Briefly Noted

Band of the Hour Honors the Newmans for Their Support

UM News

Newmans Band of the Hour

During halftime of the Miami-Georgia Tech game, Judi Prokop Newman and her husband, Robert Newman, admired the new Band of the Hour uniforms and instruments made possible by their generosity.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 23, 2015) — The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music recognized Robert and Judi Newman for their generous support of the Frost Band of the Hour marching band at a special halftime presentation at Sun Life Stadium during last Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech.

Judi Prokop Newman, B.B.A. ’63, and her husband, Robert Newman, made a significant donation this summer to support new equipment and uniform purchases for UM’s marching band. Their gift enabled the Band of the Hour to purchase 115 new marching band instruments and a full set of newly designed uniforms with a sleek, reinvented image. The Newmans are excited to contribute to the growth of UM’s pageantry arts under the visionary leadership Jay C. Rees, professor of music and director of athletic bands.

The Newmans were honored during the marching band’s halftime performance by UM President Julio Frenk and Director of Athletics Blake James, along with Rees and the entire Frost Band of the Hour.

“We were thrilled to recognize the Newmans’ contribution to the band program by surprising them with a commemorative white shako hat with orange-tipped feather plume, personally autographed by Frenk, James, Frost School of Music Dean Shelly Berg, and myself,” Rees said.

Judi Newman is a University trustee, alumna, and Frost School of Music advisory board member. Robert Newman is an honorary alumnus, ’08, and former member of the University’s Entrepreneurship Programs Advisory Board. They are longtime and beloved major supporters of the University of Miami, including a gift that named the 72,000-square-foot Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center. The Newman Alumni Center opened in 2010 and has become one of the most popular gathering places on the University’s Coral Gables campus.

At the Frost School of Music, the Newmans are major donors to the William Hipp Endowed Scholarship Fund, named in honor of the former music dean. They also provide substantial support to the school’s annual Winter Wonderful holiday gala, benefiting music mentoring scholarships for the Frost School’s Donna E. Shalala MusicReach Program.

The Frost Band of the Hour is the marching and pep band at the University of Miami. It is the largest and one of the most exciting, visible, diverse, and involved student groups on the UM campus, performing challenging custom musical arrangements and contemporary drum corps-style drill design.


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Steven M. Altschuler Named Senior Vice President of Health Affairs and CEO of UHealth

UM News

Steven Altschuler

Steven M. Altschuler

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 24, 2015)—Steven M. Altschuler, a renowned physician and health care administrator who served as president and chief executive officer of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and The Children’s Hospital Foundation for the past 15 years, has been named senior vice president of health affairs at the University of Miami and chief executive officer of UHealth-University of Miami Health System.

In his new position, Altschuler will be responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the University’s clinical delivery system, which includes the University’s hospitals, faculty practice plan, and clinics. He will report directly to UM President Julio Frenk and fulfill an advising role to the executive vice president and provost of the University, the senior vice president of business and finance and chief financial officer of the University, and the Board of Trustees in order to provide strategic leadership to align clinical and research investments.

Miller School of Medicine Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, the founder of UHealth and dean since 2006, will continue to serve as the head of the school, providing academic leadership to its educational and research missions.

“I am extremely grateful for the University’s confidence in me to lead this amazing system, along with the help of a skilled and dedicated team. The opportunity to be part of the institution during such an innovative era in health care and scientific research is exciting,” said Altschuler, who begins his new post on January 1, 2016.

“Steven Altschuler has a wealth of experience as a leader in both health care administration and the delivery of excellent and compassionate patient care. As senior vice president of health affairs, he will spearhead UHealth’s continued advancement as a world-class academic medical enterprise serving the Americas and beyond,” said President Frenk. “We are grateful to Dean Goldschmidt, who has been instrumental in the Miller School’s progress as one of the nation’s top medical schools and will continue to provide leadership in our academic and research efforts.”

