Farzanna Sherene Haffizulla, MD FACP is the 2014-2015 national President of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) and served as the South Florida AMWA branch President and one of its founding officers. She graduated summa cum laude and with University Honors in Molecular Biology and Microbiology from the University of Central Florida. She completed medical school at The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Her residency training was at the Cleveland Clinic Florida and at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio and she is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. As national President of the American Medical Woman’s Association, she leads the organization into its centennial year. Her leadership vision is to build strong community, national and global networking by encouraging positive strides in healthcare, leadership, scholarship and academia and improving the synergy among health care and professional organizations. Under her leadership and vision, the formation of an affiliate program for AMWA was created. She continues to speak nationally on improving cohesion and communication among health care organizations and physicians. She is involved on many levels with AMWA including being the chair and founder for AMWA’s Preventive Medicine Task Force, founder of AMWA’s fellowship program and she served as the executive chair of the fundraising committee.
Dr. Haffizulla is the on-camera show host, anchor and medical correspondent for the nationwide health program, Mission Critical Health. Dr. Haffizulla works with Elsevier’s Practice Update team as host of their Oncology series. As host, she has contributed to the production of more than 125 clinician directed videos to facilitate the translation of the most updated scientific advances and research into improved patient outcomes nationally and globally. She currently teaches Honors Organic Chemistry to the pre-med seniors at American Heritage School and she is an Affiliate Clinical Assistant Professor of Biomedical Science at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University and a Voluntary Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami. She is also a primary scientific board member for Shulman Institutional Review Board. She was chosen as a National Delegate, representing Florida for Drexel’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership’s Vision 2020 program. She also serves as a Physician Ambassador for Broward County’s Department of Health promoting prevention of disease and as Medical Director of Haven Home Health in Broward County. Dr. Haffizulla has been invited as a thought leader to sessions at the National Institute of Health and the Office of Women’s Health as she continues to promote national health, wellness and disease prevention. As Chief Scientific Officer of Haven Home Health, her goal is to improve patient care with reduction of disease related complications and hospital (re)admissions. She leads Haven’s “Walk With a Doc” chapter in Plantation, Florida.
Dr. Haffizulla has earned several awards including a Quality First Award from the Florida Heath Care Coalition, a “Leading Physician Of The World Award” from The International Association of Healthcare Professionals and she was also selected as a “Outstanding Woman in Healthcare” by the International Women’s Leadership Association (IWLA). The IWLA also recognized her as a “Woman of Outstanding Leadership” in May 2014. In the Winter edition 2014, she was featured in “Practice Link” highlighting her medical practice and work/life balance techniques. Dr. Haffizulla was also featured in the American College of Physicians “My Kind of Medicine” series in September 2014 shortly after receiving the Florida Chapter of the ACP’s 2014 award for Volunteerism and Community Service. Dr Haffizulla also received AMWA’s Presidential Recognition award for her outstanding work and leadership in support of women in medicine, science and research. In 2017, Dr. Haffizulla was chosen to receive AMWA’s prestigious “Bertha Van Hoosen” award, the namesake award of AMWA’s founder. Her empowering attitude and inspiration continues to embrace the professional community through her numerous national keynote speeches and lectures.
Dr. Haffizulla is a nationally recognized speaker and expert on work/life balance and published “Harmony of the Spheres: Career, Family and Community” in 2011. She also founded and runs a work/life balance site www.BusyMomMD.com. She authored and nationally published several articles to parenting and professional communities and in July 2014 published her second book: “Lead with your Heart: A Doctor’s Rx for Personal and Professional Success.” She founded and opened her own concierge, Internal Medicine hybrid private practice in 2008 after practicing in a traditional setting for 5 years. Her innovative, creative approach to medical practice allows her to efficiently fuse traditional clinical practice with technology. Her medical practice allows her to offer office visits, house calls and telemedicine to her patients. She describes her unique private practice on her personalized website: www.HousecallsMD.us. Dr. Haffizulla lives in South Florida with her husband Dr. Jason Haffizulla and their four children.
Connie Newman, MD FAMWA Co-Chair and Obesity and Endocrinology Expert
Dr. Connie Newman, a graduate of Wellesley College and Weill Cornell Medical College, is Board-certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and Metabolism. She is Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine (New York, NY) and an attending physician at the Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic, VA New York Harbor Hospital (New York, NY). She has expertise in the management of cardiovascular risk factors, lipid disorders, and diabetes, and in drug safety, drug development, and large cardiovascular outcomes trials of statins. She participated in the conduct and/or analysis of CARDS, SPARCL, SEARCH, and SHARP. Dr. Newman served as a member of the Steering Committee of CARDS (Collaborative Atorvastatin Diabetes Study), which found that LDL-C reduction with a statin significantly reduced the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in patients with type 2 diabetes. She is a member of the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration, and an author of the meta-analysis of cancer events and cancer death in 170,000 participants in 27 trials of statins. Dr. Newman is Chair of the Special Programs Committee of the Endocrine Society, and in this role helps develop continuing medical education programs on obesity. She is the obesity lead for the Preventive Medicine Task Force of AMWA. Dr. Newman was recently appointed to the Women’s Leadership Committee of the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) Council of the American Heart Association. She is also a member of the Graduate Medical Education and Membership Committees of the National Lipid Association, and a member of The Obesity Society.
