Monday, February 15, 2016 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 54
February 08, 2016
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Medical City Session
Cutting-Edge Research & Healthcare Delivery

Healthcare education, research, and simulation technology were the focus of the Leadership Orlando Medical City Session for Class 90 on Thursday, chaired by Phil Rawlins, Founder and President of Orlando City Soccer Club.  From children to adults and veterans, the collaborative infrastructure at Lake Nona combined with the human capital that is being developed and the potential for ground-breaking research and medical tourism are impressive to say the least.

Leadership Orlando Alum, Fred R. Kittinger, Jr., Senior Associate Vice President, University Relations at the University of Central opened the day and served as moderator representing the University and its College of Medicine.  The session was held at the new VA Medical Center – Orlando in Lake Nona.

After a welcome message from Phil Rawlins, Kittinger then introduced Timothy W. Liezert, Director of the VA Medical Center – Orlando who provided an overview of the facility and the VA in Central Florida.  Rasesh Thakkar, Senior Managing Director, Tavistock Group, followed with a brief history and scope of the entire Lake Nona development (roughly the size of Manhattan) including residential, office and retail space as well as what the future has in store, including the U.S. Tennis Association Training facility and the recently announced training facility for Orlando City Soccer Club.

John C. Hitt, Ph.D., President of the University of Central Florida, provided background and an overview what he calls 'America's leading Partnership University' and its important role in establishing the College of Medicine, leading to what is now the Medical City.  He cited "insider's stories" on the collaborative negotiations with then Governor Jeb Bush who focused primarily on the economic impact and potential of such developments, as well as a very personal example of the value of partnerships in our community.

Deborah C. German, M.D., Founding Dean of the UCF College of Medicine, then cataloged the progression the medical school, from its first days with one employee housed in a 120 sq. ft. office to the success it has become in just nine short years, with 686 faculty/staff in 527,954 square feet in multiple locations, 2,252 Affiliated/Volunteer Faculty and 169 Graduates.  Dr. German's early achievement of securing 41 full scholarships for the Charter Class is unique and unmatched.

Even with all of the new research, education and training facilities now or soon to be located at Medical City, these relative "newcomers" to the healthcare scene in Central Florida join the established outstanding healthcare providers that have served our region, our residents and our visitors for many years – Florida Hospital and Orlando Health.  Joining us to share their rich history of service and care were Daryl Tol, President & CEO, Florida Hospital & Central Florida Region – Adventist Health System, Florida Hospital, and Erick Hawkins, Senior Vice President of Strategic Management for Orlando Health.

During the afternoon, class members were able to see for themselves the phenomenal facilities, research  and services now being provided at Medical City.  VIP tours included the VA Medical Center – Orlando, Nemours and Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute.  On hand at these facilities providing personal greetings and updates were Nemours president, Dana Bledsoe; Layton H. Smith, Ph.D., Director of Drug Discovery and Pharmacology, and Stephen J. Gardell, Ph.D., Senior Director of Scientific Resources at Lake Nona, both with Sanford Burnham Prebys.

About Leadership Orlando 
Developing regional leaders is important to the future success of the Central Florida Region. That is why "Regional Leadership" is a primary line of business for the Central Florida Partnership. With over thirty years of proven success, Leadership Orlando, America's largest "Community Leadership Program," continues to recruit, cultivate and encourage emerging leaders to better serve the Central Florida Region.

Working together with Orlando, Inc., (Regional Entrepreneurship), BusinessForce (Public Policy Advocacy), and myregion.org (Regional Research & Resolves), the Central Florida Partnership is moving "Ideas to Results."

Click here to learn more about Leadership Orlando 
Click here for a listing of the 2016 Leadership Team


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