South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday January 19, 2021

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January 2021 - Volume 17 - Issue 7

UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, and 4DMedical recently announced the creation of the Functional Lung Imaging Research Program in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the Miller School. 4DMedical is an Australian medical technology company and the developer of XV Technology, a four-dimensional lung imaging technology.

The Functional Lung Imaging Research Program, 4DMedical’s first research program in a U.S. health system, will use its breakthrough imaging technology to improve treatment outcomes for patients with chronic lung diseases. It will define the physiological impact of numerous lung-related conditions such as emphysema, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary embolism, and lung cancer on respiratory function to improve diagnostic approaches and management strategies for patients.
“We look forward to using this new imaging development,” said Naresh M. Punjabi, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the Miller School of Medicine. “The fully functional lung imaging capability provided by 4DMedical will be used to achieve deeper insights into disease pathophysiology and help pave the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic solutions.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Cory Price as the new director of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center.

Price has served as the Interim Director at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center since January 2020. He previously served as the Associate Director for the Orlando VA Medical Center as well as the Assistant Director for the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. He began his federal government career more than 15 years ago as a commissioned Medical Service Corps Officer in the U.S. Army, where he oversaw helicopter ambulance employment and operations for nearly 12 years.
Price has an undergraduate degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he majored in Aeronautical Science and obtained his Commercial Pilot certification. His graduate degree is in Healthcare Administration from Webster University. Price holds a graduate degree in Healthcare Administration from Webster University and he is also Board Certified in Healthcare Management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center now offers the WATCHMAN FLX™ for patients who have a high risk of stroke with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) who need an alternative to oral anticoagulation therapy by permanently closing off the left atrial appendage-the area of the heart where stroke-causing blood clots commonly form in NAVF.

“Built upon the success of the WATCHMAN™ platform, this next generation WATCHMAN FLX™ device is designed to offer improved procedural outcomes for patients, including reduced complication risk, said Dr. David Weisman, electrophysiologist on staff at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. “We look forward to bringing these benefits to our patients at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center who need an alternative to the bleeding risk and lifestyle challenges associated with the long-term use of blood thinners.”
This technology features a new, fully rounded design offering physicians the ability to safely enter, and maneuver within the left atrial appendage. It is the first LAAC device that can be fully recaptured, repositioned and redeployed for precise placement, and the new frame design allows for optimal device engagement with the tissue for long-term stability and a faster, more complete seal.

Broward County children undergoing cancer treatment will feel the comfort of a warm blanket and welcome entertainment, thanks to a $10,000 donation by VITAS Healthcare to the Broward Health Foundation.

Funds from VITAS support pediatric cancer patients at Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, which is operated by Broward Health. Salah specializes in family-centered care for newborns, children and youth.
The foundation earmarked the donation to purchase a tabletop warmer for up to 30 blankets to soothe children who often feel extremely cold during and following chemotherapy treatments. Remaining funds will purchase 10 iPads to keep the pediatric patients busy with games, movies and educational activities while they’re undergoing cancer care.
"VITAS Healthcare is proud to support Broward Health Foundation due to our shared dedication to the improved health of our community,” said George M. Tokesky, VITAS general manager for Broward County. “We chose to contribute to Salah Foundation Children's Hospital because it provides direct comfort to local children receiving treatments for severe forms of cancer.”
“We greatly appreciate Broward Health Foundation Vice Chairman Tokesky and VITAS for their kind contribution to the foundation and the children who are being treated in our pediatric cancer unit,” said Bill Diggs, president of the Broward Health Foundation. “This donation is just one symbol of our partnership.”
Beginning in early 2021, the VITAS Healthcare Inpatient Unit at Broward Health Coral Springs will begin accepting patients with advanced illness at its recently constructed 12-bed unit.
Leandro J. Feo, M.D., FACS, FASCRS, a colorectal and general surgeon, has opened an office with Tenet Florida Physician Services (TFPS) in Boca Raton.
Erica R. Podolsky, M.D., FASMBS, a highly-experienced general surgeon with expertise in bariatric and minimally-invasive surgery, has also joined Tenet Florida Physician Services (TFPS) in Boca Raton. Currently, Dr. Podolsky is the Medical Director of the Surgical Weight Loss Program at Delray Medical Center.
Prior to joining TFPS, Dr. Feo worked as a colorectal surgeon at South Palm Beach Surgical Associates in Boca Raton as well as Delray Medical Center. His past experience also includes as attending physician in colorectal surgery at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH, as well as general practitioner for Corposuvida Health Company in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and Egidio Montesinos Hospital in Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
Prior to joining TFPS, Dr. Podolsky worked for South Palm Beach Surgical Associates and on-staff at Delray Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center. Presently, Dr. Podolsky is an affiliate associate professor of clinical biomedical science at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. She also holds the role of director of medical students at Delray Medical Center.

