Champions of Education…Dade Medical College Partners with the Community
In the last 13 years, Dade Medical College has not only worked hard to offer students a quality education but it has also shared its successes with its students, employees and the community, offering a rewarding work environment and making a positive difference in many student’s lives. The communities surrounding Dade Medical College’s six Florida campuses have all been an integral part of the college’s success and giving back to that community has always been a priority for the school and CEO Ernesto Perez. Throughout the last few years, the college has worked on several community initiatives.
Ranking high on the college’s priorities and co-founded with State Senator Rene Garcia and State Representative Eddy Gonzalez, is Dade Medical College’s Adopt-a-School program benefitting high schools surrounding the school’s campuses including Westland Hialeah Senior High, Homestead Senior High, Miami Senior High, Coral Gables Senior High and Hialeah Senior High. Monies raised have gone towards the schools’ music departments, providing needed instruments and funds. Despite being a medical college, we know the importance of supporting the arts in our schools. Other key programs this Adopt-a-School initiative has helped include the Health Science Academy at Hialeah High School and the Practical Nursing Program at Homestead Senior High. Dade Medical College also helped launch the inaugural South Dade campus of the new MAST Academy medical magnet school by helping each student acquire their own laptop.
To every educator, children are very important but in one particular case, a local little girl tugged at everyone’s heartstrings. Hearing about this little girl’s brave battle with brain cancer and the family’s struggle to stay strong, Dade Medical College founded the Gildiana Soza Memorial Scholarship program, first awarding Gildiana’s mother with a full scholarship to attend Dade Medical College and then expanding the offerings to include one additional full scholarship, two $5,000 and four $1,000 scholarships to needy, local students. Through an essay contest, these scholarships were recently awarded, among others, to a young gentleman who suffered a medical condition and now wanted to help others.
The college also became an integral part of yet another children’s cause by hosting the United Order True Sisters (UOTS) Donor Appreciation Event benefitting the Miami Children’s Hospital Oncology Department and their annual Kids Cancer Camp. This organization sends children with cancer to special camps, free of charge. Through the coordination of this event, Dade Medical College gave UOTS the chance to thank all those that have made a difference in these children’s lives and hence, made a difference themselves.
In October, the college as a whole, goes “pink” for the month of October in order to raise awareness for breast cancer. The school purchases mammography screenings from area hospitals and disseminates these to local women in need. In addition, the college hosts several awareness events around the campaign including two complimentary health fairs as well as a healthcare mixer, providing an avenue for other healthcare professionals to meet others in the industry, share ideas and plan for the future. Knowing all healthcare issues are vitally important, Dade Medical College routinely hosts complimentary health fairs in partnership with area hospitals. These health fairs are open to students, staff and the general public.
The school has also sponsored several ‘Relay For Life’ events in East Kendall and Hialeah supporting the American Cancer Society as well as sponsoring the Coral Gables Police Department Ski Team which competes annually to benefit Special Olympics. Last year, the college put together two more teams to participate in “Relay for Life” and also helped grant a wish from The Miami Herald Wish Book
Dade Medical College has played a fundamental role in the community, not just providing quality allied health programs to supply the ever-increasing need for skilled healthcare workers but supporting the communities surrounding their campuses with donations, community activities, scholarships and other programs that contribute to the betterment of everyone involved. For the school, healthcare education is important but people are a passion.
Dade Medical College – Champions in the Community…A Year in Review
Dade Medical College's commitment to bettering the communities surrounding our campuses is as tangible as our dedication to providing quality postsecondary education to our students. The college has donated or pledged more than $4.6 million in 2011 alone, not taking into account the hundreds of hours in time donated by participating in charity events including free community health screenings, fun runs and races, holiday parties, hospital functions and more. The following is a brief summary of the organizations to which the college has contributed its resources to.
