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IALISSUE C E SP ION T C E EL

Miami

Dr. Yvonne Johnson

Introducing South Florida’s Top Black Healthcare Professionals of 2020 HEALTH COVER STORY

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The Black population is twice as likely as whites to have late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This is why the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine wants to increase participation in studies to improve their healthcare.

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Dr. Yvonne Johnson is the chief medical officer at Baptist Health in South Miami. Find out how this African-American executive handled the biggest challenge of her career.

LEADERSHIP PINNACLE

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A South Florida nurse practitioner says she was born to care for patients. Now she’s responding to the call by traveling to COVID-19 hot spots in the southern region.

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Miami dentist Dr. Roger Phanord remembers having a toothache as a child with no dental insurance. Today, he and his twin sons are on a mission to serve the underserved.


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CONGRATULATIONS UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI HEALTH SYSTEM CONGRATULATES THE TOP BLACK HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS FOR 2020 including our very own:

LARRY DEON ADAMS

DOREEN ASHLEY, DNP, MSN, ARNP

ARMEN HENDERSON, M.D.

STEPHANIE MOSS, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC

GIOVANA R. THOMAS, M.D.

Director, Research Support, John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics

Executive Director, Acute & Critical Care Services

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Internal Medicine

Executive Director, Clinical Operations

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

On behalf of your colleagues and friends at the University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine, congratulations on this well-deserved honor. We thank you for your commitment to the health and wellness of our South Florida community and beyond.

UMiamiHealth.org


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020

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EDITOR’S NOTE 5-6 INTRODUCING SOUTH

FLORIDA’S TOP BLACK HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS OF 2020

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ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH By Dorothy Jenkins Fields

COVID-19 REPORT By William Alexis, M.D.

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COVER STORY

Dr. Yvonne Johnson Guides Baptist Health During Pandemic

By Monique Howard

10 CHAIRWOMAN’S REPORT

By Audrey M. Edmonson

PROFILES IN LEADERSHIP

By Josie Gulliksen

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SPECIAL ELECTION ISSUE

South Florida Nurse Travels Near and Far to Care for COVID-19 Patients

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CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE

CANDIDATES FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COMMISSION - DISTRICT 3

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 9

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CANDIDATES FOR MIAMI-DADE SCHOOL BOARD - DISTRICT 9

CANDIDATES FOR FLORIDA SENATE - DISTRICT 35

Miami to Sandra Powell who oversees a team of COVID-19 testers in a first-floor laboratory at Broward Health in Fort Lauderdale. They include entrepreneurs like William McCormick whose medical billing company, among other things, ensures that essential workers are paid on time. They include nurse practitioners like Allecia Leiba who has volunteered her time during this pandemic to serve meals to the needy as well as traveled throughout the southern region to care for infected patients. his special issue of Legacy is They’re all among Legacy’s 2020 actually two issues in one. The first honorees (see pages 4 and 5), many issue honors South Florida’s Top Black of whom have put their own lives at Healthcare Professionals. The second risk to save ours. We acknowledge issue, in the centerfold, informs area their dedication as Florida reopens for voters about some of the important business, as the number of COVID-19 races to look out for in the upcoming cases here continues to rise, and as General Election. the nation anxiously awaits the first approved vaccine for a cure. Honoring Essential Healthcare Workers In the meantime, we must Since early March, as the be steadfast in doing our part by infectious Coronavirus began spreading maintaining our social distance (at least like wildfire in the U.S., our lives have 6 feet apart), wearing a face mask, and been in the hands of countless essential regularly washing our hands. workers in the healthcare industry. We owe it to our essential Those essential workers range from healthcare workers to be a part of the hospital administrators like Dr. Yvonne solution by staying healthy, instead of Johnson of Baptist Health in South contributing to the problem.

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Staying Informed for Election 2020 Legacy would be remiss if we didn’t give one final push to encourage you to vote on Nov. 3. Leading up to every election you always hear pundits say, “This is the most important election of our lifetime.” This time, however, that phrase couldn’t ring more true. There are too many issues at stake, locally and nationally, including the ongoing racial unrest, the Coronavirus, immigration, criminal justice reform and the latest opening on the U.S. Supreme Court, to name a few. Votes are already being cast as a growing number of registered voters have opted to mail-in their ballots. Although Legacy is not endorsing candidates, we want you to be informed and engaged in this election. We’ve listed several key races in this issue that you should be following. Whatever the outcome, it is our hope that people be treated equally regardless of their skin color, gender, religion. or sexuality.

Russell Motley Legacy Editor-in-Chief rm@miamediagrp.com

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19 POLITICS

By Christopher Norwood

MEDIATION/ARBITRATION By Stanley Zamor

20 CAREER LEADERSHIP & DEVELOPMENT By Mary V. Davids

BUSINESS REPORT By Beatrice Louissaint

24 COLORECTAL CANCER

AWARENESS SPARKED BY DEATH OF BLACK PANTHER STAR By William Alexis, M.D.

MENTAL HEALTH By Dr. Delvina R. Thomas

26 LEGACY BRIEFS

LIFESTYLE

LU X U RY

E N T E RTA I N M E N T

Subscribe to and view the digital version of Legacy Magazine and view additional articles at http://bitly.com/legacymagazines Facebook: Facebook.com/TheMIAMagazine • Twitter and Instagram: @TheMIAMagazine Russell Motley Editor-in-Chief Yanela G. McLeod Managing Editor Shannel Escoffery Vice President Sabrina Moss-Solomon Graphic Designer Aaliyah Sherie Bryant Social Media Specialist Joe Wesley Cover Photographer Alyssa Mark Intern

#BeInformed #BeInfluential #BlackHistoryMonth

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Member of the Black Owned Media Alliance (BOMA)

CREDO OF THE BLACK PRESS

“The Black Press believes that America can best lead the world away from racial and national antagonisms when it accords to every one regardless of race, color or creed, ful human and legal rights. Hating no person, fearing no person, the Black Press strives to help every person in the firm belief that all hurt as long as anyone is held back.”


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Introducing South Florida’s Top Bla

GAIL ADAMS BSN, RN Diabetes Life Coach The Soul of Diabetes

Director of Research Support John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami

LARRY DEON ADAMS

PETA-ANN ANDERSON, MSN, RN

DOREEN ASHLEY, MSN, DNP, APRN Executive Director, Nursing University of Miami Hospital

CEO TruPath Recovery and Wellness

DANIELLE CONNOLLY-COLLINS \ BSN, RN

LAUREL DALTON

JACK DONALDSON IV, M.ED.

LARAE P. FLOYD, MBA, MCA, CMRP

LA TANYA D. FORBES RN, MSN, CNOR

RYAN R. HAWKINS

ARMEN HENDERSON

DR. DAMION JACKSON

YVONNE JOHNSON, M.D.

