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Cleveland Clinic Florida Honors Women In Medicine

November 2, 2010

In celebration of “Women in Medicine” month, the Women’s Professional Staff Association (WPSA) at Cleveland Clinic Florida honored several women for their achievements and contributions to the field of medicine. Award recipients included Physician of the Year Lyssette Cardona, MD; Physician of Achievement Dana Sands, MD; Physician of Vision Vivian Aguilar, MD; and Circle of Honor recipient Stormie Neale.

“We are very proud of the wonderful contributions our colleagues have made here at Cleveland Clinic Florida in the areas of patient care, medical research and education,” said Bernie Fernandez, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Clinic Florida. “We have an outstanding group of physicians and nurses at Cleveland Clinic who exemplify the very best of what women bring to medicine, and I congratulate all the honorees for their achievements.”

Dr. Cardona, chair of the Department of Infectious Diseases, was recognized as Physician of the Year for her vision, compassion and professionalism. Director of the Urogynecology Fellowship Program at Cleveland Clinic Florida, Dr. Aguilar was named Physician of Vision for inspiring her peers through leadership, service and growth. Dr. Sands, a board-certified colorectal surgeon, was named Physician of Achievement for demonstrating leadership and dedication to the education of her peers, training of physicians and students and those within the community. Circle of Honor recipient Stormie Neale was honored for her continuing support of Cleveland Clinic’s mission and values.

The awards were presented at an annual “Women in Medicine” dinner hosted by the WPSA on Sept. 22, 2010. Keynote speaker Linda Bradley, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, was also presented with a certificate of appreciation for serving as a mentor to many Cleveland Clinic Florida female physicians. Other special guests included Kamala Anandam, president of the American Association of University Women, and “Friends of WPSA” members Cynthia Trotter of Cleveland, Ohio, and Vicki Kellogg of Palm Beach, Florida.

“Our celebration of ‘Women in Medicine’ month provides a perfect opportunity to reflect on our year-round efforts to affect positive changes both professionally and in healthcare delivery,” said Maria Lina Diaz, M.D., head of the Section of Ambulatory Gynecology at Cleveland Clinic Florida, and chair of the Women’s Professional Staff Association. “We must empower each other in our careers and work together to address the women’s health issues impacting both our local and global communities.”

The mission of the WPSA is to promote the education, leadership, support and professional networking of women in medicine and gender issues in the professional setting. In addition, the group is dedicated to promoting health awareness and empowerment initiatives of all women at a local, national and international level.

About Cleveland Clinic in Florida

Cleveland Clinic Florida, located in Weston and West Palm Beach, is a not-for-profit, multi-specialty, academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic Florida has nearly 180 physicians with expertise in 35 specialties. The medical campus is fully integrated and includes diagnostic centers, outpatient surgery and a 24-hour emergency department located in the state-of-the-art hospital, which was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Thomson Reuters in 2010. The hospital was also designated one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® in cardiovascular care (2007, 2008, 2009) by Thomson Reuters and one of America’s Best Hospitals for gastroenterology and diabetes/endocrinology by U.S. News & World Report. Cleveland Clinic Florida is an integral part of Cleveland Clinic Ohio, where providing outstanding patient care is based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Physicians at Cleveland Clinic are experts in the treatment of complex conditions that are difficult to diagnose. For more information about Cleveland Clinic Florida, visit