The school is the largest provider of medical graduates in the state of Florida.

 

TAMPA, FLORIDA: Call it the “Art of Giving”, which the Indian Americans have mastered on the US soil. After chasing the “Big American Dream” and minting millions and billions of dollars through sheer hard work and enterprise, some from the Indian diaspora have gone into heavy donation philanthropy, as they call it “investing in future of mankind”.

Last Saturday, Tampa in Florida state rose to hail a desi doctor couple for what they have given back to the land from where they have earned their “fame and wealth”. The occasion was opening of the Nova South Eastern University (NSU) campus in Davie, Florida. The state-of-the-art 311,000-square-foot NSU campus has been made possible by the generous donation of nearly $200 million by physicians, entrepreneurs and philanthropists Kiran and Pallavi Patel. The donation made is the single largest donation made by an Indian American individual or family in the United States.

Until now, the single largest gift by an Indian American to a US institution was a $100 million gift by Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon for New York University.

Kiran Patel’s eyes were about to burst in tears and his voice was getting choked as he announced the opening of the campus and got ready to cut the ribbon amidst a lavish brunch spread, perfectly blending with the sunny weekend. “This is indeed a landmark day and the historic day for NSU and the Patel family,” said NSU president Dr George Hanbury, announcing the gift.

The cardiologist-turned-entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist was modest when asked what made him give back so much to the US society. “I feel that it is more important than ever to advance the current state of healthcare. It is rare for someone to have the opportunity to impact the world in this way, and, as an immigrant to the United States, I am particularly honoured to be able to make a difference in people’s lives around the world. I believe that NSU is the future of multi-disciplinary medical education. Together, we will be able to capitalise on an opportunity that will be beneficial to millions of human lives, many right here in Florida and many others across the globe,” Dr Kiran Patel told The Sunday Guardian.

Added his other half Dr Pallavi Patel: “This partnership will benefit thousands of patients, students and doctors, as NSU will train thousands of new doctors and other healthcare professionals who will directly touch millions of lives, making a real difference.”

The NSU building will house a new site for the school’s osteopathic medicine named after Dr Kiran Patel, who is not letting it stop here. He plans to connect Nova Campus with a medical education in Gujarat, his ancestral place and where his heart lies. Kiran Patel was born to Indian parents in Kabwe, Zambia. He went to India in 1967 to do his medical degree. It was there that he met Pallavi, who would become his wife later. Also as part of the donation, Nova’s School of Health Sciences was renamed as Dr Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences. Dr Pallavi Patel, a paediatrician, was born in Ahmedabad, India.

The school is the largest provider of medical graduates in the state of Florida and Dr Kiran Patel told the gathering that the university will produce 250 doctors annually in the short run and roughly 400 physicians in a few years. The Clearwater campus will be connected to the Dr Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine via satellite.

Dr Kiran Patel said medical doctors from India will be brought to the United States for a year-long residency. “It will be like training the trainers,” he said adding, his gifting comes from his “emotional connect with three places—Africa, America and India” and he will connect all through his network of healthcare education. Dr Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine will have exchange programs with medical schools in India and Zambia and will train physicians in Indian schools. “Medical students and physicians from India and Zambia will be brought to the United States for training, and similarly physicians from the College will spend time in India and Zambia,” he signed off with a future goal in mind.

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