology Named Practitioner of the Year by Prestigious Florida Society

Robert S. Kirsner, M.D., Ph.D., professor and Vice Chair of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, has been named Practitioner of the Year by the Florida Society of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, the state’s oldest and largest dermatological society. Kirsner accepted the award at the society’s annual meeting May 24-27 in Boca Raton.

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Jennifer B. Marks, M.D., and Hermes Florez, M.D., Ph.D.

Miller School/VA Selected as Site for Study of Diabetes Drug Effectiveness

The Miller School and the Miami VA Healthcare System have been selected as a clinical study site for the NIH-funded project Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes (GRADE): A Comparative Effectiveness Study.

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From left are Health Care Heroes Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., Michael S. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., and Joshua Hare, M.D.

Michael S. Gordon Receives Lifetime Achievement Award; Hare and Kobetz Also Named Health Care Heroes

Three Miller School faculty were recognized among South Florida’s health care heroes this week, with Michael S. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., the founder and director emeritus of the Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, receiving the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s most prestigious health care honor, the AXA Advisors Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Among the M.D./M.P.H. students who received Global Health Scholar Awards are, from left, Rachita Sood, Chase Socha, Priyanka Mehrotra, Michelle Picon, and Stephanie Blankenship.

Twenty M.D./M.P.H. Students Receive Global Health Scholar Awards

The Department of Public Health Sciences has awarded almost $40,000 in Global Health Scholar Awards to 20 M.D./M.P.H. students in the Class of 2016 who will explore a variety of public health issues in 13 different countries on four continents this summer.

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José Szapocznik, Ph.D.

Renamed Department of Public Health Sciences Takes Another Step Toward Establishing New School

At a time when public health is at the forefront of our evolving healthcare system, the Department of Public Health Sciences, formerly the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, is transforming its role in healthcare delivery, education and translational research at the Miller School. Winning unanimous faculty approval, the new name reflects the diverse interests of the faculty in the department.

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In recognition of their partnership, Viviana Horigian, M.D., left, presents a commemorative plaque to María Elena Medina-Mora, Ph.D.

UM Researchers Recognized by Mexico’s National Institute of Psychiatry

Miller School researchers from the Department of Public Health Sciences were recognized by the National Institute of Psychiatry in Mexico for successfully completing the first phase of a groundbreaking collaboration to transfer the technology needed to establish a substance abuse clinical trials network in Mexico.

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Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., makes a point as fellow advisory board members at the table, from left, Armando Ferrer and Lillian Rivera, and the CTSI's Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., and Jose Szapocznik, Ph.D., standing, listen.

CTSI Community Advisory Board Looks at Building Community/Academic Partnerships

Meeting for the second time, members of the Community Advisory Board for the University of Miami’s new Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) began the formidable task of helping UM strengthen the community/academic partnerships needed to address the two health disparities – HIV/AIDS and obesity – that the panel previously identified as top priorities for improving the health of Miami-Dade’s diverse population.

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Jennifer J. Hu, Ph.D., left, and Evadnie Rampersaud, Ph.D.

Researchers Identify “Obesity Genes” Among People of African Ancestry

An international team of researchers, including three from the Miller School, has discovered new regions of the human genome that influence obesity in people of African ancestry, as well as others. Contributing to the study from the Miller School were Jennifer J. Hu, Ph.D., Evadnie Rampersaud, Ph.D., and Jorge L. Rodriguez Gil, B.S.

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 BSFT Institute members are, front row, from left, Jackie Lopez, administrative assistant; Monica Zarate, M.S.Ed. L.M.H.C., model manager; José Szapocznik, Ph.D.; Joan A. Muir, Ph.D.; and Diane K. Finek, M.S., M.A., research analyst; and, back row, from left, Seth J. Schwartz, Ph.D., associate professor of public health sciences; Keith Moak, M.B.A., marketing consultant; Stephen Denny, RMHCI, model manager; and Ruban Roberts, M.S.W., M.B.A., model manager.

Brief Strategic Family Therapy Model Awarded Contracts for Child Advocacy Programs in New York City

The Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) program, which was developed at the Miller School to help troubled youth and their families by strengthening parent-child relationships, was awarded contracts with four child welfare programs in New York City this month.

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From left are Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.; Margaret Fischl, M.D.; UM President Donna E. Shalala; Rhonwyn Ullmann, wife of Steven G. Ullmann, Ph.D.; Richard S. Myers, Ph.D.; Richard L. Williamson, Chair of the Faculty Senate; and Eugene W. Anderson, Dean of the School of Business Administration.

