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Dr. Jany Mesa and Dr. Mary L. Kewin

CHI Residents’ Research Gain National Attention

Dr. Jany Mesa and Dr. Mary L. Kewin

Dr. Jany Mesa (right) and Dr. Mary L. Kewin (left) stand in front of Dr. Mesa’s poster at the Florida Psychiatric Society. Dr. Mesa is the 2022-23 co-chief resident for CHI Psychiatry and Dr. Kerwin is the upcoming co-chief

Community Health of South Florida, Inc. medical and psychiatry residents are shaping the future of patient care and improving people’s lives through their research. In fact, their research is so compelling they have been asked to present at both state and national levels for organizations such as the Florida Psychiatric Society and the American Psychiatric Association.

“There are a lot of quality improvement projects in progress here at CHI,” said Dr. Mary Kerwin, DO, the upcoming co-chief resident of CHI’s Department of Psychiatry. “Everyone is doing impactful work, like practice-based research, to help the community beyond direct patient care.”

Dr. Kerwin conducted her own research, along with other residents in the program. It explores telepsychiatry and how effective it can be within Black and Brown populations. During the pandemic, many patients moved to telehealth services. Now appointments are offered both in-person and virtually. Dr. Kerwin and her colleagues are determining how telepsychiatry can impact patient care and how it can help CHI serve more patients. The aim is to create the greatest impact on their quality of life while conserving resources.

“Our residents have the opportunity to do practice-based research with real-world impact,” said Dr. Saint Anthony Amofah, CHI’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Academic Officer. “These are activities that make a difference in the lives of the patients we take care of. They’re ideas that have the potential to make a difference across the country. That’s powerful.”


CHI resident researchers have shared their noteworthy findings with important professionals in the industry and were awarded for doing so. Residents Dr. Stefanny Santana and Dr. Ashely Fleuristal won 2nd place for their presentation. They were also recognized for the impact of their research on weight loss in family medicine.

“This is what sets us apart—the practice-based research that makes a huge difference in the lives of the patients we care for,” said Dr. Amofah. “And it’s gaining attention.”

These opportunities improve quality patient care and attract first-rate residents nationwide.

It also offers residents practice-based learning, development of new skills, networking opportunities and recognition.

CHI residents are well-positioned to excel and shape the future of their careers.


Family Medicine:

Stefanny Santana Rivera, MD
Arshely Fleuristal, MD
  • 2nd Place Winners for Poster Presentation
  • 2021 Family Medicine Cares Resident Service Award for your service project, “Community Health Weight Loss Initiative.”


Yeily Hernandez Mato
  • “Optimization of Statin Therapy in CAD in Community Practice”



  • “Is Telepsychiatry Effective for Racial-Ethnic Minorities in a Community Healthcare Setting?”


Tamara Fuerra, MD
Jany Mesa, MD
  • Neuropsychiatric Presentation of Temple Lobe Epilepsy: A case study


Olaocha Okwuadigbo, MD
  • Disparities in dementia care at US mental health care facilities: Analysis of US nationwide data from 2010 to 2020


Upcoming poster presentation on May 20-25, 2022
at the American Psychiatric Association
Somto V. Enemuo, MD
  • “Exploring the Association Between Electronic Wearable Device Use and Levels of Physical Activity Among Individuals With Depression and Anxiety”
Dr. Abiona Redwood

Dr. Abiona Redwood Wins Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award From FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

Dr. Abiona Redwood

Dr. Abiona Redwood receives local award.

Dr. Abiona Redwood, a Core Faculty of CHI’s Family Medicine Residency Program at the Brodes H. Hartley Jr. Teaching Health Center, has received the Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award by the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.

The award recognizes a clinician-educator who excels in clinical teaching in family medicine, is a role model as a physician and educator, is available to students, cultivates lifelong learning, and is community-based faculty at FIU HWCOM.

At CHI, Dr. Redwood is responsible for the education and training of residents, medical students and allied health professionals through the implementation of a curriculum that addresses the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s core competencies.

Dr. Redwood graduated from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina before moving to Miami and completing her Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency at the University of Miami Hospital/Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she was a Resident Clinic Director.
Dr. Veronica Alvarez-Galiana

Dr. Veronica Alvarez-Galiana Recognized With National Emerging Leader Award

Dr. Veronica Alvarez-Galiana

Dr. Veronica Alvarez-Galiana wins prestigious national award

Dr. Veronica Alvarez-Galiana always wanted to work at Community HeaIth of South Florida, Inc. (CHI). Born in Miami to Cuban parents who fled their country, Dr. Alvarez-Galiana knew she wanted to work with migrant populations and in underserved communities.

“It was a calling,” said Dr. Alvarez-Galiana, who started at the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at CHI three years ago where she is now the OB/ GYN Medical Director. “The culture at CHI is very inclusive and like a family. So, I was really happy when I got the job.”

For many leaders at CHI, it was no surprise when the National Association of Community Health Centers honored Dr. Alvarez-Galiana with the prestigious Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader award for her commitment to developing the OB/GYN department, growing the number of providers and making innovative changes to the department in service of her patients.

Under her leadership, pregnant patients began making appointments earlier on in their pregnancies, the department instituted group prenatal care to promote education and build stronger support systems, the department hired and trained registered nurse-midwives, and partnered with FIU to train medical students. Dr. Alvarez-Galiana also initiated partnerships with INVITAE to provide non-invasive prenatal and breast cancer gene testing to patients, and with FIU’s Mammogram Van which provides mammograms to uninsured patients with transportation issues in South Dade.

