After slipping on crisp, new white lab coats, Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost formally launched a new era for the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine’s prestigious Department of Dermatology. The lab coats featured a new name and logo – the Dr. Phillip Frost Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery – a symbol of the tremendous impact the renowned South Florida philanthropist and physician has had on the department throughout its storied history.
Thanks to the Frosts’ generosity, the department will receive a $10 million endowment, which will help advance innovative treatments and cures in dermatology. The gift celebrates Dr. Frost’s lifetime of dedication to medicine, education, and medical entrepreneurship.
“We hope this gift commemorates the debt that we feel to not only the department, school, and the city, but it makes us feel as though we will have a stake in its future,” said Dr. Frost, who spoke alongside his wife, Patricia, at a March 6 naming ceremony at the Miller School.
One of the earliest departments founded at the Miller School, the Dr. Phillip Frost Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery has grown into one of the nation’s most respected and dynamic programs in the country, known for its innovation, discovery, clinical care, and development of leaders.
Dr. Frost played a significant role in training and mentoring many of those dermatologists. After receiving his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he completed his residency at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital and later served as a professor of dermatology at the Miller School from 1966 to 1972.
The department’s chair and current faculty members also donned new lab coats at the ceremony to celebrate the milestone.
“A gift of this magnitude is transformative,” said Robert S. Kirsner, M.D. ’88, Ph.D., Harvey Blank Professor and Chair of the Dr. Phillip Frost Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery. “It links the legacy of the department, which Dr. Frost helped to create, to its future. Dr. Frost knows as much about this department as any donor could.”
In 2016, the Frosts solidified their philanthropic legacy at the University with a landmark $100 million gift to support path-breaking research in science and engineering.
“Endowments such as the one the Frosts are creating in dermatology help to ensure that the University has the resources to thrive as we approach, and go beyond, our Centennial in 2025,” said University of Miami President Julio Frenk. “This is why gifts from supporters like the Frost family mean so much. We cannot thank them enough for their strong leadership and commitment to South Florida, and our University.”
The Frosts’ philanthropic support also includes gifts establishing the Patricia L. Frost Professorship of Music, the Anna Frost Music Scholarship Fund, and the Abraham Frost Prize in Music Composition.
In 2003, the University renamed its music school the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music in recognition of a $33 million gift, the largest ever given to a university-based music school in the United States. In 2015, the state-of-the-art Patricia Louise Frost Music Studios complex opened on the Coral Gables campus. In addition, the Frosts donated $1 million to establish an endowment to support the “Band of the Hour” marching band and $1 million to name the Donna E. Shalala MusicReach Program in honor of the former UM president.
Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School, said the Frosts’ latest gift would have a lasting legacy on medical education.
“The Frosts’ gift ensures that this already renowned department will continue to be the preferred destination for the best residents, researchers and physician-scientists pursuing groundbreaking discoveries in the field of dermatology that will be translated into cutting-edge clinical interventions for patients seeking the latest advances in clinical medicine,” Ford said.
Frost is CEO and chair of OPKO Health, a biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company. He founded IVAX Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest U.S. generic drug manufacturers, selling the company to TEVA Pharmaceuticals in 2006 while continuing to serve on the TEVA board until 2015.
Dr. Frost has been a member of UM’s Board of Trustees since 1983 and served as board chair. He also served as campaign chair for UM’s first Momentum fundraising campaign. He currently is a member of the UHealth and School of Law visiting committees, and both he and Patricia serve on the Frost School of Music Board of Advisors.
The Frosts also made their mark in the community, where they are champions for the arts and science, through the creation of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.