News of the Week

College of Medicine in the News: Aug. 18, 2020

Aug 18, 2020

In case you missed them, here are some recent news items about the College of Medicine.

  • COVID-19 headlines (scroll down for other headlines):
    • A recent article from the AAMC discusses the ways COVID-19 has impacted medical education. It reads, in part, "When Daniel Alban heads back to Florida State University College of Medicine next week, the second-year student says he’ll be excited but also somewhat nervous. Since COVID-19 ended his in-person classes months ago, so many aspects of medical education have changed — from strict safety protocols to dramatically different modes of learning.”

AAMC: Back to medical school during COVID-19


    • Associate Professor Christie Alexander has made regular appearances on WCTV since March to answer viewers’ coronavirus questions.

Click here to see all of her interviews


    • Research from Assistant Professor Martina Luchetti and Associate Professor Angelina Sutin found that social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has not led to an overall increase in loneliness among Americans. Instead, people reported feeling more supported by others than before the pandemic. The research made headlines nationwide.

NPR: Loneliness hasn't increased despite pandemic, research finds. What helped?


FSU News: New survey: Most Americans are fighting pandemic with resilience (audio)


Yahoo! News: Study found Americans showing resilience during the pandemic (video)


CBS12: Does social distancing make us lonely? (video)


Newsy: COVID-19 isolation didn't significantly boost loneliness (video)


Inverse: What are the health effects of long-term social distancing?

Psychology Today: Have people living alone become lonelier since COVID-19?


    • Sutin also recently led a study that looked for signs of personality change during the very early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. It showed that most traits showed no average-level change at all.

BBC: How lockdown may have changed your personality


Neuroscience News: Few changes seen in ‘Big Five’ personality traits during early days of COVID-19 pandemic


    • Les Beitsch, chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at the FSU College of Medicine, co-authored an editorial for the Tampa Bay Times about how to stem coronavirus in Florida.

Tampa Bay Times: How to stem coronavirus in Florida? Here’s what former public health leaders say


    • Beitsch also contributed to numerous other COVID-19-related articles.

Cleveland Plain Dealer: How has Ohio avoided a coronavirus spike while other states surge?


South Florida Sun-Sentinel: The surge in Florida coronavirus cases wasn’t caused just by an increase in testing


Tallahassee Democrat: DeSantis must protect voter health, right to vote (opinion)


Orlando Sentinel: After biggest one-day coronavirus total, how bad could it get in Florida?


    • The 32304 ZIP code in Tallahassee has more poor households than anywhere else in Florida. The coronavirus pandemic has only made it worse, especially for children. Joedrecka Brown Speights commented on the disparity in a Tallahassee Democrat article.

Tallahassee Democrat: 'No access': Poor, isolated and forgotten, kids of 32304 see their health care compromised


    • Brown Speights is also co-principal investigator on a study that looks at the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on vulnerable single-mother families. She teamed up with Melissa Radey, professor in the College of Social Work, to examine the economic, social, and health impacts.

      FSU College of Social Work: Faculty receive grants to examine the impact of COVID-19

    • The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) Health Report features significant medical research and developments, and the Department of Geriatrics' Dr. Damaris Aschwanden was recently featured. She discussed her and her colleagues' work published in the European Journal of Personality, Psychological and Behavioural Responses to Coronavirus Disease 2019: The Role of Personality. In the broadcast, Dr. Aschwanden describes their findings, explaining that personality can play a role in a person's response to prevention of COVID-19.

      Health Report: Is your neuroticism putting you at risk of COVID-19?

    • Since its inception in 2015, the Autism Navigator program, which is housed in the Autism Institute at the Florida State University College of Medicine, has offered the bulk of its services online, which has proven invaluable during the coronavirus pandemic and related shutdowns.

      Tallahassee Democrat: FSU's online autism program thrives through COVID-19 challenges

FSU News: Online autism program thrives through challenges of COVID-19


    • A group of historians including Associate Professor Joseph Gabriel recently collaborated on a round-table conversation about what they've learned from the world’s response to COVID-19, as well as themes that teachers and professors can use to encourage future discussion of COVID-19 in the classroom. An article from the Corvallis Advocate summarizes the group's viewpoints.

The Corvallis Advocate: Historians offer context, caution on lessons 1918 flu pandemic holds for COVID


    • The coronavirus pandemic has begun to overwhelm Florida nursing homes. Those with scant resources may feel pressured to set up isolation wards that many are not fully equipped to create safely. Paul Katz, chair of the Department of Geriatrics, commented on the growing concern. The article appeared in numerous news outlets including The Times of Israel, Las Vegas Sun, Tampa Bay Times, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel and others.

The Times of Israel: Mounting virus cases spark concern in Florida nursing homes


    • As of early July, more than 2,000 employees had been tested at FSU’s drive-through COVID-19 site since it opened June 24 in the Traditions parking garage on campus. Beginning July 13, the College of Medicine took over for University Health Services at the garage site. The university plans for testing to be available through the fall semester at different locations on campus.

