An Indian American philanthropist couple in Florida, Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel, has donated $25 million to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Nova Southeastern University.
The gift comes just months after the couple committed to donating $200 million to help the university build a new medical school in Clearwater (see India-West article here). The commitment is the largest donation to an institution by an Indian American.
Kiran Patel, the entrepreneur who recently sold Freedom Health to Anthem (see India-West article here), said the university has been receptive to his vision of a medical curriculum with a truly international focus, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.
“Somebody has to believe in that, and that’s what I find very heartwarming and encouraging, that we both share a common vision,” Patel told the publication.
The Patels’ gift will go toward scholarships for needy students at NSU’s College of Allopathic Medicine, where students earn medical degrees, the report said.
Their previous commitment — a $150 million real estate investment and a $50 million gift — went toward NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and is funding the creation of a Tampa Bay Regional Campus in Clearwater, where the osteopathic program will expand, it said.
Now both M.D. and D.O. programs will be named for Kiran Patel, according to the report.
"I just felt that it will be appropriate for my partnership with Nova where all medical graduates come out of one college called the Patel college," he said in the report.
A ceremony for the groundbreaking of the new medical center will be held in March.
This latest gift from the Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel Family Foundation, announced Jan. 27, also brought Nova Southeastern within reach of its $250 million fundraising campaign.
Patel said he is also planning a medical college in both India and Zambia. He wants to expose American students to the world and bring international students to the U.S. for their education, according to the report.
Between the colleges at NSU and those international plans, he said he envisions producing thousands of doctors who will send ripple effects of their care out into the world, the publication said.
"The opportunity I have been given, be it at USF, be it at Nova or other places I’m creating … I just consider myself extremely fortunate and blessed to be able to do something for others," he said in the report.
Pallavi Patel said the reason she and her husband did this was to have medical students 10, 20 and 30 years from now feel like they belong somewhere, according to a WLRN.org report.
“We always wanted to help a lot of people who want to be medical professionals, and who are struggling or looking for a place where they have a happy and healthy environment to flourish their dream,” she said in the report.