By Arun Kumar
Clearwater (Florida), Sep 15 (IANS) An India- American doctor couple’s “impossible” dream to build a state-of-the-art medical college to advance healthcare in Florida and internationally to underserved communities in India and Africa has come to fruition with their $250 million gift.
Zambia-born India-educated cardiologist Kiran C. Patel and his wife, paediatrician Pallavi Patel performed a ribbon cutting ceremony here Saturday in the presence of local dignitaries to open the Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) new regional campus built with their donation.
The single largest donation made by an Indian-American individual or family in the US, included a $50 million gift and an additional $150 million real estate and facility investment by the Patel family foundation
The new three-storey 311,000 square foot medical education complex built in just 17 months in Tampa Bay will also serve as a satellite campus for four other colleges, including Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care sciences, and the Dr Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The NSU had renamed the two colleges located in its Fort Lauderdale camps, about 400 km away, in September 2017 when the Patels announced the largest philanthropic gift in its history.
“I feel that it is more important than ever to advance the current state of health care,” said Kiran C. Patel.
“It is rare for someone to have the opportunity to impact the world in this way, and, as an immigrant to the US, I am particularly honoured to be able to make a difference in people’s lives around the world. “
The Patels’ 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.
Their goal is to be involved in the training and education of generations of physicians and other health care providers who will serve in areas with the greatest need across the US and worldwide.
The new campus has received accreditation from the Commission on Osteopathic Accreditation. The first batch of 150 osteopathic medicine (D.O.) students has already joined the college and will graduate in 2023.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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