Director of Nursing Transitions Recovery Program

MAXINE HAMILTON, M.D. Medical Director of Broward Health International

UHealth System - UTower

RHONDA NELSON, BSN, MS Registered Nurse Jackson Memorial Hospital

Executive Director T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society

Chief Operating Officer Jackson North Medical Center

JOHN A. NELSON Dentist Midtown Dental

Chief Nursing Officer Jackson North Medical Center

President Sanare Bioscience

Medical Doctor University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine

OYINKANSOLA “BUKKY” OGUNRINDE Founder and Chief Practice Transformation Officer FUNMI Healthcare Consulting

Corporate Manager, Supply Chain Operations and Business Development for Broward Health

Director of Business Development and Outreach UHealth/Jackson Miami Transplant Institute

CHINELO OKPALOBI, M.A. , PLPC REGISTERED INTERN Mental Health Therapist Safe Future Behavioral Health

TIMOTHY PAGE

Associate General Manager ChenMed

RHAHIME BELL

Program Director Safety & Compliance MHS Procedural Areas Memorial Healthcare System

Doctor Baptist Health South Florida

DR. ROGER PHANORD

President/CEO Phanord and Associated, P.A.


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ack Healthcare Professionals of 2020

ALAN E. BOTTORFF Co-Founder & CEO Teledactyl

JOY FULLER PH.D., APRN, MSN, BC

PETA GAYE BOWEN

TIA BOWMAN

Director of the Neuroscience Serviceline at Broward Health

Associate Vice President, Contract Administration at Broward Health

CHARMAINE CHIBAR M.D., FAAP

Chief Executive Officer Riviera Beach Integrated Care Inc.

Pediatrics Director, C.L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics; Medical Director, School Health Program Health Care District of Palm Beach County

WILLIAM E. GREEN

Family Medicine Practitioner Shenandoah Medical Care Center

EVP/Chief Operating Officer Jackson Health Foundation

Manager of Medical Wellness and Health Promotion AvMed Health Plans

FELICIA GOLDING, MPH

SHELIA C. GOODMAN PHARMD, RPH Pharmacy Manager/Pharmacist Walmart

Executive Director of Ambulatory Operations Broward Health Community Health Services

ALLECIA LEIBA, MSN, APRN-FNP-BC

WILLIAM MCCORMICK, MBA

NATOIA ADELLA MCGARRELL, MBA

CHENITA MOSLEY, M.A.

STEPHANIE MOSS, DNP, APRN, APNBC

Maxim Health

SANDRA L. POWELL

Regional Laboratory Manager Broward Health Medical Center

CHARMAINE GATLIN

MONIQUE D. BROWN, PH.D., MCAP, SAP, CAD

CEO Americlaims Billing

TROI M. STOESSEL

Chief Operating Officer Premier Associates For The Healthcare Of Women

Account Manager Masimo Corporation

DR. DELVENA THOMAS Psychiatrist

GIOVANA THOMAS

Associate Professor, Head & Neck Oncologic and Robotic Surgeon University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Gerontologist Catholic Health Service

TOBENNA UZOMA UBU, M.D. Doctor Jackson Memorial Hospital

Executive Director Clinical Operations

DR. UCHA CHIOMA UKPAI, PT, DPT, OCS, COMPT Physical Therapist Florida Orthopedic and Balance Physical Therapy


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ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH

Why We Can’t Wait: Confronting Alzheimer’s Impact on African-American Community

BY DOROTHY JENKINS FIELDS

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a series of quarterly articles designed to help educate and move families to action. Equally important, it is intended to provide access to support and resources for individuals and families already affected. We must not wait any longer. The time to act is past due for finding treatment and a cure for the dreaded

Alzheimer’s Disease. African Americans are twice as likely as whites to have lateonset Alzheimer’s disease and are underrepresented in genomic and translational research studies. Because of this lack of representation, African Americans may not benefit from the genetic based therapies that are currently being developed to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Larry Deon Adams, director, research support at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is the leader of the institute’s community outreach team for Alzheimer’s disease research. His team is educating African Americans in South Florida and across the United States about biomedical research in an effort to increase participation in studies that will improve their healthcare. For his unwavering dedication to the cause, he was selected one of Legacy magazine’s 2020 Healthcare

Professionals. When asked about his concern for the community’s lack of participation in research studies, he said, “ When I think about the health disparities that underrepresented groups are faced with, I feel obligated to do something about it. Educating and creating awareness in Black communities, I believe, can contribute to better public health choices and opportunities for all individuals.” More than a year ago, on August 6, 2019, Adams was the master of ceremonies at a community luncheon held at the Betty T. Ferguson Complex in Miami Gardens. The speakers included: Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance, professor and director of the John P. Hussman Institute, and Dr. Goldie Byrd, professor and director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest School of Medicine; and Mr. Keith Gibson, director of program services from the Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida Chapter. A year later, even in the midst of

the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hussman Institute stood ready to meet the needs of those enrolled in their studies over the past 12 years. To get more information about participating in the research studies, visit hihg.med.miami.edu/alzheimers/ about-alzheimers . To family and friends with loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s, you are not alone. Ask for help now. Contact Larry Deon Adams at 305.5876871 or email ladams4@med.miami. edu. This is not the time to be silent. Ask for help today. Dorothy Jenkins Fields, Ph.D., is a consultant to the University of Miami’s Hussman Institute of Human Genomics Project, “Why We Can’t Wait;” a historian, archivist and freelance writer with interests in black tourism, heritage neighborhoods, event planning, and downsizing. Visit: https://www.societysocialsandreunions./ whcomaywecantwait. n

COVID-19 REPORT

HBCUs Join Push for COVID-19 Vaccine Development

BY WILLIAM ALEXIS, M.D.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed in excess of 200,000 American lives. The United States is the global leader in deaths from the infection. The devastating impact of the pandemic on African Americans has been well-documented. Sources estimate that the infection rate is in excess of 30 percent among African Americans and the death rate is 2 to 6 times that of whites.

Experts agree that while face coverings, social distancing, and isolation of infected individuals and contacts may serve to mitigate further spread of the virus, a safe and effective vaccine is urgently needed to control the pandemic. Clinical trials of vaccines to prevent infection are currently underway but concerns that these trials will not represent the ethnic diversity of the country and potential vaccine recipients remain. As African Americans have been among the groups at highest risk for COVID-19, there is general agreement within the scientific community that this group should be prioritized for inclusion in these large clinical trials. Historically, African-American participation in clinical trials has been estimated at an abysmally low rate of 5 percent. During the early months of the phase 3 clinical trials currently underway, only 7-8 percent of those enrolled were African American despite comprising 13 percent of the U.S. population and accounting for nearly 25 percent of all

COVID-related deaths. Such low enrollment of African Americans in these trials could lead to delay in the release of a vaccine to the public as it could force the experts that comprise the study’s Data and Safety Monitoring Board to delay further investigation until the study subjects more closely reflect the population affected. Such measures are very important in order that the results of such trials may be easily translated to the population. Lack of trust has been one of the leading reasons for underrepresentation of African Americans in clinical research trials as the history of clinical research in the United States has been fraught with countless infamous incidents of racial bias and unethical harms inflicted upon AfricanAmerican research subjects. Many believe that Black doctors and researchers may be one of the most effective means of building trust within the African-American community. To this end, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have taken the lead in assisting with this effort.

