When I was asked to serve on the alumni board for the University of Florida Medical College, I felt I had no option to say no. It wasn’t guilt or lack of a backbone, but pride and a sense of responsibility to serve an institution that has given me so much. As a physician, I enjoy the best job in the world. It is a career that allows me so many opportunities to help others, including my medical school. As president, I am fortunate to work with other board members who feel the same sense of responsibility. Together we make up a varied group of individuals with talents and connections that will help us to bring the University up to the level of prominence that we all are striving for.
Our first goal on the board is to keep the connection with you and your school alive and well. There’s not a better time to be a Florida Gator or a Florida Doc. The same pride that we feel with our championship sport teams should also be a feeling that resonates with all of our alum – Md’s, PhD’s and house staff.
Our other goals include garnering financial support for the College. Scholarships help us attract the best and brightest students who may otherwise go on to other schools because of the lack of financial resources. I’m sure many of us recall our own balancing act between studying and paying bills. And for most of us, that was before students graduated with an average debt of over $120,000.
Friend raising and fundraising are also on our agenda. The alumni association provides the wonderful reunions that allow us to renew old friendships with others who went through the rigors of our medical training. Our funds from the George Harrell club help to support this and many other programs such as: the white coat ceremony, the stethoscope presentations, the HOST program, scholarships through the Smiley Hill Fund and assistance to the Harrell Assessment Center.
There are many ways to support the needs of the COM. Currently, we are focused on how to help bring about the construction of a new medical education building. The same facilities that were built in the 1970’s to accommodate classes of 90, are now obsolete and inadequate to serve the students of today. If the goal at the University of Florida is to be in the top ten of all public universities, we need facilities that should be in the top ten. Philanthropy is crucial to help us educate tomorrow’s medical leaders, support research and provide patient-centered care.
If you are not a Harrell club member, please sign up today. The membership fee is small in relation to the benefits we all receive. You may not feel the obligation to serve on the board, but we should all feel a sense of giving back and seek opportunities to teach, mentor and support those who will be entering this rewarding profession. And did I mention…IT’S GREAT TO BE A FLORIDA GATOR!
UF Medical Alumni Association
2006-2007 Board of Directors
Mark A. Adkins, MD82, president – firstname.lastname@example.org
David A. Libert, MD82, President-Elect – email@example.com
Jean Cook, MD83, Past President – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason J. Rosenberg, MD95 Secretary/Treasurer – email@example.com
Al J. Dickhaus, MD61 – firstname.lastname@example.org
H. Jackson Downey, MD83 – email@example.com
Rosi Fortunato, MD83 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa G. Glantz, MD94 – email@example.com
David A. Gross, MD73 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark S. Gold, MD75 – email@example.com
Rufus M. Holloway, Jr., M.D., HS67 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunil N. Joshi, MD98 – email@example.com
Charles E. Nuttall, Jr., MD71 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Louis Vagias II, MD96 – email@example.com
Robert T. Watson, MD69 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Williams, MD75 – email@example.com
Byron Williams Jr., MD74 – byron_Williams@emoryhealthcare.org
Katie Boudreau, Director, Medical Alumni Affairs – firstname.lastname@example.org