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College Forum Volume 16, Number 1 : Page 2

ALUMNI news MDC: Just What the DoCtor orDereD Successful Alumni Lead in Medical Field, Inspire Future Generations F Dr. Aurelio Mitjans Dr. Onelia G. Lage MDC Medical Leaders Hundreds of distinguished physicians began their challenging career paths at MDC. Some notable alumni include: or more than five de-cades, Miami Dade College has been cre-ating paths to success for students of all ma-jors, including some of the brightest minds in medicine. The afford-ability and accessibility of education at MDC helped these excep-tional alumni over-come early obstacles to develop distin-guished careers as doctors, where they have made signifi-cant contri-butions to patient care, cutting-edge procedures, educational pro-grams and medi-cal research. Recently honored with the Physician’s Rec-ognition Award from the Dade County Medical Association for his contributions to the medi-cal community, Mitjans takes pride in seeing Miami Dade College’s renowned reputation spread across the nation. “The College has come a long way, expanding significantly to the point where it is becoming a major force in the United States, not just South Florida,” he said. “I attribute this to the great ef-forts of MDC President Dr. Eduardo Padrón.” Inspiring MDC’s Next Doctors Like her colleagues, Dr. Onelia G. Lage learned at MDC that opportunity and persever-ance enable the achievement of great goals. MDC’s diverse student body also helped her realize that she liked working with and caring for people of all walks of life. Lage is now an associate professor of Clinical Pediatrics and director of Adolescent Medical Education and Community Health at the Uni-versity of Miami Miller School of Medi-cine . Appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to the Florida Board of Medicine, she became the first Hispanic woman to serve as chair in 2010. Lage maintains an important relationship with The Honors College at MDC, where she enjoys mentoring the next generation of doc-tors. She talks to students about careers in medicine, invites them to regional Latino medi-cal conferences and offers them the opportu-nity to shadow her. “It’s been a very nice partnership in terms of giving back,” she said. “I seek to inspire other minority students and immigrants who can’t see themselves going to college.” – AMS MDC Sets Highest Bar Dr. Gregory Springett began his studies at MDC after arriving from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands in the early ’80s. “I knew I wanted to be a physician, but I had no idea how to make that happen,” said Sprin-gett, an oncologist and cancer researcher at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa. He clearly remembers how MDC’s pre-med advisors worked with him to create a concrete plan for becoming a doctor. Lacking many of the prerequisites, Springett had to double and triple up on his courses each semester. Despite the grueling workload, he graduated on time, with honors, and the work ethic he learned at MDC stayed with him throughout medical school at Harvard and Ph.D. studies at MIT. “The odds for getting into medical school can seem daunting, especially for people coming from a community college,” he said. “I never came out of MDC feeling this goal wasn’t with-in reach. I think that had to do with the faculty. They had high standards – as high as anything I encountered subsequently. That was critical.” • Dr. Eduardo E. Acle , Medical Director, Miami Oncology Institute Dr. • Isaac Bassan , Gastroenterologist, Stauber, Bassan & Bloom • Dr. Francisco J. Batlle , Neurosurgeon, WellSpine Professional Association • Dr. Hugo González , Chief Medical Officer, Sister Emmanuel Hospital Dr. • Minh N. Ho , Fertility and Repro-ductive Specialist, Xpert Fertility Care of California • Dr. Alberto Interián Jr. , Director of Electrophysiology, Mercy Hospital • Dr. Smith Joseph , Doctor of Osteo-pathic Medicine, Universal Medical Center • Dr. Jack J. Michel , President and Chairman of the Board, Larkin Commu-nity Hospital • Dr. Jorge Pastoriza , Cardiovascular Physician, Garcia & Pastoriza P.A. • Dr. Leonel Pérez-Limonte , Neurolo-gist, Bonati Spine Institute • Dr. Ileana Piña , Associate Chief of Cardiology for Academic Affairs, Monte-fiore Medical Center • Dr. Lázaro Priegues , Internal Medi-cine Private Practice • Dr. Orlando Rodríguez , Associate Director of Hospitalists and Internal Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital • Dr. Steven Vanni , Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery and Or-thopaedics and Rehabilitation, Univer-sity of Miami Miller School of Medicine MIAMI DADE COLLEGE College Hope Despite the Odds Miami Dade College also was a gateway to success for Dr. Aurelio Mitjans , former chief of staff at Hialeah Hospital and founding partner of Florida Acute Care Specialists (FLACS) , an organization providing hospital treatment to more than 20,000 patients each year in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. “When I graduated from high school, my father was unable to work because he had a stroke, and my mother made $1.10 an hour,” Mitjans explained. “My only hope for higher ed-ucation was Miami Dade College, which offers a great education at a reasonable price.” Published by Miami Dade College, Office of Communications 300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami, FL 33132-2296 Send e-mails to editor@mdc.edu. f orum February 2012 • Volume 16 • Number 1 Communications Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Juan C . Mendieta Marketing and Publications Director . . . . . . . . .Irene Giménez Muñoz Editorial Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Brenda Krebs Copy Editors/Contributors . . . . . Monica Roos, Anne-Margaret Swary Graphic Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pasita Andino, Reynaldo Arroyo, Grizelle Paz-Harrison, Shari Robbins Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hector Pino, Walter Villa Staff Photographers . . . Alyssa Alvarez, Cristian Lazzari, Carlos Llano Production Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susan Smitherman For more information about MDC programs, call 305-237-8888 or visit www.mdc.edu. 2 College forum

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