Morehouse School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College were among the first HBCUs to be designated as clinical trial sites. Two presidents of HBCUs in hardhit New Orleans, Dr. Walter Kimbrough of Dillard University and Dr. C. Reynold Verret of Xavier University, chose to lead by example and themselves enrolled in a vaccine trial for COVID-19. In a letter to students they wrote, “Overcoming the virus will require the availability of vaccines effective for all peoples in our communities…It is of the utmost importance that a significant number of Black and brown subjects participate so that the effectiveness of these vaccines be understood across the many diverse populations that comprise the United States.” Dr. William Alexis is chief of Internal Medicine at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines.

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COVER STORY

Dr. Yvonne Johnson Guides Baptist Health During Pandemic

BY MONIQUE HOWARD

As the chief medical officer of Baptist Health in South Miami, Dr. Yvonne Johnson is guiding the way amid COVID 19 and ensuring that the local residents feel safe. With more than 15 years of experience, she has reached the height of her field. That is why she has been named one of Legacy magazine’s top healthcare professional of 2020. Growing up, the bar was set high by having older siblings who were college grads. Johnson’s parents instilled in her the importance of academic excellence and working hard at an early age. With these core values in mind, she moved forward in life and implemented these family beliefs in her education. Johnson began her high school career at Atlantic City High School in Atlantic City, New Jersey and completed her education at Moon Senior High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was a member of the debate team in high school Her coach left a lasting impact, she shared. “I would credit finding success in something I would never have thought I was particularly good at, and there was someone who saw in me a talent that I didn’t see in myself,” she reflected. “I feel like that’s what distinguished my high school career from having learned how to do research, learning public speaking, and how to present an argument. And I think that was pivotal in my success in college and later on in life.” Later Johnson graduated with a medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine. After attending medical school, she completed a residency at that Jackson Memorial Hospital Internal Medicine Program, practicing emergency medicine. When reflecting on her career and how she made the transition to CMO, Johnson remembered the importance of mentorship as it continues to have a positive impact on her life. “I got into hospital administration believing in someone else’s vision for me,” she said. “I trusted their judgment and pursued what they saw in me until I believed in myself. Sometimes, you have to believe in other people’s visions until you can see it for yourself.” Johnson was a member of the medical executive committee and became the first woman to serve as president over the medical staff at Baptist Health. Now she is currently working as the chief medical officer at the hospital. When COVID 19 disrupted daily life around the globe, Johnson said she

Baptist Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Yvonne Johnson stands in front of a wall of medical supplies in the emergency room at the South Miami hospital.

faced the greatest challenge of her career as a medical professional. However, the staff at Baptist Health are trained for such emergencies. “A couple of times a year we drill for disasters and among the scenarios frequently is the pandemic flu,” she explained. “I have to say drilling is nothing like the real thing, but it is something we have put some thought into before this actually happened. Once the pandemic was declared, it was so impressive to see how all of Baptist Health kicked into action and created testing environments like tents in our parking lots,” she continued. “We could cohort those patients who were coming in with symptoms of COVID 19 and keep them in one area and keep other patients safe.” According to Johnson, Baptist Health set protocols in place for regulating which types of Personal Protective Equipment would be used during a particular circumstance and also for managing the placement and care of patients who needed to be admitted to the hospital. “Managing this pandemic has been the professional challenge of my life, but I have been so supported by an amazing medical staff,” she said. “Everyone and anyone who worked in the hospital had to make adjustments for this pandemic. At this point, we are having a bit of a low demand. The number of patients with COVID 19 who are being admitted to our hospital right now is probably at its lowest point since we started.” “So, we are using this opportunity to access what we did and how we did it. As we are giving those reports, I have to say

I’m even more impressed as people are detailing what they did, how they did, and what those timelines were. We were able to come together as a health system and put all these different protocols in place.” Johnson recalled how in March and April, the community did their part by staying home in efforts to bend the curve and reduce the spread of COVID 19. Then during May and June, the general public began to believe that life would return to normal. “We saw a bigger surge that came in the middle of June through July and some of August,” she said. “We had to message the community that we needed to take control by doing the social distancing, avoiding crowds, wearing masks, cleaning our hands, and all of those things. And again, we were able to get the virus under control. “ Johnson reflected on how she guided her staff through this challenging time and the ways effective leadership and team efforts can lead to success. “I’ve continued to guide by understanding the science, the recommendations that national organizations have put out there like the Centers for Disease Control,” she recalled. “As we were getting ready to make decisions during the pandemic, I understood that I work with an incredibly talented medical staff. You listen to what they have to say and they listen to you.” As an active participant in community engagement, Johnson utilizes her role as a healthcare leader to keep the public informed and ensure that the local residents feel safe in uncertain times.

“Because I was the chief medical officer, I was the person that our media relations would come to, to speak to the community whether it was an interview for written media, for local television, or national news,” she explained. “I was given a platform to talk to the community to help give the truth in a situation where a lot of misinformation was put out in our atmosphere.” “I’ve been trying to talk to our community about how important it is for us to continue to take control of this virus — maintain behavior like wearing masks and avoiding crowds so we don’t give the virus an opportunity to go from one person to the other.” For those who may be interested in entering the medical field, Johnson advised, “ Take the opportunity to see, and there are a number of ways that you can do that whether you’re shadowing someone or getting some employment. For me, my first job was as a unit clerk. I got to see the doctors and nurses in action. I got to see their interactions with the patients. I got to see if this was something that I’d really love.” Despite the current health crisis caused by the pandemic, Johnson said she still hopes for a positive outcome in the future and seeks to ensure the public that hospitals are safe. “My personal hope for the future is to see that our medical system goes back into a more normal type of functioning,” she said. “I think we’ve had a number of patients who have been reluctant to come to the hospital because of COVID 19 and their fear that the hospital is a risky place to come to. Of the places I go to on any given day, it’s the place I feel the safest outside of my home. We have such strict protocols and I feel it’s a very low-risk place to transmit or to have COVID 19 transmitted to me.” She also desires for patients to know they can trust medical staff to have their best interests in mind and to not allow fear to prevent them from receiving routine care or preventive care because of COVID 19. In addition, Johnson said she also believes there is a divide in the quality of healthcare some patients receive. “I would like to address many of the healthcare disparities that COVID 19 brought out,” she said. “Among African-American people, we have a higher rate of critical illness and complicated illness from COVID 19 and a higher rate of death. I would like to see Baptist Health identify and be the leader in addressing those disparities in our community.” n


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Excellence in action. The Baptist Health family is proud to congratulate Dr. Yvonne Johnson, emergency medicine physician and Chief Medical Officer of South Miami Hospital, as one of Legacy Magazine’s 2020 Top Black Healthcare Professionals. We are so fortunate to have you and your fellow honorees caring for our community.

