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University of South Florida

USF Deputy General Counsel recognized as Culture Champion

Charles Lockwood, MD, MHCM, USF Health senior Vice President and Morsani College of Medicine dean presents a USF Health Culture Coin to Robert Pelaia, J.D., University of South Florida deputy general counsel.


















Robert Pelaia, University of South Florida deputy general counsel, is the latest person to be recognized as a USF Health culture champion.

In early August, one of his co-workers showed signs of COVID-19 and informed him that she wouldn’t be able to work remotely.  He immediately asked if they needed prescriptions, food or other items delivered to them.  He checked in with his co-worker and her husband daily.

She was later admitted to the hospital for a week with double pneumonia due to COVID-19. He continued to check in daily while working with her department to make sure her meetings were cancelled, rescheduled or attended by one of her colleagues so that her work remained timely ensuring workforce members and patients’ needs were met.

She emphasized that “Robert’s concern and follow through allowed me to focus on getting stronger and returning to work.  Both Robert and my USF Health family treat our patients and each other with care and respect.  Robert’s actions have exemplified our mission to Make Life Better.”

On Oct. 13, USF Health senior vice president and Morsani College of Medicine dean, Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, confirmed her sentiments and presented Pelaia with a Culture Coin.