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Bascom Palmer Ranked No. 1 Eye Hospital for the 15th Time

Special to UM News

BPEIMIAMI, Fla. (August 2, 2016)—Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has again been ranked as the nation’s Best in Ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report in its Best Hospitals 2017 Edition. It is the 15th time that Bascom Palmer Eye Institute-Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital has been named No. 1 since the publication began surveying U.S. physicians for its annual rankings 27 years ago.

“Receiving the No. 1 ranking again is a great testament to the tradition of excellence that drives every aspect of Bascom Palmer’s operation,” said Eduardo C. Alfonso, chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. “Drawing on their deep knowledge and experience, our dedicated doctors, scientists, nurses, technicians, and support staff provide high-quality compassionate eye care to our Bascom Palmer patients.”

For more than 50 years, Bascom Palmer has been a leader in providing clinical care and community service to the dynamic South Florida region, while building a national reputation for excellence. In addition, its medical training and education programs attract ophthalmologists from around the world, multiplying the institute’s impact on patient care.

Bascom Palmer’s physicians are internationally recognized in every subspecialty of ophthalmology. With four patient care facilities in Florida (Miami, Palm Beach Gardens, Naples, and Plantation), Bascom Palmer is the largest ophthalmic care, research, and educational facility in the southeastern United States. More than 250,000 patients, from infants to seniors, are treated each year for nearly every ophthalmic condition, and more than 18,000 surgeries are performed annually. The institute serves as the Department of Ophthalmology for the Miller School of Medicine, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System.

“All of us at the University of Miami are proud of the extraordinary performance of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s physicians, researchers, and staff, year after year,” said Steven M. Altschuler, senior vice president for health affairs and CEO of UHealth. “Their discovery, innovation, and training advance the field of ophthalmology worldwide, and their care changes lives in South Florida and beyond.”

Bascom Palmer researchers and clinicians are at the forefront of precision medicine in ophthalmology, translating basic research from their laboratories into individualized diagnostic and treatment methods tailored to each patient. That collaboration approach has resulted in revolutionary advances in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, retinal diseases, ophthalmic cancers, eye infections, cataracts and diseases of the optic nerve.

Bascom Palmer recently established the world’s first laboratory dedicated to finding cures for diseases of the orbit, the bony structure surrounding the eye. In March, the institute dedicated the Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Orbital Vision Research Center as the only interdisciplinary, cure-based research center dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with traumatic orbital injuries and malignancies through clinical applications of basic scientific research.

Another milestone will occur this fall with the opening of the Samuel and Ethel Balkan International Pediatric Glaucoma Center at Bascom Palmer. The center is taking a new approach to eradicating pediatric glaucoma by offering genetic research and a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating the debilitating disease in children.

The rankings are accessible online at www.usnews.com/besthospitals.

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Bascom Palmer Offers Unique Master’s Degree

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Bascom Palmer Offers Unique Master’s Degree

From left are Eduardo Alfonso, David Tse, UM President Julio Frenk, Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid, his sons Fahad Al-Rashid and Ibrahim Al-Rashid, UM Trustee Ron Stone, and Miller School Dean Emeritus Pascal J. Goldschmidt.

From left are Bascom Palmer Director Eduardo Alfonso; Dr. David T. Tse, the Dr. Nassar Ibrahim Al-Rashid Chair in Ophthtalmology; UM President Julio Frenk; Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid and his sons, Fahad Al-Rashid and Ibrahim Al-Rashid; UM Trustee Ron Stone; and Miller School Dean Emeritus Pascal J. Goldschmidt.

MIAMI, Fla. (July 26, 2016) —Bascom Palmer Eye Institute—the global leader in eye care, vision research, and ophthalmology education—has launched the Master of Science in Vision Science and Investigative Ophthalmology (MVSIO) program. This innovative, first-of-its-kind program offers comprehensive training in ophthalmic translational research, problem-based learning, management, and a skill set available only at Bascom Palmer.

Led by Bascom Palmer’s world-class faculty and supported by leading-edge technology, the MVSIO program will educate the next generation of global leaders in ophthalmology, including clinicians and vision researchers. The interdisciplinary program focuses on science and laboratory research, research management, and administrative skills to sharpen the critical thinking and communication expertise essential for careers within the realm of ophthalmology.

Bascom Palmer is internationally recognized as an outstanding teaching, research, and patient care center, and its training programs are among the best in the world. As the department of ophthalmology at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, it is committed to improving sight, preventing blindness, and advancing ophthalmic knowledge.

This August, five students will begin the two-year MVSIO program. The inaugural class includes medical doctors with degrees from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine; Universidad Iberoamerica, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Tripoli University, Libya; and Alexandria University, Egypt.