Altschuler led CHOP’s transformation from a traditional academic medical center into a world leader in pediatric health care, research, education, and advocacy for children, with strong ties to the University of Pennsylvania. The organization has approximately 14,000 employees, including nearly 1,200 full-time physicians and researchers, at 50 different care sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In FY 2015, the foundation, hospital, and affiliates had approximately $5.4 billion in assets and $115 million in charitable contributions. Research expenditures were approximately $340 million, and the hospital supported the clinical and research training of 135 residents and 275 fellows. Since 2003, with the exception of only two years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked CHOP the No. 1 children’s hospital in the nation.

Altschuler was associated with CHOP as a postdoctoral fellow in 1982, becoming an assistant physician in 1984 and serving as chair of the Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of CHOP from 1997-2000. He also was a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania from 1985-2000. Since retiring from CHOP in June 2015, Altschuler has been board chair of Spark Therapeutics, a leading gene therapy company that is a spinoff of the Center of Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at CHOP.

Altschuler received his B.A. in mathematics from Case Western Reserve University and his M.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He was an intern and resident at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston before serving as a postdoctoral fellow at CHOP.

“The recruitment of an esteemed leader like Dr. Altschuler reflects the continued momentum at the University of Miami and UHealth, as we seek to grow and improve our University’s contribution to our great city. This appointment is the latest step in the evolution of UHealth as a world-class medical enterprise that is driven to excel in both patient care and patient experience,” said Stuart Miller, chair of the UM Board of Trustees.Dean

Goldschmidt said it is a pleasure and an honor to pass the baton for UHealth and UM health affairs to Altschuler, whom he described as “an extraordinarily accomplished leader of medicine for the 21st century.”

“His past accomplishments are simply formidable, and our institution will benefit immensely from his expertise and talent,” Goldschmidt said. “I am delighted to have a chance to refocus all of my attention on the Miller School of Medicine and work with our faculty, staff, students, and trainees who are doing a fabulous job in promoting our ascension in the ranks of top-tier U.S. medical schools. All of us at the medical center are deeply grateful to President Frenk and the Board of Trustees for the recruitment of Steven Altschuler.”

As South Florida’s only academic-based health system, UHealth combines patient care, research, and education to create a leading-edge approach to health care. UHealth’s comprehensive network includes three hospitals: Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Hospital, and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute; more than a dozen outpatient facilities in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Collier counties; and more than 1,500 physicians and scientists.

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UHealth Honored by HIMSS Analytics for Significant IT Adoption

Special to UM News

UHealth – the University of Miami Health System has been recognized by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for reaching Stage 6 on the Ambulatory Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (A-EMRAM). EMRAM is a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record (EMR) systems for ambulatory facilities in the HIMSS Analytics database.

“Stage 6 recognition is a distinct honor which recognizes our organization’s implementation of technology solutions that have the ability to improve patient safety, quality, and continuity of care across the care spectrum,” said Dr. David Seo, chief medical informatics officer, chief research information officer, and associate vice president for clinical applications for University of Miami Information Technology (UMIT).

Ambulatory sites track their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), with Stage 7 — an advanced electronic patient record environment — being the highest. As of the third quarter of 2015, only 10.56 percent of U.S. hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics have reached Stage 6 on its A-EMRAM. In Florida, only three health systems, including UHealth, have reached the level of sophistication to attain Stage 6 Ambulatory recognition.

A Stage 6 designation by HIMSS Analytics indicates that an ambulatory facility has almost fully automated/paperless medical records that are available across most of the outpatient care settings. Among other qualifications, the facility must have achieved significant advancement in its IT capabilities, and is either starting to evaluate its data for care delivery process improvements or has already documented significant improvements in this area.

“HIMSS Analytics congratulates the University of Miami School of Medicine Health System for leading the way toward health IT adoption,” said John Hoyt, executive vice president of HIMSS Analytics.


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Neil Johnson Named ACC Distinguished Lecturer

Special to UM News

With dean Leonidas Bachas at his side, Neil Johnson accepts his AAC Distingyished lecturer certificate from Provosot Thomas J. LeBlanc.

