As we begin the holiday season in earnest, I want to take time to recognize the efforts of our organization and its people who are working to give back to the community we serve.
Facilitated by our exceptional Volunteer Services staff, UF Health Jacksonville and the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville have put food on local tables through a Feeding Northeast Florida food drive, and will put presents under local trees through the Angel Tree toy drive. UF Jacksonville Physicians Inc. has been working once again with our neighbors at the Mt. Herman Exceptional Student Center to ensure each and every family has their holiday needs met. During this time of year, it’s important to give thanks and to give back, and I’m proud of the way we do just that.
It’s also important to remember that the holidays can be a stressful time for some. Please be mindful that although you may be struggling to get your shopping done, your cards mailed and your parties planned, many of our patients are dealing with all of that plus the added complication of a hospital emergency or other ongoing health issue. Be kind, be patient and always maintain the high level of compassionate care we provide throughout the year.
Looking ahead to the coming year, I also want to acknowledge some of the major organizational achievements that marked 2018. We successfully passed our Joint Commission survey in the spring. UF Health TraumaOne, which celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, became the first trauma center in our region to be nationally verified by the American College of Surgeons. We broke ground on UF Health Wildlight, which will extend our ability to provide top-notch care for patients in Nassau County. Additionally, the opening of the University of Florida Jacksonville Aging Studies Center, or
JAX-ASCENT, expanded the breadth of biomedical investigation and clinical research occurring on our campus.
As the year comes to a close, take a moment to look back and recognize your own good work. Then, look ahead to 2019 and chart a course for your own continued success.
Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA, CPE, FACEP