University of South Florida

USF doctor greeted by outpouring of support at ALS Walk

For a profile of Dr. Michael Flannery in the Tampa Bay Times, click here.

Hundreds of walkers came to the USF campus Saturday for the Tampa Bay area’s Walk to Defeat ALS.  Many wore green T-shirts that read “Miles for Michael.”  It was an opportunity to show their support for Dr. Michael Flannery, a USF Health professor of medicine diagnosed in August 2011 with the devastating neuromuscular disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Dr. Michael Flannery and family cut the ribbon to open the Tampa Bay area's Walk to Defeat ALS

USF's Dr. Michael Flannery and family members cut the ribbon to open the Tampa Bay area's Walk to Defeat ALS.

Dr. Flannery recently stepped down as internal medicine residency director at the Morsani College of Medicine but continues to work in the college’s graduate medical education office.  Saturday, he cut the ribbon to open the walk, sponsored by the ALS Association Florida Chapter.  Then, he set out on the 2-mile course surrounded by family, friends, USF medical students, residents, fellows, faculty and staff of the USF ALS Center.

Two teams – including one organized by internal medicine residents – raised more than $23,000 in Dr. Flannery’s name, surpassing their fundraising goals.


Dr. Michael Flannery begins the 2-mile route at Saturday's ALS Walk.

Dr. Flannery begins the 2-mile route at Saturday's ALS Walk.

“Mike Flannery has been an inspiration to thousands of students and residents as a legendary mentor and teacher at USF.  Now that he has become a patient, that same inspiring light is shining out to others with ALS in Tampa Bay and beyond,” said Dr. Clifton Gooch, chairman of the USF Department of Neurology and founder of the USF ALS Center. 

“It is exactly because of Mike and other heroic patients like him that we are fighting so hard to find more effective treatments for ALS here in the labs and clinics at USF, and also why we are happy to provide state-of-the-art multidisciplinary care through the USF ALS Association Clinic,” Dr. Gooch said.  “The clinic itself is a shining example of the passion of the ALS patients, those who love them and the ALS Association. Without their dedication and support, the clinic and much of our research could not continue.”

Dr. Michael Flannery

– Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications



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