In honor of the 30th anniversary of the College of Public Health, the University of South Florida recognized a higher education leader for his critical role as the founding dean of the college. Dr. Peter Levin received the President’s Fellow Medallion at USF Health commencement May 1.
Established in 1988, the President’s Fellow Medallion is awarded at the president’s discretion to highly distinguished meritorious individuals. Levin joins the ranks of the privileged few who have been so honored.
Levin became the founding dean of the USF College of Public Health in 1984. During his ten-year tenure, the college grew from one faculty member and a few dozen students to almost 40 faculty members and hundreds of students. With the support of State Rep. Sam Bell (D-Volusia County), a $10-million building was funded, designed and built for the college, which had become fully accredited in a record three years. Off-campus programs were offered in Ocala, Sarasota and Tallahassee, meeting the needs of state employees, a major purpose of the college.
Concurrently with his USF appointment, Levin chaired the Florida Hospital Cost Containment Board and served on the boards of two billion-dollar non-profit health care systems and an HMO. He also served as chair of the Hillsborough County Health Care Advisory Board, where he contributed to the development and approval of a quarter-cent sales tax to create a system of health care access for the uninsured. Working closely with the county commission, legislators, local businesses and health care providers, the board created a rural/urban system of care. In 1995, the board received the Ford Foundation-Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government $100,000 Award for “Innovations in American Government.”
After leaving the USF COPH, Levin served for four years as Health Policy Counsel to U.S. Senator Connie Mack (R-Fla.) handling issues related to biomedical research, cancer, academic medical centers, long-term care, managed care and Medicare. Prior to coming to the USF COPH, he served as dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma, associate vice-president and executive director of the Stanford University Medical Center and associate commissioner for program analysis and planning of the New York City Department of Health. From 2001-06, he served as dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany.
As a commissioned officer in the United States Public Health Service Corps, he was the administrator of the Blackfeet Indian Hospital in Browning, Mont., and previously had served in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is a graduate of Harvard College with public health degrees from Yale and Johns Hopkins universities. He is married to Judy Levin, a registered dietitian who worked for the Hillsborough County Health Department and at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in hospital-based home care.
The University of South Florida is proud to recognize Dr. Peter J. Levin’s extraordinary contributions, which have benefited our great institution, the Tampa Bay region and our state.