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UM, City of Coral Gables Officials Praise Partnership

UM News

CG UM Meeting

Seated, from left to right, are: Coral Gables Commissioner Jeannett Slesnick, UM Board of Trustees Chair Richard Fain, UM President Julio Frenk, Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason, UM Trustee Arthur Hertz, and Coral Gables Commissioner Pat Keon. Standing, from left to right, are: Coral Gables City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark, Coral Gables City Attorney Craig Leen, Coral Gables Commissioner Vince Lago, UM Trustee Charles Cobb, Coral Gables Vice Mayor Frank Quesada, UM Trustee Ed Williamson, UM Trustee Manny Kadre, Coral Gables City Clerk Walter Foeman, and UM Trustee Arva Moore Parks.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 12, 2017) — The University of Miami and City of Coral Gables held their annual joint Development Agreement meeting Thursday, gathering in the Great Room of the Coral Gables Adult Activity Center in the heart of the City Beautiful.

Coral Gables Mayor James Cason told the group of city and University officials about the progress the city has made over the past few years to improve finances, infrastructure, smart city initiatives, and efforts to understand and combat sea-level rise, including the creation of a sea level vulnerability map for the city. He said the city has “joined the national discussion on climate change.”

“Everyone must do their part,” Cason said. “We are becoming a very green community.”

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the University’s Roadmap to Our New Century, which showcases initiatives to support the University’s aspirations to be an excellent, exemplary, and relevant University with a hemispheric advantage. He also touched upon the University’s efforts to be inclusive and create a culture of belonging.

All the representatives praised the city’s and University’s efforts to work collaboratively with a common goal of being the best city and best University. The meeting was the sixth held since UM and Coral Gables formulated a 20-year development agreement in 2010 that guides the school’s growth and extends cultural, athletic, and academic programming to city residents.

“Together we have the opportunity to reach new heights,” said Richard Fain, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees.


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Children Learn to Safely Cross the Street in UM’s WalkSafe Program


Katrina Lopez, statewide coordinator for the WalkSafe program, shows pre-schooler Quentavius Boges how to safely cross the street at a simulated crosswalk on the Linda Ray Intervention Center’s playground.

Parents and children from the Department of Psychology’s Linda Ray Intervention Center came together recently to practice safe-street crossing at an outreach event sponsored by the University of Miami WalkSafe program. Part of the KiDZ Neuroscience Center at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the program is designed to reduce the number of pediatric pedestrian injuries through the use of evidence-based educational curriculum and community outreach activities.

The Linda Ray Intervention Center’s staff had identified the need to promote safe street-crossing strategies for the families enrolled in their program. The children, who meet criteria for early intervention services, and their adult caregivers were able to practice safe crossing last month on simulated crosswalks set up on the playground and joined in arts and crafts projects about safe-walking strategies.



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Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul Honored with Fairchild Garden’s Philanthropy Award

UM News


From left are Susan Abraham, Barbara Hevia, Brittany Lopez Slater, Daisy Johansson, Marisa Toccin Lucas, Felicia Marie Knaul, Swanee DiMare, Ana Milton, Lydia Touzet, and Frances Sevilla Sacasa.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 11, 2017)Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, director at the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and professor at the Miller School of Medicine, received the Fairchild Philanthropy Award at the 6th Annual Splendor in the Garden hosted by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Knaul was joined by seven of South Florida’s leading women in garnering this year’s award, given in recognition of their contributions to the community.

“It is a great honor to receive this award and join such an outstanding group of philanthropists. Fairchild is a tremendous asset to our community and our world,” said Knaul. “Its efforts to protect and promote biodiversity and conservation are critical to reducing the effects of climate change in South Florida and beyond. President Frenk and I are very grateful to Fairchild for its wonderful collaboration with the University of Miami, especially in preserving the trees and beautiful orchards of Smathers Four Fillies Farm.”

One of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world, Fairchild is dedicated to exploring, explaining, and conserving the world of tropical plants. In addition to honoring members of the community, its annual awards ceremony features tours of its gardens and a fashion show organized by Neiman Marcus Coral Gables.

Among the event’s honorary co-chairs this year was Swanee DiMare. She and her husband, UM Trustee Paul DiMare, are long-time supporters of the University

This year’s honorees also included Susan Abraham, A.B. ’80, Daysi Johansson MSED ’89, A.B. ’88, Brittany Lopez Slater, Marile Lopez, Ana Milton, BSEE ’87, J.D. ’93, Marisa Toccin Lucas, and Silvia Rios Fortun. Previous honorees include former UM President Donna E. Shalala.

Former UM President Donna E. Shalala was among the 2015 honorees.

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M.D./M.P.H. and Nursing Students Prepare for the Unthinkable

Special to UM News


Nursing and M.D./M.P.H. students assumed the roles of first responders and patients during disaster drills at the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education.

MIAMI, Fla. (December 12, 2016) — The Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education doesn’t usually take care of patients, but on one recent Saturday it served as a makeshift hospital for M.D./M.P.H. and nursing students working together on a complicated, frightening possibility: How would they respond to a terrorist attack at Marlins Park?