Drs. Margaret Fischl and Richard Myers Receive Faculty Senate Awards

On April 10, UM’s Faculty Senate recognized Margaret Fischl, M.D., for her lifelong pursuit in understanding, treating and searching for a cure to AIDS, bestowing upon her the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award. Richard S. Myers, Ph.D., lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, received the Outstanding Teaching Award.

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Clyde B. McCoy, Ph.D., accepts the Distinguished Service Award at the UM Sports Hall of Fame banquet.

Dr. Clyde B. McCoy Honored at UM Sports Hall of Fame Banquet

The Miller School’s Clyde B. McCoy, Ph.D., felt right at home surrounded by sports legends at the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame 45th Annual Induction Banquet, where he received the Distinguished Service Award for his tireless support of the UM Athletics Department.

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Jennifer J. Hu, Ph.D.

UM Researchers Help Pinpoint Genetic Variants that Increase Risk for ER-Negative Breast Cancer

Two Miller School researchers are part of an international consortium that identified four genetic “spelling mistakes” that can increase the risk of one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer all too common in South Florida. The findings are reported in one of five studies produced by the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study and published in a special issue of Nature Genetics.

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The initiative founders are, from left, Chanelle Diaz, Hansel Tookes, Dyani Loo and Marek Hirsch.

Students Launch Campaign to Allow Needle and Syringe Exchange Programs in Florida

Four Miller School students have launched a grassroots campaign aimed at convincing state lawmakers to allow the transfer of clean needles and syringes to people who inject illegal drugs, an infection-control practice authorized in 35 other states but illegal in Florida.

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Event co-chairs Rujuta Pandya, left, and Lydia Fein present President Shalala with a Women’s Health Awareness Week t-shirt.

Miller School Student Groups Promote Women’s Health During Women’s Health Awareness Week

In celebration of the third annual Women’s Health Awareness Week at the Miller School, the Women’s Health Interest Group, in partnership with the Preventive Medicine Club, OB-GYN Interest Group, and American Medical Women’s Association, hosted a series of events supporting the cause, which concluded with a Health Education and Resource Fair in Alamo Park.

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From left are UF's David Nelson, M.D.,  the NIH's John Ruffin, Ph.D., director of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and UM's José Szapocznik, Ph.D.

CTSI Researchers at UM and UF Join Forces to Improve Health Outcomes in Florida

The Clinical and Translational Science Institutes (CTSIs) at the University of Miami and the University of Florida are joining forces to improve health outcomes for the state’s residents, a collaboration highlighted at a recent program focusing on the Miami CTSI’s clinical research.

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The CTSI's inaugural "CaneSearch" featured more than 100 research posters on obesity.

CTSI's 'CaneSearch' Focuses on Obesity and Collaboration

Showcasing its leading-edge research on obesity and collaborative approach to improving patient outcomes, the University of Miami celebrated the launch of the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) with its inaugural “CaneSearch,” a daylong research forum dedicated to one of South Florida’s most pressing health challenges.

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Guillermo "Willy" Prado, Ph.D.

Miller School Public Health Leader Tapped for NIH Steering Committee

Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology and public health and Director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, has accepted an invitation from the NIH-funded National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN) to serve on its National Steering Committee.

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Hermes Florez, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Hermes Florez Named Interim Chief of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine

Hermes Florez, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine and epidemiology and public health, has been named Interim Chief of the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at the Miller School and Interim Director of the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the Miami VA Healthcare System. Florez replaces Bruce Troen, M.D., as division chief and Bernard Roos, M.D., as GRECC director.

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From left, Laurie Weiss Nuell, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Jennie Weiss Block celebrate the merger.

Jay Weiss Center and Sylvester Merge to Tackle Health Disparities

In a match “truly made in heaven,” the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity is now affiliated with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, a merger celebrated January 31 at an informal ceremony attended by family members and admirers of two humanitarian giants who championed quality health care for the underserved.

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UM Biostatisticians Promote International Year of Statistics

The Division of Biostatistics at the Miller School and more than 1,400 organizations in 111 countries are combining energies in 2013 to promote the International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013), a worldwide initiative that will highlight the contributions of the statistics field to finding solutions to global challenges.

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José Szapocznik, Ph.D., and Joan Muir, Ph.D.

Unique UM Family Intervention Gets $6 Million for New York City Outreach

Brief Strategic Family Therapy, the UM-developed family intervention designed to help prevent serious behavior problems and drug use in children, is one of five treatment models that have been designated for funding by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services.

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