Department News : 2014

Scott C. Brown, Ph.D., left, and Joanna Lombard, M.Arch.

Department of Public Health Sciences and School of Architecture Named to Research Consortium

The Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine and the University of Miami School of Architecture have been named charter members of the American Institute of Architects Design & Health Research Consortium, which will help fund basic research on how design affects public health.

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Erin N. Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

UM Researcher is Awarded GE Foundation Grant

Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Director for Disparities and Community Outreach for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been awarded a grant from the GE Foundation to help improve the prevention of cervical cancer in women living in medically underserved areas.

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BCCC Director Shari Messinger Cayetano, Ph.D., M.E., welcomes participants at a REDCap training session.

Biostatistics Core Offers Researchers Training and Support for REDCap Database Software

Research teams interested in learning how to use the University’s Research Electronic Data Capture system (REDCap) to collect and store data for study projects can take advantage of free support through the Biostatistics Collaboration and Consulting Core (BCCC).Software

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Iron Arrow members help David Birnbach, M.D., M.P.H., into his new jacket.

New Iron Arrow Tappees Humbled and Honored

Thirty-one students, faculty, staff, and alumni, including nine from the Miller School, were tapped last Wednesday and Thursday into the University of Miami Iron Arrow Honor Society.

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Steps taken toward Ebola prepardness, education

As hospitals and communities around the world take action against the possibility of Ebola, the University of Miami is also taking preventative measures. The Miller School of Medicine issued an Ebola preparedness manual and organized an information session Friday at the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education.

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Forida's Surgeon General Visits Students

The Department of Public Health Sciences was honored by Dr. John Armstrong’s, Florida’s Surgeon General, visit to the medical campus on October 23rd. During a luncheon organized by the Department, students were able to discuss their public health interests and receive valuable expert feedback from Dr. Armstrong.

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Fourth-year medical student Jason Heffley presents his second-place poster at the Future of Medicine Symposium.

Future of Medicine Poster Symposium Highlights Student Ambition

The work of several University of Miami Miller School of Medicine students and residents was highlighted at the Palm Beach County Medical Society’s James J. Byrnes Future of Medicine Poster Symposium October 9 and 10 at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.

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From left, Chuanhui Dong, Ph.D., Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., Scott Brown, Ph.D., and Kefeng Wang, M.S.

Study Suggests Vascular Testing Labs Lack Accreditation in Regions of U.S.

An interdisciplinary group of researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine recently published a study that found a lack of accredited outpatient vascular testing facilities in some regions throughout the U.S., including the southern stroke belt.

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David J. Lee, Ph.D.

Dr. David J. Lee Appointed to NIH Advisory Council, Selected to Lead Florida Cancer Registry

David J. Lee, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences, has been appointed to the NIH National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council for a four-year term.

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Daniel J. Feaster, Ph.D.

Public Health Researcher Awarded $1 Million for Improved Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Daniel J. Feaster, Ph.D., associate professor of public health sciences, has been awarded $1 million for a three-year project to improve methods for patient-centered outcomes research. Funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Feaster’s project, “Methods for Heterogeneity of Treatment Effects: Random Forest Counterfactual Machines,” was one of 46 new awards selected from 490 submissions.

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

Sylvester Wins Supplemental NCI Award for Regional Cancer Disparities Research

A National Cancer Institute supplemental award will make the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center the coordinating center for the NCI’s Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program–Region 3 (GMaP3) — a research consortium of 11 institutions in seven southeastern states and Puerto Rico. The project is part of the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities’ Community Networks Program Centers.

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José Szapocznik, Ph.D., delivers keynote presentation at 20th International Congress of Biometeorology.

Miller School Scientist Delivers Keynote Address on Link between Built Environment and Health

The physical environment built for human use, such as a neighborhood, city or suburb, has been found to have an impact on human health. Specifically, the “walkability” of an environment influences the weight, body mass index and chronic disease incidence of those who live there. By rethinking our built environments, we can have a positive impact on human health.