Yvonne Johnson, M.D. Chief Medical Officer, South Miami Hospital

BaptistHealth.net

A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to our faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence. For giving opportunities, visit BaptistHealth.net/Foundation


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CHAIRWOMAN’S REPORT

BY AUDREY M. EDMONSON

This year has been a year like no other for our county, our nation and the world. As chairwoman of the MiamiDade County Commission, working with my colleagues and Mayor Carlos Gimenez to protect public health and safety has been my No. 1 priority during the COVID-19 crisis.

Thank You and Farewell

As the pandemic emerged, we acted quickly to halt the spread of the virus through a series of safety measures and “Safer at Home” orders, while also helping residents cope financially by suspending water service disconnections and eviction operations, organizing free drivethrough food distributions and more. We also approved a $150 million line of credit for our Jackson Health System to ensure they could meet the community’s health needs during the Coronavirus pandemic. As we look forward to defeating this virus and hopefully returning to life as normal soon, I want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to our healthcare workers, first responders and all those who have been serving on the front lines during the pandemic. They have gone above and

beyond the call of duty, putting the public’s interests ahead of their own, even at the risk of their own health. Their tireless efforts and dedication have been nothing short of heroic, and they have kept our community going throughout this crisis. For that, we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude, and I salute them all. The Coronavirus pandemic happens to coincide with a major turning point in the history of the Miami-Dade County Commission. This November, the term limits charter amendment that voters approved in 2012 will finally take effect, resulting in the loss of more than 80 years of combined experience on the Board of County Commissioners as nearly half the commissioners – including myself – term out, followed by the departure of

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020

another five commissioners in 2022. This will represent a huge loss of institutional knowledge and experience on the commission, but my departing colleagues and I are confident that all the work we have done over the years to build a better Miami-Dade County will leave a lasting legacy of progress for future commissioners to build on. Finally, I want to take this opportunity to say what a privilege it has been to serve my district and this county over the last 15 years alongside all of my colleagues. Thank you for the confidence you have placed in me all these years. Serving the residents of this county and working to improve their quality of life has been the greatest honor of my life. Audrey M. Edmonson is chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Commission. n

PROFILES IN LEADERSHIP

South Florida Nurse Travels Near and Far to Care for COVID-19 Patients

BY JOSIE GULLIKSEN

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Allecia Leiba of Pembroke Pines is fulfilling a personal calling to assist infected patients in the hardest hit areas. The nurse practitioner told Legacy she was born to help save lives. “It was instilled in me to be a nurse since I was in the womb,” said Leiba, an honoree of Legacy’s Top Black Healthcare Professionals of 2020. “I never even explored any other options.” Leiba’s path to a nursing career began when she graduated in 1997 from McFatter Vocational School in Davie (now McFatter Technical College and High School). After earning a Master’s of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing, she landed a position at the Cleveland Clinic as a nurse practitioner. When COVID-19 started spreading in March, Leiba had already been caring for patients in Broward,

“There, I saw available positions in New Orleans and Fort Myers where the number of COVID-19 patients was higher.” By the end of March, Leiba was working on her first medial assignment in New Orleans. “My nurse manager (at Cleveland Clinic) was very supportive and lenient in allowing me to Nurse practitioner Allecia Leiba prepares to take a flight from Fort assist,” Leiba said. Lauderdale to New Orleans as part of her mission to care for patients in “But as the need COVID-19 hot spots. arose, it was harder to get time off to go and however, she saw a dire need to care serve the community.” for infected patients in other hard-hit After two weeks in New Orleans, areas of the south. she returned to Cleveland Clinic. “I saw postings on nursing social In July, Leiba began an assignment media platforms by two healthcare assisting COVID-19 patients in Fort staffing agencies, Krucial and Myers which, ultimately, led to her Maxim,” said Leiba, who has received making a major career decision. certification for FEMA in disaster “While in Fort Myers, I gave response and crisis management.

notice at Cleveland Clinic explaining to my nurse manager that this is where I needed to be,” she Leiba. “There was a great need in Fort Myers, and this was my opportunity to help an underserved population.” Leiba returned to Cleveland Clinic, fulfilled her final two weeks, then went to Fort Myers for five more weeks working 10-hour days. Despite the grueling schedule, the married mother of two boys, ages 13 and 17, said she would drive home at least once a week to reconnect with her family. Then she’d wake at 4:30 a.m. and drive to Fort Myers to be back on the job by 7 a.m. Currently, Leiba is at home with her family awaiting her next medical assignment — wherever that may be. “Taking these assignments was about rising to the occasion. I saw a need and went to assist. I thoroughly enjoy helping those in need,” Leiba said. “I knew I was a vessel being used by God and that everything would fall into place.” n


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EARLY VOTING

HAS BEGUN!

Daniella Levine Cava’s Plan to

EMPOWER Communities

October 19 through November 1 7 AM - 7 PM

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Expand Entrepreneurship & Black-Owned Small Businesses Major Investments in Underserved Neighborhoods

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Police Accountability, Reforms & Public Safety

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Opportunities for Collaboration with Community Organizations

Find an early voting location

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Wage growth and Youth Employment Programs

DANIELLA.VOTE/COMMIT

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Establish the Mayor’s Office of Equity & Inclusion

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Reinvest in Homeownership Programs

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ALIX DESULME

STATE REP.RESENTATIVE STATE REPRESENTATIVE STATE REPRESENTATIVE

DOTIE JOSEPH

FLORIDA CITY COMMISSIONER

AVIS BROWN

SHEVRIN JONES

FLORIDA CITY COMMISSIONER

SHARON BUTLER

BARBARA WATSON

FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE

WILLIE LOGAN

FORMER NORTH MIAMI HAITIAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY LEADER COUNCILMAN

LEARN MORE AT

JACQUES DESPINOSSE

Daniella.vote

MIAMI GARDENS MAYOR

OLIVER GILBERT

MIAMI SHORES MAYOR

CRYSTAL WAGAR

HAITIAN-AMERICAN REDLAND COMMUNITY COMMUNITY LEADER COUNCIL MEMBER

FRANCESCA MENES MARLENE BASTEIN

WILBUR BELL

(305) 204-0620

@Levine_Cava

/LevineCava

@VoteDaniella


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MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY DANIELLE LEVINE CAVA

Commissioner Levine Cava is an advocate for protecting our environment and water resources. She is committed to growing the local economy, investing in transit and housing while strengthening our communities through planned, sustainable development. Cava is fighting for transparency and accountability in our county government. Along with affordable housing, small/local businesses, and more. (Source - https://daniella.vote/)

ESTEBAN L. BOVO JR.

