UHealth - University of Miami Health System

UHealth at Miami Marlins Park

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During the recent 2014 baseball season, UHealth physicians and patients shared their remarkable success stories with the Miami Marlins fans prior to home games. As part of the partnership with the Marlins, UHealth doctors also were interviewed on Marlins Radio, and doctors and patients alike threw out ceremonious first pitches.

Establishing a strong community presence is essential to the vision and mission of UHealth. UHealth also works closely with other community partners such as the American Heart Association and other groups focused on awareness and education of specific diseases and illnesses.

Marlins - July 28
ECHO Early Childhood Hearing Options: July 28
Miami Marlins vs. Nationals
Marlins 3 – Nationals 0
Department of Otolaryngology
Audiologist: Sandra Velandia, AuD
Patient: Leila Burgess

Seven-year-old Leila Burgess was diagnosed with hearing loss at age 2. Initially, she was fitted with hearing aids, but through several evaluations it was found that she would benefit more from using a cochlear implant. The cochlear implant surgery was performed by Dr. Simon Angeli, Director of the Ear Institute, Department of Otolaryngology at UHealth/Miller School of Medicine.

Today Leila is a thriving second grader and is using a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other so she is able to hear clearly and ensure she is able to reach her full potential. As a result of her cochlear implant, audiology services of Dr. Sandra Velandia, and support of parents Michelle and Marvell Burgess, Leila has excelled in school, gymnastics, basketball, cheering, and a host of other activities. An excellent student at Coconut Palm Elementary School, she recently placed third in her class’s Accelerated Reading program. Leila loves attending family events put on by the Ear Institute pediatric programs where she interacts with other kids with hearing devices and often acts as a mentor for younger children with hearing loss. Now that she is able to hear, Leila’s self-esteem is immeasurable and she is confident to speak and perform before any audience. She is looking forward to competing in this year’s African Cultural Arts Center pageant. Leila, Dr. Sandra Velandia and our UHealth staff participated in the Marlin’s patient testimonial on July 28th. Leila even threw the first pitch of the game against the Nationals. Thank you Burgess family!

Marlins - August 12
Gastroenterology: August 12
Miami Marlins vs. Cardinals
Marlins 3 – Cardinals 0
Division of Gastroenterology
Physician: David H Kerman, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Med
Patient: Drew Solomon

At 27-years old, Drew Solomon has experienced more health challenges than people twice his age. Through it all, he has shown unbelievable determination and courage and is truly a role model for all of us.
His medical journey began with UHealth – University of Miami Health System at age 10. At age 18 he was diagnosed with liver cancer. Because of his surgeries, Drew developed problems with his bile ducts and also was diagnosed with an esophageal condition that affects his ability to swallow. Through it all, Drew has maintained a wonderful attitude and an active healthy lifestyle participating in Broward County Special Olympics in softball, swimming, basketball, and soccer, as well as working at Publix.

Drew and his family credit his success to the UHealth doctors, who provided care for him throughout his life and are a vital part of the “Team Drew,” — Dr. David Kerman, gastroenterologist, who is with us tonight, the staff of the gastroenterology division, radiologists, and pediatric oncology. Drew also wanted to thank the Miami Marlins for giving him the opportunity to share his story. We are grateful to Drew for joining us tonight with one of his doctors, Dr. David Kerman.
Drew, you are an inspiration to us all.

Marlins - Aug 14 ECHO Early Childhood Hearing Options: August14
Miami Marlins vs Diamondbacks
Marlins 5 – Diamondbacks 4
Department of Otolaryngology
Physician: Fred Telischi, M.D., chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology
Patient: Oliver Stern

Thirteen-year-old Oliver Stern was born deaf and with a cleft lip and palate. Initially, he was fitted with hearing aids, but through several evaluations it was found that he was unable to hear with them and could benefit from using a cochlear implant. Oliver has had a total of almost thirty surgeries including two cochlear implant surgeries performed by Dr. Fred Telischi, chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology at UHealth/Miller School of Medicine. Today Oliver is a thriving eighth grader at Ransom Everglades Middle School and hears using cochlear implants in both ears.

As a result of his cochlear implants, Oliver has excelled in school consistently being on the Honor Roll, playing basketball, flag football, swimming and lacrosse and is an accomplished thespian. He has even earned his black belt in tae kwan do.

Oliver loves attending family events put on by the Ear Institute pediatric programs where he interacts with other kids with hearing devices and often acts as a mentor for younger children with hearing loss. He often speaks with parents of children with hearing loss about the benefits and opportunities he has been given because of his cochlear implants and He has also started a program called “One World Many Abilities” now entering its fourth year where elementary school students are able to simulate what life being paralyzed, deaf or blind is like.

Now that he is able to hear, Oliver’s self-esteem is immeasurable. He is looking forward to competing with his schools Speech & Debate Team next year and continuing his service to the UM Ear Institute and with families of children born with hearing loss.

Join me in congratulating Oliver on his accomplishments and thanking his parents and the UHealth team for their support.

