Chair appointed for pediatrics

Dr. Scott Rivkees/Photo by Jesse S. Jones

An international expert on pediatric endocrinology, developmental biology and the prevention of brain injury in preterm infants has been tapped to lead the College of Medicine department of pediatrics and serve as the physician leader for Shands Hospital for Children. Scott A. Rivkees, M.D., currently at the Yale University School of Medicine, will take on his new role Jan. 3. Rivkees, whose research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for 25 years, is also a leading clinician whose work has led to new treatment guidelines for children with thyroid disease and Graves’ disease. “It is an honor to join the University of Florida, and I hope to build on the tremendous strengths of the department of pediatrics and the university,” Rivkees said. “Working together, we will continue the department of pediatrics’ evolution into a destination site of fantastic patient care, a center of discovery for the benefit of children, and a hub for training the next generation of pediatricians and physician-scholars.” At UF&Shands Rivkees aims to expand the number and breadth of centers of excellence that improve health care for all of Florida’s children. Rivkees succeeds Richard Bucciarelli, M.D., who has served as chair of the department of pediatrics since 2008.


Honor roll

In August, the UF Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society, recently held its annual fall election, completing the selection process. Eleven students were selected during their junior year: Adam Bennett, Paige Comstock, Christopher Favilla, Candace Glenn, Christopher Matthews, Adam Mecca, James Melotek, Saad Mir, Sean Timpane, Lauren Van Eldik and Ana Velez-Hurtado. Twelve students in the fourth-year class were selected for membership: Patrick Buchanan, Chelsea Connor, Aaran Drake, Suraj Kabadi, Tessa Landa, Christa Matrone, Christopher McAdams, Melissa Parsons, Joshua Solano, Kathryn Stinson, Houtan Taba and Joshua Vickers. Matthews and Velez-Hurtado are serving as co-presidents.

Robert Hatch, M.D., M.P.H., and David Feller, M.D., both of the department of community health and family medicine, were elected as faculty members. Andres Acosta, M.D., Ph.D., and John Massini, M.D., both of the department of medicine, and Samantha Winterrowd, M.D., of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, were elected as resident members.

AOA is the only national medical honor society, and election to this organization is considered to be one of the highest academic honors a student can receive. UF established the beta chapter of AOA in 1960.

College of Dentistry

Indraneel Bhattacharyya

Indraneel Bhattacharyya, D.M.D., M.S., an associate professor of oral and maxillofacial diagnostic sciences, was recently appointed as coordinator of international education programs. Bhattacharyya will work closely with faculty and students to coordinate the college’s international efforts, including outreach programs in other countries that involve students and faculty.

Frank Catalanotto

Frank Catalanotto, D.M.D., a professor and chair of community dentistry and behavioral science, joined Oral Health America’s Vice President Liz Rogers on a trip to Alaska to observe the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s Dental Health Aide Therapist program. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation invited a group of dentists to visit the consortium’s dental therapist program to create a better understanding of the training and practice of these new oral health professionals.

Ozlem Yilmaz

Ozlem Yilmaz, D.D.S., Ph.D., has been selected as a 2011-2012 fellow for Drexel University’s Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program. Yilmaz, an associate professor of periodontology and oral biology, is one of 54 women faculty from across the United States who were selected for the competitive program. ELAM prepares senior women faculty for leadership positions at academic health centers.


Sandy Barata

Sandy Barata, an administrative director for the department of pediatrics, recently received a Health and Safety Award at the Ebony and Ivory Gala. The award, presented by the Women of Color Cultural Foundation, honored Barata’s dedication and work in health care to improve the quality of life in Jacksonville. Barata was among more than 1,000 people nominated for the awards.

Linda Edwards

Linda Edwards, M.D., an associate professor and associate chair in the department of medicine, was named the Karl B. Hanson Sr., M.D., professor of internal medicine. Edwards is the second faculty member to hold the endowed professorship, created in 1997 by Hanson’s family. The fund supports a position in internal medicine on the Jacksonville campus.

College of Public Health and Health Professions

Brittany Hensley

Brittany Hensley, Au.D., a doctoral student in the department of speech, language and hearing sciences, received Starkey Laboratories’ 2011 William F. Austin Scholarship, a $10,000 award designed to recognize strong candidates pursuing clinical, teaching and research careers in audiology. She is mentored by James Hall III, Ph.D., a professor in the department.