“My candidacy is based on conservative principles to protect taxpayer dollars, ensure transparency, fairness, and fiscal responsibility. Make no mistake, my administration will not serve the interests of the extreme liberals that are looking to redefine America and in the process increase the MiamiDade government on the back of its taxpayers.” Bovo plans to improve residents’ quality of life, promote safe communities, implement effective transportation, and more. (Source - https://www.stevebovo.com/)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COMMISSION - DISTRICT 3 KEON HARDEMON

GEPSIE MORISSET METELLUS

Commissioner Keon Hardemon was born in Miami, Florida where his family stressed to him the core values that remain true to him today: the importance of education, integrity, and service to the community. Some of his experience includes being a member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and working as assistant public defender at the Law Offices of the Public Defender Carlos Martinez, where he represented hundreds of clients from Miami-Dade County.

District 3 needs a champion who can harness broad-based support to tackle poverty in our community; to address crime as a symptom of the lack of economic opportunity in our community; to embrace a countywide approach to affordable housing policy to ensure that those that work in Miami-Dade can afford to live here, and to address quality of life issues such as traffic congestion and transportation. I’m running to ensure no one is left behind.

(Source - https://www.miamigov.com/Government/City-Officials/District-5Commissioner-Keon-Hardemon)

(Source - https://gepsiemetellus.com/why/)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COMMISSION - DISTRICT 9 ELVIS MALDONADO

KIONNE MCGHEE

During his tenure as chairman, Mr. Maldonado has led the way in addressing municipal concerns relating to transportation and highway safety, as well as aviation, affordable housing, building codes, charter schools, and veterans affairs. Maldonado also plans to make positive changes to our environment in order to help minimize climate change, along with helping the agricultural industry, local businesses, and increasing work wages.

“McGhee is a public servant who has shown that he will produce results and work hard to build a consensus with all stakeholders irrespective of party affiliation or demographics. McGhee is ready to lead on issues such as affordable housing, transportation, economic development, education, violence, and strengthening small businesses. His current work includes assisting with quality of life issues such as driver’s license reinstatements and the restoration of voting rights.”

(Source - https://www.elvismaldonado.com/)

(Source - https://kionnemcghee.com/statement-from-commissioner-dennis-c-moss/)


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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020

Get COVID-19 Relief Miami-Dade County and its partner organizations have developed assistance programs to provide residents,

The Black Owned Media Alliance (BOMA) has made our endorsements of the following candidates and amendments. The selections are based upon their positions on: social justice, economic plan for Black businesses and community, leadership qualities, police reform and quality of life...

Miami-Dade County Candidates: Mayor of Miami-Dade County DANIELLE LEVINE CAVA Miami-Dade County Commission District 3 Co-endorsement KEON HARDEMON GEPSIE METELLUS Miami-Dade County Commission District 9 KIONNE MCGHEE Miami-Dade County School Board District 9 DENNIS C. MOSS Florida Senate District 35 SHEVRIN JONES

businesses, active military and veterans with emergency relief during the coronavirus pandemic. See if you qualify for help paying rent, utilities, business loans and more.

Visit our COVID-19 Help webpage to learn

AMENDMENTS: Amendment One: No Amendment Two: Yes Amendment Three: No Amendment Four: No Amendment Five: Yes Amendment Six: Yes

about the many ways you can obtain assistance. While you are there, schedule a testing appointment at one of the many, free COVID-19 testing sites.

miamidade.gov/covidhelp


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MIAMI-DADE SCHOOL BOARD - DISTRICT 9 DENNIS C. MOSS

LUISA SANTOS

“My record for the past 27 years serving the MiamiDade County Commission District 9, speaks to my commitment to service. As a school board member, I will work to ensure the physical safety of our schools, ensure that our students are safe from the COVID-19 virus, save traditional and challenged neighborhood schools, refine online distance learning, and implement life preparation skills in our curricula such as employability, entrepreneurship and coding skills.”

“I wholeheartedly believe that every student must have the opportunities I had to build a successful life, no matter where they are born or which zip code they live in. Together we can strengthen our public schools to ensure they provide the high-quality education that each of our students deserve – and must have – to grow, thrive, and realize their full potential.” Santos plans to ensure student safety, mental health, equality, and more.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020

FLORIDA SENATE DISTRICT 35 DARIEN HILL (WRI)

(Source - https://luisasantos.com/)

(Source - https://www.dennismoss4schools.com/)

WRITE-IN CANDIDATE

SHEVRIN “SHEV” JONES

“As a Florida House Representative member for District 101, I’ve never stopped fighting to ensure the prosperity of Florida’s families and communities. I firmly believe we can do more to protect our public education system. We can do more to keep dangerous weapons off our streets while preserving your rights. As senator for Florida’s 35th District, I will continue to fight for our needs, advocate for equal and fair treatment, and always put people first.”

(Source - https://shevrinjones.com/

Peta Ann Anderson Chief Nursing Officer Jackson North Medical Center

Ryan Hawkins Chief Operating Officer Jackson North Medical Center

Rhonda Nelson Clinical Staff Nurse Jackson Memorial Hospital

Tobenna Uzoma Ubu, M.D. Resident Physician Jackson Memorial Hospital

Congratulations to this year’s honorees. Jackson Health System is proud of your recognition as Top Black Healthcare Professionals in Miami-Dade. JacksonHealth.org


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Build back Better Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will: Create millions of good-paying jobs Increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour End paycheck discrimination Provide affordable child care for families

Leverage more than $150 billion in new capital and opportunities in economically disadvantaged businesses and areas Create a $15,000 down-payment tax credit for first-time home buyers

Visit joebiden.com to learn more PAID FOR BY BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT

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POLITICS

Cava’s Background in Prosperity Development Will Benefit Miami-Dade Community

BY CHRISTOPHER NOORWOOD

When I moved to Miami from Newark for law school more than 20 years ago, I had two priorities: attend St. Thomas University School of Law because it was located on the grass where the 1972 Dolphins practiced (that was important to me); and to use my law degree to work in the community to advocate for public policies that address

societal problems. As a first-year law student, I worked with the South Florida Council of the Boy Scouts to assist inner city troops and packs. I also worked part-time in community relations at the law school. During my second year, I traveled to Geneva, Switzerland for the summer and interned with the United Nation’s Sub-Commission on Human Rights. I witnessed first-hand how individuals from around the world advocated for the protection of basic human rights and social norms through the legal instruments of treaties. I attended law school to understand American legal reasoning and the systems that created it. I was already armed with a social work degree from Hampton University, and I attended graduate school at Cornell University’s Institute for Public Affairs. I understood that public policy only changes when replaced with better public policy. Social work teaches us that the field of community organization is the

most effective tool to reform public institutions. No lasting change can be sustained without strong communities of support and organization. After law school, I worked with the Human Services Coalition as its policy coordinator. Now Catalyst Miami, HSC was founded in 1995 with the broad goal of achieving dignity in all of our communities. When I met Daniella Levine Cava, CEO/founder, I knew I was home. She was a social worker and a lawyer, with a long career of service in Miami since 1980. She was born in New York and attended Yale for college, Columbia for Law School, and held a masters in social work. She applied her professional skills as a social worker and lawyer to create a better society. In 2002, HSC formed the first prosperity campaign in the United States. We advocated for public policy that created a strong workforce, well educated workers, strong families, and strong communities. The Prosperity Campaign created strong alliances with the business

community to promote outreach and access to: Florida KidCare, Earned Income Tax Credit , and Food Stamps. Miami Dade County was forever changed and uplifted by the Prosperity Campaign. The United Way, the business community, including the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and Beacon Council adopted the Prosperity Campaign. So, when Daniella decided to run for the county commission six years ago, I encouraged her like many of her friends, colleagues and former employees. We knew her ability to coalesce an entire community around a set of goals and challenges. Her campaign for office then and now is an extension of her life’s work to promote prosperity for MiamiDade. This is not anything new...This is just Daniella! Christopher Norwood, J.D. is principal of The Norwood Consulting Group. n

