Photograph by Jeffery Salter
Dear Alumni, Colleagues, and Friends of the Miller School Family,
This latest edition of University of Miami Medicine pays tribute to the exceptional effort displayed by the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth family in response to the global pandemic. Our amazing health care professionals mounted a robust response to the challenges presented by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They transformed UHealth Tower to treat both COVID and non-COVID patients. Their dedication, selflessness, and sacrifice, as well as their indomitable spirit as fellow ‘Canes, led to an extraordinary mobilization that enabled us to provide the best care possible to all of our patients.
The evidence speaks for itself: UHealth cared for more than 1,600 COVID-19 patients through the end of August, with nearly 900 requiring admission. Of note, our inpatient mortality for COVID-positive patients was only 15%, compared with nearly 21% for the rest of the state of Florida.
While our front-line health care workers were saving lives, our talented researchers were working to develop rapid diagnostic tests and novel therapeutic strategies, including vaccines, to stop this global pandemic, as highlighted in this issue of the magazine. Our outstanding educators quickly converted to online education for the health and safety of our learners. Our amazing students volunteered their services to staff the COVID-19 hotlines in the Poison Control Center, and they supported our front-line workers in various ways, including raising funds to buy and distribute PPE for our first responders. They truly epitomized the ’Canes spirit. I am proud of and grateful for the entire Miller School and UHealth family, as well as our alumni on the front lines, for their heroic contributions during these extraordinary times.
I am also happy to report that in addition to the robust response to COVID-19, many other exciting developments are taking place at the Miller School. Our scientists continue to make significant strides in solving critical puzzles to find cures for some of the more vexing clinical problems we face, to help improve the health of humanity. Our investigators are leading the charge to unravel the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease. This issue of University of Miami Medicine highlights their groundbreaking contributions in elucidating the underlying cause of this growing problem facing our aging population, especially in South Florida.
The magazine also features the launching of our highly acclaimed novel curriculum, NextGenMD, and the important work of the Dean’s Task Force on Racial Justice. I sincerely hope that this edition of University of Miami Medicine will convey to you the vibrancy of the dynamic clinical, research, and teaching programs at the Miller School of Medicine.
Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A.
DEAN & CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER