FAU President Dr. John Kelly, Ann Wood, FAU College of Medicine Dean Dr. Julie G. Pilitsis, Dr. Sarah Wood. Standing From Left: Jon Kaye Medical School Students and Bonnie Kaye



BOCA RATON, Fla. (August 16, 2022) – Generating a record-breaking $1,029,800 in scholarship funds to support the incoming class of medical students at Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine, the College’s annual White Coats-4-Care (WC4C) major scholarship fundraiser was hosted this week at the Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence.

“This year’s resounding success was due to the combined respect and advancement of the Schmidt College of Medicine, the community’s embrace of its mission and the deep commitment of generous donors invested in growing a strong, vital healthcare community,” shared Co-chair Bonnie Kaye, who with Kaye Communications (KCOM-PR) partner Jon Kaye has co-chaired WC4C for 12 consecutive years since its inception.

White Coats-4-Care Co-Chairs Jon and Bonnie Kaye at podium

“What began as a small community raiser 12 years ago for a new yet little-known medical school, Jon and I are pleased to see that White Coats-4-Care has grown to become the College’s major annual fundraiser that has provided numerous students with scholarship funds.”

Dr. Stuart Markowitz; Beth Markowitz; Maurice Plough, Jr.; Bonnie Halperin; Dr. Joanna Drowas, Bryan Drowas

With the average cost of a medical education reaching $250,000 in-state to $400,000 out-of-state,
80-85 percent of the College’s talented students require financial assistance. Heavy debt often impacts both a student’s choice of medical school as well as their medical specialty based on its income potential to repay loans.

“Scholarship monies raised through the annual White Coats-4-Care initiative give students the ability to follow their hearts, not their debts, into lifelong medical careers,” noted Co-chair Jon Kaye. Since its inaugural reception, White Coats-4-Care has raised more than $2 million.

Dr. Allen Konis, Ellen Koppelman, Sammy Kaye

Pat Howard, Rick Howard, Alisa Cohen

This year Ann and John Wood doubled their commitment from the previous year to $800,000 to support 20 deserving medical students in the Class of 2026 through for all four years as part of their Robert A. Wood FAU Medical Scholars Fund they established in memory of their son. This is in addition to the $28 million transformational gift this past spring from Ann and John Wood to help reach the College’s eventual goal of “doctors without debt.”

2022 WC4C Host Committee

“Right now, South Florida, as well as communities across the country, are facing a significant shortage of healthcare professionals. FAU continues to aid in the charge of educating and training doctors, nurses and other frontline healthcare workers to reduce these gaps in accessible and quality healthcare for all,” shared Julie G. Pilitsis, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., dean and vice president of medical affairs, Schmidt College of Medicine.

Dean Pilitsis added that the College’s 12th class of 72 new medical students was selected based on both their academic accomplishments and humanistic attributes and that community remains at the forefront of the College of Medicine. In recent graduating medical school classes 50 percent of women and 30 percent of students historically underrepresented in medicine remained in Florida for their residency. White Coats offers the first step in welcoming the new students into the college.

WC4C co-chairs Bonnie and Jon Kaye are supported by a dedicated committee, including Patricia Anastasio, M.D. and Thomas Mersch, Esq.; Melissa Azrack; Alisa Cohen and G. Richard Cohen, M.D.; Florida State Senator Lori Berman and Jeffrey Ganeles, D.M.D.; Phyllis and Michael T.B. Dennis, M.D.; Bryan and Joanna Drowos, D.O.; June Gelb; Bonnie Halperin; Arlene Herson; Allen B. Konis, D.D.S.; Deborah Leising; Natalia Margolis; Elizabeth and Stuart Markowitz, M.D.; Keith Myers; Lynn and Joseph Ouslander, M.D.; Ronald L. Rubin, D.M.D.; Constance Scott; Robin Trompeter and Palm Beach County Mayor Robert Weinroth.
Launched in 2010, FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine became the 134th allopathic medical school in North America and has swiftly become nationally recognized for its innovative curriculum. With an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, the college is dedicated to addressing healthcare disparities in the community. Schmidt College of Medicine recently graduated its 8th class with many going onto esteemed residency programs including Northwestern McGaw/Lurie Children’s; Emory University School of Medicine; Massachusetts General Hospital; New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center; University of Chicago Medical Center; University of Michigan Hospital – Ann Arbor; and UCLA Medical Center.

The college offers M.D./Ph.D., M.D./M.B.A., and M.D./M.H.A. programs. A new Research Distinction Track, the first LCME approved track for the college, offers a parallel curriculum for medical students. Additionally, a Genomics and Predictive Health Certificate prepares students for careers in personalized medicine, biotechnology and population health.

To learn more about the White Coat Society or other gift options, contact Assistant Vice President for Development David Green, at (561) 297-4243 or [email protected].