On April 27, the purple ribbon to the Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, Medical Student Lounge was cut. The lounge bears the name of the much beloved Dr. Haley, former CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville. Senior leaders, medical students, faculty and staff came to take a peek inside the designated space for students on campus to relax and recharge in a nonclinical setting.
This was made possible through contributions to the Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D. Memorial Fund. Frank Genuardi, MD, MPH, an associate professor and associate dean for student affairs, led this project and was excited as the lounge officially opened.
“There were a number of occasions where I would get in touch with Dr. Haley and say there is a student I think you could have a really positive impact on that is interested in talking with you. His answer was always — just tell them to call me, I’d be happy to do it,” said Genuardi. “So, we really thought it was appropriate that we name this room in his honor.”
Attendees heard from Velma Tribble, a dear friend of the Haley family who spoke on their behalf.
“We are sure he would welcome the addition of this lounge as a place of respite for the students he cared so much about. Time moves on and our missing him remains the same but what a legacy he left. The family deeply thanks UF Health Jacksonville for this incredible honor.”
The lounge is fitted with lockers for personal items, charging stations for digital devices, a television, couches and chairs, a microwave and other amenities for students to enjoy.
Linda Edwards, MD, dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, emphasized there was no one more deserving of this honor than Dr. Haley, as he was a champion for education.
“Dr. Haley embodied education,” said Linda Edwards, MD, dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. “You would come to him with an education initiative and he recognized the importance of our future health care providers and our physicians.”
UF Health continues to remember the legacy of Dr. Haley and honors his memory through vital programs, facility and awards throughout the organization, including the UF Health Jacksonville Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, Brain Wellness Program; the Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, Medical Student Lounge; the Leon L. Haley Jr. Leadership Award for Inclusive Excellence; and, soon, a new trauma and emergency room on the UF Health Jacksonville campus.