e-Veritas Archive | October, 2015

Patient Access Supervisor Inspired by His Patient Experience

Julio Penal

Julio Punal

By Julio Punal

Prior to working here, two events impacted my life and gave me the motivation and purpose that drives me. The first was nine years ago, when one of my sons was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and underwent a bone marrow transplant. My son and I would come to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center for his follow-up care, and we always had a positive experience with every person we encountered.

The second time was a little over six years ago, when I had a non-malignant tumor removed from my right wrist. The procedure was performed at University of Miami Hospital, whose team provided the level of comfort my family and I needed to get through this ordeal.

From the moment I began working here as a patient access representative in 2010, I set out to treat every patient and their families like my family and I were treated. I also set a timeline for myself to continue growing and moving up within UM. I have been extremely fortunate to be able to stay on track with my growth progress, which includes continuing my education at UM. My son is also a student at UM and my daughter will enroll in 2016.

I am extremely thankful to my mentors along the way for guiding me with their insight. Every day I am thankful for this great opportunity and for the U transforming my family’s life and creating a legacy that we share with one another. We definitely bleed orange and green through and through!

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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Celebrates Official Grand Opening of New Naples Campus

Special to UM News

From left: Mayor John Sorey, Stephen G. Schwartz, Eduardo C. Alfonso, Steven Falcone, and Michael Gittelman.

From left: Mayor John Sorey, Stephen G. Schwartz, Eduardo C. Alfonso, Steven Falcone, and Michael Gittelman.

NAPLES, Fla. (October 29, 2015) — More than 150 friends and supporters of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute attended the official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Naples campus on October 26.

Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and Stephen G. Schwartz, M.D., M.B.A., associate professor of ophthalmology and medical director of the Naples Center, cut a huge orange ribbon officially opening the new facility. They were joined by Naples Mayor John Sorey, Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., executive dean for clinical affairs and CEO of the UHealth Physician Practice, and Michael Gittelman, executive hospital administrator of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

“This is truly an exciting time for Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the Naples community, and the entire region we serve,” said Alfonso. “With this new 20,000-square-foot cutting-edge eye care center, we will be able to deliver the highest level of ophthalmic care, research, and education to our patients in Collier County for decades to come.”

The new Naples Center opened for patient care earlier this summer. The new building, which is LEED certified, a building certification program that recognizes leadership in energy and environmental design, has 22 examination rooms. A 5,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center located on the second floor of the building is scheduled to open in 2016.

“The new Bascom Palmer campus at Naples will allow our doctors to treat virtually all eye diseases, from the most common to the most rare,” said Schwartz. “The patient demand for our services in Naples has grown exponentially. Not only are we expanding the space and our faculty and staff, but the number of clinical research trials offered to patients will increase.”

The $25 million state-of-the-art eye care facility in Naples was made possible by a construction loan from Bascom Palmer’s Ophthalmology Research Foundation. A number of naming opportunities are available within the Institute, some of which have already been accounted for by generous philanthropists and families living in the Naples community, including the Ernie D. Semersky family and Dory Newell and Allyn J. Heath, along with Monty and Usha Ahuja, Don and Connie Smith, and Shelia Davis.

Also present at the ceremony were members of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and Bascom Palmer’s Naples Advisory Group, including Reg Buxton, Andrew Cummins, Stephanie Goforth, Jonathan Gopman, Colleen Murphy, Patrick Neale, William O’Meara, and Mayela Rosales, as well as many local politicians and community leaders.


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CC Says, ‘DCC With Me!’

Special to UM News


CC Schieffelin. right, and her mother, Barb.

Two years ago, CC Schieffelin lost her mother Barb to cancer. It was a devastating loss for the University of Miami freshman. “I felt really helpless in the face of cancer,” says Schieffelin, now a junior in the School of Business Administration. “But then I realized I could do something to honor her memory by raising funds for cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.”

