Synergy social matches faculty interested in health disparities

More than 70 faculty members from across USF gathered April 21 for the Center for Equal Health’s Synergy Social on Health Disparities.

High-top tables lined the USF Health Rotunda as participants gathered to “speed” interview each other and share information about their health disparities-related research. The goal was to identify opportunities for collaboration and spur interdisciplinary research to be funded by USF Health and Moffitt Cancer Center. Both institutions expect to provide up to $20,000 in seed grants for each of six approved one-year projects.

Begun by Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO for USF Health and dean of medicine, nearly five years ago, the Synergy Social’s format is modeled after popular speed dating events. The informal event has been used as a launching pad for pilot interdisciplinary projects in the fields of Alzheimer’s disease and related memory disorders, patient safety and biomedical science, to name a few.

Those researchers who “click” and form an interdisciplinary team to develop a health disparities study have until 4 p.m. on Monday, May 24, to submit their proposals. Winners will be announced in July.

For more information, please visit


Dr. Desiree Rivers, coordinator of the Center for Equal Health, which hosted the Synergy Social on Health Disparities.

L to R: Kyle Dalton, coordinator of the Research & Training Core at the Center for Equal Health, with Center Co-Directors Dr. B. Lee Green of Moffitt Cancer Center and Dr. Richard Roetzheim of USF Health.

Dr. Deanna Wathington, left, with Dr. Donna Petersen, dean of public health

Dr. Phillip Marty, USF Health associate vice president for research, welcomes participants to the Synergy Social.

Dr. Dawood Sultan of the College of Public Health

Dr. Ona Riggin of the College of Nursing, ctr, and Dr. Benjamin Djulbegovic, right, co-director of the Clincal and Translational Science Institute.

USF medical student Courtney Smiley chats with Mit Patel of The Crescent Foundation, Inc, an organization promoting minority community wellness.

Dr. Sumeeta Mazzarolo of Internal Medicine, left, and Dr. Lois LaCivita Nixon of Medical Ethics and Humanities.

Summer Decker of the College of Medicine’s Center for Human Morpho-Informatics Researcher with Dr. Clement Gwede of Moffitt Cancer Center.

More than 70 faculty members and others from USF Health, Moffitt Cancer Center, and across campus attended the Synergy Social.

Story by Anne DeLotto Baier, and photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications