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Miami Dade College’s Acclaimed School of Nursing to be Renamed, While Healthcare Industry in South Florida Gets a Huge Boost, Thanks to Major Donation Today from Benjamin Leon Jr. and Family


Benjamin Leon, Jr., Dr. Eduardo J. Padron and Benjamin Leon III.

Miami, October 30, 2012 - One of the leading healthcare services providers in the region, Leon Medical Centers, is investing in the future of the industry by making a $5 million donation to Miami Dade College's (MDC) acclaimed School of Nursing today. The special event with students, faculty, alumni, healthcare professionals, and community leaders was held at MDC's Wolfson Campus where a check presentation was made and remarks delivered. The donation also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the school of nursing which opened its doors in 1962.

The school will also be renamed the Benjamin Leon School of Nursing at Miami Dade College. More importantly, the donation will create program enhancements, opportunities for faculty development and a cohort of nursing scholars to bolster the industry.

The United States is facing a critical shortage of nurses, with no sign of abating. The problem is especially severe in South Florida. The Leon gift will go a long way in mitigating these hurdles in the region's healthcare industry.

"I cannot think of many other institutions that have positively impacted as many lives in our community as Miami Dade College," said Benjamin Leon III, President & CEO of Leon Medical Centers and MDC Trustee. "This is our way of thanking this fine institution and encouraging it to continue building a better community through education and opportunity."

Leon Medical Centers selected MDC because of its shared commitment to medical excellence and to the community both organizations serve.

"This donation is one more step in our commitment to medical excellence and our commitment to our community. You can't have medical excellence without having exceptionally prepared and professional nurses. They are the frontline of medical excellence," said Benjamin Leon Jr., Chairman and Founder of Leon Medical Centers. "We are fortunate to have many MDC School of Nursing graduates serving the patients of Leon Medical Centers and with this donation look forward to having many more. "

"We are extremely grateful and pleased with the generosity of the Leon family. They have raised the bar of civic engagement and giving for all to follow," said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College. "Thanks to their gift, we will take our already nationally renowned School of Nursing to even greater heights and, more importantly, expand our impact in the community."

Meeting local workforce demands, MDC's Medical Campus has trained more than 50% of the nurses in Miami-Dade County. It also offers more than 20 in-demand programs including Physician Assistant studies, Opticianry, Emergency Medical Technician studies, Physical Therapist Assistant studies, Dental Hygiene and much more. Its students also serve the community providing critical healthcare services, performing 52,000 clinical days per year at 800 sites in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, plus an additional 30,000 hours of community service. The School of Nursing is celebrating 50 years of excellence during this 2012-13 academic year.

About Leon Medical Centers

Leon Medical Centers is a leading healthcare services provider in Miami-Dade County serving Medicare patients since 1996. Leon patients have access to seven state-of-the-art Medical Centers conveniently located throughout Miami-Dade County, four Leon Healthy Living Centers and "Welcome Centers," in most of Miami-Dade County's main hospitals. The seven modern medical centers offer advanced technologies such as CT scan, digital x-rays, ultrasound, echocardiogram, and other diagnostics, in addition to a range of medical services that include primary care, specialties, dental, on-site pharmacy, vision, hearing, physical therapy, laboratory and urgent care. With approximately 2,000 dedicated healthcare professionals who serve approximately 39,000 Medicare recipients, Leon Medical Centers has been recognized nationally for its excellence and innovation.

About MDC's Medical Campus

In 1977, MDC opened its Medical 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 Examiner's Office and Miami-Dade County Public Health Services - the Medical Campus forms the backbone of Miami's healthcare 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 about the School of Nursing, please call 304-237-4101 or visit

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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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ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.