Carrying out the enterprise’s mission, to heal, to comfort, to educate and to discover, serves as Edwards’ primary focus and reflects her priorities for the year. Ranking first on that list is continuing the growth of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. This includes preparing to launch a regional medical school, which will accommodate full-time, third- and fourth-year UF medical students. The highly anticipated regional medical campus was a vison of Dr. Haley’s, and construction and renovations continue on the UF Health Jacksonville campus to accommodate the plans. With education fueling its purpose, Edwards expects the school will act as the hub for progressive learning in our region, and a group of students is expected to pilot the program in May 2022.
Noting her experience as senior associate dean for educational affairs since 2013, Edwards wants to prioritize programs that help faculty become more efficient educators. That work is already underway in the Office of Educational Affairs as they continue building their faculty development programs. Led by Elisa Zenni, MD, and Colleen Kalynych, EdD, the goal is to allow professors and staff to strengthen their teaching capabilities while enhancing the learning experience for medical students. In 2022, Edwards expects the faculty development program will provide more opportunities for staff improvement.