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  • 23 Sep 2019 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    T32 Training Program

    WUSTL Transdisciplinary Pre- and Postdoctoral Training Program in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease

    Obesity is an area of critical public health concern, as it is associated with significant cardiovascular health risks and the onset of cardiovascular disease.

    This training program at Washington University School of Medicine recruits highly-qualified pre- and postdoctoral trainees from diverse backgrounds across disciplines and places them within transdisciplinary mentoring teams with faculty members who are leading researchers in the fields of obesity and cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment.

    These training experiences produce scientists with the transdisciplinary research skills necessary to address the complex problems of weight and eating disorders and cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment across the lifespan.

    Click here to visit the training program website for further details on how to apply or email Program Administrator, Dr. Sherri Gabbert ( with questions.  

  • 16 Sep 2019 2:34 PM | Anonymous

    The article below was originally published on 9/13/2019 in the Miami Herald (click for additional video footage). Florida International University recruited Dr. Robert Sackstein from Harvard as a medical dean. Dr. Sackstein became dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and senior VP for health affairs on January 2, 2019.

    Dr. Robert Sackstein can see where he grew up from his sixth-floor office.

    He points south to a smokestack near where his family settled after fleeing Cuba in 1960. That’s where he biked up an unpaved Southwest 112th Avenue to marvel at the planes coming and going from the old Tamiami Airport, before cranes took over and the land became a construction site for Florida International University.

    He didn’t know it then, but Sackstein watched his future workplace come to life. A months-long national search for the second dean of FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine yielded someone who grew up down the street.

    “I am grounded every day by driving through the very neighborhood I grew up in,” Sackstein said. “I understand this community and I want to help our community, and I’m Miami 100% all the way.”

    Sackstein was chosen out of five finalists for the job last October. He officially started in January, but now comes the hard part: crafting a new $50 million budget and leading the emerging medical school through its first transition under a new dean.

    “It can’t get any better than this,” he said. “I’m home.”

    Harvard may be where Sackstein earned his undergraduate degree, went to medical school and worked as a leading researcher and professor for over two decades, but home — Miami — is where Sackstein’s interest in medicine was piqued.

    The Sacksteins struggled when they first arrived in the Westwood Lakes neighborhood. Not having a piano in their home was demoralizing to his prodigy mother, Rosalina Sackstein, who later became a famed piano teacher and renowned professor at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.

    Sackstein himself resisted learning English until a fourth-grade teacher at Cypress Elementary taught him the universal language of math. He then realized his uncle, a surgeon, found immediate employment in the United States.

    That kind of work also held the antidote to Sackstein’s grandmother’s high blood pressure. At age 9, Sackstein said he promised his grandmother that he’d find a cure, and at age 13 he enrolled in a Miami-Dade County Public Schools program that allowed students to do research for credit at a University of Miami laboratory. A researcher named Dr. Murray Epstein was studying hypertension in rats.

    Sackstein’s father drove his son to Epstein’s lab. Epstein, recently discharged as an Air Force flight surgeon, was focused on establishing a functional lab and hesitant to take on a young student.

    “They would not take no for an answer,” Epstein told the Miami Herald. “We discussed things and decided he was so eager for the position that I relented.”

    Sackstein’s hard work found early, preliminary results that contributed in part to the subsequent development of Captopril, the drug that became the precursor to several important medications for blood pressure therapy. Epstein said he’s delighted and fulfilled that Sackstein’s career has come full circle.

    “He saw his future in giving back and being a dean at a major medical school,” Epstein said. “To him, there’s a lot of nuances with having that occur in the city of Miami.”

    Sackstein finished that work with Epstein at 16 while a student at Southwest Senior High. That’s where he met his best friend, now prominent Miami attorney Sam Dubbin. Dubbin served as an adviser to another homegrown figure, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and as chief counsel for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the Clinton administration.

    The pair were roommates for four years at Harvard. They are godparents to each other’s children.

    “I would say there was a dream in the back of his mind in returning back to Miami, to make Miami a first-class medical community, a healthcare providing community,” Dubbin said. “I think it’s a real credit to FIU that they had the vision to bring in Dr. Sackstein with his experience at Harvard and his research background with NIH [National Institutes of Health] research grants, to be able to combine all of those talents in a leadership capacity for the university.”

    FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg says that’s what set Sackstein apart from other candidates for the job, including the sole internal candidate, Dr. Pedro “Joe” Greer, who remains at the medical school.

    “Dr. Sackstein emerged as the fit we were looking for,” Rosenberg told the Herald. “He’s a researcher, he has passion, he’s a teacher almost instinctively. I don’t think I’ve met anyone with a bigger heart than Robert Sackstein.”

    FIU began looking for a new leader of the medical school when its founding dean, John Rock, took a leave of absence last year to serve as founding dean of the college of medicine at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Rock will serve as the first John and Mary Lou Dasburg Chair in Medicine when he returns.

    Sackstein is making quite a bit more than his predecessor: His salary is $700,000, compared to Rock’s $539,537. And he’ll get to steer the medical school, barely a decade old, into a new era that will emphasize research.

    He’s created a new department called Translational Medicine. It combines Medicine, currently a division within the department of Humanities, Health and Society, with Neuroscience and Medical and Population Health Sciences Research. He says the department removes silos with hopes of improving clinical outcomes.

    Sackstein said he is also committed to preserving the medical school’s role in NeighborhoodHELP, which pairs a team of medical students as well as nursing and social work students with low-income residents of several communities to provide free medical care and assistance with legal issues and other care. It’s a program that has set FIU’s medical school apart as a unique community-based and mission-driven educational experience.

    “The overall balance that Robert Sackstein presented was very compelling,” Rosenberg said. “This is a research university that really values practice and experience.”

    Sackstein was in medical school when a successful bone marrow transplant turned fatal in a 16-year-old from Central America. He says that inspired him to go into research instead of clinical medicine, focusing instead on improving care.

    “I never felt comfortable treating people unless I could cure them,” Sackstein said. “I always felt terrible charging someone for care.”

    Sackstein studied how to make bone marrow transplants safer. He learned about how cells travel in the bloodstream, and his research morphed into the little known field of glycobiology, which studies how sugars control biological processes.

    While at Harvard, Sackstein wrote and secured a multimillion-dollar grant with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to educate the next generation of leaders in glycobiology. Because Harvard and the NIH did not wish to lose Sackstein’s leadership on the grant, Harvard and the NIH are allowing four FIU trainees to be educated via the grant and known as “Harvard Scholars.” Sackstein remains a professor emeritus at Harvard.

    Sackstein is also leading research to use cell-based therapy to cure cancer as well as autoimmune and degenerative diseases. There is an ongoing trial in Spain to reverse osteoporosis in women.

    As for new ventures at FIU, Sackstein was able to move an NIH grant focused on finding a cure for leukemia to FIU. He also has NIH funding to support a collaborative FIU-MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston) research project related to immune cell therapy for leukemia.

    He also wants to ramp up philanthropic funding, which he says is sorely lacking. Graduates of the medical school, which has nowhere near the endowments of more established medical schools, are early in their careers and might not yet have the financial footing to give back.

    “This is a school that accepts people regardless of their ability to pay,” Sackstein said. “It is an equal opportunity maker and yet I fear that no one’s really appreciated this gem in their backyard.”

    Sackstein also wants to bring back the same research opportunities he had as a kid for students in high schools surrounding FIU at no cost to the school district. He’s already started that conversation with representatives from the Miami-Dade County School Board.

  • 16 Sep 2019 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to Dr. Eneida Roldan on winning the Academic Excellence Golden Age Award from the Latino Center on Aging. The Golden Age Awards are given every year to individuals who have made significant contributions to the Latino/Hispanic Community. Awards are given for effective leadership, lifetime contributions, public policy initiatives, corporate contributions, and community involvement.  

    Dr. Roldan will receive the award during the Latino Center on Aging Thirty-second Gala at the Pullman Airport Hotel in Miami, FL on September 21, 2019. 

    The LCA was established in 1991, with a very unique mission: to improve the lives of Latino seniors through advocacy and education. Their challenge is to increase knowledge on the hardships faced by our elderly, and to assist in the creation of new programs and services directed towards them.