Tallahassee Democrat: FSU's College of Medicine to take over drive-through COVID-19 testing on campus


    • The June 2020 edition of FSU Headlines featured two COVID-19 outreach initiatives led by FSU medical students Hannah Morgan, Vinita Akula and Gabby Cintron.

FSU Headlines: June 2020


    • The National Salute to America's Heroes partnered with Hyundai to find local heroes in South Florida who have made an impact in battling the COVID-19 pandemic. FSU College of Medicine alumnus Makandall Saint Eloi (M.D. '16), an emergency medicine physician at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, was recognized as one of the heroes.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: South Florida's pandemic heroes saluted with new cars


    • While the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing rules hinder some medical students' ability to learn clinical skills, Alan Durkin of Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery teamed up with the College of Medicine's Fort Pierce Regional Campus to safely teach 30 medical students the art of suturing, or 'stitches,' in Vero Beach.

Vero News: Vero plastic surgeon trains future suturers


  • Other headlines:
    • Care Point Health & Wellness Center has launched a new partnership with the FSU College of Medicine, bringing three staff physicians to their full-time clinic team of providers. Jonathan Appelbaum, chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences, joins Care Point’s clinic providing expanded primary care services to patients. He's joined by Gregory Todd and Stephen Sandroni.

      Tallahassee Democrat: Care Point Center launches partnership with FSU College of Medicine doctors

    • July 8, Florida State University and Apalachee Center opened FSU BehavioralHealth at Apalachee Center, a new medical clinic that will provide assessment and evidence-based treatment for mood and anxiety disorders. In an effort to bring the latest research to help patients, the center’s practitioners will be both faculty and clinicians in training from various Florida State University colleges.

FSU News: Florida State University and Apalachee Center to partner in new outpatient behavioral health center


Tallahassee Democrat: FSU, Apalachee Center open new treatment clinic for depression, anxiety


WTXL: FSU, Apalachee Center join forces to open new behavioral health clinic (video)


    • A proposal from Zucai Suo and David Meckes earned funding from an FSU program that helps researchers bring their work to the marketplace. The pair have developed an improved method for producing a wound-healing therapy. It works by producing and purifying exosomes, which are fluid-filled packages released by cells.

      FSU News: FSU Funding Helps Researchers Turn Inventions into Business Deals

    • Joedrecka Brown Speights was interviewed by AAFP in July about becoming a family medicine doctor, addressing health equity, her spirituality and her work related to her small congregation. "It's part of our duty to recognize that people have not only physical and mental health but spiritual, financial, relational and emotional aspects to health as well," she said. "I hope my training makes me a more compassionate, loving and understanding person."

AAFP: Joedrecka Brown Speights talks family medicine, health equity and spirituality



    • The Florida State University College of Medicine Family Medical Residency Program at Lee Health welcomed eight new resident physicians who started their training on June 22. The new residents include Dr. Francesca Blazekovic, Dr. Jenna De Francesco, Dr. Thomas Flynn, Dr. Shane Geffe, Dr. Joseph Guernsey, Dr. Gerard Mulles, Dr. Dakin White and Dr. Luke Wren.

      South Florida Hospital News: Lee Health welcomes eight new resident physicians

    • The new Florida State University College of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program at BayCare Health System (Winter Haven) welcomed its first residents on July 1. The goal of the program is to attract more primary care physicians to the area, since a majority of doctors will start their practices within 100 miles of where they do their residencies, according to the American Medical Association.

      Central Florida Health News: FSU/BayCare program’s inaugural class of residents set out on mission


    • In late June, Associate Professor Niharika Suchak was named Big Bend Hospice's new medical director. Suchak had served as the associate medical director since February 2016

Gadsden County Times: Big Bend Hospice announces new medical director


    • College of Medicine alumnus Stephen Patrick (M.D. ’07), a neonatologist focused on the impact of the opioid epidemic on pregnant women and infants, was one of two pediatricians to be awarded Weill Cornell Medicine’s fifth annual Gale and Ira Drukier Prize in Children’s Health Research. The award honors early-career pediatricians whose research has made important contributions toward improving the health of children and adolescents.

      Cornell Chronicle: Two pediatricians share Weill Cornell’s Drukier Prize


    • Research Professor Suzanne Bennett Johnson wrote a response for a Healio article about screening newborns for type 1 diabetes risk. Universal genetic screening of newborns for type 1 diabetes risk should not be done unless there is a treatment, she wrote. Genetic screening for type 1 diabetes risk in newborns is controversial for several reasons.

      Healio: Should all newborns undergo genetic screening for type 1 diabetes risk?


    • Professor Alice Pomidor sat down with the American Geriatrics Society and to discuss older adult driver safety tips. Older adult driver safety tips