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Seth J. Schwartz, Ph.D.

Dr. Seth J. Schwartz Honored as an FSU Distinguished Alum

Seth J. Schwartz, Ph.D., associate professor of public health sciences, was honored with a 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from Florida State University’s College of Human Sciences.

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Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Contract Awarded to Dr. Feaster

Daniel Feaster, Ph.D., associate professor of public health sciences, was recently awarded a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute contract for his project titled “Methods for Heterogeneity of Treatment Effects: Random Forest Counterfactual Machines”.

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Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., discusses working with the academic community and the broader metropolitan Miami area to facilitate opportunities for translational science.

Researchers Can Tap Into Resources That Engage Local Communities

In working with communities as culturally and ethnically diverse as those found in Miami-Dade County, investigators at the University of Miami have a wealth of resources available to help with their research.

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

Leader in Eliminating Health Disparities Named on Top 100 Under 50 List

Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and public health sciences, Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Director of Community Engagement at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), has been named one of Diversity MBA Magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Leaders.

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Diana Naranjo

Public Health Researchers Compare Mosquito Control Strategies in Florida and Ecuador

An international team of researchers, including three investigators from the Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences, has compared differing mosquito control programs in St. Johns County, Florida, and Guayas, Ecuador. Their findings demonstrate how two countries can develop effective vector control practices, despite their cultural and economic differences.

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Jose Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute, introduces James Pann, Ph.D.

Grand Rounds Shows Visual Evaluation Reporting Can Help Reach a Wider Audience

The power of a non-traditional approach to research and evaluation reporting was the focus of a recent Grand Rounds co-hosted by the Department of Public Health Sciences and the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). University of Miami alumnus James Pann, Ph.D., highlighted the value of the visual evaluation report as an alternative method for communicating findings and engaging stakeholders.

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Clockwise from top left, John C. Beier, Sc.D.; Karina M. Lizzi, M.P.H.; Scott C. Brown, Ph.D.; and Whitney A. Qualls, Ph.D., M.S.

Researchers Urge Expanded Vector Management Strategies to Protect Public Health

Public Health researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine published an article that was featured in the August issue of Cell Press’s Trends in Parasitology. The article, “Expanding Integrated Vector Management to Promote Healthy Environments,” outlines the importance of integrated vector management strategies to protect communities from pathogen transmission by arthropods — and their limitations.

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From left are Sarah Messiah, Ph.D., M.P.H., Denise C. Vidot, M.A., and Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D.

Review Finds Gap in Family-Based Approaches for Improved Bariatric Surgery Outcomes

An article published August 18 in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases identifies a research gap in family-based approaches to improve post-operative outcomes in bariatric surgery patients.

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From left, Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., Stuti Dang, M.D., M.P.H., and Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S.

Physician-Researchers Awarded $1.9 Million to Reduce Hispanic Stroke Disparities

According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death for Americans, and Hispanics face even higher risks, particularly for recurring stroke. To improve stroke prevention methods, a team of multidisciplinary physician-researchers at the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth will team up for a new five-year $1.9 million NIH grant.

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From left, Diana Kachan, Ph.D. and David Lee, Ph.D.

New Study Grades Senior Quality of Life and Health by State

A recent study led by a group of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine public health researchers shows that Florida, Delaware and states in the Northeast and Midwest have thriving senior populations that are healthier than those in other areas.

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Graphic for use with stories about getting immunizations for kids. Kurt Strazdins / MCT

Vaccines Save Lives

As September approaches, parents are beginning to bring their children to the doctor’s office for back-to-school checkups. One of the most important components of the school physical is vaccination. In Florida, children in both public and private schools are required to be immunized against many illnesses, including chicken pox, measles and pertussis.

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Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., M.S.

Faculty and Staff Support the U: Community Health Expert Strengthens Hispanic Families, and the Univ

Professor Guillermo “Willy” Prado is committed to making South Florida a better place to live. As director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health at the Miller School of Medicine, Prado has pioneered programs that reduce drug abuse and other health problems among Hispanic youths by strengthening their families.

