Published On: Thu, Jul 9th, 2020

10th Annual White Coats-4-Care Scholarship Fundraiser to Resonate Optimism and Appreciation as FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine Welcomes Its Incoming Class of 2024

As a Virtual Event, WC4C Donors and the Greater Community

Will for the First Time Experience the Students’ White Coat Ceremony;

Keynote Speaker: New York Times Bestselling Author  Damon Tweedy, M.D.
Sharing Impact of Race on the Medical Profession

The 10th Annual White Coats-4-Care (WC4C), Florida Atlantic University’s  Schmidt College of Medicine’s (CoM) principal scholarship fundraising event, is poised to be more poignant and memorable than ever before. Held virtually on Friday, August 7 at 3 p.m., it will for the first time combine celebrated appreciation for its donors and the virtual White Coats Ceremony for the College’s 64 medical students of its incoming Class of 2024.

From left White Coats-4-Care Co-Chairs Jon Kaye and Bonnie Kaye; Florida Atlantic University Schmidt College of Medicine Dean Phillip M. Boiselle, MD; Florida Atlantic University Schmidt College of Medicine’s Associate Dean Stuart L. Markowitz, M.D

Chosen from more than 3,750 applicants, this distinctive class of future physicians will virtually don their first white coats and take the Schmidt College of Medicine Oath/Code of Conduct that they as a class authored. The White Coat represents integrity, compassion and trust, and symbolizes their commitment to serve patients. 

The engaging program will share the distinguishing strides made by the Schmidt College of Medicine, the first and only medical school in Palm Beach County, as well as its vision for the future. Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions Stuart L. Markowitz, M.D. will welcome donors and students; Phillip M. Boiselle, M.D. will give opening remarks; Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education Sarah K. Wood, M.D. and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Jennifer W. Caceres, M.D., F.A.C.P. will share insights. This will be followed by the coveted presentation of the White Coats by Dr. Caceres and Dr. Markowitz.

White Coats-4-Care committee members Melissa Azrack; Lynn Ouslander; Ira Gelb, M.D.; Bonnie Halprin; Fran Nachlas; Robin Trompeter.

WC4C keynote speaker is Damon Tweedy, M.D., author of the New York Times bestseller Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine that was selected by TIME magazine as one of the Top 10 Non-Fiction books of 2015. He has published articles, columns and op-eds about race and medicine in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and other medical journals, New York Times, Washington Post, and various other print publications. Dr. Tweedy travels frequently to speak to physicians and clinicians, healthcare companies, medical schools and teaching hospitals, and other organizations involved in health and wellness, about the impact of race on the medical profession at all levels.

WC4C Scholarship Funds “Dress and Equip” Incoming Class

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. The 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 the community-at-large is the greatest. To date the annual WC4C initiative has raised more than $600,000 since its inception a decade ago, resulting in dressing and equipping more than 550 medical students. 

“During these challenging times as our community, and our hospitals and physician practices persevere through Covid-19, compassionate and committed medical students are needed now more than ever,” shared Bonnie Kaye, who with Kaye Communications (KCOM-PR) partner Jon Kaye have co-chaired WC4C for 10 consecutive years since its inception. “As the College continues to seek, recruit and secure the best and brightest students from a diverse array of backgrounds, WC4C scholarships give the students the ability to follow their hearts, not their debts into lifelong medical careers.”

Jon Kaye added that “while we are unable to celebrate all together in one room this year, the need, importance and impact of scholarships continues.”

Since the average cost of a medical education reaching $200,000 in-state to $350,000 out-of-state, 80-85% of the College’s talented students require financial assistance.  Heavy debt often impacts both a student’s choice of medical school as well as their medical specialty based on its income potential to repay loans.

The 2020 WC4C supporters have the following options in which to help grow scholarship funding for this class of students. Since there will not be an in-person reception, 100 percent of donations made this year will go directly to scholarships.

  • A gift of $200 provides a medical student’s first white coat.  In the pocket of every coat will
    be the name of the family or company who supported her or his dream of becoming a doctor.

  • A gift of $500 provides a medical school scholarship in memory of Founding Dean Michael L. Friedland, M.D.
  • A gift of $1,000 for an electronic tribute in the renovated College of Medicine lobby includes donor names for one year as a valued community partner.

  • Joining the White Coat Society to support a student through medical school for four years. A pledge of $20,000 or more, paid annually in installments of $5,000 per year, sponsors a student through all four years of medical school.

These gifts will help to ensure that students in need receive vital scholarship awards to offset the costs of their medical education. They will also provide new students with their first white coat, each of which will include a note with the name of a donor in the coat pocket.

“This note is a powerful symbol of the remarkable reciprocity of our community-based medical school, whereby our community supports our students, who, in turn, go on to support the medical needs of our community,” said Phillip M. Boiselle, M.D., Dean of the Schmidt College of Medicine.

From left: White Coats-4-Care committee members Arlene Herson; Allen B. Konis, DDS ​

FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine is one of approximately 154 accredited medical schools in the U.S. The college was launched in 2010, 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 70 full- and part-time faculty and more than 1,300 affiliate faculty, the college matriculates 64 medical students each year and 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 Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine Consortium for Graduate Medical Education (GME) was formed in fall 2011 with five leading hospitals in Palm Beach County. The Consortium currently has five Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited residencies including internal medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, psychiatry, and neurology.

The 2020 WC4C planning committee of community and medical school leaders include Patricia Anastasio, M.D. and Thomas Mersch, Esq.; Melissa Azrack; Donna and Joseph Biase, MD; Phyllis and  Michael T. B. Dennis, M.D.; Bryan and Joanna L.  Drowos, D.O., M.P.H., M.B.A.; Beth and Kenneth J. Garrod, MD; June and Ira J. Gelb, M.D.; Bonnie Halperin; Arlene Herson; Beth Johnston; Allen B. Konis, DDS; Deborah Leising; Loretta Litten; Natalia Margolis; Elizabeth and Stuart L. Markowitz, M.D.; Francine and Nathan E. Nachlas, MD; Lynn and Joseph G. Ouslander, M.D.; Constance and Thomas Scott; and Robin Trompeter.

WC4C donors can donate online at fauf.fau.edu/whitecoats by Saturday, July 25th. To learn more about the White Coat Society or other gift options, they should contact David Green, Assistant Vice President for Development at 561-297-4243 or [email protected].

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