Levin Gift Supports UHealth Sports Medicine

By UM News

Levin Gift Supports UHealth Sports Medicine

By UM News
The gift will establish the Petra and Stephen A. Levin Endowed Chair for UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness.

A generous gift of $2 million is being made to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine from longtime philanthropists Petra and Stephen A. Levin. The funding will go a long way to promote research into world-class treatment and care in sports medicine.

The gift will establish the Petra and Stephen A. Levin Endowed Chair for UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness in the UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute at the Miller School of Medicine, and is in support of Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

Stephen A. Levin is chairman of Doral-based Gold Coast Beverage Distributors. The Levins are longtime South Florida residents, committed to ensuring their community’s health and well-being. The first chair holder will be Lee Kaplan, M.D., professor of orthopaedics and director of the UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute, chief of the UHealth Sports Medicine Division, medical director and head team physician of the University of Miami and Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins. Funding from the chair will help support Kaplan’s groundbreaking research pursuits.

“Stephen and I have the greatest confidence in Dr. Kaplan and enthusiastically support his vision to build UHealth Sports Medicine and the UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute into a globally recognized leader in research that enhances patient care and athletic performance,” said Petra Levin.

Created in 2013, the UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute is a collaborative effort between the medical school’s Sports Medicine Division and other UM departments, including biomedical engineering, sports science and kinesiology, physical therapy, and institutes such as the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) and the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics. This uniquely multidisciplinary framework distinguishes the Institute from most other sports medicine centers in the United States.

The Institute’s holistic approach to wellness focuses on three areas: emphasizing the importance of exercise as a vital component of a healthy lifestyle; preventing, treating, and recovering from activity-related illness or injury; and accurately measuring and enhancing athletic performance.

The Levins’ gift will be instrumental in supporting Kaplan’s vision of making UHealth the leading provider of sports medicine and its Institute a nationally recognized hub for synthesizing broad perspectives, knowledge, skills, and interconnections in an academic setting.

“Stephen and Petra’s generous philanthropic support comes at a critical point in the growth of the UHealth Sports Medicine Division and the UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute,” said Kaplan. “This gift will help us build momentum toward our goal of transforming the sports medicine and sports science landscape at the University of Miami, throughout South Florida, and beyond. I am extremely grateful for their support.”

An event to showcase the groundbreaking work being conducted by the Institute will be held Friday, November 14. Kickoff of the UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute will begin at 10 a.m. at the Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center, at 6200 San Amaro Drive in Coral Gables.

UM President Donna E. Shalala, who had a vision for a university-based sports medicine program and recruited Kaplan to establish such a program, will participate in the event.

A renowned specialist in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery, Kaplan joined the University in 2008 and helped launch UHealth Sports Medicine, building it into one of the nation’s finest academic-based, multidisciplinary programs for both elite athletes and active individuals sidelined by injury or other medical conditions.

A board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, Kaplan earned his medical degree from George Washington University and completed his general and orthopaedic surgery training at UM. He also completed a sports medicine/shoulder fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh.

“We are so appreciative of the incredible generosity and support of Petra and Stephen A. Levin,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., senior vice president for Medical Affairs and dean of the Miller School, and CEO of the University of Miami Health System. “Thanks to their vision, Dr. Kaplan won’t only be helping UM’s student-athletes be the best they can be, he will remain committed to helping our greater community be the best it can be.”