South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday January 24, 2017

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January 2017 - Volume 13 - Issue 7




The interventional cardiology team at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute at Baptist Hospital recently became the first in South Florida to offer patients with coronary artery disease a new treatment option that literally disappears over time.

Ramon Quesada, M.D., Medical Director of the Structural Heart and Complex Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Programs at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute at Baptist Hospital, implanted a patient with the world's first FDA-approved biodegradable heart stent or “scaffold.” The Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold is a major advance in the treatment of coronary artery disease, which affects 15 million people in the United States and remains a leading cause of death worldwide despite decades of therapeutic advances.
The Institute was the only South Florida medical facility to participate in the clinical trials for the new device.
While stents are traditionally made of metal, Abbott’s Absorb stent is made of a naturally dissolving material, similar to degradable sutures. Absorb disappears completely[1] in about 3 years, after it has done its job of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the treated artery segment. By contrast, metal stents are permanent implants.
“This absorbable stent is a revolutionary advancement in the treatment of coronary artery disease,” explained Dr. Quesada, who was the principal investigator for the trials at the Institute. “It benefits the patient by treating the diseased artery then gradually dissolving, leaving a healed artery that can pulse naturally, the way it was meant to function.”

Congratulations to the eighteen south Florida physicians who were selected as participants in the inaugural class of the Physician Leadership Academy of South Florida (PLA) for 2016-2017. The PLA is providing training and workshops on developing their leadership skills, information about health care issues facing Floridians and tools which will enable them to make significant differences in the leadership roles they presently hold and those they anticipate holding.

The Academy, being held under the auspices of the Palm Beach County Medical Society/Services (PBCMS) is a collaborative effort with the Broward County Medical Association (BCMA) and Dade County Medical Association (DCMA). During the first year of the PLA, six physicians were selected by the three local Medical Associations to participate in the Academy. Funded through a grant from the Physicians Foundation, the Academy has been endorsed by the Florida Medical Association, who is also providing CME’s.
During seven sessions held over eight months, physicians in the program are carrying out a leadership self-assessments and attending sessions on advocacy, media and communications, cultural competency, conflict resolution, building medical teams and becoming a transformative leader. In addition participants are working in six teams on six leadership projects which they selected from amongst 20 topics. At their graduation in May 2017 each team will present the progress they have made on their projects.
Steering Committee members overseeing the PLA are James Goldenberg, M D serving as Chair along with Jose Paco Arrascue, MD and Alan Pillersdorf, MD from Palm Beach County; Dana Wallace, MD and David Perloff, MD from Broward County and from Dade County Eduardo Martinez, MD and Alan Nullman, MD. Other members of the Steering Committee are Cynthia Peterson, Executive Vice President of the Broward Medical Association; Patricia Handler, Executive Vice President from the Dade County Medical Association and Tenna Wiles, Chief Executive Officer of the Palm Beach County Medical Society/Services.
Following confirmation of the grant from the Physicians Foundation for a second year of the Academy, the three Associations will accept new applications from physicians in the three participating counties. Thanks to the support from The Physicians Foundation, the cost for participants to attend the first and second years is free.

Cleveland Clinic Florida has appointed interventional radiologist Rodolfo J. Blandon, M.D., M.B.A., Chief of Staff.

Dr. Blandon will continue to serve as Chairman of the Department of Imaging and practice within the section of Interventional Radiology.
Dr. Blandon joined Cleveland Clinic Florida in 2001. A graduate of Florida International University in Miami, Dr. Blandon earned his medical degree at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa. He completed a general surgery internship at Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and a radiology residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. His advanced training also includes a fellowship in vascular/interventional radiology at Alexandria Hospital, a George Washington University affiliated hospital in Alexandria, VA.

Cleveland Clinic Florida has appointed board certified colorectal surgeon Eric Weiss, M.D., as its Chief Academic Officer.

Dr. Weiss graduated from Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Colorectal Surgery Fellowship program in 1994 and became an active member of the colorectal surgery team, specializing in minimally invasive approaches to colorectal disease, management of complex re-operative surgery, and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as colorectal cancer. A former Vice Chairman of the Department of Colorectal Surgery, he continues to serve as the Center Director for Education, the Designated Institutional Official, and Chairman of Graduate Medical Education at Cleveland Clinic Florida.

Mathew Farbman, D.O., Tiffannie Walker, M.D., Georges Azzi, M.D., and Ross Wodicka, M.D., have joined the Holy Cross Medical Group.

Board-certified in internal medicine, Dr. Mathew Farbman recently completed a Rheumatology Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta. A Miami native, he previously completed his internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, where he served on the Graduate Medical Education Committee and was also appointed by the Chief Medical Officer to ACGME CLER (Clinical Learning Environment Review) Visitation as the resident to represent all of the training programs within the hospital.
Dr. Tiffannie Walker practices obstetrics and gynecology. Prior to joining Holy Cross, she completed her residency at the University of Florida Health Science Center. Her medical experience includes providing care for underserved patients at Neighborhood Health Services in Tallahassee and providing care during medical mission trips to Portland, Jamaica with the Caribbean American Medical Education Organization.
Certified as an ABIM Diplomate in Internal Medicine, Dr. Georges Azzi recently completed a Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami/VA Hospital. He also completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Staten Island University Hospital and a Hematology/Oncology Rotation at Johns Hopkins University’s Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, an Urogenital Oncology Observership and Research at Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston, an Infectious Diseases Observership at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and a Clinical Cardiology Clerkship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He completed his medical residency at Universite Saint-Joseph Faculty of Medicine in Beirut.
Dr. Ross Wodicka is a fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon.  He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami where he spent a year as Chief Resident.  He was then chosen for a fellowship position in sports medicine at the world renowned Southern California Orthopaedic Institute in Los Angeles.  

West Boca Medical Center welcomes Adam Leisy, M.D., as the new medical director of the adult emergency departments of both the hospital and its free standing emergency care center located in Coconut Creek. He will also work as an attending physician with the rest of the experienced physicians on the medical staff of the hospital and the emergency rooms.

Since 2013, Dr. Leisy has served as the assistant emergency medical director at Florida Medical Center, a campus of North Shore. He also worked as an attending emergency room physician at both Florida Medical Center and North Shore Medical Center. In addition, he works for Broward EMS, serving as a medical director for Lauderhill fire rescue. 
Dr. Leisy earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida International University. He attended medical school at Ross University School of Medicine before completing his residency at Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center.

Renowned radiologist Nilza Kallos, M.D., board certified in nuclear medicine, has joined Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center in Coral Gables. Kallos brings to Sylvester two of her colleagues — Lori DeFillipo, M.D., and Angela Parra, M.D. — from her former private practice in South Miami, where the group has been practicing breast radiology for more than 25 years.

Kallos graduated from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She did her residencies in internal medicine at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Pennsylvania, and nuclear medicine in the Radiology Department at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She has been a pioneer in all aspects of breast imaging and women’s ultrasound, including pelvic, abdominal, and thyroid procedures and diagnosis. Kallos opened the first multimodality breast center in Florida and continues to be a leader in the breast-imaging community.

Arif Dalvi, M.D., MBA, a neurologist with the Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute (PBNI) and a member of the Advanced Neuroscience Network (ANN), has been named Medical Director of the Medical Advisory Council at the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA), South Florida Chapter. Dr. Dalvi specializes in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders such as essential tremor and dystonia.

Dr. Dalvi has conducted research for over 20 years on the surgical and pharmaceutical treatments of Parkinson’s disease. He has published extensively on Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia and was awarded the Doctor of Excellence Award by the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Dr. Dalvi is a member of the Parkinson Study Group and is on the advisory board of the International Essential Tremor Foundation.
Prior to joining PBNI, Dr. Dalvi was the Director of the Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders Program at the Methodist Hospital Neuroscience Institute in Merrillville, IN. Dr. Dalvi’s academic appointments include Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the Neurology Residency Program at the University of Chicago and the University of Cincinnati. 

Tenet Florida Physician Services (TFPS) is pleased to announce that expert vascular surgeon Dr. Joseph Ricotta, Regional Medical Director of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy for the Tenet Florida Heart & Vascular Network, has joined the TFPS multispecialty physician group and is a founding member of the Tenet Florida Cardiovascular Care network.

Prior to joining TFPS, he has also served as Associate Professor of University of Georgia School of Medicine, CEO and Medical Director of the Vascular Institute of Atlanta, Chair of the Department of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy and Medical Director of the Heart and Vascular Institute at Northside Hospital, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Director of Clinical Research, Director of Complex Aortic Surgery and Associate Program Director of the Vascular Surgery Fellowship at Emory University, and an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Ricotta is also dedicated to training and teaching future physicians and vascular surgeons. Through his position as Professor of Surgery at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine of Florida Atlantic University, he is very active in the training of medical students, physician assistant students, surgical residents and fellows. He also leads a variety of training workshops on new and innovative endovascular and surgical techniques for physicians and vascular surgeons from all over the world.
Dr. Ricotta completed his undergraduate degree at Yale University, received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, completed the Halsted General Surgery Residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was a traveling scholar and Specialist Registrar in Vascular Surgery at Oxford University in England, and completed a Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic followed by an Advanced Endovascular Surgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.

Tenet Florida Physician Services (TFPS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Jack Marek Klem, a neurological surgeon, has joined the TFPS multispecialty physician group and is the newest member of the Advanced Neuroscience Network (ANN). Dr. Klem has opened TFPS offices in Miami and Coral Gables and is the Medical Director of Neurosurgery at North Shore Medical Center in Miami among other local hospitals. He is also on staff at Florida Medical Center, a campus of North Shore in Fort Lauderdale.

For his education and training, Dr. Klem completed residency in neurological surgery and an internship in general surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Klem graduated medical school from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Klem received a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from The Wharton School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Economics, majoring in Finance.
Upon arrival to South Florida, Dr. Klem served as Medical Director in Vascular Neurosurgery and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at Florida International University (FIU).
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