MEDIATION/ARBITRATION

Power Series Part 1: Special Tactic Creates More Options When Negotiating

BY STANLEY ZAMOR

As I observed the plaintiff’s attorney clumsily shift through her papers while texting her partners, it became evident that she was not prepared how to respond to various counteroffers posed. Her client looked at her and said, “What now? I am almost done here. And like you said, we don’t want to take this to trial. So, what are our

options?” Her attorney said, ”Wait, hold on. I am waiting to hear back from them.” I cleared my throat and asked, “Have you considered what your BATNA versus WATNA are? It’ll help create more options you may not have thought of before.” They both looked puzzled as I proceeded to describe how they can create more options and possibly shift the negotiations by listing their Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement while gaining more clarity by analyzing their Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. Taking that approach, they began listing options and found two that they felt would move the negotiations more favorably. Knowledge is power. It cannot be overstated that when you come to the negotiation table you should be prepared with the knowledge of options you have available to negotiate with. There should not be many surprises. And when stalemated, be flexible and

ready to create or offer options. Far too often when parties prepare for negotiations, they usually consider a narrow approach of what they may get in court; rather than broadening their scope to include more options. Knowing how and when to develop your BATNA will help negotiators increase their power by having more options rather than little options.

Here are some quick steps to add to your negotiation strategy by developing your BATNA: 1. First, be realistic with your wants, needs and what you want as an outcome. 2. Start by listing three desired alternatives then add two more. When you’ve done that, put the list away for a few minutes, an hour or maybe even a day (if you’re not in a rush) and see if you can add more to the list. It is quite possible to develop a list of up to ten options that can resolve the issue. 3. Now, once you have a list of possible

alternatives, assign a number value to each, either 1, 2, or 3 with 1 being the most vital. With this list you can start to group your 1s and use this tool to show the opposing side that you have the ability to bargain greater than what they anticipated.

Stanley Zamor is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit/Family/County Mediator & Primary Trainer and Qualified Arbitrator. Mr. Zamor serves on several federal and state mediation/ arbitration rosters and mediates with the ATD (Agree2Disagree) Mediation & Arbitration, PA throughout Florida. As an ADR consultant he regularly lectures on a variety of topics from ethics, cross-cultural issues, diversity, bullying, and Family/ Business relationships. szamor@ effectivemediationconsultants.com; www.effectivemediationconsultants. com; www.LinkedIn.com/in/ stanleyzamoradr , 954-261-8600. n


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CAREER LEADERSHIP & DEVELOPMENT

How to Handle Conversations About Religion, Politics in the Workplace

Mary V. Davids, MS-HRM Career and Leadership Development Coach

BY MARY V. DAVIDS

It’s been said that politics and religion are areas to avoid in the workplace, but avoiding isn’t always a good thing, especially when you want to build valuable relationships with colleagues. While the workplace is a professional environment, it is filled with people who

have feelings and opinions. Like it or not, their beliefs and political perspectives are tied to their personal values and are part of who they are. Sometimes dismissing these personal views can do more harm than good, especially if the idea is that people should be able to bring their whole selves to work. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when facing sensitive issues within the workplace: Know the rules. Within the workplace, the First Amendment right to free speech applies to government employees. It does not constitutionally protect private sector employees unless an employee (can prove in a retaliation claim) is using such speech or expression as a matter of “public concern,” defined by the Supreme Court. Check with your Human Resources department before you express your religious beliefs or political views through attire, office space accessories (banners, stickers, books), or backgrounds on Zoom/Skype

videos. Know the policy first to avoid disciplinary action. Know the temperature. My clients often ask if it’s appropriate to talk about religion or politics. I give them this rule: Don’t bring it up, but if you are asked be honest without condemning the other person. Basically, you need to keep it light. You can share your views without making others feel badly about theirs. Even if you don’t agree with the views of your colleagues, you should never make them feel that they are a bad person because they don’t believe what you believe or see things the way you would. Know when to walk away. When you feel like it’s getting too tense, end the conversation. Having different views make for good conversation and debate, but it is important to know your limits during these conversations. When you feel that the temperature is getting too hot, don’t continue to push just because you want to be right or make your point. Being right or even feeling justified is

not worth having unresolved conflict in the workplace. For the sake of the relationship, end the conversation on a positive note even if you have to change the topic. It is challenging to suppress the desire to not discuss things that are important to you and things that are unavoidable due to societal circumstances. Having deep conversations with colleagues can build trust and can help build valuable connections. Avoidance can leave the impression that you don’t care about things that matter to them and that can often become more damaging than having an honest conversation, especially when it’s uncomfortable. Mary V. Davids is an executive career and leadership development coach and owner of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. For more career tips and advice visit www.slaytheworkplace.com or follow @MVDavids on Instagram and Twitter. n

BUSINESS REPORT

Black Communities Must Continue to Address Inequities Highlighted by COVID-19 Pandemic

BY BEATRICE LOUISSAINT The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown inequality in America into even sharper focus, revealing the full scope and impact of existing healthcare disparities and leading to economic fallout that more deeply affects the Black community. Because of existing societal inequalities, African Americans are about twice as likely to die of COVID-19 compared to non-Hispanic white Americans, according to the Centers

for Disease Control. Conditions such as asthma, hypertension and kidney disease that heighten the chances of severe COVID-19 illness are about 30 percent more prevalent among African Americans, according to a recent report from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Non-elderly African Americans are also 1.5 times more likely to be uninsured than non-elderly whites. And, McKinsey reports, African Americans are more likely to face challenges accessing and receiving quality medical care. African Americans are more likely to be frontline essential healthcare workers and are over-represented in other publicfacing essential worker categories such as grocery store clerks, cooks and restaurant workers, bus drivers, and child care providers. A recent Wall Street Journal article revealed that a higher proportion of Black and Hispanic/Latino homeowners are falling behind on, or deferring, mortgage payments, compared to white and Asian homeowners. This has both immediate and long-term economic consequences, as homeownership is a lynchpin in building

intergenerational wealth. The number of working AfricanAmerican business owners fell by 41 percent between February and April, compared to a 22 percent drop for businesses overall, according to a working paper by Robert W. Fairlie, economics professor at the University of California Santa Cruz. McKinsey noted that about 40 percent of small Black-owned businesses tend to be in the most affected sectors: leisure, hospitality, transportation, retail, and personal-service such as beauty shops, barber shops and daycare facilities. Communities must take action now to try to mitigate these effects. Companies and individuals must make a specific effort to source from, shop at, and eat in Black-owned businesses. Lawmakers, government agency heads, business and community leaders, and social services agencies must ensure that Black communities and businesses benefit from aid and relief funding packages. Black community leaders and businesses must be included in the planning, input and decision-making processes surrounding relief – especially local relief.

