Over the past two years he told his faculty members that his goal for the department was to add 10 more endowed professorships to Jacksonville’s department of pediatrics – it was part of his departmental strategic plan. So when pediatrics chair and professor Thomas Chiu, MD, MBA, and his wife Anna recently revised their family trust, they decided to bequeath $1 million to create the Dr. Thomas and Anna Chiu Family Professorship in Pediatric Medicine in Jacksonville.
The decision made good sense for UF and for the Chiu family, based on the opportunities each offered him in his career, Chiu said.
“I have always felt very lucky about the opportunities given to me by UF,” he said. “I have excellent faculty members and staff who are very loyal, and Drs. Nuss, Barrett, Levin and Miller and a number of my mentors gave me the opportunity to excel.”
His family encouraged him, too. “I have a wonderful family, and my daughters – Charmaine and Christine – are both successful professionals in the community,” he said. “My wife, Anna, has been behind me 110 percent for 35 years – including the most difficult times during my medical training – and now it’s time for all of us to give something back, and setting up a professorship is a good way to start.”
The Chiu Family bequest marks the second pediatrics professorship in Jacksonville. The first is the Glenn Chuck Professorship in Pediatric Cardiology, established in August 1997.
Chiu has high hopes for the new professorship and for the eight additional professorships he wants for the pediatric department.
“We still have a long way to go if we want 10 endowed professorships,” he said. “I hope this will start a process and motivate other individuals to give to UF and the department of pediatrics.”