News : 2017

Joshua M. Hare, M.D.

Study Shows Stem Cell Therapy Dosing Matters in Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

The Phase II TRIDENT study, led by Joshua M. Hare, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, found that a dose of 100 million allogeneic human mesenchymal stem cells, versus 20 million, was more effective in decreasing scar tissue and restoring left ventricular ejection fraction in study of 30 people with ischemic cardiomyopathy.

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Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D.

Researchers Explore First Treatment for Common Form of Heart Failure

The heart adapts to many types of chronic stress by undergoing hypertrophy, a thickening of the heart muscle. There is currently no treatment for hypertrophy, but researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine are conducting studies that may lead to the first. They have shown that hypertrophy develops when stress causes two key proteins to interact in the cell nucleus, altering the expression of many genes.

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Gilberto de Lima Lopes, Jr., M.D., M.B.A.

Sylvester Researcher Identifies Tumor Biomarker to Guide Lung Cancer Immunotherapy

A predictive tumor biomarker can help clinicians identify lung cancer patients who are most likely to benefit from immunotherapy, according to Gilberto de Lima Lopes, Jr., M.D., M.B.A., a researcher at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

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The Miller School team shows its spirit at the FMA meeting.

Miller School Sends Big Team to Florida Medical Association Annual Meeting

An enthusiastic group of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine students, residents and faculty members attended the annual meeting of the Florida Medical Association last month, and one student was honored for his research work at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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Medical campus update: Hurricane Irma

The latest on Hurricane Irma and how it is affecting the medical campus.

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From left, Diego Venegas, M.D., advisor, Julio Barredo, M.D., international advisor, Patricia Garcia, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., Minister of Health, Franklin Aldecoa, M.D., advisor, and Gino Venegas, M.D., senior advisor.

Sylvester Oncologist Dr. Julio Barredo Helps Peru Improve Outcomes of Kids with Leukemia

For Peruvian native Julio Barredo, M.D., director of children’s cancer programs at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, visits to his home country were often painful. He saw a cure rate of only 40 percent for the 700 children diagnosed annually with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer. He knew that many of them were dying unnecessarily.

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Alexandre Abreu, M.D., with award.

Dr. Alexandre Abreu Receives University of Miami Distinguished Clinician Award

Alexandre R. Abreu, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, has been selected as the junior faculty recipient of the 2017 University of Miami Distinguished Clinician Award. The annual award is given by the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to an exemplary clinician selected by the division chiefs and department chairman.

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Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D., speaking at American Urological Association conference in Boston.

Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, Winner of AUA Research Scholar Award, Presents at Boston Conference

Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D., assistant professor of urology and director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, gave a presentation at the recent American Urological Association (AUA) annual meeting in Boston. Ramasamy specializes in the treatment of disorders of male infertility and sexual dysfunction.

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Michael S. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Michael S. Gordon, Who Revolutionized Medical Education, Passes Away

Over his long and distinguished career at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Michael S. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., revolutionized medical education around the world. He created Harvey, the world’s first cardiopulmonary patient simulator, and UMedic, an innovative computer- and web-based program, to train physicians, emergency responders and military personnel to save countless lives.

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From left, Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., with Sandra Lemmon, Ph.D.

Miller School's M.D./Ph.D. Program Awarded Prestigious NIH Grant

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has been awarded an NIH Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) grant from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences for its M.D./Ph.D. Program, joining an elite group of 47 medical schools throughout the U.S.

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From left, William Harbour, M.D., with Nicolas Acquavella, M.D.

Research Partnership Launches with Breakthrough Bench-to-Bedside Uveal Melanoma Study

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine are working together in a unique partnership to find innovative therapies for patients with the deadly eye cancer uveal melanoma.

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Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado presents proclamation to Kathleen Schrank, M.D., as Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban applauds.

City of Miami Honors Dr. Kathleen Schrank with a Special ‘Day’

June 22 was declared “Dr. Kathleen Schrank Day” by the City of Miami in recognition of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine emergency physician’s 30-year tenure as medical director of Miami Fire-Rescue Emergency Medical Service — a position from which she will retire on July 1.

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Eduardo de Marchena, M.D., second from left, with other symposium attendees.

Miller School Surgeons and Cardiologists Play Major Role in Colombian Symposium

For the eighth consecutive year, Eduardo de Marchena, M.D., professor of medicine and surgery, director of the Interventional Cardiology Program and associate dean of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the International Medicine Institute (IMI), has co-directed and participated in the Structural Heart Latin American Symposium at Angiografia de Occidente in Cali, Colombia.

