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  • Memorial Begins Inoculating Seniors 65 and Older

    On January 7, Memorial Healthcare System (Memorial) began inoculating seniors 65 and older with the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The healthcare system is vaccinating at two locations, including Memorial Regional Hospital Conference Center in Hollywood and Memorial Specialty Pharmacy in Miramar.

    At this time, Memorial's COVID-19 vaccine appointments have been filled. As soon as the healthcare system receives the next shipment of vaccines, it will reopen appointments via MyChart and its Centralized Scheduling at 954-276-4340. Everyone in the community who is 65 and older is encouraged to open a MyChart account to help expedite the appointment process.

    “Memorial has always been part of this community and we are honored to offer this potentially life-saving vaccine to our seniors,” said, Melida Melida Akiti, VP, Memorial Healthcare System Ambulatory and Community Services, and Vaccine POD leader at Memorial Regional Hospital.

    In addition to inoculating older adults, Memorial continues to vaccinate employees and medical staff, and community licensed healthcare professionals regardless of hospital affiliation.

    Memorial is one of only five healthcare systems in Florida chosen as host for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The initial shipment of 19,500 vaccines to inoculate medical staff arrived on Dec. 14, and the second doses arrived in late December. The shipment of 7,800 vaccines to expand vaccines to seniors 65 and older arrived the first week of 2021.

    To learn more, visit our COVID-19 Vaccine page, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.


  • Drs. Aghion and Raffa

    Memorial Spine Surgery Experts and Neurosurgeons Dr. Daniel Aghion and Dr. Scott Raffa Establish Practice in Boca Raton

    Daniel Aghion, MD and Scott Raffa, MD, spine surgery experts and neurosurgeons at Memorial Neuroscience Institute, have extended their medical practice to Boca Raton, where patients can now be seen for a variety of spine disorders.

    Dr. Aghion, a fellowship-trained and board-certified neurosurgeon, treats patients with a wide array of spine disorders, including severe degenerative spine diseases, spine trauma, cancer in the spine, spine tumors, peripheral nerve surgery and more. Born and raised in Boston, he went to the University of Michigan and fell in love with neuroscience. He attended Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, in Tel Aviv, Israel, before completing a residency at Rhode Island Hospital, and a complex spine fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He credits his international training with giving him a solid base for how to approach people from different cultures and a more hands-on approach. He fully embraces Memorial's focus on patient and family-centered care and the system's multidisciplinary approach, which enables doctors from different specialties to work together to provide the most comprehensive care.

    “We are here for the Boca Raton and Palm Beach county communities, and ever committed to the safety of our patients, we also offer telehealth appointments,” Dr. Aghion said. “We recognized the need to adhere to safety measures given the pandemic, and our goal is to use the best approach to treat our patients.”

    Dr. Raffa is a fellowship-trained, neurosurgeon and spine surgeon who specializes in a variety of minimally invasive surgical techniques, including lateral retroperitoneal and endoscopic approaches to the spinal column. He treats patients who present with various neurological disorders of the brain and spine, and his clinical focus lies on complex spinal pathologies. Disorders treated include neck and back pain, sciatica/pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spine trauma, spinal deformity and more. In addition to his medical degrees, Dr. Raffa has a Master of Business Administration from University of Florida Warrington College of Business. He has professional interests in health administration, practice management and intraoperative efficiencies. He is also a member of various medical and surgical associations including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Florida Medical Association and the North American Spine Society.

    “Our patients can expect an honest, transparent and friendly conversation that yields an individualized and tailored care plan, consistent with Memorial’s mission and patient-and family-centered care philosophy,” Dr. Raffa said.

    Drs. Aghion and Raffa’s office is located at 900 Glades Road, Suite 500, Boca Raton, and phone number is 954-265-1490.

