Bridging Science, Health and Community



White Coats Ceremony
August 7

Honors & Recognition 


Congratulations Dr. Michelle Lizotte-Waniewski

Michelle Lizotte-Waniewski, Ph.D., was accepted to the 2015 Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) May 1.
In a highly competitive application process, this popular seminar provides women at the assistant professor or instructor level with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the academic medicine enterprise as well as continue on the path to leadership.  Seminar attendees develop academic medicine career building skills and employ strategic thinking about their career development. Dr. Waniewski believes the seminar will provide an excellent opportunity for creating new scholarly activities in our department.
Joseph G. Ouslander, M.D., received the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine Leadership Award, along with a T-shirt titled "Keep it Simple" on April 25.

Presenting the award was Dr. Ouslander's colleague and friend, Dan Osterweil, M.D., F.A.C.P., Msc. Ed., C.M.D., Professor of Medicine/Geriatric Medicine at UCLA. "Joe Ouslander's exceptional leadership is characterized by the creation of solutions to significant problems and positive impacts on the overall quality of long-term care. Joe approaches research, teaching and policy with a fundamental integrity and commitment to the service of others. He is richly deserving of selection for this leadership award," Deb Saliba, M.D., M.P.H., Director, UCLA/Jewish Home Borun Center for Gerontological Research, wrote in her nomination letter.

Congratulations Second-Year Medical Student Stephanie Fontin


Second-year medical student, Stephanie Fontin, was accepted into The Family Medicine Leads (FML) Emerging Leader Institute, whichfocuses on identifying Family Medicine residents and medical students who display leadership potential May 21. The American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) Foundation seeks to expand the number of future Family Medicine leaders by providing training to help equip them for this important work. The Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute is a multi-faceted program that begins with a one and a half day leadership program that is held at the AAFP headquarters, following the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. Information can be obtained here.

Experts Call for Better Care of Young People on Antipsychotics

A National Institute of Mental Health-funded study of metabolic effects of antipsychotics in children demonstrated that antipsychotic-induced increases in adiposity were associated with adverse changes in insulin sensitivity measured for adipose and hepatic tissue.

This finding is from the Metabolic Effects of Antipsychotics in Children study (MEAC) and was presented by John W. New
comer, M.D., at American Psychological Association (APA)'s 2015 annual meeting in Toronto earlier this month. The study was discussed in the symposium "It's About Time! Improving Physical Health Outcomes in Young People Prescribed Antipsychotic Medications."
 This & That


Benjamin A. Bensadon, Ed.M., Ph.D., recently edited "Psychology and Geriatrics: Integrated Care for an Aging Nation."

More than Half of ER Visits May be Needless

More than half of all the trips taken from America's skilled nursing centers to emergency rooms saw residents treated and released, raising the possibility that caregivers are too quick to hit the panic button, a new study has found.  In a separate editorial in the same issue of JAMDA, researchers led by the Joseph G. Ouslander, M.D., say that skilled nursing centers should work up plans for separating real emergencies from apparent ones. "Explicit criteria for when a resident can be monitored in the facility, careful monitoring and documentation, and an evaluation of fall risk factors by a clinician (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant), are all consistent with clinical practice guidelines and a publicly available fall management program that includes these strategies."  Regulators can help here, Dr. Ouslander writes.  "Following such a policy and procedure with careful documentation should be viewed as high-quality care" by surveyors, and an acceptable standard of practice in lawsuits, he says.

Click here to access Dr. Ouslander's study is published in the Journal of Post-acute and Long-term Care Medicine.
Construction Progress

The pillars have been assembled.  Completion is scheduled for February 2016. Keep watching for updates as progress continues.


The Academic and Research Support team at the College of Medicine assists with developing content for the newsletter and web site, social media pages, and facilitates Creative Services requests for invitations, flyers and ads. Click here to visit the MedWrite site.

The team also helps with grant applications and journal article submissions, human subjects training or protocol development.

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State Association Funds
Ouslander Project


Joseph G. Ouslander, M.D., was selected by The Florida Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (FMMJUA) Board to receive a grant to develop his STAR program on May 4. The $750,000 grant plus matching support of approximately $500,000 from FAU and Boca Raton Regional Hospital (BRRH) comprises a period of two years. The ultimate goal of the FMMJUA grant program is to improve the safety of health care services for all Floridians and to improve the safety of the delivery of health care services to patients. Dr. Ouslander is internationally recognized in the field of geriatric medicine for his work on improving the care of older people. He has more than 30 years of experience in leading large, multi-site grant projects funded by the National Institute of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a variety of foundations, and industry.


The STAR program addresses the patient safety problem of potentially preventable hospital readmissions among older adults at high risk of complications during transitions between care settings. "We propose to test such a targeted and multifaceted intervention entitled "Safe Transitions for At Risk Patients" or the "STAR Program" said Dr. Ouslander. The Program will target high-risk patients identified through analyses of over 1,100 hospital discharges, and close to 5,000 hospital transfers from post-acute care (PAC) facilities, and will incorporate components of multiple evidence-based and government-recommended care transitions interventions. Dr. Ouslander's goals are to generate an implementation guide, and tools and resources available on a user-friendly website modeled after the Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT) quality improvement program ( Key components of INTERACT will be incorporated into the STAR Program.

