The University of Miami is naming its distinguished dermatology department the Dr. Phillip Frost Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery in recognition of renowned South Florida philanthropist Phillip Frost, M.D. The department, part of the University’s Miller School of Medicine and known for its innovation, discovery, clinical care, and development of leaders, will receive a $10 million endowment.
Dr. Frost recently announced the transformational gift with an eye toward advancing innovative treatments and cures in dermatology. The gift is the culmination of his lifetime of dedication to medicine, particularly in dermatology and medical entrepreneurship.
“Patricia and I are here in Florida because of the Department of Dermatology at UM. When I was working as a clinical associate at the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Harvey Blank, the chairman of the Department, came to Bethesda to invite me to come to Miami to join the Department. This was an offer we’re glad we couldn’t and didn’t refuse,” said Dr. Frost, who, along with his wife, Patricia, is a champion for science, the arts, and education in South Florida.
Dr. Frost’s longstanding relationship with the University spans nearly six decades. 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.
“Patricia and Phil Frost have helped to transform leading institutions across South Florida,” said University of Miami President Julio Frenk. “The University of Miami is grateful for their extraordinary and meaningful support at the highest levels and across a diverse spectrum of disciplines.”
“Before Dr. Frost became a giant in industry, he was a dermatology icon whose research continues to impact clinical care,” said Robert S. Kirsner, M.D., Ph.D., Harvey Blank Professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery. “Dr. Frost’s gift, the associated prestige and the confidence Dr. Frost has demonstrated in our Department, will empower our current and future clinicians and scientists to improve patients’ lives beyond the Miller School of Medicine.”
The Frosts’ philanthropic support of the University began in 1989, when they made gifts establishing the Patricia L. Frost Professorship of Music, which is bestowed on the dean of the music school, 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. And the Frosts also 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.
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.
Henri R. Ford, M.D., MHA, dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School, said the Frosts’ gift “is a critical step toward accelerating the innovative research taking place in the Department of Dermatology, helping us to promote team science and advance the field. We are extremely grateful for this investment.”
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.
“We applaud Dr. Frost for his generous gift and his vision,” said Edward Abraham, M.D., executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of UHealth. “This investment will be transformative in helping UHealth build another destination program that draws patients from across the region, because of its innovative clinical expertise.”
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.