  • Lab staff with vials

    Perfect Match: FAU and Memorial Healthcare System Establish Research Partnership

    South Florida giants in higher education and healthcare have joined forces to form an alliance that will advance clinical research and clinical trials in the region. Florida Atlantic University and Memorial Healthcare System in Broward County have formed a “Research Partnership to Advance Clinical Trials” (Research PACT), which combines their expertise and resources in clinical research, clinical trials, basic research and translational biomedical research. Its mission: to develop state-of-the-art research tools and discover new knowledge to benefit patients and lead advances in patient care.

    “Florida Atlantic University’s Board of Trustees and all of us at the University are very excited to collaborate on this important initiative with Memorial Healthcare System. Together, we will propel the development and delivery of potential breakthrough discoveries in treatments and technologies that will benefit this region’s diverse patient population,” said FAU President John Kelly. “FAU and Memorial Healthcare System share similar goals, as well as values and culture in research excellence and serve the same communities, which make this partnership a perfect match.”

    The new research affiliation brings together the scientific expertise of FAU researchers and the clinical expertise of Memorial physicians. The coordinated effort also will leverage the two organizations’ state-of-the-art facilities, as well as proficiency in various areas from cancer to cardiology and biomedical engineering to big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

    “The Memorial and FAU research affiliation will usher an era of innovation in South Florida’s healthcare industry that will greatly impact our community and the lives of many patients for years to come,” said Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, president and CEO of Memorial Healthcare System. “Through thoughtful and purposeful research, we will be pioneers on many fronts while also advancing scientific knowledge.”

    FAU and Memorial will work to develop new drugs, medical devices, software applications, and other novel treatments for diseases and disorders that affect both children and adults. The scope of the agreement, limited to research and research-related education, is designed to enable clinicians and researchers from each institution to more effectively collaborate with their peers and access available resources at each partner institution. The goal of the partnership is to facilitate expanded clinical trials research activity involving both FAU and Memorial researchers. The partnership will involve a multi-disciplinary approach, attracting faculty across FAU’s 10 colleges and will include nurses, social workers and other allied health specialists.

    “Our partnership with Memorial Healthcare System is a ‘win-win.’ Memorial Healthcare System has a robust patient population and more than 130 clinicians who participate in more than 150 open clinical trials and clinical research studies, which are supported with a strong research infrastructure,” said Daniel C. Flynn, Ph.D., FAU vice president for research. “We have complementary research infrastructures and research expertise that span a multitude of disciplines from neuroscience to business to computer science and engineering, which are mutually advantageous for our joint research efforts.”

    FAU has a robust culture of research and inquiry, which leverages regional assets, such as the ocean, patient populations, and culture and business, to advance scientific understanding, discover new technologies, and contribute to the economic vitality of the region. FAU has established research pillars focused on institutional strengths: the Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention (I-HEALTH); the Brain Institute (I-BRAIN); the Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (I-SENSE); and ocean science and engineering/environmental sciences, FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

    Memorial Regional Hospital, the flagship facility of Memorial Healthcare System and one of the largest hospitals in Florida, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and Memorial Hospital West are located in Broward and offer a variety of medical and surgical services with related clinical trials. Memorial’s comprehensive clinical research infrastructure offers patients the opportunity to participate in innovative research studies, including many treatments that would otherwise not be available locally. Among the many trials being conducted at Memorial include COVID-19, adult and pediatric oncology, adult and pediatric cardiology, stroke, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and sickle cell.

    “Memorial Healthcare System is a major Public Academic and Research Clinical Enterprise and this partnership will allow all patients in our communities to receive and benefit from the highest caliber cutting- edge therapies available,” said Candice Sareli, M.D., chief medical research officer for Memorial Healthcare System. “Memorial’s clinicians and scientists are pleased to be able to work alongside basic science researchers and the full complement of academic scholars at FAU to enable this community opportunity.”

    FAU and Memorial will engage in joint intellectual property and technology transfer, joint training, and collaborative research projects and programs to include bench-to-bedside research for both drugs and devices. Areas of mutual research interest include cancer – FAU and Memorial researchers have already submitted joint research grant proposals. There also will be opportunities to collaborate on research projects in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias as well as various diseases that affect cognitive impairment.