Scholarship established to recognize education leader Dr. John Sinnott

Devoting time to the needs of the community is at the heart of a new scholarship for USF medical students.

Called the Dr. John Sinnott Merit Scholarship in Medicine, the scholarship is named after John T. Sinnott, MD, FACP, FIDSA, chair of the USF Health Department of Internal Medicine, the James A. Cullison Professor of Medicine, and director of the Florida Infectious Disease Institute. The scholarship was initiated when John Ekarius, former chief operating officer for USF Health, provided its first donation. More than 50 donors have added to that seed money to grow the gift to about $33,000.

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John Ekarius (right) announces the scholarship named for Dr. John Sinnott (left), with Dr. Margarita Cancio-Cabrerra and Dr. Douglas Holt.

“One can see the impact of John’s legacy by watching alumni interact with him,” Ekarius said. “His repeated winning of the Golden Apple teaching award symbolizes his dedication to the school and its future. John represents the best of the Morsani College of Medicine.”

The first word of the scholarship came when Ekarius made a surprise announcement about it at an Internal Medicine event in December. Taken aback, Dr. Sinnott was clearly moved by the gesture.

“John came up with an amazing surprise and a unique honor,” Dr. Sinnott said. “The scholarship he started in my name will assist many students as they pursue their dream of a career in medicine.”

In working with USF Health Development to fine tune the details for the scholarship, Dr. Sinnott determined that a student’s work within his or her community should be central to the tenets of the scholarship’s criteria.

“Some of my most rewarding experiences have been in working in our comunity,” Dr. Sinnott said. “This scholarship program will inspire our students to ‘give back’ to our school and community.”

The inaugural scholarship will be awarded for Fall 2014. For more details about the scholarship or to make an additional contribution to it, contact Patrick Henry, director of Development for the Morsani College of Medicine, phenry1@health.usf.edu or (813) 974-4803.