    Eneida O. Roldan, MD, MPH, MBA is the Chief Executive Officer for FIU Health Care Network. In this role, Dr. Roldan leads the clinical enterprise that serves the Academic Health Center, FIU Campus and the community. In addition to the CEO role, Dr. Roldan serves as Associate Dean for International Affairs for the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. As the Associate Dean for International Affairs, she is responsible for developing collaboration and innovative programs across the medical school with international partners and clinical affiliates. Under her leadership, the International program of the College of Medicine has grown in a short of five years to host over 240 universities across 52 Countries.

    Dr. Roldan is the Immediate Past Chief Executive Officer and President for the Jackson Health System in Miami. Prior to this position, she was Senior Vice President, Associate Chief Medical Officer, and Chief Administrative Officer for Jackson Memorial Hospital. Before joining Jackson Health System, she was President and Chief Executive Officer of Pan American Hospital, later named Metropolitan Hospital of Miami, which, under her leadership, the system emerged successfully from bankruptcy.

    Dr. Roldan is a known national, international speaker and media spokesperson in the areas of obesity, healthcare management and systems and leadership. She has authored several peer review scientific papers as well as book chapters in the field of Medicine, management and leadership. She has served and currently serves on multiple medical and civic organization boards as an executive board member and featured as a woman pioneer and trailblazer in the field of healthcare management and leadership. Her focus of research is on leadership in minority women.

    Dr. Roldan has over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare industry having served in multiple roles both in the private and public sector to include administration both in the non-for-profit and for-profit sectors; private practice, consulting and in academia both national and international. Her training as a medical doctor has taken her as student, educator and speaker to areas in the Caribbean, Central, South America, and Asia. Graduating with highest honors, in addition to her medical degree, postgraduate and fellowship training at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital and affiliates, she holds a Master of Public Health and Master of Business Administration from the University of South Florida and Haslam School of Business at the University of Tennessee respectively.

    She has attended Executive Programs in education and business from Harvard Institutes of Higher Education, Wharton School of Business and Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is a Wharton Fellow and alumni of the General Management Program for Senior Executive Leaders at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Roldan has been the recipient of numerous awards in her profession in both business and medicine. She is a 2017 FIU TOP Scholar, a lifetime member of the Harvard Medical School Postgraduate Association and an Aresty Scholar at the Wharton School of Business for her commitment to professional development and life-long learning. In addition to her roles as an Institutional Representative, Dr. Roldan serves on the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools' Board of Directors as Treasurer. 

  • 13 Sep 2019 5:30 PM | Anonymous

    Attend the National Conference on Medical Student Mental Health and Well-Being on September 18-19, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt New York.  The conference focuses on the mental health needs of medical students, with the goal of identifying innovative methods for fostering greater resilience and well-being that can be implemented at institutions around the country.

    Topics to be discussed include:

    • Detection and treatment of major mental disorders in early adulthood
    • Stresses of medical school and the transition to residency
    • Administrative issues related to mental illness in medical students
    • Strategies to prevent burnout and promote resilience and well-being
    • Best practices for improving medical student mental health
    • Suicide prevention

    The program is hosted by Weill Cornell Medicine, in partnership with the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Associated Medical Schools of New York, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  We are pleased to welcome more than 30 expert speakers from around the country.  View the conference program here.

    This course is designed for medical school deans, university and teaching hospital administrators, faculty physicians, researchers, mental health professionals, and medical students.  Individuals working in medical education, admissions, and student affairs fields at medical schools will benefit from the clinical, scientific, and administrative discussions during the conference.

    Accreditation and Credit Designation Statements

    Weill Cornell Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  Weill Cornell Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 12.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    Contact with questions or to join our mailing list. 


  • 08 Aug 2019 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    Majka Woods, PhD
    Vice Dean ad interim, Academic Affairs
    Associate Dean, Educational Affairs
    Assistant Professor, Surgery
    School of Medicine

    A Message from the Vice Dean ad interim, Academic Affairs, School of Medicine: Assistant Dean, School of Medicine Student Affairs and Admissions

    Aug. 7, 2019

    I am pleased to share that, effective Sep. 1, Norma A. Pérez, MD, DrPH has accepted the position of Assistant Dean, Student Affairs, Office of Academic Affairs in the School of Medicine. 