Dean Leonidas G. Bachas, left, and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, right, present physicist Neil Johnson with his ACC Distinguished Lecturer award.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 17, 2015) – Neil Johnson, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Distinguished Lecturer for the 2015-2016 academic year.

“I’m very excited about being named a distinguished lecturer, as it presents a great opportunity to spread UM’s message about intellectual aspirations, while also building collaborations and providing an additional outlet when presenting my own research,” said Johnson.

Each year, five outstanding faculty members are chosen as an ACC Distinguished Lecturer and are invited to make special presentations by other ACC universities. As an ACC Distinguished Lecturer, Johnson will receive a research stipend and be invited to lecture at other ACC institutions. The collaboration across the ACC provides unique expertise to the host campuses and recognizes outstanding faculty in their fields of study, while also allowing for research collaborations and wider grant funding.

“Dr. Johnson’s expert knowledge in physics, his research in complex systems, and dedication to expanding the minds of our students have made him truly deserving of being recognized as an ACC Distinguished Lecturer,” said Leonidas G. Bachas, dean of the college.

The ACC Distinguished Lecturer program is now in its second year. The 2015-2016 Cohort includes Florida State, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, and Miami.

“Dr. Johnson’s interdisciplinary research in physics and complexity allows for a variety of presentations and lecture opportunities at our partner institutions,” said Thomas J. LeBlanc, University provost and executive vice president. “The University is thrilled at the opportunity of having Dr. Johnson represent our entire research faculty as an ACC Distinguished Lecturer.”

LeBlanc selected Johnson as an ACC Distinguished Lecturer on Bachas’s recommendation. Johnson received his B.A. and M.A. at Cambridge University, and later completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar. Prior to joining the UM faculty in 2007, Johnson was professor of physics at Oxford University.

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Global Citizen Natasha Koermer Receives Statewide Service Awards

UM News

Surrounding Natasha Koermer, third from left, are the Butler Center's Lindsey Woods, Samantha BonenClark, and  Andrew Wiemer.

Celebrating Natasha Koermer, third from left, at the gala are the Butler Center’s Lindsey Woods, Samantha BonenClark, and
Andrew Wiemer.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 18, 2015)—Senior Natasha Koermer, a biomedical engineering major who has created sustainable solutions to global engineering and health issues, received the Student Excellence in Service Award and was honored as a Newman Civic Fellow at Florida Campus Compact’s annual gala this month.

Both awards were presented during Florida Campus Compact’s annual conference, held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, where Koermer was invited to speak on a student panel that highlighted civic engagement. It is a subject with which the triathlete, recent inductee into Iron Arrow, and self-described global citizen is well-versed.

Also minoring in Spanish and public health, Koermer has initiated a number of community projects, including a local urban sustainable gardening initiative, a STEM outreach program for high school students, the on-campus Take Back the Tap campaign, and a 5K Run/Walk for Water to raise funds for Engineers Without Borders’ Ecuador Project.

As past president of the University’s student chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA, she helped implement a $30,000 sewage system in Las Mercedes, Ecuador. She also assisted research projects in the School of Nursing and Health Studies on Intimate Partner Violence and adolescent health in Nicaragua. And this past summer, she worked in Limpopo, South Africa, on a performance and acceptance evaluation of a novel water treatment technology.

“As a triathlete and global citizen, I am really motivated by pursuit of ‘better,’’’ Koermer said. “I know that I can always work harder, train harder, and run faster. That same dedication to improvement applies to my perspective on international development and health. Health outcomes have increased significantly around the world in the past decades, but there are still communities with basic unmet needs that students with skills and passion can help solve.”

UM’s Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development, along with the Office of Civic and Community Engagement, nominated Koermer for both awards, with the support of Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for student affairs, and former UM President Donna Shalala, who presented Koermer with Newman Civic Fellows Award earlier this year. The award recognizes the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders.

“She is an incredibly bright, civically engaged student and will no doubt continue to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research and its practical application in solving real-world issues,” Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement, said of Koermer.

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