In July, the UF Health community learned of the untimely passing of Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., the CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville.
In an email sharing the devastating news with UF Health faculty and staff, David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, wrote, “Dr. Haley was an incredible leader and a beloved son, father, friend and colleague. As we work through the shock and sadness of this news, it’s important we show one another compassion and patience, as each of us grieves in our own way and in our own time.”
Haley’s tragic death is a great loss for the medical community and for the many UF Health faculty and staff who held Haley in high esteem. Haley led by example and, in December 2020, became the first person in Florida to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Haley joined UF Health Jacksonville as dean of the UF College of Medicine in January 2017, and became the organization’s first Black CEO just a year later.
UF Health has established the Dr. Leon L. Haley Jr. Memorial Fund in his honor as well as a website paying tribute to his accomplishments.
“Gifts to the fund will honor Dr. Haley’s incredible character, values, leadership, service and commitment to the community by supporting UF Health Jacksonville’s mission to heal, to comfort, to educate and to discover,” Nelson explained when describing the fund. “The fund will build upon Dr. Haley’s goal of promoting health equity, diversity and inclusion and help fulfill his vision of making UF Health Jacksonville the region’s most valuable health care asset.”