    Dr. Pérez currently serves as Director, Career Counseling and Special Projects in the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions.  She is also Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and serves as President of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools.  For over 20 years, Dr. Pérez has focused on health disparities in the Latino population. Since her tenure in the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions (2009), her efforts have been dedicated to building culturally competent linguistically appropriate physicians through her expansion of Practice of Medicine HABLE (Spanish component) (2009), the development of the Bilingual Health Track (2010-2013), Clinical Conversational Spanish for English and Spanish Healthcare Professionals© (2013), PBL HABLE (2014) and advocating for community service learning and interprofessionalism. She is a member of the Medical Spanish Taskforce. The Taskforce is an international group of interdisciplinary professionals who have come together to standardize the teaching of Medical Spanish. Dr. Pérez is currently leading the development of the Faculty-Advisory Program to provide career counseling to medical students across all four years.

    In addition to her current responsibilities, Dr. Pérez’s role as Assistant Dean will include overseeing the administration of the Medical Student Performance Evaluations (MSPE), student wellness issues, and serving as advisor to student organizations and liaison for various student related committees and programs.  She will also be instrumental in supporting the annual MATCH/SOAP, Parents’ Weekend, White Coat Ceremony, and Graduation.

    Please join me in congratulating Dr. Pérez in her new role.

    Sincerely yours,

    Majka Woods, PhD
    Vice Dean ad interim, Academic Affairs
    Associate Dean, Educational Affairs
    Assistant Professor, Surgery
    School of Medicine

  • 10 Apr 2019 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    Norma Pérez, M.D., Dr.P.H., Executive Director of Hispanic Center of Excellence and Special Program in the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions, School of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, has been chosen as one of a select group of medical education leaders for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Certificate Program. Dr. Pérez is also the President and UTMB representative of Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS).

    The Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Certificate Program, an application-based certificate program, cultivates leaders in academic medicine through evidence-based, collaborative learning and reflective practice. After going through the competitive application process, Dr. Pérez was one of 65 nationally selected fellows.

    The one-year, cohort-based certificate program provides:

    • Theory and evidence-based learning for interested professionals to develop and strengthen their educational leadership
    • A professional learning community for aspiring and emerging leaders to learn from, and with each other
    • Learning and reflective practice for enhancing one’s leadership style and practices
    • Facilitation of entry and progressive advancement into meaningful leadership roles

    During the program, Dr. Pérez will be working with a small peer coaching group with an assigned national LEAD Coach on an ongoing basis over the course of the year, and will attend 2 in-person workshops, 1 regional medical education meeting, as well as virtual coaching sessions.

    About the opportunity, Dr. Pérez stated, “I am honored and very excited to have been chosen into this exclusive program. I look forward to meeting and working closely with nationally recognized senior leaders in academia.”

    In order to apply for the program, Dr. Pérez needed the recommendation of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, Dr. Ruth Levine, at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. 

    “I know that the LEAD program will add to my experience and help me jumpstart more complex projects in academic medicine.”

    For more information about the AAMC’s LEAD Certificate Program, visit

  • 14 Mar 2019 2:48 PM | Anonymous

    Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH, professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, joins the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing(JHSON) Advisory Board. Through her more than 35 years of experience in environmental public health, she will help support the school’s mission and contribute diverse perspectives to JHSON’s local and global work.

    “Dr. Lichtveld has a wealth of knowledge gained from working all over the world,” says JHSON Dean Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN. “Her education, expertise, and lived experience will add tremendous value to our work, and we are excited for her enthusiasm to invest in our school.”

    As a member of the National Academy of Medicine, Lichtveld also serves as an endowed chair in environmental policy at the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium and is director of the Center for Gulf Coast Environmental Health Research, Leadership, and Strategic Initiatives.

    Lichtveld began her career at 23 years old working as a physician in the Amazon rainforest. She has researched environmentally-induced disease, health disparities, environmental health policy, disaster preparedness, public health systems, and community resilience. She has also examined the impact of chemical and non-chemical stressors on communities, as well as environmental health issues and capacity building projects related to the Gulf Coast.

    In recognition of her lifelong efforts dedicated to improving health, Lichtveld has been inducted in the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars and earned honors including being named CDC’s Environmental Health Scientist of the Year and Woman of the Year by the City of New Orleans. She is also a member of the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council and the EPA Scientific Advisory Board, among other health care organizations, and is on the editorial board of the American Journal of Public Health.