Study Shows Pre-existing Inflammation May Promote Breast Cancer Spread


Although normal inflammation plays an important role in helping to fight off infections, there is mounting evidence that chronic inflammation is linked to increased risk of tumor development. A new study by Vijaya L. Iragavarapu-Charyulu, Ph.D., (Dr. VJ) and her team helps shed light on the important link between inflammation and cancer, and how pre-existing inflammation may aid in the metastatic process.


In an article titled, "Allergen Induced Pulmonary 
Inflammation Enhances Mammary Tumor Growth and Metastasis: Role of CH13L1," featured on the cover of the current issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, this new research suggests inflammation raises the level of a known biomarker of cancer, called "chitinase-3-like-1" or "CHI3L1," in the inflamed tissue, which leads to increased metastasis and faster cancer growth in that tissue. Metastasis is responsible for 90 percent of breast cancer deaths despite significant improvements in diagnosis and treatments. "Important findings from our research show how pre-existing inflammation may be one of the factors that accelerates metastasis to the inflamed site," said Dr. VJ, the principal investigator of the study. Pictured above are members from Dr. VJ's research team. From left to right, are Patricia Keating, Nathalia Gazaniga, Dr. Vijaya Iragavarapu-Charyulu, Stephania Libreros, and Ramon Garcia-Areas.


Ipad Launch


We are proud to announce that beginning this August iPads will be introduced to our medical education curriculum for both faculty and students. Many prominent medical schools, such as Yale, Stanford, Dartmouth and George Washington University, have all embraced the iPad and a mobile, digitally based education platform as an essential tool in their curriculum. Digital resources are quickly becoming students' first and preferred choice to access clinical information, medical library resources, medical journals 

and databases. Such mobile devices are changing not only the way students learn but also how instructors teach and how students and faculty interact. At a number of schools, instructors have created innovative and engaging methods to use iPads during lectures, to assign work, and to observe student activity.  This is a major transformation in the way that we deliver the curriculum and better prepare our students for their future careers. We are all very excited to be a part of this project for our incoming M1 class in August 2015.


When will faculty receive iPads? Core designated teaching faculty who teach consistently throughout the year or who direct courses will be given iPads to use in June at sessions that will be scheduled. Faculty who teach in intermittent courses throughout the year will receive their loaner iPad prior to the start of their course, but are encouraged to attend faculty development sessions where iPads will be provided to gain familiarity.  Faculty who already have their own iPads are encouraged to use them and can load their devices with educational apps and materials with the assistance of Amanda Chiplock, FAU's Senior Librarian.


Who can I contact with additional questions? Dr. Sarah Wood, Amanda Chiplock and Wies Rafi (COM IT) are the project sponsors for this initiative and can answer any questions you have regarding the program.

Transgender Awareness Week Hosted by Medical Student Genevieve Tuveson

Genevieve Tuveson, class of 2018, and President of the American Medical Women's Association, FAU Chapter advocated for the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals by initiating a series of email blasts in April and May.  The primary goal of the topic-specific transgender e-blasts was to educate students, faculty, and staff in an unobtrusive way that diversity in gender and sexuality are positive contributions to humanity. The medical field is viewed as compassionate and empathetic toward patients, thus it is important to promote greater awareness of the LGBTQ community, as these individuals have historically been denied medical treatment for not complying with socially constructed expectations of gender.  The fact is, that transgendered individuals have different healthcare needs, thus the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has become actively involved in promoting the inclusion of LGBTQ healthcare in medical curriculums. 


Accessing medical care can be a significant challenge for transgendered individuals.  Apart from the struggle to afford healthcare, it is often challenging to obtain competent healthcare from physicians who are affirming and understand transgender health.  Sometimes receptionists block access to healthcare - many female to male transgender people still have female reproductive anatomy and therefore need pap smears, but health clinic receptionists often call security on these people, since they appear male.  Additionally, insurance agencies often only cover care for someone's assigned sex at birth.  If a transgender person has legally changed their gender and they enroll for a new health plan with their new legal gender, they may no longer be eligible for services for their assigned sex.


In the future, Genevieve hopes to create workshops to promote greater awareness and to spark conversations about the importance of anti-discrimination of the LGBTQ community. "Education is power. We must become knowledgeable with members of our community because gender is not just binary; it can be a spectrum.  Ultimately, we need to reshape research," said Genevieve.  She received excellent feedback from faculty as a result of the email blasts. To recap, topics during the end of April and beginning of May were as follows: transgender basic (definitions), daily issues - transphobia, health disparities, global diversity - transgender communities around the world, legal issues, and a final open forum surrounding current LGBTQ health disparity topics.

Below are a list of resources with useful information regarding the transgender topic.