Student lounge named for Dr. Haley opening 2023

Inspiration can change lives.

Lauren Aycock knows the feeling very well.

Aycock remembers when the late Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., MHSA, CPE, FACEP, CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, spoke to her and other prospective care providers. That was when Aycock decided to complete her clinical rotations in Jacksonville.

“I am inspired by UF Health Jacksonville’s role to provide innovative care to all patients, especially those who are uninsured or living in medically underserved areas,” said Aycock, a fourth-year M.D./M.P.H. candidate in the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville.

The late Leon Haley Jr. poses in a navy suit with orange tie, arms crossed and smiling.
The late Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., MHSA, CPE, FACEP, former CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville.

“Dr. Haley truly cared not only about this hospital but also this community as a whole, and I am grateful for the opportunity to follow his legacy.”

In 2023, Haley’s legacy will grow with the grand opening of a new student lounge at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. The student lounge, to be named after the inspirational leader, will serve as a dedicated space for our medical students to relax and recharge in a nonclinical setting without having to leave the hospital. Funding for this much-needed space was made possible thanks to the generosity of donors to the Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., Memorial Fund. The lounge’s construction will be complete by the end of December.

“As medical students, it’s easy to feel like we’re just getting in the way rather than making any significant contributions,” Aycock said. “This sends the message that we belong and are an important part of patient care here.”

Frank J. Genuardi, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor and associate dean for student affairs in the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, is thrilled about how the student lounge will support current and future care providers while also honoring a friend.

“[His commitment] was just amazing,” Genuardi said. “The donation I made to the Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D. memorial fund is probably the single largest donation I’ve ever made to anything in my life.

“Dr. Haley will forever inspire me.”