Triage for the disaster drill was in the lobby, a large emergency department was set up downstairs, and other areas included a medical/surgical floor, pediatrics, an intensive care unit, and OB/GYN.

“We ran two scenarios so that each student had the opportunity to play both a provider and a victim role,” said Ivette Motola, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Division of Prehospital and Emergency Healthcare and assistant director of the Gordon Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “In the first scenario — a bombing and active shooter at the stadium — every area in the hospital had to figure out how to get the patients in, how to treat them, whether to send them home — the same thing that happened at the Boston Marathon bombing. The students who weren’t health care providers in the first scenario were the victims or family members, and then in between we flipped them.”

In the second scenario, the active shooter came to the hospital, Motola said. “The students had to manage sheltering in place, and some were given the role of incident commander and public information officer. We were a little concerned about the level of the challenge and having them all have active roles, but it came together beautifully.”

Casey McGillicuddy, a second-year M.D./M.P.H. student who wants to pursue a career in disaster medicine, shared Motola’s enthusiasm for the experience. “This was a great opportunity to take away the silos between medical and nursing students,” she said. “Nurses will be such a huge part of the rest of my career – it was great to learn from each other.”

Directing the exercise from the School of Nursing and Health Studies was Susana Barroso-Fernandez, Ph.D., R.N., director of simulation operations for the school’s International Academy for Clinical Simulation and Research.

“Nurses are the largest body of first responders in any disaster,” Barroso-Fernandez said. “When you look at a situation of this magnitude, you can pick up a nursing journal or read an article or watch the news, but unless we give them the experience of the front line and put them in that situation, they graduate not knowing what it feels like.

“In this day and age, unfortunately, it’s not a matter of if something happens, it’s when.”

The exercise was McGillicuddy’s capstone project, so she was involved in planning from the beginning. “After the Orlando massacre and the Boston Marathon, we were interested in doing an active-shooter exercise,” she said. “The roles had to be very carefully planned — for example, ‘You are a gunshot victim, right lower leg, and are experiencing shock.’ ”

Thinking about the unthinkable is critical for medical and nursing students, Motola said. “Because disasters don’t happen very often it’s hard to get people to focus on preparing for it, but the idea is to have health care providers who have thought about it and are prepared for it.”

Emergency management professionals who participated in the exercise stressed that message, McGillicuddy said. “They said some of our decisions weren’t necessarily right or wrong, but should it occur in real life we’ll be ready, and we won’t be panicking. It’s always better to have action than inaction.”

“Nursing school is an amazing experience,” Barroso-Fernandez said. “This exercise gives you an opportunity to step back. Because even if you’re working at a hospital during a disaster, it’s a different experience than coming in for your regular shift.”

Many of the nursing students will qualify to join the Medical Reserve Corps after graduation and be available for assignment during a disaster. Building relationships with the M.D./M.P.H. students was valuable preparation for those and other experiences, Barroso-Fernandez said. “At the end of the day what we all want is to enhance patient care and improve patient safety, whatever the scenario.”



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The Lennar Foundation Medical Center Opens to First Patients

Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 5, 2016)—The first patients — nearly 150 of them — walked through the front door of The Lennar Foundation Medical Center last week, entering a spectacular new facility and a spectacular new world of health care.

The many months of preparation and the extraordinary support of The Lennar Foundation began paying off as the University of Miami Health System opened this model for future health care delivery — a conveniently located facility where patients are treated as individuals with a superior patient experience and transformational medical care.

Coral Gables campus faculty and staff, students, and residents from throughout south Miami-Dade County will find a wide range of the most advanced services — from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the University of Miami Health System Sports Medicine Institute, and many other academic medical specialties — under one roof.

“Today in Coral Gables, we show the world what the most convenient, compassionate, comprehensive care looks like — and will look like across the region, as we extend our vision in the coming months and years,” said Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs and chief executive officer of the University of Miami Health System.

“Physicians and staff will enjoy an unmatched work experience, in an unmatched setting, as they treat patients and advance translational research in ways only an academic medical center can,” said Ben Riestra, chief administrative officer at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center.

Hundreds of community leaders, University of Miami trustees and administrators, donors and other dignitaries helped dedicate The Lennar Foundation Medical Center on the Coral Gables campus on November 18, ushering in a new world of health care imagined and realized by the University of Miami Health System.

“This is a monumental day for the University of Miami,” Altschuler told those who had gathered for the event. “It is truly a transformational moment in the history of the University of Miami Health System, and it’s also the start of a new vision for health care in South Florida. This is a facility, this is a concept, that really thinks about the patient first.”

In this new vision for health care, the patient experience is transformed into a journey of being well.

“We will know you personally, care for you individually, and guide you uniquely,” Riestra says in a video Altschuler showed guests at the event. “This is not just about a new building. More important, it’s a new destination, a new experience, a new way of being well.”

The building was made possible by a $50 million gift from The Lennar Foundation. More information about the Lennar Center can be found here.

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