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Florman Family Foundation, Inc. Donates More than $200,000 to Miami Dade College and the University of Miami

Donation addresses nursing shortage by providing scholarships to nursing faculty at both institutions who wish to pursue doctoral degrees at the University of Miami
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Miami, May 18, 2009 - The United States is facing a critical shortage of nurses, with no sign of abating.  The problem is especially severe in South Florida. A generous donation of more than $200,000 from the Florman Family Foundation,Inc. to Miami Dade College’s (MDC) School of Nursing and the University of Miami’s (UM) School of Nursing and Health Studies is helping to address this shortage by increasing the ranks of doctorally-prepared faculty at both institutions. 

MDC’s School of Nursing was awarded $112,000 and UM’s School of Nursing and Health Studies received $90,000. The MDC gift will provide for four (4) scholarships to existing faculty in the MDC School of Nursing at the Medical Center Campus who wish to pursue a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) at the University of Miami (UM). The UM gift will provide for three (3) scholarships to current UM instructors for the same program.  Graduates will commit to teaching at their respective institutions upon completion of the program. 

Having more faculty with doctoral degrees enables MDC to enhance its fledging Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Increasing the number of nursing faculty at UM will enable the School of Nursing and Health Studies to increase capacity in its BSN program, now in its 60th year.

“We are delighted to assist the faculty at these fine institutions with their pursuit of an advanced degree that will help develop greater capacity in this community to address the nursing shortage,” said Mark Blank, chairman of the Florman Family Foundation, Inc. 

The Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) represents an important advancement in the evolution of the nursing profession.  The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, National Academy of Sciences, and several other professional organizations have called for moving the current level of preparation for advanced specialty nursing practice from the master’s degree level to the doctorate level by the year 2015.

Launched in January 2009, the University of Miami’s Doctorate in Nursing Practice program addresses this need by preparing nurses for the most advanced levels of nursing practice.  The new program will enable the school to address the nursing shortage by increasing the number of clinical experts qualified to teach at the graduate and undergraduate levels.  The twelve-month curriculum, which has a unique focus on health disparities, features an executive-education format with classes held on one long weekend per month.  Rather than a dissertation, the program features a practice-based capstone project enabling students to design and implement a practice innovation.

“We are grateful to the Florman Family Foundation for making this generous donation and serving as an example for others to follow. Now, more than ever, we need to do things that expand educational opportunities for our faculty and students and, ultimately, positively impact our community,” added Dr. Anita Kaplan, president of MDC’s Medical Center Campus. “We are also excited on again partnering with such a renowned institution in the University of Miami.” 

“Educating more doctorally-prepared nurses is central to our school’s mission,” said Nilda Peragallo, DrPH, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies at UM.  “This wonderful gift from the Florman Foundation and the partnership with Miami Dade College will help us to address the needs of the nursing profession.”

Marv and Betty Florman, long-time Miamians, were committed to supporting the community that meant so much to them when they moved here many years ago.  Since their passing, the Trustees of the Florman Family Foundation have been committed to funding programs and organizations that were of importance to Marv and Betty.  The Foundation focuses on education, social welfare, nursing and the arts.  While they do not accept applications the Trustees continue to ensure that contributions meet a wide range of needs and support organizations that provide quality service to this community.

A special presentation on the Florman Family Foundation donation took place at MDC’s next District Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday, May 19.

"MDC's BSN is a great service to students and the community. We will all benefit from a better healthcare system where nurses play a huge role. We hope this gift serves as an example for others," added Blank during the Board presentation.  

About MDC’s Medical Center Campus
In 1977, MDC opened its Medical Center Campus on 4.3 acres within the city’s medical/ civic center complex. Along with the other members of this bustling complex - the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Veterans Administration Hospital, the Miami-Dade Medical Examiners Office and Miami-Dade County Public Health Services - the Medical Center Campus forms the backbone of Miami’s health care community. The campus offers specialty disciplines in nursing and allied health, and state-of-the-art technologies help to ensure that students are prepared in these and other challenging medical careers. It now offers a BSN in nursing as well and awards more nursing degrees than any other institution in the nation.

For more information, please call 304-237-4101 or visit

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,
Karla V. Hernandez, UM director of media relations, 305-284-1603,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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