Two USF Health medical students awarded HCMA scholarships

President Judy Genshaft addresses county medical association on USF’s role in shaping community’s health care

At the Feb. 12 Hillsborough County Medical Association (HCMA) membership dinner, guest speaker USF System President Judy Genshaft recognized the longstanding relationship between the University of South Florida and HCMA that has helped advance health care in our community.

HCMA President Dr. Thomas Bernasek (left) presents the Cherry Bekaert scholarship to USF medical student Steven Peretiatko.

Before Genshaft’s presentation, HCMA leadership awarded scholarships to USF fourth-year medical students Patrick Mullen and Steven Peretiatko.

Peretiatko, president of the USF student organization representing the American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, and HCMA, received a $1,500 HCMA Cherry Bekeart Scholarship for his commitment to organized medicine and public health initiatives. A deserving USF medical student has received this annual scholarship for the last 40 years.

USF medical student Patrick Mullen (center) received the HCMA Foundation scholarship from Dr. Bernasek and HCMA Foundation President Dr. Fred Bearison (right).

Mullen, vice president of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine (MCOM) Student Council, received a $1,500 matching HCMA Foundation medical student scholarship.

Charles Lockwood, MD, senior vice president for USF Health and MCOM dean, introduced President Genshaft and highlighted how her 15 years of leadership propelled research and innovation, scholarly endeavors, student success and economic development at USF, which this fall was designated a Preeminent State Research University.

When USF developed its medical school and enrolled its first class in the early 1970s, it was in large part due to the support of HCMA members and the association’s past presidents, Genshaft said in her remarks.  “These HCMA leaders, and many others, served as valuable advisors in setting up the college, recruiting top talent, and providing training and clinical opportunities for our students.”

USF System President Judy Genshaft (front row, far right) and Dr. Charles Lockwood (front row left), senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, with the USF medical student contingent.

Genshaft recounted USF developments that are helping build the future of health care in the region.  Perhaps most visible is the new 13-story, 400,000 square-foot USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute taking shape as part of downtown Tampa’s new skyline.

Even before the facility opens its doors later this year, Genshaft said, USF Health’s MD program has attracted applications from some of the most accomplished students in the country, the Heart Institute has recruited more than half its 31 National Institutes of Health-funded researchers, and inquiries continue to come in from biotech start-ups and powerhouse researchers.

President Genshaft and Dr. Lockwood were joined by several Morsani College of Medicine chairs and the USF Health Heart Institute director at the annual HCMA membership dinner.

– Photos courtesy of Dr. David Lubin, Hillsborough County Medical Association