Published On: Tue, Aug 22nd, 2023

13th Annual White Coats-4-Care Fundraiser Generates

(From left) WC4C Co-Chair Jon Kaye, FAU Interim CoM Dean Curtis L. Whitehair, M.D., WC4C Co-Chair Bonnie Kaye

Student Scholarship Funds

For FAU Schmidt College of Medicine Incoming Class

Boca Raton, FL – Driven by heightened donor generosity, commitment to educational advancement, and the community’s embrace, the 13th Annual White Coats-4-Care (WC4C) major scholarship fundraiser bestowed a warm welcome to 80 students enrolled in this year’s new class at Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine (CoM).

Once again, civic and business leaders, healthcare professionals and community advocates joined in deep commitment to growing a strong, vital healthcare community. By helping to “dress and equip” each incoming class of medical students, the WC4C campaign helps the CoM attract, recruit, train and educate the next generation of humanistic clinicians and scientists – doctors who care and cure in this community.

“Each year this initiative gets more and more meaningful, as we have now clothed 868 students in their first white coats and provided more than $2.4 million in support for students and programming since its inaugural year,” shared Co-chair Bonnie Kaye, who with her husband and Kaye Communications PR & Marketing partner Jon Kaye, has created and co-chaired WC4C for 13 consecutive years since its inception.

The College’s 13th class of new medical students was selected based on both their academic accomplishments and humanistic attributes, and their dedication to community remains at the forefront of the CoM.  During the traditional White Coat Ceremony, the students received their white coats, which represent integrity, compassion and trust and symbolizes their shared commitment to serve patients and their own oath (code of conduct) that they recited in unison and will follow throughout medical school and when they are physicians.

The incoming class has a cumulative GPA of 3.81 and an average MCAT score of 516, which is above the national average. Most of the major colleges in Florida are represented (University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Miami, Florida International University, University of Central Florida and University of South Florida), including several students who completed their undergraduate degrees at Florida Atlantic University. Other students in the class attended undergraduate institutions such as Cornell University, Duke University, George Washington University, Vanderbilt University, Brown University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Notre Dame, Boston College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of California-Los Angeles and Berkeley, and University of Southern California.  

With the average cost of medical education reaching $250,000 in-state to $400,000 out-of-state,
80-85 percent of the CoM’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.

“Scholarship monies raised through the annual White Coats-4-Care initiative give students the ability to follow their hearts, not their debts, into lifelong medical careers,” noted Co-chair Jon Kaye. “Since the inaugural reception, White Coats-4-Care has helped advance the College’s ultimate goal of ‘doctors without debt.’”

During his remarks, Interim CoM Dean Dr. Curtis L. Whitehair confirmed that community-based initiatives like WC4C that unite students and faculty with businesses, the healthcare community and neighbors have been critical to the CoM’s. He emphasized, “When each of us succeeds, our collective power becomes an unstoppable force, propelling us beyond ‘what we can do’ and into the excitement of ‘what more we can achieve.’”

WC4C co-chairs are supported by a dedicated committee, including Patricia Anastasio, M.D. and Thomas Mersch, Esq.; Melissa Azrack; Florida State Senator Lori Berman and Jeffrey Ganeles, D.M.D.; Alisa Cohen and G. Richard Cohen, M.D.; Phyllis and Michael T.B. Dennis, M.D.; Joanna Drowos, D.O. and Bryan Drowos; Beth Elgort; Beth and Kenneth Garrod, M.D.; June Gelb; Emily and Stephen A. Grabelsky, M.D.; Bonnie Halperin; Arlene Herson; Allen B. Konis, D.D.S.; Jaclyn Klimczak, M.D.; Deborah Leising; Jennifer and Gary Lesser, Natalia Margolis; Elizabeth and Stuart Markowitz, M.D.; Lynn and Joseph Ouslander, M.D.; Ronald L. Rubin, D.M.D.; Constance Scott; Robin Trompeter and the Honorable Robert Weinroth.

According to the CoM, plans are already underway for the 14th Annual WC4C scholarship initiative. It will be held on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, when all attending will celebrate the success of the graduating Class of 2024 and completion of the admission process for the Class of 2028. The
first-year students of the Class of 2028 will receive their white coats in August 2024.

Launched in 2010, FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine became the 134th allopathic medical school in North America and has swiftly become nationally recognized for its innovative curriculum.  With an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, the college is dedicated to addressing healthcare disparities in the community. The college offers M.D./Ph.D., M.D./M.B.A., and M.D./M.H.A. programs. A new Research Distinction Track, the first LCME-approved track for the college, offers a parallel curriculum
for medical students. Additionally, a Genomics and Predictive Health Certificate prepares students
for careers in personalized medicine, biotechnology and population health. 

To learn more about the White Coat Society or other gift options, contact Allison Goff Manager of Events and Community Engagement at 561-297-2371 or agoff@health.fau.edu.

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