Photos by Downtown Photo
Donors gathered again with students and faculty from FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine (CoM) to celebrate the first and only medical school in Palm Beach County at its ninth annual White Coats-4-Care (WC4C) Donor Appreciation Reception. Raising more than $185,000 to “dress and equip” the incoming class of 2023 and fund scholarships, the event preceded the formal Annual White Coat Ceremony held the same week when the new students walked the stage to receive their first White Coat that represents integrity, compassion and trust, and symbolizes their commitment to serve patients. In the WC4C tradition of giving a warm community welcome, personal notes from WC4C donors were inserted into each student’s coat pocket.
As CoM continues to seek, recruit and secure the best and brightest students from a diverse array of backgrounds, the annual WC4C reception has advanced from its traditional “new class” community welcome to becoming the college’s principal scholarship fundraising event. Propelling this heightened mission of embracing Florida’s future physicians, several donors increased their annual gifts this year as CoM Lobby Tribute sponsors or becoming members of the “White Coat Society,” those who have committed to four-year scholarship underwriting.
With the average cost of medical school education and living expenses reaching $250,000 for students in-state to $400,000 for students out-of-state, 85 percent of students require financial assistance. Often this heavy debt impacts a student’s choice of medical schools as well as their medical specialty based on its income potential to repay loans.
Developed nine years ago and co-chaired each year by Kaye Communications (KCOM-PR) principals Bonnie and Jon Kaye, the WC4C initiative has raised more than $600,000 since its inception, resulting in dressing and equipping more than 500 medical students.
“Scholarship funds raised by White Coats-4-Care provide need-based financial support for gifted students who do not have the financial means to pay full tuition and give merit-based support to recognize their achievements,” Bonnie Kaye shared with attending donors. “Most importantly, these scholarships give students the ability to choose a career path in primary care – internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine – in which salaries are lower than other medical specialties, but the impact on our community is the greatest.”
Supported by Honorary Co-Chairs June and Dr. Ira Gelb, a diverse planning committee of community and medical school leaders included Melissa Azrack; Robin Bresky, Esq. and Dr. Kenneth Bresky; Phyllis and Dr. Michael T. B. Dennis; Dr. Joanna and Bryan Drowos; Beth and Dr. Kenneth Garrod; Bonnie Halperin; Arlene Herson; Beth Johnston; Dr. Allen Konis; Deborah Leising; Loretta Litten; Elizabeth and Dr. Stuart Markowitz; Francine and Dr. Nathan Nachlas; Lynn and Dr. Joseph Ouslander; Constance Scott and the Honorable Thomas Scott; Robin Trompeter; Eugenia and Dr. Thomas Tzikas and Pamela and Palm Beach County Commissioner Robert Weinroth.
“The Schmidt College of Medicine is committed to advancing the health and well-being of the community, but it cannot do it without the support of generous donors and devoted committee members who give their time, talent and treasure,” added Jon Kaye. “Success does take a village with vision, passion, unwavering commitment and engagement…and because of this, this year’s White Coats-4-Care raised more scholarship funds than ever before.”
Phillip Boiselle, M.D., dean of FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine shared, “This event illustrates the remarkable reciprocity whereby our community supports our students, who in turn go on to meet the medical needs of our community. To help welcome our next generation of physicians, the Palm Beach County Medical Society has generously donated new stethoscopes to each member of the Class of 2023. This gift reflects donations from over 50 members of the Society and its community partners. We are deeply grateful to the Palm Beach County Medical Society, including the Society Board President and In-coming President, Drs. Mark Hirsch and Larry Bush, as well as the Services Board President, Dr. Michael Dennis, who also serves as Chair of our College’s Advisory Board and as a member of the FAU Board of Trustees.”
FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine is one of 185 accredited medical schools in the U.S. The college was launched in 2011, when the Florida Board of Governors made a landmark decision authorizing FAU to award the M.D. degree. After receiving approval from the Florida legislature and the governor, it became the 134th allopathic medical school in North America.
With more than 140 full- and part-time faculty and around 1,300 affiliate faculty, the college has been nationally recognized for its innovative curriculum. To further FAU’s commitment to increase much needed medical residency positions in Palm Beach County and to ensure that the region will continue to have an adequate and well-trained physician workforce, the FAU Schmidt College of Medicine Consortium for Graduate Medical Education (GME) was formed in 2011 with five leading hospitals in Palm Beach County. In 2014, FAU’s College of Medicine welcomed its inaugural class of 36 residents in its first University-sponsored residency in internal medicine and graduated its first class of internal medicine residents in 2017.
For more information or to make a contribution, contact Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine Assistant Vice President for Development David S. Green, MBA at 561-297-4243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.