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The University of Miami Announces the UHealth Board of Directors

With a distinct eye on the future of health care, the University of Miami is pleased to announce the formation of the UHealth Board of Directors, a panel of highly respected leaders who will provide strategic oversight to the University of Miami Health System.

The University is making this bold move to position UHealth to be more responsive to its overall mission to its patients, research and medical education. As health care evolves rapidly, health care systems must operate in an environment of thoughtful decision making that is nimble and adaptive to the market. Building this Board, made up of experienced leaders in health care and business, creates a critical framework to guide the strategic vision of UHealth in order to serve better its patients and the community.

“It is imperative that we transform our academic health system to better realize its mission of providing high-quality care, both on its technical and its interpersonal dimensions,” said University of Miami President Julio Frenk. “Creating an independent Board of Directors for UHealth will make it possible to tap the expertise of highly regarded leaders who have agreed to join it. This strategic move will enable UHealth to accomplish our ambitious goal of becoming a preeminent academic health system that provides superior care to patients while improving population health, advancing discoveries, and developing the clinical spaces to educate the next generation of outstanding health professionals.”

UHealth is the only academic-based health care system in the region, offering patients more clinical trials and innovative treatments than any other health system in South Florida. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute are among its premier programs, with clinical satellites in more than 30 locations across Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Collier counties.

The Board will meet quarterly and is made up of eleven members, including current trustees of the University of Miami and a number of leaders in the national health care arena.


Hilarie Bass, Esq. – co-president of Greenberg Traurig, LLP – During her more than 30-year law career, Ms. Bass has successfully represented clients in commercial cases in jury and non-jury trials involving hundreds of millions of dollars. A member of the University of Miami Board of Trustees since 2003, Ms. Bass was elected vice chair of the Board in 2014, and serves on the Executive, Talent and Compensation, Nominating and Governance, and the Trustee Claims Committees. She also serves on Visiting Committees for the School of Law and the School of Education and Human Development.

Isaac William (Will) Ferniany, Ph.D. – chief executive officer of the UAB Health System of the University of Alabama at Birmingham – A senior leader in health care since 1975 and in academic medicine since 1988, Dr. Ferniany has served as associate vice chancellor and CEO of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and has held key leadership positions at the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Previous positions include senior executive for Physician Practices and associate executive vice president of Marketing and Strategic Support, responsible for all marketing and strategic planning and product line management for Penn’s Health System. Dr. Ferniany has been director of Vizient, Inc., and Vizient LLC since March 2018.

Chris Grant – chief operating officer for Kaiser Permanente, The Permanente Foundation, and member of Kaiser Permanente’s senior executive management team – Mr. Grant supports the work of more than 22,000 physicians and 80,000 employed across the Permanente Medical Groups, which provide care to more than 12.3 million patients. He has oversight of key objectives and functions, including clinical quality, product and sales, corporate development, finance, strategy and leadership, and is responsible for managing the day-to-day business relationships and internal systems of the organization. Prior to his role as COO, Mr. Grant was executive managing director of Kaiser Permanente’s venture capital group. He has extensive experience in governance and has served on the board of numerous health care technology companies.

Manny Kadre, Esq. – chairman and CEO of MBB Auto Group – Elected to the University of Miami Board of Trustees in 2004, Mr. Kadre, currently serves on the Trustee Claims Committee, and the School of Law Visiting Committee. He has chaired the Finance Committee and served on the University of Miami Hospital Board of Governors. He is a lead independent director of MEDNAX, one of the nation’s leading providers of neonatal, maternal, fetal and pediatric physician subspecialty and anesthesia physician services. Mr. Kadre is a member of the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.

