Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center


AML cells under the microscope. Source: The website of the National Cancer Institute (

Researchers show p300 protein may suppress leukemia in MDS patients


Scientists at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have shown that p300, a protein that increases gene expression by attaching acetyl molecules to DNA, may stop myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) from developing into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The study was published in the journal Leukemia.

Thinh Tran, M.D., MBA., chief clinical officer and chief operating officer, joins the hand sanitizer mascot at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Successful Patient Safety Week Concludes


Friday was the fifth and final day of Patient Safety Week activities. With the theme of the day being preventing infection, hands across campus were washed and sanitized in record numbers. Hand sanitizer bottles were given away throughout UHealth locations, and the Hand Sanitizer Mascot made surprise inspirational appearances.

From left, student pharmacist Bibi Barrios with UMH Pharmacy Clinical Manager Marlene Delavalle, Pharm.D.

Patient Safety Week Activities Continue on Thursday


Wednesday, the third day of Patient Safety Week, focused on the safe use of medications. It was a day of important educational outreach, an amusing but informative takeoff on the TV game show “Jeopardy” and an opportunity for UHealth’s pharmacy experts to enjoy some time in the spotlight. Thursday’s activities will focus on the safe use of alarms.

Joining David J. Birnbach, M.D., M.P.H., senior associate dean for quality, safety and risk prevention, are, from left, Myka Whitman, B.S.N., RN, interim UHealth chief risk officer, Kathy Zanelli, B.S.N., RN, executive director of nursing, Gissette Onorato, executive director of human experience, Maureen Fitzpatrick, M.S.N., ARNP-BC, of the Center for Patient Safety, and Roxanna Araya of the Center for Patient Safety.

Patient Safety Week Activities Continue on Friday


Thursday, the fourth day of Patient Safety Week, focused on the safe use of clinical alarms. UHealth staff learned about finding the proper balance between alarms that go off too regularly — and therefore get ignored, and those that don’t go off often enough, and potentially endanger patients in need of assistance.

Wrist bands remind staff of the two approved patient identifiers that should be verified with every patient, every time.

Patient Safety Week Activities Continue on Wednesday


Tuesday, the second day of Patient Safety Week, was marked by flashes of green and orange on wrists through the UHealth system. The day’s theme was “Identify Patients Correctly,” and the wrist bands given out featured white raised lettering that said “Name & DOB,” reminding all staff of the required way to accurately identify patients. Wednesday’s activities will focus on the safe use of medications.

From left, David J. Birnbach, M.D., M.P.H., Michael E. Barron, M.D., Myka Whitman, B.S.N., RN, Melinda Sawyer, M.S.N., RN, and Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A.

Patient Safety Week Events Continue Tuesday


Patient Safety Week had an energetic start, with activities across the entire UHealth system. One major event was the introduction of the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) to UHealth leaders. Created by Johns Hopkins patient safety researchers, CUSP improves patient safety culture while providing frontline caregivers with the tools and support they need to tackle the hazards that threaten their patients.

Far right, David J. Birnbach, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the UM-JMH Center for Patient Safety, conducts a training session.

Patient Safety Week Activities Begin Monday


Patient Safety Week, observed March 12-18 this year, is an annual national campaign to foster education and increase awareness related to patient safety. Daily special patient safety activities across the medical campus will be held Monday, March 13, through Friday, March 17. All facilities of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System will offer educational resources and informational materials for patients and staff.

From left, William F. Pirl, M.D., M.P.H., with Kelly Irwin, M.D., and Donna Greenberg, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Sylvester’s Dr. William F. Pirl Recognized with APOS Education and Training Award


The American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) selected William F. Pirl, M.D., M.P.H., associate director for Cancer Support Services at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, for the Outstanding Education and Training Award at its national conference on February 16. APOS grants the annual award to an individual who makes substantial contributions to educating or training others in the field.