By Arun Kumar
Fort Lauderdale, Florida–An Indian American doctor couple has pledged $200 million to a Florida university to advance healthcare in the state and internationally to underserved communities in India and Africa.
Zambia-born India-educated cardiologist Dr. Kiran C. Patel and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Pallavi Patel announced the single largest donation made by an Indian American individual or family in the US at a press event here Monday.
The largest philanthropic gift in the history of Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Florida will significantly expand its programmes in osteopathic medicine and healthcare sciences.
The commitment from the Patel Family Foundation includes a $50 million gift and an additional $150 million real estate and facility investment in a future 325,000 square-foot medical education complex in Tampa Bay, about 400 km from here in Clearwater.
With the Patels’ gift, NSU has renamed two of its colleges as Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Healthcare Scieces.
“I feel that it is more important than ever to advance the current state of health care,” said Kiran Patel.
“It is rare for someone to have the opportunity to impact the world in this way, and, as an immigrant to the United States, I am particularly honored to be able to make a difference in people’s lives around the world,” he said.
“This partnership will benefit thousands of patients, students and doctors,” added Dr. Pallavi Patel.
“Over the next 20 years, NSU will train thousands of new doctors and other health care professionals who will directly touch millions of lives, making a real difference.”
Patel’s gift will provide support for equipment and the hiring of additional faculty and staff in the Tampa Bay area, as well as an endowment to sustain the operation of the college’s new location besides an endowed scholarship fund for students.
The Patels’ goal is to be involved in the training and education of generations of physicians and other healthcare providers who will serve in areas with the greatest need across the country and worldwide.
As a result of the Patel Family Foundation’s commitment, beginning in fall of 2019, NSU has applied for a class of 150 osteopathic medicine students to be taught on Florida’s west coast at the new NSU Tampa Bay Regional Campus in Clearwater.
Meanwhile 230 new osteopathic medicine students will continue to begin their studies each year at NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus.
“This partnership will benefit thousands of patients, students and doctors,” added Dr. Pallavi Patel. “Over the next 20 years, NSU will train thousands of new doctors and other health care professionals who will directly touch millions of lives, making a real difference.”
“This is indeed a landmark day and the historic day for NSU and the Patel family,” said NSU President Dr. George Hanbury, announcing the gift.
“This gift and financial commitment from our innovative and visionary donor-couple will allow NSU to help fill the growing need for physicians and health care professionals, particularly in underserved, multicultural and international communities,” said NSU Chancellor of the Health Professions Division and Interim Chief Operating Officer, Fred Lippman.