Dade Medical College's Adopt-a-School program benefits six high schools in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties with a yearly monetary donation that has aided band and nursing programs, athletic department and even a student-led fountain restoration project. The college was a Gold Level sponsor at this year's Relay For Life events in the cities of Tamarac (February) and Homestead (April) and also sponsored the Coral Gables Police Department’s Ski Team (February), which competed in Colorado and raised funds for the Special Olympics. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation received a donation from the college in March, which was also when Dade Medical agreed to sponsor the American Heart Association’s gala and also donate an additional $20K. The Angels Reach Foundation received a donation Autism Awareness Month in April, which went toward helping the children and families of those affected by Autism Spectrum and other developmental disorders. April was also the month in which Dade Medical sponsored the American Cancer Society’s annual gala.
Two art organizations located in the City of Homestead each got a boost from the college in May - Dade Medical funded ArtSouth's summer camp and commissioned a 40' x 20' mural created by the instructors and students of the Children’s Gallery and Art Center. The Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation received the first of three sizeable donations this year, also in May after DMC committed to donating $250,000 during a special ceremony that coincided with a visit and tour by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). The college was the signature sponsor of the Homestead Mexican American Council’s 1st-ever Cinco de Mayo Festival benefitting the city’s migrant population just around the time that the Associates in Nursing Scholarship Program launched, offering a total of 50 full scholarships to graduating high school seniors (a total value of $3M).This was also the month when Dade Medical donated $15,000 worth of SMART board equipment to Hialeah’s Amelia Earhart Elementary’s special ed department.
The United Order of True Sisters aids children stricken with cancer, so the college was happy to sponsor this year’s summer camp activities (June). The Mount Sinai Medical Center Foundation received the second of three large donations when Dade Medical College announced a $250,000 donation in July; Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) was present during this presentation ceremony. Also in June, the college became Diamond-level sponsors of the Kiwanis of Homestead’s yearly fishing tournament, as well as sponsoring and participating in the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association’s annual golf tournament, two-day summit and gala dinner. During the month of July, Dade Medical sponsored the Independence Day celebrations of the Cities of Hialeah, Homestead and the Town of Miami Lakes. The college made a donation to the City of Hialeah to help them open their public parks to children on summer vacation.
During August, Homestead’s Ebenezer Community Church and the City of Miami (through the office of Mayor Tomas Regalado) both received school-branded backpacks and school supplies to help under-privileged children get ready to go back to school. In September, the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation received the third of three sizeable donations when Dade Medical College pledged a $500,000 contribution. The college awarded one full Gildiana Soza Memorial Scholarship through media partner CBS4 in September, about the same time the college sponsored a fishing tournament to benefit the Woody Foundation, which helps people affected by spinal cord injuries. Dade Medical College's yearly "Go Pink" Campaign for breast cancer awareness successfully ran in October, raising funds for the American Cancer Society and also contributing 500 complimentary mammography screenings for uninsured women in the area. Also in October, the college participated as a sponsor in the Catholic Hospice/Catholic Charities golf tournament and sponsored the March of Dimes' Nurse of the Year awards ceremony.
Dade Medical became "Pineapple Gala" sponsors for Homestead Hospital in November, which was also when the college’s yearly Thanksgiving food drive collected more than 4,000 items that went to the Fresh Start Family Services, Inc. and Feeding South Florida. To continue to offer a Thanksgiving dinner for those less fortunate, the college donated $2000 to the Ebenezer Community Church used to feed more than 1,300 in the South Miami-Dade County area as well donated 700 turkeys to five Homestead organizations / food banks (Trinity Faith Tabernacle, Fresh Start Family Services, Inc., Galata, Food of Life Outreach and the City of Homestead Community Center). To complete the year, the college sponsored the City of Miami family-friendly Holiday Tree Lighting event, the Camillus House annual gala and donated 20 Kindle readers to be given away at the Miami Children’s Hospital’s annual holiday party. Also in December, the college donated a full scholarship to the Haitian Women of Miami and sponsored their 20th anniversary celebration. Plans for 2012 include signature sponsorship of American Heart Association’s 2012 gala.