Marlins - Aug 15
Sleep Center: August 15
Miami Marlins vs Diamondbacks
Marlins 2 – Diamondbacks 3
UHealth Sleep Center
Alexandre R. Abreu, M.D., Medical Director of the UHealthSleep Center
Patient: Karla Sue Douglas
In 2011 Karla Sue Douglas was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She had open heart surgery. After the surgery she made an appointment at UHealth Sleep Center to help determine her excessive day time sleepiness. It was determined that she had severe obstructive sleep apnea. After three years of using a CPAP machine she no longer wakes up in the middle of the night gasping for air or choking, and does not suffer from excessive day time sleepiness. The wonderful compassionate care from the UM Sleep Center physicians and staff helped Karla regain control of her sleep and life. Thank you Dr. Abreu and staff. Please consider a sleep study for your health and well-being.

Karla Sue threw out the ceremonious first pitch and Dr. Abreu was interviewed on Marlins Radio.

Marlins - Sept 1
Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Center: September 1
Miami Marlins vs Mets
Marlins 9- Mets 6
Physician : Joshua Hare, M.D., director of the Interdisciplinary Stem Institute
Patient: Mark Reeves

In 2009, at 54 years of age, Mark Reeves suffered a serious heart attack, without any warning. His left anterior descending artery was completely blocked and neither a stent nor a by-pass was an option. He was told that there was nothing that could be done for him, except to take prescription medication. Mark was told that if there was no improvement in six months, he could be placed on a heart transplant list.
Soon after, a friend of Mark’s recommended that he see Dr. Joshua Hare, director of the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute. At the time, Dr. Hare was conducting clinical trials involving stem cell therapy for patients with heart disease.

Mark made an appointment to see Dr. Hare at University of Miami Hospital, and the rest is history. Approximately three months later, he was admitted to UM Hospital, where bone marrow was painlessly extracted from his hip bone, stem cells were isolated from the bone marrow, and four hours later, the stem cells were injected into his heart muscle in 10 places. Today, Mark leads a relatively normal life and continues to improve – in fact; his improvement has been much greater than could reasonably be expected – thanks to UHealth.

Dr. Hare threw out the ceremonious first pitch and was interviewed on Marlins Radio.

Marlins - Sept 18
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center: September 18
Miami Marlins vs. Nationals
Marlins 2 – Nationals 3
Health Care Professionals: Nurse practitioner Terri Pollack, ARNP and exercise physiologist Stacy Edyth Cutrono
Patient: Michael Green

Two years ago, Michael Greene was diagnosed with stage four cancer of the appendix which also affected his colon and entire abdominal area. As a city of Miramar firefighter and paramedic, a job he loves, Michael was unsure if he would ever be able to work again. His fellow firefighters in Miramar covered his shifts without pay, working 24 hours every 3 days to help him keep his job. Meanwhile, Michael underwent a nine- hour operation, extensive chemotherapy and nearly two years of recovery and rehabilitation. He lost 50 pounds, couldn’t eat and had no strength at all. But thanks to the care of the doctors, nurses, nutritionists and exercise therapists at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Michael beat the odds, made a full recovery, and is now back at work and with the people he loves.

Marlins - Sept 19
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute: September 19
Miami Marlins vs Nationals
Marlins 2 – Nationals 3
Patient: Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins left fielder
Physicians: Thomas Johnson, ophthalmologist, and Eduardo Alfonso, M.D., chairman at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Last season left fielder Christian Yelich, developed an eyelid tumor while he was “hot at the bat.”

Dr. Thomas Johnson, and Dr. Eduardo Alfonso, examined him to determine the best treatment option, which in this case was surgery. At the end of the season, Dr. Thomas Johnson, a Bascom Palmer eye surgeon, removed the benign tumor. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute physicians and staff helped Christian Yelich continue his professional baseball career, maintaining an excellent batting average with the Miami Marlins.

Check out the pictures of Bascom Palmer’s Vision Van during the Marlin’s game.

Dr. Alfonso was interviewed on Marlins Radio.

Marlins - Sept 21
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center: September 21
Miami Marlins vs. Nationals
Marlins 1 – Nationals 2
Physician: Jonathan Trent, M.D., Associate Director of Clinical Research
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Patient: Justin Tucker

Shortly after moving to Miami in January of 2013, Justin Tucker was diagnosed with a rare form of soft tissue cancer. He turned to the experts at Sylvester for his cancer treatments. Justin had surgery to remove the mass and all the lymph nodes in his abdomen as well as 6 months of intensive chemotherapy. It was the personal care he received that made his experience at Sylvester stand out. Dr. Jonathan Trent and his team made themselves available around the clock and Justin’s concerns were handled with compassion and diligence.

Marlins - Sept 23
Pulmonary Fibrosis: September 23
Miami Marlins vs. Phillies
Marlins 2 – Phillies 0
Physician: Marily Glassberg, M.D., Director of Pulmonary Diseases at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute and Professor of Medicine and Surgery
Patient: Harry Baxter

Harry Baxter was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis a few years ago and sought out Dr. Glassberg because of her expertise and more than 15-year experience treating patients with the disease. . Harry is now a part of a clinical trial for a new treatment drug and is here today to help spread awareness during Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month. Baxter is the longest patient survivor and has been through three treatment drugs. Baxter threw the first pitch with his son James Baxter. His family was close by watching enthusiastically.
Pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a debilitating and fatal disease. There is no cure for IPF and no known cause. Most patients are afflicted with progressive difficulty breathing and shortness of breath and a dry cough that gradually worsens.

Thank you Dr. Marilyn Glassberg for your research efforts in finding innovative treatment options and a possible cure to Pulmonary Fibrosis.

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