Gala raises over $330K for FIU medical student scholarships

Gala raises over $330K for FIU medical student scholarships

Pictured (l-r) are John A. Rock, MD, founding dean and senior vice president for Health Affairs, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine; Vanessa Wertheim, Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Family Foundation; Meryl Comer, president and CEO of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative and recipient of the Dr. Herbert Wertheim Global Medical Leadership Award, and Mark B. Rosenberg, president of Florida International University.

Medical students at Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) will have access to more scholarship funds thanks to the more than $330,000 raised recently at the HWCOM’s annual Sapphire Celebration Gala.

“We are very pleased with the overwhelming support we have received from the community,” said Dr. John A. Rock, HWCOM’s founding dean and FIU senior vice president for health affairs. “The scholarships will make a difference in the lives of many of our students, who will become physicians and, in turn, make a difference in the lives of thousands.”

The annual gala brought together close to 500 of South Florida’s medical, business, philanthropic, and civic leaders. The following awards were presented during the event:

The Dr. Herbert Wertheim Global Medical Leadership Award was presented to Emmy award-winning journalist, author, and Alzheimer’s advocate Meryl Comer, CEO of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation’s Alzheimer’s Initiative.

South Beach Diet author, Dr. Arthur Agatston, medical director of Wellness and Prevention for Baptist Health South Florida, was honored with the Ambassador Steven & Dorothea Green Community Leadership Award.

Florida Department of Health in Miami- Dade County received the Benjamín León Jr. Founding Dean’s Award, which was accepted by its administrator Lillian Rivera.

The theme of this year’s Sapphire Celebration was White Coats and Dreams. The Gala committee was co-chaired by Fran Berrin, Alyse Messinger, Kerry Perez, and Debbie Tano. Sponsors included: Meredyth Anne Dasburg Foundation, principal sponsor; Debbie and Dr. Albert Tano, and Kerry and Dr. Jorge Perez, presenting sponsors.

This fall HWCOM has a current enrolment of 440 students, including 120 who enrolled in its sixth class this fall. Some of the HWCOM students participated in the event.

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