She also led the expansion of the department to new locations in Marathon and Key West. Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, Dr. Alvarez-Galiana quickly switched gears into telehealth services and instituted safety precautions for all patients, including a number of steps to keep pregnant patients safe.

“Certainly COVID-19 was one of the biggest challenges,” Dr. Alvarez-Galiana said. “There was a lot of fear among the patients and staff. I had to think on my feet.”

Dr. Alvarez-Galiana’s leadership and achievements were just a part of why Dr. Saint Anthony Amofah, CHI’s Chief Medical Officer, nominated her for the Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader award.

“It was very refreshing to see that she was able to pick this up without batting an eyelid,” said Dr. Amofah. “She was able to pick up the reigns and run with it and quickly earned the respect and influenced members of her department. She is a visionary for such a young woman.”

Dr. Alvarez-Galiana says it was nice to pause and take in the recognition and is forging ahead on building out her vision for the OB/GYN department at CHI.

“It’s a very humbling experience,” she said. “But it’s really about doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. I want to continue being of service to the community.”

Driven by CHI’s motto, “Patient care comes first,” Dr. Alvarez- Galiana said she hopes the next phase of her work might implement new and innovative cancer screenings, and more.

But there’s another order of business Dr. Alvarez-Galiana is seeing to this year: the birth of her second child this summer. She is expecting a baby girl and currently receiving her own prenatal care at CHI.

A Message From the President & CEO

New innovations are blooming at Community Health of South Florida, Inc. CHI. We have implemented EPIC as our new electronic health record and are excited about all thetools that it will provide us to better care for our patients. Initially, as we get accustomed to the new system, there may be some challenges, however, we hope and expect that it will be a major improvement in how we provide care in the long term. Please be patient with us as we get through this learning curve and move on to bigger and better services for you. We will also soon roll out remote patient monitoring to help better care for those who suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Technology will help us assist patients to live healthier, happier lives.

What’s more? I’m proud to tell you that our new Key West Health Center is well embraced by the Florida Keys community. We are so happy to see new patients coming in for primary care, OB/GYN, pediatric and
behavioral health care since its inception late last year. In addition, we are excited about pushing forward with construction and renovation projects, including the expansion at our Coconut Grove Health Center on Grand Avenue, and the construction of the Children’s Crisis Center on the campus of our Doris Ison Health Center.

I hope you will join us on the golf course on May 16 at the Deering Bay Yacht & Country Club for our annual Glen Rice Celebrity Golf Tournament. You can swing with the pros to help us reach the finish line of our capital campaign to fund the Children’s Crisis Center.

Finally, never before has the impact of community health centers been more evident than our response to the pandemic and our dedication to keeping our communities safe and healthy for more than 50 years. CHI leaders have joined other community health centers across the nation to meet with members of Congress. It is important that they are aware of the critical work that we do so that they can help provide more support for community health centers and the patients we serve. We hope you will continue to help us advocate by contacting your member of Congress.





Blake Hall

Glen Rice Celebrity Golf Tournament Heads to Exclusive Course

Deering Bay Yacht & Country Club, a world-class South Florida Private Club and home to a breathtaking 18 hole, par-71 Arnold Palmer Signature Course

For the first time, Community Health of South Florida, Inc.’s Glen Rice Celebrity Golf Tournament will tee off from the exclusive Deering Bay Yacht and Country Club. The May 16, 2022 golf tournament will help make a lasting impact on the lives of the children in our community, as the proceeds will benefit the opening of the Children’s Crisis Center.

With just under $517,000 left to raise, CHI is nearing a fundraising goal of $5.5 million to open the Children’s Crisis Center, an 11,400-square-foot state-of-the-art facility that will serve nearly 1,000 children annually experiencing mental health crises in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

“The golf tournament is a wonderful, two-way approach for connecting the community with the purpose of CHI,” said Victoria Castro, CHI’s Director of Development. “Every dollar counts toward getting us to the finish line.”

This year, attendees will enjoy the tournament at a picturesque golf course designed by Arnold Palmer that boasts stunning waterfront views and tropical wildlife in an exclusive part of Miami.

CHI supporters have come out every year to enjoy the Glen Rice Celebrity Golf Tournament as sponsors and attendees. For the second year in a row, One Digital has been the tournament’s presenting sponsor and for the third year in a row, Quest Diagnostics has also sponsored the tournament.

“These are corporate leaders who continue to show up for CHI year after year because they understand the importance of our mission,” said Blake Hall, President and CEO. “We could not be more grateful to them for their unwavering commitment to helping us get to the finish line and open the Children’s Crisis Center.”

This year has been dubbed the year of the superhero. The nonprofit is recognizing its donors and supporters for their superhuman support to make this project a reality.

That includes first-time sponsors as well, such as Tampa-based healthcare tech company DeliverHealth, which is heading out to the green this year.

“Everyone’s support goes a long way,” said Castro, noting how much progress CHI has made in the last two decades since the inception of the Glen Rice Celebrity Golf Tournament. “It’s going to be a turning point in getting us close to concluding the campaign. It’s our big push for 2022.”

Whether or not you’ll be taking a swing on the green at the tournament this year, there is still an opportunity to become a CHI Superhero for the Children’s Crisis Center. Every donation holds a superpower that will lead CHI to the completion of this important center.

The Glen Rice Celebrity Golf Tournament will take place on May 16, 2022, at the Deering Yacht and Country Club with registration starting at 10:30 a.m. and tee-off at 12:30 p.m. It will also include dinner and an awards ceremony!

To sign up and learn more, visit chisouthfl.org/golf.

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