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Graduates, researchers and educators recognized during special event

Published: June 19, 2020 By: Jesef Williams
Cardiovascular disease fellow Khadeeja Esmail, MD, winner of the Edward Jelks Outstanding Resident Clinician Award, displays her accolade alongside fellowship program director Gladys Velarde, MD, and life-like cut-off versions of Linda Edwards, MD, Albert E. Gator and Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA. View Larger Image
Issa Hanna, MD; Maedeh Ganji, MD, MBA; Alexander Ghannam, MD; and Sandra Siller, MD, who gave platform presentations on their respective research projects, are flanked by college senior leaders while being recognized for their discoveries. View Larger Image
David Caro, MD, a professor of emergency medicine and director of the emergency medicine residency program, is the winner of this year’s Meritorious Award for Outstanding Service. He was joined onstage by Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA, dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. View Larger Image

Celebration of Resident and Fellow Education and Research Day was June 10.

Innovation, discovery and scholarship took center stage during Celebration of Resident and Fellow Education and Research Day, held June 10 at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville.

The quasi-virtual event merged what has in the past been known as graduation, research day and Advances in Medical Education, respectively. Recognitions, speeches and award presentations highlighted the festivities, held inside the Learning Resource Center on the UF Health Jacksonville campus and livestreamed for remote viewing.

That day, 124 resident physicians and fellows were recognized for completing their training programs. Several of them will soon pursue further training while many others will begin practice, including some who are joining the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville as faculty members.

Leon L. Haley Jr. MD, MHSA, dean of the college and CEO of UF Health Jacksonville, addressed the graduates. During his keynote speech, he spoke of how their roles as health care providers will impact a nation being disrupted and reshaped by a global pandemic, an economic recession and widespread demonstrations against racial injustice and inequity.

“You have the power to change the world,” Haley said, touching on how efficient and effective care can significantly reduce medical costs. “We now stare health disparity right in its face. Here you are, perfectly positioned to address race and health disparities.”

Earlier during the event, researchers were recognized for various discoveries on campus. The roster included Maedeh Ganji, MD, MBA; Alexander Ghannam, MD; Issa Hanna, MD; and Sandra Siller, MD, who gave platform presentations on their respective projects.

Alexander Parker, PhD, senior associate dean for research, later imparted words of wisdom on those who desire to pursue research aggressively. He said the motivation shouldn’t be to garner praise or accolades.

“Find something you’re passionate about and want to change. It will be more rewarding,” Parker said. “Be courageous, ask tough questions and challenge the status quo.”

Award winners

Following are key awards announced during Celebration of Resident and Fellow Education and Research Day:

Visit the event website to see a full listing of winners and 2020 graduates. The site also includes photos, details about research and educational projects, and a link to watch a recording of the entire event. 

Cardiovascular disease fellow Khadeeja Esmail, MD, winner of the Edward Jelks Outstanding Resident Clinician Award, displays her accolade alongside fellowship program director Gladys Velarde, MD, and life-like cut-off versions of Linda Edwards, MD, Albert E. Gator and Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA.
Issa Hanna, MD; Maedeh Ganji, MD, MBA; Alexander Ghannam, MD; and Sandra Siller, MD, who gave platform presentations on their respective research projects, are flanked by college senior leaders while being recognized for their discoveries.
David Caro, MD, a professor of emergency medicine and director of the emergency medicine residency program, is the winner of this year’s Meritorious Award for Outstanding Service. He was joined onstage by Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA, dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville.

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