Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel, philanthropists of Indian origin, based in Florida, have donated an additional $25 million to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Nova Southeastern University. The donation comes months after the Patels committed to donate $200 million to NSU for the institution to build a new medical school. The commitment is the largest donation to an institution by an Indian American.
Kiran Patel said Nova Southeastern University has been receptive to his vision of a medical curriculum with a truly international focus. “Somebody has to believe in that, and that’s what I find very heartwarming and encouraging, that we both share a common vision,” Patel said in an interview this week. The Patels’ gift will go toward scholarships for needy students at NSU’s College of Allopathic Medicine, where students earn MDs.
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.
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.
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. Now both M.D. and D.O. programs will be named for Kiran Patel. “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.
Patel, a former cardiologist who runs the Tampa-based managed health care company Freedom Health, made most of his fortune 15 years ago when he sold another HMO, WellCare Health Plans, for a reported $200 million. He and his wife turned to philanthropy, donating many millions to the University of South Florida, local hospitals and the arts.
Physician by profession, and a successful entrepreneur, Dr. Kiran Patel, said, he is also planning a medical college each 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.