FIU College of Medicine receives major gift to establish the Benjamín León, Jr. Family Center for Geriatric Research and Education

Benjamín León Jr., founder of Leon Medical Centers announced today a $10 million gift to the Florida International University College of Medicine to establish the Benjamín León, Jr. Family Center for Geriatric Research and Education. The gift also establishes the Leon Medical Centers Eminent Scholars Chair in Geriatrics.

This is among the largest gifts ever made by a Cuban-American family to a U.S. university and the largest made to FIU. The gift also is the first to name a center of the nascent College of Medicine. The León gift is eligible for matching dollars under the State of Florida Major Gifts Trust Fund, increasing its total impact to $20 million.

FIU President Modesto A. Maidique explained that the relationship between FIU and the Leon family has been a close one. Last year, Albert R. Maury, president and COO of Leon Medical Centers Health Plans, became a member of the FIU Board of Trustees.

“Benjamín León, Jr. has built a dynamic health care enterprise based on a vision that is completely aligned with our vision for the FIU College of Medicine,” said FIU President Modesto A. Maidique. “Together we will do great things for the growing senior population in our community.”

The Benjamín León, Jr. Family Center for Geriatric Research and Education will focus on health issues that affect the culturally-diverse elderly population in South Florida. As the United States population continues to grow older as a whole, the research conducted in this center will gain increased relevance beyond South Florida.

“For more than 43 years I have been dedicated to serving the healthcare needs of the Medicare population, most of whom are over the age of 65 and have always maintained that our society is best judged by how it cares for its elders. I am wholeheartedly committed to improving the lives of our seniors. This new center will provide greater opportunities to improve healthcare delivery for the aging population,” said Benjamín León, Jr. Founder of Leon Medical Centers and Leon Medical Centers Health Plans.

FIU College of Medicine Dean John Rock said that the launching of this center follows one of the most significant trends in health care today: an aging population.

“My generation – the largest generation in our nation’s history – the Baby Boomers, have started to enter our 60s,” explains Dr. Rock. “This is going to put incredible strain on an already overburdened health care system. It is important for us as a new medical school to look for solutions to emerging challenges such as this.”

The Benjamín León, Jr. Family Center for Geriatric Research and Education will develop a state of the art curriculum in geriatric medicine and will establish clinical research programs addressing the care of the elderly.

Leon Medical Centers also have become an affiliate of the College of Medicine, which means that FIU medical students will do rotations at the León. Super Centers. León joins a growing family of partners selected by the FIU College of Medicine to help deliver innovative medical education. Other clinical partners include Jackson Health Systems, Miami Children’s Hospital, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Mercy Hospital.

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