The mission of the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine is to be an internationally outstanding academic center. Our faculty members conduct research, analyze policy, deliver clinical care, and provide specialized training to healthcare providers locally, nationally and internationally. Our goal is to be a resource for infectious disease identification, prevention and treatment issues, including bioterrorism and the emergence of new pathogens.
ID in the NEWS
Easter evening seemed just like any other evening. Dr. Casanas was ready to settle in for the evening and had just gotten out of the shower when she heard a man’s voice yelling from inside of her house. Thinking there was a man in her house, her initial thought was to escape out of the bathroom window, but she quickly realized that was not an option since her 11-year-old daughter was also in the house. Terrified, she ran to the living room to confront the man, but no one was there. Then, she looked out of the front door and saw two men running away from her house. Thinking she had been robbed, her and her daughter began looking around the house to see what was missing. Then, loud banging at the door startled her and she heard a man yelling. Her daughter, Cassandra, was able to make out the word seizure and said “Mommy, open the door, I think someone needs help!”. It was then that Dr. Casanas realized this was all about a medical emergency.
The men told her that one of the neighbors was having a seizure. Hesitant to expose her daughter, she almost didn’t go since EMS had already been called and there is not much that can be done for a seizure, but her daughter looked at her with expectation. So, without further hesitation, she ran down the street with her daughter.
Upon entering the neighbor’s house, she saw the lifeless body of a six-year-old boy lying on the floor. Dr. Casanas was frozen in shock for a moment as she saw the boy, his mother wailing and his father running around in a panic. Faced with the most stressful medical emergency imaginable, she sprang into action. Despite not having any medications nor life-saving equipment, she was able to revive the boy within five minutes. The EMS arrived fifteen minutes later. Dr. Casanas had brought the boy back, but was in angst over whether or not it was enough... would the little boy have any brain damage?
Dr. Casanas got the best news the following day when she received a call from the family thanking her for saving the boy’s life. She was grateful to hear that the boy was doing well and did not have any brain damage.
We applaud Dr. Casanas for her bravery that evening and congratulate her for saving that little boy’s life... she is a real hero!
Dr. Alrabaa was chosen by the American Association of Tissue Banking to lead a sub-committee of member physicians in writing recommendations on reducing transmission of mycobacterium tuberculosis to patients via tissue transplant. Dr. Alrabaa is the medical director for tissue banking services at Lifelink Tissue Bank. She is also a clinical faculty member of the ID transplant team at Tampa General Hospital, and tuberculosis consultant to the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County. The committee's recommendation can be found here.
Dr. Lynette Menezes was selected as one of two USF College of Public Health alumni to receive the 2022 Outstanding Alumni Award. Dr. Menezes is a Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine. She serves as the assistant vice president of international programs for USF Health as well as assistant dean of USF Medicine International.
Dr. Menezes joined the ID faculty in 2003. Since that time, she has played an essential role in the growth and success of international programs across USF Health. While leading these programs, she has contributed her epidemiology and public health expertise to international and local research projects. She co-founded and leads the Scholarly Concentration in International Medicine and mentors USF and international trainees in research and public health while acting as a role model for our trainees and junior faculty.
Dr. Menezes oversees more than 90 USF Health collaborations in 38 countries around the world. These collaborations have engaged international medical professionals and students in collaborative research, field experiences, clinical externships, observerships, and hospital administrator training. Under her leadership, over 1900 USF Health students have engaged in global learning, research, and clinical externships abroad and more than 580 international medical and administrative professionals have come to USF for training. Locally, Dr. Menezes has been engaged in expanding services for the homeless while advising the student-run Tampa Bay Street Medicine, and recently co-founded a refugee clinic to serve displaced populations.
During the COVID pandemic, Dr. Menezes has been a key member of the USF COVID-19 taskforce, which has drawn from expertise across the university to create a safe environment for USF students, faculty, and staff.
Dr. Menezes will be honored with this award at the 2022 National Public Health Week Annual Awards Ceremony on April 6.
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