We must continue to push our communities on these issues. Make sure you vote in the upcoming election, and urge your friends and family to do so. Choose politicians who are leading the drive to address these inequities and who will work to make changes that truly improve Black people’s lives and black communities. Beatrice Louissaint is president and CEO of the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council, one of 23 regional councils affiliated with the National Minority Supplier Development Council. The FSMSDC acts as a liaison between corporate America and government agencies and Minority Business Enterprises in Florida and operates U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency Business Centers serving southern and central Florida. Learn more about FSMSDC’s programs and services at fsmsdc.org, or call (305) 762-6151. n


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DO YOUR PART. SAVE LIVES. Help protect your family and our community against COVID-19.

Simple ways to be safe: 6 ft

Wear a mask

Practice social distancing

Carry hand sanitizer when going out

Wash your hands frequently

Stay home if you’re feeling sick

Get tested:

Drive Thru

Walk Up

Mobile

Free testing is available throughout Miami-Dade County. For information on the many FREE testing locations throughout the County, or to make a testing appointment, visit miamidade.gov/covid-testing

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PINNACLE

Roger Phanord on Mission to Provide Affordable Dental Care to Community

Dr. Roger Phanord stands between his twin sons, Dr. Kevin Phanord (left) and Dr. Kyle Phanord (right). The trio practice dentistry at 1245 NW 119th St., North Miami.

BY MICHELLE SOLOMON

Roger Phanord, DMD, has a mission in his practice – everyone deserves to have dental care. His twin sons, Kyle and Kevin Phanord, recent graduates of their father’s alma mater, the University of Florida College of Dentistry, are promising to not only continue, but build on the foundation that their father started 33 years ago. Phanord remembers precisely when the idea of being a dentist first came to mind. He was 7 years old and had just arrived in New York with his family from Haiti. When little Roger had a toothache, his mother couldn’t take him to a dental office. “Single mom raising me, we didn’t have insurance, times were hard,” he shared. But his mother wanted him to have care, so she did what she could. “We went to this guy’s kitchen

in the Bronx,” he reflected. “He had been a dentist in Haiti but wasn’t licensed in the United States. I remember him taking that tooth out and I wasn’t in pain anymore. I went in with pain, I left pain free,” he said. That memory stuck with him. Based on his experience in that Bronx kitchen, he knew he could be of service to the underserved. “I wasn’t the greatest student,” he said. “I always felt I was intelligent. I always felt that I could be a dentist if I wanted to.” After three decades, he has two offices in Miami-Dade County, one in Little Haiti and the main office at 1245 NW 119th St. in North Miami. Another office in Broward County in Oakland Park is already becoming a reality. Phanord also remembered the (CONTINUED ON PAGE 23)

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PINNACLE

Roger Phanord on Mission to Provide Affordable Dental Care to Community (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22)

impression he had of the United States and of South Florida when his family moved there about a year after getting that tooth pulled. “I noticed a big difference when I left Haiti,” he said. “All my doctors were Black, all my teachers were black. You don’t see that much here,” Phanord said. Yet, it became another push for him to reach his goal of becoming a dentist. But he knew what it was like, too, to have doors shut on him. After graduating from dental school in 1987, he said he thought to himself, “I’m a licensed dentist now. I’m ready to get my first job.” It wasn’t that easy. He went to interview after interview. Then, he landed his first job with Dr. Cecil Rolle. Not long

after, he opened the office on 119th Street. His practice grew, but his dedication to his original mission stayed the same. “It’s still important that patients know that we are here and that they are getting the same type of dentistry they’d get, say, in Aventura. They don’t have to go across the tracks to feel safe and secure in a clean, professional and up-to-date environment.” While dedicated to his patients, he’s also dedicated to the community. Phanord has mentored approximately two dozen young African-American, Haitian, and Caribbean dentists. “We’ve set roots in the community and we lead by example,” Phanord said. When he says “we” that’s where Kyle and Kevin come in. “That’s what I’ve told the twins, that we

have to benefit our community.” To Phanord, it means even more than just providing dental service. “I want our young children to see us for what we are. We have to let them know that you can be successful and that you don’t have to dribble a basketball. With hard work, you can achieve something.” Those words resonate with Kyle and Kevin. “When we talk to our teenage patients, we’re only 8 to 10 years older than some of them,” said Kevin, who was born 2 minutes before his fraternal twin. Both are 26. Although the two were standout basketball players as undergraduates at Catholic University, they tell their younger patients, “You don’t have to play a sport or be a musician to be successful,” Kevin said. “I tell them, ‘Look, I’m a regular guy. I look

like you. I worked really hard to get where I am. I had great guidance and you can do the same.” The twins, who graduated in May 2020, are just getting started in the practice, but they have a future vision for Phanord & Associates. “Our dad has created the legacy to help everyone by providing affordable dentistry,” Kyle said. “Our vision to expand on that is to bring the digital aspect to dentistry . . . that new generation of dentistry. It’s funny, there’s that foundational structure, which our dad has been able to mentor us with – that experience that you can’t be taught and now we’re bringing something to him with our knowledge of how dentistry is evolving.” n


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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Sparked by Death of Black Panther Star

Chadwick Boseman

BY WILLIAM ALEXIS, M.D.