Jayne Sylvester Malfitano – president and secretary of the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation – Ms. Malfitano was elected to the UM Board of Trustees in 2007 and is a member of the Executive and Academic Affairs Committees. She chairs the School of Nursing and Health Studies Visiting Committee and serves on the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Translational Institute Board of Overseers. Ms. Malfitano is a former member of the Boca Raton Community Hospital Foundation Board and executive board member and director of The Children’s Place at Home Safe. The Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation, named in honor of Ms. Malfitano’s grandparents, helped establish the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Stuart A. Miller – executive chairman and former CEO of Lennar Corporation – A director of the Miller Family Foundation and president of the Lennar Foundation, Inc., Mr. Miller is also past chair of the Joint Center for Housing Studies Policy Advisory Board at Harvard University. He was elected to the UM Board of Trustees in 2002 and served a two-year term as chair, 2014-2016. The Miller family’s generosity to the University of Miami has touched thousands of lives. The largest naming gift in the history of UM came from the family in December 2004, when naming the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in honor of his late father, who was also a University of Miami trustee and chair. In October 2014, The Lennar Foundation announced a lead gift to name The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, located on the Coral Gables campus. A gift from the Miller family in January 2016 named the Miller School of Medicine Center for Medical Education, to be built on the medical campus.

Peter Slavin, M.D. – president of Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School – Dr. Slavin developed Massachusetts General Hospital’s first quality and utilization management program while on staff, following his graduation from Harvard Medical School. He has been in his current position since January 2003, overseeing an annual operating budget of more than $1.9 billion per year, the largest research program (over $500 million per year) of any hospital in the U.S., and over 900 inpatient beds. Dr. Slavin teaches internal medicine at Massachusetts General and health care management at Harvard Medical School.

M. Roy Wilson, M.D. – president of Wayne State University – Since assuming leadership of Wayne State University, Dr. Wilson has realigned the university’s numerous research divisions to emphasize team science and cluster hiring of scientists. He developed a strategy to improve the pipeline of underrepresented students in the biomedical sciences and opened a $90 million IBio multidisciplinary research facility in 2015. Dr. Wilson also launched the Wayne Med-Direct program, which guarantees exceptionally talented students from socioeconomic disadvantaged backgrounds admission to Wayne State’s medical school. In November 2017, Dr. Wilson was installed as the board chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Ex-Officio Members:

Richard D. Fain – chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. – Since taking the helm of RCL in 1988, Mr. Fain has guided the company’s growth to its current place on the S&P 500, as well as its repeat listing by the Ethisphere Institute as a World’s Most Ethical Company. Barron’s recently named him one of 2018’s World’s Best CEOs for his vision and changing the course of the industry.  He also serves on the board of the Posse Foundation and the executive committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council. He has been recognized with the Federal Maritime Commission’s Earth Day Award, the Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award, the South Florida Business Journal Ultimate CEO Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and membership in the South Florida Business Hall of Fame. The French government honored Mr. Fain as a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, while the Finnish government named him a Commander, First Class, of the Order of the Lion. He was elected to the UM Board of Trustees in 1997, has served as chair of the Board since 2016, and chaired the 2015 Presidential Search Committee.

Julio Frenk, M.D., Ph.D. – president of the University of Miami – The former dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development, Dr. Frenk came to the University of Miami in August 2015. From 2000 to 2006, Dr. Frenk served as the Minister of Health of Mexico, where he pursued an ambitious agenda to reform the nation’s health system and introduced a program of universal health coverage, Seguro Popular, to more than 55 million previously uninsured Mexicans. He was the founding director-general of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico and also served as executive director in charge of Evidence and Information for Policy at the World Health Organization. His scholarly production includes over 160 articles in academic journals and he is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous recognitions, including the Clinton Global Citizen Award, for changing the way practitioners and policy makers across the world think about health.

Edward Abraham, M.D. – executive vice president for health affairs of the University of Miami and CEO of UHealth – Dr. Abraham is an internationally renowned pulmonary medicine and critical care physician and an accomplished scientist who has received extensive NIH funding for more than 25 years. He joined the University of Miami in July 2016, after serving as dean of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina. As an administrator, he has a proven record of accomplishment, breaking down silos and building teams, coupled with keen business acumen and thoughtful decision-making. At Wake Forest, Dr. Abraham opened a new medical education facility and built a powerhouse of clinical and basic science chairs, senior associate deans and center directors. At UHealth, he has overseen the completion of a new faculty compensation plan, coordinated the development of a new research strategic plan and launched a major initiative aimed at expanding the health system.

Tags: academic medicine, board of directors, UHealth