Interim Dean and Professor of Surgery Dr. Juan C. Cendan has been appointed senior vice-president for health affairs and dean of the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM).

MSSH Alum and Dean at the FIU School of Medicine Dr. Juan Cendan
MSSH Alum and Dean at the FIU School of Medicine Dr. Juan Cendan

Cendan, 56, joined FIU last summer as vice-dean and executive associate dean for student affairs. He is a board-certified surgeon with a clinical focus on minimally invasive surgery and surgical disorders of the breast. He also has a lengthy career in academic medicine.

MSSH Alum and Dean at the FIU School of Medicine Dr. Juan Cendan
MSSH Alum and Dean at the FIU School of Medicine Dr. Juan Cendan

“Dr. Cendan is the right leader for this moment in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine’s history,” said FIU Interim President Kenneth A. Jessell. “He has a unique combination of practice and academic leadership experience coupled with a clear and ambitious vision for our College of Medicine.”

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Following his medical training at the University of Florida, Cendan practiced as a general surgeon in Gainesville, Florida. He then returned to UF as faculty, where he developed an academic focus on simulation-based medical education.

Cendan joined the University of Central Florida College of Medicine as founding faculty in 2010, where he served several institutional roles, including assistant dean for simulation, medical director of the simulation laboratory, and chairman of the department of medical education. As provost chair and associate dean in residence alongside UCF’s provost, he developed the framework for founding the UCF Academic Health Center.

“This is an exciting time for the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, and I am honored and eager to collaborate with our FIU family and our community partners to improve the health care ecosystem in South Florida,” said Cendan.

A native of Cuba who spent his early years in Spain, Cendan said he is looking forward to helping build on HWCOM’s impact and to serve Miami, the city that welcomed him.

“Since he was appointed interim dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. Cendan has built on the solid foundational work of his predecessors,” said Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth M. Bejar. “He has worked with the faculty to revise the HWCOM strategic plan and redouble efforts to increase the impact of FIU’s clinical capabilities as well as develop clarity in the vision for our collective work across our academic health center programs.”

Cendan and his wife Dr. Judith Seline Simms-Cendan, a professor of pediatric and adolescent gynecology at the University of Miami, live in Coral Gables. The couple has two adult sons.

According to The Miami Herald, Cendan’s family moved to Hialeah in 1974. “He learned English at Hialeah Elementary and later graduated from Miami Springs High School.”

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