Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida has expanded two of its signature cancer care departments, with the additions of psychosomatic psychiatrists Sylvia Fernandez, M.D., Geetha Nampiaparampil, M.D. and psychologist Regina Melchor, Psy.D to its Cancer Patient Support Center. These physicians will focus on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders that contribute to a cancer patient’s emotional distress. All three will work closely with M. Beatriz Currier, M.D., Miami Cancer Institute’s director of Cancer Patient Support Center, to enhance quality of life and health outcomes following a cancer diagnosis.
In addition, Miami Cancer Institute’s Symptom Management & Palliative Medicine Service continues to expand with the added expertise of Suleyki Medina, M.D., who joins Mariana Khawand-Azouli, M.D, as one of the department’s two initial attending physicians.
“Having representatives of many different disciplines involved in patient care is an important part of the Institute’s mission to treat the whole individual, not just the disease,” said Michael J. Zinner, M.D., founding CEO and executive medical director of Miami Cancer Institute. “These physicians bring highly specialized skills and experience that will enable Miami Cancer Institute to deliver personalized, patient- and family-centered care from diagnosis through survivorship.”
Dr. Fernandez is Board-certified in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine — the newest board-certified subspecialty in psychiatry. She earned her medical degree at the Universidad De Monterey School of Medicine in Monterey, Mexico, graduating cum laude. She completed a residency in psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, and a fellowship in psychoanalysis at New York University Psychoanalytic Institute, NYU Langone Medical Center. She served as chief fellow of child and adolescent psychiatry at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and also completed a psychosomatic medicine fellowship at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine/Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Fernandez has a special interest in child psychiatry and holds a certification in early childhood teaching. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine.
Dr. Nampiaparampil is Board-certified in psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. She received her medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and completed her psychiatry residency at Saint Vincent’s Hospital-Manhattan/New York Medical College and St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital/Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, both in New York. She also completed a psychosomatic medicine fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She has conducted research studies related to her specialty and is published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and text books. Prior to joining Miami Cancer Institute, Dr. Nampiaparampil was an assistant professor of psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, an attending psychiatrist at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, and most recently an attending psychiatrist at JFK Medical Center in Palm Beach, Florida.
Regina Melchor, Psy.D., earned a Doctor of Psychology degree in clinical psychology from Albizu University in Miami, graduating summa cum laude. She completed a psychology residency at the Institute for Child and Family Health, also in Miami, and a fellowship in psychosomatic medicine and psycho-oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center/New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She is an adjunct faculty member in the psychology departments at Albizu University and Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, and has held teaching roles at several higher education institutions. She has published numerous articles in medical journals and frequently lectures on her specialty to peers and community members. She is also affiliated with several professional associations, including the American Psychosocial Oncology Society and the International Psychosocial Oncology Society.
Dr. Medina is Board-certified in internal medicine and geriatrics and is one of two initial attending physicians of Miami Cancer Institute’s Symptom Management & Palliative Medicine service. She received her medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, and completed a residency in internal medicine at NYU Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, where she was honored with the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Award for Excellence. She also completed two fellowships — in geriatrics and hospice and palliative care — at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine/ Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Medina is a member of the American College of Physicians, American Geriatrics Society and American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Medina and Dr. Khawand-Azouli will both report directly to Leonard Kalman, M.D., Miami Cancer Institute’s deputy director and chief medical officer.
Miami Cancer Institute will begin to move into its new, $430 million state-of-the-art facility on the Baptist Hospital of Miami campus early next year. Opening day for patient care is planned for January 16, 2017. For more information, visit MiamiCancerInstitute.com.