Dr. Lizardo Cerezo of Orlando Health in Orlando, Florida was awarded the FSP President’s Service Award at the 44th Annual Anatomic Pathology Conference held in Orlando on February 16-18. Dr. Cerezo was given this high honor by the current FSP President Dr. Antonio Martinez during the FSP’s Business Meeting Luncheon on Saturday February 17.
Dr. Cerezo has been an active member of the Florida Society of Pathologists for many years. He currently serves as an at-large member of the Board of Directors and is an instrumental resource to the society, reporting on CAC issues and representing pathology and FSP’s behalf when attending CAC meetings. To learn more about Dr. Cerezo, his career and why pathology holds a special place in his heart we invite you to read his biography.
Words from Dr. Lizardo Cerezo
Pathology “is like a box of chocolates.” You never know what new daily challenge it will present. For me after 44 years it hasn’t gotten old. I’ve also been very fortunate to be part of teaching programs, enjoying the opportunity to share professional and personal life lessons with young physicians.
I grew up in a working-class neighborhood of the Bronx, New York, a product of the New York City public school system. My family moved to Puerto Rico where I received scholarships for both college and medical school at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). I still feel honored today to have received the Charles Darwin medal awarded to the most outstanding Biology graduate of UPR in 1969.
After a rotating internship with emphasis in pediatrics, I completed residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center , Denver Colorado, where I developed a special interest in hematopathology, Life then took me to Texas where I served as Vice-Chairman Pathology, Director of Special Hematology, Director of Transfusion Services and member of the Clinical Investigation Committee, at historic Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio , Texas. Again, I was lucky to be part of a department full of intelligent, dynamic and creative colleagues. During this time, I was actively involved in leukemia and lymphoma research projects as a member of the pathology subcommittees of the Southwest Oncology Group and the Pediatric Oncology Group, coauthoring several published scientific papers. I finished my military career at Brooke as a lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army Medical Corps.
I moved my wife and three young children in 1981 to Orlando, Florida which would turn out to be our final home. Joining a practice group of four pathologists at what was then Orange Memorial Hospital, over the years my career asked me to wear many hats. I have been Laboratory Medical Director at Orlando Regional Medical Center and Dr. P. Phillips Hospitals for over 20 years, Medical director of the Blood Banks and Chairman of the Blood Use Committee. I created the Diagnostic Electron Microscopy Laboratory (the only one of its kind in all central Florida) and the renal biopsy service which provided renal biopsy consultation to numerous hospitals in the state. I introduced contemporary leukemia/lymphoma diagnostics to the department, immunohistochemistry, fine needle aspiration biopsy interpretation and developed the flow cytometry laboratory. In transfusion medicine, I coordinated the development of a computerized blood transfusion ordering system which is still in use today and which has greatly contributed to better utilization of blood components. With the assistance of our pathology residents we developed an ongoing educational lecture series of transfusion topics which has been incorporated into the curriculum of the other clinical residency programs (internal medicine, surgery, etc. I am also very happy to have been part in the cooperate effort by many departments of the Orlando Health system to develop the emergency transfusion protocols in use today for the support of our trauma patients.
I am still active in the practice of general anatomic and clinical pathology and resident education, maintaining a special interest in the hematopathology and proud to serve on the Board of the Florida Society of Pathologists. Our family includes three unique adult children who we love and respect, a grandson who we try to spoil as often as possible and an old dog named Walter who can do no wrong.
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