By Wendy Sarubbi | October 25, 2018 2:37 pm

UCF President Dale Whittaker

“Since became president in July, I have thought a lot about what it means to be a leading higher education institution for the 21st century — fueling talent, ideas and innovation that will move our community forward. The only way we will be successful is through partnership and a collective vision of a better Orlando together. Today’s groundbreaking embodies that future and builds on the important work many of you started more than a decade ago … to make Orlando a destination for how health and wellness should be taught and practiced in the 21st century.”


Michael Joyce, President, HCA Healthcare’s North Florida Division

“We lift our shovels in the spirit of partnership and service.”


Dr. Deborah German, Vice President for Health Affairs, Founding Dean, UCF College of Medicine

“Eleven years and 22 days ago, on October 3, 2007, we broke ground on the UCF College of Medicine…A teaching hospital was part of our dream that day. We didn’t know who our partner would be or how we would build such a hospital. But we knew then what we know today – that we needed a teaching hospital to accomplish our goals to be one of the nation’s premier 21st century medical schools anchoring a Medical City that could one day be a global destination.”


“To have our own teaching hospital and witness it being built from the ground up is rare for medical students to see. It’s a thrill for me, being a part of history.” Justin Chacko, first-year UCF medical student

Wendy Brandon, CEO, Lake Nona Medical Center

“Now it is time to take the first step that will lead to the creation of a beautiful, high-tech hospital – where we will help researchers find cures, where we will launch the careers of future medical experts and, most importantly, where we will provide hope and healing for the Lake Nona community and far beyond.”


Rasesh Thakkar, Senior Managing Director, Tavistock Group

“Nothing is as important as your loved one’s health. With UCF Lake Nona Medical Center, our healthcare delivery system is now complete.”


Kevin Petersen, Class of 2021 Student Council President

“The people here in Lake Nona have welcomed us students with open arms – from the local baristas who’ve learned our orders by heart & have written those extra words of encouragement on our coffee cups – to the standardized patients who’ve taught us how to become competent and compassionate doctors. The UCF Lake Nona Medical Center will allow us to give back to and serve the community that has embraced us so warmly.”


Cristina Cabrera, first-year UCF medical student

“It means the world to us as medical students. We’re all so excited to be able to have a hospital on campus. It’s truly an inspiration that the school has been able to make so much progress in such a short amount of time and I think it speaks to the capabilities of UCF to be the future of medicine.”


Riegel Spogen, first-year UCF medical student

“It’s truly a testament to the power of UCF. I am honored and so proud to be a Knight and be able to come to Medical City for my education and training.  The root desire of all of our classmates who entered medicine is to give back, to help others and save lives. And being here for the beginning of Medical City is amazing.”


Dr. Cristina Fernandez-Valle, Professor, Neuroscience and Cancer Research Divisions

“This partnership with HCA is transformative for UCF and the greater Orlando community — not just with the hospital but also with HCA’s $3 million gift to bring a world-class cancer scientist to lead UCF’s Lake Nona Cancer Center. This marks the beginning of a new dimension for UCF. The hospital will give medical students, residents and our graduate students in biomedical sciences new opportunities for learning. We are at the beginning of another decade of rapid growth for the medical school.  What an exciting time to be a part of UCF’s College of Medicine.”

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