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Leadership and Structure of the CME Program

The leadership of the CME Program is comprised of the following persons:

Robert Sackstein, M.D., Ph.D.

Dean and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

Robert Sackstein, M.D., Ph.D., is Dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and Senior Vice-President for Health Affairs at Florida International University. He is a Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Medical School, where he continues to serve as the Director of the Harvard Career Development Program in Translational Glycobiology. Dr. Sackstein’s clinical expertise is bone marrow transplantation, and he is a widely recognized for his contributions to cell-based therapeutics. His scientific research efforts have defined the molecular processes that regulate the movement of cells in blood flow into different tissues throughout the body, and clinical applications of his research findings have led to improved outcomes for patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation, and for patients suffering from a variety of illnesses including cancer, autoimmune conditions, and osteoporosis.

Dr. Sackstein was born in Cuba and immigrated to Miami with his family in 1960. He attended Dade County public schools, and received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Harvard College, Summa cum Laude. Dr. Sackstein then obtained both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Harvard Medical School, where, upon graduation, he received the James Tolbert Shipley Prize for outstanding research. Dr. Sackstein was bestowed the Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Experimental Hematology for his pioneering work in identifying how blood-forming stem cells enter the bone marrow, the critical first hurdle in the success of bone marrow transplantation. These efforts placed him at the forefront of the field known as of “translational glycobiology” and he is widely recognized for inventing a platform glycoengineering technology (known as “GPS”) that pilots the movement of blood-borne cells to sites of tissue injury. Based on his contributions to medicine and to medical science, Dr. Sackstein was elected as a member of the prestigious Association of American Physicians for his “pursuit of medical knowledge, and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine”. Recently, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Murcia (Spain) for “improving the efficacy and safety of cell-based therapies, thereby enabling curative-intent treatments for a wide range of disabling and life-threatening diseases.”

Yolangel (Yogi) Hernandez Suarez, MD, MBA, FACOG

Director for CME

Dr. Yogi Hernandez Suarez is Founding Vice Provost for Population Health and Well-being at Florida International University. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU plays a central role in generating, sharing, and implementing knowledge that promotes health and well-being. FIU endeavors to graduate students who are responsible for their own health and who support and advocate for the health of their community. Answering directly to the Provost, Dr. Hernandez Suarez works collaboratively and across disciplines to incorporate health promotion and literacy into all aspects of student culture, administration, operations, and academic mandates. She is also Associate Dean for Clinical and Community Affairs in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and serves as a strategic consultant to FIU’s community-based Academic Health Center.

Dr. Hernandez Suarez has been a physician leader in Miami for almost 20 years, with positions in private, public, academic, and hospital settings. Her first role in leadership was in the Jackson Health System where she advanced to serve as Chief Administrative Officer of Ambulatory Services. Imprinted by her time in the safety net, she has spent her career building value for patients, providers, and learners through public- private partnerships, inclusive practice models, and community relationships. Most recently, Dr. Hernandez Suarez was Vice President for Clinical Innovation for Conviva Care Solutions, a managed care subsidiary of Humana, Inc. where she led population health management for 250,000 seniors in a full risk model. She has received multiple awards for her leadership and was recently elected to the International Women’s Forum for her impact in healthcare.

Born and raised in New York City, she attended Swarthmore College and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. She holds a Master of Business Administration with specialization in Health Administration and Policy from the University of Miami. Dr. Hernandez Suarez is a first generation Cuban American whose parents came to New York in 1961. She is married to Dr. Jeffrey D. Simmons. They are the parents of twins, Gabriela and David. David is autistic; his journey fuels her unrelenting passion for the inclusion and well-being of special populations.

Laura Almaguer

Continuing Medical Education Administrative Staff

The CME Administrative Staff assist the CME Director in the day-to-day management of the CME Office. They collaborate with physician-planners in the development of CME Program content, emphasizing regulatory compliance with the criterion established by ACCME and the respective rules of the AMA PRA. They also collaborate with the Director of Finance to oversee compliance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support, including the collection of financial disclosure information from all parties affecting the content of CME and identification of financial relationships representing a conflict of interest. The CME Administrative Staff also work with the CME Director to ensure the resolution of any conflicts and communicate reported financial relationships to learners via course materials.

The CME Administrative Staff serve as the main point of contact to ACCME on behalf of FIU/HWCOM, and provide regular updates to ACCME using their "Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS)". Working with CME consultants, the CME Administrative Staff develop metrics to track CME projects, implement and utilize a tracking system on a daily basis for the management of the overall CME Program, design and implement educational outcomes measurements in accordance with planners' stated intended results for measurement of learner competence and/or performance and/or patient outcomes, and ensure that outcome measurements are analyzed and provided to the CME Director for review and discussion with the CME Committee.