Much of the MVSIO program takes place within the Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Orbital Vision Center located in the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Vision Research Center on the Miller School campus.

The center’s facility was made possible thanks to a transformative $10 million gift from Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid and his children: Nourah Caskey, Ramzi Al-Rashid, Salman Al-Rashid, Ibrahim Al-Rashid, and Mohammad N. Al-Rashid. During a recent dedication ceremony of the eponymous center, the Al-Rashid sons, Ibrahim, Mohammad, and Salman, made an additional commitment of $2.5 million to continue to propel the vision research engine.

“The MVSIO program would not be possible without the generosity of the Al-Rashid family,” says Sanjoy K. Bhattacharya, professor of ophthalmology and director of the MVSIO graduate program. “Their support allows Bascom Palmer to attract exceptional graduate students from every corner of the globe to realize their full potential in eye and vision science.”

A longtime UM supporter, Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid received an honorary doctor of science degree from the University in 2008. Two of  his sons are UM graduates, with Fahad Al-Rashid earning an A.B. in Marine Science Affairs in 2005, and Ibrahim Al-Rashid earning a B.B.A. in Entrepreneurship in 2006.


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Cheer on the Marlins and UM’s Cleft Lip/Palate Patients on July 26

Many patients from the Miller School of Medicine’s South Florida Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic, including one who will throw out the first pitch, have been invited to attend the Miami Marlins game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, July 26 to help bring awareness to this important heath issue during National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month.

Effecting approximately 1 of every 650 babies, cleft lip/palate is the second most congenital anomaly, which the clinic has been treating for almost a half century. Help support the clinic’s patients by cheering them and the Marlins on at Tuesday’s game, which begins at 7:10 p.m. at Marlins Park in Little Havana.



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40th Miami Neonatology 2016 Conference Now Open for Registration

Registration is now open for Miami Neonatology 2016, which will be held this year on Sunday, November 6 through Tuesday, November 8, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Presented by the Miller School of Medicine’s Division of Neonatology, the conference strives to provide medical professionals with comprehensive knowledge of the leading trends and best practices in Neonatology. Presentations will highlight the most current concepts in the pathogenesis, management, and prevention of problems in the newborn infant.

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Miami Neonatology has become one of the largest and most prestigious international conferences that address issues in perinatal and neonatal medicine. This year on this special occasion, four expert keynote speakers will discuss the evolution of perinatology and neonatology over the last four decades. The conference will provide attendees with an extensive educational program featuring new developments in treating conditions that are causally associated with morbidity and mortality in the neonate. Participants will understand the importance of the preventive approach in minimizing medical complications and optimizing developmental outcome.

Additional topics will include prenatal conditions that may jeopardize the fetus, management of acute neonatal complications, as well as issues relating to long-term developmental outcome. The goal of this educational activity is to provide attendees with improved competency and performance in providing optimal quality of care for newborns.

A one-day pre-conference workshop, “Advances in Respiratory Care,” will be held on Saturday, November 5.

Additional information is available on the conference website or by contacting Lizbeth Castellano, conference coordinator, at lcastellano@miami.edu or 305-243-2068.



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David F. Ertel to Assume Top Financial and Strategy Positions at Miller School and UHealth

Special to UM News

David. F. Ertel

David. F. Ertel

David F. Ertel, the chief financial officer of Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, has been named chief financial officer and chief strategy officer for health affairs.

As CFO, Ertel will be responsible for the business systems of the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, reporting to Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and CEO of UHealth.

“The success of the value-based health system we are creating will depend, in part, on the sound financial decisions we make, and David will lead the way in critical areas including contracting, budgeting, prioritizing initiatives and business development,” Altschuler said.

Ertel will also have oversight of short- and long-term forecasting, managed care contracting and other financial operations, such as local health market concentration.

“David’s depth of experience will make him a strong leader for the transformation of our health system,” said Altschuler.

The Einstein network in Philadelphia consists of three acute-care hospitals, a nationally recognized rehabilitation hospital, and a physician network that includes 450 employed physicians. The principal medical center — Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia — is affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University and trains 435 residents and fellows and more than 1,000 medical students annually.

As the CFO of Einstein, Ertel has collaborated on service line initiatives in behavioral health and women’s and children’s health, as well as a restructuring of investments and debt.

Previously Ertel was a managing director at Morgan Stanley and head of the National Health Care Group, advising health systems and academic medical centers in financial and strategic matters. He also worked as Vice President and Director of the Health Care Public Finance Group at PaineWebber. Before his investment banking career, he was Budget Director of the New Jersey State Department of Human Services, managing budget planning and control activities.

As a health system trustee, Ertel helped Princeton HealthCare System grow its clinical footprint, including the development of a new hospital.

Ertel holds M.B.A. and M.P.H. degrees from Columbia University. He will begin his new role in late July.

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