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From left, Carl H. June, M.D., Pasquale Benedetto, M.D., Mark L. Gonzalgo, M.D., Ph.D., Nipun Merchant, M.D., Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., Breelyn A. Wilky, M.D., and Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

Zubrod Memorial Lecture Program Spotlights Faculty and Young Investigators

Six physician-scientists were recognized for their contributions to cancer research and treatment as part of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 18th Annual Zubrod Memorial Lecture and Sylvester Cancer Research Poster Session on May 19. Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., hosted the event.

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Carl E. Orringer, M.D.

UM Expert Presents New National Lipid Association Recommendations for Cholesterol Reduction

New patient-centered guidelines for the use of PCSK9 inhibitors to reduce cholesterol have been issued by a panel of experts from the National Lipid Association (NLA) chaired by Carl E. Orringer, M.D., a top lipid expert at the University of Miami Health System and professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

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Fulbright Scholarship recipient Elizabeth Sierocinski.

Third-year Miller School Student Named a Fulbright Scholar

Elizabeth Sierocinski, who just completed her third year at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has received a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to continue a research project in Germany looking at patients’ responses to findings in research imaging.

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Steven L. Cohn, M.D.

Dr. Steven L. Cohn Receives SHM Individual Award for Excellence in Teaching

Steven L. Cohn, M.D., is the recipient of the 2017 Society of Hospital Medicine’s Individual Award for Excellence in Teaching, its highest award that honors best practices in hospital medicine. He established the preoperative medical clinic and directed the medical consultation service for almost 30 years at SUNY Downstate/Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn before joining the University of Miami Health System.

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A cardiac ultrasound photo showing epicardial fat within the yellow outline and its greatest thickness depicted by the red line according to the method pioneered and validated by Dr. Iacobellis.

Miller School Research Shows Epicardial Fat is a Modifiable Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetics

Research by Gianluca Iacobellis, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has shown that a drug commonly prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes can significantly reduce epicardial adipose tissue, the fat around and within the heart.

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51st Miami Winter Symposium Will Focus on Stem Cells

The 51st Miami Winter Symposium, to be held January 28-31, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, will focus entirely on stem cells. Expert international speakers will give invited plenary talks supplemented by 12 selected ‘Spotlight’ talks and a large poster session.

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Eugene Schiff, M.D., center with Lifetime Achievement Award, with, from left, Luis G. Chiappy, CFP, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, Exec. VP, So. Fla. Branch of AXA Advisors, Alfred Sanchez, President & CEO of Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and Chris Dudley, vice chair of the Chamber's Healthcare Committee.

Health Care Hero Dr. Eugene Schiff Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

The University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine have enjoyed great success at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Health Care Heroes awards. Eugene R. Schiff, M.D., received the AXA Advisors Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in hepatology.

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Fluorescence microscopy of islets in the omentum transplanted within the biologic scaffold. Shown in red (insulin staining) and blue (DAPI nuclear staining).

Research Findings Show Tissue-Engineered Islet Transplant Achieves Insulin Independence

Scientists from the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have produced the first clinical results demonstrating that pancreatic islet cells transplanted within a tissue-engineered platform can successfully engraft and achieve insulin independence in type 1 diabetes. The findings were published in the May 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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From left, Alicia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., with Matthew Phillips, M.D./Ph.D. student and president of the Graduate Student Association, at the ASCI annual meeting.

Dr. Alessia Fornoni Inducted into American Society for Clinical Investigation

Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, chief of the Katz Family Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, and director of the Peggy and Harold Katz Family Drug Discovery Center, has been inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation. The induction ceremony took place April 21 during the association’s annual meeting in Chicago.

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Family medicine residents Alicia Kepich, M.D. and Ingrid Gutierrez, M.D., role play with Kassandra M. Bosire, M.D.

Program Teaches Residents and Fellows to Redirect ‘Difficult’ Patient Encounters

A new teaching model developed at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine educates residents and fellows on how to effectively redirect patients during difficult interactions. Called “The 7Cs protocol,” it provides a framework for junior physicians to act, versus react, during stressful patient encounters.

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Margaret Fischl, M.D., and UM clinical research nurses demonstrate how the needle-free injector will be used to administer an experimental Zika vaccine in a Phase 2 trial led by the National Institutes of Health.

