Home  /  News  /  Grants and Awards  / 

Dr. Nilza Kallos Receives Hispanic Leadership Award for Medical Contributions

The South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented the Hispanic Lifetime Leadership Award in health care to Nilza Kallos, M.D., associate director of breast health and disease prevention at the Lennar Foundation Medical Center, part of UHealth – University of Miami Health System and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Nilza Kallos, M.D., celebrating her Hispanic Lifetime Leadership Award in health care from the SFLHCC.
Nilza Kallos, M.D., celebrating her Hispanic Lifetime Leadership Award in health care from the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The annual event honors the top Hispanic leaders who have made significant and positive contributions in the community. Dr. Kallos has been a pioneer in breast radiology and women’s health, contributing to the medical field for more than 40 years in various roles with a single focus — championing women’s health with a compassionate approach.

“Though I’ve been fortunate to have several accolades, this award is very special as it was given near the end of my career,” Dr. Kallos said. “It feels as if I’m closing the door in my journey in medicine with a big star, and for that I am grateful.”

Patient-Centered Approach to Women’s Health

Originally from Brazil, Dr. Kallos moved to the U.S. with her husband for his medical internship. Driven by her continued passion for medicine, Dr. Kallos resumed her medical education and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Soon after, she began to specialize in nuclear medicine, as she loved the diagnosis aspect of the specialty.

Dr. Kallos in 1980
Dr. Kallos (right) in 1980.

In 1977, Dr. Kallos began her career in Miami, starting an ultrasound department and later serving as ultrasound chief at South Miami Hospital. She subsequently opened South Florida’s first multimodal breast center in 1981. Dr. Kallos’ approach to medicine changed when her best friend in Brazil passed away from breast cancer at age 36. This motivated her to be the change she wanted to see in women’s health.

“Breast cancer and women’s issues were taboo in medicine at that time,” Dr. Kallos said. “As science and technology were starting to evolve, I also noticed the patient care aspect needed to change. To heal takes compassion, with the patient feeling that you care. That was the approach I wanted to bring to my patients.”

After several health care leadership appointments around South Florida, Dr. Kallos arrived at Lennar in 2016, where she continues to practice patient-centered medicine.

“Every woman in my clinic has their concerns heard with a comprehensive care plan implemented along with follow-ups,” Dr. Kallos said. “I aim to improve women’s wellness through integrated diagnosis and medicine. I put myself in their shoes not just to cure, but to form a healing connection with the patient.”

Dr. Kallos’ Ongoing Passion for Medicine

Dr. Nilza Kallos, with award, and representatives of the SFLHCC.
(From left) Roland Sanchez-Medina Jr., chairman of the SFLHCC board; Commissioner Kirk R. Mendez; Nilza Kallos, M.D.; and Liliam M. Lopez, president/CEO of the SFLHCC.

Though she is nearing retirement, Dr. Kallos doesn’t plan on slowing down, and aspires to remain connected to the field and her patients. She would like to write a book on the art of medicine and teach medical students and residents how to be more compassionate with their patients.

Always a champion for women’s health, she would also like to work on decreasing women’s mortality in the Black community, whether through volunteering or mobile clinics in underserved areas.

“Though my door in medicine is closing, it will never be locked,” Dr. Kallos said. “For me, saving a woman’s life is not just a profession, but a passion I have been fortunate to have been a part of throughout my career.”

Tags: breast cancer, Dr. Nilza Kallos, Hispanic Lifetime Leadership Award, Lennar Foundation Medical Center, South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, women's health