Alumni updates

Dwight Ash, bachelor’s in physical therapy ’61, has recently retired from physical therapy and enjoys genealogy research. He discovered he is related to Sir Alexander Fleming, who received a Nobel prize for his discovery of penicillin. Ash and his wife have nine children. Two of their grandchildren have chosen careers in the health professions: one in dentistry and the other in medicine.

Meera Bhakta, master’s in public health ’13, graduates as a physician from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Florida, in June and starts an internal medicine residency at The University of Texas at Austin this summer.

Sarah Burkhardt, bachelor’s in health science ’08 and doctorate in physical therapy ’11, was named Employee of the Year by HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altamonte Springs.

Barbara (Helton) Connolly, bachelor’s in physical therapy ’70, is the 2017 recipient of the Robert C. Bartlett Trustee Recognition Service Award from the Foundation for Physical Therapy. The award is presented to trustees whose personal service and commitment have helped develop and sustain funding of physical therapy research and education. She served nine years as a foundation trustee, the last two as president.

Jacob Fischer, master’s in health administration ’14, has accepted a position as an adjunct faculty member and member of the advisory board for the master’s of health administration program at the University of West Florida department of health sciences and administration. He is the manager of Physician Practice and Virtual Care Development for Ascension Health’s Gulf Coast Ministry at Sacred Heart.

Darrin Hartley, master’s in public health ’13, earned the Certified in Public Health credential from the National Board of Public Health Examiners. He currently serves as a consultant for health administration matters in the United Arab Emirates.

Elizabeth (Taylor) Kesterson, bachelor’s in physical therapy ’62, and her husband, Wayne, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September. Wayne’s career at Exxon took them to Houston, Texas, in 1980. After early retirement in 1995, they moved to Austin, where they are close to family, including a daughter and two teenaged grandchildren.

Dave Long, bachelor’s in health science ’00 and partner and founder of Orangetheory Fitness, was honored at UF’s 2017 Gator100. The Gator100 recognizes the 100 fastest-growing, Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world.

Leslie Morey, doctorate in clinical psychology ’81, the George T. & Gladys Abell Professor of Psychology at Texas A&M University, received the 2017 Bruno Klopfer Award from the Society for Personality Assessment for outstanding long-term scientific and professional contribution to the field of personality assessment.

Michael Prietula, master’s in public health ’14, a professor at Goizueta Business School at Emory University, is part of a newly-funded Georgia Diabetes Translation Research Center, which brings together researchers at Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse School of Medicine. The center was created to accelerate the conduct and use of diabetes translational research in the Southeast.

Kelsey Torgerson, master’s in health administration ’17, received the 2017 Miracle Network Dance Marathon Distinguished Leadership Award, one of only 20 recipients nationwide. The award recognizes her leadership role in the success of UF’s annual Dance Marathon to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Madison Workman, bachelor’s in health science ’13 and master’s in health administration ’15, has been named chief operating officer of Coral Gables Hospital. He previously served as assistant administrator at North Shore Medical Center.

A small group of Air Force officers, several in town for training, went out to dinner recently in San Antonio. They got to talking and discovered that not one, not two, but three of them are graduates of the UF master’s in health administration program. Pictured left to right: Major Clint Nawrocki, ’11, Colonel Stephen Mounts, ’99 and Captain Tom Miller, ’07.

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Spring 2017

In the air

A new study finds women who have higher exposure to fine particulate matter in the air are more likely to have dense breast tissue, a well-established strong risk factor for breast cancer.

Moving ahead

Dr. Gordon Mitchell’s research has shown that the ability to breathe on one’s own after a spinal cord injury can be improved by manipulating a patient’s oxygen levels.

Mark Robitaille named 2017 PHHP Alumnus of the Year

Mark E. Robitaille was named the college’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in recognition of outstanding leadership contributions to the field of hospital administration.

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