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2016 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

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The FSU College of Medicine celebrated the Class of 2020 White Coat Ceremony and Class of 2017 Gold Humanism Honor Society Induction on Friday, August 12, 2016 at Ruby Diamond Auditorium in Tallahassee.

One PIMS and one College of Medicine graduate were honored during the White Coat Ceremony as a reminder to our newest students that the reuption this medical school has developed was built on the hard work and sacrafice of so many who came before them. 

Dr. Garrett Chumney (left) grew up in Apalachicola and understands well the health-care needs of small communities in rural areas, where recruiting new physicians can be a challenge.

He cares deeply for the people in these communities, regularly driving an hour each way to direct the emergency room and care for patients at Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown.

He lives here in Tallahassee, serving as a preceptor to first- and second-year medical students, and taking care of some of the most vulnerable patients locally through the TMH Behavioral Health Clinic.

In addition, Dr. Chumney makes himself available to speak with FSU medical student groups about the challenges and opportunities awaiting them on the path to becoming a practicing physician.

We thank Dr. Chumney for what he is doing for the patients who need him so much.

Our second recipient Dr. Michael Weiss (right) earned his degree in biology at Florida State and then completed FSU’s Program in Medical Sciences in 1991, the precursor to the FSU College of Medicine. 

Since graduating from the UF College of Medicine, Dr. Michael Weiss has become a leading expert at UF Health in providing critical care for preterm infants with brain injuries.

He is medical director of UF’s Neonatal Flight Team and director of the Florida Neonatal Neurologic Network, a collaboration of Florida hospitals providing whole-body cooling for infants who suffer from microbleeding in the brain prior to delivery.

In the past, there were few options for improving the odds for these babies. Doctors and nurses could offer only supportive care, such as monitoring blood pressure and glucose levels and checking that the kidneys were working properly.

But Dr. Weiss has been a leader in using high-tech cooling blankets to protect cells on the verge of death and in reducing long-term disabilities for babies who have suffered brain damage.

Because he was concerned that so few hospitals were using this lifesaving technology, he helped to develop the Neonatal Neurologic Network and serves as its director. The aim is to share knowledge that will dramatically improve lives for those affected.

We take great pride in all the things Dr. Weiss has accomplished since his year with the PIMS program.

Nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award will open in February 2017.