South Florida Hospital News
Thursday November 14, 2019

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November 2019 - Volume 16 - Issue 5



In continuation of an effort launched last year, Dr. Antonio Mesa, President of the Dade County Medical Association (DCMA) announced that the Nicaraguan American Medical Association (NAMA) has joined the DCMA as an Affiliated Medical Association. This program, developed by Dr. Raul Ravelo and Dr. Jorge Marcos, allows local medical and healthcare organizations to join the DCMA as a group.

“The main goal of the program is to unify and bring together all of the physicians in Miami-Dade County so we can advocate for the benefit of our patients and our profession”, expressed Dr. Ravelo, Chair of the Affiliated Medical Association Committee of the DCMA.
The Nicaraguan American Medical Association (N.A.M.A.) was established in 1987 to provide a means for the Nicaraguan-American physicians to assemble together and connect to the latest medical advancements through monthly meetings and specially sponsored medical conferences.

Using an advanced MRI imaging technique, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researchers detected cartilage changes in the knees of healthy female runners running a half marathon, in the days following the race.

The study, published in the Journal of International Medical Research, sets the groundwork for future studies to determine whether these changes are transient, adaptive or eventually lead to knee pain and other problems in runners.
“This study shows that we can take an asymptomatic group of runners and use a sophisticated technology--MRI T2 relaxation time mapping—to identify changes that we haven’t been able to see in the past,” said study author Lee Kaplan, M.D., director of the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute, Petra and Stephen Levin Endowed Chair in Sports Medicine and professor of orthopedics, biomedical engineering, and kinesiology and sports sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Researchers used the MRI technology available at the Miller School to noninvasively detect changes in specific elements that make up cartilage, including proteoglycans, collagen, and water content.
Dr. Kaplan and colleagues - including co-author Michael Baraga, M.D., associate professor of orthopaedics, director of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship, and associate director of Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program at the Sports Medicine Institute - collaborated with researchers at the People’s Hospital, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, to study the knees of six Miami, Florida-based female runners. The women were ages 29 to 41 years, none were obese based on body mass index measures, and the half marathon was their first or second attempt at the 13.1-mile distance. The women had not run a half marathon in the six months prior to the study. They ran less than 20 kilometers a week and had no previous knee injuries, surgery or knee pain.
Researchers measured biochemical changes in the articular cartilage of each runner’s knee before the half marathon and compared the images to an average six days post-race using the Miller School’s MRI T2 mapping technology.
They detected significant localized cartilage changes on the medial side of the knee post-race compared to baseline. Pre- and post-race T2 relaxation times revealed a significant increase in average T2 values in the outer region of the medial tibia articular surface but no notable increase in the adjacent central region. They also reported a significant decrease in average T2 relaxation time in the lateral femoral condyle central region. The researchers found no significant changes in the runners’ patella, medial femoral condyle and lateral tibia articular surfaces.
“We noticed that the novice runners’ knees were different than more experienced runners that have been studied, in that more experienced runners have a broader area of change than do the novice runners,” Dr. Kaplan said.
The goal now is to find out what those changes mean, if anything, to runners’ knees.
Dr. Kaplan and colleagues plan to conduct a follow-up study with a larger group of male and female runners, as well as look longer term at the impact of potential cartilage changes in the knees of people that continue to run.

Experts at Baptist Health Neuroscience Center and Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute are the first in South Florida to repair brain aneurysms in a minimally invasive manner using an all-new technology.

WEB, short for Woven EndoBridge, is a self-expanding mesh ball made of nickel titanium that is implanted within aneurysms located in the arteries of the brain.
For patients with potentially dangerous aneurysms, it is also a new life-saving device approved just months ago by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Interventional neuroradiologist Guilherme Dabus, M.D., with Baptist Health Neuroscience Center, this month performed the first minimally invasive surgery in South Florida using the WEB on a woman in her 70s who is recovering well.
In the recent past, experts have avoided cutting the skull open in brain aneurysm repairs with the help of another device, the flow diverter. Before the flow diverter was approved, more commonly used balloons, stents and platinum coils induced clotting (embolization), and hopefully prevented blood from continuing to grow the bulge- or balloon-like aneurysms.
Now, the WEB device offers many advantages for the patient, including a shorter recovery time, less or no dependence on blood-thinning drugs and potentially fewer complications during a procedure that runs just an hour or less, says Dr. Dabus. Procedures involving coiling and the flow diverter can be more complicated, can take much longer and require the patient to stay on antiplatelet therapy for the rest of their lives.
“The WEB basically redirects the blood flow away from the aneurysm,” says Dr. Dabus. “At the same time, it closes the aneurysm from the inside. And it potentially also serves as a scaffold for tissue healing at the neck of the aneurysm.”

Medical oncologist and clinical researcher Yuliya Linhares, M.D., has been named Chief of the Lymphoma Service at Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. Dr. Linhares specializes in the comprehensive treatment of lymphoma, including expertise in both autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation. She also has unique experience with chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation using bloodless techniques, important for patients whose religious beliefs do not allow the use of blood transfusions.