University of Miami to Begin Phase 2 Zika Vaccine Trial

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will soon begin one of the nation’s first full-scale Zika vaccine clinical trials testing the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) experimental DNA-based vaccine. As Miami-Dade County has been ground zero for the Zika virus outbreak in the U.S., testing the vaccine in an endemic region is critical to help determine the vaccine’s safety.

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Lilian Abbo, M.D.

Lilian Abbo Speaks at Infectious Disease Conference in London

Lilian Abbo, M.D., associate professor of clinical infectious diseases at the Miller School of Medicine and Chief of Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship for Jackson Health System, was an invited speaker at the prestigious British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Spring Conference in London. The subject was “The Global Challenge of Multi-drug Resistant Gram Negative Bacterial Infections.”

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Jair Munoz Mendoza, M.D.

Researchers Find Independence of Two Risk Factors for Death in Chronic Kidney Disease

Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine participated in a multicenter study demonstrating that inflammation and elevated levels of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), an endocrine hormone, are independent risk factors for death in chronic kidney disease.

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From left, Alberto A. Mitrani, M.D., Eduardo J. de Marchena, M.D., and Laurence B. Gardner, M.D.

Hall of Fame Award, Banquet Highlight Medical Alumni Weekend 2017

During the annual celebration of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s alumni, internationally renowned cardiologist and longtime UM faculty member Eduardo J. de Marchena, M.D. ’80, was formally inducted as the 2017 recipient of the Medical Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame Award. The honor, one of the highlights of Medical Alumni Weekend 2017, was presented March 4.

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From left, Panagiota V. Caralis, M.D., J.D.; Jane Wells, executive director of 3 Generations; Deborah Korge, executive director of the Women’s Fund Miami-Dade; JoNell Potter, Ph.D.; and Kristi Nunez, assistant state attorney.

Faculty Honored for Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking

JoNell Potter, Ph.D., professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Panagiota V. Caralis, M.D., J.D., professor of medicine, have received the Malone Prize for Law Enforcement Vision and Leadership for their work providing services for survivors of human trafficking.

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From left, David Faber, M.D. Candidate, Class of 2017, fourth-year liaison to the Miller School of Medicine Medical Alumni Association Board of Directors, with George L. Sanders, M.D. ’69, during a tour of the medical school February 21.

George L. Sanders, M.D. ’69, to be Honored as a UTrailblazer

When George L. Sanders, M.D. ’69, came to South Florida to study at the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1965, the shadow of racism was never far away. The school’s only African-American student at the time, he was refused admittance to most of the medical societies, and he was once barred from entering an apartment complex where his classmates had arranged a study session.

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Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D.

Aptamers May Hold Clue to Treating Heart Failure

As the heart progresses toward heart failure, it produces high levels of a protein called Osteopontin, which is known to activate pathological remodeling of the heart. Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, and a team of investigators decided to see if they could find a way to block Osteopontin signaling to prevent — or possibly even reverse — heart failure.

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Mauricio G. Cohen, M.D.

Diagnosing and Treating Broken Heart Syndrome

Broken Heart Syndrome, or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, primarily affects middle-aged women who are going through emotional distress. Mauricio Cohen, M.D., an interventional cardiologist and researcher with UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, treats women with the condition, which can be triggered by any number of stressful events.

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DCC riders crossing the MacArthur Causeway.

Thousands Support Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at Dolphins Cancer Challenge

A brilliantly sunny South Florida Saturday warmed the already upbeat spirit of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge VII on February 11, as 4,000 participants and volunteers cycled, ran, walked or performed countless tasks to support the search for cancer cures at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

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From left, Hilit F. Mechaber, M.D., Nanette Vega, M.A., Ivette Motola, M.D., M.P.H., and Stephen Symes, M.D.

Honoring Women in Academic Medicine and Their Achievements

Women in Academic Medicine, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Committee of Interns and Residents at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine hosted the annual Evening of Fellowship on January 23, honoring recent successes and achievements of the Miller School’s women faculty. The event began with networking among attendees from various departments, including many chairs and center directors.

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Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D.

Stroke Stent-Retriever Device Saves Patient with Blocked Coronary Artery

When a heart attack patient with a clot blocking his left main artery arrived at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Cesar E. Mendoza, M.D., attempted unsuccessfully to restore blood flow using conventional balloon angioplasty. He remembered colleague Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D., reporting success capturing and removing the clots of stroke patients using a stent-retriever device and asked him to attempt the same technique on his patient.

