In a major step toward becoming a global leader in urology, the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine officially dedicated the Desai Sethi Urology Institute on February 28, 2022. The ceremony for the new Institute, which was established with a $20 million commitment from the Desai Sethi Family Foundation, included the renaming of the Professional Arts Center at 1150 NW 14th Street on the Miller School campus, followed by a reception to honor the generosity of the Foundation’s creators, Bharat Desai and Neerja Sethi.
“Bharat Desai and Neerja Sethi’s generosity will leave a lasting legacy at the University of Miami and the Miller School of Medicine,” said UM President Julio Frenk, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. “We are deeply grateful for their partnership and dedication to usher the Miller School toward excellence and preeminence in the field of urology.”
A Shining Beacon for Urologic Care
Led by Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., the founding director, the Desai Sethi Urology Institute will be a shining beacon for urologic care, attracting top talent, accelerating innovative approaches, and fostering collaboration between specialties like basic and translational sciences, biomedical engineering, and technology.
“Tonight’s dedication is a defining moment that will elevate the level of groundbreaking research in urologic diseases at the Miller School of Medicine,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School.
The dedication ceremony was held at the Rubell Museum in Miami and attended by members of the Desai Sethi family, UM and Miller School leadership, and family, friends, and colleagues of Dr. Parekh, who is also the chair of the Department of Urology and the executive dean for clinical affairs at the Miller School. He also holds the Dr. Victor Politano Endowed Chair in Clinical Urology and serves as the chief operating officer and director of robotic surgery for UHealth – the University of Miami Health System.
“I am so grateful to the Desai Sethi Foundation for their visionary generosity that has made this dream a reality,” said Dr. Parekh, who is renowned for his expertise in robotic surgery. “The Institute will become a world-class destination for excellent urologic care, attract innovators to lead high-impact, transformative research, and train the future generation of urology leaders.”
“The Foundation’s generous donation puts the University of Miami on the map as a global leader in urology care,” said Laurie Silvers, chair of the UM Board of Trustees. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude.”
Aligning Similar Visions to Improve Lives
The partnership between the Desai Sethi Family Foundation and the Miller School aligns similar visions for both organizations: improving the lives of underserved individuals through education, entrepreneurship, and wellness by serving the local, national, and global communities.
“Together with our outstanding team, led by Dr. Parekh, and the support of donors, we can bring great diversity of thought and people to create something that our community has never seen before,” said Stuart Miller, a UM trustee, as well as chair of the UHealth Board of Directors, and chair of Ever Brighter: The Campaign for Our Next Century.
“When we look to the future of our community, we look to UHealth,” added Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “This great institution is providing the best quality of care and this monumental gift from the Desai Sethi Foundation is ushering in a new era for UHealth to shine. We are so lucky to have this gem here in our backyard.”
On the heels of the $20 million pledge, the Desai Sethi Urology Institute received other significant donations including a $1 million gift from Eliza and Hugh Culverhouse, Jr., a subsequent $3 million pledge from Carla and Terry Taylor, and a $5 million commitment from Dan and Brett Sundheim.
These commitments are part of the University’s Ever Brighter: The Campaign for Our Next Century. The most ambitious in the University’s history, the $2.5 billion campaign is set to conclude in 2025, when the University will celebrate its centennial.
“We are making innovative strides in research, from basic and translational research to clinical research, with life-changing outcomes for our patients. With donor support, we will forge ahead to become a globally recognized institute of urology,” Dr. Parekh said.