Tag Archive | "Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center"

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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Yoly Hernandez Peddles Her Passion for Cancer Research


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Yolanda “Yoly” Hernandez

As director of special projects, Yolanda “Yoly” Hernandez, is passionate about raising funds for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Our team of experts discover, develop, and deliver the world’s most effective ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer,” Hernandez says. “Most importantly, funds raised for Sylvester stay in South Florida, guaranteeing that the day you or a loved one may need cancer treatment, you won’t need to go very far.”

A cancer survivor who has been in remission for more than 25 years, Hernandez is also a top fundraiser for the Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC), the annual tri-county event held in partnership with the Miami Dolphins to raise funds for Sylvester. A virtual rider who will cheer for Team UM Sylvester and all the other cyclists during the fifth challenge February 7-8, Hernandez says the secret to her fundraising prowess is passing on her enthusiasm for the DCC to colleagues, family, friends, and grateful patients. “They understand the importance of this fundraiser and rally behind me every year.”

After earning her bachelor of arts degree, Hernandez began working at UM’s School of Medicine in 1972 as an assistant to Robert Zeppa, M.D., chair of the Department of Surgery. She then worked for the Department of Oncology, chaired by G. Zubrod, as an assistant to Dr. Nathaniel Berlin. She became development officer at Sylvester in 1992. “I’m proud to say that I’ve been with Sylvester since the first day, and I’m still here,” she says. “This is a job I do with all my heart. Every day, I talk with our faculty, our nurses, and our patients about why Sylvester is so special. Every time our researchers make a new discovery, the whole benefits from their work.”

Along with her husband, Carlos, Hernandez raised a ’Cane—their daughter Rebecca, who in 2008 earned two UM degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Motion Pictures and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She then continued her studies at New York University and graduated with a master’s degree as a specialist in film and media restoration and archiving.

“I believe it’s important for employees to support our University,” Hernandez says. “If you feel a connection with one of our schools or programs, you can show your gratitude by making a financial contribution. Every gift makes a difference, no matter how large or small.”

Read about other faculty and staff who support the U.

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Help Team UM Sylvester Raise Funds for Dolphins Cycling Challenge V


Purchase “Holiday Candy Grams: Christmas and Hanukkah Delights” from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and help Team UM Sylvester raise funds for Dolphins Cycling Challenge V, February 7-8. All orders will be personalized and hand delivered throughout the Miller School of Medicine campus and Gables One Tower during the week of December 15. Candy grams are $2.50 each or five for $10. To order, please contact Daycha Grondona at dgrondona@med.miami.edu.

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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Offered at UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center


The impact of chronic stress is one of the strongest factors in determining a person’s overall health and well-being. A growing body of scientific research suggests that mindfulness-based programs significantly benefit a wide range of participants, including those suffering with chronic pain and illness, anxiety, and depression. Among healthy or otherwise undiagnosed individuals who want to develop better coping strategies and improve their quality of life, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) participants report enhancements in a variety of ways, including greater focus, joy, and balance.

MBSR is an experiential learning program, intended to engage the mind and the body. Developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, MBSR teaches participants to recognize and address stressors by using a variety of meditation and yoga techniques. The program has received widespread international acclaim and is offered at leading integrative medical centers around the world. However, affordable MBSR courses offered to the community by qualified instructors have been limited in Miami.

An an eight-week MBSR program will be offered at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center by Debra Annane, M.A., R.Y.T., on Saturdays from January 10 through February 28, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and on Thursday, February 5, from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. Annane, stress management researcher and group facilitator at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, trained in MBSR at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts. She has been a mindfulness and yoga practitioner since 1987. Her warmth and knowledge of stress management at the leading edge of public health research come together in a practical, effective, and comforting blend of self-healing techniques that she expertly imparts to program participants.

“The course and the practices are a walking trail into the garden of your life. It’s about seeing the whole picture—weeds, flowers, bugs, and all,” Annane said. “When we pay attention to the exact and present moment now, just as it is, the next moment becomes a surprise. I enjoy guiding participants to develop a mindfulness practice that helps them be fully present for simple every day joys of life, just as much as for difficult challenges.”

