It is a genuine honor to greet you as chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida. And what an exciting time! UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital is once again ranked among the top children’s hospitals in Florida. Additionally, we are among the best in the United States in four pediatric specialties: diabetes & endocrinology (10th), pulmonology & lung surgery (24th), cardiology & heart surgery (26th) and neonatology (35th).
Though we are of course invigorated by the recognition of our mission to provide the absolute best health care for sick children, we refuse to become complacent. We remain forever committed to the children and families who rely on our services.
We consistently aim to provide the highest quality, evidence-based, family-focused clinical care to the children entrusted to our care. This involves maintaining a singular focus on the children and families themselves, as well as the communities they come from, to ensure they thrive in their own environment.
Importantly, as the social determinants of health affecting access to care and outcomes for children continue to come into sharper focus, we will address these factors head on and establish meaningful connections with communities to be responsive to their needs.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide the best, most comprehensive education programs — not only for medical students, residents and fellows — but also to other disciplines such as nursing, advanced practice providers, respiratory therapists and others to establish and support future leaders in our field. Within the UF Pediatric Residency Program, we consistently strive to recruit residents who reflect the diversity of the patients we serve. Thanks to a welcoming and inclusive environment within the university community and the greater city of Gainesville, our current complement of residents approaches that goal.
The other pillar of our academic mission is research. As one of the best academic pediatric programs in Florida, we have advanced basic, translational and clinical research programs that are innovative and competitive both nationally and internationally. We are committed to advancing new knowledge that will allow us to better understand the mechanisms of disease and develop cutting edge approaches to generate novel therapeutics.
Our team will develop an integrated pediatric health system that will provide outstanding pediatric healthcare, perform the most leading-edge research and teach the next generation of academic physicians and related disciplines.
None of these efforts would be possible without the dedicated faculty and staff at UF Health and Shands Children’s Hospital that make up this amazing pediatric team. I would like to express my genuine gratitude to them for their unwavering dedication and excellence in the services that they provide to the children and families under our care. This incredible team is the reason for our standing as the best pediatric hospital and program in Florida, and I envision that through our work together, we can continue to advance pediatric care and innovation at UF.
To the medical students, residents and fellows, I can speak for our entire department when I say thank you for choosing UF to get your training. You represent the best in the U.S., and we are happy to provide the environment, clinical experience and scholarly opportunities to deliver the best possible medical education. We will continue to work to provide you with the outstanding educational and clinical programs required to establish the substantive experience that will be the solid foundation as you head to the next chapter of your careers.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in all aspects of our mission. I challenge all of us to bring forward the best ideas and approaches to advance clinical care, research and teaching at UF, to enhance multidisciplinary collaboration and to connect with our community.
Above all, thank you for your dedication and hard work to markedly improve the lives of children and their families. I am humbled by your dedication, compassion and excellence.
My family and I are excited to integrate into the UF family and the Gainesville and extended Florida communities. We are thrilled to contribute to the richness here and will work together to further improve and advance our society.