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Residents of the 'Downtown' area have more opportunity to do errands on foot than those living in the suburbs. Roberto Koltun / El Nuevo Herald

Cubans Participate in Health Study in Miami

A group of 400 Cuban immigrant newcomers to Miami-Dade County participated in a study conducted by researchers from the schools of Medicine and Architecture at the University of Miami, which measured the frequency with which the participants were traveling on foot to perform daily tasks.

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

Miller Professor Contributes to Review of VA Patient-Centered Medical Homes

Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and public health sciences, Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Director of Community Engagement at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), was one of five editors for a supplement on the VA Healthcare System’s patient-centered medical homes published in the July issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Expanding Integrated Vector Management to promote healthy environments

Integrated Vector Management (IVM) strategies are intended to protect communities from pathogen transmission by arthropods. These strategies target multiple vectors and different ecological and socioeconomic settings, but the aggregate benefits of IVM are limited by the narrow focus of its approach; IVM strategies aim only to control arthropod vectors. We argue that IVM should encompass environmental modifications at early stages – for instance, infrastructural development and sanitation services – to regulate not only vectors but also nuisance biting arthropods. An additional focus on nuisance biting arthropods will improve public health and quality of life and minimize social-disparity issues fostered by pests. Optimally, IVM could incorporate environmental awareness and promotion of control methods proactively to reduce threats of serious pest situations.

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Fall 2014 International Scholars

The Department of Public health Sciences welcomes two International Scholars for Fall 2014. Dr. Biplab Biswas, Assistant Professor at the University of Burdwan Department of Geography, and Dr. Marine Gegelashvili, Associate Professor at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. Dr. Biswas is a recipient of the Raman Fellowship, and Dr. Gegelashvili is a recipient of the Fulbright Award.

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From left, José Szapocznik, Ph.D., signs the partnership with Alexa Zambrano, M.D., Ms.C., Director of the National Public Health Research Institute; Mauro Toscanini Segale, President of the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil; María Cecilia Loor de Tamariz, Provost of the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil; Mario Jiménez, signing on behalf of Ecuador’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation; and Gustavo Ramírez, M.D., Dean of Medicine at the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil.

Researchers Bring Public Health Initiatives to Ecuador

The Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences, led by José Szapocznik, Ph.D., and Ana Palacio, M.D., M.P.H., has partnered with the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil and Ecuador’s National Public Health Research Institute to bring the latest evidence-based methods for dengue controls and adolescent drug abuse and sexual risk behavior prevention to the country.

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

New Study Reveals Health Hazards of Building Farther West in Miami-Dade County

A newly released study led by an interdisciplinary team of University of Miami researchers at the Miller School of Medicine and the School of Architecture shows that urban sprawl may be bad for the health of thousands of residents.

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Miami CTSI K12 awardees are Ronan Swords, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Mark Stoutenberg, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Two Junior Investigators Awarded CTSI Career Development Grants

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) has awarded grants to two Miller School researchers through its Mentored Translational Research Scholars Program (K12), which helps junior faculty develop successful careers as independent investigators.

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From left, Michael Dodard, M.D., associate professor of family medicine and community health and Director of Community Health Affairs; Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.; and Executive Director Laurinus Pierre, M.D., M.P.H., at the Center for Haitian Studies, Health and Human Services, the only community clinic where women living in Little Haiti can receive free cervical cancer screenings. <em>Photo courtesy of Moris Moreno</em>

Public Health Advocate Receives $2 Million NIH Grant to Address Cervical Cancer Disparities

To further combat cervical cancer in South Florida and beyond, the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health has awarded Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of public health sciences and Director of the Community Engagement Program at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), a $2 million, four-year grant.

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Hilda Pantin, Ph.D., and Guillermo Prado, Ph.D.