In 2014, Schieffelin took part in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge, now known as the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC), gained the support of family and friends for “Team Barb” and raised $45,000. The next year, she recruited more than 30 participants and raised $130,000. “I know my mom would never have survived as long as she did without the amazing research being done at Sylvester,” she says.

Now, Schieffelin is the undergraduate captain for Team Hurricanes, encouraging UM students, as well as faculty and staffers, to ride, run, or walk in the upcoming Dolphins Cancer Challenge, which will be held February 20 at Sun Life Stadium.

“The DCC is a great way to spend time with your friends, while supporting research into a disease that touches everyone’s life,” says Schieffelin, who has committed to a 13-mile fundraising ride. “There are many ways you can take part in the DCC, including becoming a virtual participant, and every contribution, large or small, makes a difference.”

To sign up for Team Hurricanes, please visit www.TeamHurricanes.org. As Schieffelin says, “This is an incredible opportunity to support Sylvester’s leading-edge cancer research. Please DCC with me!”


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UM Opens the Fate Bridge Across Lake Osceola

210-foot-long pedestrian overpass will increase campus mobility, providing direct access to the Student Center Complex

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

From left, UM President Julio Frenk, UM senior Hannah Weese and her mom, Elizabeth Grass Weese, and Sergio M. Gonzalez, senior vice president for University Advancement and External Affairs, dedicate UM's new Fate Bridge in classic style—throwing up the U after a ceremonial first crossing of the 210-foot-long pedestrian overpass.

From left, UM President Julio Frenk, Hannah Weese and her mom, Elizabeth Grass Weese, and Sergio M. Gonzalez, senior vice president for University Advancement and External Affairs, dedicate UM’s new Fate Bridge in classic style—throwing up the U after a ceremonial first crossing of the 210-foot-long pedestrian overpass.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 28, 2015) – Over the past three years, Elizabeth Grass Weese has received her fair share of text messages from her daughter, Hannah. But none quite like the one that flashed across her smartphone screen eight months ago.

“Hey, mom. Want to build a bridge?” it read.

Weese was puzzled. So rather than respond via text, she phoned her daughter, a student at the University of Miami, to find out just what she meant. UM, Weese learned, wanted to build a pedestrian bridge across its iconic Lake Osceola, and Hannah wanted to know if Weese would fund the project. She agreed, and now the 210-foot-long, 13-foot-wide Fate Bridge spans the eastern portion of Lake Osceola. Read the full story

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UM Receives Charity Navigator’s Four-Star Rating

UM News

Charity.Naviator2CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 2, 2015) — The University of Miami has achieved Charity Navigator’s four-star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency—the highest possible score from an organization recognized as one of the nation’s premier charity evaluators. The rating comes on the heels of the institution reaching the $1.6 billion goal in its Momentum2 fundraising campaign.

“This exceptional recognition from Charity Navigator affirms to our family of supporters that the University takes very seriously the intended purpose of their investments in our institution,” said Sergio M. Gonzalez, senior vice president for University Advancement and External Affairs at UM. “This exceptional recognition from Charity Navigator affirms that the University is a good steward of the gifts we receive from our many supporters.”

Supporters of the University of Miami range from dedicated philanthropists who have provided steady and generous support over many years to recent graduates just starting out in their careers. Some are longtime staff members, parents of current students, alumni, and members of the local community. Foundations, businesses, and other enterprises whose missions complement those of the University are also key supporters.

“As the nonprofit sector continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, savvy donors are demanding more accountability, transparency, and quantifiable results from the charities they choose to support with their hard-earned dollars,” Michael Thatcher, president and CEO of Charity Navigator, wrote in a congratulatory letter addressed to UM President Julio Frenk. “[This designation] differentiates the University of Miami from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.”

Forbes, Business Week, and Kiplinger’s Financial magazines have all profiled Charity Navigator’s unique method of applying data-driven analysis to the charitable sector.

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