The eight-week program fee is $275 per person and includes all course materials. Full or partial scholarships may be granted to applicants who submit a written statement of need. For more information or to register for the upcoming class, contact Annane at 954-643-5397.

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Leukemia Specialist Receives Pap Corps Endowed Professorship

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Leukemia Specialist Receives Pap Corps Endowed Professorship


Ronan T. Swords, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Leukemia Program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, has received the Pap Corps Endowed Professorship in Leukemia. The endowment comes from The Pap Corps: Champions for Cancer Research, a volunteer organization that raises money solely for cancer research at Sylvester.

To date, The Pap Corps has donated more than $51 million to Sylvester, including this year’s record-setting $4.5 million as part of an overall pledge of $25 million to UM’s Momentum2 campaign. That makes the organization the fifth-highest University donor in overall giving.

The endowed professorship was celebrated at a ceremony at Sylvester on October 23 that was attended by leaders from the University of Miami and The Pap Corps, and several of Swords’ colleagues.

“With a focus on patient-oriented research and multidisciplinary clinical care, Dr. Swords is poised to become a leader in the field of hematologic malignancy,” said Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology. “An endowment makes it possible for Sylvester to support extraordinarily talented physician-researchers such as Dr. Swords, who will make that next life-changing discovery.”

“Endowed professorships offer many benefits, not just to the recipients, but to the entire University community,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala. “This gives us a chance to honor our brightest stars. It is an opportunity to invest in the future, and investing in Dr. Swords’ research and clinical care is absolutely critical to creating a world-class cancer center.”

Swords, a native of Ireland, received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the National University of Ireland Galway. Following a residency in general internal medicine, he became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland in 2002 and a fellow in 2011. After a fellowship in hematology, Swords became a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in London. He came to the U.S. in 2009 for an advanced fellowship in drug development at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Swords joined Sylvester in 2012.

“An endowed professorship is one of the top accolades in a physician-scientist’s career,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth. “This funding will surely allow Dr. Swords to take his work to the next level. His multidisciplinary approach to clinical challenges demonstrates an inventive and very curious mind that will continue to uncover and develop new strategies.”

To commemorate the occasion, Swords was presented with a plaque and a new white coat embroidered with the title of his endowed professorship. In his acceptance remarks, he thanked The Pap Corps for its support of his work, calling the endowed professorship “a great privilege and honor. The Leukemia Program now has a nucleus of really talented people in the laboratory and the clinic,” Swords said, “and it is going to be nationally and internationally competitive.”

Despite the praise for her organization’s giving, JoAnne Goldberg, President of The Pap Corps kept Sylvester’s achievements in the spotlight.

“Thank you for all that you do,” she said. “It is our pleasure to work for you.”

Nimer repaid the compliment, saying that The Pap Corps’ consistently high level of funding has enabled Sylvester’s physicians and researchers to directly impact the lives of patients.

“Because of you, we have had the funding necessary to encourage early research, open clinical trials and increase our community outreach and education,” he said. “The money you raise helps us recruit top-notch physicians and scientists, and now your support is taking us another step forward.”

Swords also acknowledged Nimer and another Sylvester colleague who was present, Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology in the Department of Medicine, as invaluable mentors.

“This endowment is a wonderful opportunity for me to really focus my efforts almost entirely on research,” he said. “We have a very large, diverse patient population, and this will help us get more patients into more clinical trials. It will enable us to establish large tissue banks and learn much more about the biology of the disease, which hopefully will lead to new treatments.”

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Learn About Lung Cancer Treatment and Prevention at Sylvester’s Lung Cancer Awareness Fair November 20


In observance of National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Thoracic Site Disease Group at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center will host a health fair on lung cancer awareness on Thursday, November 20, for health care providers, staff, faculty, students, and anyone in the community interested in learning about the latest on lung cancer. Open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in room 1301 at Sylvester, the fair will provide information on lung cancer detection, surgery, treatment, and prevention, including lung cancer screenings, which are now covered by UM’s Aetna insurance. Registration is not required, and walk-ins are welcome. For more information, contact Yohanna Zaldumbide, thoracic nurse navigator, at 305-243-0720 or Marie J. Charles, lung cancer screening coordinator, at 305-243-9069.

 

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