Hippocrates, a Greek physician born around 460 BC on the island of Kos, is recognized for being the “father of modern medicine.” According to legend, Hippocrates would mentor medical students underneath the shade of an Oriental plane tree on the island, known today as the Tree of Hippocrates. The professional standards he established for medical ethics lives on at the Morsani College of Medicine today, as each student reads a modern version of the Hippocratic Oath upon receiving their Doctor of Medicine degrees at graduation.
On Friday, Feb. 1, guests from near and far joined USF Health for a special luncheon to honor the gift of a sapling from the Tree of Hippocrates in Kos, Greece to the Morsani College of Medicine. Spearheaded by Dr. Santo Nicosia, a distinguished university professor and past chair of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, the seed will be planted at the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in Water Street.
“We are sincerely honored to become one of only 16 other U.S. medical schools to have derivatives of this tree planted on their campuses, as well as the National Library of Medicine at the NIH campus,” said Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.
Dr. Panos Vasiloudes and his wife Helen sponsored the luncheon. The Vasiloudes family and their medical practice, Academic Alliance in Dermatology, have been great leaders in the community and generous supporters of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.
Guests at the event included local officials, such as Dimitrios Sparos, the Tampa Bay Greek Consul General, and the visiting delegation from Greece, who signed a Sister Cities Agreement between Tampa and Heraklion, Crete, Greece, on Jan. 31.
In its new partnership with the University of Crete’s medical school, the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine is already exploring new opportunities to engage with colleagues and friends at the university and will announce formal details very soon.
“It is such an honor for USF Health to be part of this celebration of international friendship as our communities collaborate to build new exchange programs,” concluded Dr. Lockwood, “I think Hippocrates would be smiling down on us as we link the past with the present and Tampa with Greece.”