Dr. Linhares is triple board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology. She earned her medical degree at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, NC, graduating with distinction. She completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology-oncology at the University of California – Los Angeles. Prior to joining Miami Cancer Institute, Dr. Linhares treated patients in the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In Palm Beach County it is not unusual for someone to speak both English and Spanish, but John Cucuras, DDS, brings a third language skill to his new role as Dental Program Director at the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics – he speaks Greek.

In addition to his interests in travel, music and philosophy, Dr. Cucuras also enjoys the history of Roman-Greco civilizations. He is member of American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. He also has over 30 years of experience in private and public health dentistry.
Dr. Cucuras steps into his new role at a time when the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded a $300,000 grant to the Brumback Primary Care Clinics to support clinically-based dental care to all Palm Beach County residents, regardless of their ability to pay.
The grant funds will be used to purchase equipment and supplies to include 19 new dental chairs, three X-ray tubeheads, a bariatric seat, and wheelchair lift to increase access to care and enhance existing preventative oral health services.

Ryan H. Sobel, M.D., a head and neck oncologic surgeon, has joined Broward Health Physician Group with his new primary practice location at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale. Sobel has extensive experience in trans-oral robotic surgery.

Prior to joining Broward Health, Sobel worked at Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Surgery at the Milton J. Dancer Jr. Head and Neck Center, Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. He also served as the director of head and neck surgical oncology at Inova Fairfax Hospital.
Sobel earned his medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine and completed his fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital for advanced training in head and neck oncologic surgery. 

Palmetto General Hospital proudly honors Dr. Rogerio Carrillo, cardiothoracic surgeon as the hospital’s Physician of the Month for August. Dr. Carrillo was nominated because his colleagues describe him as highly engaged, and he is beloved by both staff and patients. Dr. Carrillo is being recognized for his outstanding service, commitment and dedication to caring for patients and the hospital staff. 




Bariatric surgeon Marlon Pastrana, M.D., has joined Baptist Health Medical Group. Dr. Pastrana specializes in weight-loss surgery that can reduce a patient’s risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, severe sleep apnea and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Dr. Pastrana earned his medical degree at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Cupecoy, Netherlands Antilles. He completed two general surgery residencies at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University Hospital, Drexel University College of Medicine, both in Philadelphia, Pa. He also is fellowship trained in bariatric surgery, completing this comprehensive training at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Allentown, Pa. Dr. Pastrana is a member of the American College of Surgeons, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.

 As outgoing chair Brian R. Lohmann passed the gavel to newly elected chair Leslie (Les) B. Daniels, Commissioner Lohmann said, “I have always been a firm believer in leaving it better than you found it.”

Commissioner Daniels and other members of the Health Care District of Palm Beach County Board agreed that during Lohmann’s eight years on the board, his leadership left the community better off, as the public health care system expanded access to care while reducing the burden on taxpayers.
“I have tremendous appreciation and respect for Brian,” said Darcy J. Davis, CEO of the Heath Care District. “He set the tone for fiscal responsibility and efficiency with an eye on meeting future needs. From the rich soil in the western communities, to the beaches on the coast, he governed equally and fairly.”
After recognizing Commissioner Lohmann, the Board elected Commissioner Daniels as new chair during the Board’s September meeting. Daniels was appointed to the Health Care District Board in May 2013 by former Florida Governor Rick Scott and was reappointed for a second four-year term in 2017. The Board re-elected Nancy C. Banner, Esq. as Vice Chair and Sean O’Bannon as Secretary.
Commissioner Daniels is an Operating Partner of AE Industrial Partners, L.P. He serves on the board of directors of Moeller Aerospace, as well as GAMCO Investors, Inc. (GBL). Daniels also serves on the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiation (ACTPN) as a presidential appointee. He is a former chair and former member of Florida’s State Board of Administration, Investment Advisory Council (IAC). Daniels received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Fordham University.

St. Mary’s Medical Center & Palm Beach Children’s Hospital announces the appointment of Cynthia McCauley as Chief Administrative Officer.

McCauley is a healthcare executive who has worked in a variety of roles during her close to 20-year tenure with Tenet. She most recently served as the chief executive officer of Tenet Florida Physician Services (TFPS).
McCauley serves as a Board member of GCI Worldwide Corporation, and was a panelist at the Extraordinary Women Leading Change Conference. Prior to joining TFPS, she served as the Chief Financial Officer at sister hospital Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, West Boca Medical Center in Boca Raton and North Ridge Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale. Her career with Tenet began as the director of finance at Delray Medical Center. Before coming to Tenet, she was the regional director of finance at a public hospital in Broward for 11 years.
She holds an MBA in Finance from Long Island University, and a BA in Foreign Language from Adelphi University. 
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