Dr. Newman is married and has three children. She lives in New Jersey and Oxford, England. She is passionate about disease prevention, and is committed to education about high cholesterol, and obesity. In her spare time she reads nineteenth century English literature.
Victoria Silverman Secretary and Student Co-Chair
Victoria Silverman is graduated as a Biological Sciences major with a concentration in Human Nutrition from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University in May 2015. She is now an MD/MPH candidate at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Class of 2019. She serves as Student Co-chair and Secretary of the Preventive Medicine Task Force, and has received a Certificate of Appreciation as well as a Commitment to Excellence Award from AMWA for her work. Her time with AMWA has given her invaluable leadership experience and she hopes to continue working with AMWA throughout her medical career. Aside from AMWA, Victoria conducts research in the Memory and Neuroscience Research Lab at Cornell. She orchestrates numerous studies investigating mild cognitive impairment, memory and aging, conjoint-source recognition, and false memory through fMRI scans. Victoria looks forward to recruiting new members passionate about women’s health and the advancement of women in medicine.
Parin Patel, MD Treasurer
Parin is an OB/GYN resident at UTMB and serves as the residency representative for the Preventive Medicine Task Force. She brings her passion for women’s health and the desire to shift the focus of medicine from disease management to disease prevention. She is also a proud AMWA member for several years and has held leadership positions with both the Student and Residency Division. One of her favorite parts of AMWA, and the Preventive Services Task Force specifically, is the opportunity to work with inspiring individuals and bring about change. In addition to professional endeavors, Parin is an active youth group member of the BAPS Hindu religious organization. In her free time she likes to exercise, cook, and read.
Karam Alawa Technology Director
Karam Alawa is a first year medical student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine currently serving as the technology director for the AMWA Preventive Medicine Task Force. He graduated from the University of Miami magna cum laude with a major in biomedical engineering and minors in music, mathematics, and chemistry. In addition to his studies, Karam enjoys working at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in the Ophthalmic Biophysics Center where he tackles a myriad of different research projects. In his free time, he enjoys playing the guitar, playing racquetball, and supporting the Miami Hurricanes.
Akhila Gummi, MD
Akhila graduated Cum Laude and with Departmental Distinction from the Honors College at the University of Illinois-Chicago with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. She was 1 of 6 students in her undergraduate class to receive the Jefferson Award, a prestigious national recognition system that honors public service across the country. Her list of extracurricular activities is noteworthy for its sheer length and focus on tutoring, advocacy and mentorship for children and women alike. She serves as the West Coast Student Co-Chairperson for the Preventive Medicine Task Force of the American Medical Women’s Association. She has led the initiative on creating educational materials on women’s health.
Akhila is passionate about preventive medicine, especially after seeing the benefits of good nutrition and exercise in her own life. She reads extensively about these topics outside of her medical school curriculum and speaks openly and with enthusiasm on these topics with people she encounters at the hospital or clinic. Akhila believes in educating and empowering people to lead their best and most healthy lives, and she believes in the power of positivity to make anything possible. Her interests include hiking, yoga, reading, traveling, learning to play guitar and longboarding. She is a family medicine resident in Long Beach, California.
Linda Kabbash, MD
Lynda Kabbash MD, FAAAAI, FRCP(C) works as an allergist in Boston. She is particularly interested in Eosinophilic Esophagitis and urticaria. She is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medial School and enjoys teaching second year medical students in the Patient Doctor II course. She also is an Alternate Delegate for the Women’s Physician Section of the AMA and has been working on the Centennial Committee for AMWA. This June she will become President of her District Medical Society and is also a Delegate for the Massachusetts Medical Society, serving on the Women in Medicine Committee.
Amanda Velazquez, MD
Dr. Amanda Velazquez is a second year medical resident at Indiana University and is one of two medical residents selected for the primary care track. She is graduate of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIU-SOM) where she earned her doctorate degree in allopathic medicine. Prior to this, she studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned a bachelors of science degree in nutrition. She is originally from Chicago, however, she has enjoyed living in various parts of the country throughout her education. She is an ambitious physician who works to integrate nutrition as a key component of her management plans regularly. She advocates preventive medicine and emphasizes the importance of teaching these habits. She has worked to improve medical education of healthcare providers on nutrition as this is still an area that needs to be addressed. She authored a book titled “Clinical Nutrition Basics for Medical Students” published by SIU-SOM, which is designed to make nutrition counseling simple and efficient for the health professional. Her mantra is “Healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle are the fundamental foundation to a healthy life”. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys dancing, playing soccer and tennis, cooking with friends, and spending time at the beach.
Tracey Cook earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of North Florida and a Master of Science degree in Medical Sciences from the University of South Florida. She is currently a medical student at Florida State University College of Medicine, Class of 2018. In addition to taking on leadership roles at her institution, Tracey’s extracurricular activities include mentorship, patient-centered volunteer work, and research. Her role as an AMWA officer during her first year of medical school, as well as her strong interest in preventative medicine, led her to join the AMWA Preventative Task Force. Tracey believes that educating and encouraging individuals regarding proper nutrition, exercise, and mental wellness will achieve the best outcomes for overall health and wellness. In her free time, Tracey enjoys running, water sports, reading, and spending time with family and friends.