The death of beloved actor Chadwick Boseman was described by many media outlets as sudden. We later learned that his death, while tragic, was anything but. The actor, best known for his portrayal of the superhero Black Panther, fought a brave and dignified battle against colorectal cancer for four years before succumbing to the

disease at the age of 43. The loss of a young, seemingly healthy, rising star to a disease that has traditionally been thought to affect older individuals was shocking to say the least. “Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the country,” said Dr. Durado Brooks, vice president of prevention and early detection at the American Cancer Society. Colorectal cancer in younger persons is certainly not rare. According to the ACS, 12 percent or approximately 18,000 cases are diagnosed in Americans younger than 50 annually. Even more concerning, the rates of colorectal cancer have been falling among older age groups while rising among younger people. The third most common cancer, colorectal cancer disproportionately affects the African-American community, which has the highest rates of any racial/ethnic group in the United States. African-Americans are 20 percent more likely than most other groups to develop colorectal cancer, more likely to

be diagnosed at more advanced stages, and 40 percent more likely to die from it. Boseman had stage 3 cancer at initial diagnosis in 2016 that progressed to stage 4 before his death in August. African-Americans are thought to be disproportionately burdened by all cancers due to many factors that include differences in risk factors, access to healthcare, and socioeconomic status. The recommendations of medical societies regarding timing of screening for colorectal cancer differ somewhat. Due to rising rates among younger people, the American Cancer Society now recommends screening for colorectal cancer begin at age 45 for those at average risk. While many screening tests are available, the most trusted is colonoscopy because it allows both for early detection and removal of growths, called polyps, in the colon and rectum before they can develop into more advanced cancers. According to the ACS, people who are at higher risk for colorectal cancer might be appropriate for earlier

screening if they have, among other risks, a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps, or inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends screening beginning at age 50 and performed every 10 years but recommends screening in African-Americans beginning at age 45. While colorectal cancer may not always produce symptoms, a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or unintentional weight loss are among those that should prompt a discussion with a physician. Perhaps the final heroic act of Chadwick Boseman will have been to raise awareness of such a deadly disease that continues to devastate the AfricanAmerican community. Wakanda Forever! Dr. William Alexis is chief of Internal Medicine at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines. n

MENTAL HEALTH

Trauma of Racism and Injustice Has Impacted Mental Health of African Americans

BY DR. DELVENA R. THOMAS, D.O., M.P.H.

For people of color, May 2020 was our tipping point. On May 5, we learned of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery - killed February 23, 2020 while jogging. The DA’s office made no arrests. Three weeks later on May 25, another Black man was murdered by another member of the majority – Mr. George Floyd. Our country has been intensely divided ever since.

Members of the African-American community have suffered voluminous amounts of grief throughout the centuries, which continues and until May 25, had been denied and contested by the American majority. Psychological traumas were produced by brutal kidnappings, centuries of enslavement, the fight for freedom, which alone included several agonizing steps such as the Emancipation Proclamation, establishing the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, multiple Civil Rights Acts, and Jim Crow laws. Slavery and racism have created socioeconomic disparities associated with poor health, including mental. In addition, illiteracy was forced upon Black Americans until the 1900s, rendering them unqualified to perform a host of occupations and thus impoverished. Segregation, riots, the mass killings of African Americans, lynchings, and the overuse of force by law enforcement created a climate of

paranoia, angst, sadness, and emotional turmoil. As African Americans, this has been our baseline, our starting point before COVID 19 ravished our communities – physically, emotionally and financially. In less than three months, 41 percent of Black businesses shut down. COVID 19 exacerbated our preCOVID issues. Self-quarantine and social distancing caused additional stress, sadness and nervousness. While the plight of the Black community has a timeline filled with trauma and simultaneously one that has created strengths, bonds, and dynamism achieved in the face of insurmountable odds and suffering experienced by no other race of people in the history of mankind, the mental injury will take time and work to overcome. But we can take steps toward recovery by utilizing and accessing mental healthcare services available to us today like at no other time in our history. Let us lay the groundwork for real

change and seek solutions to mental illness and emotional distress. Let us start by ending decades of shame and the stigma associated with seeking mental healthcare, and encourage those who need help, to get help. The rat race in America has slowed. We now have a chance to embrace family, friends, rest and to be thankful for the things that we take for granted. Make good use of this time by realigning your energy, slowing down and checking on family and friends. Also, appreciate the air you’re breathing and thank God for life! Use anxiety to energize you - become more organized, motivated, be reminded of your purpose. If you cannot channel the anxiety into positive energy, reach out for help. Control what you can. A lot of “this” is not in our control, but there are many things which are. TAKE CONTROL! Practice gratitude. And always keep your sense of humor. n


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LEGACY BRIEFS

SOUTH FLORIDA INSTITUTE ON AGING NAMES NIKKI AUSTIN-SHIPP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

South Florida Institute on Aging, a non-profit dedicated to improving the socio-economic lives of South Florida’s aging community, has appointed Nikki AustinShipp as chief executive officer. Austin-Shipp will Austin-Shipp lend her extensive community relations expertise and non-profit management background to SoFIA’s continued expansion, helping to amplify the organization’s vision and strategic direction. “Older adults in our community who face socio-economic challenges need a powerful voice to confront pressing issues on their behalf,” said Austin-Shipp. “I am excited to take on this new role and make a real difference for South Florida’s aging population.” Prior to joining SoFIA, Austin-Shipp served as community relations director for Congresswoman Frederica Smith Wilson, where among her responsibilities, she coordinated all communications activity on behalf of the congresswoman. Austin-Shipp earned an MBA in Global

Management from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Florida State University. She has held numerous chapter and regional positions and appointments in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

MELBA PEARSON JOINS FIU

Melba Pearson has joined Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs as its policy director for the Center for the Administration of Justice. Pearson will be working with elected Pearson prosecutors in Florida and across the country to provide training as well as provide data trends utilized to empower prosecutors to fight for equity in their respective communities. Pearson is a former candidate for Miami-Dade state attorney.

BLAKE HALL PROMOTED TO CHI PRESIDENT

Miami-Community Health of South Florida, Inc. has promoted Blake Hall as president. Hall was promoted after serving as the non-profit health care company’s chief operating officer and executive vice president.

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Previously he served as the director of Planning and Development and administrator for the CHI Foundation. Over the years, Hall has helped the organization grow from a $30 million agency to now a more than $75 Hall million company by securing multiple funding sources. Those funds helped to open five new health centers, effect capital improvement projects and formed the basis for the Brodes H. Hartley, Jr. Teaching Health Center at CHI. The Teaching Health Center was the first in the state of Florida funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. He has also led strategic planning for the organization since 2008. Currently, Hall serves as the 2nd vice chair of the National Association of Community Health Centers Membership Committee. He is active in the community and participates in multiple chambers and organizations. He is a member of the Iota Pi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha and more.

JORDYN ALLEN LANDS CAPITOL HILL INTERNSHIP Jordyn Allen of Fort Lauderdale has been selected to serve as a fall communications intern for U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, the

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Democratic vice presidential nominee. Allen is a sophomore at Howard University majoring in honors international business with a minor in political science. She is involved with the School of Business Executive Allen Leadership Program, the Howard University Student Association, Speech and Debate, and the NAACP. Allen is the granddaughter of the late W. George Allen, a prominent civil rights attorney who became the first Black student to earn a law degree from the University of Florida.

n DID YOU RECENTLY GET A PROMOTION? ARE YOU A NEW HIRE AT A SOUTH FLORIDA COMPANY? DOES YOUR FIRM HAVE A MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE? Let us know by sharing your good news in Legacy Briefs. Send a press release and your professional headshot to rm@miamediagrp.com.


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Legacy Miami Top Black Healthcare Professionals 2020  

Legacy Miami Top Black Healthcare Professionals 2020