Familias Unidas Intervention Added to Respected CDC Compendium, Receives $1M Grant

Familias Unidas, the successful intervention developed by Miller School public health researchers to prevent risky behavior among Hispanic youth, has been added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Compendium of Evidence-Based HIV Behavioral Interventions. The interventions listed in the highly regarded compendium represent the strongest in scientific literature.

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Michael Maguire consults with C.B. Wohl, M.P.H., assistant clinic director at Caridad Center.

M.D./M.P.H. Student Michael Maguire Wins National Leadership Award

Third-year M.D./M.P.H. student Michael Maguire, M.S., is a 2014 recipient of the American Medical Association Foundation’s esteemed Leadership Award. The national award recognizes Maguire for his excellence in community service, advocacy and education, and includes special training to develop his skills as a future leader.

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Jose Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Public Health Sciences, spoke at the 2014 Fundacion Euroamerica meeting, held May 15-16 in Miami.

Dr. Jose Szapocznik Speaks at Prestigious Fundacion Euroamerica Meeting

Jose Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute, delivered a presentation on health and research innovation at the prestigious, second annual Fundacion Euroamerica meeting in Miami.

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2014 Global Health Scholars

Global Health Scholars

This year, the Department of Public Health Science awarded 20 Global Health Scholars Awards to highly motivated and diverse MD/MPH students. These awards have been presented to students with exceptional projects in public health and medicine. We are proud to have more students traveling and they have even extended their global reach even further than last year.

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Springboard Grant 2014 Recipients

This University of Miami funding opportunity is intended to foster innovative thinking in public health research and practice, and serve as a springboard for projects that have the potential for further growth and dissemination. It helps fund the advancement of capstone projects for MPH and MD/MPH student in their efforts to address community or global public health issues.

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Dr. Harvey Fineberg lectures to MD/MPH students

Dr. Harvey Fineberg Presents

The Department of Public Health Sciences was honored as Dr. Harvey Fineberg, President of The Institute of Medicine, presented on The State of America’s Health: The Challenge for the Next Generation of US Public Health Professionals for the MD/MPH students this past Saturday, May 10th, 2014.

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M.D./M.P.H. students and staff complete one minute of chest compressions during a hands-only CPR information session during National Public Health Week at the University of Miami.

Public Health Student Association Promotes Public Health Awareness at the U

The Public Health Student Association (PHSA), in partnership with the American Public Health Association, celebrated National Public Health Week April 7-13, as part of the University of Miami’s Week of Well-Being.

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National Public Health Week at UM

In conjunction with the Week of Well-Being, the Public Health Student Association has partnered with the American Public Health Association to celebrate National Public Health Week and will host a panel discussion on Tuesday, April 8, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, Broad-Bussel Auditorium, located on the first floor of the Clinical Research Building.

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From left are Arash Sayari, Christine Bokman, Julie Kornfeld, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Alex J. Mechaber, M.D.

Miami Students Without Borders Leadership Program Gets Funding to Expand Global Reach

A project led by third-year medical students Christine Bokman and Arash Sayari has received the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Student Service Leadership Project award to help promote physician leaders in local and global communities most in need.

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José Szapocznik, Ph.D., welcomes graduate students and faculty, including Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., right.

Public Health Sciences Annual Poster Session Gains Momentum

The Department of Public Health Sciences hosted its second annual Springboard and Global Health Scholar Awards Poster Session, showcasing innovative public health projects by 34 M.P.H. and M.D./M.P.H. students who tackled critical public health issues around the world.

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Miller School of Medicine, Schoninger Research Quadrangle

Departments Post Gains in NIH Research Grants

Reflecting the growing recognition of the University of Miami as one of the nation’s preeminent research institutions, six of the Miller School of Medicine’s departments rose in national rankings based on the size of the research grants they received from the National Institutes of Health during the 2013 federal fiscal year. The gains were especially significant in a year that saw across-the-board reductions in NIH grants.

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José Szapocznik, Ph.D.

Chair of Public Health Sciences Elected Member of New National Research Council Forum

José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Public Health Sciences, has been appointed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies to the National Research Council Forum on Promoting Children’s Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Health.

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