    JHSON’s Nursing Advisory Board consists of members from across disciplines and professions to help advocate for the school’s leadership and success. JHSON offers a range of programs from prelicensure to the doctoral level, and is ranked No. 1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for its master's, online, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.


    Located in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is a globally-recognized leader in nursing education, research and practice. The school ranks No. 1 nationally for its master's, DNP, and online programs in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. In addition, the school is ranked by QS World University as the No. 4 nursing school in the world, No.1 by College Choice for its master’s program, and No. 1 for its DNP program. First opened in 1889, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is celebrating throughout 2019 its 130th anniversary as a school and leader in nursing education and excellence. For more information, visit www.nursing.jhu.eduand


    Danielle Kress

  • 29 Jan 2019 8:10 AM | Anonymous

    The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a FREE six-week summer initiative for college freshman and sophomore students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions.  The SHPEP is committed to strengthening the career development of underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged students to further prepare them for a successful career in the healthcare industry.

    SHPEP scholars may choose from multiple career pathways, including: medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, physician assistant, nursing, public health and physical therapy.

    The SHPEP is a summer experience that will make a lasting impression and help better position students for acceptance into advanced degree programs.

    Apply today at, the application deadline is February 15, 2019.

  • 01 Oct 2018 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    HSHPS has been invited to attend a one-day workshop on Addressing diversity in the biomedical research workforce through collaboration among scientific medical associations, hosted by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and cosponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Dr. Maureen Lichtveld, Past President of HSHPS will attend the workshop. On behalf of HSHPS Dr. Lichtveld has participated in virtual focus group meetings providing information that has helped drive the workshop's agenda. 

     The workshop is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at the Cloisters on the Main Campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    The United States is one of the world’s leaders in science and technology. Identifying human resource talent to lead innovation and advance knowledge discovery is a cornerstone of biomedical research. However, several challenges exist which hamper the ability of the nation to maintain an intellectually diverse and competitive workforce. One challenge in particular is the implementation of effective strategies to promote and harness diverse talent in the biomedical research workforce. Despite longstanding efforts to diversify the biomedical research workforce, there remains a significant gap in the reflection of the general US population and those who lead our scientific enterprise. The higher the examination across the scientific pipeline from entry into science through faculty rank, the wider the gap exhibited. Since 2006 the numbers of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds entering into science and technology majors has increased, but these numbers have not translated into increased diversity among the faculty ranks (National Academies of Science, 2010). Specifically, less than 10% of the biomedical faculty are underrepresented minorities (Valantine and Collins, 2015).

    The purpose of the workshop is to bring together thought leaders from medical, scientific, and academic organizations to share best practices with respect to developing, growing, and maintaining scientific talent from underrepresented groups across the biomedical workforce. The workshop will be conducted with the goal of establishing innovative and action-oriented steps to enhance diversity within the biomedical and clinical research fields.

    This workshop is by invitation only and not open to the public. 

  • 05 Apr 2018 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    April 10, 2018
    2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

    Please join the Latino Commission on AIDS on National Youth HIV/AIDs Awareness Day (Tuesday, April 10,2018) at 2PM (EDT) as their leading expert panelist, Luciano Reberte and Abdier Benitez, will be discussing topics about the importance of HIV testing in youth and eliminating stigma related to HIV in youth.

    About the Webinar:

    Today's young people are the first generation that has never known a world without HIV and AIDS. In the United States, almost 40 percent of new HIV infections are young people ages 13 to 29.

    It’s more important than ever to recommit to the fight against HIV and AIDS. And most importantly, we must invest in young people - bring them to the table not only as partners, but as leaders that can truly turn the tide of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Only by fully investing in young people - in their health, their education, and their leadership - can we reach an AIDS-free generation.

    Two young men that work at the latino Commission on AIDS, Luciano Reberte and Abdier benitez, will share their experiences working with youth in New York City, touching on two important points:

    1. The Importance of HIV testing in youth
    2. Eliminating stigma related to HIV in youth


    Luciano Reberte, Lead Program Manager
    Abdier Benitez, M-Powerment Core Group Coordinator 

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