Giving - Office of Development and Alumni Relations

USF Women’s Health Collaborative awards grants, recognizes Pam Muma at annual luncheon

The University of South Florida Women’s Health Collaborative recognized philanthropist Pam Muma and awarded $60,000 in funds for women’s health research at its fifth annual Leading the Way Awards Luncheon yesterday at the Bryan Glazer JCC.

More than 260 community leaders and health researchers attended the luncheon, making it the largest event since the program’s inception.

Pam Muma

Honoring Pam Muma

USF Health leaders presented Pam Muma with its “Remark-a-Bull” award for her contributions to women’s health in the Tampa Bay area.

“We are all inspired by Pam’s tremendous spirit, dedication and advocacy,” said Charles J. Lockwood, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.

Pam and Les Muma are USF’s largest benefactors to USF in its history, and their past philanthropy led to the creation of the Jennifer Leigh Muma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Tampa General Hospital, the Lisa Muma Weitz Laboratory at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, and the Pamela and Les Muma Chair in Neonatology in its Department of Pediatrics. Most recently, the Mumas gifted $2 million to establish the Pamela Muma Center, which will offer comprehensive concierge medicine for women when it opens in late 2018.

“Women empower women,” said Pam upon accepting the award. “It’s women in this country who drive our health care system,” she described, noting that women are generally responsible for coordinating children’s medical appointments and encouraging spouses to get the care they need.

Pam shared the role she played in growing the NICU services at Tampa General to not only provide the best care to its newborn patients, but also support for their families. Her new focus is on building a center at USF Health that provides coordinated care for women that emphasizes quicker test results and priority access to specialist appointments.

Lockwood echoed that Pam’s vigilant leadership is the driving reason for the creation of the new concierge medical center in her name.

Faculty Research Award Presentations

The USF Women’s Health Collaborative program provides annual seed grants for interdisciplinary, collaborative research focused on women’s health. Many of the past seed grant projects have resulted in prestigious publications and presentations, as well as additional grants and research awards.

“The research projects supported by this luncheon have created meaningful mentoring and coaching opportunities that have advanced our faculty, especially women, in their careers as academic leaders,” said Catherine Lynch, associate vice president for women’s health and faculty development for USF Health and chair of the USF Women’s Health Collaborative.

Since the program began five years ago, more than $325,000 in seed grants have been awarded to 88 researchers on 29 seed grant projects.

USF presented five research awards to USF Health faculty at the luncheon:

  • PNC Bank, the presenting sponsor of the event, awarded a $15,000 seed grant for “Behavioral training for mothers and pediatric residents: Does it improve managing stressful childhood behaviors?” The research team included Rebecca Plant, Emily Shaffer, Alison Solloum, Russell Kirby and Sharon Dabrow, who will examine ways to improve the use of evidence-based strategies for handling difficult developmental behaviors in young patients.
  • “Single-cell genomics and erythropoiesis: Their first high-resolution red blood cell developmental map to address iron-deficiency anemia” received a $15,000 seed grant. Ray H.Y. Jiang, Gloria Ferreira and Elizabeth Sagatys compose the research team.
  • “Balance-based torso weighting and core exercise to improve balance and gait in women with Multiple Sclerosis” received a $15,000 seed grant. The research team consisted of Jeannie Stephenson, Derrick Robertson, Stephanie Carey, Doug Haladay and Jason Beckstead.
  • “The gut microbiome in infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome” received a $10,000 seed grant to examine the relationship between feeding method on the microbiome of infants during withdrawal and recovery from opioid exposure. The research team comprises Denise Maguire, Maureen Groer, Feng Cheng and Maya Balakrishnan.
  • USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy lifetime member Valerie Riddle announced her commitment to endow a new WLP Health Research Award, and she presented College of Public Health Assistant Professor Cheryl Vamos with $5,000 as its first-ever recipient.

From left, Dr. Lynch, Dianne Jacob of PNC Bank, Dr. Sharon Dabrow, Dr. Rebecca Plant and Dr. Russell Kirby.


Dr. Jeannie Stephenson, center, accepts a $15,000 seed grant from Drs. Lynch and Lockwood.


Dr. Ray Jiang, center, accepts a $15,000 grant from Drs. Lynch and Lockwood.


Dr. Maureen Groer, center, accepts a $10,000 grant from Drs. Lynch and Lockwood.


Riddle and Vamos

WLP Lifetime Member Valerie Riddle MD ’89 presented Cheryl Vamos MPH ’05 PhD ’09 with its first USF Health Faculty Research Award.

Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications and Marketing