Joseph J. Ricotta, M.D., MS, DFSVS, FACS, National Medical Director of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy for Tenet Healthcare, Chairman of Vascular Surgery Department at Delray Medical Center and Professor of Surgery and Program Director of the Vascular Surgery fellowship at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University has been recognized as a 2020 TCAR Clinical Operator of Experience for improving carotid artery disease treatment using an innovative procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR). Delray Medical Center performed the first TCAR procedure in South Florida and the hospital has performed over 160 TCAR procedures, which is the most in the state of Florida. 

Palliative care physician Patricia Jacobs, M.D., has joined the Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute, a part of Baptist Health South Florida.

Dr. Jacobs joins the Lynn Cancer Institute from UCLA Medical Center, where she completed a hospice and palliative medicine fellowship. She is board-certified in internal medicine and previously worked in internal medicine before pursuing a subspecialty in palliative care.
She currently serves as an affiliate faculty member at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. Previously, Dr. Jacobs served as an assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for more than 15 years.
Dr. Jacobs earned her medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She completed an internal medicine residency and a hospice and palliative care fellowship at UCLA Medical Center.

Cleveland Clinic Martin Health welcomes board-certified family medicine physician Robert Kawa, D.O.

Dr. Kawa earned his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. He completed his residency in family medicine at St. Vincent’s Family Medicine Center in Jacksonville. He completed his residency in neuromusculoskeletal medicine at Florida Hospital East in Orlando.
Prior to joining Martin Health, Dr. Kawa has practiced as a family medicine physician in Hawaii.

Board-certified breast surgical oncologist Hilary Shapiro-Wright, D.O., joins Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute and Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute, a part of Baptist Health South Florida.

Dr. Shapiro-Wright joins Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute and Lynn Cancer Institute from the Kettering Health Network and Kettering Cancer Care.
She earned her medical degree from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her general surgery residency at Botsford Hospital at Michigan State University and her surgical breast oncology and diseases of the breast fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital. Dr. Shapiro-Wright is board-certified in general surgery.

Holy Cross Medical Group announces the addition of Elena Pimanova, M.D., Ronald Pham, D.O., Astha Bhatt, M.D., and Ann Vu, M.D.

Dr. Pimanova joins Holy Cross Health from Cleveland Clinic Tomsich Health and Medical Center of Palm Beach County where she was a primary care physician. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia and completed a residency in internal medicine at Minsk Medical University in Belarus where she received her Doctor of Medicine.  

Dr. Pham joins Holy Cross Health as a specialist in osteopathic medicine. Dr. Pham completed his internal medicine residency at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah. He graduated with a medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Pham graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a post baccalaureate graduate certificate in premedical graduate health sciences and received a bachelor’s degree in physiological science from UCLA.
Dr. Bhatt is a board-certified general surgeon, and competed a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery. She received her Bachelor of Medicine and her Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) from the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in India. She was a surgical resident at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, where she designed an ultrasound teaching course while in her surgical residency. She is joining Holy Cross from Advent Health Hospital in Tampa.
Dr. Vu is board certified in pulmonary by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is board eligible for critical care medicine. She was most recently a Fellow with the Mayo Clinic Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and instructor in medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, MN. Dr. Vu has extensive academic experience at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital and Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science from University of Miami and received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She completed her residency and was chief resident at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital before moving to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
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