A new academy of excellence

The UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute has selected 12 investigators and 13 research coordinators to participate in the CTSI Academy of Research Excellence’s programs, completion of which lead to certificates for excellence in human subject research and protections and membership in the academy. The Spring 2014 cohorts represent four UF Health colleges and the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Investigators include: Diane C. Cowper Ripley, Ph.D., Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation (VA); Karen C. Daily, D.O., College of Medicine; Toni L. Glover, Ph.D., College of Nursing; Hajar Kadivar, M.D., M.P.H., College of Medicine; Christopher King, Ph.D., College of Dentistry; Matthew Morrow, Pharmacy (VA); Eric Ortigoza, M.D., College of Medicine; Kevin P. Raisch, Ph.D., College of Medicine; Luciana Shaddox, D.D.S., Ph.D., College of Dentistry; Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, Ph.D., R.N., College of Nursing; Krishna Vaddiparti, Ph.D., M.P.E., M.S.W., colleges of Medicine and Public Health and Health Professions; Karen Wheeler Hegland, Ph.D., College of Public Health and Health Professions.

Coordinators include: Laurie Brown, C.C.R.C., College of Medicine; Miriam Cintron, College of Medicine; Kimberly Foli, College of Medicine; Jennifer Hosford, M.P.H., College of Medicine; Meggen Kaufmann, College of Medicine; Rosie Kizza, North Florida Foundation for Research and Education (VA); Lee Ann Lawson, M.S.N., College of Medicine; Deborah McEdward, College of Dentistry; Gigi Moore-Higgs, A.R.N.P., Ph.D., A.O.C.N., College of Medicine; Alie Trainor, colleges of Medicine and Public Health and Health Professions; Andrea Vovk, Ph.D., College of Dentistry; Sonisha Warren, College of Medicine; Judith Wishin, R.N., B.S.N., C.C.R.C., College of Medicine.


One exceptional employee


Susan White (right) with executive associate dean Stephanie Hanson

Susan White, director of public health professional education, was named the College of Public Health and Health Professions’ 2013 Employee of the Year. She was recognized in December at the college’s annual staff and faculty appreciation dinner.

“She has never said ‘no’ to a request asked of her, and going above and beyond the call of duty is not the exception for her, it is the rule,” a nominator wrote. “She works very hard to make those around her feel supported and she is very deserving of this award in every way.”

White leads the distance education activities of the college’s online Master’s in Public Health and public health certificate programs. Her responsibilities include course design and preparation, marketing, technical advising and day-to-day management. She developed the online public health programs from the ground up, and in her eight years with PHHP she has grown it into seven online certificates and a full online M.P.H. degree that is completely self-funded. Co-workers said White continues to look for ways to grow course offerings and use innovative methods to deliver online content that maintains good instructional design.

“No task is too big or too small for her and I love her ‘can-do’ spirit,” a colleague said. — Jill Pease


Department of Biostatistics

Meenakshi Devidas, Ph.D., a research associate professor in the department of biostatistics within the colleges of Public Health and Health Professions and Medicine, has been named group statistician of the Children’s Oncology Group, the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to pediatric cancer research. Devidas will lead the Statistics and Data Center, which provides statistical expertise for the Children’s Oncology Group’s research studies. She also serves as the principal investigator of a National Cancer Institute grant supporting the center, beginning March 1 with a planned budget of $39 million over five years.

College of Dentistry

Patty Xirau-Probert, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor in the department of community dentistry and behavioral science, has been appointed assistant dean for student and multicultural affairs for the college. This is a new administrative position that builds on her previous position as the director of student and multicultural affairs.

Luciana Shaddox, D.D.S., Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of periondontics, received a 2014 American Dental Education Association/African American Latina/Faculty of Color Tuition Scholarship for Professional Development. The award provides a full tuition waiver for the association’s Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program in July 2014.


College of Medicine

John Wingard, M.D., a professor and eminent scholar in the division of hematology and oncology, deputy director for research at the UF Health Cancer Center and director of the UF Health Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit, has been appointed chair-elect of the board of directors of the nonprofit marrow donor registry, Be The Match, part of the National Marrow Donor Program. With more than 11 million registered donors, Be The Match is the largest and most genetically diverse marrow registry in the world. As chair-elect, Wingard will lead the board in providing guidance and oversight of the program. He will advocate for services for donors and patients, will work to develop cooperative relationships with other marrow donor registries worldwide, and will provide clinical expertise and oversight in data reporting of the registry’s transplant outcomes. His two-year term begins in January 2015.

College of Pharmacy

Anna Hall, Pharm.D., a clinical assistant professor who oversees the UF Medication Therapy Management Communication and Care Center at the college’s Lake Nona campus in Orlando, has received a one-year, $50,000 award from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation. The award will fund Hall’s research showing the effectiveness of the center’s medication adherence services for Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan members of WellCare Health Plans Inc. — a government-sponsored health care provider.

Linda Homewood, A.P.R., the college’s director of news and communications, received the 2013 John S. Detweiler Professional of the Year Award from the Florida Public Relations Association’s Gainesville chapter. The award, named for UF professor emeritus John S. Detweiler, Ed.D, A.P.R., CPRC, is given each year to someone who honors the highest standards of ethics and performance as a public relations professional. Homewood joined the UF staff in 2003.

College of Public Health and Health Professions

Department of physical therapy faculty members Mark Bishop, Ph.D., P.T., an associate professor, and Joel Bialosky, Ph.D., P.T., a clinical assistant professor, received the Excellence in Research Award from the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. The award recognized their paper “Patient Expectations of Benefit From Interventions for Neck Pain and Resulting Influence on Outcomes” as the best research article published in the journal in 2013. Bishop and Bialosky, along with co-authors Paul Mintken, D.P.T., of the University of Colorado Denver, and Joshua Cleland, P.T., Ph.D., of Franklin Pierce University, received the award at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting in February.


College of Veterinary Medicine

Julia A. Conway, D.V.M., a clinical assistant professor in the department of infectious diseases and pathology, has been named the college’s veterinary medical admissions director. In her new role, Conway will provide key assistance to the college’s associate dean for students and instruction, Pamela Ginn, D.V.M. She will offer additional support to accommodate the demands of an increased class size, an upcoming curriculum review process and an upcoming American Veterinary Medical Association accreditation process. Conway completed her residency in anatomic pathology at the UF veterinary college and became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2010.