South Florida Hospital News
Monday March 2, 2015
February 2015 - Volume 11 - Issue 8



Renowned pancreatic cancer clinician and scientist Nipun B. Merchant, M.D., is joining the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center as Chief Surgical Officer and Director of Surgical Oncology Research Programs. Merchant comes to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and UHealth – University of Miami Health System from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he has been the Director of the Vanderbilt Pancreas Center, Chief of GI Surgical Oncology and Co-Leader of the GI Oncology Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Merchant will also take on the newly created position of Vice Chair of Surgical Oncologic Services and Academic Affairs within the Department of Surgery and will be the Chief of Surgical Oncology at University of Miami Hospital as well as Chief Surgical Officer at UMHC/Sylvester. In addition, he will serve as Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology.
Before joining Vanderbilt University Medical Center, he completed a surgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and was assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University Medical School.

Dr. Edgardo Marecos is a Board Certified Radiologist who has had a full time appointment at the Miami VA since March of 2006. Dr. Marecos graduated from Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Argentina (1994). He trained three years as a Radiology Research Fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (1999). He then trained in Diagnostic Radiology at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami (2005) and did an Interventional Radiology fellowship at same institution (2006). After completion of his training, he moved to work fulltime at the Miami VA. He is the current Chair of the Miami VA Radiation Safety Committee. He was Acting Chief of Imaging Service from the end of May 2013 until his current promotion.

Dr. Rita Romaguera is a knowledgeable and experienced, Board Certified Pathologist who has had a full time appointment at the Miami VA since September 2008 performing mainly in the area of anatomic pathology. Dr. Romaguera graduated from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, Puerto Rico (1994). She trained in Anatomic & Clinical Pathology at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami (1994-1999) and did Pediatric Pathology at JMH/UM (1999-2000). After completion of her training, she remained faculty at the University of Miami Pathology Department where she covered Jackson Memorial Hospital (1999-2008), Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center/University of Miami Hospital and Clinics (2000-2008) and Jackson South Hospital (2004-2008) and was Assistant Professor when she moved to work fulltime at the Miami VA. She currently holds voluntary appointment at the University of Miami Department of Pathology and is involved with the training of pathology residents as well as podiatry residents. She is co-Chair of the Cancer Committee, pathology representative to the Tumor Board and participates in the Operative and Invasive Procedure Committee. She has been Acting Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Services since the end of May 2014 until her current promotion.
Holy Cross Hospital announced that orthopedic surgeon Kathryn Heim, M.D., has joined the Holy Cross Medical Group.
Dr. Heim joins the Holy Cross Medical Group from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where she completed a fellowship in the surgical treatment of hand and upper extremity conditions.
Prior to her fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Heim completed a residency program in orthopedics at the JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, TX, and a research fellowship at the department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. She received her medical degree from the University of Louisville and her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Tenet Florida Physician Services (TFPS) is pleased to announce Dr. Phillip Habib, an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist, has opened his practice in Delray Beach. Dr. Habib specializes in the treatment of advanced heart failure at Delray Medical Center.
Prior to joining TFPS, Dr. Habib worked as an attending hospitalist at the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical School (UPMC) and Department of Medicine at UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Habib completed fellowship training in advanced heart failure and transplantation at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, in cardiovascular diseases at the University of Florida, and an advanced echocardiography fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute. He finished an internal medicine residency at the Ohio State University and graduated medical school from Northeast Ohio Medical University.


Broward Health North hospital has added the following physician to its medical staff:
Drew Bawcombe, M.D., Ophthalmology
Bryan Dawkins, M.D., Family Practice
Dusan Dragovic, M.D., Nephrology
Carlos Duran-Martinez, M.D., Nephrology
Teresita Fox, M.D., Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Faisal Huda, M.D., Anesthesiology
Avia Reuveni, D.P.M., Podiatry
Arthur Spelling, D.M.D., Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery









The Lee County Medical Society has honored seven Lee County Physicians for their outstanding contributions to medicine at the Fifth Annual Medical Service Awards.
Ira A. Zucker, M.D., was presented with The Award for Citizenship & Community Service for outstanding leadership and public service above and beyond the call of duty as a practicing physician. This includes service within the local community and abroad.
Joseph P. Walker & Glenn L. Wing, M.D., was presented with The Scientific Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding work in the areas of scientific medical research. This includes both basic science and clinical research.
Gary A. Goforth, M.D., was presented The Award for Health Education in recognition of being an exemplary physician who educates other physicians and health workers and for his dedication to caring for the medical community.
Jacob H. Goldberger, M.D., received the Leadership & Professionalism Award. This award underscores the Lee County Medical Society’s continuing dedication to the principles of medical ethics and the highest standards of medical practice.
Mark M. Geisler, was presented the Award of Appreciation for exemplary and a lasting contribution to the medical profession as a (non-physician) member of the medical profession.
Clifford W. Smith was presented the Distinguished Layperson’s Service Award for contributing to the achievement of the ideals of medicine through the advancement of medicine, medical science, medical research, medical education or medical care. This award includes those who support the medical profession through the delivery of medicine or medical research/education but are not themselves physicians, nurses, nurse practioners, physician assistants or other medical staff.
Barbara Siegel, wife of the late Alan D. Siegel, M.D., was presented with the “In Memory of an Outstanding Physician Award” in memory of Dr. Alan Siegel, an outstanding physician for substantial contributions to our medical community for his lasting and significant achievements in leadership medical ethics and professionalism.
Heriberto Fernandez, M.D., is named Hialeah Hospital’s 2014 Physician of the Year for his outstanding service, commitment and dedication to the hospital, his patients, colleagues and the community. Dr. Fernandez specializes in internal medicine and has been on the medical staff at Hialeah Hospital for a little more than a year.
Pamela Gambardella was appointed executive director of the Catholic Health Services North Campus in Lauderdale Lakes. Gambardella has a deep work experience at Catholic Health Services including the last two years as assistant administrator of St. Anthony’s Rehabilitation Hospital. Prior to that, she served for 9 years as PPS Coordinator/Clinical Reviewer overseeing all admissions and managing the implementation and compliance with the perspective payment system (Medicare) for the acute rehabilitation hospital. She also functioned for 15 years as a licensed occupational therapist at the CHS North Campus.
 Dr. Andrew Oakes-Lottridge, M.D., President of the Lee County Medical Society welcomes Julie Ramirez as its new Executive Director.
Julie has lived and worked in Fort Myers since 2000.  Julie has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Associate of Arts in Science. She has more than 10 years of experience in management including the last 5 years as the Health and Wellness Director of Senior Friendship Centers. 

Bethesda Health is pleased to announce Mildreys Hereira, Ed.S, MSW, CIMI, as the new Oncology Patient Navigator.

Hereira has more than ten years of experience as a social worker. She earned a Master’s degree in social work and a post Master’s degree in education from Florida Atlantic University. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and The Florida Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators. In 2008, she was published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
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