On The Cover
Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe '96
concludes his official visit to Vietnam
on Dec. 18, 2012.
2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards
The Success of the Barry Athletics Model
Campus Democracy Project
Spring 2013, Volume 18, Number 1
A Step Ahead
With a state-of-the-art research center and a worldrenowned wound care expert, the School of Podiatric Medicine is hitting its stride.
By Millie Acebal Rousseau ‘99
Jeffrey Jensen, DPM, FACFAS, dean of the School of Podiatric Medicine and professor of podiatric medicine and surgery, arrived at Barry over two years ago, and brought with him a new vision to make the school into one of the most innovative training programs in the country. His goals include developing an enhanced curriculum to attract top-notch students, achieving 100-percent residency placement, and establishing new research opportunities.
Ready for Residency
With a national shortage of residency programs, Jensen plans to ensure students are prepared to compete for those limited opportunities. Students have an opportunity to participate in two highly soughtafter residency programs affiliated with Barry, one at Mercy Hospital, led by Thomas Merrill, DPM, ABPS, ABPOPPM, ABDA, a specialist in podiatric reconstructive surgery and the other at Mount Sinai Medical Center, headed by Jacqueline Brill, DPM, ABPS, AAWM, ABPOPPM, who specializes in podiatric surgery and wound care. Besides being residency directors, the two physicians teach the surgical curriculum to third- and fourth-year students, who undergo their training at these two hospitals. While students do clinical rotations, the residents are conducting foot and ankle surgery, working on everything from sports injuries to trauma. “We’re taking students from college, into podiatry school and impacting their entire years of training,” explained Jensen. “It’s an all-encompassing awareness of what needs to happen in the development of a physician.”
One component of the program that sets it apart from other podiatric schools, according to Jensen, is the Barry University Foot and Ankle Institute, with clinics in three locations — Mount Sinai, Mercy Hospital and Hialeah Hospital. The Institute serves as the School of Podiatric Medicine’s graduate teaching clinic, where doctoral students receive clinical training by treating podiatric patients, under the supervision of boardcertified university faculty staff. The clinics see, and treat, approximately 1,250 patients monthly. “Those clinics are an extension of our school; the doctors teaching in the classroom are able to reinforce what’s learned on patients in the clinics,” explained Jensen. The school also has James M. Losito, DPM, a leader in the country in sports medicine, and the Miami Heat’s team podiatrist, who oversees a Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME)- accredited sports medicine fellowship. Each year, Losito chooses a student who’s completed the residency program for the one-year fellowship. Under Losito’s supervision, the fellow participates in treating athletes at the collegiate and professional sports levels, among them, Barry University and University of Miami athletes, as well as Miami Heat players. The fellowship program stresses teamwork and encompasses educational, clinical and surgical components. “The goal is to educate and cultivate a high-level sports medicine/podiatric medicine practitioner,” explained Losito, who has mentored about 20 fellows since the early 1990s. Another major draw for prospective students is the presence of Robert J. Snyder, DPM, MSc, CWS, ABPS, FACFAS — leading wound care researcher, specialist and surgeon — who joined the faculty full time in January as a professor and director of clinical research for the Paul and Margaret Brand Research Center. The Center opened in April 2011 and is named after two missionary physicians who revolutionized the treatment of diabetic foot complications. In addition to bringing his renowned expertise, Snyder, who has conducted clinical research for more than 15 years, is also overseeing a handful of clinical trials currently under way — the first for Barry. Two, he explains, encompass sophisticated, innovative therapies, including a topical therapy that facilitates the healing of diabetic foot wounds. Another trial examined a unique cell-based therapy to treat venous leg ulcers, which are caused by high blood pressure in the veins. The results were promising, leading to the go-ahead for a multicenter Phase 3 study. The findings were published in the prestigious medical journal, “The Lancet.” “Research gives the university the opportunity to do cutting-edge work and have students involved on the front line. This is the first time Barry has entered the clinical trial arena. They’ve been very supportive of my efforts in facilitating this,” Snyder said. “It also affords the chance to publish in peer-reviewed journals, further adding academic distinction to an already stellar program.”
Research in Motion
The Brand Center also received a $1.9 million research grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to explore the use of nitric oxide to treat wounds in the battlefield. That research can translate to the civilian population in the area of chronic wound care. “Our goal is to have full translational research that goes from petri dish to human clinical trials,” Jensen said. The state of Florida also awarded the School of Podiatric Medicine’s Paul & Margaret Brand Research Center $200,000 for diabetic foot amputation research. Funds will be used to identify the highest-risk diabetic foot patients, and provide preventative care to reduce wound recurrence that could lead to amputation. The end goal is to reduce amputations in South Florida.
With the school on the cusp of becoming a prominent teaching and research institution for podiatric medicine on the East Coast, individual supporters, alumni and faculty are also stepping up to aid its growth. Jensen and his wife donated $25,000 to the Brand Center to establish the Dr. Robert Warriner III Research Scholarship in Neuropathy Prevention. Jensen said he created the scholarship to follow in the footsteps of James V. Stelnicki DPM, PA, who established a scholarship for research excellence in lower extremities vascular medicine. Barry School of Podiatric Medicine graduate, Marybeth Crane, MS, DPM ’94, FACFAS, CWS, also recently established the Dr. Werber Research Scholarship in Podiatric Sports Medicine/Biomechanics with her gift of $25,000. In honor of her mentor, Dr. Werber, the scholarship focuses on research in biomechanics and sports medicine in podiatry. “My hope is to start some good research projects that will advance this part of podiatric medicine,” Crane said.
Two additional scholarships have been established recently: the Dr. Herbert Feinberg Research Scholarship in Podopediatrics and the Scholarship for Research in Diabetic Limb Preservation. All of the above-mentioned scholarships go toward students participating in research projects. The scholarships contribute upward of $150,000 over five years. Add to that, the Foot and Ankle Institute clinics, which contribute 5 percent from clinic revenues directly back into scholarships every year. In short, Jensen says, when it comes to podiatric schools, Barry University really has a competitive advantage: “This is a top school to learn podiatric medicine and a leader in research. Students come to school here and make a difference.”
Committed to Supporting Barry
The Podiatric Insurance Company of America (PICA) Group committed $60,000 to provide future PICA Scholarships and a Rite of Passage event sponsorship to deserving Barry podiatric medical students. The commitment from PICA to the podiatric medical education at Barry will provide $35,000 in support for costs of the Rite of Passage ceremony over the next five years, including white lab coats, invitations and keepsake programs. The PICA Scholarships of $25,000 will provide two $2,500 scholarships each year to Barry podiatric students over the next five years. The PICA Group also donated exclusive sponsorship of the Rite of Passage ceremony during the Barry University Podiatric Alumni Reception held in Orlando last year. In 2011, PICA was inducted into the Barry University Society of Founders (lifetime giving of $50,000 or more).