Dr. John A. Rock, a Healthcare Hero

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce today named Dr. John A. Rock one of its 2018 Healthcare Heroes and presented him with the Individual of Merit Award for his “extraordinary impact in the South Florida health care community”.

Dr. John A. Rock receives the Individual of Merit Award at the GMCC Healthcare Heroes luncheon.

Dr. John A. Rock receives the Individual of Merit Award at the GMCC Healthcare Heroes luncheon.

Rock, founding dean of Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and senior vice president for Health Affairs accepted the award at the Healthcare Heroes luncheon at Jungle Island attended by many prominent South Florida health care and business leaders.

“I am honored and humbled by this award,” Rock told the audience, “but it takes a community to build a medical school.”

FIU Board of Trustees Chair Claudia Puig nominated Rock for the award noting the dean’s critical role in developing the medical school’s innovative curriculum and outreach program, the Green Family Foundation Neighborhood Health Education Learning Program, also known as NeighborhoodHELP, and the creation of FIU-FAST, an elite team of highly skilled health care professionals trained to respond to manmade and natural disasters.

“Under his leadership, the college of medicine’s vision and mission are uniquely focused on serving the needs of the local community,” Puig said. “He has dedicated his career to training a new breed of socially conscious, community minded physicians which has a positive ripple effect throughout our community.”

But Rock insists he has not done it alone. He likes to point to the more than 1,000 households that allow FIU student teams (medical, nursing, public health, and physician assistant students) into their homes as part of the NeighborhoodHELP initiative, and the more than 175 churches, schools, businesses and other community partners who offer outreach services to those participating households members. He also is thankful for the over 50 clinical affiliates that provide students with first-hand, on-site training and the more than 18-hundred community faculty who volunteer their time to teach students. And he is grateful to the generous donors and many elected officials who believe in and advocate on behalf of the school’s social mission.

“I have the support of a community of health care heroes,” Rock says.