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Eduardo J. de Marchena, M.D.

Dr. Eduardo J. de Marchena to be honored with Alumni Hall of Fame Award

Eduardo J. de Marchena, M.D. ’80, has been named the 2017 recipient of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Medical Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame Award. The honor will be presented March 4 at the Reunions Banquet at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami.

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Amar R. Deshpande, M.D.

Next-Generation Medical Education Task Force to Design the Ideal Training for Doctors of the Future

As medicine and the delivery of health care continue to be transformed, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine — already a national leader in innovative education — is taking a global look at transforming the entire medical curriculum. And Amar R. Deshpande, M.D., who is leading the charge as chair of the Next Generation Medical Education Task Force, says the timing couldn’t be better.

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UM Investigators Win $13 Million in Zika Research Grants from Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health announced Feb. 1 the award of 12 grants totaling $13,170,784 from the 2016-17 Zika Research Grant Initiative to investigators at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the University of Miami Health System. The grants are more than half of the $25 million state fund supporting a total of 34 Zika research projects at UM and nine other institutions.

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Immunostaining of the GHRH receptor (green) on prostate epithelial cells.

New Study Sheds Light on Challenging Prostate Disease

A recent study by University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Miami VA Medical Center researchers, led by Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c., D.Sc.h.c., the 1977 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology or Medicine, distinguished professor of pathology at the Miller School of Medicine, and a distinguished medical research scientist in the Department of Veterans Affairs, could lead to new, more-effective therapies for BPH.

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Sebastian and local residents celebrate at the closing of the event as a confetti cannon turns the air green and orange.

UM and Local Residents Celebrate The Lennar Foundation Medical Center

Despite the chilly and intermittently rainy weather, nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd of more than 2,500 local residents and University of Miami faculty, staff and students who turned out on Sunday to help celebrate the spectacular Lennar Foundation Medical Center on UM’s Coral Gables campus.

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Craig Lockhart, M.D.

Dr. Craig Lockhart Named Chief of Division of Medical Oncology

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have named Craig Lockhart, M.D., Chief of the Division of Medical Oncology. Lockhart, currently professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, will join Sylvester and the Miller School in April.

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Victoria Bassil is shown proper arm position for her CT scan by Diano Sebastian.

One of Lennar Center’s First Patients Experiences Full Spectrum of Care

The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, which opened on UM’s Coral Gables campus on December 5, is now providing an alternative for Miami-Dade County residents who want the world-class patient care provided by UHealth – the University of Miami Health System — but want it closer to home.

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From left, Christopher J. Salgado, M.D., with Lauren Foster.

LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health Opens at University of Miami Hospital

Building on its mission to cultivate inclusive health care, University of Miami Hospital, part of UHealth — the University of Miami Health System, has opened a new and innovative clinic to meet the comprehensive health and surgical needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community.

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Kathleen M. Downey, Ph.D.

Dr. Kathleen M. Downey, Retired Professor of Medicine, Passes Away

Kathleen M. Downey, Ph.D., who spent 39 years on the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine faculty before retiring in 2007, passed away on November 7, 2016. She was 77. She and joined the Miller School’s Department of Medicine in 1968. She became a tenured full professor in 1982 and received a secondary appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1983.

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Rash on patient's stomach.

University of Miami Physicians Publish Case Study of First Locally Acquired Zika Infection

Following the recent Zika outbreak in Miami-Dade County, a multidisciplinary team of physicians with the University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine published a case study January 11 in The New England Journal of Medicine, describing in detail the nation’s first locally transmitted case of Zika.

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From left, Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., Peggy Katz and David Roth, M.D.

Extraordinary Gift Names Division of Nephrology and Hypertension

Members of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine gathered together recently to recognize longtime supporters whose generosity promises to transform the treatment of kidney disease. Peggy and Harold Katz recently committed $10 million to ensure long-term progress in research, education, and clinical achievements in the division.

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From left, Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., with Brett Scotch, D.O., President of the Hillsborough County Osteopathic Medical Society.

Dr. Joshua D. Lenchus Receives Osteopathic Medical Society’s Achievement Award

Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., associate professor of clinical medicine, anesthesiology and radiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, received the annual President’s Achievement Award from the Hillsborough County Osteopathic Medical Society. Lenchus was presented the award at the December board meeting of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association.

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