July 29, 2020 – Fort Lauderdale, Fla – March of Dimes is honored to announce the Honorees for the 25th Anniversary of Women of Distinction presented by Memorial Healthcare System.  This annual event provides the community with an opportunity to honor exceptional women in South Florida.

“We are honored to have this opportunity to recognize women who are making a difference in both their careers and their community. Said Elaine Vasquez, Women of Distinction Committee Chair. “Our country is in the midst of a maternal and infant health crisis that has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, it is imperative we do all we can to help moms and babies have a healthy start.

Over 30 women were nominated from facilities, colleges and organizations across West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. A selection committee of local market leaders determined the 13 Honorees.

2020 Women of Distinction Honorees:


Michele Merrell, Merrell Consulting Group

LaTéssa Dotson Hall, Richard P. Hall Eagles Foundation, Inc

Lesli F Cartaya Franco, O’Connell & Goldberg Public Relations

Haroula Protopapadakis Norden, Memorial Healthcare System

Jennifer Cohen, H.A.N.D.Y.

Monica Figueroa King, Broward Healthy Start Coalition

Dr. Patricia Ann Rowe-King, Broward Health, Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital

Ana Oliveira, Morgan Stanley

Beckett Perkins, Envision Physician Services

Clara Diaz-Leal, Bank United

Ellie Schrot, Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center at Broward Health

Dr. Elaine Wallace, Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Farzanna Haffizulla, Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine

The honorees will be celebrated at our Women of Distinction awards program on November 13th at 11:45am.

In addition to Presenting Sponsor Memorial Healthcare System, Women of Distinction is sponsored by Broward Health and Envision Physician Services.

March of Dimes has worked closely with local healthcare partners and the community to provide critical support in response to COVID-19.  March of Dimes is offering free weekly virtual support groups to pregnant and postpartum individuals, provides critical medical supplies to expectant mothers and families with newborns, and partners with health care officials in offering March of Dimes Facebook Live events to keep families up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 information and its impact on the health of moms and babies.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family. Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.