A third-floor terrace connecting the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital with the new UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital will bear the names of Drs. Martin and Sandra Fackler. The terrace serves to honor the memory of Martin L. Fackler Jr., MD, who passed away from cancer in May 2015.
“This was Marty’s wish, and it’s his legacy,” Sandra Fox Fackler said. “I’m honored to be the messenger and carry this out.”
Fackler said the inspiration for the Drs. Martin and Sandra Fackler Terrace came when her husband, Marty, was treated at the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital.
“I stayed with him all day and all night,” she said. “I was impressed by the comforting environment. We realized that was an important component of the hospital experience, and we wanted to expand on that.”
She said the terrace, which opens in 2018, will serve not only patients and their families, but also staff, students and faculty members in need of peace and rest.
“The terrace is meant to be a place of reflection, revival and renewal,” she said. “Marty liked his gifts to reach the most people possible.”
Michael L. Good, MD, dean of the UF College of Medicine, said the gift serves as a reminder of the special relationship Sandra and Marty Fackler shared. The couple married in April 2009 among family and friends.
“Their partnership is now permanently celebrated with the creation of the Fackler Terrace,” Good said. “In addition, patients and their families will forever have a peaceful place for fresh air and sunshine.”
Long-standing supporters of the UF College of Medicine, the couple established the director of the UF Health Science Center Libraries endowment in 2012, creating the first endowed medical library faculty position in the state. Sandra Fackler holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Alabama. Martin Fackler was a surgeon and renowned specialist in wound ballistics.
During his 30-year military career, he served as a combat surgeon in Vietnam and chief of surgery at the U.S. Navy Hospital in Tennessee and U.S. Army hospitals in Colorado and Germany. Before retiring in Gainesville to be close to UF’s wealth of medical library resources, he was the director of San Francisco’s Wound Ballistics Laboratory.
“We shared a passion for the healing arts, and we considered UF our alma mater,” Fackler said. “Marty retired in Gainesville because of the UF College of Medicine and the medical library here. His career culminated here.”
Fackler said her husband’s relationship with Good was long-standing and close, in part because their respective specialties — surgery and anesthesiology — so often collaborated to heal a patient.
Good delivered the eulogy when Fackler was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in 2015.
“Beyond the soldiers he treated during wartime, past his research that changed the science of trauma care, Marty wanted to help others by making them whole,” Good said.